Friday, February 27, 2015

Twin Pregnancy: Our Hospital Stay

*The story of my labor and delivery of the twins is here.*

*A post about the hours immediately following their birth is here.* 


During the first few hours after we were moved to our postpartum room, our room was super busy with hospital staff coming in and out and grandparents visiting. However, Chris's parents left at about 5:00pm (mine had already gone) and the number of hospital staff coming in and out dwindled a bit. It was so nice to get a break from all the commotion. This was the first opportunity that Chris and I had to spend time with our babies by ourselves, and it was much needed! It was also around this time that some severe pain was beginning to set in for me. I don't know if it's because I finally had time to notice it or because my epidural had completely worn off, but it hit me fast and hard. Chris called a nurse to give me pain meds, and when she came in she asked me when I had last taken anything for pain. I told her that I hadn't taken anything yet, and she was surprised that I hadn't been offered pain meds previously. I took one ibuprofen and one percocet at that time, but asked for a second percocet about a half hour later. I was trying to take the smallest amount of pain meds needed, but I was hurting too badly at that point to take less than the maximum dosage. 

As a side note: When I gave birth to Brianna, I never took anything stronger than ibuprofen. After Brenson's birth, I took mostly ibuprofen with a few doses of percocet here and there (but only for a few days after his birth). This time? I took ibuprofen and percocet around the clock for 4 days, then slowly tapered off the percocet until I took my last dose at 7 days after their birth. Like I mentioned in their birth story, I was pretty torn up this time and I definitely felt it!

After having a few hours to ourselves with the girls, my friends Kendall and Angie came to visit. I was thrilled to see them and to introduce them to my babies!

Kendall - a pro twin mom - holding Brecklyn and Brooke. 

After the birth of each of our children, Kendall has gotten cookies personalized with their names and brought them to us at the hospital. This is such a fun tradition . . . aren't they cute?!?

Angie holding Brooke and Brecklyn:

Angie and I have a photo of us at the hospital holding Kendall's twin girls (who are now two years old) that looks almost exactly like this! Kendall even delivered her girls at this same hospital, so the pattern on the couch is the same :-).

Brecklyn and Brooke . . . as their swelling from birth went down, they looked even less alike than they had already.

Sweet, sleepy Brecklyn:

Kendall wanted a photo of me holding the girls, and I realized that I hadn't held them both at the same time yet. I was finally feeling well enough to hold them together!

Brecklyn, Momma, & Brooke

We also hadn't gotten any photos of both Chris and me with the babies. Everything had just been so chaotic all day long!

Daddy, Brecklyn, Momma, & Brooke

Daddy, Brecklyn, Momma, & Brooke

Kendall, Brecklyn, Brooke, & Momma

Angie holding Brecklyn and Kendall holding Brooke

My sweet twin baby girls . . . Brecklyn & Brooke

After Kendall and Angie left, it was time for the girls to nurse again. At this point, both girls were nursing for close to an hour and eating about every three hours (or less). I decided that I wanted to try and nurse them together so that I would actually be able to get a little bit of rest. I held them both in the football hold, and they did great! I was so pleased to be able to tandem nurse them successfully so soon. 

Our first night in the hospital was okay. I was in quite a bit of pain, but was able to get up and take myself to the restroom (slowly) and nurse the girls. Chris did the diaper changing and transferring the girls in and out of their bassinets. The nurses were still coming in and out of our room fairly frequently, but we were able to get some rest. We did send the babies to the nursery for about two hours between 2:00am and 4:00am, and both slept solid during that time for sure. 

The next morning, our pediatrician came by around 7:30am to check the babies. He was especially concerned about Brecklyn with what she had gone through during delivery. Also, I haven't mentioned this yet, but Brecklyn was born with a large, circular indention in her skull. It's on the left side of her head behind her ear. It's about the size of golf ball and would be very obvious if not for her hair. Dr. F was pretty concerned about this (as were we!) as well as the shape her hips were in after a one-legged breech delivery. He determined that her hips and bottom looked good, but he wanted to do more research on the indention in her head. The nursery staff had already informed him about the issue with her skull, and his initial research pointed him to what is called a ping-pong ball fracture. However, he wanted to do additional research after he examined it himself. 

