Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Sleep Deprivation" or "I Tried to Eat My Daughter's Shoe"

So there I was last night... It was sometime between 12:30am and 3am. Amelia sprawled out on the floor in front of me. She was crying and had mysteriously pulled her foot out of one of her shoes that she has to wear to correct her clubbed feet. The shoe has 3 super tight buckles that she somehow managed to maneuver around and the shoe is attached to the other shoe by a brace that holds her feet at a 70 degree angle. So, there I was wondering how our little Houdini pulled off her magic trick... AGAIN.
I removed said crying baby's shoe but was to tired exhausted to attempt putting the shoe back on which is quite the painful process of pulling the buckles as tight as you can possibly imagine. (we have to check everyday and make sure they don't develop sores or blisters on their feet).

What happened next is beyond me. I was sitting there shoe in hand, and prior to waking up the last thing I was doing was sitting on the couch watching some show about guys who "pick" through people's garages to find "treasures" to auction or sell and eating a drumstick, which can I just say I haven't had in like 10 years. I must have reverted back to thinking that I was eating a drumstick because the next thing I knew I had Amelia's shoe to my mouth.


About the same time I returned to conscienceness and realized what the heck I was doing my mother (who was rocking Stella on the ground next to me) was staring in disbelief and said "Jackie... did you just try to eat your daughter's shoe?" To which I replied "I think so. I thought it was my drumstick..."

Duh mom... don't all shoes at 3am resemble drumsticks?

We laughed uncontrolably for what seemed like a really long time.

My mom promptly ordered me back to bed and she tended to our babies so I would not attempt another late night snacking on my daughter's shoes!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Here's to 30 yesterdays

"Every good and perfect gift
 is from above, coming down from
the Father of the heavenly lights"
James 1:17a

Today our little girls are 1 month.

Amelia Grace

Stella Natalia

It seems like yesterday I was being wheeled into an operating room anxious to meet our little ones.

30 yesterdays have passed... and I am amazed at our little girls and all they have gone through and accomplished.

Just 3 days old, they received their first of 4 sets of casts that were changed every 5 days. They have been to countless doctors appointments & just last week they were fitted for special shoes to help their feet continue to grow in the right direction.  I think all of their doctors appointments have been more difficult for me than for them! Hard for a mama to watch their little ones going through so much pain, but thankfully, I am told they won't remember it.

At the end of the first month their favorite things are sleeping on their boppy pillows

being rocked by mama

sleeping on papi's chest

Hanging out & being comforted by grandma

and snuggling really close to one another

In fact, just today they were really fussy. They've been sleeping on their boppy pillows to help keep them upright due to their acid reflux and so they've not have too much interaction. I suggested to Alan to lay they next to each other and once they were side by side they instantly stopped crying and began cooing and talking to each other. 

To celebrate their one month, we decided to bake cookies for our favorite nurses at St. Rose Hospital. It was so much fun to deliver them and the nurses loved seeing their twin girls! They are kind of famous!

Amelia Grace
Birth weight: 5lbs. 4 oz.
One month weight: 7lbs. 7 oz.
Birth height: 17.5 inches
One month height: 21 inches

Stella Natalia
Birth weight: 5lbs. 4 oz.
One month weight: 7lbs. 1 oz.
Birth height: 17.5 inches
One month height: 21 inches

It is fun to just sit and watch them while they sleep. I promise to try to post more often and keep updating with pictures. There are no words to describe the love and joy we feel for them!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

They Have Arrived!

I thought I would take a moment (and by moment, I mean literally a moment!) to start a post about our birthing story as it was one of the most excruciatingly magical times of my entire existence. There is nothing quite like meeting the heavenly little creation you've carried around and dreamed and hoped and planned for quite like this, and for us it was times two!

So hear goes... The morning started out like any other... me waking up to go to the bathroom for the umteenth time. When I sat up in bed at about 7:45 I realized my water had just broke or I had lost total control of my bladder!! A quick call to my doctor confirmed it was likely my water and thank goodness I had an appt. with her that morning because I was not looking forward to a 30 minute drive to the hospital to be "checked" and dismissed if it wasn't that!

9:00am, I arrived at my doctor's office and was taken back right away & it was true... my water broke! (Did you know only 10-15% of women break their water naturally?) My doc informed me that today, May 25, 2010 was the day we would hold our little ones and then she promptly sent me to the hospital.

11am, I am admitted and they begin the paperwork, bloodwork, and strap on the heart monitors for each baby. Amelia was easy to find as she was already in position to be birthed first, but Stella was a little trickster and moved around a lot, thus making it incredibly difficult for our nurse to monitor the heart beat... she probably came in every half hour if not more to check and readjust!

