Things have been a bit crazy since the twins arrived so I am way behind on posting about life with the babies. I figured I better start with their arrival before I forget some of the details.
The two weeks prior to their arrival grew increasingly harder. I was still working full time and our house was mid kitchen renovation. I had no idea how close I really was to meeting their sweet faces. I was sleeping very little. I was so uncomfortable and there wasn't much I could do to get comfortable even during the day. My body was swelling by the minute. My ankles and feet looked like the Michelin man. I was even beginning to have a hard time getting around by this point.
Friday February 17th was two of my coworkers birthdays. They joked hoping the twins would arrive on their birthday. I told them it was WAY to early even though I knew they could come any time. I was told twins arrive most often between 36 and 38 weeks. At this point I was 35 weeks and 5 days. Little did I know in less than 24 hours they would make their debut. I think I was in denial that they could actually arrive on the early end. I thought I had weeks to go.
After work I headed home to get ready for a weekend of visitors. Kevin had to work the weekend in Newport News Virginia (approximately 3.5 hours away). Because of this my girlfriends (Molly, Amy, Brooke, and Ellen)planned a girls night for Saturday. They were going to bring movies and dinner for a big slumber party. Sunday Suzanne and Ren planned to come spend the night with me. They were even going to attend my ultrasound on Monday morning. So- Friday night I started cleaning a bit to get ready for a weekend of guests. It seemed even tougher than normal so after cleaning a few things I decided to give it a rest and attempt again in the morning after a night of rest. I decided to finish organizing the babies closet so I could knock something off my list. Once I finished I decided to go to bed. I had only been sleeping in increments of an hour before I would wake due to such discomfort. I woke sometime during the night and realized I had managed to get in about 3 hours of consecutive sleep. It felt great! Then I couldn't fall back to sleep for anything. I laid in bed for a few hours. I tried watching a little TV and a few other things. I got up for a few minutes and hit the restroom before attempting to go back to sleep- AGAIN. I laid in bed about 20 more minutes when all of a sudden I felt a slight gush of liquid. It seemed very odd and I thought...that couldn't be my water breaking...right??? I immediately got myself up and proceeded to the bathroom. Sure enough it seemed as though it was my water breaking. I immediately called Kevin hoping he would wake up. He did and was insistent on coming home immediately. I told him to wait until I heard from the doctor because a lot of times you get sent home many times before having a baby. I was sure this wasn't "it". I called the doctors office and they paged her. She immediately called me back. After describing to her what happened she said yes I believe your water has broken and told me to get to the hospital. I asked her if I could drive myself since Kevin was out of town. She told me if I felt up to it go ahead. But she said to leave soon because my contractions would start with the broken water. Being the typical me, I proceeded to do a few things around the house. I got the sheets off the bed and put them in the wash along with a few other things to straighten up before leaving the house. Once I got in the car Kevin talked to me the entire way to the hospital. Just as I was entering the parking garage my phone died. Thank goodness I remembered my phone charger. I later learned Kevin was a bit freaked out losing touch with me. He proceeded to call his Aunt who lives down the street. She did not answer. Then he called his mom who did not answer. He left her a message almost in tears because he was freaking out that no one was with me and he was hours away. His mom played the message for me later and it broke my heart. He was so upset and I was actually just fine. I think it hadn't hit me what was really happening.
I parked the car and walked into the hospital. I thought I needed to go to the ER because I was so early in the pregnancy. I proceeded to walk all the way to the other end of the hospital where the ER is and they told me to turn around and head back to where I came in at the labor and delivery unit. I took a very slow waddle back to the L&D unit. When I got there I began feeling the contractions intensify. They immediately got me into a triage room where they checked the babies. Both babies seemed just fine. I seemed to be 3 cm dilated. We then waited for my doctor to arrive as well as Kevin. Once Dr. Sweitzer arrived she did an ultrasound and felt that Grayson was breach and it was best to deliver via C-section. I was a little disappointed but knew it was best for the safety of the babies.