About two hours after leaving our room, Dr. F called my cell phone. Chris talked to him, and he reported that he and a colleague both agreed that it was indeed a ping-pong ball fracture. They aren't sure how it got there, but his theory and most of the nurses' theory is that my ribs or some part of Brooke put pressure in that spot in the womb and her skull basically formed around whatever it was. This makes perfect sense to me as she was almost always breech and very high (always putting pressure on my ribs!). Dr. F said that although we'll watch it closely, there's nothing we can do about it at this time. If she showed any signs of brain damage, they would do a CT scan or an ultrasound on it, but she doesn't at this time. It should "pop" out as her brain grows and be all but gone by the time she's about 6 months old. We hope and pray that it fixes itself with no problems!

I was able to get a shower, put on clothes, and fix my hair shortly after Dr. F left our room. This felt SO good!!! I was finishing up with my hair when my mom arrived with Brianna and Brenson. 

It felt so good to have our whole little family together!

Brenson had been fever-free the whole day before, so we thought it was okay for him to go ahead and come to the hospital. Even though him not being there the day before wasn't what we wanted, I think it actually worked out for the best. He would have really been overwhelmed with all the commotion of the previous day, so it was much better that he met the babies in the calmer atmosphere of the next morning. And yes, I do look like I'm pregnant with the girls' triplet sister in these photos. It took several days for my uterus to really shrink this time. It was just SO big when I was pregnant!

Bren was interested in seeing the babies, but he did not want to touch them. We didn't force anything, but let him warm up in his own time.

Family photo!

Brianna couldn't wait to get her hands on them!

Brooke in the dark pink bow, Brecklyn in the light pink bow:

Bren was also very curious about my bed, my room, and my hospital bracelets.

Another family photo . . . I was so happy to have all of my children there together!

Big sister was just beaming again (holding Brecklyn)!

G-Jo (holding Brooke) with four of her grandbabies:

Around noon, Dr. N popped in to check on me. He was so funny because Mom made a comment to him about the "intense" delivery, and he totally joked it off like it was no biggie. Of course, we all knew that even he got pretty serious for a few minutes in the delivery room, so it was a little bit of a big deal :-). He did tell us that it had probably been 15 years since this hospital had seen a one-legged breech delivery, so there was certainly a buzz about it (and this hospital has a high number of babies delivered there a year . . . when we had Bren, there were 42 new babies there that day). Apparently the med student that was in the OR observing was pretty excited to have witnessed it! 

Since I didn't get a photo of him with the babies the day before, I wanted to be sure and get one this day. When I handed him the babies, he knew exactly who was Baby A and Baby B. I was shocked! I said, "I can't believe you knew that!" and he said, "I spent a lot more time looking at Baby B's face, so I remembered." That alone tells you what kind of doctor he is!

Brecklyn, Dr. N, & Brooke:

Almost every time a new nurse would come in our room, they would say something like, "Oh, I heard about your delivery" or "You're the one who had one of your twins born breech doing the splits!" We were kind of infamous :-). We also heard from several nurses (like probably 5) that we are lucky to have Dr. N as our doctor, that he's the best, or that we should be glad he was the one in the delivery room making decisions. We think he's a great doctor and we trust him, but it was nice to hear from nurses that work with him that he's a good doctor! We had spent a lot of time praying for Dr. N's wisdom, discretion, and ability to make quick, sound decisions during delivery, and we certainly feel like those prayers were answered!

Brianna, Brecklyn, Dr. N, Brooke, and Brenson :-)

After Dr. N left, we convinced Bren to let Brecklyn sit on his lap for a photo:

Love these four!

However, when we asked him to take another family photo, this is what we got:

Ha! I think picture sums up pretty well how Brenson felt about this whole ordeal!

Here's a happier face :-):

Me and my girls . . . love!

Both Brianna and Brenson wanted to see the babies' feet, legs, belly buttons, etc. Here I am explaining to them about the hospital bracelets the babies had to wear:


Bren was very interested in examining his little sisters, but not touching them!

My friend, Tia, came by a little after lunchtime. Bren was super excited to see her even though he had been giving me the cold shoulder all morning!

Mom and the older kids stayed until about 2:00pm, then she took them home for naptime. For about the last hour they were there, the kiddos were acting pretty out of control. They weren't listening well and just acting out more than I thought they would. It was nice to have some peace and quiet after they left!

Brecklyn in mint, Brooke in white:

We rested and soaked up our precious newborns until about 6:00pm when we got another round of company. This time it was Chris's parents and Chris's sister and her family. We were happy to see everyone!

