In the most loving way possible: Duh!

I think comments are contagious or something.  You all are nuts, and I say that in the most loving and grateful way possible.  I really do love how concerned you all are and I’m lucky to have such great friends but I’m not sure what I said that made it sound like I wasn’t planning on heading in.  For the record, the nurse line called me back and tried to convince me to not come in until my normal appointment on Friday but I stuck with her until it got moved to Thursday. 

So guess who is on antibiotics now?  (Hint: it is my blog.)  I don’t really think anyone knows where the fever is coming from still but I think we can agree that we gave it a decent chance to resolve itself without drugs.  My OB’s only idea is that whatever infection might be there must be so far under the skin that we aren’t seeing anything from it on the surface.  Using that logic, he went with the oral antibiotics vs topical as he didn’t think the topical would get in far enough.  I also think the oral was just in case whatever it is has nothing to do with the csection at all.  Of course, the question remains as to does it have anything to do with bacteria at all and will the antibiotics affect it.  No idea.  Also, I’d just like to put into writing that I said to a doctor for perhaps the first time in my life: “Whatever you think is best.”  I know.  He even blinked a few times before answering me.  He had asked my thoughts on oral vs topical antibiotics and really, I haven’t done any research on the issue so I had no idea.

The weight loss seems to have slowed a bit as I only lost 2 pounds from yesterday to today.  How depressing is it going to be to go from crazy multiple pounds per day losses to normal once this levels out?  I think that the fever has really been helping as first, it takes calories to keep that temp up and second, all the gross sweating at night gets rid of extra water.  My feet and ankles and hands are still swollen a bit so I know there’s more of that to go yet.

Today is my last day off work.  Well, probably.  I have to call my boss and go over the details yet.  I was hoping to swing working from home on Monday just to start things off slower but I have to get him to agree to that first.  Not that he is going to force me to come in, he just doesn’t want me ‘working’ when I’m not really ready yet so he’d rather have me take more time vs working from home, I think.  The only real reason I can think of for not going into work yet is the clothing issue.  It is not easy to find outfits that I could wear into work, let alone out in public, that work with my shape and my csection cut right now.  I had been planning on wearing the ‘under the belly’ maternity pants that I had outgrown in the course of the pregnancy as my post partum pants but with the cut, that’s not really as comfy as I’d like.  The ‘over the belly’ pants are mostly way too big.  I can either choose to look like a clown, um, a rather pregnant clown, or walk around pulling the pants off my csection cut all day.  The other option is to wear some of my sweat pants into work and give everyone the evil “I dare you to comment” eye as I walk around.  I must admit, that last option does have its pull. 🙂

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Yuko, redone

 

As much as I love having long hair, it gets very annoying after a very short time.  Specifically after any time spent trying to brush or wash or dry it.  I have spent the last few months wanting to get it cut but afraid to cut off the Yuko treated hair as it would then frizz out.  I got to go in today to have it cut and re-yuko-treated. 

I have to admit, I wasn’t intending to have it THIS short.  I mean, as long as it is straightened, it could be cut in a mohawk and I’d be happy with it so it isn’t a big deal but it isn’t what I had in mind either. We made two ponytails to cut off and donate to Locks of Love and in the process of doing that, there were some shorter “layers” according to the girl at the salon.  I think what she meant when she said that was “oops”, but I’m pretty sure that’s the first lesson of cutting hair, ‘Never say oops in front of the client.’    In about a month I’ll have to head in to get the ‘layers’ trimmed back but that’s fine.

My real concern is with having treated such a shorter amount of hair.  I’m hoping that it grows out OK again.  I can always go in and have the part that grows out treated but I’d hate to have to pay for two treatments in a shorter amount of time.

I’m happy to share that I’m now under 190 pounds, having hit 189 this morning.  That means that I’ve lost nearly 40 pounds in the last 10 days.  Not too many people can say that, I’m pretty sure.  Well, not too many people can say it and be HONEST – I’ve got a ‘spam e-mail’ mailbox filled with people that say it who are full of crap.  It isn’t a very useful diet tool – giving birth.  Mostly because the whole getting pregnant in the first place part makes you gain enough to join a herd of bison and 40 pounds is still over 20 short of what I have to lose.  Still, 189 was nice to see.  Yesterday I put on my largest pair of pre-pregnancy jeans and I could actually wear them.  I was so very happy with myself… until I was in the bathroom and noticed that my csection cut was uber-bleeding again.  Ya, maybe a bit too tight yet.  I’ll hold off on trying that again. 

