Home Sweet Home

Jemma was finally discharged from the NICU on Sunday! We spent almost an entire week at the hospital and are so glad to finally be home. Jemma got the green light after Hubby persisted to have one of the nurse practitioners talk to the neonatologist in charge, she just had to have her car seat and hearing tests before they would discharge her.

Jemma buckled in and ready to head home!
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Sunday night was our first night at home, we were greeted by both sets of grandparents (my own parents are actually here staying with us for the time being). Everyone was very excited to see us home and especially to spend time with Jemma since she didn’t get to have many visitors. We had a nice dinner, but unfortunately the girls and us did not have a very restful evening. We had gotten into a pretty good routine at the hospital, but our first night home our routine got out of sync and the girls were fussy all night.

On Monday evening we asked if our Moms (Hubby’s Mom gladly drives over to our house around 10 PM) if they would do the first overnight feeding so that Hubby and I could get a chunk of sleep. Besides pumping we are able to get about four hours together, we then get up to do the second overnight feeding around 3:00-3:30 AM and then get another three hour block. We’ve been doing this since Monday night and it seems to be working well. The girls have also become a little more predictable in their feeding and sleeping routine.

A few other updates from this past week:

-Jemma and Zoe had their first doctors visit and both are doing great. We expressed to the pediatrician that Jemma seems a little more sleepy and doesn’t feed as well as Zoe and he said that she behaves a little more preemie-like and that if we didn’t have Zoe to compare against we probably wouldn’t think twice about her behavior.

-I had a follow-up doctors appointment to check my blood pressure. It is down to around 126/74, so the doctor was pleased to see it decreasing. I’m still taking the beta blocker and will have another exam this upcoming week to check in again. My carpal tunnel is worse that it had been my entire pregnancy, it’s really my only complaint right now. Anyone out there with severe carpal tunnel postpartum? If so, how long did it take to go away? Did anyone do physical therapy to help relieve it? I really would like to avoid any type of surgery at this point.

-Breast feeding really does help to shed pregnancy pounds. I’ve been amazed at how quickly I’ve lost weight. Although, I think much of the last 25 pounds I gained was water weight with all of my edema and swelling.

Jemma and Zoe loaded up in the stroller ready to head home. Jemma below and Zoe up top.

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The girls in their crib after a successful night. Zoe on the left, Jemma on the right.

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Hoping for more successful and semi-restful nights of sleep and hoping to see the girls thrive and grow! We are so in love with them!

Happy Saturday!
xoxo

Birth Story

Jemma and Zoe are here and are healthy and happy and we couldn’t be happier. We’ve been on the journey to parenthood for a long time and these two miracles are more than we could have ever imagined. Some of this post may be repetitive, but I wanted to give a little background on my pregnancy.

For the most part, I had a great pregnancy, I did start getting some carpal tunnel (which progressively has gotten worse from about 23 weeks on and I still have it quite bad postpartum) and then edema and swelling started around 28 weeks, my BP started to elevate around 33 weeks, my doctor had us scheduled for a C-section on July 25th but kept thinking I would go into labor sooner. As the hot weather settled in and I progressed in the pregnancy, I was getting more and more uncomfortable and my BP kept rising. At a routine NST/check on July 14th my BP was 160/94, the doctor made the call to admit me and planned to deliver the babies that afternoon. By the time I was close to being prepped for the C-section, I started having pretty intense contractions.

C-section went as planned and both girls came out crying their little lungs out. Once we were back in the room, I started to hemorrage and the other OB doctor who was assisting my regular OB on the C-section was taking over. I started to feel lightheaded and dizzy and was soon being wheeled to another OR for an emergency D&C (at this point I was under sedation). I lost about 2 liters of blood, so the doctor placed a balloon type apparatus in my uterus to control bleeding.

