Thursday, August 21, 2008

Praise God for beautiful, healthy babies!

I was rocking Faith to sleep last night in her beautiful room and was overcome with how grateful I am to be the mommy to these two precious, beautiful girls. I recalled all the prayers by myself and many of you that led first to their conception and then to their healthy birth. I remembered the words of my friend Nathan who said that it wasn't until he had children that he more fully understood the love that our God has for us. I praise God and give him the glory for this blessing in our life!! Filled with emotion and gratitude I wanted to share with all of you the miracle of their birth.

As I walked down the breezeway into A level while Andy parked the car, I had a flood of memories back to my first visit to LLU as an interviewing med student and felt a sense of coming full circle. Experiencing God's peace, we went into the day filled with excitement as both sides of our family gathered in the waiting room. We waited a little longer than expected due to an emergency C section, but were quickly ready to go in the OR. I remembered the words of Ryan while getting my spinal and distracted myself by talking to the med student who I had worked with last year as chief. The anesthesia resident did a great job and soon I was an official patient, feeling the effects of numbness down my legs. It was sureal being in the operating room as a patient watching the med students (a brand new first year and "experienced" 4th year), feeling vulnerable to whatever was going to happen next. There was such a positive atmosphere in the room as Dr. Balli called out- are you ready to meet these babies?

Everything went so smoothly as they operated and then delivered Grace first. I was still anxious until I heard her little cry (it is still her same cry that I have learned to identify late at night when I can't see them). A flood of relief came over me knowing that that strong cry meant she was ok. They soon peered her little head over the sheet and I began to weep. What an awesome experience, I knew instantly that Faith would be ok too. She was more than OK, one minute later I heard a very loud cry, distinctly different than the first and soon saw a very different looking little girl wailing loudly, warming my heart. Andy and I were overjoyed and emotional. He asked sweetly if he could go see them as the NICU team checked them out. I felt such a peace at that moment, I didn't need to see them immediately, I wanted to bask in the feeling of gratitude ( I think the morphine in the spinal contributed a little to my semi-drunk feeling).

Andy soon returned and informed me that both girls were fine, no problems, no need for NICU and he was going to bring them into me soon. Grace measured 5 lbs 15 oz and Faith 5 lbs 14 oz. Allison Blaze was the closest in her guess of the weights- congrats!

Andy, the proud daddy, came back into the OR with two swaddled little girls, one on each arm, to let their mommy kiss them. It was cute how he had difficulty maneuvering them so I could kiss both; we eventually worked it out.

We then got to spend about 1 1/2 hours, just the four of us in the recovery room, both of us skin to skin with the babies. I remember when we were engaged, Andy saying that he can't wait to be skin to skin with his babies after learning about the importance of that while on Pediatrics. Our nurse Susan was an angel and took some great pics of that special time.

The rest of the day is sort of a blur, many, many visitors, nausea and vomiting from the anesthesia and basking in the joy of staring at these new real life dollies! Everyone tried to see who they look like. The consensus is, they don't really look strongly like either of us, but have some individual features of both of us. It was pretty amusing hearing every family member claim certain features.

My nurses were amazing at the hospital, each with their own style and words of advice. I was so grateful to be a patient at Loma Linda and appreciated the mission of the hospital even more. I learned the importance and amazing ministry of nurses and have a greater glimpse into the feelings of being a patient.

Since that first day, I have been recovering amazingly well, learning the joys and frustrations of breastfeeding and loving every minute that I get to look at my girls. I will blog more on some of those specific topics in the days to come. Thank you for your patience in waiting for this entry and sorry for its length!!

If you haven't already, check out our pics:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A long-awaited hello

This is Daddy (Andy) blogging.

Grace and Faith came into the world yesterday, healthy and beautiful. The delivery was an amazing and peaceful experience. We arrived at the hospital at 7:00 AM on August 15, 2008 for the scheduled cesarean section. It was not rushed because there was an unscheduled c-section going on in the operating room that we had to wait for.

It was so exciting to see first Grace come out and cry and then Faith. After a quick look-over to make sure they were OK, I was let into the transitional nursery to touch, kiss and hold them. They also let the grandparents come in and have a first look.

