Monday, December 19, 2011

NICU Adventures

This was going to be a very long post but I just don't have that much time with 2 very active babies at home.

Aria and Alex came 7 weeks early and because of elevation and prematurity they started out on CPAP but with 12 hrs required intubation to be able to breathe. I for some reason never freaked out about this and just thought it was ok and they would recover just fine. After 4 doses (the MAX) of surfactant they still were not responding and their lungs were still "sticky".
Aria 1 day old


Alexander 1 day old


I have been pumping like crazy trying to build up my milk supply that I knew would be crucial to their well-being. After 5 days of IV nutrition, intubation, surfactant they finally got a bit of colostrum and what-ya-know within 24 hours they were breathing better and were weaned off intubation and moved down to Turbo (a form of CPAP). I had no idea at that point how hard this journey was going to be and just how emotionally draining it is.

They had been in the NICU for a week and I was only able to stay in the hospital for the 4 day max with my c-section. Thankfully Claudia got 3 months maternity leave (Bank of America has same-sex benefits THANK GOD) Addy would go to Nana's or stay home with Claudia and I would make the 45min drive to the NICU to deliver milk, do Cares(take temps, change diapers, give baths, do their oral care) and when I was really lucky I would get to cuddle. I didn't get to hold them till they were about 3 days old.
Claudia holding Aria for the first time!!!

Me holding Alex for the first time!!!

The pumping every 2-3 hrs was daunting and exhausting. Then trying to give Addy attention when I was at home was hard because I just wanted to sleep. I just thought 1 more day and I will survive this. I spent about 8 hrs a day at the hospital(not including the commute). Let's add in the fact that to provide enough milk for twins you have to eat and drink enough and get rest....That was so hard!!! The NICU provided a Nursing Mother's Room that had turkey sandwiches, milk and water all within the NICU wing(I was very grateful for this) I could walk down the hall pump and eat and go straight back to seeing my babies.

After a couple weeks I was finally able to start "trying to nurse" and bottle feed. They had been on tube feeding up to this point and had to slowly increase their feeds and be able to digest it. This is much harder then it sounds. They would pull their stomach contents before each feed and see if they were holding onto it or if it was looking no so great. This to awhile for their tummy's to tolerate but slowly they did and slowly they got more and more to the point they were able to pull out their PIC lines and either give all their nutrition through the tube or bottle.

There came a point in time where I completely broke down because I never thought they were going to come home. They weren't able to breastfeed well. The bottle was hit and miss and I was just plain exhausted. I kept seeing other 33 weekers come and go and mine were still there struggling to keep their oxygen stats stable and eat properly.

to be continued.......

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Amazin giveaways

So excited about Trying to go Greens giveaways
Hoping to win the kick ass coffee!!! What a way to help a SAHM!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Twins Birth Story!!!

Babies Arrival!!!!

Went to the hospital June 8th for some really persistant contractions that just didn't seem right. Upon arrival I was put on the monitor and it showed contractions and the docs checked my cervix(of course found no changes since it can't change) and offered me a shot of terbutaline. Terb worked for about an hour and doc said it was just to early for the babies to arrive and they were going to send me home.  Had asked my mom to come up to the hospital to get Addy and Sam so they could eat. Got up to go potty since I was waiting on discharge and it was a shift change just to discover I had started bleeding. Claudia went to get a nurse and they put me back on the monitor and sure enough the contractions had returned with vengeance. The doc was busy so they called in a relief doc and he just said that I would be admitted and that I would not be able to go home. Well the contractions got worse and upon my mother's arrival Dr. Garcia walked in and told me I would be having the babies and to get ready for their arrival. The NICU doc came in and prepared me for what was possibly to come. They told me there would be a chance they would need to be intubated and to prepare for them to be at the hospital till their due date. I was in shock and everything seemed to be zooming by. I thought it would take a few hours and they was at about 9:30 p.m. they were pushing IV fluids and I was signing things and just going with the flow. It was to my amazement that they turned and said o.k. you ready? I thought WHAT!!!!!! Yeah I suppose. My lasts moments before they arrived. There was major fires and the whole hospital smelled of smoke. Especially the hallway leading to the OR and the OR itself was interesting. There were people everywhere and a NICU team assembling for each baby. I was in active labor by then and was in tremendous pain and wanting the pain just to go away cause I just didn't think my body could handle it. 

Monitors off getting ready for OR

Last pic of me pregnant!!! 33 weeks babies were born within 30 min!!

