No Birth Plan for You!!

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Categories Ask the Readers, Birth Stories, Pregnancy25 Comments

I’ve seen a midwife for my gynecological care for the last 12 years or so. I have preferred their approach of treating the health of the woman, over the potential sickness. The different women I’ve seen have always taken their time to answer my questions, never rushing out of the room and have made me feel comfortable. When I envisioned myself someday giving birth, I pictured a hospital, but having a midwife coach me through. This vision was thoroughly reinforced after seeing “The Business of Being Born” and having several friends deliver healthy babies, in uneventful births with midwives by their sides.

When we found out we were having twins, we went to see a midwife I’d seen a handful of times and who had helped me through my miscarriage. Her recommendation was to see both the OBs in the office, as well as the midwives throughout my pregnancy and that I’d be “shared” by them, most likely resulting in a birth attended (in the OR for certain) by both a CNM and OB. Last week I saw one of the OBs, and while I did feel comfortable, the difference between a midwife and OB approach is notable. I was thrown for a loop when this OB was strongly recommending that I see only the OBs in their practice. Her rationalization was that most likely, I’d end up with one of them delivering my babies, anyways, so why not start with them. She explained that a variety of scenarios are likely to arise that would require them to step in: if I had a vaginal birth and the second baby was breech, if I needed a planned or emergency c-section, or need to use forceps to avoid a c-section. Essentially, she was saying that things would have to be picture perfect for a midwife to deliver both twins start to finish.

On the one hand, I’m trying to let go of the visions I’ve had in the past of a particular kind of pregnancy, labor and child-rearing. In a way, I feel silly to not just work with the doctor who has delivered FAR more sets of twins than my midwife, and feel that I should work toward accepting the doctors will do whatever is safest for my babies and me on D-day. The other, more stubborn, feminist part of me gets upset at the idea of having a pregnancy that could be pathologized from this point forward: labeled as “high-risk” and having the OB drive the train that she desires. I’m terrified of ending up with a c-section because I went with an OB who wanted to get things over with (which, admittedly, may be an unfair judgment of all OBs), when I could have had a vaginal birth if I went with a midwife.

I’m curious to hear from others who may have been faced with this dilemma. How did you decide whether to see a midwife or an OB? Did you end up just scheduling a c-section, to avoid all the potential ups and downs of a vaginal twin delivery? Did you try for a vaginal birth with your multiples, but end up with a c-section anyways, after complications got in the way? I’d love to hear any thoughts, advice or perspectives I’m missing.

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Reunited

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Categories Birth Stories, Breastfeeding, Development, Formula, Infants, NICU, PrematurityTags , , , , , , 11 Comments

I got the best news in a long time today. A college friend’s twin boys were reunited at 2 months old. Her second NICU baby got to come home from the hospital, 7 weeks after his brother.

In the middle of the joy I felt for my friend, though, I felt an upwelling of the sadness, anger and helplessness that tainted the joy of my own babies’ release from the hospital, over 5 years ago. Homecoming is one of the ways that the NICU experience can differ for parents of premature multiples in comparison to preemie singletons. Many twins and triplets are released from the hospital simultaneously, but many are not.

Our daughters were born 7 weeks early, but had few problems apart from their small size. J had a hole in her heart, which eventually resolved itself, and M had a facial cleft that turned out not even to require surgery. Neither of these conditions required hospitalization, so they were textbook “feeder growers,” newborns who were hospitalized until they had fattened up enough to maintain their own body temperature and had the strength to suck enough nutrition to keep them healthy.

Our girls didn’t need any assistance breathing; they’ve been verbal and long-winded since the start. They were keep in warm isolettes, and fed a mixture of high calorie formula and my breast milk through feeding tubes inserted through their noses and threaded into their stomachs. Every three hours came a diaper change, weighing, blood sugar measurement, temperature measurement and feeding. We watched every number as they rose and fell, and I promised myself I would take notes when they got home so as not to double feed one baby and starve the other. J and M were cared for by the same nurse, so their schedules were offset by 15 minutes. One benefit to having NICU babies was that they were on a clockwork schedule by the time they came home.

