I can't believe Olivia and Brianna will be a week old tonight! The time has gone so quickly and the girls have changed SO much already! So, we will get to that in a minute. . .for now I want to share the quick version of the girls birth story, and what has happened in their little lives since that point.
So, last Tuesday I went to the OB for my 36 week checkup. He took one look at me and told me I was pre-eclamptic and that the babies needed to come out as soon as possible. My blood pressure was high, my swelling was crazy, I was having headaches, and I was seeing spots. . .all classic signs of pre-e. I was admitted to the hospital for "observation" on Tuesday afternoon. I was seen by the maternal fetal specialist (that I had last seen at 34 weeks) Tuesday night who started me on lebatalol (a blood pressure medication), and told me that he would consider doing an amnio on Thursday to check the babies lung maturity, and if they were mature then my OB could make the call on whether or not to do a C-section. This was my 5th trip to L&D. My OB told me when he sent me to the hospital that the babies would either be born on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. I was over 36 weeks pregnant with the twins, and we were all pretty darn sure that if the babies came now that they would be just fine. The specialist apparently had different plans and wanted the babies to stay in as long as possible. I was frustrated and didn't want to be hanging out in the hospital forever before we were delivered. BUT, I was willing to wait and do what was best for my babies. After a long night of spiking blood pressures, the specialist agreed to do an amnio on Wednesday morning. It came back that the babies lungs were mature (a 69 - anything over 55 is considered "mature"), so we got the go ahead for the C-section. My OB was out of town in clinic all day, but said he could do the section on Wednesday night when he returned to town.
At 830 PM Wednesday night my OB finally arrived at the hospital and we got our show on the road! They had to poke me about 5x to get the spinal done, but once it was it was really smooth sailing. Miss Olivia was born at 8:59 PM on 10/13/2010 weighing 6 lbs 1 oz. Miss Brianna followed directly after at 9:00 PM on 10/13/2010 weighing 6 lbs 4 oz. Brianna didn't get all of the fluid out of her lungs when she was born and ended up in a bit of respiratory distress which required her to be admitted to the NICU and be put on a CPAP overnight. Olivia went up to the normal nursery only to get ticked off when she found out that she wasn't going to get to hang out with her sister right away, so she decided to have a blood sugar of 24! After some formula it only increased to 45 so she quickly joined her sister in the NICU as well. Crazy kids!!
I have been breast feeding, and I have been SO lucky to have help from some wonderful nurses and lactation consultants at the hospital, as well as help from a great friend who is currently breastfeeding, and from two moms (mine and Si's). I don't know what I would have done without everyone! I am currently producing enough milk for both girls, plus a little extra to supplement with if we need to. AMAZING right? I figured there was no way I would be able to make enough milk to feed the girls, and it has taken a TON of work and commitment, but so far so good!! I am so glad I can provide for my babies in this way!!
We (Si and I) were discharged from the hospital on Sunday, but the babies have not yet been released. This makes life a little more hectic for Si and I at this point. Even though we only live about 5 minutes from the hospital, we still have been choosing to make the trek up the hospital every 3 hours for breast milk feedings, and it is really quite exhausting! We expect to be exhausted when the girls come home as well, but I think it will be so much easier not to have to worry about getting dressed, getting in the car, driving to the hospital, scrubbing in, etc. every 3 hours. We shall see. We are just SO thrilled to be in the situation we are currently in and feel so blessed to have such beautiful healthy babies=). It was worth every second of the pain we had to endure to get them here. EVERY SECOND! It's an amazing feeling to be a mom! I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world =).
What else. . .oh, since they were admitted to the NICU, we have had a whole different set of standards that we have had to meet prior to discharge. The girls have had to:
1 - Show that they could regulate their body temperature (check!)
2 - Eat properly and often enough (absolutely no further apart than 4 hours) (in progress)
3 - Lose no more than 10% of their body weight at birth (check!)
4 - Gain weight (or at least not lose) after day 4 of life (finally - check!)
5 - Maintain decent billiruben levels (14 or under) to reduce the risk of jaundice (check!)
6 - Have a minimum of 6-8 wet diapers a day without supplemental (IV) fluids (in progress)
7 - Pass the "car seat" test (the babies must be able to be hooked into their car seat for 1 hour while hooked up to the monitors - blood pressure, heart rate, respirations - and they can not have any significant decreases that could cause issues such as apnea, desats, loss of consciousness, blockage of an airway, etc.) (in progress)
So far the girls have done great with body temperatures and eating (for the most part anyway). The girls were on IV's for the first 4 days of their lives (just sugar water though), so we had a bit of an issue with having enough wet diapers yesterday after they came off the IV's, and we were threatened with the possibility of having to put the IV's back in, but that has since been resolved. We just started gaining weight within the last 24 hours so we are finally doing well on that front. Brianna's billiruben levels had spiked yesterday AM so she has spent the last 24 hours under the tanning bed lights (LOL) with her funky glasses on, but the levels finally dropped and now Brianna is working on getting back out of the isollet. We are still working on gaining weight and having enough wet diapers in a day, and we have to pass the car seat test yet, but with a bit of luck we will be released from the NICU some time on Thursday, only 8 days after birth. We have been VERY lucky. We are SO excited to have the girls home! We will miss all of the assistance we are getting with the girls from the nurses in the NICU, but we can do it=).
SO. . . I tried to upload some pictures of the girls, but for some reason I can't get the pictures to load. I will go ahead and post the information, then go back and see if I can get some pics to upload on a different post. You guys will laugh - the girlies are most definitely NOT identical. The older they get, the more obvious that becomes! Olivia has thin blond hair, a light complexion, and a bit of a double chin. Brianna has thicker brown hair and has a darker complexion. Brianna continues to be the larger of the two babies, but only by an ounce or two. I can hardly believe this is all happening! It's so surreal! Si and I are parents. . .so cool! We have been so so blessed and are immensely grateful!!!
Hope you are having a great week!!