Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baby, Baby, Baby, OH! (crazy long)

I'm finally sitting at a computer instead of hunched over my phone, so before I forget all the details....


Friday, June 26th 2015
June Lueinna 6lbs 4 oz
Chloe Rae 5lbs 14 oz

But we'll start a couple days early, say...on that Tuesday.

So Tuesday, June 23rd, Russ and I headed in for a routine OB appointment. My OB had been telling me I was going to go into labor "any day now"...for 4.5 weeks. If I had been physically capable, I would have kicked him in the face. 

I did the routine pee in a cup, blood pressure, yadda yadda, then stripped down and sat on the exam table. Dr. B came in and told me that my blood pressure was elevated and that there was protein in my urine and just to be safe, I needed to go to the hospital to have them check everything. 

"You may be having babies today, you may not. Just give me a call later and let me know" about non-chalant!

So we get to the hospital and all checked into triage around 2. My blood pressure was excellent the whole hour we were in there and just as I turn to Russell and say "I think they're going to send us home" a nurse opens the curtains and tells me my protein levels are about 50x what they'd like to see. Soooo, babies it is! 

We were admitted and checked into a birthing room. My mom and Hannah came and we all just hung around as the Drs and nurses got me hooked up on pit and, antibiotics, and an iv drip and a heart rate monitor for Chloe and a heart rate monitor for June and a contraction monitor for both of them. Needless to say, I wasn't going ANYWHERE.

We all ate lunch (if only I had known that would be the last solid thing I ate until Saturday night, I'd have GORGED myself)

Sparing no gory details, here we go....


Over the next couple  hours, 4 nurses and 2 Dr.s came in and tried to find my cervix. Yes. it took that many people just to FIND it. The nurses were brainstorming who to ask next to take a go "ask so and so, she's really good" "so and so has long fingers" no no.

6 agonizing goes later, my cervix was located and I was informed that I was at a whopping 2. (cue crying)

The nurses continued to up my pitocin with no success. The monitors were picking up steady contractions, none of which I could feel, but nothing was progressing. I was so stressed because June kept moving and I'd lose her heart beat on the monitor (also, for some crazy brief space of time...due to some system glitch, they were picking up 3 heartbeats...uhhh s'cuse me? no.) so I had to lay really still.


Dr B comes in to check on me and check my progress. I'm still only at a 2 and starting to feel contractions but nothing more than really uncomfortable period cramps. He informs me that he is going home for the day but he'd be back to check on my in the morning.

Cue the longest, sleepless night of my life.

before he leaves he informs me that I shouldn't eat anything until I get the go ahead.


Dr B comes in and wakes me up. After a long night of pitocin, he checks my progress and informs me that I am now at a 4 and mostly effaced. He breaks Chloe's water. He again informs me that he will be at the office and will most likely be there to deliver the girls unless it was after 10pm then it'd be his partner.


Contractions are still just uncomfortable, but I need to sleep, they give me something in my IV that didn't necessarily make the pain go away so much as I just didn't care that I was uncomfortable...I was also completely lucid...but seeing purple trees.

I told me mom and Russell "I know what I'm saying right now, but I'm definitely seeing a ton of purple trees"


So contractions are a real thing.  Russell was amazing staying by my side and helping by applying counter pressure when contractions would spike. They checked me again, Still at a 5. One of the nurses then tells me that Chloe is sunny side up....why nobody informed me of this until now, I have no idea. but they said that could potentially be the reason I'm not progressing.

I ask them what my options are, they say "well, we can try to manually turn her"
...yep. exactly how that sounds.

They were able to turn her from facing up to facing my left (she was on my right side).

I'm still not dialating and around 2 pm I was starting to get really nervous and asked about an epidural (dream birth, I'd have been in a birthing center with a tub, but...twins...and preeclampsia, so meh.) After talking a bit and weighing the odds of having to be knocked out if I went to a c section, I decided to get the epidural.

I was able to get some good sleep, but still felt tired when I woke up...maybe because I hadn't eaten since tuesday afternoon....

Dr B comes in and seems completely inconvenienced that I haven't had these babies yet. He asks me, so are we doing a c section or what are we doing here.

Well thanks for the vote of confidence jerk face.

I stumble over my words and tell him that I'd still like to try to have them vaginally. He huffs and puffs then says he has to go do a c section and that if I'm not ready to push by the time he's done we'll do a c section.

At this point, I've been hooked up to Iv's for so long that my legs and feet are already HUGE. I've been propped up on a birthing ball for hours but nothing seems to be helping.

