Thursday, May 31, 2012

2 Weeks Old

Today was yet another wonderful day at CHOC with precious Piper and Phoebe.  Both girls took three feedings in a row from their bottle.  This has never ever happened before!!!  Most of the time the girls will take half or a little over half of their feedings from their bottle and then need to have their feeding finished off in their tubes.  I attribute this ENORMOUS growth to the amazing nurse today.  She has been a NICU nurse for over 30 years and it showed.  The nurse was not only great with the girls but she was a wonderful teacher, giving me lots and lots of baby great tips.

In addition to feeding growth Piper celebrated another milestone today...she is in a big girl crib!!!  This move means that Piper is able to maintain her own body temperature.  Maintaining body temperature is one of the criteria that Piper and Phoebe have to reach in order to come home.  Phoebe is still a bit smaller & needs to stay in her isolate just a little bit longer.

          Piper loves her new crib          Piper the super hero      

Big mommy was my follow up appointment with my doctor and he said that I am healing great from my C Section and that I can drive now!!!  I never thought I would be so excited to be told I could drive again.  I have really missed being able to take myself places.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Three Valencia Girls

I feel like I have said this before but today was an AMAZING day at CHOC.  Not only did Phoebe and Piper have a very, very sweet nurse today but she assisted me in breast feeding both babies.  Both girls did an amazing job.  It was such a wonderful bonding experience.

Just when I thought things could not get better the nurse had me hold both girls skin on skin AT THE SAME TIME!!!!  I loved seeing the girls next to one another.  I could really see how different their skin tones were.  Piper is for sure tan like her daddy and Phoebe is lighter like me.  Piper was dead asleep when the nurse handed her to me but Phoebe was awake and very curious about her sister.  She was making smiling type faces at Piper.  My mom and I were cracking up at Phoebe.  At one point they were even holding hands.  The three of us girls got to spend over an hour cuddling together!!  It was truly a magical experience.  I was so glad that my mom was there to capture the moment.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gaining Weight

Today when James and I were visiting Phoebe and Piper we happened to ask what their current weight was.  Now weight is not a factor in the girls coming home, but even so we want to see steady weight gain and growth (obviously). :-)  I was shocked when the nurse said that Piper was almost 4 pounds and Phoebe was nearly 3 pounds 13 ounces.  This was music to our ears.  It means that the around the clock pumping I am doing is paying off.  Even though it is an exhausting challenge there is nothing I wouldn't do for our little angels.

I was also surprised to see that the night nurse finally dressed the girls in some clothes that we brought from home.  The outfits they have on in the pictures are from my sweet friend Erin.  Thank you Erin, the girls look adorable!  The ruffles on the booty are too cute.  I can hardly wait until the preemie clothes are too small and no longer fit.

(Phoebe is on the left and Piper is on the right)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

More Pictures...

Ok, so I have totally turned into a CRAZY picture taking mom.  I seriously can't help myself.  Everything they do is just so cute! :-)

On Friday, my dad aka G-Dad, got to see the Piper and Phoebe for the very first time.  I loved watching him look at the babies.  I could tell he was in love with them in an instant!

Here are a few more pictures from Friday as well.  Beginning with the babies is so calming and relaxing that James fell asleep.  SO cute, I had to take a picture of two of my "babies"! ;-)

Today (Saturday) was amazing!!  My mom and I went to the hospital to see Piper and Phoebe.  When I got there I met our nurse for today.  She was INCREDIBLE and a lactation specialist too.  It was my lucky day.  She suggested that I try to breast feed for the very first time.  Both girls were super tired for their morning feedings so we were nervous that they would not be awake enough to feed.  To our surprise both girls were wide awake, hungry and ready to go.  With the help of the nurse I was able to feed both babies.  Phoebe went first and did a great job.  Piper was second and she was a ROCK STAR!  It was such a wonderful experience for all of us. 

Piper is on the left, waiting patiently for her food.  She figured her fingers would be the next best thing. Phoebe is on the right and worn out after her very first breast feeding session.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Week Old!

