Sunday, February 24, 2013

Keira's Birth Story

This past Friday, my baby turned 2 years old. A while ago, I realized that I have never actually written her birth story in it’s entirety so I wrote it up. But never hit publish. I wasn't sure that anyone would want to read it. Then I remembered why I write this blog. So I'm publishing. If nothing else, feel free to enjoy the newborn pics.

Keira’s due date was February 28th. She was constantly moving, always shoving her feet into my ribs, most likely bruising them. She actually managed to tear my ab muscles around  35/36 weeks. I was very disappointed to hear that it wouldn’t heal until a couple weeks after giving birth, which wouldn’t be for another month as is. Just about every night, my uterus was turned into a disco club.

My reason for explaining this is because on Friday, February 18th, it had been several hours since I felt movement. Naturally, I was concerned and when Doug got home from work, we went into L&D to get checked. After spending 3 hours hooked up to monitors, being giving some juice and food, her movement picked up a bit and it was determined that she was fine so we went home.

For the next 3 days, I felt mild contractions throughout the days, but nothing close enough together to be concerned about. Tuesday morning, I woke around 5am to stronger contractions. Since I knew I wouldn’t sleep, I climbed into the shower and just stood in the warm water, knowing it would at least help me relax. A couple hours later found me pacing my living room & kitchen while timing the contractions. They were getting closer and longer. Around 9, I called my mom and she came to get me. We drove up to the hospital and arrived there about 10:30. Since Doug was working a few hours away, I didn’t want to call him in if it was a false alarm. Well, after being hooked to the monitors for a bit, they told me I was “definitely having a baby today”. So, I called Doug and he was able to make it to the hospital for a little after noon. (Pictures are thanks to my mom. See? It's in my DNA. Also, please ignore that fact that I look like crap. I was less than concerned with putting on make-up.)

So far, I had been able to handle all the contractions med-free. I walked around, did some deep breathing etc. If I remember right, I was about 2-ish cm dilated when I arrived at the hospital (10:30 am). By 5 pm, I was barely 5 cm, so they said they were going to start me on Pitocin and asked if I wanted an epidural. Having heard stories about Pit contractions, I immediately said yes. For all the good it did me, as it never showed up. For an hour, I had the most intense contractions, with not a single med, not even a Tylenol. Hurt doesn't begin to cover it. Doug said I never screamed though. Just a whole lot of whining that it hurt.

The rest is slightly vague as I don't remember it clearly between pain & drugs.

By 6 pm, I still hadn't progressed any further. The Dr decide to break my water in the hopes of speeding things along. Keira decided to take that as the cue for her entrance and managed to get stuck as I was still only 5 cm dilated. Her heart rate dropped and the Dr declared that an emergency cesarean was necessary. They wheeled me down the hall to the OR and proceeded to give me a spinal.  Doug was almost not allowed in, but when they got her heart rate up, he was. I remember him coming in, but then it was decided to put me out (I don't remember why). I was woken up with a nurse holding my baby next to my head so that I could see her and give her a kiss and then she was gone (don't worry, Doug went with her). She was born at 6:11. It's amazing to think all that happened in such a short amount of time.

While I was being stitched up, Keira was cleaned up and Doug brought her out so my mom could see her before she went home. I was taken to the recovery room where I discovered the bizarreness of having feet but being unable to move or feel them (and damn it, did I try). They brought Keira back to me (with Doug), they bathed her and did her prints and APGAR while in the recovery room with me. I can't remember any of what they were saying. I was too busy just watching while trying to stay awake. Around 10 pm, they wheeled us into our room where we stayed for the next 3 days. She was 8 pounds, 2.7 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Another project done

Keira has been keeping us on our toes since before she could walk. She's still doing it.

A couple days ago, I was sitting at the bar in our kitchen and suddenly felt a cold breeze on my feet. The little monkey had turned on the air conditioning. Previously, she had managed to turn off our heat as well as turn it up. Ah, the joy of toddlers.

Since we can't exactly move our thermostats, as they are mounted to the wall, we had to come up with another option. Our couch is too big to fit in any other spot in our living room. So what else? I saw (on Pinterest, where else) a hinged canvas to hide a thermostat. There's only one problem. Most canvases are only an inch or so deep. We needed something at least 1 3/4". Armed with a measuring tape and a list, I decided to check out the local Michael's & AC Moore's stores to see what I could find.

I found a great sale on front-hinged shadow boxes. 40% off, making the one that would fit about $20. I bought 2, one for each side of the couch. I cut down some 16x20 mats that I already had and put in photos from our trip to PEI. I taped them to the door of the box and left the back of the box off completely.

After double checking the weight capacities, I put a 3M Command Strip on each corner and attached it to the wall around the thermostats. (I am going to move the wedding photo higher.)

I think it works pretty well. The door opens from the right, which makes it quite difficult for tiny fingers to open. With the door shut, it look no different than any other photo frame. Score 1 for Mommy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sledding Videos

This weekend, we went to my parent's house for some sledding. My dad built up a hill from the mountain of snow that was plowed up from the driveway. He smoothed out a track and added a ladder.

Keira's first ride? Success.

A change from saucer to sled made a big difference.

Abby showing her how to do it.

Keira's first solo ride. She held the ropes tight just like Daddy said. Too bad they're super long.

She's got the hang of staying upright. It's a much more enjoyable ride.

Grandma got in on the excitement and they fit all 3 on the sled.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blizzard 2013 - Part 2

At 10pm, I went to bed. Keira was asleep and my mother-in-law was watching a movie. Since Doug and his father were out plowing, we felt better being all together in one place, in case we lost electricity or something happened.

