The arrival of Elliott & Harper (Ashley’s POV)

I can’t believe the day is here that I am writing a blog about the arrival of my children. MY babies…my alive babies that we get to take home in a few weeks!  I can’t wrap my mind around it!!! Devan and I were talking about how weird it feels because the last time I was pregnant we didn’t have a crying, squishy baby to play with, I was pregnant and then I wasn’t…we held Rohen for a few hours and then he was gone forever. Having the twins in the NICU brings back weird flash backs of that because we still don’t have that crying squishy baby in the room with us…I am so glad this time around we just have to walk a few minutes down the hall and we get to see our beautiful babies.

So, where do I start? I suppose I will start with Saturday morning. I know Devan blogged briefly about their birth but I plan on giving you guys every detail I can remember!! We woke up Saturday around 8am to a face I haven’t seen in years! A friend from back when I was in jr high youth group is now a social worker at the hospital we are at and she stopped by to say hello! It was such a pleasant surprise and she talked to us about a bunch of things and asked us if we were interested in touring the NICU. We decided we would love to but had to wait to get orders from my doctor to be able to go in a wheel chair. Around 9am our doctor came in to check on us and said that he had been thinking about a plan of action and decided waiting around after the steroid window opened for delivery was not beneficial enough for the babies and that he wanted to deliver between 10-12 Sunday morning. I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock, I was initially under the impression that as long as the babies were thriving we could be there for weeks – Devan had even called her work and remained on the schedule for Monday (now today)! Dr. Cook left and Devan and I just looked at each other with big smiles on our face – the day was finally here, we had a date & a time of when we were going to meet our babies – the feeling was so surreal. I ordered breakfast and the nurses came in to start our morning stress test. The stress test takes about 20 minutes depending on how well the babies cooperate, they were NOT in the mood to cooperate Saturday morning – in order to have both of their heart beats on the monitors the nurse had to physically sit at my bed side holding the monitors at a very specific angle – and in order to complete the stress test you have to have 20 continuous minutes of both babies heart rates on the monitors. Not an easy task when your kids like to throw curve balls from the womb! The stress test started out totally fine, we were laughing about how the babies are “little shits” and like to dodge the monitors but soon I started having contractions really close together. My uterus is hostile, it doesn’t like to be jabbed at poked and when it is jabbed and poked it tends to contract. I knew something wasn’t right when the nurse lost Harper on the monitor and then while looking for her again you could hear her heart rate decrease. It was SO scary. I listened as her heart rate went from 150 to 90 in a matter of milliseconds and said to the nurse “UHHH, that isn’t normal right?” it wasn’t long before our doctor was in the room explaining that he had noticed her doing this when I had contractions and that if she did it one more time we’d have to deliver today. Cue panic, cue sweating, cue shaking. I was SO nervous and anxious that I could not stop my legs from trembling and felt like sweat was pouring out of all the pores in my body. We all listened in anticipation hoping that her heart rate wouldn’t drop again – but it wasn’t long before they were tossing Devan her OR gear and we were headed out the door. They wheeled me to the OR and prepped me, and administered the spinal block. The anesthesiologist was funny and asked me what I had eaten so far that day – I told him that all I had was a single piece of watermelon – his response was “WHAT, it looks like you ate the whole thing!!!” Gotta love a man that can make me crack a smile while I am so nervous! The staff was great, it was painfully obvious how nervous I was and they were all so sweet and were doing everything they could to help me calm down. Devan entered the OR and was so adorable…she walked in with all her gear on and I just kept thinking about how in love I am with her and how this was it, our babies were minutes away from entering the world. She was supposed to come and sit next to me but it didn’t surprise me when she asked the doctor if she could stand and watch – I am so glad she got to do so and she snapped some pretty sweet pictures! For those of you that don’t know Devan that well, she is a medical junkie and is currently in school to be a nurse so this was a cool experience for her to witness regardless of the fact that she was about to meet her babies for the first time. The c-section was TERRIBLE. I apologize to all blogger friends in advance who might have to get one – I never want to do it again, but of course would do it all day for the outcome. I was not a fan of the intense pressure you feel – I felt hands inside of my abdomen from the bottom all the way up to my boobs, it was the WEIRDEST sensation in the world. The anesthesiologist talked me through a lot of it because he could tell it freaked me out – I kept asking Devan “DO YOU SEE THEM???” She said not yet but they’re getting close!!! It felt like only seconds later and I heard it, my little boy crying. It was the most BEAUTIFUL sound I have ever heard in my entire life. I immediately started crying tears of joy knowing that he was here safe and sound! The doctor gave me a quick peek and then off he went to be checked out by his medical team. About a minute later Harper came out but wasn’t crying. I already had an idea that she wouldn’t have been crying when she came out because of all of her issues. They showed Harper to me as well, and then took her over to her medical team. The plan all along was as soon as the babies come out, Devan is with them and doesn’t leave their side. She talked me through what was going on while they started sewing me shut. Harper wasn’t breathing when she was born and they tried for two minutes to get her going on her own before deciding to intubate. Within seconds of intubation our purple baby was a beautiful pink!  The doctors brought both babies over to me, let me kiss them and then Devan and the babies headed down to the NICU while they finished up the c-section. This was by far the worst part of this experience. The process of closing up was AWFUL. I was so uncomfortable and was really having a hard time with it. My blood pressure was dropping quite a bit and I started to feel really really sick. They were giving me medication to help me out with that and asked if I wanted anything for the pain/discomfort. The doctor asked me if I wanted a sedative and I said no because I didn’t want to be out of it when I was able to see the babies — a few minutes went by and I was really struggling, he asked again and said that it wouldn’t put me out just make me feel better so I agreed, BOY AM I GLAD I AGREED. Demerol is the worlds greatest drug…I felt so relaxed and calm after a minute or two and kept thanking the doctor for his wonderful suggestion! After I got the drugs the c-section wasn’t bad at all, the closed me up and brought me out to recovery. I was able to FaceTime Devan pretty shortly after arriving and she showed me the babies. I had to wait 2 1/2 hours in recovery before I was finally able to see them in person myself- and even then it was only for a few minutes and it was hard to see them because I was in a bed. Devan took both our moms, Mikey, Jane and Eric down to meet them! I was told that as soon as I could get into a wheel chair I could go down myself – challenge accepted. It wasn’t long before I was able to go see both of them and really gaze into their beautiful faces. We spent as much time as we could with them Saturday evening. The time between 8am Saturday morning and when I fell asleep went by as quickly as you blink. I have never been so exhausted in my life. Overwhelming doesn’t even begin to explain how we were both feeling. We went from Devan and Ashley, expecting twins to Devan, Ashley, Elliott & Harper – a family. Its been almost 48 hours and I still cannot wrap my mind around it. I think that it isn’t going to feel real for a while. We haven’t gotten to hold them yet, and barely get to touch them. They’re super sensitive to touch right now so all we can do is really lay our hands on them – they don’t like to be stroked or rubbed or anything quite yet. What I can tell you is I am in love. Their little faces make me melt in a way I have never melted before – I love that their little personalities are already shining through. Harper is such a firecracker and Elliott is much more laid back. Our little girl has a head of blonde what appears to be curly hair and little dude has darker brown straighter hair. Neither of them have had baths yet and after they do we will get an even clearer picture of their hair, I cannot wait! So far my favorite thing to do has been to help the NICU nurses with their care – taking their temp, changing their diapers, changing their sheets if needed. Last night was awesome because both of them opened their eyes for us!! I have been pumping every 2-3 hours since they were born and am so happy with the milk supply I have been getting. Each time I pump I am averaging between 4-5mls of cholustrum which is great according to the lactation consultants! This morning my milk is already starting to show signs of changing from cholustrum to actual breast milk so it shouldn’t be long until my supply really comes in!! I’m beyond happy that I am able to provide them with the yummiest and healthiest food option for my growing babies!!! I will probably be discharged tomorrow which is going to be REALLY weird, how do you just go home without your babies?! The next few weeks are going to be long and exhausting…I am hoping that the babies don’t have the be in the NICU too long – the general consensus amongst the doctors is 3-4 weeks, so shortly after Thanksgiving. I cannot wait until they’re home.

