Saturday, July 12, 2014

One month

Dear Joseph and Kenzie,
You are a month old! I can hardly believe it. What a crazy month we had too. We have been to the doctor and hospital more than mommy has been in her whole life. 
Here is Mommy on the way to the hospital. She has seen twin mommies who had bigger tummies, but nevertheless she was ready to meet you (and be comfortable again!).  I already wrote about your birth, so I won't do that again, but here is our first family picture. Joseph took a few seconds to cry when he was born, and mommy was a little worried. Kenzie, you started screaming as soon as you came out. I think that tells us a little something about your personalities. 

Joseph, you came to the room that night. You and mommy bonded over learning how to nurse together and spending those first sweet days just you and I. 

Kenzie, you spent your first day and a half in the NICU. You and daddy bonded as he sang to you. Even though he has a terrible voice, you still love it when he sings to you. 

Kenzie, here is the first time you and mommy saw each other since the night you were born. You were 1.5 days old. It was also the first time you and your brother had gotten to be together since birth.

We went home from the hospital on Sunday. On Monday you got to meet your Mimi and Papa. Mimi was so busy taking pictures of you and helping Mommy out, she didn't get any pictures WITH you. 

When you were a week old, Mommy had to go to the hospital. She was really sick and in a room you couldn't visit. Your Mimi and Papa took good care of you since Daddy was with Mommy. I am so glad you are good babies and only wake up at night to eat! Finally mommy got moved to another room and you could come visit. This is the first time she got to see you in 3 days. 

Mommy got to go home a few days before your 3 week birthday. She was excited to give you your first real bath. Kenzie, you liked it till you had to get out and got cold. You draped your leg over the sling so it could soak in the water. Joseph, my friend, you were not and are still not a fan of the bath. You love to get out and get cozy in your hooded towel. 

When you were 3 weeks old we took your newborn pictures. It took 5 hours because Miss Kenzie, you would not sleep! They turned out great, though!

You guys really love each other, though Kenzie certainly is more interested in you, Joseph. You pretty much ignore your sis, unless you're trying to eat her. 

 You spent your first 4th of July on the couch with mommy. You were obviously VERY affected by the fireworks. 

Kenzie, you made a new best friend. Your Auntie Becky brought her girls over to babysit while mommy went to the doctor.  You had met Moriah a few days before. She really, really, REALLY loves you. 

Just before your one month birthday you made your first trip to Aggieland. Aunt Erin and Uncle Bill came to meet you, and you wanted to show them all the fun traditions on campus. Your Papa says OU, Aunt Erin says Arkansas, and Uncle Bill says UT (the good one in Tennessee). But remember, mommy is the one who grew you for 9 months, and she's the smart one to listen to. Your first word might just be howdy. 

This first month you made some great faces,  but these are my favorite we caught on camera. Kenzie Rebekah, you are DRAMATIC. We get two breaths warning before you are wailing. You stick out those lips and have a great pouty face. Right around one month you developed the ability to cry real tears and you work that into your dramatics now. Joseph, you too have a great pout. But you were the first to socially smile, and it just made Mommy's day. 

One month stats:

Height- Mommy forgot to measure!
Weight- 8 pounds, 8 ounces
Sleep- The longest you've gone is 4 hours. 
Eat- Ravenously! And you make noises the whole time. 
Likes- Eating, sleeping on Mommy's chest, being in the wrap. 
Dislikes- Baths, having gas, being naked. 

Height- Mommy forgot to measure!
Weight- 7 pounds, 4 ounces
Sleep- Little girl, you are our alarm clock. Count on you wailing every 3 hours on the dot. 
Eat- Though you wake to eat every 3 hours, you are a grazer. You'll eat an ounce or two, fall asleep, the wake up a few minutes later mad and hungry and drink another ounce. We just had your tongue tie clipped, so now you nurse with brother during the day and take formula at night. 
Likes- Daddy singing to you, being wrapped up cozy and warm, baths. 
Dislikes- Being cold, any form of discomfort not being fixed immediately, sun in your eyes. 

Happy one month, my sweet babies. I love you very much. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

The unexpected

So after I went to the appointments on Tuesday, Wednesday I woke up and was noticeably winded when walking around the house. I attributed it to the fact that I'd just had major surgery and everyone told me to expect recovery to be difficult. Also, I'd gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before, so of course I was exhausted. I started coughing a bit too, but everyone who's ever woken up in the same house as me knows I cough. My friends lovingly refer to it as my morning cough.