I was soon back in the room and seemed stable, but about an hour later I was shaking uncontrollably and could not stop. My BP dropped to 60/30 and my pulse was about 170. I was pretty out of it and Hubby was pretty freaked out. We had about 12 people back in the room and I soon received 2 1/2 bags of saline and 2 bags of blood. I finally stabilized, but we stayed in labor & delivery for the rest of the night. After we were in postpartum, I also started to develop HELLP syndrome and had to be infused with magnesium (terrible side effects, felt like I was hit with a truck!). Magnesium infusion is usually for 24 hours, but luckily I was able to come off of it by 20 hours.

Zoe has been doing great the whole time and was discharged Friday and was “boarding in” with us. I was finally discharged on Saturday. Jemma was admitted to the NICU early on Tues. AM because the pediatrician thought she was having a little trouble maintaining her glucose, she had been off her glucose IV since Wed afternoon, but they were wanting to see her maintain her temperature and not having any bradycardia episodes (she had 2 very slight ones). Hubby had been going up all the time to take care of her and feed her and it seems as though they weren’t helping to help her progression out of the NICU. On Saturday afternoon Jemma was finally moved to a lower level nursery and is going to be discharged today. She is being discharged earlier than they were telling us because Hubby was finally able to have the nurse practitioner in charge of Jemma’s care talk to the neonatologist in charge. Hubby and I stayed in a family room last night with Zoe in tow and are more than ready to head home, we’ve been in the hospital almost a full week!

With as much as we all went through, it is all worth it! These little girls are absolutely amazing and we love them so much! I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures soon!

xoxo

Happy Birthday Jemma and Zoe!!!

Jemma Taye (Baby A) 5 pounds 7 ounces and Zoe Mika (Baby B) 5 pounds 5 ounces were born at 5:45 PM on July 14, 2014.

I worked Monday morning and went in for a routine OB exam at 11:30 AM on July 14th (a few days early of my originally scheduled visit), I was hooked up to the NST monitors and babies were looking good. However, my blood pressure was 160/94, so my doctor says “it looks like we are going to have some babies today!”. I knew this was a possibility, but started sweating and feeling anxious that the baby girls were actually going to be born on that day! I quickly called Hubby and told him to leave work, stop and get our hospital bags that were packed by the door at home and come to the hospital. My close friend who has been down almost the same infertility road as me is also a labor and delivery nurse and was luckily working at the hospital, so she was there to meet me at labor triage as soon as I was wheeled from my OB office to the hospital. Since I was not NPO my C-section wasn’t going to be scheduled until later in the afternoon, my doctor was going home to arrange child care for her children and was going to make it back to the hospital to perform the C-section. My delivery was anything but smooth, so I will be posting a completely separate post and not take anything away from announcing the beautiful births of our two precious daughters!

We are still at the hospital, Jemma was taken up to the NICU early on Tuesday morning since she was unable to maintain her glucose levels. She has since come off her glucose IV and although she is maintaining her glucose now, she is having a little trouble with temperature regulation and has had a couple of episodes of bradycardia. We are hoping she will be let out by tomorrow at the latest. I’m still waiting to see if I will be discharged today as well.

The girls are absolutely beautiful! Jemma looks Asian like Mommy and Zoe looks just like her Daddy (not at all Asian!) Unfortunately, I don’t have an updated photo of Jemma but will post one soon. We are so in love and as everyone has said, feel a love for these girls like we have never felt before!!!

Waiting to be prepped for the C-section, already having contractions!

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Just after delivery, back in the room with Jemma on left and Zoe on right.

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Zoe, 4 days old after feeding, happy!

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Happy Friday and more to come on the birth story…..

xoxo

Almost 36 weeks and a little concern

OMG, we are having a heat wave here in Seattle and my pregnant, swollen, large self is not enjoying it!!! I usually love the heat and sun, but not right now.

I finished seeing patients at work this past week (and it was only a few patients as I really lightened up my schedule) and this coming week is full with only hygiene patients, so if I’m only there part time, everything will run okay.