I had been calling my parents since I realized I had to head to the hospital but was unsuccessful at reaching them. I was able to get a hold of my sister so she attempted them all morning as did Kevin. Still no luck :(
Around 7am Kevin's Aunt Rose Marie arrived. Once she got there I was relieved and realized I really did need someone there with me. I still wasn't believing I was about to deliver my babies. Kevin arrived around 8am with the camera :) We finally reached my parents. They were a bit upset they hadn't answered all morning but quickly jumped in the car and headed up as fast as they could. Kevin and I took a few pre-delivery videos and then a few minutes later they came in to give Kevin his scrubs. It seemed like no time before they took me back for the C section. The whole experience seemed way to quick as though it wasn't actually happening. I had imagined a much longer and tougher experience. Right before they took me back I began feeling pretty intense contractions. I was starting to feel thankful I wouldn't have to experience the deep contraction pains.
Once we got back to the OR they began the epidural. The epidural wasn't bad at all. I had also imagined this to be a lot more painful. Kevin leaned over and asked me what time I thought our babies would be born. It was 9:00 am so I predicted we would meet them by 10:00am. Little did I know how fast everything would go. Our babies entered this world at 9:21 (Avery) and 9:22 (Grayson). They were able to peep them over the drape for us to see before they whisked them off to be checked out. Kevin went back with the babies as they continued on me. In an hours time my babies were safely out of my belly and I was put back together. I couldn't believe how fast all of this was.
They wheeled me off to recovery where I was itching to get to my babies. Kevin met me there and told me all about how well they were doing. Once I'd spent the hour in recovery they took me by the NICU to meet the babies before taking me up to my room. It was incredibly surreal. It was a tiny bit sad that I couldn't hold them but they got me close enough to reach out and touch them. I was a little drugged up from the surgery so I don't think I realized how scary they looked hooked up to everything. But- all in all they were doing very well for how early they decided to arrive. Avery needed a little oxygen at first but mostly just needed to gain some weight and be able to keep her temperature regulated. Grayson had a few more struggles and needed some help breathing. He had a breathing tube as well as oxygen and a feeding tube. After a few rough days he slowly came off of each one and began catching up to his sister. I was able to breast feed Avery pretty much from the start. Grayson received my breast milk through his feeding tube for the first 3 days. On the third day we were finally able to hold him. It was an incredible long awaited moment for Kevin and I. On day 4 I was able to breastfeed him and he took to it like a champ. I have been so fortunate to be able to breastfeed and pump enough for both babies. It hasn't been easy, but it's such a special time for the babies and I that I wouldn't change for anything.
Both babies spent a little over a week in the NICU. I was discharged on day 4 which was the hardest day yet. It was the worst feeling being kicked out of the hospital and not being able to take my babies home. I was thankful they were doing so well but didn't feel like they were mine because they weren't coming home with me. I spent as many hours in the NICU with them as possible. I only went home to sleep for a few hours before I would have someone bring me back to be with them all day.
Pretty soon they were being moved to the step down NICU unit. I was so excited for this step because it meant we were closer to bringing the babies home and we were allowed to spend the night with the babies on this unit.We spent a little less than a week on this unit. The babies continued to improve. At this point they only needed to keep their temperature. They were in isolates that needed to reach an internal temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. Once they made it to that point (slowly) they were placed in an open isolate/crib. If they held their temperature for 24 hours they would be discharged. The nurses warned me this could take awhile and if they didn't hold their temps they would go back to the closed isolate. My babies were superstars and mad it out in 24 hours. On March 2nd (2 weeks after their birth) we made it home. It was the best moment knowing we would get to go home with our babies together. Grayson had completely caught up with his sister at this point and we were able to head home as a family of 4.
We spent the day settling in, holding, and staring at our sweet, perfect babies. It was such a special day.
A huge thank you to our family that really stepped it up and helped get our house in order after the kitchen renovation finished while we were in the hospital. They also brought me meals and made it so all I had to think about was my babies.
We also couldn't have had such an amazing experience if it weren't for the wonderful nurses we encountered over the 2 week period. They really became our family and took wonderful care of our new little beans.