The next day everything was worse. I took a Zyrtec, thinking the cough/congestion was allergies. Throughout the day my breathing became more and more labored. I messaged Beth and she said she'd come by and just check. We both thought it was because of all the above symptoms as well as my blood pressure issues that were lingering from pregnancy. Later Beth said she'd had the fleeting thought that it could be my diagnosis, but it was just so rare. By around 4:30 my breathing was pretty bad. Mom put the babies in the car and we prepared to go to Beth's for her to check me out. By the time mom got in the car I told her we needed to go to the ER. I couldn't breathe. We went back to Woman's where I had delivered my sweet babies just a week before. I knew they had my history and figured this was linked to the c-section. We got to the ER and I was taken back immediately. I was put on oxygen, and spent the next 2 hours struggling to breathe. They reassured me that my pulse-ox was 100%, but that doesn't really matter to a person who feels like they can't breathe. They immediately did an EKG, a chest X-ray, and an echo cardiogram.  The chest X-ray revealed both lungs about 2/3 full of fluid. I had pulmonary edema- my body and lungs were overloaded with fluid. They started a drug that made me pee all the time and put in a catheter to collect the fluid. By the time they sent me to the ICU (a few hours) they had drained out 9 pounds of fluid and I was breathing much better. By an hour or two later i was hungry and wanting to eat (a good sign according to Beth). 

The next morning we got the results of the echocardiogram. I had developed a disease with a 1/4000 chance. It's called peripartum cardiomyopathy. So basically your heart generally pumps out 60% of the blood from your heart each time it beats. Normal/low normal is at least 50% and above, heart failure is 40% or below. This percentage is called your ejection fraction. Mine was only 34%. This was a big deal. I could have died, and the indicators were that I wouldn't really live a 'normal' life. With my type, peripartum (which means it developed in the last few months of pregnancy- 6 months postpartum), there was a 50% chance of full recovery but not till at least 6 months out. Another echo would have to wait at least 3 weeks because it wouldn't show enough change. 

Now there's a lot more to the story, but you don't really need to know it all. The important details are that I was I'm the hospital from Thursday to the following Wednesday. My parents and husband are amazing for taking care of me and my week old babies. I was in the ICU for 3 days and couldn't see the babies. I was released on 2 medications and wearing a life vest- a wearable defibrillator i had to wear at all times except when showering. They pulled out 15 pounds of fluid. In 2 weeks I had lost 53 pounds. 

I was feeling loads better when I got home. I am blessed to have a doctor best friend who helped me get an appointment with an awesome doctor. That awesome doctor changed my medications so I could breastfeed. She ordered a follow up echocardiogram. I had the follow up last week and today received the results. You ready? In a miraculous amount of time my heart is COMPLETELY NORMAL. She took me off all meds and the vest. She told me to go be exhausted for normal new mommy reasons. She told me to go live life as normal mom. I am so grateful to God for full recovery. The only thing affected in my life is that I cannot carry any more babies in my body (too much risk of this happening again). For that reason I am all the more grateful that God foreknew what would happen and gave me two babies- and one boy, one girl. As I sit here with my two precious sleeping angels, I could not be more grateful. 

The first time I heard this song after this it became so much more meaningful. He truly is our lighthouse. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Babies and birth stories

So... We haven't told any baby stories yet, and I'm gonna have to go back and write our pregnancy story,  but before I forget too much I want to write the birthday story!

So, in mid May my doctor stopped saying "You're making this twin pregnancy thing look easy"! Up until 32 weeks that's what I heard each visit. But at 32 weeks my blood pressure slowly began creeping up. We did weekly testing to make sure I didn't have protein in my urine (a sign of preeclampsia). At 34 weeks he asked if i was still working. Thankfully, the day of that appointment had been my last day of teacher workdays for the school year. My rock star best friend, Beth, monitored my blood pressure daily. It continued to creep up. However, let me insert that our green card interview for Chile was scheduled for June 12- my 36th week of pregnancy. If I didn't appear with him at the interview we would have to go to immigration court, or possibly delay once again (loooong story, but this is our second go-round with the green card process). So we'd all been praying that the babies would make it until the 12th. On June 11 I went to the doctor. My bp was up again, and the protein was slowly  creeping up. My doctor was looking ahead to the weekend. He would be out of town. He didn't want anything happening while he was gone and he wanted to be the one to deliver me. He no longer saw the benefit of waiting till June 17 (when my c-section was originally scheduled for). He thought it was best for my health that we went ahead and delivered. THE. NEXT. DAY. JUNE 12. As in, the DAY of the interview. So we scheduled the c-section for 6 pm. We had to arrive at 4. Our interview was about 45 minutes away at 1:45. So crazy. But if you've read the "Our Story" posts, you know this is sort of how the Chiles roll. God was totally laughing at us- "You asked me if you could just make it till the. 12th, right?"  I left the office and called Chile. He, of course, was shocked. Apparently he left a training to answer my call. When he went back in he was speechless and dumbfounded to the point the manager running the training had to stop to see if he was ok. He couldn't get it out at first, but when he finally did everyone clapped and cheered. 

