Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Being A NICU Mom | The Farnes Family

Two years ago I had a miscarriage and had to say goodbye to my first child. It was devastated. I was meant to become a mother, and then my child was lost and I had nothing. It was by far the worst experience of my life.

Flash forward to now. I've been a mother for a week and a half, but it doesn't feel like it. I gave birth to my beautiful twin girls, yet they're still in the hospital. They don't feel like they're mine because I'm not the one taking care of them all the time. I'm not there with them every hour of every day. I don't get to hold them in the way I want to or play with them the way I want to. My babies are swaddled little burritos that I get to cradle in my arms for a few hours a day.

And it's one of the hardest things, to set my girls back down in their cribs, and say goodbye.

When I started my maternity leave early I was resting and preparing for my daughters to arrive. And now I'm still on maternity leave, but with no child to take care of. I go to sleep late, sleep in late, do nothing while I let my body heal from my c-section, and I visit my children. But it's not enough. I feel useless, lazy, and bored.

Today I could not bring myself to get ready. I lay on the couch watching Netflix for hours putting off getting ready to go see my girls. Not because I don't want to see them, but because I know I'll only have to say goodbye again.

I sobbed to Chris today because it's just too hard. I cannot keep saying goodbye to my little girls.

Visiting my girls brings me such joy. I love holding them, feeding them, seeing their beautiful eyes, and holding their tiny hands. But it's not enough. And when I have to say goodbye again I feel so incredibly lost and broken, leaving a large chunk of my heart behind at the hospital.

Also today I picked up a new prescription of birth control pills. It's been three years since I've done any form of birth control. Three years I have tried to conceive and start a family. Three years is a long time to wait. And I'm still waiting. Because my girls aren't with me yet. I've waited so long, I've dreamt of this for years, I've wanted this my entire life, and I'm still waiting for the day that I get to take my daughters home and have them be entirely mine.

I don't like being a NICU mom. I just want my girls home with me. I love them too much to keep saying goodbye.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Birth Story | The Farnes Family

I suppose the story begins last Friday morning. I went in for a non-stress test appointment where they also discussed my mild preeclampsia. Shortly after that appointment, I got a phone call telling me I was officially on bedrest and basically had to lay around all day. I was also given a list of symptoms of my preeclampsia that if I experienced then I would have to go to labor and delivery.

Now, this was a real shock. Up until a few weeks prior, I had done really well with my pregnancy, I got around fairly easily, and while I was swollen like a balloon, I felt fine. I chose to start my maternity leave early on September 1st, simply so I could rest and try to keep my twins in until I would be induced on the 21st. I wanted to rest but didn't think my doctor would tell me to or that they might come earlier. I was certain they would wait until their induction date.

So I spent that day on my couch with Zoram and mentally prepared myself to deliver. Being told to go to the hospital for certain symptoms scared me. My hospital is 20 minutes from my apartment and can be annoying to get to. Not to mention that with both my baby girls breeched, I needed a cesarean and didn't want a random doctor giving me major surgery if I had to just rush in. I also didn't have my hospital bag ready and I still had things to purchase, like a second car seat.

I spent my day on the couch and slowly began feeling more and more contractions. When Chris got home from work we debated and discussed our options. We said a prayer and eventually decided to go to the hospital. I sat on my bed as Chris packed a bag for me and we left.

We spent a few hours at the hospital while they monitored my worsening contractions and my girl's heartbeats. They eventually decided that I would not be delivering that night, though I did have a UTI and was dehydrated. I was given an IV for fluids and two injections to relax my uterus and slow contractions. Finally, at 3am we went home and went straight to bed.

I spent my entire Saturday in bed, no longer feeling contractions and feeling more comfortable. Chris and I began to believe our girls would come later in the week so long as I kept on bedrest. I made plans to fix up my hospital bag and spent the day in peace.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling incredibly uncomfortable and sick. I ended up throwing up before I could even get any food in my stomach and couldn't even think about eating anything after. I showered and then laid in my bed watching YouTube.

Suddenly, I felt a gush of fluid that would not stop. I remained lying still on my bed as I continued to feel like I was peeing non-stop without any control. When it felt as if it had stopped, I rushed to my bathroom, sat on the toilet, and again began gushing more fluid.

