Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bye for now...

I may resume blogging at some point in the future. I don't know when that will be though...so here are some parting shots of my beautiful boys from this past Halloween weekend...

Harry is quickly growing his hair back in after it fell out recently. And Luke is trying so hard to find his thumb-it's so cute. So incredibly blessed to have these handsome boys in my life! I love them more than words!!

I know some people can manage blogging and babies and I think that's great, but I'm really just too busy and just don't have the focus to do it right now. I think of blogging subjects all the time, but seems like I can't ever seem to write them down! So thanks to everyone for following my journey over the past couple of years-I truly appreciate all of you and your kind words of support. I wish you all the very best in life!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Very belated birth story

I started writing this in August, but am just getting a chance to finally post it. Insane!! So busy, but will try to update more often. Thank you all so much for all of your sweet comments and well wishes! So lucky to be Luke & Harry's Mom. :-)

I was admitted to hospital for the 5th time on July 11th. I thought I'd felt a trickle of fluid escape in the middle of the night while getting up for a routine bathroom visit. It just didn't feel normal. After posting about it on the Bump, I decided that I'd better call in the latest issue. Oh, and my OB had left that morning for vacation for a week, so that's a good sign that something was about to happen (lol). Anyway, I was admitted and they checked to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. Turns out, I was not, so I assumed it was another admission with no babies being born.

But, after running some labwork, they discovered my platelets had fallen again from just the previous day in the office. Also, my blood pressure was continuing to rise. So, I stayed overnight in hospital. On Sunday, July 12 (the day I turned 35 weeks), my platelets had fallen to 102,000, BP had remained elevated at greater than 140/90, and swelling persisted. So, I was finally given the clinical diagnosis of pre-eclampsia. My favorite memory-the OB on-call (Dr. O) came in to tell me of my recent labwork values and my Dad and I were just hanging out in the room watching Law & Order re-runs and reading magazines. Dr. O discussed his fear of my platelets falling anymore and heading into major abdominal surgery with potential clotting difficulties. He said: "We're going to take the babies." I said: "That sounds good. What day will that be? (thinking sometime the next week)" He said: "Tonight at 7pm." I said: "Oh my!"

And the flurry of phone calls began. Steve and Mom were notified first and both were astonished! We were having babies! Everyone else was soon notified. I spent the next couple of hours anticipating the big event! Below is a picture of us right before I was wheeled back into the OR.

I went down to the OR around 7:30pm for prepping. Steve waited in the hallway, putting on his Dad garb: hat, gown, shoe covers. Meanwhile in the OR, I was busy getting my epidural. It was pretty easy and didn't hurt at all-so glad for that. I spent the next half hour or so being my usual self and talking to everyone in the room. From the techs to the anesthesiologist to the neonatologists to the nurses to Dr. O, I talked non-stop to all of them! I think it was a nervous side effect of the epidural as Steve said I was REALLY talkative. I was definitely numb though and ready to start the surgery.

Anyway, I was able to see the entire surgery on the table mirror overhead, despite the big drape covering our immediate view. It was great. I was able to see my boys being pulled out! First was my full dark-haired little Luke (Lucas Edgar). He was born at 8:30pm weighing 5lbs 9 oz and was 18 inches. Below is the first pic of Luke and me. :-)

Then after what seemed like 10 minutes, but was only 2 minutes, baby Harry (Harrison Paul) arrived at 8:32pm from his frank breech position weighing 6 lbs 4 oz and was also 18 inches. Funniest OR moment: Steve's initial thought when he saw Harry was that he was the "baldest Harry" he'd ever seen (lol). Turns out Steve was not aware he was looking at his butt and thought it was the back of his head. Ha. Anyway, Harry does indeed have hair and isn't bald at all. Steve was able to walk Luke into the nursery, but Harry stayed behind for some very brief breathing issues. He recovered quickly was able to join Luke soon thereafter in the nursery. I will never forget hearing their first cries. What emotional moments they were for me-I cried both times!! I didn't get an OR pic of Harry and me due to the early breathing issues and Steve leaving the room with Luke. So, my first Harry pic was in the middle of the hallway heading back to my room. It also happened to be the first time I held both babies and their first picture together. Again, I was very emotional. What a night!