Terrified, I turn to my nurse and ask her to do whatever it takes to help me. We restart pitocin. They try a foley bulb, and 'manual stretching' all sorts of awesomeness. My nurse suggests I turn off my epidural so that I might be able to feel my contractions and help them more... I do as she suggests and ish gets intense.

Obviously this is my first rodeo and I'm all in riding double, but from everything I've been told, pitocin makes contractions MUCH worse. At this point, I'm rocking over 30 hours of it in my system. My nurse JUST barely helps me dilate to a 10 as Dr B comes back in.

"she's ready to push!" she snaps at Dr. B
(ugh, I will never be able to express how grateful I was for her standing up for me)
He says, fine, let her push, I have another c section, keep me updated.

I start to push with contractions, but nothing feels like its progressing. My nurse ties some knots in a sheet and has Russell hold them as I pull on the other end to help push. We pull my knees to my chest. An hour goes by. Dr B comes back in and asks how things are going. He still seems like he just wants to go home.

I'm pretty close to agony, so not really concerned about him being a jerk, more just wondering if my body was going to rip in two.

It was almost calming how painful it was. Like all I was experiencing was pain so there wasn't anything else to think about or feel. I kept thinking of ways to define what I was feeling. The closes I came to was feeling like someone was crushing my bones and injecting them with acid.

That's the only thing I felt like came close to accurate.

Another half hour goes by and I'm exhausted. I'm starting to panic.

What if I only have the energy to get one baby out? I've been at this for over 30 hours and haven't eaten in almost as long. I look to Russell to tell me what to do, but he's a little freaked and just keeps saying "you're doing great"

Everyone is telling me that. It's starting to piss me off.

I roll onto my side and tell them I'm done but my nurse convinces me to keep going.

After 2-2.5 hours of active pushing, I give up. I again, roll to my side and bury my head under my arm. All I can say is "I can't" and "I'm sorry" over and over again.

They wheel me into the OR

I'm entirely naked, the room is freezing, I'm contracting and in the most pain I've ever felt by far. The anesthesiologist appears and tells me its going to be ok. He tells me what he is going to give me, but I just stare at him. I feel like its a huge accomplishment just to notice he had a face.

Finally the drugs kick in and the contractions stop and Russell is by my side.

As soon as the pain stopped I was fighting not to fall asleep. Like head lolling, eyes closing, chin dropping even though I'm laying flat. FIGHTING to not fall asleep.

I ask Russell if it's ok. I tell him I'm sorry I couldn't do it.

I'm numb, but I can feel the pressure of them cutting into my abdomen. I had asked to do skin to skin asap regardless of if I had a c section or not.

I had asked them to bring my babies to my breast as soon as they could.

The moment was finally here and I didn't care. I had no idea that that's how I would have felt. I wanted to care. I kept trying to care but I was SO tired and drugged and drained. I could feel them pushing my body. A c section is not a gentle process.

I hear Chloe cry and I look to Russell, he has tears in his eyes. They hold her over the blue curtain for a brief moment and it is the most surreal thing I have ever experienced. I force myself to acknowledge what just happened

"that's my daughter' I think.
'that's my daughter'
over and over

They call the time of birth 12:00 am Friday, but Russell later told me he was watching the clock and it was 11:58 on Thursday so technically the girls were born on different days.

but we're not done.

Chloe is gone and I don't remember hearing June cry. I don't remember them taking her out. The next thing I remember is a nurse coming around the curtain and saying 'here is your baby B' and pushing Junes forehead against mine.

Of all the moments I don't remember from the hospital...I will never forget that. The warmth of my baby's skin against my face. The first time I ever felt her outside of my belly. I still press my head against hers sometimes and I'm right there again.

They take June away and I look at Russell. He looks torn and asks me where he should go. I tell him go with the babies. He goes.

As soon as he leaves, I let myself fall asleep as they stitch me shut. I start to shake uncontrollably, like I'm freezing. The anesthesiologist is there to assure me it's ok. I'm so freaking tired I didn't even process what ok was. All I wanted to do was sleep.

More than seeing Russell, more than seeing my babies, more than anything in the world, all I wanted was to sleep. I hate that. but looking back I was so drugged up and my body had been through so much, my brain wasn't working in a way that let me revel in the bliss of having new babies.

