Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What a ride! (The story of how it began.)

This is a story of a starter family. One were nothing seemed to be "typical." At least when it comes to the stereotypical "birth" and "welcome home baby" and all of the supposed development milestones. But I guess all families of multiples can say as such. You throw out the baby book and it's timelines and expectations...and learn each day for yourself.

Sound like venting yet? Just wait. Take 2 years of getting bare minimum sleep (and disrupted REM sleep) and add constant craziness of being a stay-at-home-mom throughout the day, and you'll start sounding like me. You're lucky I don't have a twitch. ;)

My husband and I married young, at around 24, and got pregnant (naturally) half a year later. We soon found out that we were going to have twin boys! as surprising as that sounds to most people, we half expected the possibility because my grandmother was a twin herself. The babies were born one month after moving into our first house together.

The ultrasound technician always mentioned toward the latter half of the pregnancy that Sam's femur was shorter than his brother's (and I mostly didn't worry because they were fraternal).

By 31 weeks, I was getting Braxton Hicks. Every 15 minutes. That was so uncomfortable, especially at night! I would barely breath. 

32 weeks in, My obgyn found out that I was 2cm dilated and was worried about preterm labor. She set me up to have another NST and a doctor check-up 2 days later, when I would showed signs of contractions every 8 minutes.  At that point, I was admitted into the Labor Center to stop the contractions, and I spent the day receiving shots and steroids to help the boys' lungs develop faster just in case I was to deliver anyways.

At the level II ultrasound while 33 weeks pregnant, the doctors found that Sam was around 2 pounds and 11 oz and Jake was 3 pounds 15 oz and that Sam's placenta was starting to actually revert in blood-supplying performance. The doctor says that because he didn't really gain anything all week and the Doppler showed a weaker supply than his brother, it was possible that keeping him in there longer just for the sake of maturation could actually cause more problems (and possibly death) if kept in there long enough. He recommended a C-section THAT NIGHT or the next day. They would be delivered 6 weeks early.

Still in shock, we waited for my regular obgyn to give me a call that she had the same opinion of an early delivery as the ultrasound doctor. Freaking out (and I mean FREAKING OUT), we got our affairs in order that evening and Thursday 10/28, I was C-sectioned at 8am. Talk about modesty going out the window! I had a whole team of people there to greet and whisk away the little ones.
jake and sam
Both born at the end of October in the morning, little Samuel (2Ibs 13oz) and Jacob (4Ibs 1 oz)!

I did not get to see the boys until later that night, which greatly saddened me (and still does). I wouldn't even get to hold them until a week later.

Baby Sam, even though a pound smaller, breathed well on his own and immediately went into an incubator, while his brother Jake was on a breathing machine with oxygen for many days in the NICU. My husband's company actually invented that breathing mask. We always joke that little Sam must have stolen all of the steroids the week before birth because his bigger brother starved him in the womb. It hurt to see the many wires, IV's and oxygen or feeding tubes running into the little guys. I ached that I wouldn't get that opportunity to just hold them after birth and bond with them.I had no idea what Jake looked like behind that mask until when he was well enough to have just the small oxygen tube.

Sam came home just in time for Thanksgiving. He only stayed a month in the NICU, while his brother kept having breathing episodes and would be forced to stay another 5 days...multiple times. He finally came home after 1.5 months, just in time for my December birthday.

Would you believe me if I told you that Sam came home from the hospital a whopping 4 pounds and only drank 40cc? 
Sam, home at last for Thanksgiving.

Jake, still in the NICU.

Jake came home with an apnea monitor, and did fine overeall, whereas Sam developed severe acid reflux...so sever that he would suffocate through his nose and mouth! The first time that happened, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that horrible, horrible sight of him refluxing like that and I panicked. I was alone at the time (my husband was out of town) and I ran downstairs with him and pulled out the suction bulb the hospital sent me home with, which saved his life. I don't know if he would be around today if it weren't for that little piece of plastic. He would continue to do this at random hours to the point that my husband and I stayed up around the clock until we could get him on a machine as well. We didn't sleep more than 3 hours then. There is nothing like catching a baby in the state in the middle of the night, by chance. Or perhaps by an act of God. It's one of the scariest feelings in the world knowing that you have no control and don't know when it will strike again.
That pacifier is half the size of his face!
Oh the cords, oh the cords!! They eventually were both on those machines. What a tangle-y mess and alarms going off and waking up what little sleep they had. Picture going anywhere with twins. With baby carriers. With apnea machines. With a diaper bag! You can imagine that we didn't get out for months! Plus, they would only sleep 15 minutes at a time! They slept in those Fisher Price rockers until 6 months of life!

Sam outgrew his reflux after 7 months, which seemed like eternity!  If you were curious as to what Colic really is...it's mostly likely Acid Reflux. So I had a crabby and suffering baby for 7 months, as well as another baby to care for while feeling guilty that the attention wasn't spent evenly. Well, now look who craves attention?

The boys started walking at 12 months old, and Jake started climbing at 12 months old. Funny, but not. Really not. REALLY, REALLY not funny at this house. It's that constant climbing of anything and everything despite talking calmly to him, time-outs and whatever you can throw at him. He still does it at 26 months. Anything and everything. It's very, very hard to deal with. He learned to climb out of his crib around 16 months and is one of those "strong-willed" kids that will not listen and will not stay in their cribs with training. We baby-gated the crap out of our house because of this. I've been staying in their rooms since then, until Jake falls asleep. Sam will eventually go to sleep on his own.  I've thrown out that baby book long ago about what to expect and how long it takes to train them on sleeping and such things.They said it could take a week. COUGH, you mean a year or more??

Speaking of sleep. What is sleep? Really. I hate hearing those moms who complain about their kids waking up once or twice. Or that it took them a WHOLE MONTH to train them to sleep all through the night. My kids would wake up constantly. Jake would get to the point where he would wake up once an hour when he was around 12 months old and even 18 months. At one point around 12 months, they would scream bloody murder when it was time to put them in the crib, as if they were terrified of it. Jake would cry at me trying to sooth him to sleep with a lullaby (and I'm a singer). That was painful. They still go through cycles. They will eventually get to the point where they sleep 2 days through the night (but I've learned by now that it is the calm before the storm), and then wake up twice a night and vary night to night until they finally (finally!) get back to that 2-3 nights of sleeping all the way through. Just to spite you.

But they are cuties, and they have completely different personalities and a great sense of humor. Jake is already starting to say alphabet letters and they know all of their body parts and about 5 colors. They may be behind in speech, but they are spart in any ways. Sam will organize and Jake will reprogram your DVD-R so that the caption is off (I couldn't figure that out!) or unlock your 4 digit code on your phone (this happened twice...two separate phones!).  I swear, this little boy is a techie junky and will be some sort of hacker. They both learned how to say "remote," (or "mote")"TV" "DVD," "CD" "phone" by 20 months.

FLASH FORWARD: The boys are now healthy 2 years olds who throws their 2-year old tantrums and live to drive mommy insane (of course), and that is where I will start this blog journey. This is my documentation of our family, our crazy life and our goal to live healthy and happy lives. Hop on board! Just make sure you're strapped in.

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