Today was another great day for little Piper and Phoebe Valencia.  When I got to their room I found them both sleeping away in their cozy isolates.  Since I was not prepared for them to be wearing clothes last night the hospital provided them with some super cute little outfits.  I LOVED the monkey's on Phoebe's outfit!  My nickname growing up was monkey so it was perfect.

The doctor stopped by and told me that he upped both of the girls feedings in order to give them more calories each day.  Phoebe and Piper have been labeled as "grower and feeders".  Which means that they are both doing great, health wise, they just need time to grow more and learn how to feed better.

James got to the hospital just in time today to feed Phoebe and learn how to burp her.  Daddy was a great student and he did a super job.  I am so lucky to have such a great husband!  In addition to feeding and burping James changed his very first poopy diaper.  Yes you read that correctly.  He jumped right in and got to work.  Pretty impressive, huh?  This is only the beginning of feeding and diapering.  James and I are going to be doing that a TON once the babies are home!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Milestones...

Today I walked into Phoebe and Piper's room to a wonderful surprise.  Both girls have been taken off all their IV fluids....WAHOO!  This is a HUGE step for them.  When I saw our wonderful nurse she told me another piece of good news, as of tonight at 6:00 pm the girls will no longer need to be under the jaundice lights.  I think both milestones are showing just how much progress Piper and Phoebe are making.  I am one proud mommy!!  Since they are both girls are off their IV's and they no longer need their jaundice lights James and I get to bring clothes to the hospital to dress them in.  Here a few pictures of premie clothes that the girls will wear.

After feeding Phoebe her bottle today and holding her for awhile, the nurse brought Piper over to see her sister.  It was so cute to see Piper listening and looking over at her sister Phoebe.  I then got to hold both of the girls together.  What a tremendous blessing!  I wish I would have gotten a picture of this milestone but Piper spit up (just missing Phoebe by less than an inch) and we had to take care of her.

Overall, today was an amazing day!  I can hardly wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

6 days old

Piper and Phoebe are doing great!  Each time I see them I fall more deeply in love.  Both Piper and Phoebe do have feeding tubes inserted down their little noses into their tummies.  The nurses do try to bottle feed them each time and the feeding tubes are there just in case.  Currently the girls are drinking my milk for each feeding out of a little bottle.  They rarely need to use their feeding tubes.
I got to have skin on skin time with each baby today which was WONDERFUL!  Below is a picture of Piper and I getting good mommy and me time.
A few days after being born both Piper and Phoebe developed a little bit of jaundice (which is 100% normal).  They are currently on light therapy.  Both girls look so warm and relaxed under the bright lights.  It totally looks like a tanning bed. :-)
Our nurse today was wonderful!  She educated me on so many different things.  She told me that the doctor was hoping that both girls would be off all of their IV fluids by Thursday and off the jaundice lights then too.  If that happens then we will be able to bring in clothes for the girls to wear.  That will help them get one step closer to moving into an open crib and once they are sleeping in an open crib they are that much closer to going home.  Even though it is hard not having the girls home I know they are in great hands at CHOC.  I want them to spend the necessary time there so they will be super healthy and strong before they come home.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

AMAZING babies...

Recovering from my C Section has been a challenge but I am doing really well.  The nurses here are amazing and the pain medication has really helped.  Yesterday I did 5 laps around my floor, today my goal is to do 22.  I am honestly working so hard at getting better so I can keep up with Piper and Phoebe.
On Saturday, May 19th, Piper and Phoebe took a bottle for the very first time.  James and I were able to be present for their second feeding and it was awesome.  We were able to cheer each girl on as they devoured the "liquid gold" (as the nurses call it) from the teeny tiny little bottle.  Before Phoebe's feeding I was able to take her temperature and change her diaper.  I never thought I would be SO excited to change a diaper in my life.  It was incredible!    

James and I don't know when Piper and Phoebe will come home.  However, we are certain that they are in good hands with the amazing CHOC nurses and staff and that all of the prayers that we have received are working to keep these girls strong and progressing well each day.  They are both truly miracles from God and we are so grateful for them and all of your prayers.