Because I had twins, was 35 weeks along, had a scheduled c-section, and was no longer feeling any contractions, I never expected my water to break in this pregnancy. At all. Honestly, I was so surprised by it, that as I sat on the toilet I was on my phone Googling to be 100% sure that this was real. Eventually, I shouted out to Chris on the couch and told him what was happening.

Chris went into a very calm, controlled, rushed mode to grab everything we needed, get me ready with fluid still leaking from me, and get us out to the car and to the hospital. He held my hand the whole ride, didn't seem scared or nervous at all, and he was acting so excited. I, on the other hand, was still incredibly nauseated, my back was aching and cramping like crazy, and I felt incredibly weak and just tired.

In the hospital, they got me in a bed and there was no doubt that I was having my babies soon. They went into all the prep, my parents showed up, excited to get their first grandkids on grandparents day, my sister and her new hubby showed up, and all the while I laid in the hospital bed, just wanting to sleep and feeling more and more painful cramps.

Honestly, it was only a few hours later until I was wheeled into the operating room. The on-call doctor was one who was previously recommended to me when I had to originally switch doctors for my insurance. I got to meet her and was comfortable with her performing my c-section.

I was given the typical anesthesia, which I hated due to my major fear and distaste for needles. They laid me down as I started to grow numb, my arms were strapped down (still don't know why), a curtain was set up to block my view of what was happening, and Chris sat beside me, holding my hand and doing his best to comfort me.

I felt tugging and pulling in my abdomen, but was numb enough to feel no pain. It was a strange feeling though. It felt like no time at all before our first little girl entered the world, followed only a minute later by her sister. My Zoey and Makell were born.

Chris left with the girls while I was sewn up. Fun fact, apparently when they are tugging at your uterus, your shoulder hurts. It was some of the most intense pain of my life and I really struggled to remain calm. Weird that in getting a c-section my worst pain would be in my right shoulder.

I was wheeled back into a room where my family was waiting. I honestly don't remember what else happened that day because I was in and out of sleep.

I didn't get to see my girls that day. And that night I was throwing up and hyperventilating. I was dealing with too much of my own issues to go see my girls. Chris was with them often though, taking our family members into the NICU to visit them.

The next day I had nurses in and out of my room looking over me and eventually, I was feeling well enough that Chris put me in a wheelchair and took me to the NICU to visit our girls.

Today my girls are one week old and still in the NICU. I have since left the hospital and absolutely hate being away from them, but am so grateful for the nurses at the NICU and everything they are doing for my girls.

My daughters are doing considerably well. Makell is on oxygen as she tends to struggle with breathing, especially after eating. For a while, Zoey was under ultralight therapy for jaundice. But she has gotten better and is now off the lights. Both girls are being fed through a tube. We often try to give them a bottle, but they don't take much on their own. They are preemies and haven't fully developed their rooting and sucking skills, but we're easing them into it.

They both have an issue with throwing up their food though, particularly Makell. Because I'm not really producing much breast milk, they are having formula. The regular formula seemed to upset, they moved over to soy, and now Makell is on another formula. They are worried they have a lactose issue so they are no longer even giving them the little milk I produce unless I go completely dairy free (which is something Chris and I are considering and discussing).

Zoey and Makell will be released from the NICU once they can learn to eat and show signs of consistent weight gain. We're predicting about a week, but you never know. I do have little warrior babies and we believe they can get home soon, but it's very hard to wait.

I visit my girls every day, though not nearly as much as when I was in the hospital or as much as I would like. I love my daughters so much. They are absolutely perfect, they make me cry all the time because of how precious, petite, and perfect they are. I just want to hold them all the time and it kills me that I can't.

I am grateful for the NICU for easing me into parenthood and teaching me how best to care for them. The nurses there are so kind and amazing. They love our girls and take such good care of them.

It's amazing to see Chris as a father. He's still getting used to it, still may have a bit more of a connection to our dog right now, but he honestly loves these girls so much and takes care of them (and me) the best he can. Honestly, as I lay in my hospital bed, unable to visit them, I knew I could count on Chris to be visiting them often and checking up on them.

Happy one week to my beautiful girls!




Makell and her mommy

Makell and mom and dad

Zoey under the light therapy

How Zoey really feels about light therapy

Yawning Makell

Zoey and her cute hat 

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