Other than ripping open, I’m not sure what is going on with that csection cut.  I’ve been running a fever off and on ever since the night I had the boys.  At first I was sure it was part of the cold I got from my kids.  That cleared up though and I was good for a few days until I started in on the fever again.  No other symptoms to speak of.  I was in at the OB’s office yesterday (before the bleeding started) and since he didn’t think the incision looked anything other than perfect and couldn’t find a cause for the fever either, he just sent me home to call if it got over 100.5.  Being the non-OCD person that I am, I proceeded to refuse to take any meds at all and monitor my temp all night long last night to see what it was.  For the record, I ranged from 100.7 to 101.3 before it started going down again around 3AM and I finally took some meds again so I could sleep.  I didn’t call today because my OB isn’t working on Wednesdays and I didn’t want to deal with any of the other OBs in the office.  I’ll have to call in tomorrow if the fever comes back tonight… I suppose I should probably share that the cut was open and bleeding as well.  I have to admit, csections blow as far as a birthing options go… and I’m pretty sure I had it easy for recovery. 

Last but certainly not least, the boys are home!!!  Gabriel was released on Sat and Emmett was released on Monday.  Only 1 week isn’t too bad for a preemie stay in a level II nursery, right?  Hopefully we’ll be able to bring the kids out to see them soon but I need to figure out this fever thing first.  That, and I’m trying to sit on my hands and give them alone time as a family without me constantly calling.  It is hard – after having talked with them nearly every day for so long.  Today would’ve been our Wednesday night together too.  The last time I talked to P he told me about the boys’ first clinic visit and how their doc said how very well fed they were during the pregnancy.  Apparently the doc offered to call me and tell me this personally and I can just imagine what prompted that.  “Wow, these boys are amazing for 34 weeks.”  “I know, right???  You should see how our surrogate just starts crying every time it is brought up and how bad she feels about them being born early.”  Now, if *I* had been that doctor, my response would’ve been “Well, you do know she just gave birth, right?  She’s probably home right now crying about how the dryer sheet got stuck in the lint trap and now that whole load is all static-clingy.”  Being what I can only assume is a much NICER person than I, this doc instead must’ve offered to call.  Not that I would turn down that call, but all I’m saying is that I can only hope that when I try to answer the phone the zap from my newly purchased and washed high waisted, non csection irritating purple granny underware doesn’t hang up on the poor man.

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Where does the story go now?

As much as I don’t want to kick the birth story off the top… it kinda has to happen, doesn’t it?  I’ll put together a surrogacy birth story page and copy it there though.

Today we finally made it out to visit Anily’s grave site.  It was nice that it wasn’t snowy and cold like it normally is back in February, but it was still very windy.  I’ve been learning my lesson though in how to get things for her grave so I picked up one of those flower holders that spikes into the ground this time.  I’ll have to get some pictures up of our trip.  I normally get her some purple flowers but this year I saw some really crazy neon colored daisies and I just thought a 6 year old girl would like those a lot.  I also got an outfit for her like I do every year and a card.  Kris picked up a board game as well.  I know, we might seem silly getting her gifts but I know it just gets donated so I enjoy doing it.  Jessie was quite jealous of the outfit for her but really, this girl has enough clothes.  As we left the grave site, Gavin stopped for a moment with his hand on her headstone and I could see him saying something quietly.  This boy can really be so touching.  Asher, on the other hand, wanted to run around all the headstones playing Duck Duck Grey Duck with them.  He was knocking off things people had left so Kris had to pick him up and carry him and he was NOT happy about that.

We also celebrated Ostara today.  I know it isn’t exactly the spring equinox today but things got a bit delayed and really, the kids don’t know the difference.  They still enjoy coloring and hunting down the eggs and their baskets.  The Ostara bunny, out of frustration with picking up the blasted stuff, opted to NOT put fake plastic grass in any of the baskets. Speaking  of it being spring now, it seems that I missed our MN summer while having a csection.  It was cold and snowy as my car crunched out the driveway on the way into the hospital, and it was cold and snowy when I got out.  Some people are trying to convince me that we had summer and it got very warm around the 15th and 16th or so.  Figures.

