In honor of Bubbies birthday celebrations I thought I’d do his weeks tbt on him:) Since many of you have seen old pictures of me…and the ones you haven’t seen I’m not about to plaster all over;)…..I’ll, instead, give you ones of my life changing 7 years with jack.
1) he was a foster failure that was supposed to be a girl….note the pink collar ❤
2) he was CONSTANTLY mistaken for a yellow lab puppy….I still don’t see it
3) he was the catalyst for dozens of my close friends and family to rescue a pittie….. you know who you are 😉
4) he was the reason I found my dream job…
5) he was EXPENSIVE!!! Um, two knee surgeries, a cancer scare, auto-immune deficiencies, and a grain intolerance:/ while I have pictures of this time, it just makes me sad… and it might make you vomit…so I’ll keep those to myself.
6)he was given more nicknames than I can count….bubbie, love bug, bear, buggie, thumbelina, nug bug, princess….yes the list goes on, and he answers to all of them
7) he has changed my life immensely and I couldn’t have asked for a better pup to be my rock. He is my partner in crime, my great snuggler, and my protector all at once. I am amazed to see how far he has brought us both in life and can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Happy 7th birthday to my old man;) your family loves you!
The early NICU days were such a blurr for me, so I re-read their medical files and had NUMEROUS conversations with Scott…and this is what we remember as the early days;)
both boys are stable but kept in plexi-incubators for temp regulation, B needed some Bili lights on and off Aedon didn’t and neither needed oxygen. I was finally able to see them about 12 hours after I delivered. And after my nurses rolled me down to the NICU I was chastised by the nurse for wanting to hold them while they were sleeping I settled into my wheelchair too stubborn to hear “no” and just stared at her. I got to hold my boys for the first time… We were told that for now we should only be holding them when they were already awake for feedings, but since I would be at the hospital for at least 4 more days we were there for everything.
we had our first few visitors only immediate family though. Later that night we were told Aedon had an “infection” and that he needed an immediate spinal tap to determine what it was and if it had gone to his spinal fluid. While the nurses pressed we asked for some time, we wanted them to do another culture before a spinal tap. At 11pm they did a spinal tap on Aedon, the mini man didn’t even make a sound about it. They did take another sample to culture.
A course of antibiotics is prescribed for both boys and that wins us a 10 day say in the NICU:( Even though both the blood culture and spinal tap came back clean. We actually didn’t know about the 2nd blood culture coming back infection free until we requested their medical records.
after moving the IV lines all around their little bodies their veins kept collapsing and Doctors finally recommended placing them in their head or doing surgery to place a more permanent line into a major vessel in their arms. I was also released from the hospital. Without my doctor addressing my surgery incision… against my better judgment.
the NICU had suites that we could stay in so we took the dogs to grandpa Michaels house, which is 20min from the hospital, and gave the cat lots of food. (a good thing because after being out for less than an hour my incision burst)
the boys are finally allowed out of their cubes! they are on swaddled with about 15 layers but still having a little trouble regulating and go back into their plexi-jails but, just for the night.
at the end of their first week we are finally allowed to bathe them since they were doing so well regulating and eating(though most is still through the NG tube)BAHAHAH Scott and I will never forget, as soon as Aedon got wet his eyes got all big and his internal DANGER alarm must have gone off because he instantly pooped! By the end of week one they had dropped a little less than a pound each which the doctors said was normal but were eating and doing a lot better than expected, just typical preemie issues.
My oh my, the last labor fiasco scared me straight! I was diligent about staying off my feet all day, I pretty much lived on our couch. Sad to say, but Scott would even put together a little bin of things I would need before he would leave for long periods. All of the calm seemed to pay off though, the boys held out until 34 weeks. A huge feat considering the bleak outlook I was given to start. I went in at about 7pm thinking that my water was "leaking" only to find out it was not, but I was in labor. Apparently I am a "Zen" momma now? Well not really the "contractions" they recorded I just couldn't feel, I would guess it had something to do with the pain meds for the torn ribs. This just so happened to be my OB's night shift and the MFM was easily reached. After 2 hours of promising I would stay mellow and that I really didn't feel the contractions she was still on the fence about letting me go home. They had "checked" me when I got there, I was at 3cm/fully effaced, she wanted to check me again at 11pm if I was still at 3cm and the boys growth scan she was about to have done was reassuring, then I could go home. The scan went really fast and Baby A was at 3lbs 14oz and Baby B was 4lbs exactly. Bad news, they had now fallen below the 5th%, I knew the MFM would push for a delivery tonight.
