I can't believe it has been a year! My babies had their first birthday on December 19. We had a fun party a week early. We decided to keep things small and simple. We were so glad that my mom, Jill and Jake, my Granma, Aunt Janice, Dave's parents and our nieces, Libby and Emma, all got to be here to celebrate. Late one night last week Dave and I just sat at the computer and looked through pictures from this past year. It is amazing to think about how much Ellie and Gracelyn have grown and learned in just one year! It seems like they have just started doing so many new things in the last week. All of a sudden it seems like they are turning into little girls. I don't like it!!!
What are they doing at 1?
Loves waving--all the time, both hands above her head, usually only waving with the left hand
Big smile when she is getting attention
Loves crawling in to meet Gracelyn when Gracelyn wakes up from her nap
Says Mama, Dada, ba (ball)
Enjoys taking whatever toy Gracelyn is playing with right out of her hands
Dances--bounces up and down--whenever she hears music
Loves bath time!!
weight: 18 lbs. 8 oz.
height: 29 in.
5 teeth--3 on top, 2 on bottom
favorite foods: Everything!! Ellie is such a good eater! I rarely put something in front of her that she doesn't gobble up immediately!
During the middle of October I started feeling pretty yucky. I didn't have any energy and just didn't feel good. I figured I was just really starting to feel my pregnancy. It had been such an easy pregnancy. During my first trimester I was pretty tired, but it was summer so I got to rest as much as I wanted, and I felt a little queasy. Other than that I felt great the entire time. So it was kind of strange when I started feeling bad at about 22-23 weeks. I remember being at a baby shower for a friend and I just sat there. Everyone else was up visiting, looking at gifts, eating yummy treats, etc. I can't even explain how I felt. It was just strange. I just knew something wasn't right, but I wasn't ready to admit it just yet. Around this same time I started noticing a tightening in my stomach. It didn't hurt, but sometimes when I was laying in bed completely relaxed I would feel this pulling across my belly. I didn't know what to think about it. It didn't last very long and just came and went every once in a while. I never noticed it while I was at school (now I know it was probably happening, but it was so slight I just didn't feel it).
The last week of October, I was about 24 weeks, I started feeling the tightening a little more, but I still didn't know what it was. I called my OB and talked to one of the nurses. She told me to take Benadryl and if it was braxton hicks contractions they would stop. I guess she just figured they would stop. "Well," I said, "What if they don't stop?" She said to give it about a week and call back if I needed to. On Thursday, November 6 I called back. They had, in fact, not stopped, but had gotten worse. I had felt them ALL day at work. I was starting to get a little worried because I had just figured they were braxton hicks. I mean, for goodness sake, I am only 24 weeks pregnant. Babies are not supposed to be born this early! When I called that Thursday afternoon the nurse told me I could come in on Friday, but that is my doctor's surgery day. I would have to sit and wait for who knows how long until she made it over to her office between surgeries. Or, I could wait until Monday and sit in the waiting room until I could get squeezed in between appointments, again, who knows how long that wait would be. This is the nurse saying this. She didn't say, "What? You are 24 weeks pregnant and having contractions! We will fit you in first thing." Well, I was not a cute little pregnant woman at this time. I was getting large and couldn't imagine sitting in an uncomfortable waiting room chair for an undetermined amount of time. Plus, I was starting to freak out!!! I finally asked if I could just come in that afternoon. It was almost 4 so I left school immediately and went straight to my doctor's office. When I got there the place was empty and a nurse met me in the waiting room. She walked me around the corner into the OB wing of the hospital because they couldn't monitor twins in the office. I spent several hours being monitored in the hospital. The babies' heartbeats we great the entire time, but I was definitely having contractions. That evening they gave me a shot of terbutaline. I remember talking to my friend, Michelle, on the phone right after I got the shot. All of a sudden my entire body started shaking, my heart was pounding. I couldn't hardly catch my breath to talk to her and I was laughing because everything felt so crazy! I got to go home that night but I was told to stay in bed until Monday when I would go see a maternal fetal medicine specialist. No problem! I don't mind missing a day of work!!
