Zoey & Ella, Born 05/31/17

the twins have arrived :) at 6:24 and 6:32 PM on wednesday, 5/31, zoey rey and ella joyce were born, weighing 4 lbs 13 oz, and 5 lbs 5oz. both are unbelievably adorable, and have dark fuzzy hair. so tiny.

we didn’t know if they would come before i was supposed to be induced (36 weeks, 5 days), but they waited it out for us.

the morning before, i decided i was going to plan the day around caylin. we woke up early and i took her to dunkin donuts to pick up a donut. she went off to school, and i picked her up a little early that afternoon to take her for frozen yogurt. i asked her what she wanted to do after and she said she wanted to pick out clothes for the babies (meaning go to target and look at baby clothes), so we did. told her if she was good i’d buy her some silly putty (obsessed, still). we got a couple baby onesies and some other random things. got her a new water gun since hers broke the other day. spoiled her, because i knew the next week was going to be a hell of a change for her. we went to mom’s since caylin was staying there that night. hung out at mom’s house for a bit before saying a 12-hug goodbye to my only babygirl. more tears. a lot of tears have been shed the last week or 2. the next time i’d see her i’d have 2 more babies in my arms.

i drove home and it was eerily quiet. brett and i packed and got everything cleaned up and ready. random finishing touches around the house for the babies. got the guest room ready since dad would be staying with us for a week. we went to bed relatively early, like 10:30-11ish. i was so anxious and so uncomfortable. i slept maybe 3-4 hours. was up at 3, and stayed up until we left for the hospital at 6. 3rd hospital trip of the week. we were ready to make this our last trip.

we got all checked in and paperwork done. gown on, in the bed, vitals checked. baby and contraction monitors wrapped all around me waiting to get consistent heartbeats before we could start the pitocin to be induced.

i wasn’t induced with caylin, so i had no idea what to expect. or how long it would take. i guess no one really does, since every birth is different. but i certainly didn’t expect it to take from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM. that is a long time without food, considering my last meal was at 6:30 the night before. not allowed to eat 12 hours before induction due to risk of c-section, because twins. so. that was fun. we spent the day watching ESPN and eating jolly ranchers. well, i ate jolly ranchers. brett had hospital food and idk what else. i’ll admit i snuck 2 bites of granola bar to fend off the nausea before the nurse could give me nausea meds. those were amazing.

i was already 2 cm dilated when they started me on the pitocin at 8:40, and was not having painful contractions at all. nurse said to wait for a few contractions at regular intervals before putting me on the epidural. i waited and waited for the painful contractions to set in, but nothing. just pressure. waited until 11:30 and finally asked for the epidural–wanted to go ahead and get it over with. at that point brett had gone to grab a burger, so it was me and the nurses and the anesthesiologist. that guy was awesome. i barely felt anything, aside from the tickle of the pressure of the needle/line. far better than last time, when the guy sneezed in the middle of it. the nurses were amazing through all of it, specifically the one holding me up on the table keeping me from falling over and talking me through it all. i was shaking i was so nervous. again.

i guess i had suppressed memories of how bad the epidural makes you itch, however. especially my neck and arms. within minutes i was like, holy shit, it’s everywhere. my whole right side went numb a lot faster than my left, despite changing positions multiple times. and it stayed that way through the delivery and through the night. right side was totally dead. was so weird. but it all went fine.

dad showed up and hung out from around lunch time until we had to deliver, which was awesome. and so did brett’s mom and grandma. it had already been a long day so it was good to have distractions. dad left nice notes on the whiteboard.

a little after 4, things started progressing a lot more quickly. the contractions weren’t painful, because epidural (and i was lucky enough to go the whole labor without feeling a single one that hurt), but my body knew what was up. the nausea set in again, but this time because of pain. just like last time when i threw up in the middle of pushing caylin out. even when you’re numb, your brain knows WTF is going on. i asked the nurses for some puke bags just in time.

these things are awesome. to hell with puking in the toilet or a paper bag. these are amazing.

shortly after throwing up, they told me we could start getting ready to go to the ER. family members vacated the premises. mom and caylin were still on their way to the hospital. brett got suited up in scrubs–he was pretty excited about this part alone. my doctor was coming in every few minutes with a status update, letting us know the OR was almost ready. i didn’t realize it was literally right across the hall from my room. they didn’t give me scrubs but i did have to wear a hair net thing.

caylin also had scrubs ;)

i stole a puke bag to take home. and then i forgot to actually take it home 3 days later.