There were 3 criteria to be met, we were told, before the girls could come home. They had to weigh 5 lbs (2.25 kg), be able to maintain their own body temperature, and take 8 meals in a row by mouth, drinking at least 31 mls of formula/breast milk each time. Every now and then, when J asks for her “warmed up milk, please,” at breakfast or dinner, I wonder at the way she guzzles 8 oz of milk down and think back to the days I tried to get her drink 1 oz by force of will alone.

We wanted all the girls’ energy to go to growing at first. Somewhere in the first week, I think, they were introduced to doll-sized bottles. It took a few tries to get them to suck, first 1 ml, then 3, more and more each meal. They finally made it up to 31 mls at a time, but couldn’t keep it up two meals in a row. It was just too much work.

M couldn’t finish her bottle at every feeding, but she made an effort. Once, I was even allowed to let her suckle at my breast, although the nurses took her away before she exhausted herself. J was less predictable. She’d suck like a champ and then suddenly get distracted, seemingly more interested in playing with the bottle than drinking from it. Two weeks in, she broke our hearts by refusing two meals in a row and being put back on her feeding tube. It was the only time I saw my husband so upset that he couldn’t stay in the NICU to monitor every last detail of our babies’ care. A friend took him out for a beer.

When our girls were 2 weeks old, the hospital staff pronounced them to be the healthiest babies in the NICU. They could afford to be downgraded to a less fancy-schmancy NICU within the same hospital network. We talked it through and agreed to free up their beds. However, when the paperwork arrived, we were asked to sign a waiver releasing both the hospitals and the ambulance service of responsibility for the babies during their transport. There was no way we were signing that, so the girls stayed put.

Two days later, M was ready to come home. She hadn’t quite made the weight cutoff, but they couldn’t see any reason she wouldn’t be just fine at home. She passed the carseat test, and home we went.

mcominghomealone

J was still on her feeding tube. I felt more torn as a mother of twins in that moment than I ever did before or since. I was celebrating the health of one of my daughters, but leaving the other alone at the hospital, without even her sister with her. My husband was away for an army training exercise, and I was still recovering from my C-section. Fortunately, my father-in-law was able to stay for 3 weeks, and drove us the 30 miles to the hospital every day so that I could deliver breast milk and steal a few moments with J. I couldn’t stay too long, though, since M was in her carseat in the hospital parking garage with Grampy.

After 5 long, agonizing days, J was ready to come home. It finally felt like my life as a parent could start. My friend just ended 48 days of that waiting, and I hope that her heart can finally begin to heal.

Did you get to bring your babies home at the same time?

Sadia’s daughters, M and J, are still short for their nearly 6 years, but Sadia is short for her nearly 33, so it works out nicely. They guzzle milk, grow, and keep each other busy in El Paso, TX.

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NICU rules

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My friend’s wife, Maria, was on bed-rest for the last few months of her twin pregnancy. They live in Cyprus. I’ve been checking in with them on Skype, every other Thursday. It gets down to numbers – be it weeks, days, weight, length, or contractions.

——

“30 weeks. Woooo hooooo!”

“So far so good! Maria is doing well. Bored, but fine.” he replied.

——

“32 weeks – great news! What’s the latest?”

“Doctor says all is good. We’re aiming for the 22nd of December; 36 weeks.”

——-

And last Thursday: “34 weeks, how’s it going?”

“We’re scheduled for a C-section in about 3 hours.” They were at the doctor’s clinic, waiting. “The smaller one has plateau’d at 1.7 kilo; the bigger one is 2.4 kilo. The smaller isn’t growing anymore.”

————-

Friday on the phone with my friend: The little one is doing well. It’s the bigger one though, he cried when he was born, and then suddenly stopped breathing. I was asked to leave the delivery room at that point. They held him upside down. He was blue…I panicked.