Well, just before midnight, the power went out. We usually use a pellet stove to heat our home, but that needs electricity, so out it went. Luckily, we have a woodstove in the basement. Unluckily, Keira woke up two minutes later. We took turns holding Keira and getting the wood and stove lit. Since that stove is what we used to heat our home pre-Keira, it was 'old hat' and I had it lit in no time. We all moved to the living room where we snuggled under blankets and went back to sleep. The coldest it got in the house was 63 degrees and our power came back on a bit before 6:30 am.

Most of the day was overcast and the snow stopped in the early afternoon. It was hard to guess how much snow we had because of all the drifts, but our neighbors measured 19 inches. I was toasty in the house and had no intentions of going outside. Here are some pictures from the morning.

There is a street under there, I promise. The weight of the snow was incredible. Just looking at all the branches weighed down was amazing. When I got onto Facebook, my News Feed was filled with pictures of snow and status's of lost power. A couple photos showed trees fallen over onto power lines.

Our street is one of the furthest from the center of town so we're used to getting plowed at the last. The trucks came around 8:30 the night before, doing one sweep over the inch or two we had gotten. But they didn't come again until 3pm the next day. By then it had stopped snowing and we had a foot and a half.

While plowing, he got stuck at least 4 times and had to be pulled out. But they got it all done and now our road is clear for driving. Not that I plan to go anywhere today. We're hanging out in our jammies and relaxing.

Blizzard 2013 - Part 1

The snow started about 10 am around our house. Since I knew we'd be staying in for a while, I had a few things saved to break up the monotony. Like painting in the bathtub.

I'm pretty sure she had more fun rubbing it in her hands than she did painting the tub with it.

The best part was that it washed off the tub as easy as if it was soap. I didn't even have to rub or scrub any of it. We're definitely going to be doing this again.

Part 2 (the actual snow) coming soon.

Friday, February 8, 2013

More Learning

On Thursday, my mom & I drove to the hospital for my ultrasound. The tech checked out all sorts us stuff, showed us Baby A and Baby B and took more measurements. I was able to explain to my mom that they are labeled alphabetically, Baby A being the one closest to the cervix and most likely to be born first. She showed us the thin membrane between the babies and explained that they are Monochorionic-Diamniotic.

Monochorionic means that they share the same placenta. Diamniotic twins have two amniotic sacs. This occurs in 60–70% of the pregnancies with monozygotic (identical) twins. Monochorionic-Diamniotic twins are almost always monozygotic, with a few exceptions where the blastocysts have fused.

After the tech had finished, we met with Dr. C, the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist. I think of him as a House for pregnant women, without the sarcasm. He was very pleasant and went through the basics with us. I was quite happy that there wasn't anything I hadn't already heard of or read. He did tell us that the twins are identical and that he wants to have me in every other week for monitoring ultrasounds until they are born.

Here's our latest double shot. Baby A is the one on top, all stretched out, and Baby B is the one on the bottom. You can see the thin line on the left side between them. That's the membrane that separate the amniotic fluid/sacs. Both hearts, stomach, etc look good and hopefully stay that way. Until our next update.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Little Monkey

Keira has no idea how much her world is going to change in a few months. I've started to tell her that there are babies in mommy's belly, but so far, she either doesn't get it or she just doesn't care. Could go either way, really.

She's been learning new things and getting more independent, which I'm sure will be a blessing later. It's not easy to feel that way when she insists on coming down the stairs without holding my hand. "I do it". Of course, that means I get to hold Monkey, Bear & any other of her menagerie that has been deigned to join us on today's journey to the living room.

Everything is "I do it" now. She's been undressing herself for a while now, but now she's taken a bigger interest in dressing herself. Some attempts have better results than other but she's getting pretty good. (She waddled around the kitchen for a good 3 minutes like this.)

She even puts her boots on by herself. They're on the wrong feet in this photo, but most of the time, she does get them right.

She knows a bunch of colors and shapes as well as a few numbers and letters. She knows a ton of animals and their sounds. She adores reading her books and she loves coloring.

The staredown for the blue crayon.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A New Level of Knowledge

It's been 5 days since I was told we were having twins.

I'm still kind of in shock. I'm trying to keep my mind busy with practicalities so I don't get too overwhelmed but it's not easy. Luckily, friends and family are helping. I have a couple twin mommy friends who have shared info and encouragement. (Thanks again, ladies. You're awesome.) I haven't Google anything twin related yet, either. Which, let's face it, is amazing for me.

The only thing I've really glanced at (and I do mean glanced. I still haven't read the entire article) is a Wikipedia article here. I always thought there were only 2 kinds of twins, identical or fraternal and that's where my knowledge ended. There is also Degree of Separation. There are 4 possibilities and they each have different risk levels.

Here's a basic diagram from that page that shows what I'm talking about.

Based on the ultrasound photos that I've already had, we know they are not conjoined. Further than that, I have no idea. I have an appointment with a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) doctor next week for another ultrasound so that we can find out more information and determine a plan of care (how often I'll have check-ups and ultrasounds).

This is honestly as far as I've gotten. I'm not really thinking about it further because I really don't know anymore. Not 'borrowing trouble' as the phrase goes. Instead, I've been busying myself by figuring out what items we can make due with 1 of and what we'll need 2 of. Obviously, 2 car seats are a necessity, but for a while we can get by with 1 crib. We will need a lot more cloth diapers. But we've got plenty of time to worry about that before they get here.