Thursday, August 24, 2017

(34) How to lose 30 pounds in 1 day!

My first night alone in my hospital room felt strange.  Sure, I no longer have anyone kicking my ribs (Noah!) or punching my cervix anymore (Beckom!), but I already miss my little companions.  Mentally, I thought I was prepared for this. Now I'm not so sure.  There must be an unavoidable biological attachment that I'm struggling to overcome.  

Physically, I’ve experienced a huge change.  My formerly large belly is no longer protruding out, and what is there is now jelly-like.  Because I had a C-section I have to keep the catheter in for 24 hours, sigh….  It is a weird feeling not being able to get up and walk to the bathroom.   Although, I really can’t feel my legs so therefor I don’t miss the walking too much.   I do have these wonderful warm air massagers on my lower legs to keep my blood circulating while lying down.  My nurse comes in every 2-3 hours during the night to check my vitals.  That is probably the absolute worst about hospital stays, the constant monitoring.  I realize it’s for my safety and I appreciate all medical staff and their roles.  But for the love, please let me sleep!  My overnight nurse also has the nerve to complains about my continuous urine output.  I scrunch my shoulders and say “I just had two baby’s and I like my water” “sorry, not sorry” Of course I think that last comment to myself!  I’ve also had a breast pump with me since I’ve been in my room.  I’ve been pumping every 2 hours to get the colostrum for the boys.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like I am getting much.  My poor girls are not too happy right now, and I think it will only get worse before it gets better.  I’m trying to pump every two hours to get things moving.  But it seems a little slow!  Again, sigh….  The nurses are very encouraging, telling me every little drop is liquid gold to those boys.  I have a feeling it’s because I don’t have them in here with me.  It’s like my body knows they were not mine to keep, so why produce much.

Morning finally arrives, and although I'm tired, I’m eager to see the new little family.  Since I am officially bed-bound until 6:30 pm tonight, I have to rely on Holly and Darren to come over for a visit.  Holly and Darren pop over around 7 am with the boys.  Oh my word, they are about as precious as they come.  I know part of it is because I carried them for the last 8 months.  But, damn, I am instantly in love with these little guys.  I don't think the new parents got much sleep last night.  But you would never know it because they are beyond thrilled to be here with their new little boys.  Smiles for days!!

Tom went home last night to sleep.  They have a little bench here but it looks really uncomfortable.  Plus, Tom needs to take our dog to the kennel where we board her.  Unfortunately, they live in Estacada and with the Icey roads, Tom has to meet them because his car won’t make it to them unless he chains up.  So, yes one more thing to worry about.  I’m usually the one who drops her off too.  Unfortunately, I have a medical crisis while Tom is lost looking for Lisa and her husband.  He’s trying to call me, but I can’t answer the phone in my condition.  He would FREAK out!

I am lying in my bed because I still have my catheter for several more hours, ugh.  Holly and Darren and the boys just left.  It was fun visiting with them, seeing the boys and hearing how night number one went.  I gave Tom Lisa’s address, so I’m ready for a nap.  As I’m lying there trying to relax I start to feel this weird pain in my upper abdomen, right under my lower left rib cage.  Now, I had a C-section only about 16 hours ago.  I haven’t really needed any pain meds except for Tylenol with Codeine.  My discomfort has been minimal, I have a high pain tolerance.  But the pain I am feeling now is starting to become unbearable.  As I lay there I am thinking “what in the world did I do to deserve this kind of pain?!”  I finally meet my breaking point and call my nurse.  I am in so much pain I am crying uncontrollably and out of breath.  It’s like that hiccup crying/breathing type of sob.  Of course, my nurse isn’t at her station so another takes her page and after she finally deciphers my sobbing she says she’ll find her immediately.  While I’m in the throes of this pain this little elderly lady comes in to clean my room.  The look on her face was pure horror.  I am sure she thought I was dying or possible she thought I was grieving.  I am after all in the post-partum section of the hospital and clearly, I have no baby in my room.  I felt so bad for her having to see me like that.  She asked me if she could do anything, so sweet.  I told her I had called the nurse.  Hannah comes into my room about 5-10 minutes later.  I really don’t remember how long it was but it felt like hours.  She is really concerned because I am crying so hard I can barely speak.  She runs to get me some Morphine, luckily I can have it since I’ve only been taking Tylenol3.  She gets back and puts it in my IV as quick as she can.  It takes about 5 mins and the pain lessons but by no means is it gone.  I can at least coherently tell her what is going on.  I had a pain that traveled from my lower ribs all the way up to my shoulder where it meets my neck.  It was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt!  I seriously thought, “please, just kill me I can’t take it anymore”.   I am so happy Holly didn’t come over at that time.  She would have been horrified and then felt guilty.  My nurse explained it was an air bubble.  Anyone is at risk for this happening after having surgery.  Most of the time your body absorbs it and releases it in the form of gas, either by burping or well you know…lol.  For some reason, I wasn’t so lucky.  She told me it happened to her husband, but maybe not as severely.  All I know is that I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone, EVER!  Tom shows up a few hours later, luckily he missed that freak show.

