Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Girls Are Out!

This past Tuesday, November 3rd, the girls were born at 11:55 & 11:58 am via a c-section. Cesar wasn't too sure he wanted to be in the delivery/operating room with me. It has been a teeny weeny source of contention between us. Driving up to the hospital that morning Cesar asked, "So what's happening with the delivery?" Translation: May I be off the hook for that portion of the day? Pretty Please!? My answer, "We've already discussed this." The van was silent for a few clicks down the highway.

I had been pretty calm the week before the section, knowing that I was soon to be cut open. But, but, but... once in that cold OR, I kinda freaked. I did make it through the spinal before my meltdown began. It hurt. Then I cried and shook and didn't believe the spinal would work and I'd feel every slice of the knife... Why couldn't they just knock me out? A woman stuck her face in front of mine to keep eye contact with me. She rubbed my arm. She used a pin over and over to prove to me that my body really was numbing up and that I wouldn't feel a thing more than some tugging and possibly pressure. She knew I didn't believe her. She hollered out questions as to why there was a hold up. She knew I was turning into a ticking time bomb stretched out on the table like I was, and might soon blow. I knew I was freaking out. Panic mode was taking over. I began to wonder if Cesar had been right all along, that he shouldn't see me this way. I was about to request that they not bring him into the room when suddenly he appeared, replacing the kind woman. Instantly I felt better. I still cried and I was still frightened but I was so happy to see my husband. He held my hand and looked at me with soft eyes. He tried to crack jokes - they weren't funny. In their own way, they did help. Cesar was there and he was excited and little boy like.

We were told the cutting had begun, they were going in. I did feel tugging and I did feel a whole lot of pressure. My lungs were being squeezed and smooshed like never before. I gasped for breath. Baby A was out and she was screaming. Loud! When I heard her cries I was so, so happy that I hadn't been knocked out. I cried happy tears. More tugging and pulling and soon Baby B was out. I have felt like I already know who is who within my womb for a long while now. I was concerned that the girls wouldn't be pulled out as the Baby A and the Baby B I've come to know these past months. The doc assured me that they were taken out in the order which we were both familiar with. The birth orders do get changed up, whoever pops out first is forever know as Baby A, or the older one. Anyway, my Baby A and Baby B retained their womb identity's after birth. As each daughter of mine was brought over by her nurse my first impression of them was how much they looked like their big brother. Feminine versions of Hugo obviously, but still, I saw so very much of him in their faces, minus his jet black birth hair! Their hair is a light brown color. I couldn't wait to see the girls side by side to take in how much they looked alike, my first impression was - a lot.

And their Papa? He would leave me and check on Baby A and take pictures then come back to my side to fill me in. Once Baby B was out I was left in the dust again as he eagerly went to her side. He came back smiling and told me all about her. He didn't sit. He remained standing and watched the girls being cleaned and weighed in their two isolettes by their NICU teams. Cesar also watched me get stitched up. Silly husband. No cord cutting as he thought he'd like to do after Hugo was born. He simply watched me sewn back together.

Marlo Amalia weighed 4lbs. 11 oz.

Sabine Luvenia weighed 5lbs. 8oz.

Marlo

My recovery was on the messy and long side. I didn't get to see the girls until 10ish that night.

Sabine

Sabine

The view out my hospital room window late one afternoon. I heard the helicopter buzzing past a lot. It was a happy/sad sound. It made me think of how lucky Cesar and I are. How all the pregnancy drama is mostly over and we will hopefully soon have concrete answers as to what is happening physically with our girls. They look so, so healthy. Neither of them needed oxygen after birth. They were in two different nurseries, up one floor from me, in the NICU. Their isolettes were open to the air when I first saw them. Marlo still hadn't been fully bathed and she was messsssy. She wanted to sleep. They didn't want to disturb her because she needed the rest from the trauma of birth so, no real bath for Miss Marlo until day 2.

Marlo

Marlo has surprised us all. She was the babe who was the cause of concern within my tummy. She is positive for the blood antibody. They went back and forth on whether to transfuse her or not, for days. Finally, the decision was made that she is doing well and does not need a transfusion. I'll believe it wont happen once we finally have her home with us. She may have to go under some photo therapy treatment but other wise is doing great. She is a total pig with her bottles. She is allowed as much nursing and formula as she'll take. Her body hasn't completely gotten the rhythm of maintaining its body temperature so she is under minimal heat in her isolette.