we look pretty sweet all scrubbed up.

they rolled me into the OR around 5:30, and brett stayed in the other room until everything was ready. had to get me moved from 1 bed to the other. stirrups/leg holding things had to be adjusted about 4 times. a million other things apparently had to be adjusted. the nurses were hilarious. they weren’t kidding when they told me i’d be surrounded. 2 babies means even more people in the room. there were probably 6+ nurses. the anesthesiologist was in there. my doctor. a surgeon. another doctor. i lost count after a while, and felt like i kept seeing new faces the whole time.

you’d think after 1 baby in the books, and the last few months of 2+ doctor visits a week, that i’d be comfortable with people seeing me in this state, but i am not. at all. luckily, my doctor knows how uncomfortable i am and was constantly telling other nurses/doctors to keep me covered up.

finally, everything was ready. they let brett come in and sit with me. it was probably 5:45-5:50ish when they told me i could start pushing. doc was watching contractions on the monitor. with every contraction it was 3 rounds of deep breath + push, rest. i liked this process better than with caylin’s delivery. granted, with hers i was in and out of consciousness and threw up several times. this was much more methodical and i had already thrown up everything i could.

30ish minutes of that passed, and zoey was born. brett and the doctors were checking her out, and the adventure to get ella out began. this is when things get fuzzy for me. the pain was very real, despite the epidural. zoey was head down, but ella was transverse, AKA laying horizontally above zoey. the doctor had to reach in, grab her feet, and pull her out. forceps were involved, and a lot of pulling. i literally had one nurse on top of me pushing my stomach to help push ella down, not unlike a tube of toothpaste. one nurse helping me push. my doctor in front of me maneuvering ella’s body. i could see my doc’s hand inside of me on the ultrasound screen while she was pulling ella out. looked like something out of a weird scifi movie. other doc was over her shoulder providing additional guidance. 8 minutes of that later, ella was born. i hemorrhaged almost immediately, lost about a liter of blood. so glad i saw none of this.

while they were all cleaning up and the doctor was stitching me back together, they finally let me hold zoey. that’s when the tears started. i lost it. i also sat up (with a lot of help), and threw up again. a lot of pain. a lot of emotions. a lot of hormones. it was inevitable.

they got me back on the other bed and wheeled me back to the other room to see family and rest and wait for the babies before getting cleaned up. caylin and mom got there, and i can’t imagine what caylin thought when she saw me. she could tell i’d been crying. lots of hugs, and she crawled up into the bed with me while we waited. i was still nauseated and amped up. i couldn’t stop shaking. so much shaking. nerves. anxiety. fear. and then the nurse gave me different meds for my nausea. i forget the name, but i could feel the wave of the meds hitting me all at once. apparently, i didn’t react the way i was supposed to. the nausea went away, but some freak side effects started to set in. i couldn’t see straight. i was shaking even worse. i couldn’t keep my eyes open. i couldn’t remember from one moment to the next. couldn’t speak well. family was all around talking to me and i felt like i was on a bad trip. the nurse brought the babies in, and brett’s mom got some great photos of us all together. it was all i could do to focus all my energy into holding them and being even remotely coherent. i don’t think anyone realized just how messed up i was. and i kept trying to tell brett and the nurses but it wasn’t coming out right. so frustrating. and more than anything it scared the shit out of me because i had no idea what was going on.

brett asked our families to leave after they saw the babies. i was too messed up. caylin gave me lots of hugs and i remember feeling so bad when she had to leave. the nurses wheeled me up to the next room. i could barely get in the wheelchair. couldn’t do the scooter thing they put you on to help you go to the bathroom. couldn’t do a damn thing, really, except shake and cry and try to awkwardly keep my head upright and my eyes open. finally they let me lay down and the babies were brought in. still on a bad trip. shitload of pain. it was a rough few hours after.

this lasted for a while, and finally shifts changed and we got a less bitchy nurse who realized just how messed up i was. they gave me my pain meds and i was finally able to get some rest. the fog lasted long after i woke up.

nurses were in and out throughout the next 2 nights/days. we got really happy when in walked the same nurse we had with caylin. she was amazing last time, amazing this time. i wanted to take her home with us. i was able to shower and eat (hospital food, but food nonetheless) and i could finally carry a conversation without feeling drugged up. the babies were happy and healthy and we leaned heavily on susan, just like last time, to guide us through caring for twins this time.

