Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Birth Story

One reason I wanted to start this blog was to write for those women who were pregnant with twins and wanted to find out other women's experiences being pregnant with multiples.  I only knew one other person who had twins, and her experience was about 10 years ago. 

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was put on bedrest at 35 weeks due to mild preeclampsia.  The only evidence I had of the preeclampsia was protein in my urine--I didn't have the swelling, headaches or abdominal pain.  Due to that diagnosis, I started going in for bi-weekly NSTs, also known as Non-Stress Tests.  The NST is where they hook you up to several monitors, one each to monitor babies heart rates, and another monitor to watch for uterine contractions.  During the NST they also monitor my blood pressure. 

This is the machine that the monitor leads plug into:

The 154 you see up there is the heart rate of Baby B.  The print out has the heart rates graphed out on the left hand side, and the uterine contractions on the right hand side.  

This is how I looked hooked up to all those machines:

This is the last NST I had on Christmas Eve before the babies were born. 

So, I was supposed to go in for monitoring in the morning, however the L&D unit called me to ask if I could come in later, due to large amounts of activity on the unit, so I went in around 4 pm for the monitoring.  In the top photograph, you can see the blood pressure that bought me extra attention--151/87.  Despite my best efforts to relax, my blood pressure stayed elevated, and I ended up being admitted for an induction. 

After my IV was started, I was hooked up to IV fluids and a Pitocin drip around 5 pm.  It was started at the lowest dose and slowly ramped up.  For most of the night, I thought "This isn't too bad" about the uterine contractions.  That is until about 4 in the morning.  The contractions were getting more intense, and I requested an epidural.  This was inserted about 5:30-6 am, and when I was given the bolus dose of medication, it ended up dropping my blood pressure from the 140-150 range to the 80s-90 range.  It felt so strange!  I felt so tired, and wasn't able to keep my eyes open, but was able to follow conversations and respond appropriately.  Due to the blood pressure drop, I believe I got a bolus of IV fluids, and over time, my blood pressure improved.  The whole experience was a bit frightening as I was worried about the babies, since my body's blood pressure had been used to being a bit higher.

After the epidural insertion, I labored for another 12-ish hours and got my cervical check at around 4 pm only to find out that I had been laboring for 24 hours with NO PROGRESS!  I was still about 3 cm!  After I spoke to the Physican about our plan for the next 24 hours (which was labor for 24 hours then C-section if I hadn't made any more progress) and she left, and my mom left the hospital to take a nap at our house it wasn't any more than 10 minutes before my water spectacularly broke, and I had more intense contractions.  My body had enough of waiting and I proceeded to go from 3 cm to 10 cm dilated in 2 hours.

The part I wasn't prepared for was the feeling of getting that last cm dilated.  I started feeling the urge to have a BM, and notified the nurse and doctor.  I got checked again and was at 9 cm.  My doctor told me to keep working at it, and that I would get re-checked in 15 minutes.  THOSE WERE THE LONGEST AND HARDEST 15 MINUTES OF MY LIFE.  The feeling to have a BM intensified, and I just wanted to PUSH!  I knew that I couldn't until I got to 10 cm.  Thanks to my husband and my mom, I made it through those 15 minutes.

I got to start pushing, and proceeded to push for an hour and a half.  I just felt like I wasn't making progress!!  From my ultrasounds I knew that baby A was the smaller baby (Baby A is the presenting baby, and will be born first) and my doctor estimated that I would have another hour and a half of pushing for baby A to be born.  I felt like I had enough gas in my tank to get baby A out, but had no idea how I'd get baby B out.  One reason baby A was so challenging to push out, was that he was facing the opposite way he should have--face up instead of face down.  My doctor and I discussed our plan for getting these boys out!  The plan was they were going to take me back to the OR and try and use forceps to get baby A over the hump that was keeping him inside me!  If that didn't work, then we'd go to a C-section because my temperature was rising. 

I was sent to the OR, given another bolus via my epidural (which had the same effect it did earlier!) my delivering doctor got the forceps around the baby and with two contractions, attempted to pull him out.  It is a VERY unusual feeling to have a baby attempted to be born by forceps.  I seriously felt like I was being pulled inside out!  There was no pain, just pulling, pulling, pulling!  With those two contractions, baby A hadn't budged much, so we decided to go for a c-section. 

Overall, I was pretty disappointed to have to move to a c-section.  I had wanted to be able to do everything naturally, without induction or medications for pain.  However, my boys had a different plan.  Overall I'm ok with the way things went, as long as I have my two healthy babies. 

I'll spare you the slightly bloody just born pictures, and show you this picture, taken by one of the nurses:

My husband, and our newborn sons.