We created a Facebook page that will provide more consistent updates as well as TONS of pictures, check it out! We will continue blogging as well!! But for now the best place to get the 411 will be this page: https://www.facebook.com/elliottandharperdavis

I know Devan is in the process of blogging an update right now too, so you should hear from her shortly!!!

❤ Ashley

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The Birth of Elliott and Harper <3

We became mothers today for the second and third time to Elliott Edward and Harper Andersen.

We were moved to antepartum last night because we planned to keep the twins in for a week or two. Our perinatologist thought that we should potentially discuss a c-section on Sunday morning after the 48 hour “steroid window” had opened up (48 hours after the first injection of betamethasone to help their lungs develop faster) and we would continue to push that out if we could keep Harper’s dopplers strong and steady. We spent the night in antepartum after a normal non-stress test and all was well. Ashley was dilated to 2cm and 70% effaced at that time, but they weren’t concerned about that.

We woke up this morning and were planning on having Ashley do her non-stress test, eat some breakfast, and then go on the NICU tour. Our doctor came in and said that he really didn’t feel comfortable going on past Sunday because he would like to deliver them personally and didn’t think another couple of days would make much of a difference. We planned the c-section for Sunday between 10-12 and went ahead with the non-stress test. We noticed immediately that Harper wasn’t doing well. Her heart rate dropped with each contraction, and pushing on Ashley’s stomach trying to keep her on the monitor triggered more and more contractions, every 2-3 minutes. Our doctor had already left for the day, so another doctor from his practice came in and told us that he felt it was time to just move and take them out. Harper had reached a point at which her placenta couldn’t sustain her, and if we didn’t take her right away it could be devastating.

