Friday, July 28, 2017

{Asher & Jax} Two Weeks

On July 12 Asher and Jax had their first well child check up. When we left the hospital Asher was down to 7lb 2oz. At this appointment he was down another ounce to 7lb 1oz. Jax was down to 7lb 8oz (when we left the hospital). At this appointment he was down another 3oz to 7lb 5oz. But the sub doctor was happy with their weights so no weight check before their two week appointment (scheduled for when they are 3 weeks on 7.28.17).

Stats: At their appointment today Asher weighed in at 8lb 4oz (30th%) and measured 20 inches long (10th%). His head circumference was 13.75 inches (10th%). Jax weighed in at 7lb 14oz (25th%) and measured 20 inches long (10th%). His head circumference was 14.1 inches (10th%).
(Asher and Jax)
Sizes: The boys both fit nicely into newborn clothing but since I do not have much in newborn size today I did put them in 0-3 month clothing (fits just a mite bit big) for the first time. They are wearing size 1 (Kirkland) diapers. (They wore newborn diapers for 2.5 weeks but when I ran out of newborn size I just switched them to size 1 (Kirkland) diapers.
Food: Boobie milk on demand!!! Typically every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours during the night. Each boy gets one boob. Sometimes I tandem feed and sometimes they eat back to back. If one is ready to eat (and the other is still sleeping) when the first one is done I ALWAYS wake the sleeping one. Wanna (gotta for my sanity) keep them on the same schedule. I pump very rarely. Who has time for that?!! But need to start doing so more regularly soon to get a supply going for when I go back to work. I have a few days worth in the freezer thus far so not doing too terrible.
Routine: No schedule as of yet. I feed them on demand. So when they want it...they get it. If we have to run out (church, errands, etc) I always try to feed them before so I don't have to stop and feed them so quickly into my chasing or during church. They are great sleepers during the day (and actually at night too-typical newborns). They go to bed around 10:30/11. I typically feed them around 10pm and put them down for the night. Always hopeful for a 4 hour stretch. Occasionally my wish comes true!!!
Developmental Milestones: Working on neck strength. Asher is a champ at this. Jax just lays on the boppy and doesn't even attempt to lift his head.
Loves: Their momma, their milk, and their pacis!!! 
Dislikes: Both do not like sitting in poopy diapers.

Other Things I Don't Want To Forget:
  • Neither of you startle easily which is a good thing because your brothers and sister are SUPER loud (and that's putting it mildly).
  • In the first three weeks of life you boys went to your doctor's office twice (for your scheduled visits), to G&G Helmholdt's house and G&G Vugteveen's house a couple each times to hang by their lakes, to Rosewood playground, to the mall (a couple of times), Carters and Target, to "Uncle" Bob and "Aunt" Joanie's house in Middleville, church, John Ball Zoo, Boulder Ridge Zoo, Holland Discovery Center followed by Taco Bell, Red Geranium followed by Aunt Courtney's pool, the Hudsonville Fairgrounds for the Grand Rapids Balloon Festival, Hungry Horse Campground (Dad, Mase, and Mols went camping for 2 nights), and Holland Beach. What a fun first three weeks you guys have had!!!
  • Jax's cord fell off after 7 (stinky) days. Asher's cord fell off a day later.
  • Jax had a blocked tear duct for a few days but after some gentle massaging it {mostly} cleared up.
  • Asher tends to be more fussy than my SUPER chill Jax but nothing to write home about
  • Asher has more of a shrill (piercing) cry.
  • You guys moved into your room after a mere 3 nights in mom and dad's bedroom. Asher was a fussy bucket those first four nights (at home) and I needed sleep. And I needed it bad. Having you in your own rooms allowed me to sleep a little bit more.
  • You boys got your newborn pictures taken at 11 days old.
  • Both of you made it through your first cold (compliments of your sister).

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hospital Stay and Arrival Home

I was admitted Thursday at 1100. Chilled for 24 hours while I received steroids for the boys lungs. The boys were born Friday evening (1717 and 1739) and we were home by 1115 Sunday morning. I was super ready to be home after THREE FULL days of Spectrum.

