Four Weeks

Four weeks ago today....

And now....

We've come a long way, baby!
We're still learning as we go, but it gets better all the time.


Some Things We've Learned So Far

Addison and Mackenzie are now two weeks and five days old, and we have been home for two weeks and two days. It's been an interesting journey so far, and thank goodness it gets a little better most days. Some days we do feel like we are starting all over on day one again, but other times we think we might be getting the hang of this stuff.
The past two weeks have taught us many, many things we never even dreamed we'd have to know. Here's a sampling of some of the more interesting lessons we have learned since bringing these two little bundles of joy into the world:
  • It's not only little boys who pee on you when getting their diapers changed! Addison seems to particularly enjoy surprising us when her diaper is off for too long...I'm getting really fast at changing diapers in the middle of the night.
  • Preemie clothes are meant for very short babies. At barely 5 lbs. each, Mackenzie and Addison are swallowed by newborn clothes, but most of their preemie-sized footed sleepers are too short already. Both girls are right at 18 inches now, so still a little on the short side (where they will probably stay, considering their parents' height!).
  • Although it's still a little unpleasant at times (such as the 2 am feeding), Jeremy and I have discovered that we are indeed capable of feeding bottles to two tiny babies at the same time. We have now spent a couple of nights on our own, and that is the only way to work it so that either of us gets a minimal amount of sleep. We are on a three-hour feeding schedule until further notice, so feeding one infant at a time takes up entirely too much of the precious time between feedings (needed much more for washing a load of clothes, sterilizing bottles, or even- gasp!- catching a nap). When feeding both girls by myself, I find it works best to arrange them in their Boppies on the floor, then sit down between them and get a bottle in each mouth as quickly as possible.
  • I've also learned that when feeding both babies by myself, it's okay if one has to scream bloody murder for just a couple of minutes while I change the other and get her settled. There is just no way one person can keep them both completely happy at all times. The screaming one is just hungry, and the screaming will stop as soon as she clamps down on her bottle. Similarly, it's perfectly fine if their clothes have to be changed after each of these tandem feedings because they have let a third of their bottles run down their chins. It's just one more load of laundry for the morning.
  • I will indeed wash a load of clothes at 3 am, because my children LOVE noise, particularly music and the washer and dryer. If they need me to do extra housework to help them sleep, so be it.
  • I'm learning to forgive myself for not breastfeeding as long as I could have. I did nurse both girls for several days, but it was just entirely too much for me to handle for the long term. I know many people exclusively breastfeed their twins for many months, and I have even more respect for them after having experienced it myself. I just couldn't deal with the 45-minute nursing sessions, and even the 20-minute pumping sessions took up too much of the aforementioned precious time on the three-hour schedule. I have had a lot of guilt over quitting, but as I said, I'm learning to let it go. I am a much less stressed mom this way, and in the end, that's better for us all.
  • Contrary to our previously held beliefs, there is absolutely NO WAY we could have survived these two weeks without my mom. We hadn't planned for her to come and stay, but the day we came home from the hospital, we knew she was staying if we had to hide her car keys to make it happen! She has been amazing, as have the many others who have brought us meals, cleaned my house, and taken a turn washing bottles. We truly had no idea how hard this was going to be, but thanks to excellent help, we have survived.
In other news, our "itty-bittys" as we call them, are growing slowly but surely. We went to the pediatrician last Wednesday, and Addison weighed in at 5 lbs., 2 oz.-just two ounces away from her birthweight. Mackenzie weighed in at an impressive 5 lbs., 5 oz.-already surpassing her birthweight! Both girls are in the 1st and 2nd percentile for weight and height, making their appearance on the growth charts for the first time. It was kind of funny...the computer at the pediatrician's office still won't plot their growth on a graph because technically, they still aren't supposed to be born! It's odd too think that if I were still pregnant, I would just now be almost 38 weeks. I am so thankful that my girls are here safe and healthy, in my arms instead of in my belly!

Before I go (they are anxiously awaiting their first Gilmore Girls lesson this morning!)...a few pictures of the superstars...