I remember the worry that gripped me every time I was asked to leave the NICU. Either Rahul had gone into yet another sleep apnea; for what seemed like a little too long, or they had to set, and then re-set an IV into an already rebellious Leila’s miniscule, 1.2kilo body-weight, hand or foot. The screaming, the suffering you hear from a creature as tiny as she was, through the thickest hospital walls, is heart-wrenching.

My friend and his wife seem to have their emotions under control. I clearly remember that it wasn’t easy to stay level. But I had to, no matter what. I seemed unemotional, distant, “strong”, because otherwise I would break down. That meant I barely spoke to anyone, other than minor, somewhat polite interaction with the medical staff and with my parents and mother-in-law, who had moved to Hong Kong to help me during those 6 weeks, and after. I managed it the best way that I could. That’s it.

I hated my phone more than ever before. I couldn’t stand to see Maher on his. It had to be off in the NICU. And if I wasn’t at the hospital, and it rang – it was one of 3 options: Maher, someone I didn’t really want to go into any detail with, or the NICU. Luckily for us, it was never the last option.

Regardless of the calm my friend has portrayed, I’m contacting him daily, but apprehensively. You never know with this: one day the milk feeds are up, the next day they’ve been stopped because it seems there is a fatal infection brewing in the intestines. One day Twin 1 is moved out of the NICU into the slightly bigger babies room, the next day the baby in the bed next to Twin 2 dies.

One of my initial, harder moments was on a Wednesday afternoon, the third day after the birth. It was the day I left the hospital. I walked out, free after months of bed-rest; but I was leaving my babies behind.

Maria will only see her babies on Sunday, after she is discharged. On Thursday, she gave birth at the clinic, and the babies were rushed off in an ambulance, to an NICU. I realized that what my doctors did, what seemed obvious then, makes much more sense – they put me in an ambulance at the private hospital where I’d spent the last two weeks of my pregnancy, waiting out contractions, so that I could give birth at 31 weeks, at a major, public hospital, that had a state of the art NICU on its 6th floor.  I didn’t see my babies until they were 17 hours old, but they were in boxes, safe, somewhere in the same building.

In the hour after I saw them for the first time, when I saw and heard Rahul cry out – in pain – and I couldn’t do anything, not even just pick him, I realized that I would have to find the deepest of my strengths, love, and compassion to get through this.

She was 2 weeks old when we saw Leila’s face for the first time; Maher and I happened to be next to her incubator when a nurse changed her sunglasses. Both babies had jaundice when they were born, which is quite normal. Leila’s dragged on for a while though. It is treated by phototherapy – a light that shines on the babies – front and back. The babies wear a white mask to protect their eyes. On most babies in this ward, the patches are as big as their faces.

I tried to spend every moment possible with my babies, visiting hours for parents only, were from 9am to 12:30pm, and then from 2pm to 8pm. I spoke to L and R, sang to them – out of tune, and during the week, when Maher was back in Chengdu I played an Mp3 of him singing for them. I caressed them, and when they were stable enough, I clumsily changed their diapers, and even attempted to breastfeed them.

The medical team of this hospital, The Queen Mary, HK, knows what it’s doing. From the moment we arrived – me contracting and making guided decisions in labour, Maher figuring out the administrative details, we knew we were in good hands.

But the NICU staff didn’t always explain a lot to us, nor were they particularly nice. Of course the team is very busy giving life to babies; giving them a second chance. They don’t have time for frantic, lurking parents; at least that’s how we felt at our NICU. They deal with immense fragility scientifically; they attach ventilator’s to tiny babies, insert IV’s, measure and inject milk feeds into a tube that goes straight into the baby’s stomach, and then suck out and measure the undigested material through the same tube, they monitor and record every minute change on a tight, 24-hour schedule. Not easy for any parent to handle. And oh yeah, they let the babies cry.