So the next morning we got up and went to breakfast.  I wasn't allowed to eat or drink after 10 am. We then ran some errands and got ready to go. We got to our interview site at 1:15, per instructions. At about 1:43 we heard someone mention how the things can run hours late. I began typing a text message asking our friends to pray for it to be at least close to on time because we didn't have time to waste. Before I even finished the message they called us back, right at 1:45. What a blessing! Our interview lady was super stoic. We answered questions to prove that we were actually married and cohabitating (wasn't my belly indication enough?!). We showed her our paperwork. We told her the babies we arriving that evening. No emotion. About 20 minutes later she told us she would review our file and let us know within 2 weeks. I wasn't worried- it was pretty obvious we were legit. Since we had so much time we went home. We relaxed and watched an episode of Shark Tank, and then headed to the hospital. 

At 4 we checked in and things got rolling.  They put an IV in me (I should say I have impossible veins and the nurse blew out 2 veins before calling an anesthesiologist to do it). Randomly, our nurse was a Cuban American. She recognized Chile's accent immediately and they started chatting. After they got me all ready they rolled a terrified me into the OR (I had never been in the hospital even before). Chile had to wait while I got the epidural put in. As they were doing the epidural they were speaking amazed about some black guy who was speaking Hebrew to some Orthodox Jews who had just come in the waiting room. "That's my husband actually. To make it even crazier, he's from Cuba." Honestly, the worst part of it all was getting the epidural. I am unable to not flich, which isn't good when they're trying to get a needle into a 1 cm space in your spine. Soon enough Chile was in the room and the super hip, motorcycle riding, single and loving it at 40, anethesiologist was narrating the c-section for us. It went fast. They held Joseph over the curtain and we both just started crying. Then he did too, which was just about the sweetest sound I'd ever heard. 2 minutes later Kenzie emerged, red and screaming. 6 lbs 13 oz and 5 lbs 1 oz respectively, they screamed and cried and settled as little bundled burritos on my stomach. And I'm pretty sure I cried again. 

They rolled me to the recovery room and brought both babies to me. They told me to try and nurse them. I remember thinking, "Ummm, no one is going to show me HOW?" We figured if out though. After a while they came back and took the babies. :-( Kenzie was headed to the NICU because she was small. Joseph was headed to the regular nursery because his blood sugar was low. I was rolled to my room. Thankfully, after an hour and a half, Joseph joined us. They monitored his sugars throughout the night, but he was fine. We spent that sweet first precious night snuggling and getting to know one another. 

They called my room to inform me that Kenzie would be staying in the NICU a bit longer. She had an irregular breathing pattern, which meant she would breathe for a while and then stop, and then start again. The doctor told me they would put her on an oxygen mask to help her regulate. If she improved she would move to a nasal cannula, then room air, then be released. If she didn't improve she would be given caffeine, but this meant she would have to go home with an apnea monitor. We all got to praying, and got a much sleep as we could that night. Friday Chile spent most of the day with our sweet girl in the NICU. She was doing well and progressed from the oxygen all the way to room air. I wasn't allowed out of bed almost the whole day, so I had to get phone updates via Chile and take care of my little man. Late in the afternoon the word was that she was doing great and was ready to leave the NICU. However, we got stuck in weekend rounding and the doc didn't write discharge orders before leaving Friday, so we had to wait till Saturday. Unfortunately, the rounding doctor (since it was the weekend) didn't come till lunch time so my girl didn't join us till the afternoon. 

Needless to say I was grateful to have two healthy, big, beautiful 36 weekers.  I know we were exceptionally blessed that they didn't have issues. 

My doctor had told me we could go home either Sunday or Monday, whatever we chose. I was recovering really well (not even taking extra pain meds) and was ready to stop being bothered by nurses checking all of our vitals at different 4 hour intervals thought the night. Sunday afternoon we gathered everything and headed home as a family of 4! 

That first night was baptism by fire.  They fussed and whined all night. We were exhausted. My parents arrived the next day. It was a calm day. Thankfully the next night was exceptionally better. They actually slept when they weren't eating. Thank goodness for the magic that are Sleep Sacks. Tuesday was pretty uneventful. Chile went to work, my mom took me to the ob and all of us to the pediatrician. We were all doing well, though I was pale and obviously anemic still. I was encouraged to eat lots of iron to help me recover from what the babies had drained me of. The babies got a clean bill of health and were sent home with the regularly scheduled 2 week appointment. 

The next day, without realizing it, my health took a turn for the worse. This will be another long entry, so you'll have to wait, but I don't want to scare anyone who doesn't follow me on fb- what happened was serious and still has health implications for me today, but I am home and doing fine. Hopefully that part can come tomorrow. For now I'll leave you with their beautiful stats:

Joseph Nathaniel Chile
June 12, 2014 at 6:42 pm
6 pounds 13 ounces
20.5 inches

Kenzie Rebekah Chile
June 12, 2014 at 6:44 pm
5 pounds 1 ounce
18.5 inches