April 25, 2010

One Month!

Our babies are 1 month young! This seems surreal!

I was on bedrest for 3 months and that seemed long... and this 1 month has just flown by! I can hardly remember how the bedrest was (though the after effects still persist)!

Some of our highlights...
*We are awake a lot more than we used to be (sometimes 3 hours at a stretch).
*We admire each other when we are awake (together) and wonder how we fit in Mama's belly!
*We are almost holding our neck (for a brief period)!
*When we are awake, we will track you with our eyes.
*We have a few toys which are bright red in color, we love staring at them and try to reach them!
*We love massage and bathing/sponging.
*We love staring outside the bright window in our bedroom!
*We take ~3oz of milk during every feed (every 2-3 hrs).
*We hate stuffy diapers, yet we hate to change them!
*We are growing out of our newborn outfits!
*We love to snooze around in our Boppy.
*We love our grandparents a lot and would like to thank them for helping out our Mama & Daddy!


Who am I kidding!?

Yes, I have mentioned in the past, that it is going pretty well. But what defines the "pretty well" part? Basically with my PCOS, I had very little hopes on my supply, forget exclusively breastfeeding! So whatever I ended up with seemed GREAT to me!

I am not trying to brag here and I hope I am not jinxing myself either! I just need to get my thoughts out, so I can look back and figure how things progressed, and may be this might help some one in the future too!

As mentioned before, I had a pretty decent amount of colostrum and my milk came in in less than 48 hours! Currently, I am producing between 50 to 60 oz of milk every day. I pump approximately 6-8 times a day (including middle of the night) (which is less as per the recommended standard)... I would like to pump more frequently, but there just doesn't seem to be enough time... and that scares the crap out of me because I feel like I might not be able to produce more milk as the babies' demand goes up, or my body might think that it does not need to produce so much milk right now (as far as enhancing my supply, I almost started fenugreek tablets to get my body to produce more milk as the babies start drinking more milk - but I felt like the babies had some reflux issues the days following the herb intake... so I stopped - may be it was just a coincidence)! So, the actual "breastmilk" feeding part ends up being Expressed Breast Milk (EBM) (we just supplement with formula 1-2 times a day - to kind of keep them used to it)! I get the babies to latch on to me a couple of times a day... but no where close to the number of times I pump! And that makes me feel very guilty!

The situation is such, that our boy (RM) is very demanding, he needs to feed every 1.5 to 2 hours... he sleeps through feeds, takes for ever to wake up and can be very aggressive! He seems to have more of a reflux issue too (it seems manageable so far - the PED recommended Zantac if things get worse - which I hope not). Where as our girl (RT) is very patient... she feeds every 3 hours approximately. So tandem feeding them gets difficult, plus as mentioned before my left breast produces less milk, so the baby on the left struggles a little more. So, whenever I end up actually BF'ing them... I have to give up on tandem feeding... or the baby is not really full (even after 30 min of feeding) and ends up supplementing on EBM! They are feeding 3+ oz of EBM during every meal right now. Also, if I spend the whole time solely BF'ing, I am afraid I will have no time left to pump and produce the actual volume they both need.

Last Thursday, I was very disappointed that they are probably going to stop BF'ing directly... because they prefer the easy to get bottle nipple. I started questioning myself as to how long I could pump... what would I do after my parents left (and I was on my own with the babies)... what would I do when I start venturing out (carry pump everywhere and keep pumping?)... would my supply increase? Though, I guess one good thing is... at least I can get them the milk they so need (for as long as I possibly can)! And then, my daughter (RT) surprised me. On Friday morning, my sweetie pie decided that she just didn't want the bottle while she was in my arms. She was hungry, but wouldn't take the bottle... she wanted my boobie! It touched my heart! It makes me feel that some day may be both will be more breastfeed than be given EBM!

I have been trying to offer RT my breast as much as I can... and she seems to be demanding it more too. Though, with pumping every couple of hours, I am not always full to provide her with the optimum milk. Though she keeps trying. She loves to snuggle around and stare in to my eyes, it melts my heart away! I just hope I can satisfy her and don't turn her away (with my pumping schedule). I also hope that I can get our boy to the same level (and both - beyond) too!

April 13, 2010

Here I go again...

There is so much that I want to get across and record that again I have I go with the bullet list... till I get a little more regular on blogging!

-Our miracles will be 3 weeks old tomorrow and today we complete 40 weeks (gestational age)!

-Umbilical cords of RT (our baby girl) and RM (our baby boy) came off on April 9 and 11 respectively. So they had their first baths on the 10th and 11th respectively. We were sponging them up until then (as per the Peds advice).

-Our babies poopoo changed from black to greenish to yellow by the end of second day! :) I thought that was impressive and something worth remembering! :P

-RT and RM weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and 6 lbs and 3 oz respectively at their 2 week Ped appointment.