So, with monitors strapped all over me, we waited and waited and waited. Moment of truth, 11pm! My OB said IF I hadn't progressed I could go, with that she "checked" again. 5cm and fully effaced…and off I went to be prepped for C-section. It was odd since I had a dream about the boys birthday being 4-6-12. As I was prepping we were told that it was going to be just a little longer, we sat for the longest half hour of my life (no exaggeration) and just as it turned midnight I was being wheeled into the OR to meet my mini men. I was a bit disappointed that they hadn't brought Scott in the room while they did my spinal, I HATE needles, but it ended up fine since I didn't even feel it…literally, I asked her if they had already done it as I was being directed to lay back. So, Scott came in and they started cutting. Like right away it was too soon and I could still feel it, so they paused, and tried again, and paused again. Third try was a charm and at 12:38am April 7th 2012 Aedon James was born at 4lbs 8oz and 17in. With the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck doctors quickly cut it and passed him off to his team of doctors. Baby B proved to be a fighter, he had flipped during the c-section and now, after trying to grab a foot to pull him down and out of my ribs, he slid loose and ducked for cover! What a little stinker, she had to put her whole forearm in to again grab a foot, this time he was out! Broderick John was born 3 minutes later at 12:41am 4lbs 8.5oz and 17.5in. The nurses joked because they were SO close in size, though B would be rounded to 4lbs 9oz. Scott got to cut B’s cord and he was then sent off to his team of doctors. As they wrapped up my procedure, Scott stayed a little while, but then went to see the boys as I was rolled back to the room. Still unable to see the babies, I was assured they were stable and doing wonderfully.
First pictures of our tiny bambinos
30 weeks! I made it! Baby A is weighing in at 2lbs 15oz and Baby B is weighing in at 3lbs exact. They grew, but the MFM wasn’t really impressed by the gain and he made it a point to discuss IUGR and SGA complications. While my 28 week labor scare had led me to make a labor plan, I was thrown another curve ball at 30+5weeks. This could have been the boys final eviction at 32 weeks, but alas, I came up 9 days short. This time I had told Scott it didn’t feel “real” and to stay home…little did I know at that point that my feeling was very wrong. I made it to the hospital late Saturday night early Sunday morning; both my MFM and my OB were supposed to be called IMMEDIATELY if it was for my delivery….but that was only after 32weeks. So no one was called and I saw the on-call. A scary prospect for me, considering the last on-call left me to suffer. So after an hour drive, an hour of trying to let Scott know I was in actual labor, and an hour of waiting on the on-call I was exhausted. Then the ball finally got rolling, the Neonatologist, on-call MFM, on-call OB, NICU nurses and Paramedics were all standing by. If I delivered now the boys would be taken flight-for-life into Milwaukee’s level 4 NICU equip to handle tiny tiny babies. I met with doctors over the next few hours while I was given shot after shot and pumped with drugs to stop the labor. Two full days later the regular contractions of labor had subsided. Just shy of 4cm and fully effaced the medication had inhibited the ability of the contractions to dilate me. But, I still felt like I was just waiting for the babies to fall out. Now I was faced with having to stay until I was ready to deliver, my doctors were concerned because labor would now go VERY fast. Yet the drive to my hospital was VERY far, leaving little time for the C-section I needed, since both were Breech. We agreed that I would wait through the next 24 hours to make sure the contractions and any hints of labor were gone. With much persuasion, I was released on Tuesday, with a new full time job none the less, or at least that’s what it felt like! I would make the trek to see a doctor 3 times per week! I had what seemed like MASS amounts of NonStress Tests (NST’s), growth scans and fluid checks. Even the front desk staff at the sprawling complex that is Aurora Summit, knew me by name.
I left the hospital and went home to sleep…only sleep never came. I had been having intense pain over my right ribcage and tingling sensations in my legs. Feeling a little delirious after the events of the last few days I took a bath, took some Tylenol and willed myself to sleep…2 hours later I was WIDE awake. After doing all that I could think of to quell the fury of a pregnant lady that cant sleep, I again called the doctor. Now on heightened alert she had me come in, though by this time it was early morning business hours. I was tested for Pre-eclampsia, fFn and an BPP was done. While there my leg had another episode and I was informed that its called “restless leg” and that eliminating caffine, sugars, and allergy medication can help reduce it. As for the pain in my ribcage-what I was feeling was the muscles separating from my ribcage-a lovely thing. The BPP(Biophysical profile) scores were dropping and the OB warned labor was VERY close, I now left my hospital bag in the car.