We would now be at 35 weeks and really, a much more respectable time to be going into labor, if you ask me.  Not much I can do about it but I do intend to talk with the OB at my follow up about risks of going into labor early if I were to get pregnant with twins again ever and what things we’d do to avoid that.  I think a lot of my guilt comes from two things.  One is that I was just so damn cocky about thinking I’d go full term because, hey, I’m a STAR at this, that I wasn’t taking it terribly easy in those last weeks.  This is such a stupid thing for me to think.  I mean, I thought that before I lost Anily and there’s something to teach you quickly that you aren’t above having bad things happen to you.  The other is that along with thinking that I wouldn’t go early, I didn’t want to go late.  To that extent, once I hit 34 weeks I stopped mentally shutting out the contractions.  I know – I can be a loon – but really, listen.  When I go into labor (generally with the help of pitocin) I use the contractions to visualize my cervix opening easily and things moving along.  Since I’ve done that, I’ve had easy deliveries.  Fast ones as well.  When it is ‘too early’ and I have contractions, I visualize that cervix staying shut tight.  Well, at 34 weeks I really wanted A (Emmett) to turn around so rather than mentally fighting the contractions, I used them to try to accept the possibility of them being born and to tell Emmett it was OK to turn around.

Um, well, it didn’t help Emmett to turn but clearly as soon as I stopped blocking out the contractions things moved forward.  I can’t help but think that maybe I shouldn’t have been so accepting of a 34 week delivery.  Then the logical side of my brain smacks the ‘wow that’s deep’ side of my brain and says to stop finding ways to blame myself. 

The boys are doing well as of the last report.  I actually took some time on Friday to head back out to the hospital and get a better ‘goodbye’ in since Tuesday’s was so sucky.  I was hoping (as rumor had it) that Gabriel would have been discharged then and rooming in with the guys until Emmett also got discharged.  That way there would be much cuddling potential in the guy’s room.  The staff had decided, however, to just keep the twins together and discharge them at the same time so Gabriel was not free of the nursery.  It was still a very great visit and we even ran a mock ‘car seat test’ so that I could get pictures.  Gabriel was down to 5 pounds 2 ounces, I think, and Emmett was down to 5 pounds 8 ounces, again, I think.  Hopefully they’ve been going up since then.  It really did my heart good to have that longer visit with them and I hope P and J know how much I appreciate the chance to just spend that time there. 

I received a call from the home OB nurse and I’ve gotta say, it seems to be universal that these people are not given complete information.  I had thought when the home OB nurse called me after Anily died asking me how nursing was going that it was an isolated event.  Some stupid oversight that no other hospital would’ve done.  Not so much, it seems.  The difference was that this call was exactly what I’d LIKE to see the hospital doing.  She called me and gushed over the boys’ weights and about how healthy they were.  She asked about how they are doing now and was amazed at how well they’ve been doing.  She congratulated me on everything.  Awesome.  Finally.  Then she ruined it all.  She said she assumed that I was nursing and asked how that was going (not how she ruined it) which made it clear that she didn’t know it was a surrogacy.  I explained to her that I had carried the boys for P and J and that I was not, in fact, nursing.  She started apologising like crazy.  THAT was how she ruined it.  She was so sorry for bringing up the boys and talking to me as if I wanted to talk about them.  Yep, so sorry.  It feels like they think I should be ashamed of not having the boys with me and sweeping all evidence of babies under the rug instead of being PROUD of what I’ve done and CELEBRATING the family and the boys.  Frustrating.

As for ‘nursing’, I think I’ve got that figured out.  I also think it was causing a lot of my ‘crying’ issues which have much improved.  I had called my mother to bring over the pump that was at her house after my sister had borrowed it on a visit there once.  I decided that just because I couldn’t get a lot, and just because the guys didn’t want it, I didn’t HAVE to not pump at all.  I have started pumping just every once in a while to keep me comfortable and that’s all.  Actually, by now, I doubt I’ll even have to pump again.  All together I only got a total of about 6 ounces from all the pumping I did but considering I only pumped 4 times total since the boys were born, that makes sense.  Also, it hasn’t gone to waste.  I’m hesitant to admit this to the web and all, but I ended up using that milk in my 2 year old’s chocolate milk sippy cups.  I just mixed it in.  You see, he’s been sick and he was having a hard time kicking it and I had this perfect anti-sick milk and… yes, I did it.  I have to say though, he never did run a fever since and has been much much better.  The only milk I didn’t use was what I pumped just after accidentally taking Vicodin.  Story to follow…

