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Bringing the Twins home

30 December 2014

We've had the twins home with us for two and a half weeks! Honestly, things have been great! Don't get me wrong, having newborn twins is no walk in the park. They each have their fussy moments, and we are lacking in sleep, but I honestly can't complain. We've had meals brought over from friends/church, and my sister in-law, Courtney, came over most days and was a huge help!

Recovery from the c-section has been good for me; much easier than recovery from my first c-section. I think that's partly because being 38 weeks pregnant with twins was very similar to recovering from major surgery. Haha- but really. I remember walking around my hospital room thinking that it was actually easier to walk post surgery than it was the previous day with 14lbs of baby in my belly. However, the past few days I have been experiencing what is called "referred pain" which is caused by the manipulation from the abdominal muscles from the c-section. Basically, I've been getting really bad abdominal/ upper back muscle spasms. It comes sporadically, and is very painful, but they say it will go away as I continue to I'm hanging in there!

The twins have been eating great! They nurse every 3-4 hours for 15 minutes or so, and sleep most of the day (like most newborns do!). They aren't super fussy, unless they are hungry, getting a diaper change, or in Ryan's case, a paci has fallen out of his mouth. Lyla can also get a little fussy if she is tired and we try to put her down before she is asleep; she likes to be held. They are great babies though, and Jared and I love that we each get a newborn to snuggle with whenever we want. Seriously, snuggling a sleeping newborn is one of the sweetest things in life :)

Big brother has adjusted well, and has been such a good helper. He is great about running over and popping binkies back in the twins' mouths for us, throwing diapers away, and doing other little chores. Occasionally when Lyla is crying he'll ask if we can take her back to the hospital, and almost nightly we hear him yell "shhh be quiet!"  when he is trying to fall asleep at night and one of the twins is fussy. It makes us laugh. He usually is a sweet big brother though, and loves to hold them, and sing them songs.

The twins last check-up with the pediatrician in the hospital went very well, with the exception that Lyla had lost 10% (or more) of her birth weight.

Our doctor said that typically he would have her stay in the hospital, but because my milk had already come in, he let us take her home... if I promised to pump a little extra for her after each feeding, and then bring her in to his doctor's office on Monday to have her weighed, and home we went!
Feeling so blessed to go home with two healthy babies!

Kyler was delighted to have the twins home! I'll never forget that moment Jared set the carseats down in the living room. Kyler was literally squealing and bouncing around in delight. He immediately got blankets and binkies and started "taking care of them".  It was pretty cute. What a good big brother.

Some friends of ours watched Bauer for us while we were in the hospital. They brought him home on Sunday, and we introduced the twins to him... he sniffed them once and has pretty much ignored them ever since-hah.

...Ryan pretty much cried the whole time during his first bath at home. His second bath went much more smoothly :)

Jared bathed Lyla like a pro, and she hardly cried at all. Daddy's magic touch!

Jared is also good at telling the twins' cries apart in the dark. Their cries sound pretty much identical to me.

Tandem nursing was so hard at first, but we finally have it down! I love this giant twin nursing pillow thing:

Kyler had his four year old checkup the same day as the twins had their checkup. Kyler is in the 25% for height and weight (32ish lbs and 39ish inches tall-- I think). He had to get shots, and after he cried for a minute he told Jared: "It's not nice to poke people! That doctor was grumpy!" 

The twins' checkup went well too! Lyla gained a few ounces and was up to 6 lbs 11oz and Ryan was up to 7 lbs even.

I love these random newborn smiles :)

We put them next to each other for tummy time, and they fell asleep looking at each other :)

The twins and their cousin, Andie are about 5 months apart... they are going to be best buddies some day!

I don't have a lot of time to go into details right now, but also... Christmas happened during the twins' first 2 weeks at home...and it was a good one!