There was one nurse though, who made the difference. She always smiled. She not only encouraged me to breast-feed, but she also advised me and gave me pamphlets about it. She’s the nurse who organized a parent support group one Sunday afternoon. That meeting opened us up. Her kindness and compassion made my visits a little easier.

———

At the NICU in Cyprus, my friends are only allowed to see their babies between 1 and 2 pm, and then again between 5 and 6pm.

A friend of mine had to send her 2 month old baby to an NICU in Chengdu, for pneumonia. No one was allowed in. Full stop.

On the other hand, a friend of mine in the UK would go in to see her baby in the middle of the night be it because she was gripped by anxiety or because she had a strong urge to stay close to her baby.

The NICU rules everywhere seem to differ. What was your NICU experience like? What were the visiting hours? Was the staff pleasant, and helpful towards the parents? Did they encourage breastfeeding? Who was allowed in?

——————————

Natasha lives in Chengdu, China with her husband Maher. She is mum of  twins Leila and Rahul, and was an Ashtanga Yoga teacher until her little yogis became the teachers. You can find more of her thoughts and stories at Our Little Yogis.

 

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Giving Back

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Categories Birth Stories, Celebrations, Parenting, RelationshipsTags , 3 Comments
Me and my boys, stopping back at the NICU 2 years later.

Hey, Everyone! It’s Margie from Double the Giggles again. I’m exhausted from a loooong weekend of celebrating my boys’ 2nd birthday (check my blog for a recap of their Little Men party – complete with mustache decor!), but I wanted to share something with you that seems to be becoming a tradition for us. Today, my post is about giving back to those that gave us so much to be thankful for, exactly 2 years ago.

When my twins were born at 38 weeks, they had some severe complications that the neonatologists had never seen, first hand. Having a negative blood type, I received a Rhogam shot to protect my unborn babies in the event of blood transfer during delivery. Only problem was, the Rhogam shot only works if you have a D-antigen in your blood, which most people have. I was the .000000001 percent that had an undetected E-antigen. The doctors were baffled, both mine and the boys’. The shot did nothing to protect me or my children, and my twins were born with their bodies attacking themselves. After being told by a Neonatologist that we had two VERY sick babies, that they shouldn’t have even made it to 38 weeks, that you shouldn’t have any more children and spending two horrible weeks in the NICU, my babies were cured, sent home and are now beyond happy, healthy two year olds!

Thanks to the AMAZING doctors and nurses in the NICU, we have our Wesley and Andrew, as perfect as ever.

Soooo… every year on their birthday, we give back. Last year, my mom and I went up to the NICU and delivered about 100 cupcakes and handmade baby blankets (made by my mom) for the new babies requiring the TLC of the NICU. This year, the boys got to come along with us. My mom and I headed up to the NICU again with Andrew, and Wesley, and plenty of donuts and coffee for the nurses, doctors and new moms and dads who will be calling the NICU ‘home’ for any number of days. My mom also made about 50 teeny, tiny knitted hats for the newest residents of the NICU. All different sizes and soft baby colors. Some were Extra-Extra Small, and my mom thought they wouldn’t get used. I told her that some little one would make his/her arrival way too soon and I’m sure he or she would love a little handmade cap.

The nurses/doctors were very grateful and were thrilled to see the boys. Some even remembered their stay in the NICU! Of course, who could ever forget that red hair that Wesley was born with! Although the sad emotions always come back whenever I walk through those hospital doors, it felt good to give back a little something to those that gave us so much.
Is there anyone that made an impact on you in the early days of your multiples’ lives? A Doctor? A Nurse? A nanny? A complete stranger? A friend or family member? How did you repay them or thank them?