Addison's first bath...they both love it!

Mackenzie in the bath

Addison enjoying some tummy time on her Boppy

Wide-awake Mackenzie

And, because I still can't quite believe it myself...this is me in pre-pregnancy jeans! (I'm holding Addison, I think.)


Proudly Presenting...

Mackenzie Ross

Born April 2, 2009

2:48 pm

5 lbs., 0 oz.
16 1/2 inches long

Mary Addison

Born April 2, 2009

2:47 pm

5 lbs., 4 oz.

18 inches long

I am so incredibly proud of these sweet girls! Born at 35 weeks and 1 day, they amazingly needed only two hours in NICU for monitoring, and have exceeded all the expectations that were set for them.

The birth story... Per the previous post, I was admitted to the hospital on Monday, March 30, with mild pre-eclampsia. The first three days were pretty restful, just a little long and boring. Wednesday night, things got interesting. My blood pressure suddenly went up pretty high, and an IV was started to give me some medicine to bring it down. The on-call doctor from my practice said to monitor my BP through the night and not to let me eat or drink anything overnight in case we had to have an early-morning c-section. It was kind of a stressful night, to say the least. The BP monitor stayed on my arm, taking a reading every 10 minutes for several hours (pretty much impossible to sleep through!). Jeremy was working, so my mom came and stayed the night with me.

Thursday morning, my doctor spoke with the nurses about the BP situation, which had improved since the medicine in the IV. She initially indicated she did not think delivery would be necessary, so I wolfed down a few grapes and was getting ready to order some breakfast (side note: breakfast is definitely the best meal at the Women's & Children's hospital! I had a cheese omelet and fresh fruit every morning I was there.) Mom and I made all the phone calls to inform everyone that it didn't look like we would be getting babies just yet. Just a little while later, my doctor came in on her morning rounds. She explained that she wasn't too worried about the BP situation, and she thought we should just continue to monitor it for a few more days. Then she checked the readings from the monitoring session the night before (where one monitor is attached to each baby's hearbeat and one more to measure my contractions). I had been contracting pretty regularly on the monitor, but nothing painful so we hadn't thought much about it. She decided to go ahead and examine me, and I was over 50% effaced and dilated 2 cm! I could tell by her expression that things were about to change. She initially suggested delivering the next day, then thought for a minute and said, "Actually, how about this afternoon?" Talk about a roller-coaster of emotions... : ) (oh, and I never did get any breakfast besides the few grapes I had managed to shovel in!)

Mom and I got back on the phones to let everyone know there had been another change in plans, that it was indeed "baby day." Jeremy had gone home after getting off at 1 am, promising to keep the phone close by. He is a very heavy sleeper, and about the only thing that wakes him up is his cell phone. Guess who had fallen asleep in the recliner and left his cell phone in the bedroom?? It took almost an hour of calling repeatedly, but he finally woke up and heard that it was the day he would become a dad. It was a very surreal day for both of us, I think.

The morning passed pretty quickly after that, and at 2:30 pm we headed off to the OR. Just a few short minutes later, we were parents! I cried when I heard the cat-like cries coming from my babies, feeling such relief that they were born making such big sounds. After a quick look and some kisses on the head, Jeremy and the doctor took them up to NICU to get cleaned up and monitored. My surgery was blessedly uncomplicated, and within an hour and a half I was back in my room. The babies were brought to us less than thirty minutes later, looking very tiny, but absolutely perfect.

I can't begin to express how grateful we are for these two little miracles. After a pregnancy filled with so many potential complications, and despite their having been born at only 35 weeks, we have been incredibly blessed with perfect, healthy babies. Many, many prayers of thanksgiving have passed our lips in the last two weeks (along with several prayers for sanity and sleep, but that's another story!!). We sincerely thank everyone who has prayed with us and for us during the last several months...these are truly children of God, just on loan to us for awhile, and we are so happy He chose us to be their parents! Parenting newborn twins is without a doubt THE hardest thing I have ever done, but it also already the most rewarding. We look forward to all that is to come.