Cousin Abby, Brecklyn, and Uncle Joe:

Brooke, Aunt Cassie, and Cousin Zeke:

Zeke, Cassie (holding Brooke), Abby, and Joe (holding Brecklyn):

This photo is so cute! Zeke holding Brooke and Abby holding Brecklyn:

They all left at about 7:30pm, and my friend Amy arrived right about that same time.

Brecklyn, Amy, and Brooke:

Brooke was being so sweet and calm during this time. 

See how much they don't look alike? Brooke in lavender, Brecklyn in mint:

This is one of my favorite photos of the girls from the hospital!

Brooke & Brecklyn


Brecklyn decided that she had had enough of peaceful sleep and decided to cry for a bit.

Then doze off again . . .

Brooke was awake and calm this whole time:

Love this photo of Brooke:

These next few photos make me laugh. This pretty well sums up the remainder of our hospital stay as Brecklyn was very fussy for the rest of the time we were there. And Brooke? She kind of looks like, "What's all the fuss, sister?" Lol.




We finally got Brecklyn calmed down and asleep again for a while.

However, that night ALL Brecklyn wanted to do was nurse. I was drinking tons of water and snacking constantly, but I felt like Brecklyn just wasn't getting satisfied. She would nurse for over an hour, then be fussing and rooting again 20 minutes later! It was exhausting! We finally called the nursery to come take them at about 2:00am. Brecklyn had just nursed for an hour, but was fussing again when the nursery nurse came to get her. She asked us about supplementing with a bit of formula. As much as I didn't want to do that, I wanted Brecklyn to be satisfied, so I agreed. However, I specifically asked that they bring both babies back to me at 4:00am for me to nurse them, even if they gave them a small supplement. The nurse agreed and took the babies.

I woke up at about 4:15 am and was surprised that they hadn't brought the babies back yet. Chris called the nursery and was told that they would bring them back to us at 5:00am. I was furious! I wanted to nurse them every three hours to help stimulate my milk and my supply . . . that's why I asked for them back at 4:00am. Plus, they had given both babies a supplement of formula when we had only agreed for them to give it to Brecklyn. Brooke seemed to be doing just fine. NOT okay with me! At 5:30am, Chris finally went to retrieve the girls as they had not been brought back to us. I wasn't able to nurse them until almost 6:00am! This made me so mad as I knew that I needed to be stimulated more than that if I ever hoped to make enough milk for both girls. It had been FIVE hours since I had fed them at this point. On the one hand, we had lactation consultants being pushy with me about nursing, and on the other we had nursery nurses who didn't seem to care that I did want to nurse. It was extremely frustrating!

The next morning, Dr. F stopped by at about 7:30am and released the babies to go home. Dr. N came by at around 8:00am and released me to go home. We were thrilled and ready to get out of there!

But first, a few more photos :-).

Brooke


These are pictures that Brianna and Brenson made for us to decorate our hospital room. They made them a week or so before the girls were born and put them in the diaper bag :-).

Brecklyn was still having a very hard time. Poor girl.

We calmed her enough for a photo, but she was still tense (notice the straight legs and feet).

Daddy holding Brecklyn:


Momma with Brooke:


Yes, I look very tired this day, but I was still soaking up my sweet babies! 


During Brianna's birth, we had an L&D nurse that we were not impressed with. Her name was Nan, and she was very absentminded and flighty. Well, wouldn't you know that our nurse this morning was Nan! The minute she walked in our room, we remembered her. And do you know the first thing she did? She checked my c-section incision! I was so confused about what she was doing, and it finally dawned on me. She was pretty embarrassed when I told her I delivered the girls vaginally (and apparently she was the only nurse who hadn't heard the story of our delivery!) I was not impressed to have her as my nurse again, but we got a good laugh about it later!

It took a good while to get all the discharge paperwork completed and our stuff packed up to go. However, FINALLY at about 12:30pm, we were ready to leave!

Brooke and Brecklyn all ready to go home!

We loaded up and had to wait at the nurses' desk to get our hospital bands removed. Brecklyn started screaming at this point, and didn't stop for the next 30 minutes. She made quite the scene!

It was a little stressful riding home with Brecklyn screaming. She screamed until she became hoarse, then finally settled down and fell asleep for the remainder of the drive.

Daddy carrying a {finally} calm Brecklyn into the house:

Brianna couldn't wait to see the babies! Daddy could barely get in the door with her!

By this time, Brooke had started fussing. But, we were so happy to be home and finally have the babies here that we didn't care!

As usual, things felt really chaotic when we first got home, but they soon settled down. Praise God for two healthy babies, a successful delivery, and our expanded family!