I stayed in bed all day Friday, but that afternoon I started feeling even worse than I had on Thursday, but I didn't really know what to do. Another good friend, Lindsay, called me on her way home from work that afternoon and asked how I was feeling. I told her and she came straight to my house, picked me up, and took me back to the hospital. More monitoring, another shot of terb., then a sonogram in my doctor's office. Yep, my cervix was beaking (I think that is the word the sonographer used, maybe it was peaking, but I think it was beaking....) which means all those contractions were changing my cervix. I went straight back to the hospital and they gave me a steroid shot for the girls' lungs. That was my first night in the hospital. Lindsay stayed with me for a while until Dave got off work. I told Dave to go home around 10 because he had to work early Saturday morning. Everything looked good during the night. There wasn't too much activity so they sent me home Saturday morning. Michelle came to pick me up and take me home. I was sent with two prescriptions. One was for procardia and the other was for terbutaline. I had to take the procardia all the time and only needed to take the terbutaline if I started feeling the contractions frequently. I made it through the weekend with no more problems. On Monday, Dave and I went to see Dr. T., a maternal fetal medicine doctor. During the sonogram that day we saw that my cervix had shortened even more since Friday so I left the appointment on strict bedrest. I stayed in bed all week then went back to see Dr. T the next Tuesday, November 18. Nothing much had changed during that week which was a relief. Dr. T made it very clear to me, however, that I was not to get up to do ANYTHING except go to the restroom and shower. So, my mom came into town to take care of Dave and I. She did so much for us. While I was in bed reading or watching movies, mom worked on laundry, cleaned the baseboards, cooked, went to the grocery store....I don't know what we would have done without her!! My third appointment with Dr. T was on November 25.
We took these pictures the morning before that third apointment. I told Dave and my mom that since we were taking pictures I just knew I wasn't going to be coming home. Sure enough, I was put in the hospital that afternoon. Go here to read about everything that happened at that appointment. I spent the next 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital. I watched 4 seasons of Alias (I was halfway through the season finale of season 4 when I went into labor). I read the Twilight saga. Watched a little TV, a few movies, ate a lot of hospital food, and had quite a few friends stop by to visit. It really wasn't too bad.
December 19 started out like any other day in the hospital. It was a Friday. I spent most of the day watching Alias. Lindsay called me when she left work that afternoon and came by to visit for a little while. She had been there about half an hour when, around 4:45, it happened . I went into the bathroom because I thought my water broke. When I came out I told Lindsay, "Don't freak out, but I need you to call Dave. I think my water just broke." I stayed so calm when I told her but I knew I couldn't call Dave because I would lose it! Lindsay just looked at me, mouth gaping, and exclaimed, "Don't freak out?!?!?!" As she was calling Dave, I figured I had my emotions under control so I called the nurses station. As soon as they answered I started crying. I kept thinking, "I am only 31 weeks and 2 days!!" (I know to some of you it sounds funny for me to add that 2 days, but believe me when you are that early and have had a complicated pregnancy, every day is a huge deal!) I cried until they got me into the operating room. The nurses kept telling me everything was going to be ok and I knew they were right, but I just couldn't believe it was already happening. I was going to get to meet my babies that night!! Thankfully, when I went into labor, Dr. T was just finishing up his last appointment in his office. We caught him before he left so he was able to be there to deliver Gracelyn and Ellie.
Dave was giving a tennis lesson when Lindsay called. Dave told his lesson he had to go, I was having the babies. The guy told him to just go, he would take care of picking up all the tennis balls and get them put away. Dave left immediately and made it to the hospital in a matter of minutes. As soon as I saw him I was able to calm down a little bit. I had been taken downstairs to a labor and delivery room before he got there. We spent some time trying to relax as the nurses were getting me ready for surgery. When Dave got into the operating room with me he started talking and didn't stop until everything was over. Neither one of us remembers what he was talking about. It really wasn't important. He was just doing anything he could to keep me calm and occupied.
Gracelyn's first cry was a wonderful sound to hear. I asked Dave if he heard it, and he asked me what. He was still talking so much he hadn't even heard her. One track mind on that man! Dave got to see both the girls as soon as they were born. He took pictures and got to touch their precious little hands. I got to lay there on the table for what felt like forever!!! I just wanted to hold those sweet little girls, but it would be a few days before that could happen.
I was taken back to my Labor & Delivery room for a few hours of observation then they took me back upstairs to the Antepartum floor. On the way back up, the nurses rolled me into the NICU so I got to touch Ellie and Gracelyn for the first time. They were just precious. The rest of the night is a blur. I finished watching the Alias finale which ends with a big car accident that surprised me--not good after having had major surgery a few hours earlier...OUCH!! Dave and I went down to the NICU and spent some time with the girls during the middle of the night. I think we got some sleep, but it all runs together. I just remember being so thankful for the beautiful babies God had blessed our life with!