Friday, November 23, 2012

Post-Pregnancy Update

My friend Jenni did this and I thought it was a fun idea.  I've been trying to think of a way to write an update without completely repeating myself on Jude and Sloane's one month post.  This works!
How Far Along? We made it to 38 weeks!  Today they are three weeks and three days (my mom made the mistake of saying 3.5 weeks yesterday and she received the evil eye from me.  Time needs to slow down.)  I'm not sure I'll ever write a complete post about the hospital but I have to say it was a wonderful experience for us.  We were there for five days (Tuesday - Saturday) and between the kids and myself we had 745 different nurses (slight exaggeration--it was closer to 600).  There were a few that rubbed one or both of us the wrong way but overall... huge success.  We were excited to come home but a bit sad/terrified to leave.
Size of Baby?  At birth Jude weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and Sloane weighed 6 pounds 10 oz.  Both lost weight at the hospital--Sloane more than Jude.  At their two week appointment both were over their birth weight (Jude was 7 lbs 7.5 oz, Sloane was 6 pounds 11 oz) so our pediatrician was pleased. 

Maternity Clothes?  As of last week I am DONE with maternity clothes!  Well, almost.  My non-maternity shirts and pants fit but some of the jeans irritate my lovely c-section scar so I still wear a few pairs of maternity jeans with the oh-so-comfortable elastic bands. Hoping this will be my last week to do so.

Weight Loss?   I gained 40 pounds while I was pregnant and at my two-week appointment I'd lost 43 pounds.  I'll be honest, I was initially thrilled but then remembered my body is solely responsible for the well-being of two babies and I clearly wasn't eating enough (though it wasn't intentional).  Since that appointment I've been eating and eating (and eating).  I lost a TON of muscle mass while I was pregnant and even though I've lost quite a bit of weight I still have a lovely gut that will be with me for awhile.  I now understand the whole "Even if you lose the weight your body doesn't look the same."  Amen.  I tend to avoid mirrors at the moment though I know this belly I'm sporting is the result of two amazing kiddos.  Absolutely worth it.  

Breastfeeding?  I added this one because it is essentially my life right now and clearly wasn't while I was pregnant.  I've been extremely fortunate in this department.  My milk came in while we were in the hospital and I had a wonderful lactation consultant who showed me the ropes.  She'd told me the first day we would not work on tandem nursing (feeding both babies at once) but by day three the kids were doing so well that she decided it was time.  This was great news because it meant I left the hospital with the ability to feed both babies at the same time (and have been doing so ever since).  Otherwise, I would literally be feeding babies all day.  I've also been blessed with a large milk supply so we haven't had to use formula. Since I am no longer working we are always looking for ways to save money and not having to purchase formula is pretty fantastic.  They will (obviously) eat more as they grow so things could change tomorrow but for now their food is free.  :)

Sleep?  I'm sure I'll talk more about this on their one month post, but let's just say it was (very) rough at first.  They had their days and nights confused so they were WIDE awake and wanted to play from 11 pm - 4 am each night.  We now have them on a fairly strict schedule and (as of very recently) are only getting up twice at night to feed.  The beautiful part is how fast they fall back asleep once they're done eating.  GLORY.      

Food Cravings? EVERYTHING.  Heartburn is gone, thank you Lord.  I really don't have any specific cravings but it has been nice to consume blue cheese again.  Mmmmm... blue cheese.  And carbs--oh the carbs.  Goodbye gestational diabetes!

What I Miss?  I really thought I'd miss being pregnant but it hasn't been as hard as I thought.  I didn't realize how uncomfortable (and swollen!!) I'd gotten in the last few weeks until I was no longer pregnant.  Two days after surgery I was able to move around more than I could at 38 weeks pregnant.  And while I absolutely loved feeling their kicks on the inside, seeing their little legs kick on the outside is just as awesome.  

Symptoms?  I'm still an emotional basketcase.  The first night we were home I cried for five hours straight.  I thought we were going to kill the babies due to improper swaddling or them choking on spit-up.  It was, by far, the hardest night of my life.  Emotions have improved since then but it does not take much for me to cry (almost always tears of happiness but there have been tears of frustration too).  

Belly Button?  It's not really either at the moment but if I had to say one it's more out than in.  :(  I'm not sure it will ever look the same again.  As far as the kids go, they both lost their belly buttons when they were two weeks old.  Michael and I cheered--those things were scary.

Best Moment of the Week?  Thanksgiving was pretty fantastic this year.  I know they don't understand the holiday but we sure do and I've never been more thankful.  

I'll save pictures for their one month post.  Michael and I both joined Instagram and post pictures quite often so feel free to follow us there if you're on it as well.  I'm @merdstheword and he's @mike1622.  I've been terrible at taking pictures with our fancy camera but we both have our phones on us at all times so we have about one billion phone pictures.  I already regret the laziness.

Speaking of laziness, I've done a pretty good job of keeping up with your blogs (thank you 3 am feedings!) but a terrible job at commenting.  I'm slowly but surely getting used to this whole mom thing!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Definitely my favorite Thanksgiving to date...

(Sloane wants you to think she slept all day but don't let the pictures fool you.)

(I love these babies!!!)

Love this one!

Monday, November 19, 2012

10.30.12 | Jude & Sloane's Birth Story

My alarm was set for 4 am but I woke up at 3:30 feeling remarkably calm.  One of the nice things about c-sections is there is absolutely no element of surprise.  I took a long shower, curled my hair, and put on makeup (I was 38 weeks pregnant with twins, I needed all the help I could get).  I'd set up the tripod the night before and we took one last bump picture and one last picture as a family of two before we drove to the hospital.  We didn't say much to one another and I remember halfway there my nerves kicked in.  Suddenly I wanted Michael to talk to me but I didn't want to respond.  I just needed to know he was there.