I was rolled into the OR the anesthesiologist  was there waiting for me. She sat me up on the ice cold table and had me bend for my spinal. The spinal wasn't all that bad and took affect immediately. They had to help me lay down. Soon I was draped and they were bringing Claudia in and getting ready to start cutting. They took a needle and ran it up my side to make sure I was numb and then it was go time.(It had only been 30 min since they told babies were coming). Within the next few minutes they were tugging and pulling and it felt like when a toddler tugs down on your shirt, only they were doing that to my skin!!!! At 10:09 p.m. Aria arrived screaming and healthy, weighing 4 lbs 9oz and 18 in long. Alex was soon to follow at 10:10 p.m. screaming and healthy weighing 4lbs 4oz and 18.5 in long. Both were handed off to the NICU staff which whisked them by my face and took off through the doors to NICU. I was quickly sucked out and sewn up and moved to recovery. They immediately had me start pumping (laying down) that was fun!!!. I was itching horrifically from the morphine and the cholestasis. About 30 min later I was taken to the NICU to see my babies....They were absolutely beautiful and tiny!!! They were on CPAP at that point but I would learn they fastly required intubation. 
Aria first time we saw her after birth

Alex first time we saw him after birth

(Check back for the NICU adventures)

Trying to get caught up as they are now happy healthy 4.5 month olds!!! 10/21/11 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

29w5d High Risk Appt.

May 16th

After another trip to ob triage Sat. night for bleeding again and contractions I still manage to make it to my appts.

I was fed up by the time I got to the docs because I have been bleeding, contracting and ITCHING constantly and nobody will give me any answers or provide relief for any of the above problems. I am glad the babies are doing well but this momma is not. I broke down at my regular OB appt and just said that I have had enough and they have to figure out what the problem is. She left and went to call my Perinates and told me just head straight to see them because I have just to many high risk issues that she is not comfortable handling.

Second stop Perinates....Well the doc has realized enough is enough. I rotate through docs at the Perinates so the one I saw I hadn't seen in a couple months. The bleeding issue is from a much irritated cervix from all the contractions. The contractions are simply do to my uterine size and the fact the Baby A(Aria) switched from head down to breech. With the weight of both babies not distributed very well it has really kicked up the contractions. The ITCHING which was first thought to be cholestasis but my bile acids were not high enough, then they thought 17p shots; turned out to be cholestasis all along!!!! They re-ran my labs for the 3rd time and my bile acids went from 10 to 23 and my liver enzymes had triples in 1.5 weeks. Normal enzymes up to 120 and mine are in the 600's. They put me on Actigall 300mg 3x/day to help lower my bile acids and reduce the itching. It was decided I need the betamethisone steriod shots to help mature the babies lungs in case I do deliver early. To top things off they realized I was extremely anemic and put me on 325mg Iron 3x/day (BARF)!!!!! I will be doing repeat blood work to see if my iron is improving enough on its own or if I need IV Iron infusions......

Babies look amazing and are handling everything very well. Fluid levels look good and so far everything with them is perfect, just the was we like it!!!!

29 weeks!!!!

27w6d Growth Scan Appt.

May 3rd- Since I am back tracking a little I will date the posts.

At my appt today both babies look amazing. Aria weighs 2 lbs 10oz and is 15 in long coming in the 62%. Alexander is 2 lbs 13 oz and also 15 in long coming in the 77%.

I continue to itch horribly and the contractions aren't to bad at this point. I did have a rough FFN that made me  bleed and sent me to ob triage for my Rh shot and make sure everything else was ok. I did have yeast infection that they were able to treat with Diflucan. I am on more strict bedrest because of the bleeding.

For right now we are just hanging in there and taking it one day at a time.

Alexander 27w6d

Aria 27w6d

28 week womb view

Thursday, April 7, 2011

24 Week Appt......

YAY 24 Weeks!!!!!! I am so happy to get to this milestone and be passing it......Both babies look amazing and I am so happy they are doing so well. Aria is measuring in at 1 lb 7 oz. and 12 3/4 in. Alexander is measuring in at 1 lb 9 oz and 13 in long. I didn't get the percentiles but they assured me both were healthy and growing appropriately.

In the past week I have come down with severe itching and they did blood work but it came back with borderline results so they will retest in 2 weeks. It's possible I have cholestasis in pregnancy. It's really not treatable, they just monitor me and the babies and make sure they are not in distress and make sure my liver doesn't start failing....

Cervix is great and it unchanged at 4.5+ cm long and no signs of funneling. I am happy to report that my previa is finally moved off the cervix and is no longer a threat.

Stretching and growing has been getting more painful as I am reaching a whole new realm of big...I just take it one day at a time and can't do much.....I also have finally gained weight past my pre-pregnancy weight and that's a big accomplishment!!!

That's all for is to 13 more weeks and then BABIES!!!!!

24 weeks Womb view

Saturday, March 12, 2011

20 Week ultrasound and appt!!!

Aria is weighing in at 13 oz and is 10.5 in long putting her in the 56th percentile.Alexander is weighing in at 12 oz and is 10.3 in. long putting him in the 53rd percentile. Both have a normal 3 vessel cord and 4 chamber heart. Their little bladders were nice and full so we know their kidneys are working and their tummy was full as well so they are drinking properly. Both were very active and of course they re-confirmed Aria is indeed a Girl and Alexander a Boy!!!!!!!