They prepped us right away, getting me into a gown, booties, hairnet and mask and wheeled Ashley into the OR. Once she was draped, I was allowed to go in and sit beside her while our beautiful little ones arrived!

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This is the amazing action shot of amniotic fluid shooting out as they went in to deliver Elliott. 

Elliott Edward arrived at 12:36pm weighing 3lb,8oz.

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Harper Andersen arrived one minute later at 12:37pm and weighed in at a tiny 2lb 11oz. Unfortunately, my phone memory was full and I had to switch to Ashley’s at that exact moment, so I missed a shot of her actually being pulled out. I did get some immediately after!

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They were both taken to be worked on by two separate NICU teams. Dr. Hamburg worked on Harper (she is the one holding her in this picture.) Harper was born not breathing at all, and they worked on her for about two minutes trying to get her to take a breath on her own.

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Her color was obviously awful, she wasn’t responding to their attempts to make her breathe, so the decision was made to intubate. This was her color after being intubated (she pinked right up.) You can pick the twins apart in pictures because Harper has white tape over her mouth and the breathing tube protruding form her mouth.

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Meanwhile, Elliott didn’t need to be intubated but did need some support. He has a nasal cannula hooked up to that is forcing air into his lungs. He was also having some issues with air in his stomach, so they placed a tube into his stomach that air could be released through.

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I was able to cut both of their cords (though they had already been cut… it was more just out of tradition than anything, but I’m glad they let me do it haha)

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Harper was taken back first, and I went with her after Dr. Hamburg brought her to Ashley for a quick kiss before leaving for the NICU. Dr. Weng was still working on Elliott, and Ashley was still being sewn up. Elliott and his team met me in the NICU shortly after I arrived there with Harper and her team.

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Ashley went into recovery where my Mom and Mikey (Grandma and Grandpa!) sat with her. The NICU team started IVs in both babies, drew labs, had chest x-rays done and stabilized them. I FaceTimed her while she was in recovery so she could see the twins before anyone else.

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Elliott flipping a nurse off on the way to the NICU… already trouble! 😉

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My mom and Mikey came up to see the twins, followed by Ashley’s mom and her best friend Jane. Once Ashley was finished in recovery, we wheeled her in to meet them in person for the first time.

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We settled into our room down the hall, and worked on getting Ashley through her recovery. She is tolerating the recovery REALLY well, walking around and not having much pain. She didn’t tolerate the actual c-section well, she says it traumatized her. I can’t imagine being cut open and awake, but it does sound really awful!

The twins’ godfather, Eric, came to visit, and then later Ashley and I both went back to the NICU  with Shad, Lisa and Kaitlyn. Unforunately they aren’t stable enough to hold (which is rough, because we want to do skin-t0-skin ASAP) and everyone agreed that they need to rest without being touched or messed with in order to get their breathing under control. Ashley and I haven’t slept in a really long time, so we have been resting a lot.

Here is how the twins are doing as of right now:

Harper – She is still intubated, and until a few hours ago the plan was to extubate her tonight. While suctioning her, they found blood in the fluid from her lungs. It was a very small amount, but her platelets came back at 60 (they’re looking for around 100) and the two of these events together was concerning. The doctor called to get our consent for a transfusion, which they are doing right now. This is apparently relatively common and is not a reason to panic. Because the pressure from being intubated can help keep her lungs from bleeding, they have decided to leave her intubated for now until they know that the danger of bleeding has passed. They do want to extbubate as soon as it’s safe, because there is a risk for infection. Her blood sugar was too low to read right after birth, but she has since had a glucose injection and is now looking better.

Elliott – He is receiving a little bit of help with his breathing but is not fully intubated. His oxygen saturation was low (in the 80s) so they have bumped up the amount of help he is getting a little and are hoping that works. If he continues to have trouble, an option would be to intubate him as well and give him medication. As of now they are trying to avoid that.

Both babies have had wet diapers, received caffeine to help perk them up after being drowsy from the magnesium Ashley had and have ultrasounds of the brain scheduled on the 15th. The general consensus is that these kids are going to be completely fine. The issues that they are having are common and treatable, so it’s just about getting their breathing stabilized and then getting them to gain weight. Ashley has started pumping and they will start the twins on breastmilk via feeding tubes tomorrow morning. Also, we should be able to hold them tomorrow!

We have had a few different opinions on how long they will be here in the NICU. One doctor thought 3-4 weeks, and the doctor this evening thinks 6-7. It will really depend on how they take to their feedings and how well they gain weight. We won’t know until we start to see growth.

