Wow, it's been so long since I have written here! I need to get better at writing more regularly. :-)
It's amazing to look at my first post and think back to that period in my life. Little did I know that only about a week later, I would end up in Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vermont, the only hospital in our state with a NICU, on bed rest for three weeks.
It seems like getting to the point of finally meeting our babies was such a looong road! I ended up in Fletcher Allen at 32 weeks gestational age, because I leaked some fluid and was contracting. I had to go there because the twins would have been in the NICU for a week or two if born at that time. I was 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced the day I got transferred there. By the time I got there, I was 3 centimeters dilated. I was given steroid shots to help develop the twin's lungs quicker, and given meds in the meantime to slow down my labor to allow the steroid shots to get in and do their job. That was a Friday, and by Sunday, they moved me out of the labor and delivery unit and down on the post partum floor since I wasn't in active labor, but they said that the risks to me and the twins of stopping labor were greater than the risks of letting labor continue if it started on it's own again, so if it started again on it's own, they were going to let me go and deliver. Sunday night, I ended up back upstairs and dilated to 4 centimeters and 90% effaced, and Connor's head could be felt the whole time everytime I got checked. After that, I was down on the post partum floor on bed rest for 3 freakin' weeks! It was the WORSE! I was discharged Thursday, January 8, to go home on moderate bed rest, just to take things slowly. I was allowed to deliver at my local hospital, Copley Hospital, at 36 weeks, and I was 35 weeks the day I was discharged. However, the doctor at Fletcher Allen told me that the neonatologist that was on call for that week at Copley was very comfortable dealing with 35 week twins and that they would make every effort to keep my babies there if I went into labor that week, instead of shipping them to the NICU at Fletcher Allen. So, that felt great and it was awesome to get home!! Frank and I relaxed that night, had dinner, watched a movie, and went to bed around 9ish. I got up to pee around midnight and when I came back to bed and laid down, I felt a small gush of something. I didn't freak at first, because that had happened before, and it meant nothing that time. So I went back to the bathroom and wiped...tried to smell it and all that to see if it was fluid or not. I had a pad on but couldn't get a good feel for whether it was fluid or discharge. I had recently been diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis, so I had just got done with the 5 day vaginal treatment of the yucky goop stuff that you insert...like a yeast infection treatment...so I thought it could be some of that leaking out. I texted my friend Holley to talk to her and get some advice, because I was freaking just a bit! LOL...I went back to bed, tried to go to sleep, and I felt horrible pains in my lower back and some more fluid. I went back to the bathroom again and ended up using a whole toilet paper roll just wiping, trying to figure out what it was for sure! I had a tiny bit of pink bloody show, and at one point when I wiped, there was a clear string of fluid stuff that was on the toilet paper...Holley told me it was definitely my water and to wake up Frank! I woke him around 12:30 or so, and said that I thought my water had broke. He jumped out of bed and started getting stuff together and told me to call the hospital...I responded with, "I'm not calling the freakin' hospital, I'm in LABOR! We are just gonna go and get there!!" LOL So we left and it was the LONGEST 20 minute drive EVER! I was in sooooo much pain. And when we were ALMOST there, Frank asked if he could stop and get a coffee...LOL! Typical! I said yes, but told him to hurry up!! We got to the hospital and went to the E.R. desk and I told the woman that I thought I was in labor and she asked me, "Did you call?" WTH?!?! I was in LABOR! The last thing on my mind was to CALL the hospital FIRST! So we went up to the birthing center and got settled and hooked up to the monitors...babies looked great, but the monitors weren't picking up my contractions...and I was DEFINITELY feeling them! They checked me and I was still 4 cm and 90% effaced. After a few more minutes on the monitors, I got in the shower for about 20 minutes to try and help ease the contractions in my back. The nurse came in and asked how I was doing and if I planned on using any pain medications. I said I had originally wanted to do it all natural with no meds, but that I thought I needed something at that point, because