Tuesday, November 23, 2010
wow! so, we actually made it this far. the doctors didn’t think i would make it to 35 weeks, but after almost 5 weeks of laying in a hospital bed i am one day away from being sent home. this is the eve of my hospital release!
in honor of such a big day, i decided to post some pictures of my stay here and to share some of my observations and thoughts on hospital bed rest when pregnant with twins…
this is me in my hospital bed 4 days ago (34 weeks + 2 days)
- my first observation is that i am HUGE! look at that belly!!
- my second observation is that the nurses have been lying to me!! I SEE STRETCH MARKS!!! a sad realization, to be sure, but probably not wholly unexpected!!
- i am so grateful for cell phones and texting! while in the hospital for an extended length of time, having a connection to the outside world is crucial to ones sanity! (i think i was talking to my dad in the above picture)
- visits from our girls always brightened my day. i looked forward every week to sunday when mitch and the girls come to visit me.
- when mitch calls and asks if i want him to bring mae mae or if he should leave her at barbmom’s for their sunday visit, always tell him to bring her because when he shows up without her you will regret it and be sad!
- even though mae mae is into everything and wants to climb all over me it is still better when she is visiting! it causes a lot more stress, but it is so worth seeing her excitement at seeing me!!
- the hospital has great juice and cool straws (the little red coffee stir straws) because the girls ALWAYS have to get some while they are here.
- the nurses love our girls!
- showering every three days makes for very greasy hair on the last day!
- i have not fixed my hair or worn make-up for 5 weeks straight!
- laying around in bed all day makes you always look tired with puffy eyes!
- my legs have gotten really hairy with only one electric shaving the whole 5 weeks i’ve been here, thanks to nurse kim for the grooming!
- it’s easy to become friends with your nurses when you get the same nurses several times a week!!
- apparently, not all patients are happy and nice. i have been called “the nice patient who doesn’t ever need anything” and “the happy, positive patient”!
- nurses really like nice, friendly patients!!
- i love the art work on my whiteboard. nani and kale’a drew these for me when they came for a visit. i love the babies that nani drew. they are so cute and tiny! the nurses love the babies, too! i love the cheery bright colors that kale’a put up for me to look at everyday!
- when you’re in the hospital, unable to see your family daily, it is VERY important to have a picture of them close by so you can look at them!
- i stare at this picture on my wall A LOT everyday!!! and, without fail, it always makes me smile!
- i REALLY miss my husband!
- the longer i lay in a hospital bed the more my body starts to ache ALL OVER! the last few nights have been especially difficult! no matter what side i sleep on my shoulder or my elbows, or my hip or my knee, or my back screams out at me in protest!
- nighttime is especially lonely!
- when i’m alone, in the dark, trying to sleep is when my mind runs wild. nighttime is when i worry the most about every little contraction, or twinge in my cervix.
- the hospital dietary needs a bigger variety for long-term patients! i mean, REALLY!!
- getting dressed in your clothes everyday makes me feel much better. i think i wore a hospital gown for the first 2 maybe 2 1/2 weeks before my doctor told me i didn’t have to wear the hospital gown, but could wear my own clothes!!
- free wi-fi totally ROCKS!!
- when you lay in bed all day except to get up to go potty, your muscles get REALLY weak! it doesn’t help that i am lugging around two 6 pound babies, either!
- my belly is heavy to carry around!
- mechanical beds are a lifesaver! it’s much easier to get out of bed!
- even though my bed is a tempurpedic, my body still gets sore, just not as quickly as it would if it wasn’t a tempurpedic!
- i would have died without the fan they gave me from labor and delivery. the nurses like my room because it is “so fresh” and cool.
- it’s a strange thing to look out my window everyday and see sunshine, especially now that everyone is talking about how cold it is. i look out and it looks exactly the same as the day i came in, so i just assume it is still warm.
- one of the greatest things i love to hear from the nurses or doctors is, “the boys are looking great!!” music to my ears!
- the other thing i love to hear is, “they are both head down!”
- twin boys move A LOT!! i look at my belly and it is crazy to see it move so much!!