I am exhausted, the nurse is planning on waking us up in an hour to walk Ashley around the unit and possibly remove her catheter, so I am going to have to reserve the long-winded emotional tirade for later. We will update as often as possible with lots of pictures, and we are hoping that tomorrow can begin a schedule of us providing the care (diapers, temp taking, etc) and also holding them skin to skin as much as possible.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support, I am trying to get back to everyone individually! It’s amazing that two people can be so loved when they’ve only been here on earth for 12 hours and 12 minutes!

Love to you all,

Devan

No Babies Yet…

Our perinatologist sent us to the hospital for immediate delivery, but the doctors here had a different idea altogether. While 32 weeks is really great, we still want to reduce the chance of lung issues and cerebral palsy. Our care has transferred to Phoenix Perinatal Associates, and our doctor last night wants to shoot for 48-72 more hours. Ashley was given the first of two betamethasone injections last night in triage, which is a steroid that will help with lung development. The second shot will be given 24 hours after the first, and then 24 hours after that will be the start of the “steroid window”, the best period for lung health. Our goal is to get into that window, which would put us at a possibly delivery on Saturday.

In addition to the steroids, they have her on a constant drip of magnesium sulfate, which is used to stop labor and help to prevent cerebral palsy in premature babies. The mag has really awful side effects, mostly just flu-like symptoms and feeling sluggish. The worst part is that mag crosses the placenta, so the babies are feeling just as sick. Because there is a risk of the babies becoming too drowsy/sick, Ashley is on constant monitoring. This has been really challenging because our babies like to move A LOT, so keeping two active babies on the monitor is hard. It also doesn’t help that Ashley needs to pee literally every hour, and that is with her holding it as long as she can. Every hour we have to unhook her from all three of her belly monitors (one for contractions, the other two for the twins’ heartbeats), her pulse ox, and bring her IV with her to the bathroom. We then have to get her back to bed, hooked back up, and then find the babies again. This went on all night, plus adjustments to the monitors every time a baby moved out of range. They gave her ambien at around 11:30 last night and she wasn’t ever able to fall asleep for more than a couple minutes at a time, so she’s so groggy now. I don’t think she will take that again tonight.

We are switching doctors again this morning and we are waiting to meet the new doctor and day shift nurse right now, they should be coming by any minute. What we know from last night is that we are aiming for Saturday evening for delivery at the earliest, because we want to be in that steroid window. The mag needs to run for 72 hours to be fully effective, so that is the next goal. If they are still good at 72 hours, they will try to keep them in as long as possible. (We could potentially be here in the hospital for a week… it’s not likely but it’s not impossible.) Our nurse is encouraging us not to think beyond the 48 hours, because for all we know the mag could start to effect the babies negatively and they will be born today. It’s one day at a time now, and we are just thankful for every extra day we can get under our belt. We will be hospitalized until the babies are born for sure.

Last night was really brutal… Sleeping in a hard chair next to Ashley while she’s hooked up to monitors and IVs is like reliving my worst nightmare. It really hit at about 2am. We know all is relatively well with the twins but the last time we were doing this  was the worst day of our lives. It was not a good night.

For now Ashley is just trying to rest as much as possible, we are hoping to get some breakfast soon. We will keep everyone posted, thanks so much for all the support!

I’ve posted on Facebook this morning that we have no cell service in our room and the wifi coverage is spotty at best, so it’s going to be hard to be available to our local friends via phone. Facebook is the way to go!

❤ Devan

IT’S TIME!

We are at registration at labor and delivery right now, c-section is going down ASAP! Babies aren’t in distress but they have both fallen even more behind, so it’s time. Updates to come… Holy crap! We are going to have these kids tonight!

29 Weeks!

How far along? 29 Weeks

My babies are the size of: Butternut Squash

Net weight gain:  I gained 5 1/2 pounds in two weeks so I am finally at 0 pounds gained, but back at my pre-pregnancy weight. A total of 10 pounds gained back.

Maternity clothes: Yes

Sleep: Waking up to pee, a lot. Still have hip pain 😦 Oh and its 4:18am and I’m writing a blog, so…..not so good lol

Best Moment this week: SA

Miss Anything: Beer and sleeping on my tummy!

Movement: Yes, in fact one of them has the hiccups right now!

Food Cravings: Nothing really right now

Anything making you queasy or sick: Insane heartburn & the naseau has returned – not as bad as my first trimester but definitely back

Gender:  B&G

Labor Signs: Cervix is funneling, on mandatory bed rest for the time being. I feel like I am having braxton hicks contractions ALL THE TIME! Sometimes I will have them within 10 minutes of each other and then they will stop for hours, they’re SO annoying!!!! What is weird is I get them at night when I am sleeping – I will wake up to pee and as I fall back asleep will have them, I don’t know if it is from the change in movement from sleeping to getting up or what but either way its super annoying and I am hoping it doesn’t mean real labor is coming soon.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, almost all the time!