I just couldn't take the pain anymore. She said I would have to be at 6 cm. to get a spinal (no epidurals at my hospital), so to get out of the shower in a few minutes so she could check me again. I got out and she checked me and she just kept counting! Her fingers were up there and she was going, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6..." And then she goes, "WOAH girlfriend, you're not getting those meds...you're 7 centimeters, fully effaced!" And then she ran to call my doctor. They had waited to call him when I first got there, because we had had a few "false alarms" in the weeks before that, so they wanted to make sure it was real this time. And it definitely was! Frank called his sister and her girlfriend and my mom and our two doulas, and they all got there shortly after. After the nurse checked me when I was at 7 cm., I had to pee and once I sat on the toilet, I felt like I had to throw up so I grabbed the hazard waste bucket thingy next to the toilet and totally threw up my dinner...it was awful! The nurse had me get back in bed after that because throwing up in labor can make you dilate more. My doctor got there just in time and checked me and I was fully dilated and he said if I felt the urge to push to just go for it. So, I did! First I was laying down and pushing, and then my doula suggested putting the squat bar on the bed and having me pull up on that to push, since gravity would be helping in that position to pull the babies down. It worked well for me, actually. :-) I don't remember how long I pushed for Connor, maybe 45 minutes...? It's kind of a blur. The crowning was AWFUL. But, I pushed threw it and screamed as his head came out...LOL Before his head was fully crowned, our doula asked if I wanted a mirror. I said yes, just to take a peek. I could see part of his head just sitting there waiting to be pushed a little more, but then I had to give the mirror back because I think it would have scared me away from pushing anymore, and I didn't need that, since I was doing so well already. Frank was sitting directly in front of me on the couch, videotaping the whole thing, and everytime I would push and then relax, I could hear him say, "Oh my God," because he would see the head start coming and then go back up when I relaxed...it was funny! Finally, Connor was out and placed on my chest and I was so relieved...Frank came over beside me and kissed me and cut the umbilical cord...I just kept saying, "He's crying, he's crying!" Because he was a preemie, I was just so happy to hear him responsive and crying because it meant he was okay. At one point when I was pushing him out, they needed to give me oxygen because I was sitting on his cord and it was cutting off oxygen to him. But it was all okay! They took Connor over to get cleaned up and wrapped, and then my doctor did a quick ultrasound to make sure Merasia was still head down and ready to go, and she was! Then he checked me again and Merasia's water hadn't broken, so he went ahead and broke it, which was fine with me! I just wanted them OUT! LOL When we first got to the hospital, I just kept saying, "I can't do this, I can't do this" beause the contractions were just so stinkin' horrible! And then as it got closer to pushing Connor out, I just kept saying, "Oh my GOD, get him OUT!!" Breaking Merasia's water didn't hurt a bit, and right after he broke her water, I started pushing again! She was born at 4:31 a.m., about a half hour after her brother, and was put on my chest, and Frank cut her umbilical cord too. She wasn't crying like her brother was though, so they had to take her in the other room and give her some oxygen and they were slapping her feet and stuff to get her to respond more. She was fine a few minutes later, they said that because she came so fast, she was just in a little bit of shock. And part of her face was a little bruised from coming out, but she was perfect, as well...and had a FULL HEAD OF HAIR! I love it!! After both were born, my doctor massaged my lower abdomen to get the placenta moving out, and that was delivered soon after...but there was only ONE, and with boy/girl twins, there should have been TWO! My doctor checked it all out to see if there was a seam where they had fused together to be one or not, and he couldn't see one! He was in awe at that, so he sent it away to pathology to be tested just because he was curious about it...we asked him a couple days later if he had heard anything, and he still didn't know. Weird! So, after the placenta was delivered, he checked me for tears, and I had a couple small ones that only required like 4 stitches. So he numbed it up down there, which hurt horribly! But then he stitched everything up and the nurses got me cleaned up and settled and they gave me Pitocin to contract my