At around 5 pm Hannah decides part of my problem earlier with the air bubble was because I can’t get up and walk around.  She gets approval from the attending on duty to remove my catheter early.  All I can say is Halle-fricken-lujah!  I can also now take a shower, yay!  But first, I need to be able to sit myself up and walk to the restroom.  Remember I just had my lower abdomen sliced open.  I think sitting up is the worst part.  Luckily I have an adjustable bed that can do half the sitting up for me.  I know, I know, lazy!  I sit on the edge of my bed for a few minutes while Tom gets my slippers in place.  My first trip to the bathroom is a little wobbly.  It was more like shuffling.  It’s amazing how quickly the leg muscles weaken.  Once I have made a couple of trips to the restroom, I’m ready to venture further.  I remember after having my son that the quickest way to heal was to get off your butt and start walking.  I wanted my first trip on my new found legs to see Holly and Darren.  I give Darren a quick text to make sure they are awake.  Unfortunately, they didn’t respond so I didn’t get to see them as soon as I’d hoped.

I couldn't be contained once I was able to start taking walks. Tom and I did a few laps and while doing so I came across a scale.  I decide, what the heck, let's see how much I weigh now.  I turn it on, it’s a fancy digital one.  I step on after it zeros out and I weigh in at 162lbs.  I lost 30lbs giving birth, DAMMMNN!  Darren finally gets back to me and Tom and we were able to go visit with them.  Those little boys were so good.  It was so comforting to get to hold them.  I held Noah and Tom held Beckom.  We even got to feed them their little bottles.  Holly was able to induce lactation but it isn’t giving her enough just yet.  So the hospital is providing donated milk until she gets a better supply.  I’m still not getting much either, which is weird because I was a cow with both of my kids.  

It was an eventful day after for sure.  I'm feeling both physically and emotionally better.  Seeing those two little boys helped a lot.  I am certainly looking forward to being their "Aunt Becky".

Mom and Dad with Noah and Beckom

Darren and Beckom

Me holding Beckom and Noah

Noah and his perfection! You wouldn't know this is a newborn only hours old.

Tom holding little Beckom with his worried face 😍

Friday, August 4, 2017

(33) Todays the day!

I am feeling a little apprehensive lying in the hospital bed all by myself.  This is not how I envisioned things would be today.  I guess I thought I’d be surrounded by family and ‘extended family’.  But I suppose that will be the case soon enough.   Tom left to help Kaela.  On her way home from Corvallis, she got stranded on an ice-covered road behind a driver who partially slid off the road.  Like I need something else to worry me!  After rescuing Kaela, he plans to head back to work, mainly to wrap up some things and get his laptop.  If I have these guys soon, Tom will be taking a few weeks off to help me.  I have a feeling the boys will be delivered today, but despite all my current pregnancy discomforts, I really don’t want this yet.  I know the longer they stay inside of me, the better the chance they’ll not need to go to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  I am 35 weeks, 6 days along -- well beyond any significant risk -- but if born today, they would still be considered late-preterm babies.  Babies born at this time can be less physiologically and metabolically mature than full term babies, but because they are twins, they naturally mature faster than a singleton.  So despite the possibility of early delivery, I really feel the boys are perfectly fine.   Once again, I am trying to stay positive.  My ongoing motto is B Positive!   