Weekly Wisdom: Be happy!

Looking forward to: Seeing the babies Wednesday & getting our flooring replaced this week!! The baby shower is a week from today and I am so EXCITED!!!!!!!!!

We are almost there, a few more weeks (hopefully) and we will be holding our loves. I can’t believe we are one week away from our baby shower, I have been anticipating this for MONTHS! When we had our last ultra sound the perinatologist gave me labs to get drawn to find out if I have a clotting disorder. I’m super anxious to find out what the results are for many reason, but the main reason would be that it would have been the cause of Rohen’s death. No more saying it was a “freak accident” – there is a reason to it, and it could have been prevented, and more importantly can be prevented in the future. Our baby girl is starting to show similar signs of growth issues (no where near as severe) but she has been officially diagnosed with IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction) which basically means she falls below the 10% for growth (she was at 8.5% almost two weeks ago, she will be measured again Wednesday) I can’t lie, this scares the living shit out of me. Even though my doctor has reassured me many times that she is going to be OK, I can’t help but fear we will go to an ultra sound and find no heart beat. Obviously it is a lot different because I can feel her & she is viable at this point (with excellent survival odds as well) but it doesn’t stop me from being so worried about her. I am also scared about having a clotting disorder – does that mean at any point I could throw a clot and it could kill either baby? Sometimes I feel like they’d be safer if we just took them out, I hate it that the human body can be so miraculous and yet fail in so many ways as well. I just want to get past our baby shower and then really focus on their arrival. We haven’t bought much for them and now it feels silly because what if our baby shower doesn’t happen because they decide to take them out at our next appt…something we didn’t think about even being an issue. I am hanging on to hope that we will make it past 31 weeks and really aiming for 34 weeks – anything further than 34 would be incredible. Happy thoughts everyone, we want these cuties to keep cooking!! I did find out at my last OBGYN appointment that our doctor most likely won’t be delivering them (unless they make it past 36/37 weeks). I am 100% in agreement with this decision mainly because even if they aren’t coming until 35 weeks, Harper is measuring small and may need more care, because of this we are going to deliver at a different hospital that has a higher acuity NICU. I was worried about delivering at our original hospital because I thought there would be a chance of Elliott and I staying and Harper being transferred and I really didn’t want to deal with that. I want to be near my babies the entire time. The great news is Devan has an old customer from when she managed a Cigar Store that is a neonatal doctor there and after talking with him he promised us VIP treatment.

Devan’s best friend Brielle is coming over tonight to get the final touches of the baby shower in order. Tomorrow morning the two of them are going to be running around pretty much all day – getting the cribs, dresser, ordering the cakes & lunch meat platters, buying the alcohol & other beverages and all of the game prizes and props for the shower. I am bummed I can’t go but so grateful for Brielle and her willingness to help us with our baby shower. A lot of our friends are really pulling together to help us out and we are so happy. Thank you all for everything you have done and will do next Saturday, we love you!

Onto some more exciting news…we got the bedding fabric and Elliott’s carseat in the mail!! After the carpet is fully installed on Wednesday we can set their room up and have it ready to put all the stuff we get from the baby shower in it! I am overjoyed!!!!

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Devan is going to make them blankies with the fabric and then we will be using solids to make the rest of their crib bedding, I am SO excited for the final product!! Those are some sick deer right? Perfect for the woodland theme we chose!

Yesterday morning I woke up to a Facebook message from a friend saying “gays can get married in AZ now” — I looked it up and sure as shit, the marriage ban was struck down by a judge – and furthermore there will be NO appeals. I went to bed single in the state of Arizona and woke up married – how great is that? I’m so glad that we got married in January in New Mexico otherwise we’d have to rush to a courthouse to get married now so Devan could be on the birth certificates. I actually spoke with a lawyer already and asked her what we needed to do to make sure Devan had legal rights and she told me that Arizona already has parent/parent birth certificates and that she thinks we should be able to just bring our marriage license to the hospital with us and Devan can sign it! How can it all of a sudden be THIS EASY?!! No complaints her, and perfect timing Arizona.

I suppose that is it for now, more updates to come next week and hopefully good ones about my test results!!

Hospital visit number…I stopped counting.

i feel like it is a rule of thumb that anyone who goes through hell to get pregnant also has to deal with trials while they’re pregnant, because that is just life I guess.