caylin and mom were able to visit that afternoon, and caylin was already in love with the babies since she got to see them the night before. she’s been so excited for months, and she finally got to hold them and feed them. such a proud big sister.

the next 2 days are just a blur. every hour, someone was in our room. whether it was for the babies, to check on me, to bring food, bring more supplies… something. babies were eating every 3 hours. i was taking pills every 4 hours. checking vitals every couple hours. babies getting blood checked every 3 hours. it felt like i had to pee every 10 minutes simply because of all the IV fluid they pumped into me (so so swollen from my hips to my feet), so i spent a lot of time trying to waddle my way around the room without hurting myself. thank god for the pain meds. showering was a bit scary the first 1-2 times because i was still a little dizzy and out of it, and it was still really hard to move around without hurting myself in one way or another.

meanwhile, dad stayed at our house while we were in the hospital and a couple days after that. he installed a fan in the twins’ room, bought groceries, brought us a lasagna and pot roast and hash brown casserole that my stepmom made, rearranged our medicine cabinet, bought us a new set of silverware and cleaned out our drawers, made a few random repairs around the house, trimmed the hedges, cleaned, took care of caylin for a couple nights. i wasn’t expecting any of that, but i was so happy to have him here for more than just a night or 2. i don’t get to see him enough.

finally, on 6/3, we were able to get discharged. turned in all the paperwork, signed all the things, watched the baby CPR video. packed all our crap, including as many packs of diapers/wipes/formula we were able to cram into our luggage. got wheeled out of there, squished the babies into their car seats, and went home.

we are now on day 12 of this we-have-3-kids adventure. it is quite terrifying, and surreal. every once in a while i will stop and look and think… holy shit… there are 3 of them now. it’s weird, because i never imagined this in a million years. if you told 18 year old me i’d have 3 kids, let alone any kids, i’d tell you you were out of your mind. but here we are.

the twins have been through 3 photoshoots already, if you can believe it. one of which was with caylin. almost too much cute for the internet to handle.

the babies are sleeping 3-4 hours at a time at night (sleeping well, i might add). AND IT’S INCREDIBLE. i’m getting more sleep than i have in months. we’re keeping them on a 3 hour eat/sleep schedule during the day. until the last 2 days or so they’d been sleeping great during the day, too, but they’ve been really restless over the weekend. takes like an hour of rocking to get them to sleep sometimes, but, that means extra cuddles. still frustrating at times. as long as we keep them on the same schedule, some sanity is saved :)

caylin is adjusting. that might be the hardest part so far. she is 4 and a half, after all, so “gentle” doesn’t really register with her (she wants to touch them constantly). and neither does quiet time. and she’s always had a hard time playing by herself for any amount of time. and lately, doing what she’s told has been an issue. so it’s a process. i feel bad sometimes, because we can’t pay her the same amount of attention. like hour long bedtime routines. i already miss that. but we’re trying to keep her busy, and also let her help out where she can, because she really likes helping us with her sisters. as long as we keep her involved, i think we’ll be ok. the weekends, as always, will be the hardest. just keeping her occupied.

with regards to recovery, i’m almost there. the birth was pretty ridiculous, so it’s definitely going to take a lot longer this time before i’m 100%. but we left the hospital on 6/3, and i was back in the gym by 6/5. jump rope and running and pullups were rough so i had to scale back a bit for a couple days, but they’re all comfortable now. yesterday i did pullups for the first time since the babies were out, and oh man, it’s so much easier without 30 extra pounds packed on. i can’t do heavy squats, because pain. but i have a feeling i’ll be back to that within the week. or close to my max, anyway. turns out, not drinking for 8 months might have been one of the best things i’ve done for myself in a while. i’m in better shape now than i was before getting pregnant. now i need to not ruin that.

it’s almost 11am on a monday, and i’ve been trying to finish this entry since… almost 7 days ago. time flies even faster lately, and our evenings are even shorter. that might be the most noticeable difference. the days feel ridiculously long but are somehow over in the blink of an eye. have to be even pickier about how we spend our time, which has been, and will continue to be, a huge adjustment. new planning involved all around to fit in workouts, get dinner ready, housekeeping, any kind of down time in the evenings.

but like everything else, we will figure it out :) brett went back to work today, and i’m on short term disability leave until 7/9. so we have some more time to get adjusted before the schedule gets more complicated. if i’ve learned anything so far, it’s that we don’t have enough arms, keeping the babies on a schedule is crucial, amazon subscribe and save is the only way to go, and the laundry will never, ever be done. ever.