The nurses check on me periodically.  My blood pressure is elevated, but this time not from “white coat syndrome.  It’s real.  The results from my “pee tank” confirm that I am in the beginning stages of preeclampsia.  It’s starting to look more and more like today, Friday November 14, 2014 will be the birthday of Noah and Beckom Benson.

Then I meet Dr. Warnock for the first time.  He is working surgical births tonight.  He works for the hospital, not for the group of doctors I have been seeing for the last 8 months.  He’s really nice, but I’m a little sad because I really wanted Dr. Winkler to deliver these boys.  Based on the preeclampsia results, he announces “Today’s the day.  These boys need to come out or you are all at risk”.  I guess I knew this was coming.  The doctor asked me if I wanted to try a vaginal birth.  From the beginning, I was prepared for (and requested) a c-section.  I had one before with my son so I knew I could handle it.  I politely refuse.  To me, having a vaginal birth is really personal and it just didn’t feel right to me as a Gestational Carrier.  Plus doing it with twins scares me.  He says, “Okay, then you’re on the schedule for 6:30pm”.  Holy Crap, here we go!  This is really happening!

I immediately text Holly with “Todays the day!”, and   “I’m next in line for surgery”.  She calls right back, crying and giggling with excitement.  She says “Really?!  We have been waiting for this day and here we go”.  Next I text Tom, asking him to please come back since it’s a go.  Tom didn’t expect this, and is maybe little mad at himself for leaving me.  I assure him all is well.  I’ll be right here when he gets back. 

When the Dr. Warnock came back in to check on things, I asked about Dr. Winkler.  I really want him to do the c-section.  I let Dr. Warnock know that I had nothing against him.  It’s just that Dr. Winkler has been a key part of this very special journey.  He says he understands, but unless Dr. Winkler (who is not on duty or on call) magically shows up to do it, he’s the guy.  Sigh…   I also take this opportunity to ask him about who can be in the delivery room.  He tells me it is all up to the Anesthesiologist.  Luckily, we’ll have the same Anesthesiologist Dr. Merrill had already talked to 4 or 5 months ago.  I hope he has a good memory.  He said yes to Holly, Darren, and Tom then.  Hopefully it is still a yes today.

Holly, Darren and Tom all show up at the hospital around the same time.  I can’t even describe the expression on Holly’s face.  She simply can’t suppress her ear to ear smile, and her dimples are fully out on display.  She’s nervous, but so so so happy.  We take a few pre-birth pictures.  When the  anesthesiologist comes in, we all ask with huge smiles “can all of us be in the operating room?”.  We didn’t say it out loud, but our faces were saying “pretty please…pretty please…pretty please!”.  To our relief, he had no objections, quickly answering with “Sure!”

About 6:00 pm they wheel me into the operating room to prep for surgery.  I leave Tom, Holly and Darren to gown up for our “extreme event”.  It’s a little surreal to think this is all coming to an end, and in less than an hour we will all get to meet the boys who have been growing inside me for the last 8 months.  I arrive in OR3 to bright lights and a whole lot of fancy equipment.  I can see two warmers off to one side that in just a short while these two will occupy.  When we get in there, I’m told to carefully slide over to the operating table.  Yeah, haha okay, I’ll just shimmy my 192lb body over (I stepped on the scale at my Dr. appointment) so yeah, final weight = 192!  Eeek!  Then they tell me I need to roll into a ball so the anesthesiologist can do his magic.  Again, I laugh to myself.  Roll into a ball?  I am already a ball!  I do the best I can.  It is the most awkward feeling.  I can’t help to feel like I’m squishing the poor boys to death.  Luckily, it was over pretty quickly.  Then my lovely nurses tell me it’s time for the catheter.  Oh boy, I forgot about that gem.  So even though I’ve had my lower extremities invaded on multiple occasions for the last 8 months, this feels the worse.  The room is so bright, and all I can think right now is thank goodness I recently went to my sugaring appointment.  If you’ve never been sugared, Google it. If you are in the Portland, OR area I recommend Sugar Bee's All Natural Hair Removal! Lacie is AWESOME!  You’ll thank me later. 

