Friday, January 27, 2012

Postpartum Joys

Well, I am now 8 days postpartum and I have a few things to say.  Now, I am going to be as simple as possible and refrain from being too graphic :)

Here are my "Joys" of Postpartum.  Note that if I use quotations around the word "joy", it is safe to assume that there is some sarcasm behind it. Please also note that these are in no particular order.  I am confident that all of these have taken the number one spot on the list at least twice today :)

The First "Joy" of Postpartum: Lack of Sleep

Not only have I had extremely restless sleep for the last 6 months, but throw two babies into the mix who have their days and nights mixed up, and you have a woman (and her hard working husband) who is running on empty. They came to us sleeping 4-5 hrs at a time during the day and as soon as 10pm hit, they were wide awake and ready to eat every two hrs. Once 7 am rolled around, they were back to their 4-5 hr stretches. Ugh. Now, it is also pertinent to note that although they were giving us two hour stretches between feedings, you start counting from the time they start eating.  So, say they woke up at 10 pm to eat, it then takes at least one full hour to change their diapers, nurse them, feed them from a bottle to make up for my lack of milk (*more on this "joy" later), pump, and put them back down. By the time our heads hit the pillow, our precious bundles of joy (no sarcasm here, I promise!) were up again an hour later.  The first night we got 3, 1 hr stretches.  The next night, exact same thing.  One other point, my cute little Street is a binkie boy!  We love this for the most part, but when they are this young, the binkie pops out quite frequently.  Anytime it did, he was sure to let us know about it.  So, the "1 hr stretches" we had, really consisted of hopping out of bed every few minutes to stick that darn binkie back in. Ah!!

Monday brought a visit to the Pediatrician. We asked for some tips on getting their clock switched around and she said to be sure to wake them up every 2-3 hours during the day to eat and it should help them fix their night and day mix up.  Well, since I am a very tired mama, waking them up every two hours to eat was a little too much to handle, but I decided every 3 was do-able.  I'm glad we listened.  The next night brought them eating every 3 hours and the next night we got one 4 hour eating stretch.  Note that this means we got a 2 hr sleep stretch, and a 3 hr sleep stretch, respectively.

Also, something important to note:  They have very different personalities when it comes to sleeping.  Livvi is very much like Daci was.  If we let her, she would go at least 4-5 hours at night as well.  Problem is her cute younger brother likes to get up every two.  When you have twins it is VERY important to keep them on the same schedule.  So, poor Livvi gets woken up every two hours to eat.  Luckily, she has a very easy going temperament and doesn't seem to mind in the least.  Mom and Dad on the other hand....have something to say about it :)

Second "Joy" of Postpartum: Pain!

Lets just say the word "tear" is not one that a woman likes to hear after delivery.  'Nuf said.

Third "Joy" of Postpartum:  Nursing

One of the side effects of Lupus is low milk supply.  With Daci I had virtually nothing.  I also had a few other things happen that lowered it even more.  I got Shingles 3 weeks after giving birth and had to go on a steroid.  I only had a crappy electric single pump to use while I was in the "pump and dump" phase of the medication and lost a lot of my supply.  Then, my Lupus became really bad (we didn't know it was Lupus at the time).  I was supplementing with her from day one and by the third month all I would get after  a pumping session was about a 1/4 ounce between the two sides.  It was really hard for me to give it up and I felt a lot of guilt associated with it.  Why do we do that as women!?  When I hear a story like that from someone else I say, "Well its obvious you had to stop, you were killing yourself!  You shouldn't feel guilty for something you can't control.  I'm sure you were a much better mom once you stopped putting yourself through the exhausting routine of trying to nurse, feed from a bottle and pump!"  But alas, it doesn't work that way on ourselves, does it?

This time, I was very hopeful it would be different since my Lupus is diagnosed and under control.  And it has been different.  I do have more milk than I did the first time around.  I would even have enough milk, if I only had one baby.  But, I have two babies, and there isn't quite enough milk to go around.  Soooooo, I have been doing everything physically possible to get the supply up.  I nurse and pump round the clock.  I drink tons of water and eat a healthy diet (thanks to my mom!). I went to the lactation specialist yesterday and got great tips.  I am trying and trying.  I want my babies to have breast milk, it is very important to me, thats why I am putting myself through the tiring routine.  But it is just that...tiring!  My body is working on overload trying to produce the amount that I need and I am pooped!