They lift me onto another bed and roll me into the recovery room. There, I see Russell sitting in a chair with two bundled up babies. His eyes are glassy and he keeps saying "you did so good, you did so good"

My nurse appears again and massages my stomach and tries to help everything contract back down. A little bit of time goes by and at some point they bring June to me to nurse. I don't remember exactly, but I think she was too sleepy and wouldn't latch.

They bring Chloe to me. A nurse I've never seen grabs my breast and latches Chloe on then turns away. Not ungently, just efficiently? Regardless, I'm holding her and thinking, I should NOT be holding a baby right now. I'm so tired.

Then I notice Chloe's fingers and toes are blue, she arches her back weird and shoves her face into my chest. I pull her away and her lips are blue.

It was like a bad dream where you try to yell for help but nobody hears you. I can hear myself saying it, but I can't get myself to say it loud I just keep saying "she's blue. somebody help. she's blue" I hear a nurse say, yes her fingers were a little blue but after I keep saying it over and over they come to my side and realize she has turned almost completely blue. They take her from me and clear her airway. I find Russell in the crowd of people and tell him to go stay by June, who is across the room in a bassinet. He looks scared, but goes.

They wheel us all to a room and tell us...stuff, I don't remember. I look at the clock, it's 4am. I don't remember waking up to feed them. I don't remember anything for the next 4 hours I just slept until they came in and brought us to another room. The last thing I remember was asking Russell not to sleep. To watch them and keep their airways clear.

 The first day, I genuinely thought was 3 different days. I kept freaking out because I hadn't fed them. I couldn't get out of bed and they just wouldn't stay awake for any amount of time. I ask Russell to go ask the nurses to give them bottles. A lot of the first two days I just remember being scared and being in pain.

They won't latch and my milk isn't coming in. Every two hours, I try to latch for 15 minutes to half an hour then pump for 15 minutes then supplement with a bottle. Around the 4th day I start to get more than a drop of colostrum when I pump. The day before they let us go, Chloe's jaundice levels spike and she has to go under the lights for the  night.

They had her in her little bassinet in my room with a big blue lamp over her. The room was way too cold and she was just there alone in the middle of the room with just a diaper on. They said I could only take her out to feed her ever 2 hours. She would pull her goggles off and cry. I couldn't handle her being there so I had them put the light over my bed and took turns with Russell laying in the bed and having her sleep on our chests against our skin. it was the only way she wouldn't cry.

I can't remember, but I think we finally went home on a wednesday.
We made it 2 minutes from the hospital before I made Russell pull over so I could check on them.

It definitely wasn't the birth experience I would have chosen, or that I had hoped for and it was weeks before I felt like I wasn't in a complete fog and could begin to process the fact that my babies were actually here.

If you read all that, you're crazy and probably need to go to bed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dad of Twins

Russ fell asleep on the couch, I went over to wake him up:

"Babe, go to bed. "
"What? "
"Go get in bed"
"But...but...the tables full of babies"
Haha "the what? "
"Not the table. The table. The table. The table. The ughhhhh, the BED is full of babies" 
"They're in their crib haha go to bed"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


How could I be anything but thankful? I find at night, after my little family has gone to sleep and I'm wrapping up the day, is when I'm most affected by the weight of my love for my family. Those quick moments of my heart catching my breath and realizing my babies are here.
I've been trying to wrap my head around how I feel now that I am a mother in more than just my heart. I don't feel different...I just feel whole. Like I've found the pieces that left me aching in their absence.
Surely I've always been this way? Always had these sweet faces to kiss and known every bit of downy could I have ever existed in any other form?
This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful to finally be whole. Thankful to have my heart beating, double time, outside my own chest. Thankful and blessed to share here the healing of that all too familiar ache being filled with chubby, spitty, bright eyed joy.

 I hope your day was one of the best.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Werk it Girl

I finished my first big project since the girls were born! A wedding dress for a shoot my sister in law styled. 

It was nice to see the final product but oh my goodness! It was crazy town up in hurrr.

You can see the dress in action (middle right) on my sister's photography site Peaches & Twine.

Tomorrow Will Be Kinder

9:30 am:
So there I was, sitting on my bed, babies happy doing our thing. June starts to drift off for her morning nap and Chloe does the same. I'm about to start singing the hosanna chorus when I hear something...

