Monday, October 29, 2012

Hayden & Connor's First Week

As most of you know, our sweet boys were born via emergency c-section due to preeclampsia on Friday, October 19 at 11:15 p.m. We have been on such a roller coaster of emotions over the last week, and while I want to share the whole story, I also want it to make sense and I'm hanging on by a thread as far as being coherent goes. So, I'll work on that and share it when it's ready. For now, I've been keeping track of our boys each day and would like to share what their little worlds (and ours) have been like since they made their grand entrance.

Day 1 (October 20, 2012)
- The boys have lost weight (normal, I know). Hayden is 4 lbs 13 oz and Connor is 4 lbs 9 oz.
- They were both taken off the CPAP (breathing apparatus used to treat preterm infants whose lungs have not fully developed) after 32 hrs. 
- Both boys ate 10 ml of formula
- I was so out of it when they brought the boys to see me for a fews secs while in recovery that I don't really remember much. Today, I was able to go see them in the Level III NICU. I touched their sweet little hands and they both grabbed hold of my finger. It was so hard to see them all hooked up, but they are so incredibly beautiful I was able to get past it for the time being.
- Pictures make them look big but they are so tiny in person.
Hayden River
Connor Jackson
Welcome baby boys!
Day 2
- Both boys were moved to Level II NICU (yay) late tonight/early morning! They forgot to call and tell us so when Lou went down to III they weren't there. They felt terrible for forgetting to tell us so we were able to get away with a couple extra family members who were not on the visitation list for the day.
- Hayden weighs 4 lbs 10 oz and Connor weighs 4 lbs 6 oz.
- They both ate 20 ml of formula.
- Hayden is a slow eater and Connor is fast.
- Lou got to feed Hayden for the first time.
- We took down the first syringe of colostrum!
- I've been in a lot of pain since about 3 hours after my epidural was taken out - I asked for it back!
- We've had lots of visitors today; I only wish we could share our sweet boys with them but feel special that they still came to see me.
- My Momo got to see the babies; I feel so grateful for this as Momo is 1 of 2 living great grandparents to our boys and the only one on my side.
Daddy learning how to feed Hayden
Momo and Hayden with Daddy
Momo admiring Connor
Auntie Fish and Hayden
Auntie Fish and Connor
Day 3
- Connor was put under light for jaundice; He's sad because he cant see his girlfriend next door with his shades on.
- We each got to feed a baby (my first time)!!
- Connor took down 17 ml of colostrum.
- We snuck in my Aunt Theresa to meet the boys (we knew the boys' nurse); She used to be a NICU nurse.
- Connor was very alert and cooing today; He was amazed by his mommy it seemed (check out the video below). He likes to throw his hands up in the air like he's saying "Helllllloooooo." At the end of the video he practices his JJ Swatts.
- Hayden is a lazy eater and doesn't take much from his bottle so he has to get fed a lot through his tube
- The doc said Hayden has some lungs on him :)
- I'm super puffy today. I hope I don't scare anyone!

I wear my sunglasses at night
My first time feeding Hayden
My first time feeding Connor
Hayden loves to stretch out!
Day 4
- WOW! Our love for these boys is completely indescribable.
- Both boys had their IVs removed so no more TPN, lipids, etc.
- We've figured out their little quirks. Hayden loves to wrinkle his forehead and makes lots of grumpy old man faces. Connor works his lips and tongue like a baby giraffe. They are both so expressive and cute!
- Connor is off the light!
- We both got to change diapers today; it's funny how the little things excite us.
- Hayden ate good for his momma on one feeding and was very alert today.
- I got to work with Connor on nursing (it was too much for him though and he was too worn out to take his bottle).
- I've been swelling really bad and in a lot of pain. The only time I can take my mind off of it is when I'm with my babies.
- The boys both had the same nurse (Anna) today and we liked her. We've requested her on the days she works.
- I was discharged tonight and we were so sad to leave. It was the hardest thing either one of us has ever done. We had to stop off in the "Milk Express" room to gain our composure before walking out of the hospital.
Hayden admiring his momma. He loves to wrinkle his little forehead. He is a little guy but has a chubby face.
Connor is always sticking his tongue out like a baby giraffe. He is so very petite!
Our first family photo (tears and all!)
Day 5
- The boys have both really slowed down and aren't doing so well with their feedings :(
- Connor worked on nursing again today but was so worn out again.
- Hayden was approved for non-nutritive breastfeeding but I haven't worked with him yet because he's not very good at even the bottle.
- Both boys had outfits on for the first time. They looked so cute!
- Lou went back to work today and got off early to spend time with us.
- Pumping every 2.5 hrs is exhausting but it's what's best for my boys so I have to remind myself of that
- Hayden is lazy but so cute you can't help but laugh. I just wish he wasn't lazy when it comes to feedings.
- Connor looks just like his daddy. Lou says Hayden looks like me.
- My friend's sister who works in the NICU fed Connor and because he finished so fast he got snuggle time with her. It made me feel good that someone we knew was there with them when we couldn't be.
- Go boobies! The boys are getting to eat more and more breast milk. I just wish they were taking it by bottle and not the tube.
- Chase and Christie brought us lasagna after we got home from the hospital. I was so excited to finally be able to eat tomato-based food! It had made me so sick during pregnancy.