In light of the happenings of the last few days my OB said she would be shocked if I made it to my scheduled 36 week C-section on April 19th. My MFM was even less excitable, saying that he would have delivered during the previous labor debacle due to the IUGR. But, at the end of the day it was best for them to stay in as long as possible and so with a Negative fFn and no Pre-eclampsia I continued to waddle about my daily life.
31 weeks ID boys
I continued my regular appointments, which meant ultrasounds every 2 weeks with the MFM and OB monthly, everything went relatively smooth for 3 whole weeks! At 27+1wks Baby A weighed in at 1lb 13oz and Baby B at 1lb 15oz slightly small, but the specialist assured us they were still within normal range for a twin pregnancy but diagnosed me with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). What did spark reason for concern was the cervical shortening over the previous weeks, 1.9cm meant that I would have a fFn test done in the next 14 days. Fetal Fibronectin tests can accurately predict with a “negative” result that you will not go into labor within the next 14 days. I later learned that the test was not as accurate for multiples pregnancies…. Well…6 days later at 28wks I went into labor. Scott an I waited almost a full day, but, when the mild contractions turned regular at 10pm, we went in to L&D. The on call doctor seemed to be misinformed because he chose not to stop labor. I spent the next 6 hours with active and regular contractions, until my OB came in at 7am and was consulted. By that time I had dilated to 2cm and was fully effaced, with Baby A breech and Baby B transverse. She ordered IV fluids, Magnesium Sulfate drip and the fFn test….by that evening I was being released under strict bed rest orders(kind of impossible if you know me).
A few day later my test results came back negative, but it didn’t win me freedom from bed rest… I was, however, granted freedom for my baby shower which was planned for the following weekend and my 30wk 4D ultrasound at Babys Debut.
And Ill admit the images were not as good as our 25 week images. Baby B, with the orange juice the tech recommended to get the boys moving, was moving like mad but Baby A apparently didn’t get the memo. But they were right picture quality had greatly decreased and I was glad to have gotten some from 25 weeks.
Labor at 28 weeks made me realize a few things, I needed a labor plan, I needed to explain my leave at work and from college, and I needed to get baby things! Buying things was easy, telling my boss was a little harder(because I love my dog training job!) and finding a labor plan was HARD! Baby A was breech and Baby B changed all the time; it kind of eliminated the option of natural delivery. So, after talking with my MFM and OB they agreed that anytime after 32 weeks they would not stop labor, and once it started, if Baby A was still breech, a c-section would be done. I added; Scott was the only one to be with me for delivery, I was highly allergic to…well everything…and, NO ONE was allowed to go see the babies before me.
My twin pregnancy tip for today… get a planner! I was able to write down all of my appointments, daily feelings, what happened and now I have it all in one place and its kind of funny to re-read it and remember now:)
I went in for the repeat test a few days later and she went ahead and did the “additional tests” at the same time so I wouldn’t need to come back again. I got a call 3 days after, only to hear that the original results were no mistake. She assured me we could discuss more at the next appointment.
The next week passed hellishly slow and I even started crossing off days on the calendar… but the day had come! We had decided early on that Scott and I would go all MFM appointments together so as I laid back to have the viscous snot like gel sprayed all over my midsection, he marveled at all the bio-equipment (he must have mentioned at at least 6 different MFM appointments about creating this “new” ultrasound machine). Soon enough we were underway, and the FIRST question are they momo?! Response: “I really wish I would have seen you earlier to make a better assessment.”-irritating to say the least- He went on to say that the larger you get it in fact gets harder for the specialists to see, that previous to 20 weeks is best for momo twin assessment, and that if a membrane hadn’t been found thus far it was very possibly a mono mono pregnancy. Exactly what we didn’t want to hear. He handed the ultrasound wand back to the nurse and while Scott asked the last of our questions the nurse continued to get the last few measurements she needed. As she pulled the wand away a white fleck moved quickly across Baby A’s face. She immediately put the wand back, concerned that something was wrong my eyes glued to the screen. She dug the wand into my right hip, standing up to put her body weight behind it, wiggled it maybe a cm each way. Then said “GOT IT!” she had found a membrane! Pulling Scott and the MFM out of their conversation…the MFM practically pushed the nurse out of the chair to see the screen. Gazing, he confirmed her view. It was stretched, tissue paper thin, over Baby A’s face.