Welcome Piper Rose and Phoebe June

On Thursday, May 17th James and I welcomed our precious twin girls, Piper Rose and Phoebe June into the world.  I was scheduled to have a C Section at 11:30am.  After a short delay I was wheeled into the operating room, excited and ready to meet my girls.  Everything went great!  When my doctor pulled out baby A (Piper) she immediately began to scream and cry.  It was one of the best sounds I have ever heard.    It was music to my ears!  She sounded just like a little baby ducky.  James and I could no longer hold back the tears, they just flowed down both of our faces.  Then a few minutes later the doctor pulled out baby B (Phoebe) and she began to scream and cry just like her sister.  We now heard little ducky cries in stereo sound.
James was super brave the whole time.  He walked over to our brand new baby girls and cut both of the umbilical cords.  I was so very proud of him!  He then went up to the NICU with Piper and Phoebe while I got stitched up.

After spending some time in recovery I too got to make a visit up to the NICU to see Piper and Phoebe.  I was amazed to see that both girls were breathing all on their own!  I was honestly expecting the worst and was so pleased and thankful when that did not happen.  I even got to hold Phoebe skin on skin.  What an amazing experience!!  I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.
My visit in the NICU was extremely short but very sweet.  From the NICU I was wheeled down to the room that I would heal and recover in.  I was shocked at how amazing and beautiful my room was.  There was a nice place for James to sleep, a flat screen TV, two sinks and a HUGE shower!  I was in heaven.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Big Day!

James and I are thrilled to announce that we get to meet our baby girls, Phoebe and Piper this Thursday, May 17th.  My doctors decided that since I will be 34 weeks on Thursday it is a good time to deliver.  The reason we are not waiting longer is to limit the amount of stress on the babies and risk for infection.  Our babies will be making their big debut via scheduled C Section at 11:30am unless the babies have something different in mind (they are girls so you never know).
This past week has been challenging but I would not change a thing.  The outpouring of love, support and prayers James and I have received has gotten us through.  God is wonderful and has been holding us tightly through this all as well.
We will (or I should say James will) be posting pictures as soon as we can of the babies.  Most likely Phoebe and Piper will be spending several weeks in the NICU here at CHOC Mission Viejo.  We have complete faith that God has put us here for a reason and that the staff here will take excellent care of our babies.
Two more days!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Unexpected Turn of Events...

Tuesday, May 8th- Today I started experience very intense lower abdomen pain that kept me up all night. Being the good patient that I am I called my doctor's office first thing in the morning and they told me to come in ASAP.  After spending some time doing a non-stress test I was sent home and told to take it easy.  I did just that but was still having pain off and on.  That night things took a dramatic change.  I went to bed or at least I tried to.  I slept for probably about 30 minutes until I was awaken by pain that was very different and intense.  I jumped up and started pacing my room.  I could not figure out what was going on.  I tried stretching and bending in many different ways (yes I am crazy and was desperate for relief) and nothing worked.  I finally laid down when something strange happened.  My water started to break.  YIKES, I was seriously not ready for this.  I was 32 weeks pregnant and had planned on having at least 4 more weeks to prepare.  I called down to James and he rushed up stairs to my aid.  He was so cute running around the house trying to help me get in the car and get to the hospital in one piece.  When I got out of the car at the ER my water really decided to break.  It was very embarrassing and funny at the same time.  I was put in a wheel chair and brought up to labor and delivery in an instant.  Once in my room I was assessed by an awesome nurse and immediately put on IV medications to stop my labor.  After being assessed I was shocked to find out I was fully effaced and 2 centimeters dilated.  Thankfully my body started to respond to the meds right away and my labor stopped.  My first night in the hospital was crazy but I am happy to say that since then each day/night has gotten easier.