The past few weeks the babies have started moving to the point where at any given moment I can sit down, relax and feel them both. I do this numerous times throughout the day to make sure they’re both in there growing and strong. I woke up around 7 this morning while Devan was getting ready for work and laid in bed to feel for them. Within minutes I felt Elliott and ended up falling back asleep. I woke up again around 8:30 and did the same thing and the same thing happened, I felt Elliott but not Harper. I didn’t panic because I knew that it had been like 15 minutes and she could easily be sleeping, so I went downstairs, made myself some breakfast and turned on the TV and laid on the couch – again, relaxing and waiting to feel them move. Elliott was all over the place, jumping around and kicking up a storm but the side Harper is on was so still. I looked for the doppler and found it and tried hearing her heartbeat but the stupid thing died and i couldn’t find the charger. At this point it had been another hour and I started to panic. I texted Devan and told her I hadn’t felt her move in over 2 hours and that the sheet says if you don’t feel them move 4 times in 1 hour to go to the hospital. Considering her growth issues along with the fact that I am ridiculously paranoid about everything I sat in my living room crying waiting for Devan to get to the house to take me to the hospital. We got there and they got us in right away and set us up to the heart monitors, they located Elliott’s heartbeat immediately but it took them OVER 10 MINUTES to find Harper. The nurse kept saying “I think I just heard her…but I can’t be sure” I wanted to be like look lady, its been a minute go get the fricken ultra sound, enough with this trying to find the heart beat with a doppler shit. She finally found it after about 15 minutes (seriously) and as soon as she did Harper decided it would be a great time to start moving around like a crazy baby – it was like she wanted to freak all of us (including the nurses) out and once we found her heart beat she was like oh, fine I’ll cooperate. As soon as we heard it I of course start crying again, what can I say, I’ve grown to be pretty attached to these babies. The thought of losing either of them makes me want to vomit, but I’m happy to say that we received a great report. They decided to do an Ultra Sound regardless of hearing their hearts just because of the lack of movement initially and the fact that it took so long to find the heartbeat…of course the babies scored 100% on this test. Everything was perfect, they did everything right and got an A+. We were discharged shortly after and Devan went back to work.

Weirdest part about the entire thing? We didn’t tell anyone. Normally when there is something going on, and we head to the hospital we text all our main peeps and post a little FB status to inform everyone…I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to text anyone about it, I didn’t want to have the conversation with anyone about how our little princess wasn’t moving and then after we left I didn’t want to tell anyone about it at all because everything was OK – I don’t know, it scared me so much because for a minute I thought we were going to have to relive the worst moments of our lives and lose another child. I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t even want to put the weight of it on my friends and family either…I’m so relieved that they’re both OK and just want to get to a healthy gestational age for them to come out and hold my babies. Then I can start worrying about new things, like them falling and scraping their knees.

❤ Ashley

28 Weeks & Short Term Disability

How far along? 28 Weeks

My babies are the size of: Large Eggplant

Net weight gain:  4 1/2 lbs of the 10 lbs I lost gained back

Maternity clothes: Yes

Sleep: Waking up to pee, a lot. Still have hip pain 😦

Best Moment this week: Seeing the babies yesterday, and knowing we will be seeing them every week from now on.

Miss Anything: Beer and sleeping on my tummy!

Movement: Yes!

Food Cravings: Nothing really right now

Anything making you queasy or sick: Insane heartburn & the naseau has returned – not as bad as my first trimester but definitely back

Gender:  B&G

Labor Signs: Cervix is funneling, on mandatory bed rest for the time being.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, almost all the time!

Weekly Wisdom: Be happy!

Looking forward to: Seeing the babies next Tuesday!!!

We made it to 28 weeks, a huge milestone in pregnancy and I couldn’t be happier. We had an ultra sound yesterday and Harper is still measuring small and is below the 10th percentile for growth now (8.5%) so the weekly monitoring will continue, and at 30 weeks we will be going in twice a week. The good news is – she is continuing to grow, and she is not in distress which means for now she gets to stay put. She weighs around 2lbs1oz and is measuring 26w5d, Elliott is measuring 27w2d and weighs 2lbs8oz – this was taken while I was 27w6d. My cervix looks great, still funneling but bed rest is clearly working and it hasn’t gotten any worse. At this point it isn’t likely they’re going to come early due to pre-term labor, but because the doctors decide it is time to take them out. Because of Harper’s growth issues they are thinking between 32 & 34 weeks so we are going to have our babies in the next 4-6 weeks which is just absolutely insane to me! Our doctors goal is to get them out before they experience any distress! I cannot wait to meet them and am crossing my fingers they can make it to 34 weeks, but ultimately I am just glad we are past 28 weeks now and their survival rate is pretty much 100%.