- even with good veins i.v.’s are never fun to get started. my veins seem to roll out of the way when the nurses are trying to get a new iv line in. twice i have been stuck in 4 different places before they actually got it in. the frustrating thing is that they haven’t used the i.v. since i was admitted 4 weeks ago!!
- i.v.’s in the hand suck!!
- a good i.v. is worth it’s weight in gold! i have had this one stay good since the 9th of november!
- getting woken up in the middle of the night from a dead sleep to take your medicine is not fun! they wake me at midnight and 6 am every day!
the most important observations that i have made are these:
- miracles happen!
- prayers are answered!
- a good ward family is an amazing thing!
- marrying mitch was the BEST decision i EVER made, hands down!
- our girls are extraordinary!
- i don’t know how we could have gotten through this without the gospel or our knowledge and faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and our loving Father in Heaven! SERIOUSLY!
- i know our Heavenly Father is mindful of us and He loves our family because he gave us this trial so we could be made stronger. and i believe that we have been made stronger individually and as a family!
- faith can bring about marvelous things!
- these boys are going to be a huge blessing to our family!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
one of the girls favorite things is when mitch gets hungry for “belly pie”! anytime he sees a bare belly he just has to get him some belly pie! so, he chases the girls around the house and pins them down to eat their bare belly pie, all the while the girls are screaming and laughing and wriggling around trying to break free of his belly pie frenzy! i love to watch it! lately even, mahea has been lifting her shirts up to expose her bare belly to mitch tempting him to eat some! of course, he does and she loves it!! it is so adorable!
since i have been in the hospital, i have not taken any belly pictures. so, last wednesday when mitch surprised me with a sleepover in my hospital room i had him snap some pictures. then again on sunday i had him take some more.
so, here is my belly (comparison to last photo taken):
27 weeks + 2 days 33 weeks
and here is my “belly pie”:
lately, when i get a nurse that had helped me a week or two earlier they see me and they all say, “wow! you have grown!!” i guess the growth is more obvious when you’re not around it everyday. i can tell whenever i get up to go potty that my belly seems to be getting heavier and heavier! it’s a good thing, though!! that’s why i am still in the hospital, to grow these babies!
i am happy to report, also, that, according to my nurses, i still don’t have any stretch marks on my belly pie!! of course, i am just going on their word because i can’t see the underside of my belly!! :o)
here is another picture (very unflattering) of my belly from the front. i was brushing my teeth and trying to sit in a semi-reclined position when mitch snapped this shot. since i know you all are just dying to know where i have been living the last 4 weeks, you can also get a glimpse of my
luxury hotel hospital accommodations. i even labeled things for you, cuz’ i’m nice like that:
the hospital has the most awesome ice chips! i know, weird, but it is so true!! let me tell you that i am so grateful for free wi-fi and my macbook! these two things have been a lifesaver! i have been able to finish my christmas shopping, blog, facebook, chat, skype every night with my kids and mitch, listen to music, watch movies, edit photos, make a photo calendar, and i’m even working on getting a christmas card out this year (something i haven’t done for ages!!). so, if you want a card from yours truly, which just might include a baby announcement with two cute mason boys, send me an email with your address to firstname.lastname@example.org, even if you think i have your address please send me an email anyway, just in case!
so, if you are wondering what the “SCD” tubes are, i will tell you because i didn’t know what they were 4 weeks ago, either. i have been wearing these since the first day i was admitted to the hospital in preterm labor. being that i am on bed rest and use my legs very little my risk of forming a blood clot in my legs is increased. these little SCD’s are like a little massage for my calves. i wear these lovely white knee high wraps on my legs. then, i plug the tubes into the leggings and turn the machine on. there are three chambers in the leggings, one above the next and the machine pumps air into each chamber starting at the ankle moving up to just below the knee. then it lets the air out. it does this about every 30 seconds all day and all night! so far, it has worked and i am clot free!! i don’t mind it so much, it feels like a massage. the only annoying thing is when i am trying to sleep at night my legs sometimes get a bit tangled in the tubes! that’s a small price to pay for clot free and varicose vein free legs!!
today, i am 34 weeks + 1 day and they will send me home the day before thanksgiving!! i’ve got 6 days left! they will take me off the medication and just let nature take it’s course. mitch thinks i will have them sooner rather than later (like within days or hours of being released) and i keep teasing that i will probably have to be induced 3 weeks after i get home. i hope mitch is right, though, this time!