Shortly after our precious little Twinners arrival the first of our few visitors arrived. That being Brian's parents followed by my parents (with Mase, Mols, and Crew), and my sister and her family. (Asher got lots of loving while Jax was getting cleaned up. Hence ALL the Asher pics).
Asher meeting his Grandpas and Grandmas.
Molly and Asher
My baby Big brother Crew "holding" Asher
Big brother Mason with Asher
Cousin Cambrey and Asher
Cousin Brinley and Asher
Cousin Cole with Asher (and Mason)
Aunt Courtney and Uncle Jason with Asher
Our first family of SEVEN photo...
Friday night into Saturday morning both the boys were having sugar issues. So come Saturday morning when Asher's sugar was low yet again they said since he had already had 3 gels (oral sugar) he would need the Pediatrician's approval for a fourth. If the Pediatrician said NO (which she did NOT) or if he had one more low sugar he would have to go to NICU. I had already sent Brian home but my sister was on her way up to the hospital to hang out with me for the morning/early afternoon followed by my mom into the evening. (So Brian could be home with the Bigs for awhile). The nurse told me the plan that I would follow for the day (to hopefully keep the boys out of NICU). Nurse for 5 minutes then supplement with 20-25ml of formula then pump for 15 minutes followed by skin to skin with mommy.
I was to do this every 2 hours. They were NOT to be passed around (hence the no visitors) and were not to be put in their bassinets. So very thankful for my mom and sister who helped bottle feed the boys and do skin to skin while I pumped and breast fed. Their sugars were checked every 1-2 hours and all sugars remained above 45 for the rest of the morning/afternoon. At 1730 and 1745 the boys had their 24 hour newborn screens done (and final sugar) and hallelujah their final sugars were good so they did NOT have to go to NICU. What an answer to prayer!!! Brian came back up to the hospital (his mom was back at our house for the third night in a row) and we kept up the feeding schedule until 10pm then I went back to straight breastfeeding on demand (so every 3ish hours). And then Sunday morning was GO HOME TIME!
I didn't take a single picture on Saturday of the boys because of all the craziness so on Sunday morning I had to snap a few of these precious miracles. (Above Asher and Jax snuggling and below Asher and Jax all ready to go home).
The kids were SO excited for mom and the twins (and dad) to be home. The boys received lots of snuggles from the Bigs...
Mols and Asher
Mase and Jax
Crew and Asher
Our FIVE Earthly Blessings
Daddy with the twins and Mommy with the twins
HOME and loving their rock n plays...
My brothers and their families came to visit shortly after we arrived home.
Aunt Jana, Uncle Brandon, Connor, & Austin 
Kylynn, Easton, Addisyn, Aunt Kristi, and Uncle Jason
Can't not say how amazing our parents are. When I went to L&D from my doctor appointment Thursday morning my mom kept the kids from 9am until 5pm. My mother-in-law relieved her from 5pm to 10am Friday morning. My mom picked the kids back up at 10am until 9pm. My mother-in-law came back from 9pm until 7am Saturday morning. Brian was home with the kids all day Saturday until 5pm (well my mom and sis hung out with me). My mother-in-law came back for her third (and final) night around Saturday at 5pm until Sunday morning at 8am. My in-laws enjoyed a quick breakfast out and then came back to our house around 1015 so Brian could come and pick me and the boys up. Couldn't have done it without them!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Birth Story

I went to my appointment on July 6th thinking "Yea, my last {pregnancy} appointment EVER!" Not for a second did I think I wouldn't head home afterwards. As I was leaving my house I told the kids I would see them in two hours. Well two hours definitely came and went.

My doctor (Vanden Bosch) was on vacation so I saw the on call doctor of the day (Dr. Van Slooten). I passed my NST with flying colors but since my blood pressure was still high (148/88), the low platelet count from Monday, and because I had a trace of protein in my urine he recommended we get my labs rechecked. Before leaving he asked when I had last been "checked." I said last week Monday (June 29). At which point I was not dilated or effaced at all. He asked if I minded him checking me before heading home. I said that would be fine. Good thing he did. I was already at a 5/6...with NO regular contractions. At that point he told me he did not feel comfortable sending me home and asked if I would be okay if he sent me over to L&D. I was (for the most part) fine heading over but said to the doctor. Do I need to go now or can I come back tonight? I went on to say we currently do NOT have a vehicle that can transport our whole family and my husband was suppose to drive to Midland to check out a van that evening. (In my mind I thought he could run there "quick" that afternoon and then we could head back up to the hospital that night). He said I needed to go now. Wouldn't be safe to wait. So I called Brian and told him what was up. Told him to head home and grab my bag before coming to the hospital.