Following the surgery, I went to the Recovery Room until I was stable. I was then sent back to my room about an hour later. I had to be put on a Magnesium Sulfate drip however since I'd had blood pressure and other issues prior to the delivery due to the pre-eclampsia. I remained on it until about 4pm the next day. I felt awful. What a nasty drug. It truly felt like I had the flu. Anyway, I was able to be moved to the Mother/Baby unit after getting off the drug. It felt like I was finally a new Mother after the move occurred!

I was able to have the boys move in with me very soon though-about 2 hours after delivery! They looked so cute all bundled up sleeping together in their little hospital bed. I kept them sleeping together up until just recently. It just killed me to separate them, but they were waking each other up and we are desperate for sleep around this house!

The rest is kinda routine-lots of visitors in and out for the next few days, slowly regaining strength and beginning to walk a little, learning how to breastfeed and pump, incision soreness, etc. I was discharged with both boys on July 16th. I can't believe I was so lucky to go home with both of them! I felt anxious to know that we were being sent home to be parents without the hospital nurses around to ask all kinds of questions to at all hours of the night. But we survived. :) Here's the lovely "hospital issue" photo of the boys...no sarcasm here (lol)...

And that's the condensed, all I can remember, 11 weeks later, birth story. At least I captured a few details I really wanted to remember before pregnancy brain erases forever my dear memories.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Welcome to the world Lucas and Harrison

That's right-I actually have a reasonable excuse this time for my delay in blogging: my babies are here!!!!!! They arrived the day after my last post. Exactly 35 weeks-you guys are so smart as I look over at my poll!!

I think I'll break the birth story down into a couple of blog entries, but I'll just start off with the brief info everyone wants to know. On Sunday, July 12th, 2009, Lucas Edgar (Baby A) was born at 8:30pm and weighed 5 lbs 9 oz and he was 18 inches long. Harrison Paul (Baby B) was born at 8:32pm and weighed 6 lbs 4 oz and was also 18 inches long. I had them via C-section as I had developed pre-eclampsia and the docs decided not to wait any further to deliver them.

Baby Luke has the fullest head of black hair and most beautiful little face.

Baby Harry has lighter brown hair and has the best smiles and roaming blue eyes.

I think they have similar facial features. Suffice it to say, we are just completely in love with both of them.

Both boys are doing fantastic. We all left the hospital together on July 16. It's just absolutely amazing to be a new Mother to these precious boys. I'm learning how to be their Mother better each and every day. We are even tandem breastfeeding. :-)

Love to all and thanks for all the support. I'll write my birth story as soon as I get a chance, but haven't had a moment since delivery to even put this post up! Sleeping is critical these days!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Still pregnant...

Just wanted to pop on here and let everyone know that I'm still pregnant. Will be 35 weeks tomorrow! Yippee!

Had a pretty good appt yesterday. NST was good and both babies were reactive with good accelerations and good heartrates. My BP was high again, but not 140/90, so no one ever seems to care about it. Pitting edema still present in feet and am beginning to swell significantly again in my feet and only slightly in my hands. Ctx present as always, but not greater than 5/hour. Had labwork drawn again: my liver enzymes are still elevated (but not much changed from before) and my platelets had dropped again to 140,000. Cervical check did not go well. She couldn't tell how dilated I was?? Tried twice but she said it was too far back, so no result and that was sheer agony and pain for me. Did a cervical u/s and cervix still thick at 2.8 cm. Told her other OB in group measured me 2.5 weeks ago and I was 1cm, so wtf?

Started having PMS-like cramps after the cervical check that lasted until about 9pm. Took some Tylenol and got into the bathtub to help relieve them. I've been told that they don't like to do cervical checks for this reason-easy to bring on labor. I've been having some painful ctx today, and have been counting anywhere from 4-7/hour. Had a weird experience early this morning while waking up for my hourly bathroom ritual: trickled fluid that I don't think was urine, so maybe was amniotic fluid? Wasn't a gush of water, so would be doubtful that my water has broken, but who knows. Getting ready to call OB here in a minute. Fear the phone call will usher in our 5th admission. Here I go again...

Here is the 35th week (hope I'm not being premature in posting a 35 week update!) info from BabyCenter: "Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight."

Also, didn't post the twins in the womb pic from 32 weeks, so here it is very belated:

Finally, got a updated 3D image of Baby Luke this week, so thought I'd pass it along too. Of course there is the placenta and some feet in his way, but still a face picture. Can't wait to see if these images are pretty accurate!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hospital Admission: Take Four........And Action!

