Wednesday, January 25, 2012

11 months

Our little guys are getting to be so big!
Boy, do these boys need haircuts

But Jeremy definitely still has the weight advantage between the two.  I'm not sure of their weights since they didn't have check-ups this month.  Jeremy did have to go to the doctor twice in the past month - once for a bug bite that turned into staph infection and another time for a scratch on his eye ball - and he weighed in at 19 pounds, 13 ounces both times (they were only a week apart).  Jacob was a pound less than that at 1 year old, so Jeremy is definitely our heavyweight boy even though he is smaller than most babies his age.

Over the past month, Jeremy has started waking up almost every night.  It isn't fun.  I think it is the worst when a baby goes from consistently sleeping through the night to waking up so much.  And most mornings one of the babies wakes up by 6am.  It makes for sleepy parents.

Joel just got his fourth tooth!  And Jeremy finally got his first!  Jeremy got his first tooth right about 2 weeks ago, and although his gum looks swollen - no sign of the second which usually accompanies the first.

Joel has started clapping his hands and Jeremy seems intrigued when he sees someone clapping their hands.

Joel acts like he wants to stand on his own and has even balanced for a second or two.  He also is a lot better about pushing a little walker around.  Jeremy seems to have a little trouble with the walkers - he leans against them and they move, but his feet don't move so he falls.

The babies love to play peek-a-boo at the door to the half-bath.  Jeremy mastered it first by pulling the door open and closed whenever someone went in.  Unless they latched the door closed when they went in, then he just laid on the floor and cried that he couldn't play with the person trying to use the potty.  Joel had to practice a little more - he kept accidently pushing the door all the way closed (causing Jeremy to lay on the floor and cry) or push the door all the way open so it wasn't right there to pull closed.  He got the hang of it though.

Joel is so excited to have found someone in the bathroom
Jeremy realized it was peek-a-boo time
Jeremy says "Open the door more so I can see"
Joel came into the bathroom so they can play peek-a-boo with each other
Joel is a little more willing to try finger foods, but neither baby are big fans.  But boy do they love their baby snacks.  They eat waffles and pancakes and sometimes muffins, but most of the time I find tons of food on Jeremy's bib after he is done eating so who knows how much he is actually eating.
Jeremy with a stash of food on his bib
Joel loves waffles
First time playing on the brown grass outside

Making some lunch

These two boys certainly are characters.  Joel will scream if something isn't going exactly his way.  So, let me tell you how fun that is.  Jeremy is more of a whiner if he isn't getting his way.  We love our little boys (who won't be babies for much longer)!
Jeremy's pretty excited to have his picture taken

Joel's not so sure about having his picture taken

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giving birth to twins

So - I wrote that the twins were born back almost a year ago, but I want to remember more than just that my water broke and the twins were born the next day.  If you aren't interested, don't read. :)

First I have to say that I am jealous.  I have seen pictures of people, after giving birth, holding their new bundle of joy looking beautiful and radiant.  I personally know ladies who this describes.  I do not fit in this category.  When Jacob was born I had just spent the past 9 days in a row laying in bed at the hospital with the energy seeping out of my body.  In fact, someone even commented to my mom after seeing pictures of me holding Jacob (fresh from the womb) that I didn't look very good.  Being on bed rest is exhausting, if you didn't know.  Being exhausted makes it difficult to look good.

So when the twins were born and I had been on light bed rest for 4 weeks, I was not looking good.  In fact - the last belly picture that was taken a week before the twins were born is a great representation of me looking terrible at the end of the pregnancy.  And even though there are no pictures of me the day before they were born or the day they were born, I know I looked terrible.

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday, February 21st and going to the doctor completely wiped me out (going somewhere and then being completely wiped out the next day was not uncommon during the pregnancy).  So the next day I could hardly function.  I slept on the couch on and off all day long.  Jacob would bring me books and I would force my eyes open to read them to him.  And even though I was out of consciousness off and on all day, it wasn't restful.  So I was completely exhausted when I headed upstairs for bed that night.  And then while getting ready for bed, my water broke.

This was a lot different than when my water broke with Jacob.  With Jacob I kept trickling amniotic fluid, with the twins I kept experiencing gushes of water.  I hoped that this meant they would take the babies when I got to the hospital, but no such luck.  Instead I was put into a bed and monitors were strapped on and basically told we would see how things went through the night and I would have the babies the next day.  The nurse even told me to try to sleep.

Ok.  Are you kidding me?  Even laying in bed, I kept leaking amniotic fluid so I was laying in a pool of yuck.  And every time I asked the nurse if I could have a towel or dry bedding she told me it was pointless because I would keep leaking fluid and that it couldn't be too bad.  Not only that, but she had me in the bed like normal - on my back with it slightly inclined and the monitors strapped to me.  After an hour or so my lower back started really hurting.  At first I could feel little contractions starting, but the longer I lay in that position the more my back hurt.  I asked if I could lay on my side instead and was told no because of the monitors.  I asked if I could sit up a little more to take the pressure off my lower back and was told no.

