Saturday, October 25, 2008

Big Girls!




My ultrasound on Wednesday showed retained products and thankfully, no cysts. I went in yesterday for a D&C at Magee. It was done in the OR and I was put under for it. I had the toughest time waking up for some reason. They had to put a hyperthermia blanket on me because my temperature dropped and I couldn't stop shaking. I think part of that may have been nerves. An amazing part of now being a mom... the very first thought I had when I woke up was my girls. I was trying to get my bearings of where I was and what happened and all I could think about was where they were and if they were okay. I had trouble breathing and I remember the nurse telling me more than once to take a deep breath. It made me think even more about the girls and how sometimes they too just get into such a deep sleep that they need to be reminded to take a deep breath.

As far as I know, everything went well with the procedure. I have a little cramping and some bleeding which are normal. They did it with ultrasound guidance so that they didn't have to "scrape" the whole uterus, just where they saw any tissue left behind. The girls will be home any time now and of course I can't vacuum or do anything strenuous for a week. We still have to clean our upstairs pretty thoroughly and just do some finishing touches to the nursery. I also still have to figure out the sleeping arrangments for the girls when they come home for the first month or so.

Clothes line o' baby clothes

I came into work on Thursday to this adorable set up from my friends at work. How very sweet!

Thank You NICU

I made up these little bags for each of the nurses stations at the NICU as a little thank you for all they do for the girls. My friend Patty at work made us the cookies. They are the very best chocolate chip cookies! The nurses really appreciated it and we got so many comments about how great the cookies and presentation were!

Happy Halloween from the Mayer "Ghouls"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Postpartum Checkup

You really didn't think that I'd have a perfect checkup did you? I am going in today for an ultrasound because I may have ovarian cysts AND retained membrane or placenta. I'm not really sure what they do for either one. We also talked about future pregnancies. I know, I know, my kids aren't even home yet, how could I even think about it? Well, we have 3 frozen embryos left. I'm 35. I have endometriosis. I had preterm labor. If we are going to think about more kids, it would have to be within the next year or so. If I were even able to become pregnant again, I would be monitored very closely. Chances are my cervix shortening was due to my LEEP procedure in the past. This may be a problem in subsequent pregnancies. They would also do progesterone shots with me daily after 16 weeks to help prevent preterm labor. The infection that I had that caused the chorio infection in Emma's amniotic fluid was Strep B.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's National Infertility Awareness Week

Take a moment to visit the resolve website if you have time. There is information for those struggling and their friends and family. Whether you realize it or not, chances are you know a couple that is going through infertility. The greatest thing you can offer is support.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Can't Get Enough of 'em



A Letter to Family and Friends

If you've already read this... please scroll down!

Dear Family and Friends,

For those of you who plan to visit us over the next few months, and even if you are not, please take a few minutes to read this letter.

We want to start by saying thank you for the outpouring of support we have received from everyone. So many people have done so much for us, and every bit of help we have received truly is appreciated. We are experiencing the biggest challenge of our lives, and we’re lucky to be surrounded by family members and friends who have shown us so much love and support.

Per disussions with our pediatrician and neonatalogists, we are sharing this information with you about RSV. If you are not aware of RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, you are among the majority, even though nearly every child has had the virus by age two. For full-term babies, RSV typically is not any worse than a common cold, but for preemies, the virus can be quite different. Babies born earlier than 36 weeks are at the highest risk for serious complications like pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other sometimes fatal complications. Our babies were born premature, are multiples, and had low birth weights; these are among the highest risk factors for contracting RSV and developing serious complications. This website offers a great visual comparison of a preemie’s lungs compared to the lungs of a full-term baby.

Preventing the spread of RSV is very difficult. Thus, we must be vigilant about keeping our children safe during RSV season (October through April). The virus is spread through physical contact, in the air via a cough or sneeze, or by touching an infected object. The virus can live as long as six hours on hands and up to twelve hours on objects, and it spreads very easily, especially from child to child. Studies have also shown that infants pose an even higher risk of spreading RSV to others.

You may ask, “Can’t they fight it off and build up their immune system? Kids need to get sick, right?” The simple answer is NO. Since our babies were pre-term, they did not acquire the necessary immunities to fight off infection. If they contract RSV, they could be hospitalized and develop serious complications.

We’ll be asking our visitors to follow a few guidelines to help prevent the babies from contracting RSV or any other illness.
We ask that all visitors do the following:

1. When you arrive, please wash your hands and use hand-sanitizer as needed before touching the babies.

2. Please, if it is possible, get a flu shot.

3. Please refrain from coming over if you are currently sick and have not been symptom-free for at least 5 days, if you live with someone who is sick, or have been in close contact with someone who is sick.

4. If you smoke, we ask that you change your clothing and refrain from smoking prior to visiting, as a preemie’s lungs are very sensitive to smoke. Most RSV sites recommend against passive smoke exposure.

5. If you are parents to a baby or toddler, please refrain from bringing them to our house during RSV season.

Unfortunately we will not be attending many events during RSV season. Our goal is to make it through this and the next RSV seasons without the babies contracting RSV or any other serious illness. Their lungs are still very fragile until they are 2-years-old.

Please understand that this letter is not meant to offend anyone, just simply to provide an explanation. We hope
you understand, and we appreciate your help keeping our babies safe.

We are also providing several resources with additional information about RSV below.

The very proud parents of two beautiful preemies

What a Weekend

We had quite a busy weekend. We spent the entire day yesterday cleaning our house and only finished the first floor and garage! My parents came over and helped us. We also had re-organize our family room to make room for the baby stuff. Last night the four of us attended an infant CPR class.

Saturday we toured the TIC (transitional infant care) home in Pittsburgh. The doctors said we are candidates for this and wanted us to check it out. It's brand new and is definitely very nice. They have 2 huge family living areas which include a kitchen, family room, bathroom with shower and bedrooms. You can hang out with your kids in the family room as you prepare dinner or watch tv. They would be on home monitors there so that we could all move more freely. What's holding is back is that we really are comfortable and Magee and we wake up every day hoping that in four days our girls will be home. We don't want to transport them if they will only be there for a day or two. The advantages to the home are that it's more "homey". No florescent lights, it's quieter, the schedule is a little loser, the patient ratio to nurse ratio is better and babies tend to do better there. They think it may help the girls lose that last bit of o2. We're still debating...

Onto the girls... they had a great weekend. No B's during feedings. Emma's feeding tube is out and she is doing great with her feedings. She's just a little slower than Mady, but honestly, Mady chugs her bottles a little too fast! When we left last night, Madelyn's O2 level was at 20.4%, which is room air. If she keeps that up again today, they'll remove her canula again to see how she does. Emma got down to 24% last night! Mady now seems to be "playing" a little after her feedings, especially with daddy. Emma is our little cuddler and loves to snuggle with me after her bottles.

After talking with one of the nurses at the TIC, we have decided NOT to co-bed the girls at night. The risk of SIDS is higher. During the day, when we are better able to keep an eye on them, we will let them sleep together. This changes our plans for the first few months, so we need to buy 2 bassinets for them! Thank you to my friends at work, who got us a gift certificate for BRU. We will be using that for this purchase.