Sorry for my posting delay. Again. I just don't seem to be able to keep up very well. I'm always astonished that I ever get comments since I'm so inconsistent. So for those of you who hang in there with me, thanks. For the others, I totally understand: BORING!

Okay, I'll get to the story of my 4th hospital admission. After my previous post, I had an OB appt on the next day. I weighed a scary 14 lbs heavier than the week before. Somehow, this was not alarming to my OB?? She originally brushed it off as "normal." I had already decided that it definitely wasn't normal. The alarming factor for her: my shortness of breath and by that time I had also completely lost my voice. I was admitted following the appt for these latest developments.

I was admitted to rule out cardiomyopathy, pulmonary edema, pre-eclampsia, or a bad reaction to my dose of Procardia 20mg every 4 hours. I had an echocardiogram that revealed mitral valve prolapse (which I already had from several years ago) and a new tricuspid valve regurgitation, but I was informed that this is common in pregnancies-especially multiples. So, good news was no cardiomyopathy. As for the pulmonary edema, I also didn't have this by definition.

I was taken off all Procardia at the OB appt and therefore didn't have any more of the blood pressure med once I was admitted to the hospital. With the pre-eclampsia potential diagnosis, my blood pressure never really shot up out of control after going off the meds, so that was really comforting. I also did a 24 hour urine to check for protein, which came back normal. Some of my labwork was of concern, particularly my liver enzymes and platelets. The liver enzymes were elevated, which can occur with pre-e, and my platelets dropped 60,000 from the time I was admitted until the day I was discharged (yes, I really got discharged). I'm still concerned about them because if platelets drop too low, it can mean lots of things, but particular to my condition, would preclude me from getting a spinal or epidural due to the fact that my blood would have trouble clotting. Therefore, I would get general anesthesia for my C-section. That would really sadden me as I would feel cheated in my birth experience. Finally, I have this great fear about bleeding out (and dying) on the OR table following the incisions into my abdomen and uterus if my platelets are too low. Yes, highly unlikely, but a fear just the same. Much more likely would be that I get platelet transfusions to get them back to reasonable level.

Over 3 days, I lost all 14 lbs. I felt like a new woman. Granted I went to the bathroom every hour and was able to donate between 300-500 cc each time! It definitely was the easiest weight loss I've ever achieved. Would love to figure out how to do this in the post-partum. Anyway, after shedding the ridiculous swelling (hard to call it a weight gain) and high blood pressure and protein in the urine never making their appearance, I was discharged. Also, I was able to avoid mag sulfate by keeping my contractions between 4-8/hr. So, I'm officially not on any meds to stop my labor.

And that brings me up-to-date. I still have ctx, but not painful, so I'm not calling the OB until I have regular, painful ctx that are close together (ie, in true labor with progressing dilation) or my water breaks. Of course, if I start exhibiting any signs of pre-eclampsia, then that would send me to delivery. But otherwise, I'm in it for the long haul.

They did growth scans on the babies today: Harry (our future NFL lineman) weighs 5 lbs 14 oz and Luke was 4 lbs 13 oz. No one (other than Steve and me) seems bothered at all by their weight discrepancies. Peri and OB both said they are fraternal and it's therefore like two separate pregnancies. They have both been scoring 8/8 on their biophysical profiles, so that's great! And, my cervix is still hanging in there at 2.8cm. So to sum it all up, we are all doing okay. I thought for sure I would deliver them last week, but I'm feeling and doing much better now, so maybe we're going all the way to 38 weeks. Who knows anymore!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, right?

I sure hope so...

Been another rough week. Was in the hospital from Mon-Wed with pre-term labor. Only about 1 cm dilated and cervix is still pretty thick at 3cm, but still having lots and lots of contractions, some of which are now painful. I got my steroids on this trip to the hospital and got lucky in that I didn't have to get Mag Sulfate! Only increased my Procardia dose from 10 to 20mg and the contractions began to improve.

There are consequences of course to this new dose: LOTS of swelling and shortness of breath. I can't really speak normally anymore, can only whisper. But the real story is the swelling. OMG. From my hips down to my toes, I'm at least 3 times my normal size. I can't walk really, just kinda shuffle along since I can't bend my feet and lost my ankles a few weeks ago. My knees don't bend either, which makes going to the bathroom every hour definitely more tedious. I kept showing my swollen legs and feet to docs and nurses in the hospital and none seemed to be overly concerned. Hmm...I guess I could chalk it up to my new Procardia dose of 20mg. Just not sure this is normal to me. And, not that I can see the lower ankle area, but my Mom and Aunt said that my bottom feet were turning a little bluish gray color, obviously indicating poor circulation. Just trying to figure out if this is normal or abnormal! Go back in am for another OB appt.