I was wheeled over (via wheelchair) to L&D around 11am. Brian arrived a short while later. Initially my blood pressure went down a touch but then it sky rocketed up to 160s/100s. Labs were drawn and platelets came back lower than Monday at 108. Other labs all checked out fine. But with the platelet count trending down and my BP trending up Dr. Cottingham (the o/c doctor IN HOUSE) said looks like you'll be leaving here with your babies in your arms. First thought was to give steroids at noon on Thursday and again at noon on Friday and induce Saturday afternoon. But when my blood pressure spiked to 160s/100s and would only come down with IV Labetalol. And when the US showed that both boys were no longer head down but transverse Dr. C decided to give steroids at noon on Thursday and at midnight on Friday. And a C/S was scheduled for 1:30 Friday afternoon. (I was super bummed about the change to a section since Baby A had been head down for the last 4-5 weeks (Dr. VB told me he would not change positions) and because both babies were head down the week before at my last growth US).

Brian ran home to grab a few more things and get some things in order to purchase the van. (Brian called the dealership in Midland, explained what was happening, and they offered to bring the van to us! If we didn't like the van on sight they would drive it back at no cost to us. FYI we ended up buying the van and it was delivered to us on Saturday (7/8/17). God worked out ALL the details!!!) Anyways I was moved to an ante partum room for the night. My parents came to visit. Else Brian worked from his computer while I just chilled by watching a movie. It was a sleepless night for us both-the bed/couches were super uncomfortable.

The following morning around 950 I started contracting (on my own) every 5 minutes. Around 11:30am I was moved to a triage room for my C/S. Just to confirm that the boys placement hadn't changed we did another US and low and behold...they were BOTH HEAD DOWN!!! So I was moved to an L&D room. Before moving my cervix was checked and I was dilated to a 7 and completely thinned out. I requested an epidural ASAP. (Dr. VB told me how important it was to have an epidural for baby B in case something went wrong). My labs had to be rechecked (it had been over 6 hours since my last draw). If my platelets were too low (below 100) it would be too risky to do an epidural. Thankfully my platelets trended up to 113. At 2:30pm I got my epidural. At 2:45 Baby A's bag of water was broke. Almost immediately I felt sick, nauseous and really hot. My blood pressure tanked from 160s/100s to 100s/50s. I vomited which made me feel a touch better. Both boys heart rates dipped so they threw me on my left side and gave me some oxygen. And I laid like that for the next 2 hours (feeling the urge to push Baby A). Dr Kreuze (yet another doctor in the practice) arrived at some point. One more US was done (still head down). And then it was decided (by Dr. Kreuze) to set up and deliver in the L&D room versus the OR. Dr. K and the resident were watching the monitors for awhile and then around 5pm Dr. K said lets have some babies. At this point though my contractions had died down to basically nothing. (Guessing because of the epidural and the fact that I spent 2 hours chilling on my side). So some Pitocin was started (more for Baby B than Baby A). After 3 contractions and 9 pushes out came a perfectly handsome lil boy at 1717 (5:17pm). Weighing in at 7 pounds 4 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. Brian immediately got to hold him since I didn't feel comfortable due to the post delivery shakes and the fact that I still had another baby to push out. The Pitocin was increased quite quickly and thus didn't take long for me to feel the urge to push. After maybe 5 more contractions and 15 pushes out came a second very perfect looking lil boy at 1739 (5:39pm). Weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. Jax was immediately placed on me (after birth shakes and all) and soon I was given Asher as well. At some point Jax needed a CPAP mask but no oxygen...just so he could breathe in his own air a little better and only for a few mintues. Else they checked out perfectly healthy. What an answer to prayer!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Introducing The Newest HelmholdtS

Asher weighed in at 7lb 4oz and was 20 inches long.
Jax Bryson weighed in at 7lb 9oz and was (also) 20 inches long.
Born on 7.7.17 at 1717 (5:17pm) and 1739 (5:39pm).
And just one more of my precious miracles!!!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

33-36 Weeks

(Week 33-34)...NSTs #7-10 all went well thanks to nurse Beth.
The boys and I at 34 weeks...
(Week 35)...NSTs #11-12 went well (thankfully) thanks to a couple of different techs since Beth was pulled to MFM. Blood pressure has remained stable (140s/80s), none to a mere trace of protein in my urine, and up about 60 pounds (yes you read that correctly). I worked my last day (of this pregnancy) at 35 weeks and 2 days. A few weeks back (honestly don't remember exactly when) my arms/hands started going numb in the middle of the night. (Assuming from my weight crushing them). It often made me lie awake early in the morning for an hour or so before finally falling back to sleep. Well the occasional numbness turned into constant numbness (carpal tunnel) in most of my right fingers (except my pinkie) and two of my left fingers. Not so enjoyable. 