They have changed positions, they are now almost side to side and Aria is head down and Alexander is breech (AKA transverse positioning)

Cervix is still measuring over 4cm and shut tight the placenta previa remains and has not moved at all. No signs of funneling and despite contractions that are on and off the TAC is holding super well and no cervical changes have occurred!!!! Doctors are very happy and to ease the contractions I remain on restricted activity. I don't have lay flat in bed I just have to be off my feet and relax so my uterus can do the same......

~Not so pleasent side affects of a twin pregnancy~ GRAPHIC
Because I think all pregnant women should know what to expect with Twins I will be very open.
I have developed very bad vaginal swelling, hemorrhoids, leg cramping and numbness. This all results from them restricting my blood flow to the lower part of my body. Baths help ALOT and preparation H......There is not so much I can do but I try and keep the pressure tilted and lay on my side throughout the day.

All in all I am very happy the babies are both doing great and know that I just have to hang on a little over 16 weeks more. I want healthy babies that don't need the NICU so I will do everything to make that happen!!!!

Twins 20 Weeks

Thursday, February 24, 2011

18 weeks and Doc Appt.

So I went to the docs on Wed. 2/23 and after a long conversation and a lot of contradicting himself I came home confused. The doc wanted me to call my primary OB and see what to do about the contractions I have been having and how to approach the situation. One thing very hard for non-TAC docs to understand is that you can contract and have no cervical changes (since the TAC prevents the changes).

Came home and called my primary OB and they called the high risk doc back.....I ended up with a prescription for Indocin to stop the contractions and was told to stay of my feet. I was hoping that with no funneling I would have no contractions but apparently I have 1 very irritable uterus.......

I still have placenta previa which is now becoming concerning because of the contractions and my risk of hemorrhaging. I was told if the contractions persist or get worse I am looking at a long stay in the hospital on bedrest.......Hoping this does not happen and I will advocate to stay at home since it's easier for me that way...

The biggest complication I face is how limited my activity has to become and the fact that I have a 3 year old that needs me to take care of her....I feel horrible that I can't be up and do everything for her. She is the best daughter and because she is so smart is able to do lots all by herself!!!

Hoping the next few weeks fly by and I can pass 22 weeks (time of first loss) and then move past 24, 28 and 30......35 is the big goal for me at this point and that will be on 6/22........

Thursday, February 17, 2011

17 weeks!!!

We are on our way to the first goal of 24 weeks!!!! 24 weeks is the age of viability in the doctors eyes.....Not my favorite term but I can breathe easier once I pass that point...Then it's the 28 week mark followed by 32 weeks and we will be home free from there.

We went ahead and bought the stroller and car seats while they were on sale....It's early but I have much confidence in this pregnancy so I am staying positive!!!

The last couple days have been a lot of growing and pulling...Both babies are very active. Aria likes the daytime and Alexander starts bouncing around at night when I lay down to go to bed....I am hoping that schedule changes!!!

I had to venture out and buy some new maternity shirts that are longer since the others are getting to short and very fast.

I am happy to say my TAC is holding very well. I have lots of pressure but was told it's from the placenta and Baby Aria sitting right on top of the TAC. I am open to the stitch (which is expected) we just make sure I remain closed under it. Right now my cervix measures 4+ cm long and closed tight from stitch down. At this point with Addy I only had about 1.5cm of cervix left and was completely funneled.....I am not on bedrest but due to uterine irritability I am staying off my feet and keeping hydrated!!!!

I will keep everyone posted as I get new info and progress!!!

16 week twins

16w4d "I am already bigger"


1 of 2 carseats

The Set

The arrows point to my TAC (stitch) and thats placenta and baby sitting right on top of it!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sexes Revealed 16w1d Ultrasound

First off...Baby A is a girl (Aria) and Baby B is a boy Alexander!!! Yay we are so excited and Claudia is overjoyed to be getting a boy!!!!!

Aria weighs 6 oz and is in the 79% (An average 16 week baby is 3.5 oz.) She is on the bottom and is a little squished so we didn't get many good pics. We were able to see she has a normal 3 vessel cord and 4 chamber heart. We even saw her tiny kidneys. The tail-end of Aria's placenta is still over my internal cervix opening, so I am anxious for that to MOVE!!!!!

Alexander weighs 5 oz and is in the 73%. He is on top and taking up all the room in the entire top part of my uterus. He loves to stretch completely out, he also loves kicking his sister in the head (Not nice!!!). He would not turn in the right way so we didn't get to see much. We will take a look at his heart at 20 weeks and try and see the umbilical cord. He is great at hiding important things.

The cervix: Well I couldn't be happier to announce that it measures 3.62cm and shut tight. It is shortening but that's expected, from stitch down it's sealed and that's what we want. My uterus is a little irritable but I started the 17P(progesterone) shots today and that should help. I have very active babies so they trigger it sometimes.

I am 16w1d and my uterus is measuring 24 WEEKS!!!!!! Which means I have healthy babies and I am going to be GINORMOUS!!!! Doc is happy with everything and we hope everything stays good. I am due back in 2 weeks and will update more then :-)!!!!!!



Alexander (top) Aria(bottom)