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In retrospect

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My son who is now 4 years old was delivered by a midwife. When I got pregnant for a second time, I immediately contacted the midwife and intended to have another midwife attended birth.  Of course, finding out I was having twins, changed those plans. I was suddenly switched from a low-risk clinic with midwives, to a high-risk practice with a doctor. Although I continued to hope for a natural birth, eventually, my daughters were delivered by cesarean because they weren’t positioned properly. I was reflected on this change of plans the other day as I thought about what to say to a friend is scheduled for cesarean delivery for her twin boys next week.

I’ve often tried to figure out what the purpose of having a cesarean delivery with the girls was. Not the medical purpose, but the life lesson person. Right from the beginning having a cesarean was one of my biggest concerns about having twins. I couldn’t find any information about how to decrease the chances of having a c-section with twins, but I decided I was just going talk to the babies and tell them why I wanted them to get lined up for a vaginal delivery. But, always finished by saying I trusted they knew when and how they should arrive.

My Baby Girls (5 hours old)
My Baby Girls (5 hours old)

I think one of the benefits of having a c-section (in retrospect 2 years later) was that it really made me focus on the babies for the first days and weeks.  First, we were in the hospital longer so they were, of course, my focus. Then, when I got home, I couldn’t physically do housecleaning, cooking, laundry etc.  While it was frustrating to feel helpless, I again had to focus on the babies. There wasn’t much else I could do. I made me slow down and not try to do everything. (However, at the time, I was not so patient and appreciative of this opportunity.)  I took full advantage of the doctor’s orders not to lift, push, pull or carry anything heavier than my baby (just one!) for the first six weeks. I had lots of help from my husband, my mom, my sister, friends, and even my son, while I started healing.

Did your babies’ births goes as expected? What did you learn from it?

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Let's play a guessing game!

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Categories Birth Stories, Mommy Issues, Pregnancy10 Comments

I will post a picture of myself and you guess how many days pregnant I was! Let’s start with an easy one.

10

Let’s see… flat stomach, looking bored rather than constant multi-tasking, plenty of time to take entertaining photos mocking my telecommuting… that would be zero days pregnant.

Time to guess again! How pregnant am I in the following picture?

36 weeks with twins

My readers will know I was exactly 36w with fraternal twin boys in this picture. My stomach hurts when I see that picture now. Singleton bellies look so cute and fun in comparison, huh?

Last picture… and I want you to think really hard before answering. Look at the two pictures above for comparison and guess how pregnant I was in the following picture:

1LauraAndJon007

Okay do you have a guess in your mind? Have you really thought about it? Make a guess.

Here’s the answer: it is a trick question. I was not pregnant in that picture. My boys were already born! This is the day I checked out the hospital, when my boys were 5 days old.

A couple of lessons here:

* If you’re pregnant with multiples, bring some BIG maternity clothes to the hospital with you when you deliver. The general rule is that you will look 6 months pregnant after birth, but that’s not 6 months-cute-singleton-belly pregnant. Bring clothes that comfortably fit when YOU were 6 months pregnant. I actually wore my biggest clothes home because OUCH twin c-section incision still healing. And the boobs… they continued to grow.

* Keep taking photos. I CRIED when I saw that picture, I mean I really bawled. This is not how you envision you will look post-partum when someone is taking pictures of you with your newborns. But I told my husband to keep snapping and make sure I was in plenty of pictures. I now treasure the photos where I have a huge jelly belly and I am cuddling my sweet smelling newborns because now they are big three year olds. And when my boys turned one, I was still not back to my pre-pregnancy shape (and am still not!) but when I used the above photo for comparison, I felt so much better about the progress I had made. So keep snapping!

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The First Year

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The past few days, I’ve been flooded with feelings… how do I describe it?  It’s excitement, but also a bit of shock or it might even be denial?!  You see my twins will be O-N-E in about a month.  Many of you have been there-(I loved Laura C’s post a few months ago about Birthday Emotions… I’m beginning to relate!) I can’t pinpoint the exact reason it’s so emotional for me- maybe because we have all survived a YEAR of craziness or because my precious tiny miracle babies are growing up!  It really hit me this last weekend when we went to the NICU reunion.  OH how I loved showing off my big, healthy baby girls, but it brought back a flood of emotions too. 