And one last thing happened in week 35 that carried over to week 36. On June 24 (34w6d) I felt a pop in my mouth when eating lunch which turned into pain with eating. Later that night I notice swelling under my tongue. Didn't think much of it Sunday or Monday (just had swelling under my tongue and minimal pain with eating). But Tuesday morning when eating breakfast under my jaw started swelling and the swelling under my tongue got much worse (very painful when eating). The swelling slowly subsided but when I ate lunch it got really bad again. Subsided again and then when I had a snack both swelled again. Talked to Jeff (doctor I work for) and he said I know what's going on. You have a salivary gland stone. Liza (a coworker) and I looked at each other and laughed because that's what Doctor Google "told" me at lunch. When I say "told" that's what my research came up with. I asked Jeff what that meant and he said often surgery to remove it. WHAT?!! I do NOT have time for that. Wednesday was the same as Tuesday (swelling would come and go and it was very painful to eat). I was on the phone a lot on Wednesday setting up appointments. Called dentist who was going to send me to an oral surgeon but I figured out that Oral Surgeons do not work with BCBS (my insurance). Jeff said to call my PCP to get a referral to an ENT (who would par with my insurance). An NP at my PCP's office could see me the following morning at 9:30. (Wished they would just have sent in a referral but totally get that they had to see me first. I do after all work in a doctor's office). She ordered an US (put it in STAT) so I got an appointment the following day (Friday at 2:30pm). A CT is the best way to visualize a stone(s) but for obvious reasons I couldn't have a CT. Got the results back on Saturday morning (showed no abnormality or stone). Hmmm. Thankfully the NP put in my referral to Winkle (the ENT Jeff told me to see) on Thursday with the US so I called on Thursday and scheduled an appointment for Monday morning at 8:30. On Thursday after my appointment I noticed that when eating my mouth wasn't as painful nor did it swell as much. Same thing on Friday, Saturday. and Sunday. I kept my appointment (thankfully being Monday morning I couldn't cancel it) even though I figured nothing but embarrassment would come from it. On Monday morning Dr Winkle removed a 2mm stone from my submandibular or sublingual gland (the stone was the swelling under my tongue). It was removed with a local anesthetic and an 11 inch blade. Thankful it did NOT require surgery.

Me and the boys at 35 weeks...
Had my last growth US on 6-29-17 at 35w5d. Boys weighed in at 6#5oz and 6#15oz. THAT IS A LOT OF BABY IN THERE!!! And both were head down!!!

Me and the boys at 36 weeks (and 1 day)...
Talked with my doctor last week Monday (6.26) and induction is scheduled for 7-11-17. I told the tech that I would like it scheduled so when Dr VB walked in my room she said induction is set for the 18th. I nearly (excuse me) shit my pants. I responded I thought we were scheduling at 37 weeks. She said that is 37 weeks. I said I'm 37 weeks on the 9th. She left and came back and said alright we're now set for the 11th. Still a day later than we had originally talked about but since she's on call that day the 11th made sense.

At my appointment on 7-3-17 the papers were signed and the induction time was set...5am. A couple hiccups occurred at my appointment though first the boys took over an hour to pass the NST (#13). They needed to be zapped mid way through for the third time (they were zapped at two other NSTs) and my BP was high (150/90) so I had to get some lab work/urine sample done to make sure I wasn't going pre eclamptic. The on/call doctor who I saw (because my doctor was on vacation) said he would call me Tuesday morning (The Fourth) with the results. Saw my results via MyHeath early Tuesday morning. Most everything was normal (AST, ALT, and urine WERE normal). Only thing off was my platelets. Platelets were 124. (Normal is 140-400). However, Dr. Dodd was comfortable with holding off on an induction since my platelets back in April were only 140 and I was having NO symptoms

NST #14 (final one!!!) went great. Boys passed with flying colors. But my blood pressure was still elevated at 148/88 so the on call doctor (my doctor was still on vacation) wanted me to get my labs checked again. Before leaving he asked when I was last checked. I said back on 6.26 and I was NOT dilated or effaced at all. Since I hadn't been checked in 10 days the on call doctor wanted to quick check me. I said no problem. Well good thing he did cause I was dilated to a 5/6 and was sent over to labor and delivery...