First pic of the boys side-by-side. Hayden on left, Connor on right. They have similar features but look different, especially because of their size difference. 
My first real clothes to wear!
Practicing my Heisman pose!
Sweet Connor!
Sweet Hayden with his milk bubbles!
Day 6
- The doc called this morning and decided to put the boys on cue based feedings since they have not been eating much out of their bottles. Basically, they'll only bottle feed if they show signs of wanting to eat (alertness, sucking, etc.). Otherwise they'll get fed through the tube. This keeps them in the NICU longer but hopefully they will gain stamina and not burn so many calories this way so they can put on weight.
- They were kind of dirty when we got there and it upset me; I was not impressed with their nurse. I cleaned them up myself and will ask the charge nurse not to put her with our boys again.
- They were extra sleepy today.
- Hayden woke up for daddy and they talked football.
- The boys took a tiny bit from their bottles but the rest through tubes for their 5 pm feeding (they eat every 3 hours).
- Hayden requires burping and spits up a lot. He can burp like a man.
- Connor has gas pains sometimes and it's so sad when he cries out. He never burps.
- Hayden peed on himself twice because the nurse didn't point his wiener down in his diaper. Stupid lady! And she wasn't going to change his outfit, so I spoke up.
- Connor peed on daddy during diaper change. Again.
- Today was a hard day emotionally for me. I think the nurse upset me and my hormones are all over the place, those mixed with having to leave the boys just did me in.
- We came home to a fridge full of yummy food from our friends. How special and loved we feel! Thanks y'all!

Love these little guys so much!
Hayden always has his hands by his face or in his mouth! 
Connor sleeps with his mouth open like his mommy!
Day 7
- I can't believe it's been a week since our boys joined us! The past week has been a blur since we're sleep deprived and living off the adrenaline that getting to see our boys gives us.
- Anna was the boys' nurse today so they were all clean and dressed cute when we got there.
- Connor worked on breast feeding today but it wore him out pretty good for both his 2 pm and 5 pm feedings, so he got the tube.
- Hayden did good on his 2 pm feeding for his daddy but not so much for his 5 pm feeding with mommy.
- Have I mentioned how much I hate the sounds of the NICU? The monitors going off right and left is very nerve wracking.
- Hayden's umbilical cord fell out today!
- Happy 1 week sweet boys!

Hey mom! (H) 
Booby practice makes me so sleepy (C)
Look at my new belly button! (H)
I love to put my feet in the air! And I have gas. (C) 
All better. (C)
Hands on my face like always. (H)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Week 33

33 - I wish I could redo this week. Over the past week I hadn't been feeling like myself. I've been real out of it, my vision has been blurry, I've been swelling more than normal, nausea is super bad, and I've just been hurting. My heart feels like it weighs 1,000 pounds and I cannot get rest because I'm afraid I won't wake up - like I'm going to have a heart attack or something. I went to see Dr. O for a regular check-up and my blood pressure was super high at 190/110. I also had 2+ protein in my urine. She got real serious on me. She told me to call Bryan, go home and pack a bag for the hospital because I had preeclampsia and "things are pretty damn serious right now" (in her words). She was not happy that I waited so long but I just figured I had an appointment with her that week and what I was experiencing was just the joy of a twin pregnancy.