After a long road with infertility and IVF, we were elated to be pregnant and with TWINS- we had no idea what was in store for us!  :)  I had a normal pregnancy and never would have guessed I would have had them so early.  On September 4, 2008, I went to my scheduled perinatologist appointment.  The doctor told me/showed me that Twin B (Riley)’s blood flow was not sufficient through the umbilical cord for some reason.  She was suddenly significantly smaller than Twin A (Reese) which had never been the case before, so the dr wanted the girls and me hooked to heart monitors… to be monitored.  The nurse brought me to another room, hooked me up and just left me there.  Everything was kind of in slow motion, but I just kept thinking it would all be okay.  All I could really think about was that I hadn’t eaten and was STARVING.  While watching the print out of my babies’ heartbeats and dreaming about Chick-Fil-A, I noticed the bottom line (Riley) dropping really low.  Not good.   I suddenly realized the extent on this little “problem” when my OB walked in.  When your perinatologist calls your OB from a different office building completely, you KNOW something’s up.  Dr. H was so sweet, cool, and calm as she explained to me that it would be better for the girls if they came into the world for care due to Riley’s dipping heart rate.  And since I was only 30 weeks, we needed to deliver at a hospital with a Level 3 NICU, which meant she could not do the Emergency C-Section and I could not deliver at my hospital.  WHAT?!  Not a moment you want to experience and especially not alone! My hubby came to pick me up and bring me to the hospital.  We were so scared.

 

We got checked in (after asking directions to this unknown hospital) and I was given a steroid shot for my twins’ lung development.  We learned that with every contraction I was having (I think they were just Braxton Hicks??), Riley would get MAD and her heart rate would drop.  They gave me a shot to stop the contractions, but no such luck.  Within two hours and only 1 steroid shot in my system , Dr. Owens, whom I met minutes before, said it was time to get the girls out… at 30 weeks and 1 day.  Due to my Harrington Rods (surgery to correct scoliosis in 1995), the anesthesiologist attempted an epidural SIX places, but had no luck (QUITE painful the next day), so I was knocked out while my hubby waited outside.  Reese Abigail was born at 5:29 PM weighing 3 lbs and Riley Grace was born at 5:30 PM weighing 2 lbs 3 oz.  

DSCF1228

Reese when she was 3 days old

DSCF1231Riley when she was 3 days old

The NICU was amazing- the nurses were so kind, reassuring, and knowledgeable.  The doctors were amazing as well.  By the grace of God, my babies were not born with any health issues.  They had to learn to breathe outside the womb and stayed awhile in order to learn and master the “suck, swallow, breathe” reflex- eating and breathing are quite important!  So after many tears from mommy and daddy (it’s scary to see your babies so small and sad to leave them each night), bacterial infections, staph infections, blood transfusions, Riley (who was named the “feisty one”) pulling out her feeding tube at least twice a day, jaundice, weight gains and losses, and finally mastering feeding after 38 days for Reese and 55 for Riley, we were finally home with our angels: Reese 4 lbs 9 oz, Riley 3 lbs 11 oz.  I couldn’t believe that we were allowed to take them home! :)  I have to admit we were terrified.  

They’ve come a long way this year (and so have we… we kinda know what we’re doing now) and it was a joy to see those nurses and dr at the NICU Reunion, so they could see with their own eyes- the fruits of their labor!   I will never forget September 4, 2008, Reese and Riley’s birth day, as “blurry” as it feels.  It was the day my life changed forever- for the better.  As a year is approaching, I’m so thankful, have fallen more and more in love with my husband watching him with his girls, and my heart melts daily when Reese and Riley’s eyes light up when they see ME, their mama.  Their first birthday will be a CELEBRATION of how far they have come and what little miracles they are!  I guess that’s why I have been so emotional… it’s thanksgiving.  Overwhelming thanksgiving.  

