Well, my baby girls are a week old today.
After being put on complete bed rest a week and a half ago, and switching to a stronger medication to stop contractions, I still ended up going into labor on Friday night (the 2nd). Long story short: We went to the hospital, I was dilated to a 5, they couldn't stop my contractions, my Dr. was out of town so the other Dr. from her office who was on call came over to the hospital, decided he didn't want to attempt a breach delivery of a twin that early due to very high risks (34 weeks 5 days along), so I agreed to a C-section. It was quick and felt very strange with all the tugging and pulling, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, other than the part where they were trying to push Baby A out by pressing really really hard on my upper abdomen/lower ribs. That part was quite painful. Spinal block took care of all the other pain. It was very weird not being able to move my legs and feet at all for several hours.
So, at 12:18am, Saturday the 3rd of September, Gwen Van Dusen was born, weighing in at 5lbs 5oz, and at 12:19am, Chloe Van Dusen was born, weighing in at 5lbs 6oz. They went straight to the NICU, of course. Gwen was on a CPAP for a few hours on Saturday, then was doing fine and was switched to room air. Chloe was on the CPAP for several days, then very suddenly apparently decided she desperately wanted to bottle feed, so they switched her to a nasal cannula delivering oxygen, which she was on for several days, and just got off of yesterday. Both girls are eating well now, though Gwen tends to be a little pickier and sometimes won't eat much, and Chloe is generally a little chow hound. They are both finally gaining weight again instead of losing weight. Gwen was on phototherapy for one day but has been fine since.
They let me stay at the hospital until Wednesday since the girls were in the NICU. It was very hard emotionally going home while leaving them there, but I've been trying hard to rest and recuperate and spend a bit of time loving on my boys since getting home, so that I will have lots of energy to take care of the girls once they're released. Recovering from a C-section has been drastically different than recovering from either of the boys' births. I am really looking forward to being able to twist, bend, and pick things up off the floor again at some point. My feet finally today just stopped being swollen. I spend most of my time sitting on my bed, a large portion of that time is spent pumping, which has been going surprisingly well. I am just barely managing to keep up with how much the girls are eating every day. I get my walking in on our trips to the hospital every day, twice a day. It wears me out, and I'm generally ready for a nap as soon as we get home from seeing the girls. Mike put reminders into the calendar on my phone for when to take my pain meds, which has been very helpful, and has kept most of the pain at bay.
Gwen and Chloe have both been doing really, really well, and might get to come home as soon as Tuesday, assuming they don't have any more episodes where they "de-sat" (significant drop in their oxygen levels in their blood). I am starting to feel a bit more confident about taking care of them. It's harder than taking care of a full-term baby. Despite being a really good size, especially for their gestational age at birth, especially for twins, they are still little itty-bitty girls who require extra-cautious care. I love getting to hold them and snuggle with them, and they are doing better for me at eating from their bottles. I'm still working on burping them, I'm not very confident with that yet. And swaddling...it is daunting trying to swaddle someone so little bitty. I think I need one of their nurses to talk me through it one of these times. They are currently allowed to try nursing up to a couple times a day, we've been doing it once a day in the mornings the past few days. It doesn't take more than a few minutes before they're completely exhausted from the effort, but they are doing marvelously well overall and have impressed all of the lactation consultants that have come in to help us.
They both have lots of dark hair, and look a lot like their brothers to me. Gwen is a bit more on the petite side, and Chloe has adorable chubby cheeks already. We still have no idea whether or not they are identical, and will probably just have to order a DNA home test kit (cheek swabs) sometime to find out for sure.
And now for the best part: pictures!
Together (Gwen on left, Chloe on right):