i had an ultrasound today and found out that both babies are still head down. they measured them, too, and they both weigh approximately 5 pounds 13 ounces! which is awesome!! still measuring about a week+ bigger than gestational age. three weeks ago when they measured them baby a was 4 pounds 12 ounces and baby b was 4 pounds 4 ounces which was 2 1/2 weeks and 2 weeks bigger than gestational age.
our family is surviving this really well! i am amazed at how the girls have handled this! our family is being made stronger through this trial and i can see everyone’s faith growing as we put our trust in our Heavenly Father. i know we don’t ever want to go through trials, but i can honestly say that i am grateful that our Heavenly Father saw fit to give us this trial!! i know He loves us and He has trusted us to make it through this together and to come out stronger for it!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
i was just talking to my dad on the phone and we were talking about our girls. he was asking how they were doing through this whole ordeal and i told him that they are doing surprisingly well! unless everyone is telling me what they think i want to hear and not the truth, the word is that they are still very sweet and good when they are being watched by all of the amazing people in our ward.
i’ll admit that they are doing better than i expected they would. i’ve seen other families go through separations similar to ours and the kids seem to start breaking down after about a week. they start acting out or become grumpy, withdrawn, or sad and manifest it through bad behavior. like i said, unless people are not giving me a truthful picture, then our girls are doing incredibly well!
so, i was talking to my dad about all of this and then we started talking about how well our girls get along. we really have been blessed with girls that are good friends that watch out for each other! sure, they have there moments, but for the most part they are great friends. they love to play together and imagine up games that include all the sisters.
just yesterday while i was talking to mitch on the phone, i could hear the girls screaming in delight and laughing in the background. apparently, they were playing a game of hide and seek that involved all 4 girls. mahea would just follow the seeker around and as soon as they found someone she would squeal in delight!! it was music to my ears and i couldn’t help but smile!!
anyway, while talking with my dad about how well the girls get along i said, “i think a lot of it has to do with nani. she is so sweet and thoughtful. she watches over her sisters and takes care of them. even when kale’a is getting in trouble she will defend her! being the oldest she is setting that example for her sisters” this, of course, was no surprise to my dad and he said, “i know, you can see it in her eyes, her kind, sweet countenance! she is the glue! i can’t think of a better way to put it, but she holds everything together!”
i’d never thought of it that way, but that is exactly who she is! she is the glue of the family! i love this picture of nani holding her sisters hand on a hike we took two summers ago. she was caring for kawena and making sure she got safely through the water without falling or getting hurt. this picture says so much about who nani is. she is a protector and a leader amongst her sisters.
nani has a genuine concern for others. i remember last year at the end of the school year i was talking with one of nani’s teachers. she told me that nani has a very caring heart. several times throughout the year she would inquire about the well-being of a fellow student who had gotten hurt because she was concerned for them. this was not just a one time thing, anytime one of the students in her class got hurt or sick and was not in class she would ask the teacher how they were doing. nani was given a heart of compassion for others and her peers are drawn to her because of her kindness and caring.
since my last post, nani has come to visit me twice in the hospital! the first time was last monday and being a school night we pretty much spent most of the time doing her homework that was due the next day. even though we were doing homework and not playing games and coloring, like i did with her sisters, we still had a great time. maybe that was because she had just a little bit of math and the rest was creative writing stuff.
nani is a very creative person. for as long as i can remember, whenever she has been asked what she wants to be when she grows up it is always something that involves art and creativity. the first thing she wanted to be, many years ago, was a photographer. now, if you ask her she will tell you that she wants to be an author and illustrator! she has already written several stories and loves to draw and create!
so, here in my little hospital room, laying in my bed together we imagined up a story about a cheetah that walked into her school’s library and began reading books. once we finished that story, we wrote a free verse poem about babies, about how they are sweet and sometimes stinky, how they are soft and cuddly, how sometimes they just cry and cry, but most importantly how much we love babies! it was fun to be creative with my author/illustrator daughter!!
