One year ago today...this happened. Crazy. It kinda seems like yesterday. Then we got this news...but somehow today I am sitting with a gorgeous boy on my lap and his adorable sister is asleep in the swing beside me. Wow...that's really all I can say!
Wow, life with twins is crazy busy! I keep thinking that I should blog and then something comes up and I don't get around to it! I guess feeding, changing and playing with a pair of adorable 3 month olds is the priority though!
Claire and Tyler are doing great. It is so hard to believe that they are 3 months old already. How crazy! We have had our share of challenges...Tyler has been diagnosed with Torticollis so we are seeing a physiotherapist and having to do lots of stretching and strengthening exercises with him. They also were both diagnosed with lip and tongue-ties which makes breastfeeding painful for me and contributes to reflux in both babies. We had their lip and tongue-ties cut but unfortunately it hasn't made much difference....sigh...of course nothing can be easy! I'm still trucking along though and exclusively breastfeeding them. Some days I am sooooo ready to quit but I'm stubborn and won't let myself even give them a top-up of formula...I think if I do then it will be the beginning of the end of breastfeeding for us and I don't think I could deal with myself if I quit now! I have to feed them separately because when I tandem fed them when they were younger they started to choke and needed such frequent burping that it just wasn't manageable. I wish I could tandem feed though, it would save so much time! I think I spent the entire gorgeous summer we had here inside on the couch feeding babies! It will be worth it in the end though! They are gaining weight so well and I feel pretty proud that it is my body that has done that! Anyways, enough about boobs!
We have spent tons of weekends away with the babies which has helped keep me sane. Trips to our property in Washington, my family's cabin, Vancouver Island, Harrison Hot Springs and a bunch of weekends at my parents (about an hour away). I have been so incredibly lucky to have had help pretty much every day since they were born. My mom was off work for the summer (she works in a school) so she was with me pretty much full-time over the summer and then T had knee surgery and has been off work for the last 6 weeks. I am so spoiled! Dealing with two babies at one time is pretty nuts. I feel so awful when I am feeding one and the other is screaming. Breaks my heart but I need to learn to deal with it as next week I am officially "on my own"!
Sleep has been getting better and better. There have been a few nights that they have slept 8 hours in a row but it sure isn't consistent! Last night they were awake every 3 which was so annoying! Hopefully they become more consistent soon! This is one tired mama!
Claire and Tyler both love to play on the floor, kicking and batting at toys on their play-mats...it is so cute! They are getting so strong and so social. They are both full of smiles and have starting giggling. Tyler especially loves to "talk" to us...full of blowing spit bubbles and cooing! Here is a picture of them just after they turned 2 months old. Pretty adorable!
Here is one from yesterday!
Well, I hope that holds you over until I get time to post again! I am reading all of your blogs but just not finding enough time to comment! I am thinking about you all though!
I realized that I really needed to write the twin's birth story down before I forget the details! Bear with me, it's long!
On Tuesday, June 11th I had my last OB appointment before my induction, originally scheduled for June 13. My blood pressure was borderline high so my OB decided that we would start the induction a day earlier, the next day. I also had a non-stress test which showed that both babies were still doing great. At that point I was about 1cm dilated but my cervix was very soft. The OB told me to prepare to be called at some point the next day by the maternity ward to come in to start the induction. It could be any time during the day. That evening T and I went out for dinner, thinking that it could very well be our last night as just a couple.
The next morning the hospital called me to come in for noon to start the induction. T was at work (at the same hospital that I was to deliver at) so my dad came to drive me to the hospital. Once I was there they hooked me up to the monitors and waited for the OB to come decide the next course of action. They weren't sure if they would put in a cervical ripening agent or just start Oxytocin. Several hours later I was told that I would be admitted and that we would be starting Oxytocin. The OB on call thought that I might labour quickly because my cervix was so soft. After hearing that things were going to get started, I began to feel quite nervous! I was going to meet my babies! Unfortunately an hour or so later they came to tell me that two other sets of twins needed to be delivered that evening and because I was the most stable and full-term (the others were 30 weeks and 36 weeks) that I would need to go home for the night. Darn! So off we went, anticipating another call the next morning to come back.
Thursday, June 13th, we waited all day for a call from the hospital. It didn't come until we had already gone to bed that night! Off we drove back to the hospital. My OB was on-call so came to see me shortly after I arrived. He apologized profusely but said that due to how busy the ward was, he didn't feel comfortable starting the induction that evening either! ARGH! Home we went again.
Friday, June 14th, we headed in again in the afternoon. An OB that I REALLY didn't want delivering the babies (he has an incredibly high c-section rate) was on-call so I expressed my concern about it to the nurse. She suggested that I ask to postpone the induction until the early morning so that my OB would be on-call by then and I could have him deliver the babies. That sounded like a good plan to me since I was already admitted and could get a few hours of sleep before we started. Unfortunately, once the OB caught wind of our plans he sent me home because they didn't want me taking up a bed! I expressed that I would rather start the induction than be sent home but they now said they were too busy! This was becoming a bit of a gong-show. I just wanted to get things started!
