June 30, 2005
This is mostly for our family and friends to look back and see how much the boys have grown. To look back and count the many blessing of the Lord and to look back and remember all the tears and laughter along the way. The boys were born many miles and on the opposite coast from our families. Oh, the drama they brought with them. It started out wild and it continues to this day! I can see where God had His hand in it all. My mom flew in to California the day I went into labor...Chris was flying back to Atlanta to be in his best friend's, from high school, wedding. He was actually sitting on the plane ready to take off when I was able to get a hold of him..."Get off the plane, I am in labor"! Poor guy didn't get much info at all but thank the good Lord above he was able to get off the plane. He surely would have missed their birth as they were born 15 hours later. Thankfully our friend Brad picked Chris up from the airport and drove him to the hospital an hour away...I think they made it in 20 minutes! Christen and Justin couldn't have been more excited for us... what a nightmare for the bride not to have a groomsmen show at the last minute. The Dr's tried many different meds to stop labor...but to no avail, the boys had had enough! They finally gave me pain medicine and an epidural at 8cm and we were ready to rock and role...but not in the way we expected. Remember, I said it got wild. Somehow (I have my theories) my BP bottomed out and I fainted...Parker's HR dropped and never came up...did I mention the Dr very closely resembled Dr. McDreamy...yeah, I was too sick to care. I do remember coming to as we were flying down the hall, all I heard was " No time to prep, grab your gear, wipe her belly, just wipe and go. No time to scrub, no time to drape..." I do remember looking at the Dr and saying "I don't care so much for this side of an emergency, I am used to being on your side of it...I don't feel so good"......nothing that's it, that is all I remember of the day my children are born. Chris missed them pulling Peyton out but made it in to see Parker. I do remember someone holding a baby in my face (I later learned it was Chris) and saying "His nose is too small, take him away I don't feel good"....I recall nothing else until waking up in the recovery room....screaming! To sum it all up. From the time they decided to do the "crash C-section" to the time they got us down the hall and into the OR, it had taken a total of 6 minutes to get all that done and Peyton out! From the first cut to having baby A (Peyton) out was 1 minute! That my friends is knowing what role you play in an emergency and it running like a well oiled machine. Chris did mention that there were several people "practicing" on his wife... the high risk OB wasn't there in time, my OB was on a Disney Cruise, McDreamy was covering for her and was in his dress shirt and tie...clearly no time to change into scrubs...I can only pray it was a fellow doing the cutting:) I do have to say he must have spent some time in plastic surgery b/c my scar can barely be noticed! Did I mention the attending anesthesiologist was not there...for the epidural placement (hence my theory on my BP dropping) nor for the section...yeah, when I woke up in the recovery room... I woke up screaming like a mad women and asking everyone if I was still open! I have never felt such raw, burning pain in my life. It was so intense my friend Summer said you could hear me screaming down the hall, through the doors and in the waiting room...someone thought I was birthing a baby. Those poor soles who were doing their pre labor laps around the L&D floor. I do recall biting my mom's finger b/c it hurt so bad and begging the Dr to drug me until I couldn't breath anymore...he could put in a breathing tube labor! I was begging for a breathing tube! I knew if I was overdosed enough for a breathing tube then clearly the pain would go away. This is when the attending anesthesiologist did show up (yeah, thanks) and saw that in the OR before they took my epidural out they only gave me numbing medicine, no pain medicine! Wow, what a learning case I was that day! I didn't even get to see my boys until the next morning. My mom and Chris had seen the boys and each had held Parker. My friend Kim had come to the hospital as they were doing the C-section and they saw her standing in the hallway and thought she was my "coach" and let her in to see the babies before they took them to the NICU. We didn't get to hold Peyton until the 2nd day. That poor student nurse that was with my nurse just very well may have turned in her stethoscope that day. Don't get me wrong, I have worked with many great residents and fellows and some not so great ones. Just as I have worked with many great nurses and some not so good ones. We are all human, mistakes happen...unfortunately practicing medicine is no different. We were well cared for and everything turned out just fine. But, it was one WILD ride there for awhile. For an emergency it really could not have gone any better. The boys spent 3 of the longest weeks of our lives in the NICU. However, they were healthy and all in one piece. Peyton required nasal CPAP for the first 24 hours but after that was just fine. I remember that July 4th when I came home and had to leave the boys behind...my heart was in a million pieces. Everyday, sometimes twice a day, my mom or Chris drove my to the hospital so I could love on our two boys. This was no small feat as we had to fight California traffic and it was at least a 45 minute - 1 hour drive EACH way. And to think I thought the delivery was wild...I had no idea what bringing home 2 preemies was going to be like...I soon found out! We couldn't have survived the first year without our "family" in California. I place it in quotes because our friends in California quickly became our family to us. They made meals, cleaned our home, showed up on our doorstep unannounced to give Chris and I a date night, kidnapped the boys and had their pictures made, babysat over night on multiple occasions, took us in on holidays and made us a part of their families, met me and two screaming babies for breakfast, listened to me cry, stood by us as Parker was readmitted to the hospital, and helped us find a marriage counselor to make sure Chris and I kept our marriage in the best shape possible considering the turn of events. Did I mention that we had just opened a restaurant a mere 6 months earlier. As our counselor so eloquently put it... we were raising 3 children under the age of 1! A store with 50 something employees and twins. It was enough to send me tumbling over the edge. Thankfully there were many friends there to catch me and put me back together again. I fondly remember calling Chris on his cell phone at 2 am in the morning as I was sitting down stairs on the couch pumping so the boys could eat... He was upstairs asleep and I was calling to tell him I was done and walking out the front door... Obviously I stuck around but we did have a great conversation the rest of that night. I mean who is really sleeping with newborn twins in the house? People often thought we were crazy raising twins so far away from our families...the truth is, we had all the family we could ever need right there with us. We can never say "Thank You" enough or ever repay them for all their help. We did feed them lots of nuggets though and that seemed to make them pretty happy:) Hmmm, no wonder everyone always wanted to babysit for us! Some pictures below are of some of my favorite moments those first few weeks.