Around 1pm they began Pitocin on IV to get these contractions moving and they sure did!! My contractions were pretty close together and painful. Shortly after I met with the Anesthesiologist (sp?) who was from New Zealand and pretty much amazing! He explained to me that my platelets had dropped very low (55,000 & the normal range is 120-170,000) & I need to weigh the risks of having an epidural which are that I could have a hematoma. If that were to happen before I delivered then I would be rushed into immediate C-Section and then would need back surgery! If I didn't do the epidural and was in labor and had to have an immediate C-section for 1 or both of the babies then I would be put under general anesthesia and the side effects would be food in my stomach going into my lungs. After praying over both options Alan and I decided to opt for the epidural. I think it was around 3 or 4pm that I received the epidural.

A few hours passed and I was blessed to not only have Alan by my side but also my mom, dad, stepmom Liz, stepbrother Gavyn, J.D., and best friend Nikki there. They helped pass the time and made it a very memorable experience.

Around 6:30pm our Nurse, which let me just say, our Nurse Pam was AMAZING! I don't know how I could have labored without her. She really was such a wonderful strong woman who took care of Alan and I! So, Nurse Pam comes in just before 6:30pm and tells me she going to see how dialated I am, so we send the crew out to the waiting room and turns out I am 9cm... next thing I know Nurse Pam and Alan each have a leg and we begin laboring in the room until my doctor arrives, which was at about 7:25pm.

Let me take a moment and say something about our doctor. Rebecca Hererro is an amazing woman of God with 3 boys of her own. She's been my doctor for over 2 years, but a friend for many. She is a Christian and goes to South Hills and several years ago, she along with her husband (also a doctor) and three boys came to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip with G.O. and treated close to 1000 people in the rural impoverished community of Hato del Yaque. She has a big heart! When Alan and I found out we were pregnant, she called me in the Dominican Republic to congratulate us and also to remind us of the precious gifts we would be receiving were from our Father and no other. We were blessed to have her walk alongside of us during this journey.

(I wish I had a good picture of Rebecca that I could post... they are all of her delivering the babies... none of which I will post :)

Back to labor day, she did a quick cervical check and we were off to the OR room. Twins have to be born in the OR in case of possible C-Section. Alan, my mom, Dr. Hererro, Nurse Pam (who stayed on after her shift ended to see us through) along with 7 other nurses, "baby catchers," and professionals joined us for the delivery. By time we reached the OR, my epidural began to wear off and I was in a lot of pain. They turned up my epidural which lessens the contractions so they turned up my Pitocin as well. Alan and my mom were getting suited up for delivery!

Moments before we began to labor Rebecca asked me if I was ready and when I said yes, I watched as she moved forward, placed her hands over my belly and prayed to our Heavenly Father for strength and for Him to use her to deliver our babies. It is a moment I will relive forever. We pushed for what seemed like eternity. Dr. Herrero, my mom, and Alan counted out my contractions, and before I knew it, I felt an intense release of pressure and seconds later heard the tiny squeal of a baby. The baby catcher took Amelia away immediately so I could continue to push. Typically twins are born within 20 minutes or so of eachother, but Stella was far from coming out. After some manipulating by Hererro, heavy laboring for about 40 minutes, and the help of a vacuum suction baby Stella arrived! With Stella she was put directly on me for me to hold. We stared in amazement at eachother and then she too was wisked away.

Amelia Grace Perez

Born May 25, 2010 at 7:49pm
5lbs. 4oz
17.5 inches

Stella Natalia Perez
Born May 25, 2010 at 9pm
5lbs. 4oz.
19 inches

We were told both babies were in excellent condition and would be going to the wellbaby clinic with Daddy while I went to Triage. Lying still under warm blankets, shaking from losing so much blood, Doctor Herrero came in to congratulate me and share some news about Amelia. She said she had clubbed feet. I had no idea what this meant, but I believe my face may have conveyed some sort of shock because Rebecca proceeded to tell me that it was completely fixable and we'd be seeing the pediatrician the next day. A strange peace washed over me then, our children had arrived, we were parents, and no matter how clubbed their feet might have been, they were precious to us in every sense of the word. I longed to be reunited with them and their daddy!

Moments later we were wheeled to our room along with our babies where our family had gathered along with more family and visitors. Once inside the room the babies were put in my arms and along with Alan we looked at them in total awe and thanfulness to God for what He has done and what joy He has given us.

What a long, hard, and incredibly life-altering day. This one will go down in the books! I can't describe the feeling of being a parent but I will try as I continue to write about our girls.

Thank you for all your sweet prayers along this journey. I say this often but I don't know anyother way to communicate how truly humbled we are that the God of this Universe would bless us in this way.

Stella Natalia

Amelia Grace

Much love to you all.
Alan and Jackie