After I’m all prepped and covered up, they bring in Holly, Darren and Tom.  They direct Tom to stand by my head and Holly and Darren to sit in chairs at my feet.  As we’re waiting patiently, our nurse informs us that Dr. Winkler is scrubbing in to help with my C-sec.  I am so happy I seriously want to dance, but obviously I can’t at the moment.  Apparently he was checking on my status, since he sent me for observation.  (Afterwards, the nurses whispered to me: “You must be very special.  Doctors NEVER do this.”).  The actual caesarian and delivery occurred quickly.   Dr. Winkler and Dr. Warnock really don’t mess around.  They give a few instructions, check to make sure I am numb then start cutting me open.  They are calm, confident, and even chat about a conference they are both attending. They also find out that some of my Rn’s are also attending.  They started making plans.  Yeah, no big deal, we’re just birthing some babies here.  We find out later that when the doctors are chatty during surgery, it’s sign that everything is looking good! 

When Dr. Winkler has my belly open, he says “All right, we’ll have babies in less than a minute”.  Tom is peaking over my drape to watch.   I thought he’d be too be grossed out to watch, but I find out later that he couldn’t see the actual incision anyway.  First out is “baby A” (Noah), as he is closest to the cervix.  Then Dr. Winkler announces “baby B will be out in less 39 seconds”.  It is such a random time, that we all remember it.  I can’t see anyone but Tom, so I’m trying to move my drape to see the warmers.  If I could JUST MOVE THE DRAPE!  My sweet anesthesiologist gives me a hand by moving my drape a little so I can see.  I think he really just wanted me to stop moving.  I don’t see much, but I can tell they have each baby at a warmer.  When I finally hear the cry of a newborn babe, my tears start flowing.  I can also hear Holly softly sobbing with joy.  It’s a comforting sound because I know she is watching her LIVE little boys take their first breaths.  I learn later that Noah struggled a little to take his first breath.  So even though Noah was born first, Beckom was the first to breathe.  I faintly hear the nurse with Beckom say to Holly “Come here momma and carry your son to the scale”.  Soon after, as I’m still lying on the operating table, Holly comes over so Beckom and I can meet.  I am instantly in love!  He has this squishy little worried look on his face that just melts my heart.  He is just perfect! 

They have Holly and Darren carry the boys to my recovery room so Holly can nurse them.  Tom stays with me while they staple me up.  All the while, the doctors are still chatting away.  I think to myself, these guys would all be so cool to work with.
When they wheel me back to the recovery room, Holly and Darren are there admiring their beautiful new little boys.  Holly has nursed both of them and Noah is in her shirt for the skin contact.  The nurses ask Holly if they can put Beckom on my chest, and she says yes.  This is something they didn’t do back when my children were born.  Newborns can’t regulate their temperatures very well, so having skin to skin contact is a good way to help.  The nurse unbundles Beckom and lays him on my chest.  Even though he is small, I think “How did he and his brother fit in my stomach?”  It doesn’t seem possible.  

Amazingly, even though they were born 4 weeks early, they didn’t need any Neonatal assistance.  Once Noah started to breathe, it was never an issue again.  Noah was the “heavyweight”, weighing in at 5lbs 13oz.  Beckom was two ounces lighter at 5lbs 11oz. I had almost 12 POUNDS OF BABY IN ME!

Oh my god, we did it! 🎉👐

Here we go!
Last picture of them inside of me

Mom and Dad - You can see the pure JOY of this moment!