Me seeing and holding Parker for the first time. Less than 24 hours old and already a Clemson Tiger!
Me seeing Peyton for the first time. We couldn't hold him just yet as he was still having a hard time breathing.
We don't know who we are holding:( I am pretty sure the B&W of Chris is with Peyton.
Chris and I doing "Kangaroo Care" with the boys. This was some of my favorite moments. The nurses would put us and the boys chest to chest so they would benefit from our body heat and hearing our heart beats. Anyone who has had a baby in the NICU will tell you how memorable this moment is. It allows you to forget all the tubes, alarms and monitors. You almost feel "normal" for awhile.
One of my favorite pictures of Chris. Sadly we have no idea who this he is holding.
July 4th the boys "graduated" to the "feeders and growers" section. It was very exciting for us and they got a cute little room to share. Once they grew bigger they were able to share a crib together. The pictures below are some of my favorite during this time.
I LOVE this picture. Peyton is on the left and Parker is on the right. It was also during this time that we started putting Peyton on the left in all our pictures so we would know who is who over the years.
The boys "home" in the NICU where they spent most of their time. Once leaving the critical area and once growing enough to leave their isolets...they moved here. Isn't it cute! They shared this crib until it was time to come home. It really was a beautiful area considering it was in a hospital. They had rocking chairs and gliders for us to sit in. The floors were hardwood. The boys had their own window and dry erase board for messages. It was the closest thing to home for us.
Snug as a bug in a rung...or should I say wrapped like a burrito...ready for a good nights sleep.
Some of our favorite times, visiting the boys and rocking them to sleep...and dad for that matter. It was moments like this that made us feel normal for a change. I can't imagine only having one baby and having to share the holding time. We were blessed in that we each had a little one to hold. We would share and each take turns holding both of the boys.
To wrap things up.... a picture says a thousand words. This is a great shot of multitasking with twins. Two crying, hungry babies. Two crazy concoctions to mix up. One store calling to report a problem. Two free hands to handle it all:)
Chris talking to the store on his blue tooth while following my ever so carefully instructions on how to prepare the boys meals. It went something like this... 2 parts breastmilk, one part high calorie formula, one scoop of rice cereal. Thankfully we were able to use mostly breastmilk b/c that high octane formula cost a fortune! The boys needed extra calories than breastmilk offered so we added in formula and they needed the rice cereal to thicken it all up b/c they had AWFUL reflux and could barely keep down enough of a feeding to pack on the pounds. Just think: 2 bottles of this 8-10x a day every 3 hours...it took 45 minutes to feed them, an hour to keep them upright, 25 minutes to pump milk... all to be puked back up and to start again:) I laugh about it now, however...at the time I just cried. I am HAPPY and THANKFUL to say we have NO MORE REFLUX! I never thought I would see the day. It was my fear that I would send them off to kindergarten and they would still be puking and have no friends to play with. The Dr's kept telling us just wait till they sit up, wait till they eat baby food, wait till solids, wait till they walk...wait till they turn 18 months. As each milestone passed and the puking only got worse we were then told...well, some kids don't outgrow it until 3 yrs!!!! Are you kidding me? Notice I do say puke...it was no spitting up...it was full flege puking... for 18 months...Sure enough once they reached 20 months (18 adjusted)...it went away. One day I noticed I wasn't finding piles of puke on the floor, I wasn't changing their clothes 5x day and they actually smelled good. Just like that, it was gone! This past February they came off all their meds and we haven't looked past since! It is wonderful and freeing all at the same time. I can now send them off to kindergarten to make friends:) No more explaining to people that no, they are not sick...it's just reflux, only to have them give you the "yeah right" look and shield their kids:)
Around 1 year. It amazes me how much changes in one year! Look at the size of them! Peyton is one the left and Parker on the right.
The boys at their party today. Trying to get them to sit still for a picture together is a joke! By the time we get them both in the same spot, someone is saying "all done" and running away! Parker is sitting in this picture.
For all of you still with me here...thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane. We couldn't have made it without you. I can't wait to see what the next 2 years bring us!