her second visit was yesterday. she really wanted to watch saturday cartoons because “we don’t have cartoons at home”!! so, we watched a little bit of them while she showed me how to make bracelets out of yarn. then, i taught her how to play solitaire, which she picked up quickly and enjoyed, we never did win, though! after that, she told me that she wanted to do homework and i thought, “really?” so, again we did homework… the creative kind!
i wasn’t completely shocked that nani wanted to do homework. she is a very responsible girl. there have been many mornings where she has asked mitch to wake her up early so she could finish her homework that she didn’t have time to finish the night before. she is just like that. she may have inherited some of my perfectionistic tendencies??? whatever it is, she sets a high standard for herself and most of the time she reaches it of her own doing!! though it was homework we did, we were still laughing and having a great time just being together.
i love my nani girl! she is super helpful at home. being our first child and the oldest, there is a lot more responsibility placed on her. sometimes she doesn’t think it is fair, but she still is my little helper and does so much around the house to help… especially since i have gotten so big and was having a hard time doing everything i used to do! i know that she will be such a blessing when these boys join our family.
noelani, her given name, in hawaiian means “heavenly mist”. mist is soft, and gentle, it is not harsh, but subtle. mist can make light visible. that is our nani. she has a gentle sweetness about her and she shines her light for all to see!
i loved having nani with me in my hospital room, just her and i. i think that in bigger families you miss out on a lot of the one-on-one time, but when you are given a chance to have some you realize what a blessing it is. while she was with me i paid close attention to who nani is. i listened and i watched as she talked to me and as we worked together. i felt so strongly the sweetness of her spirit in this room. i know that she is a daughter of God and He loves her so much, just as she loves Him. i could feel it as i lay next to her. she has such a desire for righteousness and a hunger for truth and light. i watched this daughter of mine and i was so grateful that she came to our family. she blesses our family everyday! she is “the glue”, as my dad said, that holds our family together with such strength,… and i am proud to be her mother!
Sunday, November 07, 2010
whenever i look at pictures of our second daughter i am always captivated by her eyes! she was blessed with these light brown eyes edged with black. if that wasn’t enough she was also blessed with these dark, long, thick lashes! when she speaks to me i am always drawn to those eyes. since she was a toddler her eyes have always been animated and full of life. she communicates a lot through those eyes.
kale’a, in the hawaiian language means “delightful one” and we were right to give her this name. this second child of ours is a delightful girl! she is spirited, she is thoughtful, she cares for her sisters and for those around her! she hungers for acceptance and love from her family and she enjoys being with us. she is a leader with a great imagination. she laughs easily and makes those around her laugh. she is super creative and full of all sorts of fun ideas. she is crazy fun and she is super silly. she is smart and she loves her Savior. she is a monkey that loves to climb up everything, higher than i wish she would, i might add. she climbs trees, she climbs the walls in our house, she climbs up anything and everything!
i don’t think it is a secret that she and i clash more than i’d like. kale’a is a very strong-willed girl. she is stubborn, as am i. this, of course is never a good combination! we have struggled a lot together! it is not something that i am proud of, but it is something that i am very aware of and something that i have been trying to overcome.
though we have struggled with this, kale’a seems to be drawn to her mommy! it seems so strange to me that though we argue and fight often, she still has so much love for me. i would think it would have pushed us further apart, but most of the time she prefers me over anyone else! she demonstrates so perfectly the unconditional love of a child!
since i have been in the hospital she is the one who calls me everyday! i can almost count on my cell phone ringing everyday between 3:00 and 4:00 when the girls get home from school. i know that when i pick it up i will hear kale’a’s sweet voice saying, “hi, mama!” i’ve begun to look forward to the daily phone call from this girl of mine when i can hear her voice and i can talk to her about her day. it puts joy in my heart that she needs to call her mommy daily!
honestly, i think this separation between kale’a and i has been a good thing. we are not constantly battling anymore. we have been removed from our daily contention and in that space we have been able to draw closer together and feel the spirit. it is interesting to me how our Heavenly Father works. this trial may not have anything to do with the boys, but it could have everything to do with the relationships within our family. i might be wrong and i may never know in this lifetime, but for right now i can’t help but notice how peaceful the relationship between kale’a and i has become in the short two and a half weeks that i have been in the hospital!