-RT used to be all over the place inside of me (constantly changed position)... and we had imagined that she would be the feisty/active one! However, she is more patient/calm... she will cry only if she is hungry and her feed has been delayed. Where as RM... he needs everything now! We are thinking that he probably used to take up the position that he wanted inside of me and hence RT used to move around to get herself adjusted/situated!

-As far as the schedule for babies... they get up to eat every 2-3 hours. There are times when they both are on a schedule and then there are times when they just throw us off by wanting to eat in less than an hour. As of now we are not trying to put them (forcefully) on the same schedule. Typically they will sleep through the nights (other than getting up for feeding). Both of them take between 2-3 oz of feed every time. They both like to gulp down their food when bottle fed (EBM and 1-2 formula feeds during night)... which is leading to lots of burp... we just switched to Dr. Browns... and that seems to slow them down a little and makes them a little less gassy!

-My parents have been a great-great help in this whole process. I can not imagine doing this all by myself. And I am thoroughly impressed by couples who do take care of their twins (in the beginning) on their own! Breastfeeding (BF) twins without help at home is probably next to impossible! The only reason I can devote time to nursing our babies or providing them EBM is because I really am not doing much house stuff (though I am picking it up as I get back to the new "old me" after the bedrest and c-section... small things still ware me off).

-As far as BF'ing goes, the babies latch on pretty well... that is to the right breast, left is still a little bit of struggle (with my "inverted" nipple). This makes tandem feeding difficult. Also, I have realized my right breast produces more milk than the left... so I feel bad to put one baby on the left where he/she has to struggle more! Also, something I wanted to mention -
Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter has been a life saver for sore nipples!

-I had gained around 50 lbs including IVF weight (of 5 lbs)... I had lost 30 lbs at my 2 week visit with my OB! So I guess I just have 20 more to go... and that is something I had lost when I had tried to get healthy before we started ttc! May be I am being a little too optimistic... with very less of "me time" in hand, loosing those 20 lbs is going to be challenging!

-And finally, I updated my blog background!

April 10, 2010

Baby Update

We had a freak episode last Saturday, April 3rd... where our baby boy choked on some vitamin drops. The medicine went in too fast and he did not like that! We ran to the ER to get him checked out. They did an x-ray to make sure nothing had gotten in to his lungs and made sure his blood work was normal. We were admitted to the pediatric department. The standard protocol for such incidents in the hospital is to monitor for apnea which includes monitoring heart rate, respiration and oxygen saturation and looking for any symptoms of pneumonia. He was put on a antibiotics as a preemptive measure in case there was any airway infection.

He was also put on a four-channel 12 hour test. This test was performed by the neonatology department. He was put on heartbeat, respiration, oxygen saturation and breathing (two probes under nostrils) monitors. They analyzed the data and concluded there were no apnea incidents during the test.

All the other test results came back normal. However, because this was a choking episode the standard protocol of the hospital is to send such newborns with Apnea Monitor. He will be on the monitor for a month. There are two probes on his chest under a soft belt which records heartbeat and respiration data in a unit. If heartbeat or respiration goes below a threshold, a loud alarm will sound (believe me this sound is very loud). After a month, we go back to Apnea center in the hospital where they will download this data and see if there were any incidents of apnea.

So far our son is doing extremely well!!!

Twin Pictures!

Here are the portrait pictures of our twins taken at the hospital on day 3.

Going with the trend of this blog (for the sake of privacy), our baby boy will be called RM and baby girl will be called RT on the blog.

Both together...

Our baby girl...

Our baby boy...

April 4, 2010

Say a Little Prayer for us!

I have been meaning to update and post my birth story... but!

Our little boy is in the hospital being tested for apnea! He had a choking episode which freaked us out and sent us running to the ER. The monitoring seems to be going fine so far... but we need to see how things progress. He might be on monitor at home!

Our girl had a mild case of jaundice when she was born... she was not given light therapy etc, but was just monitored.

Please say a little prayer for our little ones! Our babies are already over a week old!

April 3, 2010

Our Birth Story!

My Babies are already two weeks old (yesterday)! Happy 2 week Birthday Babies! Time flies!

This is going to be a detailed post, since it is going to be my way of logging the birth of my babes.

On March 26th, the day started with me hogging down a heavy breakfast, since my OB had said I could eat/drink 8 hrs prior to the C-section! I managed to get a good nights sleep and was pretty fresh for the procedure. I cheated a little and probably had around 5 oz of water in those 8 hrs... my throat was way too dry... and I had done this during IVF ER and things seemed okay then!