 After I got sewed up, I got moved back to my labor suite, where my mom was able to take the first picture of the entire family:

Hoo, boy!  I do look a bit haggard.  You would too, if you had just gone through about all those hours of labor and delivery! 


Our sons, Nathaniel and Malcolm.  Nathaniel was baby A, and Malcolm was baby B.  They were born around 8:40pm.  Nathaniel was 6 lbs 6 oz, and Malcolm was 7 lbs 3 oz. 

So, that's the birth story.  Please let me know if you have any questions about what happened, and I'll do my best to answer them!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tiny Love Gymini Move and Play Activity Gym Review

I recently purchased the Tiny Love Gymini Move and Play Activity Gym for the twins.  We had a playmat that I received from a co-worker during a baby shower.  However, I felt that the boys were getting bored with only getting the stimulation from their Mom.  I went on Amazon, and this was the highest rated activity gym, so I purchased it!

  Total, it has 6 hanging toys, a mirror, and in the center a music/light show maker.  The large plastic part in the center has that yellow button, which allows you to adjust how the arches are.  In the above picture, it's centered in the arches, and I like to adjust it more to the side when I do leg exercises and tummy time with the boys, so it's easier to reach them.  The mat is machine washable, and has these snaps on them that allows you to fold it in half, snap the snaps together to be able to store the gym flat.  So cool!

I can't wait for the boys to discover the hanging elephant.  It's my favorite toy, as when you pull on it, the green ribbon attached to the ring elongates, and when you let go, a vibration is triggered as the green ribbon is retracted back.  

So far, the boys haven't really discovered the toys.  They currently only enjoy the music and lights, and it gives me a few minutes of occupied time where I can fix myself some lunch or do quick chores like unload the dishwasher.  

Two baby thumbs up! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

This Weekend's Baking Adventures

This weekend was a busy one for me!  On Saturday I had a meeting of the Seattle Families of Multiples in which we discussed gardening and making our own baby food.  For some reason, this topic wasn't as popular as others (I've only been to two other meetings, one about baby wearing and the other about baby sign language).  There were only two other mothers there!

On Sunday, we had the reunion of our Swedish Preparing for Multiples class, and were required to bring a food item to share.  I knew I'd have some time to make something relatively simple on Saturday, so I scoured Pinterest for some recipes--specifically ones that used lemon, as I had a hankering to make something with lemon in it. 

I found the recipe for Vanilla Lemon Swirl Bars on the blog Lemons and Anchovies.  Looking through my cabinet, I found most of the ingredients I needed, save for the lemon curd and vanilla bean paste. 

Wait a second, vanilla bean paste?  What the heck is that? 

It's this!  It isn't actually a paste of vanilla beans, but more of a thick syrup that has thousands of vanilla beans in it!  I found my jar at Williams Sonoma for about $13.00.  I've already started scouring the internet to see if I can find more recipes that use this ingredient.  So far I've found a very promising looking recipe for frosting, and if you know me, you know I LOVE frosting. 

I could have been supermom, and made my own lemon curd, but I decided to take the easier route, knowing that the boys would only give me so much time on Saturday while their father mowed the lawn.  So, at my local grocery store, I found a jar of lemon curd.

The lemon curd ended up being a bit more gelled than I expected.  I thought the curd would be the consistency of thicker honey, instead of jam.  However, I measured out how much I needed, and put that amount into a bowl to stir it up to break up the gel-ness of it. 

So, how did the bars turn out?  Pretty damn good if I do say so myself. 

I may have overbaked them by a few minutes, as the color was a bit darker, but they tasted yummy!  I completely recommend this recipe!  Worth the trip to Williams Sonoma for the vanilla bean paste!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hello World!

Well, hello there.

You don't know me, but hopefully you'll like what you see here and you soon will.

 My name is Erin and I'm currently a 30-something stay at home mom to two brand new boys, Malcolm and Nathaniel.  Prior to giving birth to my boys, I was a full time Registered Nurse, working nights in the ICU.  It was a stressful environment, but I loved it.  Working in the ICU was exciting, and I quite often felt like I was saving lives most nights I worked.  It's been quite the adjustment having these two in my life.  Instead of juggling the needs of one or two patients, I'm currently trying to juggle breastfeeding twins, taking care of these boys, cooking meals, being a wife, baking up sweets, and the occasional knitting project. 

This is Malcolm.  He's my super smiley boy.  He loves to watch me dance and act silly! 

This is Nathaniel.  I like to call him my grumpy old man, as he makes a grumpy face quite often.  He's started smiling more, which makes me happy. 

The boys are 10 weeks now, and it's amazing to see how much they've grown in that time. 

So, in this blog, I'm hoping to cover the day to day activities with the boys, my occasional knitting project, (My old knitting blog has some old projects in it if you're interested)  yummy things I've been baking, and anything else that comes to mind!  I hope you enjoy!