Someone is in my back yard. Nah, I'm just freaking myself out. So I open my curtain and can just see the shadow of my gate...being a large man. 
gasp emoticon
 My heart drops and just as I scurry to close the curtain he comes around the corner and sees me. It startled me, so I jump...and scream a little *face palm*

I try to play it off and give a quick wave then close the curtain. Then he knocks on the window! (Nooo!) So I open my curtain and talk to him through the closed window. We live in a duplex, he's working on the gas for the other side but both meters are in my back yard. He says "can you move the bike?" I quickly say oh, yea, yea! Then close the curtain because I realize I'm in just a tshirt and underwear :|
I convince myself he didn't see anything then my heart catches, crap! I think he's talking about Russ' motorcycle. I can't move that thing! So I throw on pants and go out back...the motorcycle is gone...(wtf? Then I remember he rode it to work) But Russ had locked his road bike to the gas meyer. (Whhhyyyy, Russ? Whhhyyy???) So I text Russ to get the key to unlock the bike but it's not where he said it was.
In the meantime, the gas guy has disassembled the gas meter and gotten the bike off. I feel like a total jerk so I just apologize and go back inside. The babies are now screaming because its getting into their nap time. I have to pump smh.Then I remember (how the heck did I forget? ) my water heater had been out since sunday. So I slink back out there "uh, hey. I'm. Sorry. My water heater has been out since Sunday. Sorry, uh, could you look at it? Sorry." ‪#‎sorry‬
He gives me a death glare, the babies are screaming. "Sorry! my babies" then I run inside and realize how much of an idiot I sound like. He then opens my water heater closet and Russ has all but packed around it with hiking packs and climbing shoes (Ruuuusssss!!!!!!!!!!!) The guy lectures me about the safety, or complete lack of safety, of that. (In my head I'm fuming because I told Russ the same thing but I'm a sissy so I'm just turning beat red) (the babies are still screaming).
I go back in to the babies and I get a knock on my front door. Gas man has let my dog out. He points down the block and heads to his truck. (Wtf dude? Help me! You see these babies screaming on my floor) so I get the girls in their pack and play. My landlord decides to finally call me back for the first time since sunday. So I'm trying to wrap up the conversation with him and start after my dog....who thinks it's funny to let me get close then run. Oh, did I mention I'm not wearing a bra? Because I'm not. I'm long overdue for a pump so I'm chasing this stupid mutt, boulders flying. Intermittently trying to keep the boobage from dropping straight to the ground on the down bounce, switching the phone to the other ear (omg, you're nice mr landlord but just let me call you backkkkkkkkkkk!!) and trying to grab this stupid dog.
I corner him in the neighbor's yard. They are on their porch. I just keep saying sorry. Sorry for my stupid dog. Sorry for being in your yard. Sorry my stupid dog is in your yard. (Sorry for the haphazardly swinging mom boobs). I grab him, hold him against my chest (one problem solved) and run back to my house yelling, what else? , sorry, over my shoulder.
It took about 10 minutes to catch him. Babies are no longer screaming but still fussing. I lock the dog in the bathroom so I don't have to see his mutt face for a second. Put the girls on the living room floor, say sorry to them. Get them calmed. They fall asleep. I pump. I look over and June is flipping me off.
Yep, that's about right.
But, I now have hot water for the first time in 3 days and I'm counting the dog's little excursion as his walk.
10:15 am. Today is going to be a good day. 

cry emoticon

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I knew I loved you before I met you

One year ago today, this is exactly where I was. Nervous, excited....oddly at peace. 

I knew that whatever happened, that day I would be pregnant until proven otherwise. 
This day one year ago was the last day I ever had to be apart from my girls.

Science is amazing, but above all God is amazing.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

4 years and finally a family of four

We celebrated our four year anniversary, and as a family of four!

Those numbers are definitely something I had given up ever hoping would happen...but sometimes i forget that I'm the luckiest.

We had a low key day, as is our style. 

Russell came home from work and we loaded up the girls to go and find our annual photo booth picture. We went to fashion square and ended up entering the mall right in front of the photo booth, but on another level. We literally walked the entire mall before we found the booth, right where we had started! 

The girls had fallen asleep by the time we got there, so we had to wake them up a little bit before getting everyone into the booth. We've decided that each year we add a new member of our family, we will take a family picture but other than that our anniversary photos will just be us. 

We came home and I made spanikopita and port tamales (getting culturally diverse up in this hizzouse) then we shared some chocolate covered strawberries and other goodies with a couple friends. 

It was a great day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A friggin haboob (back post)

Both girls were running low grade fevers last night and didn't sleep because they were so uncomfortable. They finally fell asleep at 630.

 I was so out I slept through the alarm for their appointment. 