I’m definitely taking it very easy right now, yesterday at my OB appointment, my blood pressure was 133/88 and my doctor ran the pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) blood panel on me. My platelets and liver function came back normal, but my creatinine was elevated, my level was 0.9 and she said normal value is around 0.6. She advised me to buy an at home arm blood pressure cuff and to monitor for readings above 140/90 and if I had a high reading to take it again in 15 minutes. My readings were somewhat high last night (which made for a restless night of sleep), although Hubby took his and we determined that the cuff was reading about 5 to 10 points high. This AM I continued to have values that were concerning, so I went in this AM for another non-stress test and had my BP checked again, at the office it was 120/84 so much better than the readings I was getting at home. I will see the doctor next Monday, moved up a few days from my original next appointment.

My OB is also moving my scheduled C-section from July 25th to July 21st (she thinks with my BP elevated that it would be nice to get me to 37 weeks and not push it to the end of the week). With the way I’m feeling, I’m not complaining, my body is not feeling at all like my own.

I literally feel like I’ve zipped on a Sumo wrestling suit, I can’t touch my feet barely, put on socks, pull on my pants or bend over to pick anything up. But, this temporary discomfort is all for the two miracles who are arriving very soon!

Bump at 35 weeks 4 days

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Happy Friday!
xoxo

34 weeks

Tomorrow is July, July is the twins birth month!!! Crazy, can’t believe it’s almost here. Baby A is still breech so we have our C-section scheduled for July 25th, but my OB continues to say that she doesn’t think I’ll make it to that day. On July 25th I’ll be 37 weeks and 5 days.

Overall, I really can’t complain too much about my pregnancy, but my body is definitely feeling like it’s getting towards the end of the road. My carpal tunnel is pretty intense now, pretty much 24/7 numbness, so I’ve really cut back at work. And the newest, not favorable symptoms have been rapid weight gain and severe lower body swelling. Luckily, my blood pressure is still okay. My doctor says the swelling is my body’s way of saying I need to take it easy, she wants me to stop working after this week, but I think with my light schedule I should be able to finish up the week after as well.

I think I’ve almost doubled my total weight gain in the last month. To help with the swelling I’m wearing compression socks to work (not sure if they are helping, see photo below!), sitting in a tub of cold water in the evening before bed, cutting back on salty foods, and trying to keep my feet up at home as much as possible. Hope this picture doesn’t scare you.

My legs after a day of work with compression socks!

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Maya, my fur baby, snuggling up to the babies. She has been my baby for almost 12 years, she has no idea how life is going to change!

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Here’s the baby bump today, keeps getting larger!

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We had a growth check ultrasound today and received great news. Baby A is estimated to be 5 pounds 10 ounces and Baby B is estimated to be 5 pounds 7 ounces. We are thrilled at their sizes, they both seem to have my big head, so the weights may be a little overestimated! Baby A continues to be sitting right on my cervix so the C-section will still be the way to go.

Back to the OB on Thursday for another routine check and NST. No plans for our Fourth of July this year yet, maybe just a small BBQ at home with friends. Happy and safe 4th everyone!

xoxo

Carrot Cake and Updates

Wow….is this weekend really the official start of summer?! Where has 2014 gone so far? I know I say this in every post, but I really can’t believe how fast the year is going.

I’m in the middle of my 32nd week and I’m definitely feeling like I’m in the home stretch of the pregnancy. The carpal tunnel is getting worse and I’ve really had to cut back at work and the swelling and edema is setting in. My hands don’t feel like themselves and I look down at my legs and see huge cankles and swollen feet. We’ve wanted these precious babies for so long that I’m trying not to complain, but it’s hard when your body doesn’t feel like it’s own.

32 weeks 4 days, getting much bigger!
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Today I had my first non-stress test (NST) and will have one with the rest of my remaining OB appointments. I was hooked to fetal heart monitors and the doctor is looking for an acceleration of heart rate twice in twenty minutes to indicate that the babies are doing well. Well, the little girls weren’t being so cooperative today, they were being “sleepy”, so I had to be hooked up two different times to get the desired reading. The nurse used a buzzer like apparatus to jolt the babies into the acceleration, it was amazing how much that buzz woke them up! The other mamas having NSTs with singletons seemed to have had loud, clear heart beat sounds and mine were definitely harder to distinguish.