Boys are still growing well. Luke measures in at 4lbs 4 oz and Harry measures in at 4 lbs 13 oz. Yay! They are the only reason I'm hanging in there. I know that sounds like a "duh" statement, but seriously, I don't think I could be doing any of this if it were for myself. I am miserable! If it were me, I would've gone to a dr and said "fix me" several weeks ago! But keeping them at the forefront, I keep thinking I can hang in there for a short period of time. I would like both to be weighing in at 5 lbs, so that should be around 34 weeks. That's 10 more days. That's my goal. Anything beyond that is great, but that's all I think I can do. I'm looking at my poll results thus far and realize that you all have a lot more faith in me than I do in myself! I'm relying on my faith and hope to get me through, but my goodness it's hard!

Thanks for all your kind and sweet remarks on the below post. You all are the best. Trying to get caught back up on your blogs soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"I will survive"

Well, today marks another milestone day: 32 weeks! It also kicks off my new "I will survive" campaign. I hope I can make it all the way to term (37 weeks) for the babies sake. But for me, I'm pretty miserable right now. I can't imagine 5 more weeks! Please no mean comments! I know that probably sounds bad and sounds as if I am putting myself before my boys. But, I swear, I am really running out of steam and definitely not enjoying being pg anymore. I am totally grateful to be pg with these boys and to have come through all we have to get here, but my body just wasn't designed to carry this much weight and two babies. I truly believe that!

For those of you asking on my last post, I'm on modified bedrest and have been for the last couple of weeks. I limit my trips up and down the steps to a few times a day for meals. But, I have my little portable refrigerator plugged up in my bedroom so that I don't have to walk downstairs for snacks, etc anymore. So, where does it hurt? Well, I hurt all the time from bad round ligament pain. I can't get comfortable to go to sleep for very long at night or even naps during the day because of this unrelenting abdominal pain. And this is normal. Okay...

Then, my back aches are just downright disabling. I can't walk upright sometimes. If I could have a strong fist (or tennis ball) at all times in my right shoulder blade, that would be really helpful. I've been told by my doctors that a massage can trigger pre-term labor with me, so those are out. But I will defy them and definitely have another massage again around 36 weeks if I make it that far (which despite all of my above complaints, I still hope to be pg by then). And my knees really hurt too. I guess it's just from too much weight to carry around.

So how big am I? Take a look for yourself, 32 week belly pic...

Let see, there's also the constipation factor. It is HORRIBLE, but I guess I'm lucky since I've had no hemorrhoids so far. And then there is the swollen leg, feet and ankles. I don't fit into shoes anymore (although I have 1 pair of flip flops I cram them into for drs appts). Also, my hands are swollen and I think I've developed carpal tunnel syndrome since I have lots of pain with my right hand especially. My understanding is the swelling causes nerve compression and pain, which leads to carpal tunnel. I guess this is sort of a good excuse for not posting as often as I should (just kidding!). Lucky for me, there's not a lot to do, so I take naps whenever I want during the day! Trying to do what everyone says and rest up before they get here! But, the swelling isn't reduced with rest or elevation. I don't appear to have pre-eclampsia for now (yay!), but they're watching me closely for it.

I'm actually really enjoying bedrest. Haven't missed work at all. Haha. I have a little "project of the day" and set out to accomplish it, whatever it may be. It's nice to get things checked off the to-do list! I haven't turned on any daytime TV yet and hope I don't! I can see myself getting sucked into those soap operas, talk shows, etc. I feel productive this way and so far haven't even thought about TV.

Finally, here are last weeks u/s pictures of my chubby cheeks baby, Harrison. It doesn't appear he's been skipping out on too many meals (little sugar baby)! I love the first one with him yawning and his arms lifted up, how precious?!! Steve told the ultrasonographer how we never got a good 3D pic of Harry. So, she spent a little extra time and took pictures, while he was lying transverse under my ribs. Lucas was in his normal cramped position, head down facing my back, so no pics of him. But we get to see/meet them very soon!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"I gots da suga"

I'm quoting my husband on this one. Background story: Christmas 2008 my Dad's side of our family rented a great lake house to spend the holiday season. We played some games, one of which included a game I can't honestly remember the name of, but it was lots of fun. We played on 2 teams of 4 people and you passed around a little screen that displayed a word. The goal was to guess the word as fast as possible and pass the little screen on to the person sitting next to you of the opposing team. Anyway, Steve got the word "diabetes" on the screen. All he said in his description was "I gots da suga" and sadly, we guessed diabetes instantly. Being that we live in Kentucky, there are lots and lots of people with "the suga."