Not only is it hard not having the supply but I am also very sensitive in that region.  Lets just say lots of blood, scabs and little pieces falling off.  Too graphic?  Sorry about that!  One thing that has helped?  Shields!

Fourth "Joy" of Postpartum: Emotional Roller Coaster

I am a MESS!  I will be happy and excited and encouraged one moment and 10 minutes later, the roller coaster is at the bottom of the hill and I am a sobbing, bawling, soggy basket case.  I think I cry every hour over things that I would never cry over.  I am so stressed about nursing and so tired from not sleeping that every little thing puts me over the edge.  Luckily, I have a mom and grandma that insist that I take a nap once a day or I may be checked into the hospital again....for other reasons.

I am completely, 100% overwhelmed.  It is taking 3 (4, when Rick is home) adults to take care of two babies, a postpartum girl (that's me), my cute Daci, meals, the house, the grocery shopping, and the laundry.  Every time I think of not having these extra sets of hands I have an emotional breakdown.  Cue the tears.....better stop writing about this one.

The Only REAL Joy of Postpartum (notice, no quotes) That Really Matters:  My Babies!

It doesn't matter how hard it is to have babies, feed babies, or sleep train babies.  It is all 100% worth it! I am smitten by these two!  I seriously could stare at them forever.  They make the cutest little faces and noises and I am so annoying with my, "Mom!  Look at this!" or "Grandma, how funny is this!?"  or "RICK! Wake up!  Look how cute they are!" Haha.  Really I love these two more than I can express. Despite all the hardships of postpartum...they are the true JOYS in my life.

Cue Snap Happy Photos:

Birth Weight: 6 lb 8 oz
Going Home Weight: 6 lb 1 oz
Weight at First Dr. Appt., Day 5: 6 lb 5 oz (10th percentile), 19.5 inches (25th percentile), Head Circum: 13 inches (10th percentile)
Weight at Lactation Specialist on Day 7: 6 lb 9 oz

Bright eyes
Occasionally finds his thumb
All ready for his first doctor's appt.

Such a sweetie!  He was wrapped in a pink blankie at the time, so I changed the photo to black and white :)
Chillin out in the boppy
Loves to have his fists next to his face

Birth Weight: 6 lb 3 oz
Going Home Weight: 5 lb 12 oz
Stats at First Dr. Appt, Day 5: 6 lb 1 oz (10th percentile), 19 inches long (25th percentile), Head circum: 13.5 inches (25th percentile)
Weight at Lactation Specialist on Day 7: 6 lbs 5 ounces
Our Happy, Easy-Going Girl

Ready for the Dr.
Smiling in her sleep


I love that they sleep together

They always end up facing each other and scooting in close together . Livvi always rolls up on her side. 

With nursing I kinda live in comfy silky button up jammies right now
Lovin me some Livvi

Daddy and Son Tummy Time. Street loves his tummy! 
Great Grandma (GG) with her second and third great grandchildren

Grandma feeding Street
Aunt Carly feeding Livvi
Another Important Joy (no quotes!): My Sweet Daci Bug
Daci has done great through all of this!  My mom and grandma have been sure to do lots of fun things with her and give her lots of special attention.  She also loves to do "Big Sister Helpers".  She throws away the diapers and brings me things that I need.  She loves the twins and hasn't had too many behavioral problems....just a few occasional ones :)  Love you Daci Doodle!  Thanks for being a trooper with your emotional mom!
Grandma and Daci making cookies

Such a big helper!
Playing in the snow!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Birth Story and The First Few Days

I arrived at the hospital at 7:15am for my induction.  I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous and anxious!  Its kinda strange going into it knowing you will be putting your body through labor and coming out with babies at the end!  I just went into labor naturally with Daci, so to actually know when I was going to start labor was weird!