yesterday morning, kale’a was dropped off at the hospital to spend two hours with me. just like her sister before her, she packed a bag with books to read and games for us to play together. when she walked into my hospital room she was trying to hide her excitement, but i could see it behind her giddy little smile! it made my heart soar to see my delightful kale’a so happy to be with her mommy!
she hopped up into my hospital bed with me and we began to play “hiss”, a game where you make snakes by matching up color cards. we were limited by the tiny space of my bedside table, but we managed just fine. after that, we played a teeny tiny game of “trouble” which was located on the end of her pen that was given to her by a friend. we played some with her legos and then the nurse came in to monitor the boys.
as she was hooking me up, kale’a began to help the nurse get things put together and was such a big help! kale’a is always quick to help others, another wonderful quality of this sweet girl. since i had to lay fairly still while being monitored we turned on the tv and watched an episode of the magic school bus.
i loved laying next to this daughter that i have struggled with in so many ways and hearing her unbridled laughter. i loved that when i started tickling/scratching her back that she turned her back to me and lifted up her shirt so she could feel it better – that she would shift to the other side and tell me where she wanted me to tickle next. this is one of the things that she asks me to do all the time. she loves the touch of my nails on her skin – i think it is a way for her to relax and feel close to me.
as i lay there next to kale’a, i wished that we could just stay like this forever, cuddled together in the peace and calm that surrounded us! no contention and no frustrations, just peace and calm and the spirit! for kale’a and i, i feel, that this is what this trial is all about.
i love this delightful child of mine! she pushes me to my limit and makes my life uncomfortable at times, but that is what we all need if we are to become better people, if we are to become like our Father in Heaven. i love talking with her and seeing those beautiful, expressive eyes that tell me more than her words do. i love her zest for life and her strong will!
and today i am so grateful for the morning that i spent with her in my hospital room, just the two of us playing, laughing, and just being together. i love this girl more than ever!
Friday, November 05, 2010
this kid has my heart 110%!! she is such a joy to be around and at such a fun age! her happiness and love for life is contagious! she is bright and funny and smart! she is sneaky and clever! she is so full of love and so lovable! she thinks of others, especially her sisters! she loves her sisters, she loves her daddy, and she loves her mommy! she loves to sing and she loves to dance:
i think this is because she has such a free spirit! and i love it! she is so much of what i wasn’t at her age! she can make friends instantly and calls everyone her best friend. she just makes it easy to love her! she loves to laugh and have fun!
it is her love for life and her energy that i have been especially missing this week! since school started, she and i have become good buddies and i’ve been missing my little buddy, a lot!
she seemed to be struggling a little bit this week, so mitch suggested that she come visit me in the hospital. just kawena and i for a few hours! i thought it was an awesome idea!
there was no preschool today, so today was our day!! mitch packed her a bag with coloring books, crayons, books, and games to fill our time together. our neighbor and good friend, erin, drove her to the hospital, dropped her off and then went to run some errands.
we had such a fun time. kawena climbed into bed with me and we started by reading the books. once we finished those kawena wanted to play some games. so, we played 2 games of candyland (i won the first game and she won the second), and then we played operation. it was so cute because every time she touched the metal side with her tweezers it always made her jump a little and she’d scream! she kept saying, with a giggle, “the buzzing scares me!” we were awesome surgeons!!
for the rest of the time until erin was finished with her errands, we colored in her coloring book! we helped each other pick just the right colors for our pictures and they were so beautiful when we were finished!
it was a wonderful morning! we didn’t do anything extraordinary, just the simple everyday things a mother does with her child, but it was the highlight of my week! i was able to get my kawena fix. i can’t hang out with my little buddy everyday right now, so for this short blip in our long life together i will be grateful for these moments! i will cherish having her warm little body cuddled next to mine in my hospital bed while i helped her brothers grow.
as she was getting ready to leave she got close to me and whispered, “mommy, i want you to come home with me right now.” i told her that i wanted to go too and explained to her why i could not. then, like someone much older than her 4 year old self, she accepted it, gave me a big hug and a kiss, and said, “I LOVE YOU!!” and with a content smile on her sweet little face she walked out of my hospital room!