It seems the whole world knows that hydrocodone-acetaminophen is Vicodin.  I didn’t know that.  I only saw ‘acetaminophen’ and figured it was jacked up tylenol.  You know, like Excedrin.  They gave me a bottle on discharge ‘just in case’ so it was on my nightstand with my other meds.  What they didn’t give me was the 600 mg tablets of ibuprofen that I was taking in the hospital and for some reason it freaks out my brain to take 3 pills of the 200mg stuff even if it is the same amount.  So, in the interest of not taking so MUCH pain meds, I took one of the ‘fancy tylenol’ pills instead.  Um, ya, the warning on the package says to USE CAUTION when operating a car and I’m thinking that’s a little lax in my case.  I completely spaced out.  I would’ve sworn to you that I could HEAR the TREES outside growing.  That was my first, and probably last, experience with Vicodin.  I’ve stopped taking anything as of last Thursday and if I would stop being constantly on the go, I would probably be nearly back to myself now. 

Back to myself doesn’t mean back to my old weight, unfortunately.  I’m now at 199 pounds which, ya know, it’s great to be under 200 again.  I also was able to put on and breath while in a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans however my belly wasn’t really fitting in it so much as just being squished out the top and it was not pleasant on the csection cut.  I’ve considered doing another belly shot to show how crazy pregnant I still look.  I don’t really understand what it is, but my belly is clearly still very puffed out.  I’m also not impressed with the excess skin.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had excess belly skin for a long time.  In fact, I thought that I had had ENOUGH extra already that being pregnant with twins wouldn’t be that big of a change.  Not so, friend.  Unless there is a BIG change in the next few weeks/months of adjusting, I will actually have enough extra that it isn’t just wrinkly and ugly but it actually hangs.  That’s not good.  I’m hoping that is mostly due now to the csection scar and that as it heals and goes back, it will be more like it was before I got pregnant with the twins.  I obviously cannot workout again yet so that just means watching what I eat.

That’s all for now.  I’ll try to get some pictures up soon from the last few days.

Emmett and Gabriel

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Here are the boys! 

Now for the birth story.

Emmett and Gabriel were born Sunday, March 15th, at 12:39 (and 12:40) AM.  They were 34 weeks and 2 days, weighing 6 pounds 5 ounces and 5 pounds 13 ounces.  Emmett (baby A, the heavier baby) was 18 inches long and Gabriel (baby B, the lighter baby) was 19+ inches long. 

On Saturday morning I woke up very early feeling extremely uncomfortable.  The boys were pushing on my ribs which was making my back hurt and there was just nothing I could do to get it to stop.  I was also feeling like I had a tummy bug or something so, ya, I was unhappy.  I eventually moved out to the couch where it was a little better.  Shortly after that, my husband was up and leaving for a cub scout leadership training session and unfortunately, Asher woke up just as Kris went out the door.  I went into his room (about 7AM now) and he didn’t seem to feel well either so I took him downstairs to watch cartoons on the couch with me.  Just sitting there was pretty misserable but tolerable, I guess. 

The rest of the day went pretty much like that.  The other two got up and we made pancakes for breakfast, I did some laundry, I tried to mostly just sit around and not be in pain.  It wasn’t easy.  For the tummy bug part I also was having ‘loose stool’ issues which started my concern about actual labor.  I had been having contractions about 1-2 per hour for a long time so that wasn’t new or different but everything together made me wonder.  Then again, it was only 34 weeks and really – just plain not time yet. 

My husband came home around lunch and helped get Ash put down for his nap.  Then I just laid around for awhile trying to just be comfy.  Ash had been running a slight fever before his nap so of course, I was worried about me actually being sick now.  I decided that I’d head in eventually that day to have the hospital run a NST on the boys and make sure all was well so I grabbed a shower while Asher napped.  (Yes, I know, I read these birth stories where the woman is feeling ‘labor-like’ and takes a shower and ignores is and I wonder what the hell she was thinking too.  Trust me, I did not really think this was anywhere near labor… I still don’t know if I was.)