Just 14 days shy but, I had escaped a 2 month hospital incarceration.
Our boys were Diamniotic-monochorionic SUCH a relief!
*Baby Aedon was 1 lb*
*Baby Broderick was 1 lb 1 oz*
As you can see we had picked first names by 25 weeks. And A&B names were not intentional, just a funny coincidence 🙂
Just shy of 23 weeks and I was again making the 45min drive to see my OB at Summit. We sat down to “discuss” as she had said but the conversation ended as quickly as it began. My options were fairly limited A) terminate to reduce the “risk” to my health B)continue to monitor and handle this after. self-explanatory what we picked 🙂
I was really looking forward to my 25 week 4D ultrasound (with twins its recommended to go in earlier to get better images 25-30 weeks) it kept my mind off of the recent stresses and on the positives. We went to Baby’s Debut and were instantly bombarded with picture after picture. Definitely not complaining because we ended up getting 50 some images, 15 of which were edited, and a half hour video of our 4D ultrasound!
25 weeks ID boys
17 weeks; it was finally my next appointment! I went in with a lists of questions and ended with a handful of answers. I quickly found that the nurses and doctor were more interested in clamoring around the pictures of twins “holding hands” on the mini-ultrasound machine, than addressing my concerns. Of my questions I was told that our boys were probably “momo,” and that I didn’t need to see a specialist until at the earliest 24 weeks. While google had not been my friend in the start, it did at least provide me with some good information. Namely how WRONG this doctor was.
I talked with Scott, we re-read some of the studies on identical twins “momo” as well as “modi” (monochorionic diamniotic) and decided it was time to find a new OB. I was now in panic mode…I again went to work trying to find an OB I liked but this time I was also trying to find a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist “MFM”. 3 weeks of research and I found a specialist, downside, he was in Milwaukee(almost 2hours away), only worked M-W-F and was booked for 4 weeks! Not wanting to waste any more time, I called OB’s that I knew worked with him and took first available appointment.
At 20 weeks I went in and met with the new OB; she only had a chance to scan my file and I filled her in on what they had said to me. She asked who the MFM I was seeing was to get the rest of my files…silence, I was so angry… I think she could tell because she cringed with the next statement. I needed to have a few more tests done…for what you might ask…?? cervical cancer. YUUUP. My first OB had failed to tell me she’d done the test, let alone that it came back abnormal. I sat in the chair for a moment, it must be a mistake, I said lets just redo the test and moved on.
I told her I wanted Wigton as my MFM; that I realized the long wait time to see him but he was who I wanted. With the understanding that I would be admitted at 24 weeks as per hospital policy to have constant monitoring for “momo” twins, she filled out a form, told me to take it two suites to the left and make my next appointments. I scheduled an appointment with the OB for retesting in 3 days and a recheck “the day after the soonest available appointment with Wigton.” Her form ended up being a “special request” to get me in sooner, so I was scheduled to see the MFM at 22 weeks and the OB 4 days later.
At this point Scott and I were forced to announce even though we were still really unsure of what any of this meant for us. After asking all of our coworkers, friends and family if they wanted to meet their new nephew, cousin, grandbaby etc. We would pause, when they stopped with their excitement, then we would ask if they wanted to meet his brother. Most-excited-to-get-the-news went to Scotts Uncle Mike, Scott said he was surprised he didn’t drop the phone!
This was probably one of the more stressful waiting times for me during pregnancy, I had to wait 2 weeks to find out if I had one of the most risky twin pregnancies and if I would be on hospitalized bed rest at 24 weeks and if I would deliver at 32 weeks!
Here are some links to studies and sites I found helpful at this point in my twin pregnancy
*not all are informative but sometimes its nice to read other peoples experiences
http://www.twin-pregnancy-and-beyond.com, http://monoamniotic.org/public/welcome.html, http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(97)70012-7/abstract, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2001.00216.x/full, http://www.acog.org/
and the best book by far was What to expect when you’re expecting twins triplets or quads! It had proper nutrition, tips, stories and links for even more info! find it here http://www.drbarbaraluke.com/books/Expecting.aspx