Now onto the crappy news…I found out on Friday that a company wide policy was enforced that we could no longer do a certain job function from home – did I mention this is 80% of my job? At that point working from home was really not an option anymore and I told Devan that I was pretty sure they were going to let me go because my job would be impossible to get coverage for, for the next 5-6 months and since I haven’t been there a year I am not protected by FMLA. (PS – Arizona is a right to work state, they’re totally allowed to legally do this) Well I got the call today, and while it sucks I have to say I am grateful for how my company handled it. They started off saying that I can come back after the babies are born, and that they contacted disability and made sure I would have coverage and get payment the entire time I am unable to work before doing so. They actually haven’t given me a termination date yet because my HR representative wants to make sure I am 100% getting the short term disability. It could be worse, I was already expecting the 40% pay cut at this point, and I’m so happy that they took all of this into consideration and didn’t just fire me and leave me high and dry. We left on good terms and I am actually hoping a lot of my co-workers still come to the baby shower. This is actually not the worse thing that could happen, I told Devan when I got pregnant that I was interested in possibly looking for another job (possibly within my current company) the main reason being I currently work 30 miles away and have a 40 minute commute to and from work, I really don’t want to be that far from the baby sitters once I return to work in case the babies need anything. So, life could be worse right? I stress about money, we have a savings but I never anticipated having to start using it this early, so it makes me nervous. I’m beyond stressed about the baby shower because I haven’t gotten a lot of RSVPs (people stopped doing this, why?) so I don’t have an accurate idea of how much food to make. Being on a tighter budget it would be nice to know if I can expect 50 people or 100 people, it will make a difference financially. I know a bunch of people that are coming that haven’t RSVP’d but you never know what will happen until the actual event date. I think we are just going to bite the bullet and prepare food for 100 people and hope that the 80+ people that have said “OF COURSE WERE COMING” in the past 2 months actually show up. I’m so excited to share the babies with everyone, and am grateful for all of our friends and family and can’t wait to celebrate. It is going to be a fun day for sure. My landlord DID get the flooring situation figured out, and while he went with a chain store (home depot) which means he’s paying the same for just carpet replacement that I got quoted from a family referral for carpet AND tile, it is getting taken care of, so I am just going with it at this point. We realize we are not locked into this house – we don’t own it and we don’t have to stay here. We are going to get through the next few months and have these babies and get adjusted to life with two kids and at that point may reevaluate our living situation.

That is pretty much what is happening in our life right now…lots of changes coming up.

❤ Ashley

27 Weeks!!!!!

How far along? 27 Weeks!!!!

My babies are the size of: Cauliflower…yum

Net weight gain:  I technically have not gained any weight, I lost 10 lbs in my first trimester and have gained 4.5lbs back

Maternity clothes: Yes

Sleep: My hips are not doing so hot, Devan gave me a rub down last night and it helped A LOT…might have to make it a nightly thing…

Best Moment this week: Seeing my loves on Tuesday

Miss Anything: Beer and sleeping on my tummy!

Movement: Yes!

Food Cravings: Nothing really right now

Anything making you queasy or sick: Insane heartburn…like insane, I woke up last night with stomach acid in my mouth it was disgusting.

Gender:  B&G

Labor Signs: Cervix is funneling, on mandatory bed rest for the time being.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, almost all the time!

Weekly Wisdom: Be happy!

Looking forward to: Seeing the babies next Wednesday!!!

I’m so happy to be at 27 weeks, and almost in my third trimester!!! We had an appointment with our OB yesterday and she is thinking that the babies should stay put for at least another 6 weeks. As bad as I want to meet them I want them to come home with me after I meet them, not hang out in the NICU so the older and fatter they are the better. I asked her a bunch of questions yesterday, mostly about vaginal delivery vs. c-section and was really happy with her answers. She said that even at this gestation, if the babies are head down I can do a vaginal delivery (so long as there are no other complications) She also said that she is confident I will deliver early but that it isn’t crazy to think I will make it to 34/35 weeks which is GREAT! My twin nieces were born at 34w6d and they only spent about two hours in the NICU and got to go home right away – I’m hoping the same thing happens with our babies. I will be 35 weeks on Thanksgiving Day, so its nuts to think that by Thanksgiving, or shortly after we will have our babies with us – by Christmas they will most definitely be home and we will be celebrating as a family of four for the very first time. Devan and I are already planning our first family photo for Christmas and can’t wait to start the tradition. Side note, I absolutely ADORE our OB. She is incredible, she walked into our room yesterday and said “Its like the fucking high risk pregnancy clinic today” because she had seen so many high risk pregnancies that day, we just cracked up. Later on she swabbed my cervix for the FFN test which checks if I am going to possibly go into labor within the next two weeks and I said “Dr. Bullaro, meet my vagina, you were going to get acquainted sooner or later” she just laughed – I love that we can laugh and have a good time, it means a lot to us that we can do that with our doctor, what can I say – were super inappropriate and get along with those who are the same! I did my gluclose testing yesterday and the juice was delicious. I could have drank another bottle of it for fun. I got the results today and I passed! I definitely did not think I had gestational diabetes because I haven’t been gaining weight like crazy, nor have the babies – but it is always better to be safe than sorry! The glucose cut off was 129 and I scored a 108, so I wasn’t even close. Devan keeps saying my body enjoys being pregnant, and while she might be right, I am being eaten alive by my belly. Here is a little snap shot of Devan taking a picture of Harper bulging and I am trying to look over my baby mountain to see what she is doing and you can barely see my face. PS – My stomach looks so weird too, gross.

