Sunday, April 24, 2011

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been.....

Honestly it seemed like the day would never come, but now they are here and it's so completely surreal! 

On Tuesday April 12, 2011 we finally welcomed our boys into the world. During the final weeks of pregnancy Lefty had flipped and gone breach, meaning that I had to deliver via c-section.  I hadn't really prepared myself for this and pre-surgery I was suffering some pretty intense anxiety.  One would think after all the shots and crazy procedures we went through to get to this point that surgery wouldn't even phase me, but it wasn't really the birth I was hoping for, I think it was that fact and not the surgery itself that was causing me duress.  I managed to make it through the spinal ok, it was what was in it that made the situation less than ideal.  About 5 minutes in I started throwing up, which is a pretty strange sensation when you can't feel your abdominal muscles and not exactly how I wanted to welcome my sons into my life.  Hearing them cry for the first time though, and finally seeing them completely made it all worth it, they were so incredibly beautiful to me.  I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that they were finally here.  Seeing the complete joy and love on Brady's face made it all the more incredible, I was speechless, which for those that know me, is no small miracle.  Once in recovery I was able to hold them for the first time and fell completely in love.

Jackson Dutch was born at 9:22 am weighing 6lbs 15oz and measuring 19 inches long and Reed Thomas was born at 9:24 weighing 5lbs 2oz and measuring 18.5 inches long.  The size difference is crazy considering at our 32 week measurement ultrasound they were just an ounce apart size wise.  After four fun filled days we left the hospital and are now settling into a routine at home.  The boys both dropped a significant amount of weight in the first few days making supplementing with a little formula a necessity for the first few days at home, but as of our weight check with the new McAwesome (the boys pediatrician, a father of twins himself) they are both gaining steadily and I am producing enough expressed breast milk to supplement the actual breastfeeding without formula most of the time.  It's interesting, with Jackson being the bigger baby we thought for sure our worry would be with Reed, who is so tiny and weighed something like 4lbs 9oz when we left the hospital, but he is our little fighter!  Jackson has been slower to gain and I think it won't be long before Reed catches right up to him.

Since coming home life has been insane, which we were somewhat prepared for, I think the biggest adjustment has been just trying to figure out how to make everything work.  My mother asked me the first day what it felt like to be a mother and I replied that I didn't know, I hadn't had time to reflect on it, I was too busy just trying to function!  We are breastfeeding the boys, which makes our schedule something like this, wake boys for feeding, Reed first, 20 min with mom at breast then to dad for supplement of additional breast milk while mom feeds Jackson, then mom takes Reed and changes diaper while dad supplements Jackson's meal then mom pumps for additional 20 min to finish up.  The whole thing takes about an hour and a half from start to finish and we do it every 3-4 hours, from start of one feeding to the next, so that leaves about an hour and a half to two hours of sleep (or laundry or eating or taking a shower) in between.  I think it's something like 10-12 hours a day of exclusively breastfeeding or pumping.  The nighttime feedings of course are the hardest on all of us, mostly because the boys are so tired that waking them to feed is near impossible.  We have to totally strip them down and stimulate (or torment) them into wakefulness in order to get them to take sustenance, while trying to stay awake ourselves, we are all pretty comical.

I think my biggest challenge going forward it going to be relaxing and trying to enjoy this amazing stage in all our lives.  I am very type A and tend towards the obsessive and I find myself constantly worrying about most of the small details, I think some of that is typical new mom but I really want to focus on embracing every moment.  I try to remind myself daily to stay and live in the present and not worry or focus about what will or could happen.  All I have to do is look at their sweet little faces and I am completely mesmerized.  It's amazing to me that we created these amazing little guy, sometimes it completely takes my breath away, I can't wait to see whats next for all of us.

I will try to update the blog more now that they are here, I mean what else do I have to do to keep me awake at 2 am while pumping right? 

Here are my little angles relaxing at home, Reed on the left and Jackson on the Right, check that crazy hair!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Home Stretch

Seriously, it's here!  We are hitting 38 weeks in two days and are looking at having our babies in our arms exactly a week from today and it almost doesn't seem real.  I know I haven't posted in forever but I'll do my best to sum it all up.

At our growth ultrasound (around 32 weeks) both boys looked great and were head down, they were measuring just shy of 5lbs ea and everything was looking perfect.  We were really stoked about our chances for a vaginal birth and thrilled that everything was going as planned.  Fast forward to 36 weeks and things changed a little, Lefty has flipped and gone breech.  For the first time in the entire pregnancy we had to start thinking about the possibility of a C-section.  I'll be honest, I wasn't thrilled.  This whole time I've really had my heart set on a vaginal birth and hadn't even really considered surgery, it was a scary thing to start thinking about and caused me a bit of anxiety.  We discussed our options with McAwesome, there is a chance that I could deliver Righty vaginally and then we could attempt a breech extraction with Lefty but there is a significant chance that a breech extraction would not work and I would end up with a c-section for him and subsequently have to recover from both types of birth.  We decided at our 37 week apt to go ahead and schedule a c-section, our ultimate goal is to have our babies safely delivered, if I have learned anything it's that life isn't always as I plan and I need to be flexible.  Today was our 38 week apt and unless they decide to come on their own we are going in after them exactly a week from today, April 12, 2011.

We feel relatively ready, if such a thing is ever really possible.  The nursery is done and all major items are purchased/assembled/installed/washed/hung and ready to go.  This past week has really marked a change for Brady, I've been carrying these little guys for the past 9 months and for him it's all of a sudden really happening.  He is madly trying to finish the landscaping in the back yard and get the contractors lined up to finish the basement, I refer to it as his "dad nesting".  He will be taking a month off of work to be home with us and we are both looking forward to that time adjusting as a family. 

Somewhere around 36 weeks we had our maternity photos taken by my amazingly talented sister in law and are thrilled with the results.  We really wanted to document the belly and though it isn't nearly as big as I thought it would be, it's still impressive and we are glad to have done the photos to look back on someday with our little guys.  I'm glad I did them at that time though because since then I've really ballooned out with water weight.  My feet resemble stuffed sausages all the time now and my hands have joined in the fun, so much so they are peeling now, it's super fun.  Overall I've gained 60lbs as of today and feel pretty good about that!  It's funny, I really thought I would have a hard time with the weight gain but I am not bothered by it at all, I hope it is enough to help me through those first weeks of exhaustion and learning to breastfeed. 

So that is where we are at, one week to go unless I go into labor on my own, which secretly I am hoping for :)  I will be posting pics after the birth I promise, and though life will be crazy I will try to keep up the blog as much as possible.  Here are a few of our faves from the maternity shoot, again my amazing sister in law deserves all the credit and I am stoked that she will also be doing our newborn shots of the boys!