A journey (the final chapter) The Twins' Birth Story

18 December 2014

Previous journey posts here:

This time last year, we were experiencing secondary infertility. I had recently been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and probable Endometriosis. None of the fertility medications I had been trying were working. I was starting to think we might not ever have any more children, which was something that we wanted more than anything.

In January, we started seeing a fertility specialist. The doctor warned us that with the particular medications/injections I would be taking, there would be a 2-5% chance of us conceiving multiples. I've always wanted twins! I knew the chances of us being in that 2-5% were slim, let alone the procedure working at all, but I still had hope. I remember pouring out my heart to Heavenly Father one night. Telling Him that I knew everything was in His hands, and that I accepted the fact that we may not have any more children, but I also told Him of my deepest desire. Twins.

Tears of joy now roll down my cheeks as I write this post. Heavenly Father truly does hear and answer prayers!
Here are our miracles: 
 Ryan and Lyla

The birth story:
(Just a warning, this is very long... I just want to be able to read this in the future, and remember all of the little details!)

It all started Sunday evening (exactly 38 weeks pregnant). I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for nearly a month, but that evening, they started to feel different. With each contraction I got a mild back cramp. As the night went on the back pain became worse. Thinking that I was might be experiencing back labor, I called the nurse. She told me that I didn't need to go to the hospital until my contractions were 5 minutes apart.

Sunday night, I started having a lot of anxiety and was so nervous for the c-section. Jared gave me a blessing. I instantly felt calm, and that everything would work out okay. I continued to labor all day Monday. The painful contractions came every 7-8 minutes. By Monday night, the intensity of the contractions increased, and they were coming every 6 minutes. No sleep that night! By 6:00am Tuesday (Dec 9th), it was time for us to leave for the hospital for our scheduled c-section, and my contractions were coming exactly 5 minutes apart. Perfect timing... except we got stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital. I always joked that if I ever got pulled over during my pregnancy, I could just "fake labor" to get out of a speeding ticket. This time I really was in labor! ...and almost had Jared speed along the shoulder of the road in order to get to the hospital on time. However, we were able to find some back roads to take to the hospital so we only ended up being 10 minutes late.

Upon arrival at the hospital, our pre-op nurse observed my contractions from the monitor. They were coming every 3-5 minutes at that point and were "coupling". She asked why we didn't come in sooner. I told her that we called and the nurse said to wait until they were 5 minutes apart before coming in. She responded "You are a repeat c-section with twins. You are 38 weeks. You should have come in on Sunday... when you started feeling pain." Hah. A little late for that (I wish she had been the one to answer my phone call on Sunday night). My doctor came in the room and checked me, fully effaced and dilating. He said "You're in Labor! These babies would be coming today whether we had had this c-section scheduled or not." What are the odds?!

I was wheeled into the OR. It was a small, cozy, room, and surprisingly I was very calm. I looked around the room and saw two little beds where the twins would be cleaned and observed, and my eyes teared up. Twins. This was really happening! All of the nurses were so friendly. I received the spinal tap, and my body instantly went numb. A sheet was hung in front of my face so that I couldn't see what was going on. Before I knew it, Jared was by my side dressed in scrubs. Our phones, which were in his pocket, were connected via FaceTime to our parents (who were in Chile and Utah) so they could hear what was going on, and every once in a while Jared pulled his phones out of his pocket so they could see too.

It took a few minutes to get through the scar tissue from my previous c-section with Kyler. We waited in anticipation. Our Doctor said "I'm trying to get baby girl out first, but it looks like baby boy is trying to come out first, so I guess he wins!" and just like that I heard his first cough and perfect little cry. A second later we saw our Baby Boy's adorable face for the first time as they lifted him over the sheet for Jared and I to see. The tears of joy came flooding! I will never ever forget that moment.

Baby girl was breech and a little more difficult to get out. Two minutes later, Doc said "She's out!" and Baby Girl was immediately taken across the room. The nurse said "She is just fine, just needs a little stimulation and her airway cleared...her arms were criss crossed above her head... that's why she was a little more difficult to get out." and then we heard Baby Girl start coughing/crying from across the room. They brought her over for us to see... she was beautiful! Everyone commented on how "good sized" our twins were. They were healthy. I was so happy and loved them instantly!

