Saturday, August 14, 2010

Anyone Still Around?

Well, I royally broke my promise to be back soon. “Soon” is relative, but this is ridiculous. Every time I think about re-starting my blog, I become totally overwhelmed. So much has happened. So I’ll just start here and see where it goes.

The babies will be nine months old next week. Incredible. Both of them are crawling and, most recently, pulling themselves up to a standing position. They’re starting to really play with each other and sometimes even fight “nicely” over a toy, which is hilarious to watch. We’ve also just started seeing them copying the other one. It’s very sweet how they acknowledge one another properly now – it took longer than you’d imagine to get to this point. For several months they totally ignored each other. Sometimes we’ll catch them laughing at one another or, better still, actively trying to make the other one laugh.

I’ll go back and talk about some of the things I list below in separate posts, but here are some bullets for now.

• The babies were born more than six weeks early – November 23rd with a due date of January 7th; one of my bags of water broke at 11.45pm on Sunday, November 22d and we were at the hospital by 12.15am. They weren’t delivered until late the next morning , after the blood thinner had been out of my system for long enough. I had a c-section. J the Elder forgot how to dress, how to use a telephone and what his name was. But, regardless, he was FABULOUS throughout!

• Cecily came home from the NICU two weeks and two days after they were born and Benjamin three days after that; they were both around 5lbs when they came home.

• J the Elder took a whole month off work to be at home once they came home; my sister-in-law came and stayed for a week right at the beginning and then my Mum came for a month; while she was here, my girlfriend (in the American sense!) came to stay from the UK for a week as well. The help from all of them was invaluable.

• I breastfed the babies for six months, with some supplementation due to supply issues. I struggled with severe pain for most of this time (a post in itself). Even though I did reach my goal of six months, I have a sense of failure with the nursing that I need to shake off. There are many things I wish I’d done differently, had I known better; and most of them were things I was advised to do by professionals.

• I make all their solid food myself. They have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as oatmeal and rice cereal (always mixed with fruit). I make the food in bulk, puree it and freeze in ice cube trays, before popping the frozen cubes into ziplock bags. Their favourite meal so far is a mixture of sweet potato and avocado. I’ve just introduced chicken, in the form of pureed chicken casserole.

• The babies have had two colds each so far, at the same time as each other; the first was at about six months and the second at eight months. A miserable time was had by all.

• Cecily has had a persistent ear infection since it was discovered at her six month appointment. Poor thing. She doesn’t seem to have been in a lot of pain, but she did poorly in her hearing test a few weeks ago and we decided to take the advice of the pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor to have tubes put in her ears. It’s an out-patient surgery, quick, but surgery nonetheless. She did brilliantly and has been much more smiley and babbly since. Her hearing is perfect now, too.

• We’ve been on three road trips to Florida with them, one at two months, the next at five months and the third at eight months – an eight hour journey without stopping, and more like twelve with all the stops. We made the first two trips to visit my father-in-law who was very sick and the third one was for his funeral. We’re heart-broken, but also very happy that he was able to see the babies twice. We have some lovely photographs of the three of them together.

• We’re now getting a fantastic amount of sleep compared to the first few months! The babies are sleeping for twelve hours every night, from 7pm to 7am and have been doing so since they were about six months old. They do sometimes cry out in the night or stir and babble for a short time, but we very rarely have to go in and sooth them. The only time they don’t sleep well is when they’re sick and that’s understandable. In those cases, we go to them immediately if they’re in distress.

• Getting my weight back down to where it was before has been a constant struggle. I’ve joined a gym with daycare and have been dieting since I stopped nursing but not much of it’s shifted. My body seems to be a completely different shape, too. My ribcage has been pushed out, probably irreparably, and the less said about my new hips, the better. I’m still hopeful that it’s mostly a question of time…..

• I’ve been at home with the babies since their birth and haven’t gone back to work yet. It’s been amazing having this time with them, especially given my drastically different lifestyle for so many years before, travelling all over the world in my job and never being in the same place for very long. I’m currently interviewing for a new job – I’ll be very upset to leave them, but am also looking forward to working again (and, not to put too fine a point on it, to being able to enjoy the treat of two decent incomes) .

• Cecily looks like J the Elder and Benjamin looks more like me. Their personalities seem to be the other way around, though, with Cecily more like me and Benjamin more like his father. Obviously it’s early to make such a determination and we don’t want to type-cast them either. So we’ll see.

• We’re heading to Germany and Italy in a few weeks’ time to see some of my family. I’m oscillating between excitement and sheer panic at this point.

• There’s much more, but at least this is a start. We still can’t believe we’re the parents of beautiful twin babies. It’s utterly amazing. We couldn’t be happier.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just a Picture

More soon, I promise!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hello Again!

If anyone's still faithfully following me, hello again! I've been an appalling blogger and will make amends very soon. Life has been wonderful with my little poppets and we've never been happier. We've also never been more sleep-deprived and exhausted.... I will post a full update over the next few days. In the meantime, here are recent pictures of Benji and Cecily.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

On Behalf of my Daughter

Since my daughter is just a little busy at the minute, not to mention preoccupied and off-the-scale exhausted, I thought I might step in at this point just to let you all know more details on the birth of my twin grandchildren.