Since the most important things in life right now are keeping the babies in for as long as possible and working as long as I can, Hubby is really emphasizing that I take it easy and cut back on household stuff, etc as much as possible (Hubby has even curled my hair twice for me!). Therefore, I haven’t been in the kitchen cooking as much as I’d like. But, I had book club this past weekend and was really craving carrot cake. The recipe below is from one of my friends from dental school and it’s a “can’t go wrong” recipe that always turns out as long as you follow the suggestions.

Carrot Cake

Beat:
-4 eggs (for at least 5 minutes, until light in color)
-Add 2 cups sugar (add slowly)
-Add 1 cup oil (add slowly)

Add:
-2 cups flour (add slowly)
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt

Shred 3 cups of raw carrots and mix by hand into batter. Bake in greased pan at 300 degrees for 1 hour (check and bake longer if needed)

Cream Cheese Frosting

Mix:

-1 cube softened butter (1/2 cup)
-1 eight ounce package of cream cheese (softened)
-1 box powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste instead)

Beat with mixer until smooth and creamy.

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Hope you enjoy this easy and yummy recipe! Happy Start of Summer!

Things are coming together…..31 weeks

Hubby and I feel like things are logistically ready…….nursery is pretty much ready to go, we have plenty of diapers, wipes, and ointment (if needed) and baby formula (we decided to go with Hipp formula from the UK) is on its way.  Mentally though, we have not fully comprehended that the baby girls are arriving in a matter of weeks, 7 at most!  We have prayed, hoped and wished for these babies for so long, it’s just hard to imagine that our prayers, hopes and wishes are coming true and that we are going to be parents.  Our lives will never be the same, in the most amazing way imaginable.

Earlier this spring we took a multiples class at the hospital we will be delivering at and many of the couples have had their twins already.  Some carried to term or close and have had smooth deliveries, others have had bumps in the road but are still doing well.  One couple from our class delivered their twins at 31 weeks because Mom had HELLP syndrome and had to have emergency surgery, the girls are under 3 pounds and will be in the NICU for a couple of months.  I hope that all of the twins here and coming from our class will be healthy and happy.

We feel very lucky that things are going smoothly for my own pregnancy at this time.  I have a bad case of carpal tunnel and work is definitely challenging, but overall, I’m doing well and the girls are growing big and strong.  We had another growth ultrasound this past Friday and they are doing great, Baby A is estimated to be 3 lbs. 14 ounces and Baby B is estimated to be 3 lbs. 12 ounces.  We were hoping they would be around 3 pounds for this appointment, so we were thrilled to  hear that both are almost 4 pounds.  Both babies are now breach, so unless the moxa stick, which I mentioned in my last post works a miracle, I will be having a C-section.  I think a vaginal delivery would probably mean an easier recovery since I’ll only be off work for 6-7 weeks, but whatever method it takes to bring these girls safely into this world, I will be happy.

I feel like I’ve had a very quick pregnancy, July is just around the corner.  In fact, this whole year is just flying by….I hope the weeks I have off work at home with Hubby and the girls will go by slowly.  I will want to relish my time with them, we are very lucky to have to eager grandmothers who are just waiting to help us out!  We feel lucky to be surrounded by such loving and supportive family and friends.

 

31 weeks

31 weeks

 

Nursery

Nursery

My mother-in-law made the pillow cases and window panels.  I wish I could sew!

Cribs and changing table

Cribs and changing table

 

Stockpile of diapers and wipes

Stockpile of diapers and wipes

 

Baby Shower #3

Baby Shower #3

 

The picture above was from the shower my Mom, best friend and her Mom threw for me in my home town.  My Mom placed this picture of me on the dessert table from when I was a baby and included the same stuffed animals on the table as well.  Oh….and these cupcakes were so yummy, who doesn’t love cream cheese frosting?!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekends!  Next weekend will be a special day for Dads, I can’t wait to see Hubby as a Dad!

xoxo

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