Monday, November 17, 2008

Feed, Eat, Feed, Change Nappy, Feed, Maybe Sleep, etc.

So, that is life with 2 newborns. I have just reread the previous posts and must apologize for my lack of brain cells. I know there were typos and redundant words as well as other grammatical no-nos, but I just can't be bothered to change anything. It is an actual reflection of how I am thinking right now... disjointed and random. Here are some photos from the last week I thought were cute:
Here is Abigail (holding Liam); big sister extraordinaire. She is very helpful and sings songs to the babies when they cry. She has been extremely patient as her whole world has changed. We are very lucky to have such a happy, adaptable little girl. And she was only one of 2 children in our entire primary to have her lines memorized for the Primary program. Way to go, Abby!

Here is Lily; bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and (surprise) ready to eat. She is actually pretty mellow and can fall asleep in the crib by herself and can wait a little while for her brother to finish when she's a little hungry... that is until she's had it and then she has the loudest cry in the house.

Here is Liam during a rare moment of satiation. He is constantly hungry and gulps down his milk (lucky me, eh?). He also has gas. Lots and lots of gas, poor lad. He loves to cuddle into a little ball and snuggle... especially under one's chin and he has the softest little head. Lily's shoulder still is another favourite place to lay his head.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hospital Stay and Homecoming

Liam stayed in the well-baby nursery and Lily in the NICU the rest of the hospital stay. I have such amazing and wonderful friends who were able to come and visit through the recovery (the same amazing and wonderful friends who helped my sanity by bringing me great food and movie nights and taking Abby out on play dates so she wouldn't go crazy.) The whole experience was such a double-edged sword though as I was able to feed and bond and show off Liam, Lily was hooked up to machines and wires and IVs on a different floor and I had never spent a night away from Abby before this hospital stay and I really missed her so much as well. I wished I could spend so much more time with little Lily, but I still had to be wheeled everywhere due to the weight gain and surgery and had to do it in between taking care of Liam. It was a couple of days before I could hold her and I was finally able to nurse her on Friday. She was a real trooper and latched on right away. That was a real turning point in her recovery I think... but more on that later.

Liam was a real entertainer and enjoyed all the attention I think. He nursed well at first, and then forgot what he was doing. The Nazi lactation consultant was no help whatsoever, but we eventually got back on track after a few emotional breakdowns by his mother. The water in my body started coming out every possible way it could and very often... I couldn't notice any change at first and finally, after a few days there was some change. I think that recovering from the c-section was actually a little easier than recovering from Abby's birth... not to give away too many gory details, but let's just say that it took a lot more than 6 weeks to recover from that one. Abby REALLY was so excited to meet her brother and got to hold him which was what she had been dreaming about since she found out I was pregnant. I have to give her major props for her patience.

I CANNOT tell you how nice it was to have Paul's mum here! I never had to worry about Paul or Abigail the whole time I was in hospital and she, of course, is completely in love with her new grandchildren and we are so glad that she is here to share this experience with us. Abby finally got to meet Lily on Saturday, the day Liam and I were discharged. She fell in instant love and it was such a great experience. It was still one of the hardest things I ever had to do to leave one baby at the hospital while taking the other one home. I wondered if they missed one another. We are more fortunate than most people as we live just a couple of blocks from the hospital. That would REALLY be nice over the next few days.

Lily was never too bad compared to many of the others there. The leg started looking more and more normal everyday and now, they are just a little worried about the hip joint, but we have an appointment at Children's Primary Hospital (one of the very best children's hospitals in the world) at the end of the month just to make sure it doesn't need further work. Worst case scenario: She'll need surgery, but everything is 100% fixable. The other issue she had that kept her in the NICU- the main reason- was an air bubble that was outside the lung... not uncommon. They had to wait to see if it would get bigger- which would indicate a larger issue- or get smaller. Hers stayed the same, didn't seem to affect her breathing and finally got smaller toward the end of the week. Except for the first day, she was on room air the entire time and mostly on observation. The last step was to get her to gain weight and nurse and she was finally able to come home on Monday, November 6.