Jessica will certainly return with all the details but the basics are these: her waters broke and she was bustled into hospital in the early hours of 23 November and after a scary few hours while the blood-thinning medication was clearing her system her daughter Cecily Grace was born by epidural Caesarian at 11.11am and her son Benjamin Lucas followed on her heels just a couple of minutes later. Cecily weighed 4 pounds and 8 ounces (in old money) Benjamin 4 pounds and 12 ounces. In spite of their prematurity (just over 33 weeks gestation) he was able to breathe completely unassisted from the start but she needed a little help to begin with; both are now out of intensive care, coming along nicely and getting to know their doting and adoring parents who are haunting the hospital nursery although Jessica herself is now recovering from the whole ordeal at home (as is Jim).

Both babies are absolutely beautiful - I'm afraid I'm having to judge from reports and pictures here although I'm champing at the bit to come over and see them for myself. They both have copious dark hair, Cecily's darker than Benjamin's; they certainly look like little people rather than having generic new-baby faces. So far they are causing no havoc but Jessica and Jim have been put on full alert for the next couple of decades by those of us who have been there already. And the new parents have so far made no mistakes - that's all to come.

As I say, I'm sure Jessica will be back here shortly but as her mother I did think that if you've been following the course of her blog from pre-pregnancy days would want to know as soon as possible that she's pulled it off.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Please Meet Cecily Grace & Benjamin Lucas

Benjamin and Cecily were born by c-section on Monday, 11/23/09 at 11:11 and 11:13 am. Benjamin weighed 4 lbs. 12 oz, Cecily weighed 4 lbs 8 oz. They're doing well in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Jessica is recovering from the c-section. We're over the moon! More soon ... J the Elder

First picture is Cecily, then Benjamin:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quick Update

I'm still at home, which I suppose is a good thing, although I would feel safer in hospital at this point. My OB seems to be gaining confidence in me. All seems well, my cervix is shortening and is now 2.5mm but still closed. The babies are doing very well, too. We get new weights this coming Thursday. I'm measuring 43 weeks now. My one big anxiety right now is the blood thinner situation. I've been on Lovenox injections, one injection of 40mgs a day, since before my embryo transfer, due to my Protein S deficiency and my MTHFR, both blood clotting disorders. But the reversal time for these shots is 24 hours, so if I were to need an emergency c-section because one of the babies is in distress they'd need to wait until the Lovenox had worn off before surgery, otherwise I could bleed out. So I'm going to need to change to two shots of Heparin per day from this week - that takes the reversal time down to 12 hours but I think you can also reverse the effects of Heparin with a shot of Vitamin K (not sure about that). I'm nervous about changing anything at this point, but I'll need to get over it. I've read about HIT, Heparin Induced Thrombophilia, which scares me......

I haven't been given the steroid shot for lung development, which I sort of expected to get at some point, in case things move along quickly. Two shots 24 hours apart are needed, but I suppose it means no-one is concerned that I could go into labour imminently. That's a good thing.

I still feel terribly uncomfortable in many ways, and am really almost unable to do anything at all, other than lying on my side. I'm not really even going downstairs anymore. But I can now see the end in sight and I know I can do this for another two to three weeks. We're getting very excited about meeting the little ones soon.

My next appointments are on Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chubby Babes

I'm very happy to have made it to 31 weeks so far, given that I was in the hospital twice at 23 weeks and once at 27 weeks. I'm now seeing my OB and my peri once per week, which is very reassuring. My OB thinks he may be able to get me to 34 or 35 weeks with alot of work and probably hospital bedrest. I'm thinking they might put me in the hospital between 32 and 33 weeks and hope to get me to 35. I've been told to pack my bag and bring it to all appointments in case they decide to hospitalise me there and then. Surreal that we're obviously getting very close.

The babies are doing fantastically well, by all indications. We finally got our four-weekly measurements today and our little girl is weighing 3lbs12oz, our little boy has actually overtaken her and weighs 4lbs3oz. We're thrilled with those weights at 31 weeks. Both of them are moving really well and kicking me alot. Baby A, our daughter, is still breech, whereas Baby Boy B is still transverse. Their heads are very close together which is nice, since they can't kick eachother in the head.

As for the way I'm feeling, well, not good. I'm getting very big now, measuring 41 weeks at 31 weeks. It's hard for me to really do anything other than lying down and even that's getting uncomfortable now. I'm still instructed to be on bedrest - have clocked up four weeks of bedrest so far. For some reason, I've started having major nausea and vomiting again, maybe because my stomach is so compressed. I'm still taking terbutaline for contractions, but trying to keep them to a minimum. I hate taking anything, but of course the benefits outweigh the risk of giving birth this early. I'm also finding it hard to get a good deep breath in, obviously also due to major organ compression. Then there's the back ache, acid reflux, digestive issues and so on and so forth...... However, I hope I this misery lasts as long as possible for the sake of the babies.

We've nearly completed the nursery now. I use "we" in a very loose sense - it means J the Elder has nearly finished it and I've "managed" the project from a horizontal position. I'm sad that I've missed out on that part, as well as going out and buying other things we need. A small price to pay, though.

My next appointments are next Thursday and Friday.