Monday, March 8, 2010

The Hospital Stay

After the twins were born Mark and I got our own little room. The twins joined us and hung out in lucite bassinets while nurses tended to them for the first hour. James only got to stay for a very short time before being sent to the NICU for his grunting problem. Julia stayed with us and we learned to feed her 1 cc of formula at a time by syringe (in increments of 0.1 cc). She was very tiny!

Feeding tiny Julia by syringe

I called my parents ("Hi, Grandma!") and Mark called his to let them know the good news. My parents had hoped to arrive that night but they were driving from San Diego through the worst storm of the year so they didn't get there until the next day, and then I had to shoo them out when they arrived because I was working with a lactation consultant. Their faces lit up when they saw and held Julia. Then we went on a field trip to the NICU to see James. Because I couldn't move for 24 hours after the C-section I had only just seen James that morning for the first time since giving birth. (Mark had been able to visit earlier.) It had been my first time seeing James without his little white knit cap and I was struck by how blond his hair was! What a cutie!

Heartbreaker James in the NICU

When we announced the births the first day, I explicitly did not tell my parents the babies' names because I am a mean, mean daughter. After my parents arrived and they met each baby I introduced them. "Meet Julia." "Meet James." The NICU only allows two guests inside at a time per baby so James met his grandma and grandpa one at a time.

Grandma meets Julia

Grandpa meets Julia

Grandpa meets James in the NICU

The night the twins were born the hospital sent over a congratulatory bottle of sparkling apple juice with two plastic flutes. Unfortunately, I was suffering from bad nausea from the anesthesia so we couldn't have that until later (for the twins' one month birthday it turns out). Because I'd had gestational diabetes (which usually ends as soon as the placenta is removed) I had been looking forward to eating chocolate cake for months and hoped to that night. Instead I had a not very filling IV.

Mark and his little girl

Me and my little girl

The hospital stay was kind of a blur since I was really drowsy the whole stay from a combination of C-section meds, constantly being woken up to take drugs, and forcing myself to pump every 3 hours - even in the middle of the night. I didn't even have time to go online for over a week! I still have 464 unread e-mail messages from that week. (I also didn't have time to shower until my last day there, four days later.) Mark slept in the fold-out bed/chair in my room the first two nights. My parents visited each day, and my mom and Mark made our apartment into a nursery since I had been unable to having been on bed rest. And most importantly Mark and I learned how to care for tiny babies. Neither of us had really spent any time around babies before so there was a lot to learn - diapering, swaddling, and burping. We didn't even know to keep burping until there was a burp so a few times one of the babies would spit up and start coughing, and we'd be worried they were choking. They seemed so fragile and we were so inexperienced.

Me and my 4 pound, 9 ouncer, Julia

Mark feeds our amazing glow-in-the-dark baby. (James required a biliblanket one day to treat his jaundice.)

How is it we look both tall and short in the same photo?

The twins' birthdate was a Monday and I checked out on Friday night. We got to try out the new car seats on the ride home. They looked like their heads were way too tiny for the head support. (Note: this is no longer a problem with James' giganto cranium but more on that in another post.)

Julia, dressed for her trip home, in her wizard robe.

Checking out of the hospital. (Would you believe Mark forgot to bring me a change of clothing so I left in the same exact outfit I was wearing when my water broke?)

Julia in her car seat for the ride home

James (on the left) and his giant head and multiple chins no longer have problems filling the headrest of his car seat.


  1. Love the pictures! My boy twin -- who was smaller at birth -- has a giganto head now too. I swear he looks a month or two older than his now-petite sister. So weird. Can't wait to read more about your little ones! Hope all is well!

    Kellie in CT

  2. These babies have nearly doubled their size since birth. It's hard to believe.

    Kathy and Mark have learned to be expert parents with little ones. Mark is called the Burp Whisper because of his excellent burping abilities. Kathy can make any baby smile when you diaper them. Today, James made a "fountain" and started smiling and laughing like his mother taught him. The fountain was aimed at me so when I screamed; he laughed.

    I would tell more stories, but Kathy has dropped by the table and it isn't fun telling stories with her editing.

  3. OMG. I have seen some of these photos before, but now that I've seen photos of them bigger, I'm really struck by how totally tiny they are, especially in the car seats!

    This is really interesting! I am so glad you're sharing all of this!

  4. Kellie, Thanks! We swear James with his giganto head must weigh 10 pounds more than Julia but they tell us it's only a little over a pound.

    Sara, Thanks! It's really hard to believe how much they've grown!!!