The evening went quietly, we finished dinner and put Asher to bed.  I told Jessie I’d be back soon, I was just going to go check on the boys.  Gavin was out at a friend’s house so I called him to see if he wanted me to pick him up on my way out and he said no.  Then I drove into the hospital.  I had 2 contractions in the 15 minute drive there… not big ones but I was thinking maybe if I had a contraction or two while on the NST this time they’d want to find a way to slow them down a bit.

I walked in and went up to L &D and just said ‘Hi, I’m Robyn and I’m 34 weeks with twins.  I’m not in labor but I’ve been feeling like crud all day so I wanted to check on the boys.”  They of course wanted to qualify ‘crud’ so I explained the backache, the tummy bug feeling, the sick kids, etc.  I got a room and was told to put on the gown and the belly band for the NST.  I considered asking if I could skip the ‘gowning up’ part as they have let me in the past when I just came in for a NST but I did not.  I was learly of that band though.  I tried it on and it wasn’t initially too tight so I didn’t tell them I wouldn’t wear it but now that I think back, maybe I should’ve.  They had me lay back on the bed to find the heart rates of both boys because they were having a really hard time finding two different heart beats. This TOTALLY freaked me out, as it always does with every NST, so I was now in pain AND worried.  I had maybe a couple contractions during the hour or so that they were messing with finding the heartbeats.  Finally they pulled in an US machine to find out where the boys were.  They claimed A and B were both transverse right in the middle and got the monitors on to track the hearts.

They left me there for about 20 minutes and the nurse came back and was happy with the heart rates for the boys.  However, I had about 3 contractions in that timeframe (um, the band was really tight and I was laying pretty much flat on my back from the US machine and wanting to get a good read of the boys.  VERY uncomfortable and my back killed.)  The nurse let me put the bed up a bit more and asked what my ‘limit’ was for contractions.  I told her I was supposed to call if I had 5 in an hour.  I was given another 40 or so minutes like that – oh – and they got me water to drink which I was hoping would calm the contractions.  At the end of that time, I had about 7-8 contractions.  Time to call up the OB on call to find out what to do with me.  It wasn’t MY OB, and they weren’t going to check in with my OB so I was getting nervous.

I called P and J at home but there was no answer.  It was about 10PM Sat night now so I figured they were asleep.  I called a cell number and again no answer.  I was getting nervous now.  I called another cell number and got ahold of P!  YES!  They were out and about so at least I didn’t wake them up.  It was kinda funny, P was all casual and asking what was up.  Like I always call them at 10PM on Sat night!  I just told them I had come in just to check on the boys as I had felt kinda bad during the day but it turned into a lot of contractions and they were checking with the OB now and I’d have more news shortly.  They decided to come in and just told me to call after I heard from the OB. 

The nurses came back in and told me that they were going to do a test to see if I was likely to go into labor in the next 24 hours.  It would take two hours to come back so they’d probably send me home and I could call in to check in the morning on the results.  They would also check my cervix as long as they were doing the test.  I had to lay totally flat on my back with my butt up on an upsidedown bedpan for this test.  It… was… horrid.  Then they were checking my cervix and holy crap people you’d think my cervix was level with my navel or something.  The nurse just says she can’t really tell so she’s going to have another nurse check.  Fun.  At least she let me stop laying upside down on the dumb bedpan thing.  The other nurse comes and checks and says she also can’t really tell and she’d be right back.  I’ve still got this band on my belly and I’m still really uncomfortable and the contractions are now getting stronger because I’ve just been irritated to all hell.  I’m regretting my trip in, to be honest, but I’m also thinking in dread about just having to go home and be in all this pain in my back even longer… 6 weeks longer.  Right now I just want to sit UP and relax.

In comes the nurse and she sits down on the bed and clearly has “big news”.  She states that I’m dialated 5-6 cm and they could feel the bag of waters.  I wasn’t leaving.  She said we’d probably end up with a csection that night because the babies were transverse and they couldn’t let me leave that dialeted with transverse babies in case my water broke and there was a cord prolapse.  She wanted to know if I wanted them to call Lawson in for the actual surgery even though he wasn’t on call and… sorry Dr Lawson… but I said very very much YES.  OK – call back the guys.  So I explain everything to them and they are on their way in anyway but now I imagine they are driving quite a bit faster.