We (my parents, husband and I) left for the hospital at around 0130 pm. There was some confusion with my name during the admitting and pre-admission testing (my name is way too long and doesn't fit on the drivers license... and the hospital likes to keep the name consistent with the id... and I didn't want my name to be listed in an inappropriate way)... so we had to get that fixed with some other legal id as a proof. We reached the L&D check in desk at around 0200 pm. Once that was fixed we were all set for the c-section. We were then taken in to the recovery room at around 0245 pm. There they had to draw my blood again (the same testing as the pre-admission testing) because of the name confusion. That took some time. The babies heart beats (NST) and my blood pressure was monitored. I was given an IV and some antibiotics. The anaesthesiologist stopped by and chatted with us. We had a small conversation about my IVF and it seems that he knows my RE personally, and they were going in for ER the next day! It was humbling to see some one who is involved day in and day out in delivering babies going through the same procedure we had been through! My OB arrived at around 0345, we chatted for a few minutes, and then signed a few documents. He checked my vital stats and meds to make sure we were ready for the surgery and shortly after we were whisked away to the OR. My husband had changed into his scrubs and was asked to wait outside the OR while I was prep'ed. I was in the OR by 0400 pm. The spinal anesthesia wasn't as bad over all... though momentarily it hurt pretty bad.

Things moved very swiftly there after! My husband was with me in a short while. When the surgery started, I could sense tugging and pulling, but couldn't tell a thing of what was going on. I was consciously trying to pay attention to what was being said. My Blood pressure was pretty stable most of the time... but later it started dropping and I felt quite dazed. Things seemed a little mumbled and I was trying not to get zoned out. I was given some meds to stabilize my blood pressure.

And then, at 0426 pm our baby boy was born weighing 5 lbs 12 oz... tears started rolling down my cheeks, I just couldn't stop them. My husband almost ran to see the baby, but he was asked to wait till they cleaned him up. Our girl followed him at 0427 pm weighing 6 lbs 3 oz. They scored a 9, 9 and 6, 9 on APGAR score respectively. My husband clicked a few pictures while they were being weighed and swaddled. Then the nurses brought them over to my husband (who was then seated by my head). Both the babies were very alert. After few pictures with my husband, nurses put the babies right next to my cheeks. Our daughter looked right into my eyes and that piercing look is something I will never forget! Our nurses took our first family pictures.

Our babies and my husband soon left for newborn nursery while I was being cleaned and stitched up. That one hour just flew by and by 0500 pm, I was out of OR and into the Recovery room. They took vitals of babies in the nursery. Our daughter and son measured at 19 inches. Our daughter's blood sugar came low (40 and 44) and therefore they decided to feed her first meal right away.

I was in the Recovery room after 0500 pm. It took for ever for my numbness to wear off (I couldn't wiggle my toes or move my lower body at all)... as a result, I was in the recovery for almost 2.5 hrs. I was moved to my room at around 0800 pm and was so anxious to see our babies. My husband and parents had been visiting them while I was in the Recovery. Our babies made their grand entrance at around 0900 pm! I tried to put them to my breast, but they were way too sleepy! I had requested for a breast pump, which had arrived by then... so after cuddling the babies for some time, I started pumping. It was a great relief to see some colostrum! I think I actually had around 25-30 cc colostrum at the first attempt!

We sent the babies to the nursery that night... I continued pumping (4-6 times in a day) through the night and the next two days. My milk came in in less than 48 hours! I tried to latch the babies on to my breast a couple of times in those two days, but it wasn't very successful! The lactation consultant at the hospital was not available over the weekend. So we kinda had to wait till Monday. Though the nurses were great help in getting me started. It seems I have "inverted" nipples (which I never had imagined was the case)... so the latch assist came pretty handy (and still does). My left nipple is more so than the right. So, my right one had been more active than the left one till we figured things out!

Our boys blood group is the same as mine and our girls blood group doesn't match mine, so that means she had positive coombs, so I guess her chances of having jaundice was higher... so she was tested for the same. Her readings were on the lower end of the high billurubin count... so she was continuously monitored till we were discharged from the hospital (and we have been going to the Ped to monitor it as well after coming home).

As far as my state was concerned, I was okay till Saturday afternoon (till all the C-section meds were in)... but once that started wearing off... I was pretty miserable. I could hardly get up, move or walk. A trip to the bathroom (after the catheter was removed on Saturday afternoon) was 30 min long! So, we ended up leaving the babies in the nursery through the nights (during our hospital stay), while I pumped a couple of times. The pain continued for almost a week and the only thing that helped me was Percocet! I am now occasionally taking Motrin if I have a rough day. It has taken almost 2 weeks for swelling on my feet to go away (I had no swelling during the pregnancy).

Over all the C-section and the stay at the hospital went pretty well and we were happy to bring the babies home on Tuesday, March 30, 2010.