I failed my 3 hour glucose tolerance test last week and therefore was informed I do indeed have gestational diabetes. I was stunned as I only failed the first test (glucose challenge) by 1 point. I guess I already knew I was at a higher risk since I had the following risk factors: 1) I have PCOS and was on Metformin last year; 2) I'm pg with multiples; and 3) have a family history with my Dad and Grandma. Yes, I did eat some extra ice cream during the pg, and I have craved carbs moreso than usual. Then, of course I had the cardinal signs-frequent urination, frequent thirst, frequent hunger, and fatigue. But I am pregnant, so all of these things seemed normal, right?

But, it would seem I do indeed have diabetes. I check my glucose 4 times a day (fasting in morning, and then 2 hours after every meal). I watch what I eat, when I eat, and most importantly what foods I eat together. I learned all of this after my extensive diabetes nurse educator and nutritionist consults in the hospital earlier this week.

That's right: 2nd trip to L&D is in the bag. How did that happen? Well, it was what you might call a series of unfortunate events. I went in for an unscheduled visit on Monday due to some bad cramping and lower abdominal pain (which after all I went through over my 3 hour office visit, we never found the cause). It was my OB's surgery day, so I had to see an ARNP as all the other physicians schedules were filled with their own patients. I will admit that I kinda lost it when delivered the gestational diabetes news. I cried and let my hormones get the best of me. I am pregnant afer all. Then the ARNP decided I needed to have my cervix checked to ensure I wasn't dilating or softening. I will tell all of you, this hurts like hell. Really. I read lots of blogs and don't recall anyone ever complaining about this pain. So, this warning is for the rest of you behind me. It sucks. But, at least I wasn't dilated or effacing.

So, I'm still crying from my diabetes diagnosis and now my body feels completely violated (again), then the ARNP declares I'm getting a non-stress test (NST). Um, that sounds like a good idea. I'm totally stressed out and crying, so let's do a stress test. After she hooked up me and the boys, my contractions were coming regularly every 5 mins and Luke was in distress with HRs in the 170s (he is normally in the 140s). She consults with another OB and then the OB comes in to tell me I'm not heading home after todays appt. And she wants to get aggressive: admit me to the hospital, give me Mag and steroids to help the babies lungs develop. I suggested a more conservative approach: try taking my Procardia and just see if the ctx went away with that first.

After being admitted to the hospital, my ctx had increased to every 3-4 mins. However, the Procardia started kicking in and that spaced out the ctx to every 7-8 mins. They administered a shot of terbutaline (even though I'm slightly allergic with rash, itch, etc) and it got them under better control. By morning I was having about 3-4 ctx an hour, which isn't too bad given our state of affairs. I should say that I wouldn't have argued against the Mag (ie, "flu in a bag") and steroids if I clinically needed it, but happy my approach worked in the end. Upon discharge, my OB did say that I would get both at my next admission. Hmm...seems like she knows there will be another L&D admission before we deliver...Actually, I totally expect it too, just a matter of when.

Growth scans of the babies revealed that Lucas weighs 3 lbs 6 oz and Harrison weighs 3 lbs 13 oz. They are big boys. So, thanks to my new diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes, I have new nicknames for all of us: I'm just a Sugar Momma totally in love with her Sugar Babies. :-) I loved Sugar Babies candy when I was little, so seems fitting. Cervix is measuring around 3.7cm these days, but is still closed with no signs of dilation or effacing. Finally, was discharged to home after my diabetes teaching.

Follow up appt yesterday went well overall I suppose. Both babies doing well, Momma is okay for now. However, my swelling/pitting edema has gotten really bad, I've gained 2lbs in just a few days, I'm having some visual changes, and lastly my normally low (100/60 or less) bp has risen to (124/80). And keep in mind I'm on Procardia every 4 hours which actually is decreaing my bp! So, they are going to be keeping a careful eye on me next week in hopes that some of these signs of pre-eclampsia go away. I really hope they do as it can be a scary condition.