So I'm scrambling to get two babies out the door. I get there 15 minutes late, so I have to wait 45 minutes for a new appointment. time. The girls are screaming and I realize I didn't feed them and have no bottles for them. 

So, there I am, 
in spit up caked sweats,
 holding two sweaty, screaming babies.
 Pacing the 'sick child' side of the waiting room. 

I clearly haven't slept, but go ahead and guess how many people come up and got really close to see the girls and coo and tell me I have my hands full
 while they scream?


I finally get taken back to a room. The girls are starving and losing their minds. The nurse tells me the Dr will be in in 15-20 minutes because they're backed up because a mom of twins came in late.

 Uhh, hi?

The girls are inconsolable, so I kick off my shoes, climb up on the exam table sitting cross legged and whip my boobs out. 

I have June in cross cradle held by my thighs and knees up to my chest (hello ab workout, meet non-existent postpartum abs) and I have Chloe in football to my right. The Dr comes in and busts a gut.

 They do the exam while I nurse both babies. I finally go to leave and there's a haboob.


 I wait for the dust to settle (literally) make it to my car where I realize my windshield wiper is broken as it starts to rain and turn all the dust to mud. I cried for a little bit then drove to Bosa Donuts and got myself a ham and cheese croissant and a mango smoothie.
 Because I freaking deserved that ish!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hi, you.

Somewhere around 24 weeks...I think?

I'm not sure when the last time I posted in this blog was...but it was quite some time ago.

SO much has been happening around here...which means I should be better at documenting it, right? Wrong. So wrong.

Earlier this year, as we were driving home from one of our billion appointments, Russell and I were talking about how crazy last year was.

Lemme non-chronologically recap a few bits of 2014:

  • We moved from our apartment into a duplex
  • We got sealed!
  • Russell changed shifts at work from 9-5 m-f to three 12 hour shifts a week.
  • We had a 10 month old baby (K.) live with us for a few months...that was crazy...
  • I ran a 10k (which was a big deal for me!)
  • Russell passed his series 7
  • I did my first couple boutique shows and actually sold things in my etsy shop (for a bit anyways)
  • We started and finished foster/adopt classes
  • we were considered as adoptive parents for 5 different kids (2 of which we were considered for twice)
  • We did IVF (that's a beast of a post for another time...)
  • We finally got pregnant
  • we found out we were having TWINS
  • We were chosen to be adoptive parents for J. and he moved in with us.
  • We house shopped...but didn't find anything that convinced us to commit

Now we're sitting here in 2015 and this year is shaping up to be just as crazy...

  • We're still in our ghetto little duplex, and we actually really like living here.
  • Russ is still working 3/12's and we really enjoy having him home several days a week, but the first half of the week is pretty rough. 
  • I'm still expecting to be called any day now to testify in K's trial...if it ever goes to court...such a mess. 
  •  Russ is now working on his level 1 CFA and The man studies like crazy and even then, he wishes he could find more time to study. It's a big test.
  • We found out we are having twin girls!

I don't want to put it in a bullet point, but I'm also not really sure how much I want to talk about it on here, but after several months of living with us, J. went back to his family. It is a really, really good thing and I can't describe the experience as anything but bittersweet. Russell still gets quiet when we find something of his or if we talk about him. It's hard, but at the same time, we know that he is exactly where he needs to be with the parents he is supposed to be with and they love him so stinking much. He's a totally different kid with them, and that....that is a beautiful, miraculous thing. 

Life is so crazy...
There is no way I could have guessed my life would follow the course it has, but at the same time I am so, so very thankful for all of the wonderful things that I get to experience despite/because of the crazy.


So, yep. 
Consider yourself briefly, non-chronologically, updated.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We Three and the Insanity of 3

We hosted another successful, albeit small, Thanksgiving at our little house. It was really great having a little bit of my family in town and it turned out that my nephew Easa and J hit it off really well.

It somehow turned out that J wasn't told that he'd be living with us forever until a couple hours before we went to pick him up. That's a lot to process! So on top of the all-autonomy-all-the-time attitude of a 3.5 year old, we're also dealing with some pretty big displaced feels.

It has been a pretty stressful couple of days for everyone. J is trying to figure out how this new mom and dad plan to keep him safe and we're left deciphering what is attachment/loss issues and  what is normal 3 year old behavior.

It was a little nostalgic driving out to pick him up. We listened to a CD that was the anthem of our 2 month long road trip....a time where we had no responsibilities, no plan, no itinerary and no structure. Just us, some mini bagels and our little blue kia.