My  main concern now is that I’m only 34 weeks.  Really, I know all the blogs how I was writing that they were very healthy but I didn’t want to go at 34 weeks.  It was still too early.  I was worried because I know that I tend to be very dialated, yes, 5-6 cms, for weeks so I thought they were overreacting to the news.  They may have been, but after all the pain of the evening I had to admit that I was having serious contractions every 3 minutes or less at this point.  I was hoping Lawson would try to give me something to stop the contractions and just let me hang out, even if it was at the hospital, for another week or so to let the boys grow.  No, no, he didn’t want to do that.  He really wanted to csection the boys out tonight.  The guys got there and talk was very brief, mostly because my contractions were getting so serious that I was doubting they’d get a csection done before A was born.  The choice was made.  Now time for prep.

They totally denied my concerns that a spinal had more odds for a headache.  It was hard for me to say much because at the same time they were putting in a catheter and trying to shave me and it is really really hard to have a dignified discussion on risks and options with some strange guy while being put through all that.  They also refused to put the sheet down for me, period.  I was so angry.  They said they’d put up a mirror so I could see and do everything that they could to help out but to be honest, when it was all said and done, everyone else had too many other things to do to really make sure that my concerns were dealt with for the actual csection.  I couldn’t see anything from the mirror because Dr lawson was standing right in the way and apparently it couldn’t be moved anywhere to get a better angle.  The nurses that were taking pictures never offered to give any to me at all.  Delievery-wise, it was… upsetting… and not at all what I was hoping for.  That said, it was also very very fast so I guess I can understand the need.  Also, everyone was making a point of talking to me and they brought the boys over so I could see them before they left which was nice.  Hard to see much laying on the table like that though.  My husband was allowed in along with P and J so he got to be there and to take pictures.  He wasn’t being very forcefull about getting the good angles though as he felt pretty much in the way so a lot of the pictures that I have are, like the top one, from off to one side and not straight on with faces.

When they actually were doing the csection, I was on the table and the OB announced the first cut.  It then took forever and he announced that he was entering the abdominal cavity.  I was thinking… holy cripes man… I thought these went faster than that.  What cavity were you in before??  More waiting and then he said something about baby A’s bag of waters and everyone went nuts over the tidal wave from opening that.  A came out and he was loud and strong!  He made a huge fuss at being out and kept it up.  He clearly had no breathing issues at all.  Eventually he was wrapped up and J was holding him, (Emmett) and he was calm and happy in J’s arms.  It was beautiful!  Gabriel was next but his bed was further in the room and I couldn’t see it from my spot.  My OB announced that he had the cord around his ankle and then loosely around his neck so he was little tangled in there.  He cried plenty upon being taken out but I heard that he needed just a bit of oxygen right when he was out, just for a moment.  Then he was also great and breathing fine and wrapped up and P was holding him.  Gabriel, however, wasn’t so much in the mood to be calm and quiet as he just wanted to keep wiggling and fussing.  Yep – THAT, people, is baby B.  They were, and have been, both so spot on with their personalities while I was pregnant with them.

The boys, to me, didn’t even look premature.  They weren’t covered in light hair, they were chunky, they were breathing and interacting just like a normal newborn.  The level II nursery claims they can tell they are 34 weekers even though they are big but I have a suspicion that is because they knew ahead of time the gestation age.  At any rate, they were given IVs and tested for glucose levels and started on a little glucose.  They were also put under heating lamps (ie gecko lights) until they knew if they would hold their own temps.  Just standard precautions but I have to say that it killed me to hear of any little difference made because of how early they were.  I felt SO guilty.  I still do, for that matter.  I hate that they were born early. I hate knowing I should still be pregnant with them.  I’ve been keeping tabs on them and I love hearing when they’ve eaten well from a bottle (they are really good at drinking from a bottle, to be honest, they are just being required to drink so MUCH that it is hard for them to keep up.  They DO have the suck/swallow ability down though.)  They were taken out from the gecko lamps pretty much right away as they were holding their own temps just great. It is frustrating to note that if the boys were eating the exact same way at the exact same weights and had been born at 37 weeks, no one would even bat an eye. 