Finally the next morning they called and told me to come in and that they would NOT be sending me home this time (I was 38 weeks 4 days by this point). When I got there, the charge nurse asked why I had bothered to come in the night before if I was going to refuse to be induced. Um, what? I hadn't refused, it was my nurse's idea to wait the night so I could have my OB on-call. I explained what had happened and she apologized.
Finally at about 1pm my OB came in, broke Baby A's water and we started the Oxytocin! This was really happening! I was dilated to 2-3cm and 60% effaced at this point. It took about an hour for me to feel anything happening as far as contractions. At first they just felt like menstrual cramps and I was thinking "Hey, this isn't so bad!". Boy, was I wrong. By the early evening I was over-responding to the Oxytocin, so much that I was just having one continuous contraction. Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to die! I also had to be on my back in bed hooked up to monitors constantly so that REALLY didn't help matters. I think that if I could have moved around a bit more, I would have had a bit of an easier time coping with the pain. My lovely nurse tried to get me to use the Nitrous Oxide gas but I was in so much pain I couldn't get my breathing under control to be able to have it work. She then offered me morphine but I asked if I could just get my epidural since I needed to have one anyways (my OB wanted one placed in case I suddenly needed a c-section). They explained that I should be at least 4cm before they put one in so they would call the OB to come assess. An OB resident came by to check and luckily I was easily 4cm so they ordered the epidural. I was told that the anesthetist was in the middle of a surgery and it would be about an hour to get the epidural. NOOOOO! I really started to panic then because I didn't think I could cope that long. Luckily another anesthetist was coming on to her shift and when she saw our last name on the list for epidurals she came right in (she knows T from work). Thank goodness! It was a real challenge for her to get the epidural in and for a while I was worried that it wouldn't work! Sitting in that position for so long while having contractions was tough but finally she got it in.
Once the epidural was in place I was able to relax a bit. It worked a lot better on the right side than the left which was annoying but at least it was something. I rested and listened to some music for awhile. The epidural took away most of the pain but I could still feel crazy amounts of pressure. Such a weird feeling. By about midnight I was 10cm dilated with a tiny lip of my cervix left. At that point I paged my midwife to come. I could have called her earlier but I was doing fine with just the support of the nurse and the OB but I wanted the midwife there for the pushing and delivery. She arrived around 1am and I started to push. Unfortunately the epidural made it very hard to feel the muscles I needed to use to push. It was very frustrating because although Twin A's head was super low, I wasn't making any progress. I started to get worried that I would end up needing forceps, vacuum or even a c-section after all. I was also very uncomfortable after laying in the same position for so long. Finally my midwife decided to try me laying on my side to push, even though that made it harder to monitor the babies. We just needed to try something! That seemed to do the trick and for the next several hours I alternated sides to push.
When things were getting close, they needed to transfer me to the operating room to deliver. Moving from my bed to the OR table was awful! I was feeling the contractions way more and having to lay flat on my back with my legs in stirrups was so uncomfortable! At one point there were 13 people in the OR including us. My OB, OB resident, midwife, nurse, charge nurse, 3 OR nurses, pediatrician, pediatric nurse and anesthetist. All cheering me on as I pushed! Once I got to the OR I started to get a bit panicked as I realized that I might be there for awhile and my throat was so tight and dry (all I'd been allowed was ice chips since the induction started and I hadn't had any in awhile). Luckily the anesthetist was able to sneak me a few ice chips which made me feel a lot better.
I pushed and pushed and at 5:18am, my midwife delivered Tyler. I had asked that no one announce the gender so that T and I could look and find out ourselves. My midwife put him right on my chest and I lifted his little leg and saw the boy parts! We had a son! Such a surreal experience. I had my eyes closed for most of the pushing him out and then all of a sudden I opened them and a baby was on my chest! Makes me emotional thinking about it!
My OB needed to deliver Baby B so my midwife stepped out of the way and he took over. He did a quick ultrasound and it was determined that Twin B was breech! Yikes! She must have flipped at the last minute once her brother was out! My OB had always told me that he was comfortable delivering the second twin breech but that not all OB's at the hospital were. At that point I was SO thankful that my OB was on-call! They asked me if I wanted to keep Tyler on my chest while I pushed Baby B out but I said no, that I needed to concentrate. T and a nurse took Tyler from me to go get assessed by the pediatrician.
My OB then looked me straight in the eyes and told me that I needed to concentrate and listen carefully to him. I don't remember much about pushing Claire out but all of a sudden, at 5:28am, there she was on my chest. She was a bit of a blue color and wasn't crying right away so the nurse grabbed her and took her straight to the pediatrician. Within seconds she was wailing so I knew she was OK. I couldn't believe that I had a son and a daughter!