They started my paperwork at 7:30am, got my IV going at 8am, and started my pitocin at 8:30am.  They said they like to mimic natural childbirth with how they do their pitocin, so they started me at a 2 and increased it by 2 every 15 minutes to get me into labor slowly and naturally.  By 10:20am I was dilated to a 4.5 and the pitocin was at a 14.  They broke Livvi's water at 10:30am (yes, I had two waters....I never thought of that before, but I guess it makes sense!) and I was at a 5.  My contractions were coming in every 2 minutes and they were definitely strong, but I wasn't experiencing any pain yet.  My nurse asked me about 45 minutes later if I wanted the epidural.  I wasn't really in pain yet, but knew that I was going to get it, so figured "why wait?"  I got the epidural at 11:20am and luckily I did because I progressed very quickly from then! I got really nauseous and dizzy and wanted to throw up and I knew I was in transition.  I told the nurse I thought I was but could tell she was a little skeptical but she checked me and I was at an 8.5 at 12:45.  She said, "Ok, we will have you sit here for a little while and I'll let the Dr know that you are getting closer." Literally 10 minutes later I felt rectal pressure and wanted to push.  The nurse was really sweet but I could tell she didn't think I was ready.  She went to find Livvi's heart rate and couldn't find it so she was going to put a probe on her head.  When she reached in to do it she goes, "Oh my!  You are complete and ready to push!" Everything went so fast from there.  Rick jumped into scrubs, we put our caps on and they started wheeling my bed to the operating room (I had to deliver in the operating room in case anything happened and they had to do an emergency c-section to get Street out).  My mom had to stay behind because they only allowed one person in the operating room with me :(  As I was being wheeled down the hall I started vomiting and they wouldn't let me stop because they didn't have the monitor on Livvi's heart rate so they had to rush in.  I was trying to vomit into my little bucket and it was just sloshing everywhere.  Yuck!  It only made me more dizzy!  Once in the room they lifted me from my bed onto the table, threw my legs into the stirrups, and told me to wait for the contraction and start pushing!  Luckily, after I threw up I was able to regain some of my composure.  When the first contraction came, I pushed and my Dr. said, "She is almost out!  Keep pushing!" She popped right out on the second contraction!  Then, he checked to see where Street was at.  He said that he was still a little high so over the next few contractions we would work to get him down lower.  On the first contraction I pushed and he went straight down to the cervix!  Next contraction and he was out as well!  It seriously went so well and so smoothly and I can't believe how quickly it all went!  I probably pushed for a total of 15 minutes between the two babies.

Livvi Maren Roberts was born at 1:16pm and was 6 lb 3 oz and 19 inches long.  Street Frederick Roberts was born 9 minutes later at 1:25pm and was 6 lb 8 oz and 19.5 inches long. It was the perfect pain free delivery (afterward has been a different story! ha!) and my babies are so adorable!

Right after we got back to my room.  Livvi was COVERED in vernix and was pretty swollen in the face since she was in the birth canal.  Street came out looking perfect because he didn't have to sit in the canal at all.  Livvi is a lot more fair and has lighter hair.  You can definitely tell she is a girl.  She looks very petite and feminine.  Street is absolutely the most handsome baby boy ever!  He has darker hair and skin than Livvi and his face is a lot more round.  Once Livvi's swelling went down we could see how much she looks like Rick!  I will have to post a pic of she and him face to face.  It is seriously crazy how alike they look.  She has his nose, eyes and ears!  Street looks a lot like a Pedersen and I think he looks almost identical to what Daci looked like as a baby.  He actually looks a lot like my brother, Easton did as a baby.

After I nursed for the first time they moved me to my room and took the twins to get their first baths.  Rick got to go watch and take pictures.

Livvi's first bath:

So happy and content afterward :)

Street's first bath:

Grandma with Livvi. I'm so glad I got to have her with me in the hospital!

My sweet, clean babies :)

A few hours later Rick went and got my Grandma and Daci to come see the babies.  This is Daci with Street for the first time

Meeting Livvi


Holding Livvi

My cute Daci Bug

Daci opening a present from the twins...a Big Sister necklace!

Our new family of five!

Proud parents of cute twinners!

The next day my mom, grandma and Daci came back to visit.  Daci was so excited to hold the twins again! 
Street on the left, Livvi on right

We love putting them together :)

Getting Livvi ready to come home. She was so alert!

Street snuggling with Grandma when he got home

Love my precious boy! 
GG holding Livvi

Sweet Livvi

Our first night was EXTREMELY rough!  They are completely backward.  They were up all night long.  Good thing they are so stinking cute :)  This is them this morning.  Awwww.

You would never know that this cute face was such a pill all night long!