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My belly is measuring the size of a singleton pregnancy at 35 weeks, and with the babies weight, placentas and fluids combined I’m carrying about the size of a 35 week old singleton in my belly. It gets painful folks. You would think being on bed rest would help this but it actually does the opposite – I am off my feet so much that when I do get up to pee, make food, etc my ligaments, hips and everything else holding up these massive babies feel the burn almost immediately. We are in the home stretch though, and all the babies are going to do from here on out is pack on more weight so I better get used to it! I am starting to get more and more excited to meet them…I can’t believe in just 6-8 weeks the absolute loves of my life will be here – It feels surreal to me still.

Things are falling into place for us, we have a nice amount of moula in our savings for when I go on short term disability and Devan takes off some time, our baby shower is in just 23 days and our landlord actually got the carpet situation figured out…its a good week. Also, we are officially on car seat watch. We have the brand we want picked out (Chicco Keyfit30) and the colors, the problem is the color we want for Elliott is like impossible to find. Target is the only store that carries it and they’re currently sold out online right now – we have it set up for them to notify us when it becomes available. Here is a picture of them, aren’t they adorable?

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So we have roughly 6 weeks (we have to allow for shipping time too) for Target to e-mail us and let us know it is available…and if we don’t hear from them by then we will have to pick a different color…seriously though, I am sold on the gray for Elliott so happy thoughts Target gets their shit together! We are trying not to buy ANYTHING until after our baby shower but it is so hard. 3 more weeks, we can do it!

I suppose that is it for now, lots of excitement coming up in the next few weeks and then we will be meeting our loves!

❤ Ashley

26+5, Fetal Doppler Scare

We had our followup ultrasound today to check on Ashley’s cervix, and we got another little unpleasant surprise as well.

First, we did manage to get a picture of Harper’s face for the first time in forever, it was all smashed up into her chest and her brother’s head and very chubby!

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Putting their heads together.

Our doctor didn’t want to measure the twins today because it’s unlikely there would be any significant change in their size.

Ashley’s cervix is definitely still dynamic and funneling, but it hasn’t progressed at all which is AWESOME.

IMG_4036IMG_4039Ashley’s cervix opening and closing.

It’s actually improved a little, so bed rest is working. About 1.5cm of her cervix is still closed. Our perinatologist says bed rest is still on, but she can spend time sitting up and doesn’t have to worry so much about only laying down. Thank goodness. We have an OB appointment tomorrow, and we will talk to her about what Ashley can and can’t do. I know she’s having a hard time not hanging out with our friends Shad and Lisa, we usually see them at least once a week for dinner or to just hang out. We’re also hoping that she will be able to go to our baby shower and not have to appear via FaceTime 😉

There is a 15% size difference between Harper and Elliott, Harper being smaller. Our OB’s thoughts on this were “Eh, I don’t give a shit… she’s a girl.” (I do feel like she might be a little biased because she’s a former gymnast and she’s about the size of a fetus, but that’s beside the point lol) Our perinatologist felt differently. She spent a lot of time doing a doppler study of Harper, measuring all the blood flow. She determined that her umbilical S/D ratio is elevated, which could or could not be the reason she is falling behind Elliott in growth (she was 8% behind last month)

Cue immediate panic.

We got home and I decided to get her on the phone for some clarification, because Rohen’s problems started out like this. He fell a little more behind each time we went in, and then he was just gone. I told her that we were feeling like the same thing was about to start happening and she said that had she not been talking to us and had she not known our history, she never would have mentioned the S/D ratio at all. She said it’s not clinically significant at this point, it’s just something she wants to keep an eye on. She said, “Look, if it makes you feel any better, I was incredibly worried about your son. I am not worried about your daughter.” Phew. We were also a little worried about their weights being low, and she told us “If I had to choose between a 25 week preemie in the 90th percentile for growth and a 27 week preemie in the 10th, I would choose 27 weeks every single time.”

So the plan going forward will be to check them weekly and continue to measure them and do fetal doppler studies. We are so thankful to be coming up on 27 weeks… every week we can keep them in counts! We’re still hoping to make it to the baby shower, especially since the invites are all sent out and the RSVPs are rolling in. (That reminds me, if you haven’t RSVPed get on it!)

We will have lots of news next week, I’m sure.

❤ Devan