After a few hours I finally asked to go to the bathroom, not because I needed to, but I needed to get out of the position she had me in.  I could tell she was a little annoyed because me getting up and moving around meant the monitors would need to be adjusted when I came back.  And when she helped me up she was shocked at the amount of fluid I was laying in bed with.  "Yeah - that's why I have been asking you to change my bedding or give me a towel lady."  When I came back to bed I asked to lay on my side instead and was again told no.  But she did change the sheet on the bed and got me a towel out of the cupboard.  But she told me it was the only clean towel on the floor and I could see she had pulled it from a stack of towels.

The nurse would come into my room throughout the night and ask how my contractions were.  But the pain in my back was getting so intense that I could no longer feel any contractions.  Instead I could only feel this intense pain in my back.  And so I told her that my back hurt too badly to be able to feel contractions.  No response from her.  It seriously got so bad that I was almost crying from pain.  And unlike contractions, the pain did not come and go - it was constant, intense pain.

When I first got to the hospital I liked my nurse, but as the night wore on and my pain was getting intense she was really starting to bug me.  Luckily once we hit 6am I got another nurse and she was awesome!!!  She kept helping me move into different positions so I wouldn't get too uncomfortable and to also move my labor along (seriously - positions I never would have thought to get myself into, as strange as that sounds).  It also helped that around 8am I got my epidural. 

Just before getting the epidural we made the decision that we would try to not have a C-section.  This was a big decision because the last thing I wanted was to give birth to Baby A (who ended up being Joel) and then have to have an emergency C-section to get Baby B out (Jeremy).  We almost just went with a C-section overall.  With the epidural and a pitocin drip, I was sure I would have a mega fast labor like I did with Jacob.  You know 40 minutes from first contraction until they were saying I was ready and they started prepping the room (which by the way took them 40 minutes).  

Sadly, it was not that fast.  But finally about around 12:30pm I was dilated to 10 and ready to go.  Here is where things get a lot different having twins.  Justin and I were taken into the operating room - even though we had decided to try not to have a C-section you still give birth to twins in an operating room in case an emergency C-section is needed.  

Not only was I to give birth in the OR, but we had quite a group in there.  I seem to remember when Jacob was born we had a doctor and 2 nurses in the room.  However for twins we had 2 doctors, 4 nurses, an ultrasound tech and an anesthesiologist.  The U/S tech was keeping an eye on Jeremy while Joel was being born to make sure he wasn't going into distress.

After Joel was born everything happened so fast - they had Justin lean forward and cut Joel's cord.  Then I remember them commenting on how Jeremy's water never broke - it was only Joel's.  Wow - that was A LOT of fluid to only be for one baby.  Then I could feel my doctor reach in and grab Jeremy's feet.  In the meantime a nurse was pushing on my belly with all her weight.  Whatever was going on - they were getting Jeremy out fast.  They pulled him out and called the time - only 3 minutes after Joel was born.  Justin leaned forward to cut the cord, but they had already cut it and taken him over to the isolette.  

I remember them saying something about getting my bleeding under control.  And then I remember everyone pretty much congratulating everyone - me for having the babies, Justin for being the dad, the doctors for delivering vaginally.  It was crazy.  Only at this point did everyone start making a big deal about the fact that there was no C-section.  When we were trying to decide, the doctors and nurses acted like vaginally birthing twins was no big deal.  Afterward we heard things like, "I think you are the first to give birth to twins in this hospital without a C-section."  I have to admit - this probably would have swayed my decision.  We were not trying to make history here.

I have to admit, if I had it to do over again, I'm not sure if I would do things the same - or just go for the C-section to start with.  First of all, I was told once we were out of the OR that I had a 4th degree episiotomy. I didn't know then what that really meant - but I tell you it was horrible.  One of the nurses described it as a mini-C-section.  I was sore walking after Jacob was born - after the twins I was in so much pain I would cry.  And it took about 6 months to fully heal.

And months after the babies were born we got a bill in the mail and on it was a charge for newborn resuscitation for Jeremy.  After making some calls I learned that Jeremy had to be have an oxygen mask put on him for about 30 seconds to get him to breathe after he was born.  We're assuming that the rush to get him out was because they saw on the ultrasound that he was in distress and they didn't want to alarm us because it seemed like in the end he was ok.  I have wondered if things would have been different if we had gone with the C-section to start with.

Just in case anyone was wondering what it was really like when the twins were born, but really this is just for my own memories.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jacob goes to school

First Day of school with backpack and school supplies

As I expected, the first few days of school were super rough for our little Jacob.  He really didn't understand what was going on the first day at all, but quickly caught on that I was sending him off when the bus pulled up in front of our house.  