Wednesday, May 9th to the present- I am currently on hospital bed rest and have the one goal of keeping these precious babies "baking" for as long as possible. So far as good!!   My doctor's are very positive and are happy with the way that I have responded to all the meds.  My nurses have been great here at Mission and I am grateful for each hour the babies are still inside me.  James, my mom, my dad and my sister Hillarie have gone above and beyond to take care of me.  I am one lucky patient!  Also, I have received an outpouring of love and support from my amazing friends and church family.  All of the prayers, emails and texts have brought me to tears many times.  I don't think I will ever be able to express to everyone how much they mean to me.

Celebrations- I got to celebrate my very first Mother's Day here at the hospital.  My sweet parents bought me beautiful earrings and other wonderful treats and James spoiled me with a card and beautiful necklace.  Then today, May 14th, James and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  James and I are beyond blessed and have SO many things to celebrate!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

32 Weeks and LOTS of changes

This week has been the most eventful week in my pregnancy thus far.  I got word from my doctor that Friday, May 4th was to be my last day of work.  In my mind that was fine.  State testing would be done and I would have time to say good-bye, pack some more things and meet with my wonderful long term sub.  Funny how my plans got changed so very fast.
During my appointment on Monday they did an umbilical cord blood flow read and my doctor was a little concerned with the number his tech got.  He wanted to be sure so he made an appointment for me with Dr. Posner (a specialist) just to be on the safe side.  Being the good patient that I am I went to my appointment with Dr. Posner.  Long story short, while at his office they found that I was having some minor contractions but that the umbilical cord flow was fine and the babies heart rates were fine too.  My OBGYN is very careful about everything so he sent me over to Labor and Delivery at Mission to be monitored until they got the test results back to see if I had the "labor" protein.
My experience at Mission was wonderful.  Everyone was so great to James and I.  I think it was a good practice run for the real thing.  I spent about 2 hours at the hospital being monitored for contractions.  After a shot, some rest and great news that I was not going into labor I was sent home on bed rest.  That meant no more work for the rest of the year.  That was not what I had planned but thank goodness for an amazing principal, teaching team and other school staff that worked everything out for me.  My long term sub took over faster then she had planned and I am confident that my students are being well taken care of.
I had another appointment with my OBGYN this week and he told me that Phoebe and Piper are at the correct gestational age, they are just a bit small.  He wants me to rest in order to help the babies put on weight and also to be sure that their placenta's are functioning properly.  I am now going to the doctor twice a week for checks.  I love that my doctor is very careful and will be watching my girls so closely.  I am confident that everything will be fine and that the girls are going to continue to grow and thrive.

Dr. Posner took this picture Phoebe and Piper, as he put it "butting heads"!  Oh no it has already started.  He also had a hard time getting some of his reading because these girls are extremely feisty.  They are constantly moving and kicking.  I honestly love it and will miss it one day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

31 Weeks

WOW, it has been way too long since I last updated the blog.  James and I have been very, very busy.  We have taken a couple of baby classes at Mission Hospital.  I have LOVED them all.  The teacher who has taught most of the classes is hilarious.  I think the whole process of child birth is SO amazing.  I am sure I will be feeling different once I am in the middle of all the pain.  The classes have just confirmed that James and I made the right choice to deliver at Mission.

In addition to classes Phoebe, Piper and me have been showered with love and super fun baby stuff.  I feel so loved and blessed to have such amazing family, friends and church family.

The nursery is still not done...YIKES!  James (aka my Hero) stepped up in awesome daddy fashion and has set up a day to paint the nursery and move a ton of our things to storage.  I am very excited for this huge step to be done.  Then I can move forward and organize.  I know most women go through a "nesting" period but I have heard that with twins the "nesting" goes right out the window because the pregnant mommies are too tired.

I sent my sweet sister Natalie a recent photo of my belly and this is the response I got..."Holy Cow!  It looks like you are smuggling a red handball in your stomach."  I laughed so hard, but she is seriously right.  I love the belly but my back does not.  I have learned all to well what Sciatica is.  The pain only stops when I am sitting down.  If I had an office job that would be great, but being a 2nd grade teacher makes things very interesting.
Here is a picture of all the "expecting" momma's from Rancho Capistrano.  (I personally know we are missing some so this picture is not complete).