When we got to the hospital they checked me in at Labor & Delivery. The nurse was really nice but had us kinda freaking out. She was prepping me to deliver within the next 24 hours. I had to be monitored for 24 hours and then they would make the decision. They had the NICU head doc come and talk to us (which also freaked me out). In my mind, I was just going in to be monitored and maybe in a few weeks I would be delivered - not that weekend or even in the next couple weeks!!

After 24 hours, my levels and bp had stabilized to a point where Dr. O felt like she could hold off on delivering, but she did say the babies would probably be here before 38 weeks. I was moved to the Ante Partum unit and monitored for another couple days. They monitored the babies every 4 hours so we got to hear their sweet little hearts beats A LOT. I think Hayden has settled in because he's been pretty quite lately. Connor on the other hand has been a wild man. The nurses were always laughing because he was constantly moving away from the monitor and they would have to hunt him down. I also showed some major contractions while being monitored. I love my sweet babies but I don't want to meet them just yet. I want them to get bigger and stronger! Thankfully, I was sent home after 3 days at the hospital and spent the rest of the week on strict bed rest and monitoring my blood pressure. I have a couple appts with Dr. O to make sure the pre-e hasn't gotten worse.

Hello Babies!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weeks 29-32

Week 29 - This is my last week of work and since I'm on bed rest I've been working from home. I wasn't expecting to be out of work this early even though I needed it. The day after I was put on bed rest I was supposed to meet with the person who is filling in for me. That didn't work out so now I have a week to cram all the projects I was working on and prepare a transition document. I'm a little stressed about it. I'm also a little sad because the project I work on is deploying on October 1. I did all this work on it and now I won't get to see it through :( But, at the same time, I know this is what's best for the babies.

The babies have been really active. They are wild boys! Me and Lou love watching them roll around and poke body parts out of my tummy. It is so neat. As rough of a pregnancy this has been, I will miss feeling and seeing them move. How amazing!
Connor likes to curl up in a ball and contort my belly.
My super awesome friends (H & A) threw us a diaper shower this weekend. We are just overwhelmed by the love! We got a ton of diapers and some other cute items. I can't even begin to express how grateful we are - this will help us so much! Plus, they got Rudy's BBQ and Norma's cake balls. Uh, can we say heaven in my mouth!!! I need to stop procrastinating and get my pics uploaded.

The neighbors in our cul-de-sac also threw a little shower for us. Great food, sweet gifts, and good company! We are so incredibly lucky to have the relationship we have with our neighbors. It's not very often you hear this nowadays. I don't ever want to leave this street and I wish we could build on to our house so we never outgrow it - all because of our neighbors!

Izzy and Eva helping me in the boys' room. Look at all those gifts for our sweet boys!
I went back to Dr. O for a cervix check and I'm still 1 cm and 50% effaced, so no changes! I was so relieved. I will have to stay on bed rest till they come and there's a bigger possibility that they will come early, but I'm going to do everything I need to so they can stay cooking!

I also went to the high risk doc to check on the boys. Connor has flipped again and is now breech and facing inside. Hayden is head down and really, really low - like the ultrasound wand was just about as low on me as it could go. Dr. R even made the comment that I must be really uncomfortable. Why yes, yes I am... my lady bone feels like it's going to split in half! Hayden's head is measuring almost 3 weeks ahead but his body is measuring a week behind - he weighs 3 lbs. 2 oz. Dr. R was intrigued by his big head but didn't seem concerned. I don't know where he gets it from - neither one of us have big heads. Lou thinks it's because he made fun of his friend for having a big head for so many years. Hopefully his body catches up :) Connor on the other hand likes to be difficult and give us little worries here and there. His measurements were a little more proportionate and he is weighing 3 lbs. 1 oz. They are both right on track for growth now. Dr. R still has an issue with his umbilical cord so he's sending us to a pediatric cardiologist for an echo to make sure his heart is ok and that it's on the left side of the body (as I mentioned before, the only issue he could think of as to why the umbilical cord is going off in the wrong direction is because the heart is on the wrong side of the body). Also, there was an issue with the cord blood flow this time. I asked what it meant and he said that the placenta was not doing it's job, but he wasn't going to be too concerned because Connor's measurements are good. He just wants to keep an eye on it. Connor likes to keep us on his toes. By the end of the ultrasound I was not feeling well at all. Apparently I lost all color in my face and kinda went out of it. Being on my back is no longer an option for that long! It was a little scary. Thankfully, my Aunt Theresa was there with me and came to the rescue (nurse of the year!) because Dr. R just got up, said to lay on my side for a while,and then left. Thanks doc!