My OB delivered the placentas and gave me a few stitches (I had only a small tear!) while T and I held our babies. Tyler was 6lbs 8oz and Claire was 6lbs 4oz. It was strange because all of the ultrasounds had measured Baby A as the smaller baby but it was the opposite! Shows you how inaccurate they can be!
Soon after I was able to be wheeled back to my room. I was on cloud 9 and so full of adrenalin! It felt like I could do the whole thing over again! My midwife then came and told me it was time to get them breastfeeding. Latching my babies on for the first time was amazing. Breastfeeding is so important to me (it is a huge part of my job as a public health nurse) and now I was FINALLY going to breastfeed my babies! Claire latched right away and went to town and Tyler did really well too. We got some great pictures.
We hung out as a little family for a bit and then decided it was time to call the grandparents! I called my parents first but wouldn't tell them the genders, they had to come find out! I also called my brother and sister-in-law and then T called his parents. Everyone was on their way to see them! Lots of tears once they arrived to meet their grandchildren/niece/nephew. They are so loved!
We spent the day cuddling with our babies and just soaking in the moments as a family. When it was time for their first baths, Tyler LOVED his but Claire screamed the whole time! The first night was tough, not really any sleep but even just laying awake staring at our babies was amazing.
The next day we were told we could go home but had to wait for the OB to come assess me and for me to get some blood work for my high blood pressure. Finally around 4pm we were cleared to go! Loading them in their carseats and leaving the hospital I could hardly believe that it was happening! After so long we had babies!
So there it is...the story of how we finally became a family. It has been a crazy and amazing 7 weeks since they were born. We are exhausted but so incredibly thankful for this amazing blessing. Claire and Tyler, we love you both so much!
Hi friends! I'm so sorry that I have been absent since letting you know that Tyler and Claire had arrived! Life with newborn twins is absolutely crazy busy! I knew it would be busy but absolutely nothing can prepare you for reality! I can't believe that they are a month old already. This month has been the hardest and most wonderful month of my life. It is pretty indescribable how much I love these little ones.
We got to come home from the hospital the day after they were born which was great but we were a little unprepared for it. That first night at home was just awful. They cried all night. My milk hadn't come in yet and the tiny bit of colostrum that I was producing was not at all enough. My nipples were bleeding and we were just exhausted after 3 nights of no sleep. Finally at 8am I sent T to the store to buy formula (something I SWORE I would never do) but we just couldn't do it any more. We gave them half an ounce each and finally we all got a couple of hours sleep. I cried while I fed them that bottle because I so badly wanted to exclusively breastfeed them but now looking back on it, we did what we had to do. Luckily now breastfeeding is going much much better. They haven't had any formula since about 5 days old and I'm a milk-machine. So much milk that they tend to choke on it! My little B cup breasts are now easily DD! I do a double-take every time I see them in the mirror! Babies tend to feed every 2-4 hours during the day and 3-4 hours at night. They've been gaining weight pretty well. Last Tuesday they were weighed at the midwife office and Tyler was 7lbs 10oz and Claire was 7 lbs 7oz. A friend from work is going to bring a baby scale over tonight when she comes for dinner so we'll weigh them again.
We've had lots of help from the grandmas which has been a HUGE help. After that first night at home just the two of us, we knew we needed to ask for help. Just yesterday was my first day at home with them by myself and it was hard but I survived. Now T's mom is here for a few days. It is just so hard when they both start crying and you can only really console one at a time. At one point yesterday all three of us were crying! If you are expecting twins, make sure you line up a lot of people to help, day and night! We wouldn't have survived without it!
I leave you with a picture of them from the other day. My precious little daughter and son! I still can't believe I can say that! I don't know how often I'll be able to update, there always seems like something to be doing but I'll see what I can do!
I'm thrilled to announce that early Sunday morning, Tyler and Claire made their way into the world. Tyler was born first at 6lbs 8oz and then Claire decided to flip herself breech causing a bit of drama but was born shortly after at 6lbs 4oz. I delivered both vaginally and was lucky enough to have an OB that was willing to deliver Claire breech so I didn't have to have a c-section to get her out! We are so in love (and so exhausted!) Here they are! Tyler on the left, Claire on the right.
We are still at home! I've been brought into the hospital 3 days in a row only to be sent home because they either didn't have enough nurses or enough beds on the maternity ward! Why they keep calling me in only to send me home again several hours later, I don't know. I think I just have terrible timing, I get there and then as they are preparing to admit me, someone more urgent comes in! They always hook me and babies up to monitoring in the assessment room, monitor us for awhile, wait for the OB to come assess me, order some blood work etc and then come back all apologetic that they have no room for me! Tonight I was actually admitted to a labour room, the orders were written for the oxytocin and they were about to start the IV and then my nurse got called away to help another patient. Over an hour later they came back and said they needed to send me home! We are getting so frustrated! I joked with T that we pretty much suck at becoming parents! Nothing ever goes smoothly! Well, hopefully I'll have some better news soon!