There are so many levels to this.  I’m not even really sure how to blog about a birth story like this.  I mean, it was NOT what I was expecting at all, that’s for sure.  Then again, they are beautiful and healthy and big and everyone is amazed at how GREAT they are doing.  I guess I just wish it didn’t always have to be followed with “for how early they were.”  I cannot express enough the guilt over them being born so early.  I was hoping for an answer as to WHY.  Something concrete that I could blame it on instead of just knowing that is what my body did. 

I love getting to sit in the nursery and see P and J holding and feeding their guys and having family come by to see the new boys and everything.  It is a beautiful thing, to see them finally with their dads.  I just wish that the transition went a bit easier for me.  Even after everything – it killed me to so suddenly and without any real hand-off time to be stuck into a ‘nobody’ status as far as the hospital was concerned with the boys.   I’m so thankful that everyone helped to get me into the nursery as soon as I could sit upright to see them.  I’m so thankful that for the time I was there in the hospital, P and J welcomed me into their world to see them all together.  The boys are really adorable and are in such great hands with their dads.

Around Monday the ‘crying’ started.  I knew it was coming so it didn’t shock me but that didn’t make it easier to control.  Try as you might, once your body goes through that there is nothing you can do to stop the hormonal overload.  I was talking with my OB on Monday and I just started crying and he was very kind.  Kind, but I know he didn’t get it.  He said “This is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do.” and I knew he didn’t get it.  First of all, just on principle, the hardest thing ever that I’ve had to do was to hear that my daughter had died and to tell my son that I couldn’t fix her and she wasn’t coming home.  Period.  THAT was the hardest thing ever.  This was no comparison.  This was beautiful and wonderful, well, except for the whole 34 weeks thing, and there is no, and I do want to stress this NO aching longing for the missing baby at the end.  I know where the boys are, they are with their dads just like the intent always was.  Now, there might be an aching to not be so engorged and to have been able to give just that little bit to the boys, I’ll admit to that, but that’s not the same.  No, when Anily died I spent weeks sleeping while holding this little blanket the hospital had given us for her in my arms crying, sobbing, hurting for my empty arms.  There is none of that this time at all.  There is just the frustration at the physical, the pain, the limitations, the hormonal responses that I have no control over. Second, honestly, it isn’t even hard at all to see (and leave) the boys with P and J.  It is wonderful.  It is the whole reason I did this.  I wanted to help someone else ease the loss of not having that ever wanted child in their life and SEEING P and J with the boys and knowing they are doing it, they are parenting, that’s the whole point.  It is wonderful.  It is also a bit interesting to note something about the date they were born.  Anily was born on Feb 23rd.  I was, as I had blogged, going to visit her grave but I couldn’t so this weekend, on March 15th, the date that she was buried, we were going to bring the family out there.  Instead, Emmett and Gabriel were born on March 15th, the day that Anily was buried. 

I know I’m comparing this a lot to Anily and I don’t mean to be doing so to suggest that it is alike.  I do so to put forth with experienced assurance that it is, in fact, not alike.  That crying though, man, it is still there.  And the worry over being missunderstood.  I think, maybe, that the missunderstanding of what it is that is hard after a surrogacy delivery affected how the hospital was treating our situation.  They seemed to be doing what they could to be making it easier on me to not have a baby.  I was at the end of the hall, as far from the nursery as possible.  They didn’t come to me with ANY baby news or concerns or anything at all.  It felt VERY much like they were treating me like someone giving the babies up for adoption, which, I’ll admit I’ve never experienced so I don’t know what that would be like.  I just got the impression they were worried about bonding and trying to keep me seperate.  My thoughts on that are that there is NO concern over me bonding to these boys too much.  I don’t WANT to take them home, I never did.  It isn’t even a ‘change my mind’ situation.  The boys are born to their parents and that is as it should be.  I’d as easily bond too much over these boys while visiting with them as I would over any other random hospital baby that I might visit.  I DO want to be treated like the person that gave birth to them though.  I DO want to be told about how amazing they are when staff comes into my room.  I DO want to be able to go see them and hear about medically how they are doing.  I mean, overall, this has to do with how they fared in the pregnancy.  I think they were afraid to do that though because they were worried it would upset me.  I’m not sure.  It is complex, I’ll admit that.  It will be interesting to see how the world of surrogacy changes as it is more understood.  I will say one thing for this situation with the hospital though, they did an AMAZING job of including P and J without any questions.  I am so happy at how involved they got to be.  I suspect that a lot of that was due to P’s contacts, but either way, it was great to see them parenting right from the very start.