Week 30 - Me and Lou went to see the pedi cardiologist. He was very kind and informative. Thankfully, everything looked good with both babies hearts! I knew deep down everything would be ok, but what a relief to be reassured! So, we may just have to wait for Connor to be born to know for sure that there are no other effects from the umbilical cord issue.

Since I was put in bed rest all my plans to shop for the nursery decor went out the window. But, in sweeps Aunt Theresa to the rescue! She went shopping, brought over a bunch of cute items, we picked out what would work, and viola - nursery is almost complete! I can't say it enough and it shouldn't come as a surprise, but we are so incredibly blessed by our family and friends. So many people have really stepped up to help us out from throwing showers, to my in-laws installing the floors and feeding, my mom coming to cook, help with laundry, and cleaning, my dad painting and installing all sorts of "things" and Nina bringing over food and working on the boys' bedding. Thanks for all the messages and texts too, we are so appreciative!

I also a "friend" shower at Java Cakes (a super cute coffee/cupcake shop in La Porte) given by my sis, mom and T. It was such a fun shower despite feeling like a beached whale. I got to see friends I don't usually get to see and eat yummy cupcakes, what more could a preggo ask for?

Week 31 - This week has been pretty uneventful... until this weekend of course! One of my BFFs, T, married one of Lou's BFFs, A. They were both in our wedding, which is also when they fell for each other, so we were excited to be a part of their special day as well. I was a little worried that I would get bad news at my dr. appt on Friday and not be able to be a part of the pre-wedding and wedding festivities. Luckily, there were no changes and she gave me permission to participate as long as I laid/sat the entire time except to walk down the aisle. I was thrilled! It was a fun day with the girls getting all dolled up. Two of the 3 of us bridesmaids are pregnant so it was quite entertaining when it came time to get dressed. My feet and legs were swollen so poor A (also pregnant and a few weeks ahead of me) and B had to force my boots on because I couldn't bend over to force them on myself. It was quite the scene with poor pregnant A attempting to bend over to help me. I did end up blowing out the booby stitch on my dress later trying to pee (don't ask), but the girls held it together and no one saw any peep shows :) A and B really helped me out a lot that day and I am so thankful! The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time.

Week 32 - The days are rather long and lonely being on bed rest, so I don't have anything too exciting to write about. This week was my 28th birthday, but it sure didn't feel much like it. I was spoiled of course, but it was just different. I haven't been feeling very well and eating out is pretty much not an option anymore. I'm just too uncomfortable. Somehow I managed to make it through a quick dinner at Salt Grass courtesy of my momma and then eat ice cream cake at home. It was very low key, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Last year on my birthday I remember distinctly a conversation I had with Lou. I asked him if he thought I would ever get to celebrate my birthday as a mom. We were in a bad place at that time with fertility treatments, but despite all that, he said he was confident that it would happen and we would look back and remember the conversation and be even more thankful for our kids. Sometimes you just gotta keep the faith, and if you can't, hopefully there's someone there by your side who can keep it for you.

I went by myself to see Dr. R and check on the boys. Last time I almost passed out so I was nervous it would happen again. Sure enough, it happened again. He was impressed with the boys and said they were growing perfectly. They are 4 lbs 1 oz. and 4 lbs 2 oz. Hayden still has a big ol' head though. Poor guy. We did get a good picture of him though right as he was smiling. Dr. R said he was "so cute" - this is a big deal if you know Dr. R. They are both head down now so maybe a "natural" delivery is in the cards for me. I know Dr. O really doesn't want to because of the stress an induction puts on twins and all the other risk factors, but I really want to give it a try. We shall see... not too much longer!

32 Weeks!