like i said, she is so easy to love!!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
well, it’s been a long time since i last posted. since then i have grown quite a bit in the belly area, but unfortunately do not have any pictures of it. i kept planning on taking another photo, specifically on the day i was 30 weeks. obviously, i didn’t snap that photo, and i regret it because the following day i landed myself in the hospital totally unexpectedly!!
here’s what happened:
thursday, october 21st (30 weeks + 1 day) i went to my regularly scheduled perinatologist appointment to have an “ffn” (fetal fiber nectin, a test that will tell us if i will go into labor in the next 10 days to 2 weeks), to check my cervical length (not dilation), and to monitor the boys. totally routine for a twin pregnancy at 30 weeks.
as i watched the monitor while they measured the length of my cervix i noticed the numbers on the screen. my heart sank because i knew it was bad! two weeks prior at my previous appointment my cervical length was 3.3 which was fine. they had told me that as long as i am above 2.5 there are no worries, but if the cervix ever shortened to 2.5 they would become concerned that the babies are coming soon.
in order to get an accurate number they measure the cervical length several times. as i watched, i saw numbers like 1.7, 1.3, 1.5. so, they called the doctor in to talk with me. he tells me that they are concerned that my cervix has shortened significantly and past the point of concern. they want to monitor my contractions (i hadn’t been having any painful contractions, just braxton hicks type tightening, for months, which is totally normal for me!) and check my cervix for dilation. after that fun exam they told me i was dilated to a 1 and they were sending me directly to the hospital.
as i drove myself to the hospital, somewhat shocked, i call my friend who is watching my other children and mitch to break the news to them. the rest of the afternoon and the next day was filled with blood draws and monitoring, iv’s with nasty medicines like magnesium to slow the contraction (which give me major weird hot flashes in my hands and ears and eyeballs) and shots of steroids to mature the boys lungs.
they kept me in the hospital for 4 days totally expecting me to have these babies. by sunday, they realized that the contractions were under control, but not stopped. they had taken me off of the magnesium drip and given me a medicine that i could take at home to relax the uterus. they checked my cervix again and i was still at a 1, no change was good! so, they sent me home with a prescription and orders for strict bed rest and instructions to only get out of bed to go potty and to shower every other day. they told me to call on monday to my ob to schedule a follow-up appointment for that week.
i got all settled at home, had a minor breakdown when i saw the kids and then pulled myself back together and resigned myself to spending the duration of my pregnancy laid up in my bed. i was extremely good about my
sentence instructions. mitch made very sure that i was obedient to the doctors orders.
on tuesday, october 26th, 2 days after my release, i went to my follow-up appointment and it happened again. after checking for dilation my ob sent me back to the hospital!! in those short 2 days i had dilated from a 1 to 3.5, without any painful contractions! as i left the office on my way back to the hospital, my doctor said, “don’t schedule an appointment on your way out because i won’t be seeing you in the office again while you’re pregnant!” i was so bummed!
so, it has been 8 days since my second admittance to the hospital. things are still under control. i am given my “control the contractions” medicine every 6 hours and monitored for contractions and listen to the boys heartbeats twice a day. i am able to get out of bed to go potty and shower every 3 days. i eat hospital food 4 times a day, and lay around in a hospital gown. i watch re-runs, read books, nap, write thank you notes, talk to friends and family, enjoy visitors, skype my kids and husband daily, and miss them every moment they’re not with me. i’m getting to know the nurses really well and am starting to settle into my new life. and now we just wait…
the boys are sounding great on the monitors and growing like crazy. the doctor said that if i make it to 35 weeks (3 more weeks, the day before thanksgiving) they could send me home to go into labor on my own. however, they are shocked that i am still pregnant now! i get the feeling that they think i won’t make it that far! i don’t know that i share their skepticism and i hope to prove them wrong! hey, we’ve done it once before when the doctors and midwives said my complete placenta previa with mahea would not move and i would have to have a c-section! it moved and i didn’t have a c-section. we have a way of surprising the medical community, so i say “why can’t we do it now?!!”
these are the ones i miss every hour of every day:
this picture is hanging on my wall in my hospital room so i can look at them whenever i want or need to!
things that i have missed while in the hospital: kale’a’s 7th birthday party, halloween (the girls did come to the hospital dressed in their costumes, though).