It is now Wednesday.  I’m at home a day early, actually, because I started coming down with the cold that the kids at home had.  I didn’t want to sit in the hospital knowing that I couldn’t even really visit the guys and the boys due to not wanting to get anyone sick so I decided to come home.  We did get in (with masks and plenty of hand foam) to say goodbye to everyone but as ‘goodbye to the children I gave birth to’ goes, it was a really really lame attempt.  Yes, I’m not so happy that I had to get sick just then.  Ah well, it will be OK.  We’ve got plans to visit with them when the boys are at home and we can then bring my kids so they will get to see the babies I’ve been carrying around for so long.  We will have our chance then. 

As for the boys, the latest breaking news is that Gabriel is totally off his IV and everything.  He will likely be discharged by Friday as long as he keeps eating as well as he is.  Emmett is getting only 3mls via a tube feed but he is doing well also so that he will likely not be long after his brother in getting out.  Honestly I think Emmett was just not eating as much because he was chunkier to start with and thus had less motivation.  Gabriel started to go up in weight now and Emmett held steady so things are looking really great.  YAY BOYS!  That does make it better, a bit, to know that they were born at only 34 weeks.

Once I got home I had to do a weight check just to see where I was.  I was at 204.  I’m thinking between the rocks that once were my boobs and the swelling that is still in my feet and ankles, not to mention the belly that is still pretty sore and is a bit swollen from, well, whatever causes that in a csection, I can at least assume I will be under 200 before my new baseline that I have to lose from again.  It will be awhile before I’m at ‘workout’ status anyway.  I’m still getting dizzy from using the stairs at my house.

Surprise!!

So, the boys were both born Sunday March 15th.  (Juuuuust barely.  We almost managed to get them both on either side of midnight but not quite.)  They were 6 pounds 5 ounces and 5 pound 13 ounces.  I will give more details in a bit.  Everyone is very healthy and breathing/eating/maintaining temps all on their own.

Congrats P and J!!!!

Room to flip still?

34 weeks!!  YAY!!!  Or – if I weren’t pregnant with monster twins, it’d be 34 weeks!  Only 6 more weeks to go.  I suppose to some extent that is still possible.  I have the nagging feeling that I’ve been in this state before… oh yes!  When I was giving myself PIO shots and I was counting down the weeks until I didn’t have THAT particular unpleasantness hanging over my head. 

I’ve been trying to convince the babies that now that we’re at 34 weeks and there is no more danger of being carted off to that fancy big city hospital with the big fancy NICU (rather than our little, ya know, rural hick-ville hospital with only ONE Starbucks within a block of it) they are free to turn head down and all that.  Well, I only care about where A turns.  I’ve been reading up on Csections as the ‘far alongness’ and the fact that I THINK A is still head up makes me think me odds are going down more and more for a vaginal birth.  For those of you that are annoyed by the use of the term ‘vaginal’ birth instead of ‘natural’ birth – vagina vagina vagina.  Get over it.  I’ve decided that I’m really REALLY not interested in a Csection.  Not because of the cutting.  I don’t care about that.  I don’t want to have to pick between a spinal or an epidural.  I figured a spinal would be better because it is just a shot into your spinal area and not so much a catheter that sits there.  I, apparently, was very wrong because my biggest fear of the whole ‘messing with my spine’ thing is the headache which I guess the spinal has higher odds of causing.  My next biggest fears would be more long term damage.  I kinda wish they could just put some numbing cream on my belly and go for it.

I guess the plus side of the csection would be that I wouldn’t have to be super embarrassed about not being able to properly groom the parts of my body that I cannot see.  I can manage to shave my legs although it makes me very aware of how badly swollen I am below my knees.  I can’t wait for THAT to go down. 

The other bad part about a Csection would be missing out on such a critical moment in this whole journey.  I don’t want to be laying on a table getting stitches while the new family is in the midst of seeing each other for the first time.  I don’t want to be stuck in a hospital bed healing from major abdominal surgery while I wave pathetically to the new family as they head home to their lives.  *Sigh*  So Baby A… feel free to turn yourself head down any time now.