Luckily, the crying and resisting only lasted for 3 days.  Now for the past week, he runs out to the bus.  What a relief!  Sadly I don't really know how he is handling it while he is there, but he is excited to go and that makes us happy.
Eagerly waiting for the bus last Friday

The other things that makes me super happy is that for 4 hours a day: I don't have to worry about him hurting his brothers (which he does anytime they get too close to him).  And I don't have to worry about him getting upset and banging his head (ok, actually I do still worry about it, but at least I'm not the one trying to deal with it).  

He runs right to the bus helper

And she carries him up the stairs which are a little tall for short little legs
And after only 2 weeks he is talking lots more.  Sadly, what he says is pretty much incoherent so we aren't understanding more but we hope that changes soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas for us actually started over Thanksgiving weekend.  We spent Thanksgiving with my family and celebrated Christmas the next day.  We were given tons of great stuff and someone went above and beyond by giving us the most awesome stroller that I have been wanting.  I don't have a picture with the extra toddler seat attached to it, but it is truly the most awesome triple stroller ever and I'm not sure when we ever would have been able to buy it for ourselves.

We had planned to take the kids to see Santa at the mall, but after the fiasco of taking them to see Santa at our church Christmas party we decided not to bother with the mall.
Jacob terrified of Santa

The twins not so happy (can't tell in the picture, but Jeremy is crying)

See me pushing Jacob into the picture?

I took a picture of the new ornaments for our tree this year.  Well - looks like I missed mine and Justin's, but I got each of the boys' as well as Jacob's first Christmas ornament.  Since Jacob wasn't supposed to be here for Christmas 2008 we never had a chance to get him a special ornament for that year.  The ones I got for the twins this year could have any year put on them and not just the current year so all the boys have the same ornament as their first ornament now.
Jacob was so excited when he saw this Elmo ornament

Christmas Eve was spent at Justin's grandparents' house.  We got the boys all ready for bed up there so that they would just fall asleep on the way home and we carried them in and put them in bed.  Luckily they slept all night long (we had our doubts it would work).  Then "Santa" got to work.  We asked him to keep things low key and we're glad he listened.
Everything all ready for Christmas morning

Santa brought Jacob a Thomas set

The twins got a joint gift from Santa since they are little and he could get away with it

Not going to lie.  Christmas morning was not that fun here.  

We knew that the babies wouldn't have a clue what was going on, but had hoped that Jacob would.  We had been counting down with our advent calendar and telling him about how Santa was coming, but he really just doesn't understand a lot of things.

Jacob loved to see what Santa brought him, but he couldn't stand the babies trying to touch it.  

And the babies didn't care about what Santa brought them - they just wanted to play with Jacob's Thomas train set. 

And none of the kids cared about their stockings or any other presents.  It was hard to juggle doing Christmas with feeding all the kids since none of them wanted to eat at the same time.
Jacob did love the play kitchen that Gramma Jan and Grampa Mark got for the boys

Other random pictures of the babies from the morning


Monday, January 16, 2012

10 month old twins!!!

2 uncooperative 10 month olds

Joel at 10 months

Jeremy at 10 months (and this kid would not stay still!!)

We have seen some drastic improvement in the spit-up!!!  It hasn't stopped, but it has decreased.  By a lot.  In fact, I have noticed that most days we only have a little spit-up from each baby - probably the amount that most people are used to when they hear of a baby "spitting up".  So glad that it seems like we are past the days of massive spit-up and sometimes projectile vomiting.  It has only taken 10 months so far.

Joel has had one of his top teeth playing peek-a-boo with us - with his 2 bottom teeth this makes 3.  He fell and smacked his face on the coffee table, his gum started bleeding and when it stopped we saw that his little tooth had broken through - probably due to the fall.  However a couple days later I noticed the tooth was gone.  Then it showed up again, then disappeared again.  Right now it is just barely through the gum.  I can also see about 3 other places on his gums where they are swollen and look like a tooth will pop up at any time.  Which means that we still have months of agony ahead of us.  Why do teeth torture my kids?  It was this way with Jacob for ALL of his teeth and this seems to be the way it will be for these 2 boys as well.
Joel's two little teeth

Jeremy still has no teeth.

Both babies act like they are getting tired of baby food, but when I have tried to give them fresh banana neither liked it (although they would eat the baby food banana).  I also tried to give them apple in those little mesh feeders and they both refused to eat it (even though they eat applesauce).  I am dreaming of a day when I can just put food on their tray and let them feed themselves for the most part instead of me having to feed them - let me tell you, with twins that can not come soon enough.

Joel and Jeremy are starting to interact with each other more, and love to laugh together.  Either that or cry together.  As it seems, both misery and happiness love company.  Jacob still does not like to play with them, or interact with them, or touch them, or have them touch him, or have them get too close to him or something he is playing with.  Hoping that changes soon - 10 months of it has been way too much.

First time swinging outside

Not sure what to think about it

Poor sick babies - I have a similar picture of Jacob around the same age when he was sick

Our new twin stroller (before we got the Joey toddler seat attachment)
And if you can't tell from the pictures - Jeremy REALLY needs a haircut.  But I don't like my babies to look like little boys until they are 1 year old and we still have a couple months to go.