DSC03117

Reese when she was 309 days old (She now weighs 18 lbs)

DSC03072Riley when she was 309 days old (She now weighs 16 1/2 lbs)

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Twins: Two late to take it back

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img_7216

First, a brief intro: I used to write here all the time before I started working full-time again. And then I was just overwhelmed. Ten months later I’m finally fitting it all in with some time to shower and sleep. I’m a mom of twin girls, now entering the wonderful, terrible, very dramatic but totally awesome 3.5. These posts will take a few steps back and share a little hard-earned wisdom to life with young twins. These are not meant to criticize anyone — let alone myself — but rather show that we don’t always get it right and that’s perfectly OK.

First up: Pregnancy.

The issue: Preparing for Twins

What I did: I read and read and read everything related to having twins. I spent hours on Web sites. Even more hours in online forums, soaking up every single detail about birthing twins, caring for twin infants, raising twins. I could almost repeat what the books said verbatim by the time my girls were born at 38.6 weeks. (They were NOT coming out by the way. They were born by scheduled C-section.)

What I did wrong: I did not read enough about caring for babies. Just babies. One baby.

My advice now: Focus on the baby care for the first half of your pregnancy. Once you have that down, focus on the multiples factor. Understand that even though you have twins, you really just have two babies who are very different, and very special on their own. They might come out in one (not-so-neat) package but that doesn’t mean you will need to care for them the exact same. In fact, you won’t (at least some of the time).

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Phthalate exposure in NICU babies

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My boys were born at 36w3d and each weighed over 6 lbs, but they ended up in NICU for a week due to feeding issues, breathing issues, and weight gain issues. I have since made peace with their stay and the emotional toll it took on me and my husband. I have mourned the loss of a “normal” birth experience. The three years since our short NICU stay has given me ample time to get to a place where I can write that first sentence without tearing up or feeling overly emotional.

Then I read this story on NPR about phthalate exposure in NICU babies. Those little tiny feeding tubes in Nate and Alex’s noses and those IVs? They need soft plastic to function correctly and that soft plastic has been shown to impact sexual development in mice. The study in the article showed phthalates leach out of those tubes and bags into babies.

natealexnicu

The good news? Limited studies have shown no long-term impact to NICU babies. The bad news? “any effect on ICU babies is likely to be subtle — a slight delay in puberty, or fertility problems later in life.” At the end of the day, those tubes saved my boys’ lives. I know this rationally, as a former environmental engineer.  And while obviously much more research is needed into this topic,  I couldn’t help but want to title my post “Insult to Injury.”

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In the blink of an eye.

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What were you doing five years ago? I can tell you exactly what I was doing. Five years ago today, on Friday, August 29th, 2003, I was writing a blog post about it being my last day as a mother of an only child. I was packing up my hospital bag, calling my friends, giddy about the fact that my doctor was taking pity on me and FINALLY going to induce my labor, at 38 weeks!

Five years ago today, my husband and I had lunch at Le Peep, and I specifically remember trying to find something on the menu that would

  1. Satisfy my cravings

  2. Fill me up, since I knew it would be my last actual meal for quite awhile, and
  3. Not give me gas, since I was worried about all the poking and prodding in my immediate future!

Five years ago today:

And five years ago tomorrow:

Paul and Laura with brand new Pablo & Mallory
Paul and Laura with brand new Pablo & Mallory

Five years ago, these two precious babies entered our world:

Five years ago, I knew nothing about parenting twins. I had no idea I’d become an expert on diapering. I didn’t know what Early Intervention meant. I never dreamed I’d soon be facing speech delays, occupational therapy, or an autism diagnosis. And I didn’t have a CLUE how much joy there would be in our family in the years to come!

Today, those little punkin babies are big kindergarteners!

It doesn’t seem possible that they’ve been ours for five whole years! Happy Birthday, Pablo and Mallory! You’re the light of our lives!

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