Once we arrived we checked in fairly quickly and they took me to a prep room.  I wasn't there long before they hooked me up to an IV, put three heart monitors on my stomach (it took forever to find Sloane's heartbeat and I had a small panic attack), and put the blood pressure cuff on my arm.  I felt very, very hot and then very, very cold.  I am positive the temperature of the room did not change.  Not long afterward the anesthesiologist came in and made a joke about the epidural.  I'm still not sure if I loved this about him or not, but it did calm me down a bit so I guess it was a good call on his part.  I told him how nervous I was about the epidural due to the large curve in my spine.  He took a look and assured me my scoliosis wasn't going to be an issue.  They had me sit up on the stretcher and then bend over as far as I could.  This was the most uncomfortable part of the entire day.  My stomach was so huge and I felt like I couldn't breathe.  The actual epidural felt strange but didn't hurt.  And then the shakes began.  My friend Karen had warned me about this so it didn't scare me but I wanted it to stop.

Michael held my hand until they said it was time and then they wheeled me into the operating room and told me Michael would join me in 20 minutes.  The anesthesiologist and I joked around for a bit (I remember thinking I'd said some pretty funny stuff but I was so drugged at this point I'm sure I just embarrassed myself).  There were also two medical students in the room who were about to watch their first c-section.  They both talked to me and one put her hand on my arm because the epidural caused me to shake so much.  I remember thinking it was very sweet but wishing so badly it was Michael's hand instead.

My doctor came in and then the room became very crowded with people.  Michael walked in wearing scrubs and carrying the camera.  They put the sheet up, he knelt down by my side and it was time.

Surgery started at 7:30 am.  10 minutes later my doctor said, "You're going to feel some pressure" and then it felt like someone was punching me in the stomach (although it didn't hurt at all).  Michael looked over the curtain and told me later they basically were punching me in the stomach. At 7:41, they delivered Jude Sullivan.  I heard a loud cry and then they brought him around the curtain and I saw my son.  He looked big and healthy and then my eyes welled with tears so he became blurry.  They took him away and started performing initial tests.  I felt more pressure and at 7:42, they delivered Sloane Elisabeth.  I heard another loud cry and my tears continued.  Michael squeezed my hand as they showed us our perfectly healthy daughter.

In two minutes we went from being husband and wife to a dad and mom of two.

Someone came over to us and said they were going to take Jude to the NICU to monitor him for a bit.  He wasn't "transitioning" as fast as they'd like so they wanted to keep a close eye on him.  A lady knelt down beside me and told me it was not a big deal at all and very common with c-sections.  I immediately felt nauseous and asked for something in case I threw up (I never did).  Michael took some pictures of Sloane and then they brought her to us.  I was so excited to see her and so sad she didn't have her brother right next to her.

After my doctor finished the surgery she leaned over the curtain and told me how proud she was that I made it to 38 weeks and delivered two healthy babies.  She mentioned the positive attitude I'd had throughout the pregnancy.  She didn't have to say any of this but it meant so much to me that she did.

They wheeled me to the recovery room and I suddenly realized how hazy I felt.  I was like this for the rest of the day and it was the most frustrating feeling in the world.  I wanted so badly to be present and remember every moment and instead I spent all of my energy trying to stay awake.  I know I asked Michael the same questions over and over again and he was so patient with me and told me the same stories multiple times.  We wanted to send a text to our friends and family announcing our news but they took Jude to the NICU before we heard his weight or height.  We felt odd sending a message with all of Sloane's stats and a "TBD" next to Jude so we held off.

While we were in the recovery room Michael was told he could visit Jude so he left me for a short time.  By the time Jude had reached the NICU he was perfectly fine so they only monitored him for the few hours he was there. When Michael came back he told me Jude was doing great and would be joining Sloane within the hour.   It was the first time since I'd been given the epidural that the haze temporarily lifted--my entire family was safe and healthy.  It was such a good feeling and I held onto that moment for as long as possible.  Michael found out Jude's height and weight while he was there so he was able to send a quick text announcing their arrival.

The nurse brought Sloane to our room and then our parents joined us.  Not long after that I was wheeled to the room where we stayed for the next four days.  I tried breastfeeding Sloane and it went much better than I expected.  And then the best part of the day happened: the nurses arrived with Jude and our entire family was together at last.

Random nurses visited our room to look at the "huge twins" and that made me glow with pride.  All four grandparents spent the entire day at the hospital, which meant so much to us and is something we will never take for granted.

I don't remember all of the day's events (Michael had to help me write this) but I remember feeling so happy.  I couldn't stop looking at my son and daughter.  I couldn't stop thanking God for these two incredible gifts that made our family complete. I couldn't stop smiling.

(I will never stop...)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Jude Sullivan Haynes
October 30 at 7:41 am
7 lbs 5 oz
20 inches

Sloane Elisabeth Haynes
October 30 at 7:42 am
6 lbs 10 oz
20.25 inches

I have so much I want to share but every time I look at our babies they've grown and look completely different.  With that in mind, I think I'll stare at them a little while longer before I sit down and type out their story.

To sum up the first week in as few words as possible...

One successful surgery
Two healthy babies (who look nothing alike)
Two ecstatic (and very sleepy) parents

We are so in love and I promise to share more... one day.  :)

The four of us going home together on Saturday.
(The second I saw this picture I started crying.  We are so blessed.)

Thank you so much for the sweet calls, emails, texts, etc.  I have read/listened to every single one and hope to respond to all of them eventually.  Please know your thoughts and prayers are so appreciated. 


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