Thursday, October 18, 2012

Full hands and hearts.

These are some of my favorite pictures of Emma and Owen. They are just such sweet babies!!!

In our last ultrasound, they were positioned face to face, just like this. It makes me think they are telling each other sweet secrets. Mike jokes about the secret handshake that they'll have. I pray that they will be the best of friends!

It's amazing to me how quickly you forget how life was without your children. I feel like they have always been a part of me! It's also amazing to me how fierce your love is for them from the moment you set eyes on them... you don't even know them but you love them so intensely.
These two precious babies have captivated our hearts. Our hands and hearts are full. Our cups runneth over.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The end... well, more like the beginning. :)

We took a belly picture every week from 6 weeks until the very end. This was the last one we took. I took off the 5 and replaced it with a 6, but hoped I wouldn't make it to the 36 week picture with how uncomfortable & swollen I had become in just a matter of days.

By this time I had pregnancy induced hypertension. My blood pressure had sky rocketed & I was sporting wicked headaches, my body was retaining so much water it was hard to sit, to stand, to sleep, to go to the bathroom... to do anything comfortably. My ligaments were so stretched and painful & the babes were bulging out in my lower abdomen so much so that even clothing would hurt. Praise God that it was really only one week of feeling like this... really, the rest of my pregnancy was very very easy; I was so very blessed.

I had a 35.5 week appointment scheduled on Sunday the 23rd, and after having cried myself prior nights due to pain, I told Mike that if the ultrasound showed we had two 5 pound babies, I wanted them out! The ultrasound tech had a difficult time getting measurements because I would cry out in pain and squirm away as he passed over my ligaments & belly bulge, but was finally able to see that they were indeed at least 5 pounds each. Both were breach at the time, which automatically meant a c-section. I had been resigned to the fact that I would probably have a c-section, and in all honesty, at that time, I was so glad because it meant that they would be out that much sooner!

Fetal heart monitoring

So I pleaded with my doctor to do a c-section that day, to which he responded, "Cannot today. Maybe next week." I burst into tears... another whole week?! Mike calmed me down saying that he thought that next week meant "this week" to our doctor, which indeed it did. He asked if I wanted Tuesday or Wednesday and I firmly said, "Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning!!" (Monday)  I think he pitied me. :)

So we got things arranged at the hospital. We went home to get the hospital bag, get things in order, e-mailed friends and family, got the day off of work and returned to the hospital around midnight on Monday the 24th to check in and get prepped for the 6:45 AM c-section.

Don't let that smile fool you... I was so very uncomfortable but so very happy that they were going to come out in a matter of hours.

Peace out. On my way to the operating room.
Daddy getting ready too
I was given a spinal tap and felt nothing from about my chest down. Gotta love me some of those strooooong drugs!!
Getting cut open
Owen Michael was born at 6:57am weighing 5 lbs, 12 oz and 18.5 in. long. Emma Caroline was born 2 minutes later at 6:59am weighing 5 lbs, 2 oz. and measuring 17.9 in. Hearing their precious cries brought tears to my own eyes. How sweet it was...
Hooray!!! They're here!!! Owen on the left, Emma on the right. Please excuse my triple (or is it quadruple?) chin... I told you I had retained a lot of water!!
Both were wisked off to the NICU and put into incubators. Emma was placed in one simply because she was small, but Owen was immediately put into an incubator and given oxygen. He came out butt first, head down, which perhaps contributed to his rapid breathing. In the meantime, I was stitched up and Mike was able to go snap a couple of pics.


Emma... so alert
Emma girl

The rest of Monday is a daze for me; I was in an out of consciousness. Mike said that during the day, after I was observed in the recovery room for a while, I would talk to him for a little bit and literally fall asleep 5 seconds later. Our friends Grant and Carolyn even came to visit us, which I vaguely (if at all) remember.

My catheter and IV came out on Tuesday, which meant that it was time for me to already be getting up out of bed. I didn't know what to really expect with a c-section (reading material and advice from friends only does so much/goes so far), but knew that it would be really hard to get in and out of bed and even walk. I remember when I tried to make it to the wheelchair that was about 2 feet from my bed and I thought, "This is IMPOSSIBLE!!!" Everything got easier and better with each passing day. I spent a lot of time walking up and down the hospital hallways pushing a wheelchair to balance myself. I think the exercise really helped. Another blog post in the future on my opinion of c-sections...

Little Owen had to stay in the incubator until his breathing was regulated, which meant that we couldn't hold him or have him in our room (or take many pics). But Emma girl was in and out of our room and passed from visitor to visitor each day.
I look like death... still so swollen.
Love this sweet picture of Emma and her daddy!!!
E Drinking milk from a cup... she looked like a little kitten!
E being burped.
Love that little tongue hanging out. Uber relaxed.

On Thursday evening,  Owen's breathing had regulated, he was off oxygen and taken out of his incubator. Mike was able to hold him for the first time.

So handsome! I love his fluffy hair!! :)
Owen and I were able to spend some time together on Friday morning before I checked out of the hospital with Emma. He still needed a few more days of observation before going home, even though he was out of the incubator and off oxygen.

Teary-eyed Mama: Holding Owen for the first time.
Going home with Emma on Friday morning. I was an emotional mess, as you can see. Mixed emotions about leaving Owen, excitement about going home, fear of being responsible for this new little life... uhm, and just slightly post-pregnancy hormonal. :)

Unfortunately, Mike was not able to be with us when we went home. He had taken a half day at work and had the morning off, but the whole check-out process took way longer than it should have and he actually had to leave to get to work. Don't worry, he left me in able hands... I had two wonderful ladies take me home and spend the afternoon with me until Mike got home that afternoon.

Mike was able to go to the hospital on Saturday to visit Owen and then on Sunday morning, we went with our friends Grant and Carolyn, to go to the hospital to take sweet Owen home. It was Emma's first outing and her first time being reunited with her womb-mate.

Our baby carriers, Grant and Carolyn! Such a blessing to have them since I was still so sore and slow.

Owen getting footprinted before we left.
Reunited and it feels so good!!!

Hooray! Now our family is complete!


We are so grateful to be home, to be recovering well from my c-section (I feel great!), to have two precious, precious gifts, and for all your love and well wishes.  Thank you to all who came to visit us in the hospital; we were so overwhelmed by your love & kindness!

Please pray for us as we continually adjust to being a family of four, as Mike and I learn how to parent, as we learn to thrive on less sleep (and for those of you that know us well, you know how much Mike and I love sleep, particularly me...), and that Christ would remain our center and strength through it all.

Much love to you all.