A nurse explained to me yesterday that the smaller babies, who are considered to be stressed within the womb, usually find the outside world much less stressful and will thrive. Where as, the larger babies are obviously content with life in the womb and find their new outside digs to be more stressful and have a slower go with their new environment. This is the pattern which our two girls have fallen into.

Sabine

Miss Sabine is chubby and sassy. She kicks her legs about and swings her arms all over! She loves to make eye contact with you. Cesar has nicknamed her the grumpy one and Marlo the angel baby, we'll see if these nick names stick. I like Sabine's chubby cheeked, toad like stare! The nurses nicknamed her the Gerber baby.

Health wise, Sabine is strong and just fine. She was born with a large, dark birthmark on the outside of her left leg near her knee. We don't know if it will lighten or grow or change at all. Her main trouble is that she has become lazy with her bottles. The nurses say that her body can't decide whether to put their energy into keeping her warm, or sucking down her milk. For this reason she was put back under heat and a feeding tube was placed in her nose down to her stomach. The docs have gone back and forth with her progress. Telling me in the evening that the following day she'd be released to the term nursery only to discover during my morning visit that she was still in Nursery 5. Her sister was moved from Nursery 4 to Nursery 6 on Thursday, it's a step down unit. Good girl Marlo! I couldn't wait for Sabine to join her. It has been strange for me having them in different nurseries on different feed schedules with different issues and different docs. Trying to care for myself at the same time has been tiring. I need rest, to eat, to walk, to rest, to pump, to drink lots of fluids and to smooch, hold, feed, learn about and love on our girls. All is happy but my emotions are right, right there under the surface waiting to expose myself and how tired and scared I really am.

Angel Baby Marlo

I did have two meltdowns. The first happened in the hallway near my room one fabulous afternoon. I was asked to take a wheelchair on my next visit up to see the girls. The nurses were afraid I was physically over doing it and would pay the next day. The wheelchair is frustrating because I have to buzz for a nurse and request a chair and then, someone has to push me up to the 7th floor. Kinda embarrassing. I am an obedient girl though, so I did as I was asked. A nurse went in search of a chair for me, she was gone a long time. I sat on my bed and waited. I stood at the door and peeped outside through a crack as I waited. Finally I stood around in the hallway looking this way and that for her return. Once she appeared with a chair I sat my fanny down and suddenly another nurse, who I haven't seen before, busted out a doorway down the hall and demanded I give up my chair for her patient whose taxi was waiting downstairs. So, I thought. Why couldn't that nurse find her patient her own chair? The discussion was flying about my head. I kept starring at the clock watching the countdown to my daughter's nursing window pass me by. More nurses arrived hearing the scuttle happening in the hall. I couldn't understand what the big deal was. I was simply doing what I had been asked to do and I just wanted to be wheeled upstairs so I could feed my girl. A nurse made eye contact with me at one point and my eyes sprung a leak, a leak like Niagra Falls. It was awful. It just wouldn't stop. I did win the chair though. In the end, the patient wanted to walk. We bumped into her at the elevator, her and that nasty nurse. Once upstairs, I did get to feed Sabine. And I did cry off and on for the rest of the day over the smallest of things. My nurse was sent to check me out for a psyche evaluation. All I could think was that I had just experienced an early c-section with twins who are up in the NICU people! I should be allowed to be hormonal and emotional and cry if I want too! For awhile even!

The second cry fest happened on Friday afternoon. I walked into Nursery 6 for Marlo's feeding time. Her nurse was finishing up with her vital signs so I remained standing and glanced about the room at Marlo's neighbors. I noticed that the isolette across from her had one of my flannel blankets on it. We are welcome to bring clothing, blankets, hats and a single, small toy of our own for our children to wear and possibly look at. The nurseries have lots of clothes, hats and blankets which they supply for children whose parents were surprised by their arrival or for whatever reason, don't have anything of their own in the hospital. Church groups and families have been very generous with their donations for these teeny tiny babes. The items are all adorable and beautifully made, I've enjoyed looking at all the knitted and quilted items. I have to mention that the girls hats I knitted were the talk of the entire NICU floor. Once life at home settles, I have a goal of knitting a bunch of the heart hats up for donation. Back to the cry fest... So, I saw the blanket and thought fine, no big deal, I'll mention it later to her nurse. Looked back at Marlo, the nurse was still doing her thing. Looked around the room again and my eyes settle on the isolette across from Marlo. Wasn't that one of my gray hats up on top of my flannel blanket covering the isolette lid? Does Marlo have her hat on? I bent down and looked at her. Yup, gray hat was covering up her head. What does that mean? How did the 2nd gray hat get in here? It should be in Nursery 5 with chubby cheeked Miss Sabine. I walked over to the isolette in question and peeped inside. My eyes widened with surprise at the realization that this was baby! That's Sabine in there! Wouldn't you think the nurses would have told me the good news once I entered the nursery???? Don't get me wrong about the nurses. One nurse is nicer than the next in this hospital, I've been very impressed and grateful for myself and the girls. Except for that nasty, wheelchair highjacking nurse. I still don't like her. Back on subject though. I saw our Sabine and it was happy Niagra Falls tear time all over again for me. Our girls were near each other. Finally, finally, finally. So strange having them apart like they had been the past few days. Days which really felt like weeks for me.