Baby Boy was born at 10:10am weighing 7 lbs 5oz. Baby Girl was born at 10:12am weighing 7 lbs even.

In the recovery room, we talked names. During my pregnancy, we decided on a few of our top names, (okay more like 20) but I kept changing my mind on what my favorites were, so we decided that we would give them their official names in the hospital...when we could see them. We decided on:

Ryan Cole and Lyla Belle

Ryan, wasn't even on my "favorite names" list to begin with, but when I read it on Jared's favorite names list, it stuck out to me; so I added it to mine too. When Jared and I were dating, we chose a star (the center star on Orion's belt) to be "our star" so that when I went to school in Hawaii for a semester, and Jared stayed at school in Idaho, we could both look at the same star while talking on the phone every night...haha I know, sooo cheesy! Anyways, the name Ryan reminded me of that memory, and I loved it for that reason. The name Ryan also just happened to be Jared's favorite boy name, so it worked out! His middle name, Cole, was going to be Kyler's middle name, but we decided to use "Jared" for Kyler instead.

Baby girl's name was a little more difficult. I had too many favorites!  The name "Lyla" made it to both of our favorite names lists the same night. Near the end of my pregnancy we heard the name "Lyla" on a TV show. We both looked at each other and just thought it was cute! Throughout the remainder of my pregnancy my favorite baby girl names changed frequently, but Lyla always remained on the list. Lyla was near the top of Jared's list too, so again, another name we could agree on!  Her middle name, Belle, was Jared's idea- "because she is our Southern Belle born in North Carolina". We also considered the name "Eve" as her middle name, but thought "Lyla Belle" had a nice ring to it (no pun intended haha). 

So Ryan Cole and Lyla Belle it is!

An hour or two later, we were moved to our hospital room where we stayed for 3 days.

On Wednesday and Thursday, my sister in-law (Courtney) brought Kyler to the hospital to meet his siblings, and she also snapped some beautiful pictures for us:

Kyler kept telling us "I want to hold the blue one!" Clearly, he has a favorite twin haha. The next day we wrapped Lyla in Ryan's blue blanket, and Kyler didn't know the difference. I guess we'll be cross dressing her for a while so she doesn't feel left out ;)

On Wednesday, our nurse asked me who would be doing Ryan's circumcision. I replied "Doctor Hightower, I think." She looked at me with a puzzled expression, and said "I'm sorry, there aren't any doctors with that name here." Jared then saved the day with the correct doctor's name. After the nurse left, I asked Jared "Where did I get Doctor Hightower from?" Then it hit me. Doctor Hightower was the doctor on the TV show I had been watching a few weeks ago... that's pain meds for ya!  

One morning, the pediatrician came in at 6:00am to do the babies' checkups. (Sooo early right?) Anyway, it had been a rough night, and somehow Lyla ended up in Ryan's bed with Ryan's paci... I knew it but didn't know how to tell him that the baby he was examining wasn't the baby he thought it was...I was still half asleep. So I just watched him from my hospital bed, and his reaction to seeing what was inside (or should I say wasn't inside?) "Ryan's" diaper was hysterical. "Oh woah! Um. Okay then! Twin sister, right." was what he said.

The twins are healthy and perfect. We love our family, and feel so blessed!

Our Last Outing as a Family of Three

08 December 2014

Last Friday, we took one last outing to the mall as a family of three. It was a short outing. I was so uncomfortable the whole time, and barely made it to one store (and haven't left the house since) but Kyler got to meet Santa. He was pretty excited, and seeing his face light up made the trip worth it.

Our babies will be here in 15 hours (but who is counting down?)! I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by. I had my last doctor's appointment and non stress test last Thursday. Both of the babies are doing excellent, and we can't wait to meet our little miracles!