uterus faster after delivery. I was exhausted, and fell asleep with Connor on my chest for an hour or so. I lost a LOT of blood too, so I was dizzy and faint at times, but it felt so good to SLEEP. When Connor came out, I kept asking, "Is he still a boy??" Frank said, "He is DEFINITELY still a boy!" And then when Merasia was born, I asked, "Is she still a girl??" LOL I was just in awe of everything happening, I couldn't believe it, and still can't! I didn't say anything too mean to Frank during labor, either...haha! At one point he was telling me I was doing such a good job and I snapped at him and told him to shut up...but that's the worse thing I said to him the whole time and it was only because I was trying to focus and it just distracted me. I felt bad after though. :-) It was good that we had our doulas there though, because I think with Frank next to me the whole time and supporting me, I was just too irritable to deal since I was so uncomfortable, and I probably would have ended up snapping at him a lot more and he's so sensitive, he would have gotten upset. So, he videotaped the whole thing and supported me from the couch in front of me, and when the babies came out, he was right next to me, cutting the cords and kissing me and saying I love you, so that made up for it, lol! Later that night the nurses had to put a catheter in me to drain my bladder because it had been about 12 hours since I delivered and I still hadn't peed, and they said most women pee within 6 hours after delivering. They said they would numb everything down there with this gel stuff first so I wouldn't feel it...but I FELT EVERY BIT OF IT!! Frank was holding my hand and I was literally screaming, crying, and telling them to stop and they just kept going! It was HORRIBLE! Frank even cried for me, he felt so bad! I was SO glad when that was over! I think it was later that night or the next day that I was actually able to pee by myself...and it KILLED! About a week later, it was much better than it was but it still hurt...I used that peri bottle with warm water everytime I peed, it was my best friend! :-) At first, after the twins were born, we thought they would have to stay an extra day or two to be under the bilirubin lights for jaundice, since they were preemies and at a higher risk for that, but their levels from their foot pricks kept getting better and better as the days went by...we were discharged, all together, on Tuesday afternoon, but they wanted to check Merasia's levels again for the next two days after they sent us home. They kept going down, so she was fine. So, we had a normal length hospital stay...I actually chose to stay an extra day because I was so sore and couldn't walk well, and that extra day did a lot of help! Plus, I was a bit anemic from losing so much blood in delivery. And we were the only people there until the day we were discharged, so the nurses loved doting on the twins, and we got lots of attention since there were no other patients to attend to. We are just so in awe of these babies! I cannot believe how blessed we are! For coming at 35 weeks, they are just perfect and so healthy, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have everything go so well. I feel like superwoman! I cannot believe I gave birth to these two little babies that Frank and I made together...and natural and vaginal, at that! That is something I have wanted to do since day one, but never thought I'd be capable of. It's all so surreal that I am a MOMMY. I am so in love! Frank and I both are. He is so great with the babies and is such a great daddy...he literally changed overnight into daddy mode once these babies were born, and I love watching him with them. At one point in the hospital, Connor was laying on the bed with me and Frank came over next to the bed and got down real close to Connor's face and said, "Hi buddy," just like he used to when they were in my belly, and Connor turned and looked straight at him...it was the sweetest thing to see him respond to Frank's voice like that! And Connor looks SOOOOO much like Frank! It's CRAZY! His face is a spitting image of Frank, and I just love it! Everyone says Merasia looks like me. I just love her full head of hair! Frank and I both had that when we were born, so she definitely gets that from both of us, and they both have their daddy's feet...too stinkin' cute!! We are planning to start trying to concieve baby number three in January, when the twins are a year old. The pain of labor and delivery was more than I was prepared for, but I think that's because everything went SO fast, so it was much more intense. But, I would do it again in a heartbeat! Labor and delivery wasn't even the worse part...I think the worse part was peeing afterwards, I think that hurt the most out of the whole thing!