Chubby cheeked Sabine in her heart hat.

Sabine

Sabine in a donated outfit.

View out the windows in the nurses lounge. I spied the glorious sunshine lighting up the trees and buildings while walking back to my room, which is right next door but does not have this view, on Friday. I asked permission to enter and took some photos. The light and early winter sky hit me in a breath taking sort of way. I could have sat their and enjoyed it for a long, long while, but I didn't. I was a good girl and went to my room for a nap before dinner. I've been told by friends that it has been a cold week outside. I've been in hospital twilight zone as far as weather or television news is concerned. Focused on healing and being close by with our babies as much as possible.

Cesar and Miss Marlo

This was taken Saturday afternoon. Discharge day for me and only me. I nursed and bottle fed both girls. Sabine didn't take very much by bottle, the rest was given through her feeding tube. I held her as she slept wrapped up snug in her blanket and received her milk. The girls are both good burpers and thank heavens for that because Hugo was horrible at burping. He preferred to barf all over me and anyone else near by. The girls both smile all the time. It may just be gas, as I'm sure my Mother will tell me it is, but I'm taking these first smiles as a sign that they recognize our voices and are happy to be a family of 5.

Marlo is eating while Sabine sleeps away behind her.

Miss Marlo

Papa and Marlo

Marlo

Proud Papa Cesar wore his hospital bracelets with pride to work all week long.

Sabine is to the left and Marlo is on the right.

Papa and Sabine

10 comments:

Audra said...

Congratulations, Ali! The girls are both just Beautiful!! I love their names, too. We look forward to watching them grow, and someday show them some cows. :) I was tearing up reading your birth story. It wasn't that long ago for me, and your account brings it all back. I can't imagine little twins, but I know you are a wonderful compassionate mother and they are in the best hands. Congratulate Cesar and Big Brother Hugo for us, too!

Lora said...

Oh my!!! Congrats Alissa! What a beautiful sight. I have been checking everyday to catch a glipse of these precious babes and hear your story. I definitely see Hugo in the girls. What a fabulous family. God bless you.

Roxi and Ephraim's Family said...

Oh we are so happy and relieved that you have the babies!!! They look beautiful! Congratulations to you and Cesar!

L. S. Smathers Family said...

OH Ali, CONGRATULATIONS!!

Your girls are beautiful and their names are just darling.
C-section recovery is tough but you'll be ok. Accept lots of help and we'll send good thoughts for a speedy recovery your way from the other side of the globe!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Maggie May said...

Ali, I couldn't read the operation stuff. I'm with Cesar, man. I start to freak out myself. I'm glad though that it's all over and that you & the twins are doing great. The pics are great too--the infant faces are so tiny and precious and funny looking all at once. Can't wait to see how adorable they'll be when they're running around like Hugo (I think I'm scared of infants!).

Lizzie Bingham said...

Ok, officially going to eat salad the rest of my pregnancy so I don't have another big baby and run the risk of a C-section. Scary! Good job, Ali. Sounds like you are holding up remarkably! It'll be so nice with mom's help there too. Get some rest! I had a big-wig nurse tell me that's how you avoid post-partum, so get some rest! love you

Piques said...

I love all the photos. You have got to get some up on them the family site. The one on there of Marlo does not do her justice. These girls are so beautiful. And tiny. And teeny. Teeny Tiny! Strange isn't it that they were in your tummy looking like that and now here they are wearing hats. You know what I mean? We are all sending love and good wishes your way!

K May said...

Loved all the pictures, thanks!! Please keep posting them. They look darling. It will be fun to here more about them and their personalities and spunk.

Murdoch said...

Congratulations! What beautiful babies! We are so glad they are out and healthy.

Megan

Jennifer said...

Well done, mamita! Love to all!