Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Happy Birthday!

Estelle (Stella) Marie and Alice Rose were born August 22nd 2012!!!  I was 34weeks and 4days along, and Stella weighed in at 5lb 6.5oz and Alice was 4lb 9.5oz!  What a whirlwind it's been!

My OB returned from vacation and had his first in office day on the 22nd.  On the 21st I was in having an NST and my blood pressure was unstable.  It was high at first but then went down later on.  I'd never had high bp in my life so I guess it's kind of a big deal.  They ran blood tests and all came back normal, so I was sent home.  I'd developed a lot of swelling, my feet, legs, and a "pouch" of water retention in my lower abdomen.  When I had my appointment with my OB my bp was again a bit high.  Given that there had been some worries about the dopplar readings from my ultrasounds, the variable bp issues, and that they thought there was a kilo difference in size between the girls, he felt it was time for them to join us.  He called to try to book my c-section for Friday, but they were completely booked...however they did have an opening for THAT DAY between 1:00-1:30pm.  It was 10am.

Needless to say I called Chris at work and he came to the hospital immediately...our friends came to pick up our older kids and the process started.  Anyone who has watched "Baby Story" on TLC knows how the rest of the process went..pre-op, spinal block, surgery, and of course the moments when each little one was pulled out of me, so amazing!  Both girls cried when they were born but they did require some breathing assistance..common for 34ish week gestation babies.

The next couple of days were stress filled.  Stella was born first and she appeared a bit blue at birth.  Upon initial examination the Pediatrician believed she had a heart murmur.  The next day she was sent to MacMaster hospital in Hamilton where she could be seen by cardiologists and specialists to see what exactly was going on with her heart.  Having our babies at separate hospitals was heart breaking and not knowing what was happening to our little girl that we didn't even know was petrifying!

After two days of tests, we finally heard from the cardiologist at Mac and got her diagnosis.  Stella has a congenital heart defect called "Ebstein's Anomoly".  Essentially a valve in her heart is misplaced, causing one of her heart chambers to be enlarged, and the same valve is also "leaky" which is what caused her to appear a bit blue at birth.  Thankfully hers is a very minor form of the defect and according to the cardiologist she should be able to live a long, healthy life without requiring treatment.  She will be followed closely as she grows to ensure everything is fine.  There is a chance that if she becomes an athlete that she could have problems, in which case treatment could be an option, possibly surgery.  I intend to speak to many cardiologists and get as many opinions and viewpoints as I can, just to see if perhaps a minor surgery when she's young might be preferred over waiting til she's an adult...but we have time to figure it all out.  The good news is she will be OK!

Alice has stayed at our local hospital and has been doing fairly well.  Unfortunately yesterday I heard from her Pediatrician that she has contracted an infection.  The blood cultures came back today and it's a form of blood infection, but thankfully she seems to be responding to antibiotic treatment.  It's a bit of a set back as this means she'll need to stay on IV's for at least 7-10 days to get the antibiotics, and her formula feeds have been slowed until she's kicked it.  Stella, however, has been off of IV's completely for a few days AND is on full formula feeds..AND has started taking a bottle as well!  I'm so proud of my little girls, they're fighting so hard and I just can not wait to bring them home.  Stella is finally returning to our local hospital from MacMaster TODAY, and we're so happy.  The girls are 6 days old now and I've only been able to hold Stella twice...she's definitely due for tons of cuddles!!

Thanks everyone for reading my blog, I look forward to continuing to update you all on our little girls progress!
Estelle (Stella) Marie

Alice Rose

Monday, 6 August 2012

Tests and Moving

  Appointments and tests, that's what my life exists of right now.  I am happy to say though that I can go to these tests from HOME rather than still being in the hosptial!  My cervix stayed at around 1cm for 3 weeks straight and I wasn't having any other issues so I insisted on being let out.  Having a room mate that had undiagnosed sleep apnea and snored so loudly I wasn't able to sleep much for 3 days straight only made my resolve to get out stronger.  I've been home for just over 2 weeks now and it's wonderful!
The tests I go for are Non Stress Tests (NST), Ultrasounds, doctor appointments and Biophysical Profiles (BPP).  NST's check to see if either baby is under stress.  Stress could be due to cord entanglement, oxygen deprivation, or a variety of other reasons.  Ultrasounds and doctor appointments are pretty self explanatory, but BPP's are special ultrasounds where the technician measures the babies movements, the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding each baby, among other things.  So I'm going to twice weekly NST's, bi-weekly ultrasounds and BPP's, and weekly OB appointments.  It's a little crazy.

A few days after I was discharged from the hospital was moving day.  Of course I didn't participate, instead I visited a friend for the day and relaxed.  Our new-to-us place needed (and still needs) quite a bit of renovations and cosmetic work but it's going to be perfect for us.  Slowly things are getting done by my wonderful husband and our house is looking more and more like a home every day.  I feel bad that I'm not able to do much to help, but I know taking it easy is what's best for our little girls.

Speaking of the twins, they're both doing very well.  Baby B isn't growing as fast as Baby A, but neither little ones are showing signs of distress.  B is about a pound smaller than A according to ultrasound measurements.  I had a second appointment at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto and they didn't seem concerned about the size difference between the girls so I guess they aren't too worried here either.  As of a few days ago A was measuring about 4lb 7oz, and B 3lb 5oz.

As for myself, I'm getting pretty uncomfortable.  Getting up from sitting or laying down is quite excruciating for my back and pelvis.  The babies are a heavy weight for my pelvis to carry, and I have to pee ALL the time! With the heat it's amazing how much my feet swell too.  I can no longer wear shoes and am relegated to flip flops (which also get very tight sometimes).  This pregnancy is definitely much different than my other ones.  My appetite comes and goes, some days I'm very hungry but most days I'm not hungry at all and I have to force myself to eat.

Over all we're very excited to meet our little girls!  I'm currently 32 weeks and 2 days along :).  I'm very happy to have made it this far, my doctor didn't think I would given my short cervix.  From here on out every day is a real bonus!  I haven't gotten any really good ultrasound pictures recently.  Often they are facing inward toward my spine, and now that they're getting bigger it's harder to get decent pictures...plus they're very active girls!  I can't wait to post real photos of the girls when they get here :D.