When we first came home, my schedule went something like this: Feed Liam, pump, go to the hospital and feed Lily, come home and maybe eat or nap for a second, then start all over again all day and all night. My milk finally came in the day Lily came home. Paul and I were so happy to reunite our twins and have our entire little family together for the first time. At first, there didn't seem to be any difference, but as soon as it was time for them to sleep, we put them down together and they (especially Liam) cuddled up together and went straight down. They are still sleeping that way today. He loves putting his head on her shoulder and when I thought about it, that was exactly how they were in the womb for the last few months.
They are just so precious and I CANNOT believe that I- that this little body of mine- actually grew them and that we have been given this great blessing. Our family feels complete now and I am constantly overwhelmed by the amazing gifts Heavenly Father gave to us... our 3 wonderful, healthy children and amazing extended family and friends without whom we could have never done what we've done.

Birth Day!

We started the drugs to start my labor induction Monday night and by Tuesday morning, I was put on pitocin (a drug that brings on contractions)to see how that would develop. I got a very fine epidural so that alleviated the contraction pain and so we waited and waited as my cervix slowly got ready for birth. Late afternoon, baby B (Liam) started showing signs of distress and could not be roused. We had to make the difficult decision to go for a cesarean section- I say difficult, but the decision wasn't that hard because we were worried for Liam... I say difficult because I was scared to death of surgery and had very little time to get used to the idea. About 20 minutes later, I was wheeled into the OR and prepped for surgery. Paul was so amazing. He was able to peek and watch the surgery as well as be there for me at the same time.
For me, it was so weird, there was a paper barrier hung so I couldn't see what was going on (which was fine with me), but I could feel everything... and it didn't hurt. I mean, I could feel hands inside of me, I could feel the babies being maneuvered and lifted out of my body, and didn't feel pain... it was so weird. Lily still got to come out first with Liam following a minute afterward. I saw a brief glance and heard the cries of each one before they were whisked off. Paul was able to go with them as I was getting stapled back together. When I was patched up, I was wheeled to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit to see them before going to the recovery room To be honest, I was so high and so tired, this part was all a blur. I will have to have Paul tell you more about this. I don't even remember being taken to my room. I do know that Liam was taken out of the NICU and brought into the well-baby nursery and I got to nurse him and spend all night with him. It was a great surprise to his daddy to be able to hold him the next morning...
As it turned out, Liam saved all of our bacon. We didn't see it on the ultrasound,but Lily (at the gate and ready to come out first) had a leg up behind her head and a vaginal birth could have done so much more damage to her and to me... it would not have been pretty. Liam was in distress because his placenta had started pulling away and there was meconium in his water. THANK YOU LIAM! I know that Heavenly Father had heard my prayers (and many of yours as well) and helped this delivery go as smoothly as possible.

Lily Claire Baynes was born on October 28, 2008 at 5:44 pm. She was 18 inches long and weighed 5lb 7oz (although Paul swears she was 5.8 in the OR).

Liam Thomas Baynes was born on October 28, 2008 at 5:45 pm. He was 18 inches long and weighed 5lb 8oz.


I guess it's been a while since I've posted... the time has really flown for me. Let's see... Mid-October I was going for non-stress tests every weeks to make sure the babies and I were still doing well. I had really started putting on water weight to the point that I couldn't move all that well and could only sleep in my recliner. On Wednesday, October 22, my blood pressure was getting a little high and there was a little protein in my urine so they admitted me to the hospital and released me the same night. Saturday, I had another Dr. appointment and by that time, I really could not walk at all because of the water gain. I was so swollen, I could not even stand in the shower because my legs could not go together. I also could not walk without major help and it just plain hurt. I was admitted to the hospital again and again, the protein and blood pressure were not high enough to be considered pre-eclampsia and my cervix was still nearly closed, but I was gaining about 4 lbs of water PER DAY! The doctor told me that on paper, I was doing really well, but in person, I wasn't. I was unrecognizable but the doctors did not want to take the babies too early. I was told that I would be staying in the hospital until the babies were born, but I heard everything from 1 day to more than a week for the estimate. This was probably the hardest time in my life and it was really humbling not being able to even go to the bathroom without assistance. The nurses were all really kind and I think they were all trying to put their two cents in as far as how bad I really was (thanks Sarah). Finally, Monday night, the doctor came in and we (Paul, the Doctor and I) made a plan. The babies were still both head-down so we decided to try for a vaginal birth, which is what we were really hoping for, as long as it was safe for me and the babies. I weighed myself one last time and was 198 pounds. That was a total of about 90 lbs of weight gain. The average for twins is between 45 and 50. We were scared, but ready and I spent the rest of the night praying that everything would be all right.