Then I carried them both (what an amazing feeling to hold both my girls in my arms at the same time) back to the operating room so Amy could get a closer look and kiss their faces. After the c-section the four of us spent skin-to-skin time in the recovery room before we moved to our hospital room. The hospital's goal is no more than 30-min away from the parents in the first 24-hours, so they came into our room for the first baths--this was my job!

Last night Amy and I took turns holding Faith and Grace, trying to sleep between feedings, diaper changes and vital signs checks. I found that zipping one of them up in my sweatshirt against my chest worked best.

Today Amy has spent time out of bed in a chair and breast feeding. Her appetite has returned too!

Here is a link to more pictures.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last Day!!

It is very hard to believe this is my last day being pregnant with twins. I am now very ready to finish this process and meet my little daughters. Last night was exhausting, lots of contractions, nausea and no sleep. It will be nice to roll over again. Though I realize I really don't know what "exhausted" means yet.
I am eagerly anticipating the coming days, wondering what a C section will be like. My questions aren't about the medical side so much, but the things we never care about as med students, like- how long will I be in recovery? when do I get to see my babies? where will the babies go? will I be in a lot of pain all day? will I be groggy? when can all my family and friends see the babies? These are the questions that run through my mind at night when I can't sleep. Then I shift to more fun questions like: what color will their eyes be? will they have Andy's cute bottom? whose feet will they have? (hopefully a combination of my flat and his very arched) In what ways will their personalities be like me or Andy or maybe like our siblings or parents?

Our visit to the doctor on Tuesday went well. They are still in the same breech positions. He is excited to be able to deliver me after following me the past 9 months. The pics are of my mom and I at the Dr's office. It has been really nice having her around!

Hopefully our next few posts will include some pics of these babies! Thank you for all your prayers and support. Andy and I feel so blessed right now and are grateful for the wonderful people in our lives.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


The last few days have been filled with anticipation as we eagerly await meeting these little girls. Though I didn't think it was possible, I think I am actually getting bigger. I find it very difficult to stand for more than 5 min and walk more than a block. They are just too heavy. For the first time in my pregnancy I had some random person at the movie theater ask if I was having twins cause I looked so huge. That didn't feel to good to hear. Now if I go out, everyone is saying something and when they hear I am having twins they usually follow with either advice or worrisome comment like: "two girls are hard to raise; your life is going to change forever; how are you going to do that" Occasionally I get a positive comment, but it is funny how many people look at this twin thing negatively. Oh well, all that matters is that I remain positive! I am very excited right now while cautiously anticipating the challenges ahead.

My mom came down last Friday to help me with last minute things to do and practice cooking and getting to know her way around the house. We have had fun trying new vegetarian recipes (see the picture of curried pot pie, yum!) and counting our blessings for each additional day we have. Can't wait for the whole Hayton and Sell families to be here and to finally meet Grace and Faith. We will keep you all posted ; looks like we will make it till Friday!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grace Settles the Issue

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I felt some enormous movement on my left side. Something is definitely happening I thought and looked forward to seeing my girls on ultrasound. Today at my doctor's appointment, as we were discussing the pros and cons of C section again, we saw what was happening, Grace had flipped and is now breech, meaning both girls are breech. My doctor said, I guess that settles the issue. It was kind of a relief to know this was the only option. There is still a slight chance they both could turn, but seems unlikely.
We went ahead and scheduled the C section for Aug 15, next Friday. My doctor thought I would make it until then; we will see. . . As anxious as I am to meet these girls, I am not in a huge hurry to get them out so I hope I do make it to next week. I praise God that we have made it this far and each day more is a bonus!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lazy Days

The past few days have been very unlike my typical life. Laying around in my PJs all day with my biggest accomplishment emptying the dishwasher. Every morning I wake up after a sleepless night with great intentions such as getting my files organized or hanging pictures, even reading my twin books. The day ends up going something like this:

8am- breakfast, feeling ok, start on a project, check internet
9am- nausea sets in, have to lie down
11am- wake up from a nap, now hungry- try to make something for lunch
12- have to lie down again since there was no room for that food
2pm- try some brainless TV
4pm- feeling depressed that I wasted the day, take a shower
4:30- waiting for Andy to get home
5pm- make dinner
6pm- gotta lie down again, food still won't fit in there
6:30pm- Heartburn sets in
7 pm- direct Andy on to do list or lie on the couch while he catches up on le Tour de France
10 pm- bedtime, not looking forward to this cause it means up about 8 times in the night

All the while I do have fun thoughts of meeting these girls and what it will be like to hold them. My organized side is making sure I have everything that I can do ahead of time done:
1. bag packed, yes
2. car seats installed, yes
3. nursery completed, oh yah
4. list of meals we like and grocery list prepared, yep
5. schedule of help prepared, yes (thank you all who volunteered)

I know there will be so many things I can't anticipate and everything I do expect could be totally different, but I do feel better knowing I have done what I can, now all I can do is . . . wait.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Aug 3, 2002 Andy and I were married. Can't believe it has been six years! We enjoyed watching our wedding video this morning and commenting on how young we look. It was a wonderful day filled with joy and hope for the future!

We celebrated the weekend by chilling at home in quiet (something that will be rare in the months and years to come). We had our last nice adult dinner at Citrone and then enjoyed an outdoor theater production. It is nice to just be together during this quiet weekend.

We are glad the babies weren't born this weekend so we don't have to share our special day with birthdays ( I guess I shouldn't speak too soon, the day isn't over).

Friday, August 1, 2008

36 week Visit to the Doctor

We are so excited we have made it to 36 weeks!! I know now that no matter when I go into labor, the babies are going to do great. We saw Dr. Balli yesterday to see how I was progressing and check if Faith had turned her position to be favorable for a vaginal delivery.
Looks like my nightly few hours of contractions this past week has started to do its job and change my cervix. I am 3 cm dialated and 60% effaced! That was a little shocking and brought a sense of urgency realizing this could happen at any time.

Babies looked great on the ultrasound, couldn't tell how big they were, but didn't seem to be any problems. Except, Faith never turned, she is still in the transverse position. I know she is going to be the stubborn one. So what does this mean? To section or not, that is the question.

Our doctor did a great job of explaining the risks and benefits of a vaginal birth when the babies are not both head down vs the risks/benefits of a planned C-section. Hopefully all would work out fine if we delivered vaginally, but there is a significant risk of having Faith come down in the breech position and then having to do C section after the vaginal birth- that doesn't sound too appealing to me.

At this point, we decided we would schedule a C section for the 14th or 15th or August, but not sure if we will make it that long. Still praying for Faith to move down in the vertex position. The nurse educator at our birthing class last night gave some interesting suggestions to make that happen- sounds a little hocus pocus to me. Using a flashlight to guide her head in the right position or music or imagery.

A C section isn't as "romantic" as what you always think of your labor to be, but then I really analyzed that thought and realized that 18 hrs of labor is really anything but romantic, so maybe it is a blessing. Curious of your thoughts!

Dinner with Andy's Psych team

While in medical school and residency, Andy and I were always impressed by the attendings who invited us to their home for a meal while on their service. It didn't happen very often, but made a big impression. When Andy took the job at the VA as the inpatient attending, he wanted to create a friendly environment for the students and residents that was not all work. We decided we would commit to having his team over for dinner every month. The other night was the first time and we had a lot of fun! It was a bit challenging to put on a dinner for ten in my current condition, but thanks to Juliana's help, it was a success. I enjoyed getting to know the residents and their spouses as well as talking to the new 3rd year students. Seem like so long ago that we were in their position.
Hope we can keep this up when the babies arrive!! I was pretty tired afterwards. Next month we will cater in.

Last Lunch with friends

I feel as though these next few days will be a lot of "lasts". My friend Amy called and asked if we could go to lunch (as we often did this past year while working at the VA) since this may be our "last chance". It was fun to catch up with Amy and Christina, talk about work and medicine again and not focus entirely on my pregnancy. Its great to have friends in similar places in life. We were all classmates in med school and all married a classmate from med school so our lives have a lot in common. Will miss you guys as you continue life in the modules at the VA. . . but not that much as I am glad for an extended break. Hope we can do lunch again soon!