Friday, May 16, 2014

Double Trouble: The 3rd Trimester (February 25'14 - May 2'14)

Although I've been working at Markham Stouffville Hospital for almost 17-years, I started off the 3rd Trimester with a tour of the "new" Maternal Child Department.  It was 4-months away from completion/opening when Lorelai was born.  What a state-of-the-art expansion!  Although I am forced to birth in the Maternal/Child Operating Room, due to having twins, I'm confident that I will be receiving the best care with the latest and greatest technology!

Early March, there was lots of tests:  Glucose Tolerance Test (I passed), blood-work, RHOGAM shot, and still attending ultrasounds and prenatal check-ups every 2-weeks.  On March 13th, Fetus-A was weighing 2 pounds, 13 ounces and Fetus-B was weighing 3-pounds (both babies Breech).  On this day, I also reached eligibility for maternity leave...phew!!!

By mid-March, I had 3 cribs and 3 mattresses...all with a little help from my friends (and even some strangers).  By mid-March, Mike had had his 2nd and 3rd "boy" dreams!  Intuition?  Wishful thinking? 

On March 22nd, the twin nursery was ready and we began transitioning Lorelai to her big-girl bed in her new big-girl room! 

On March 25th, I was 31-weeks pregnant.  Fetus-A was weighing in at 3 pounds, 14 ounces and Fetus-B was weighing in at 3 pounds, 12 ounces (both Breech).  I started taking an iron supplement. 

On March 26th, my maternity leave replacement, Leanne, started training with me.  Leanne will fit in nicely, and my only hope is to hang around long enough to provide her with proper training! 

On March 28th, my co-workers surprised me with a baby-shower-luncheon, which was nice to share with Ashleigh (also expecting in May).  If you recall, Ashleigh covered my first maternity leave.  I guess she sat in my chair too long...LOL.  It was a long day...and long night (I also hosted Book Club), which probably relates to my first case of swollen ankles/calves. 

On March 30th, Mike, Lorelai and I met my Doula, Jesse, for the first time.  I wasn't going to go with a Doula this time around, because Christin (my Doula with Lorelai), was on maternity leave.  However, a co-worker approached me...  Her best friend's daughter needed 3 expectant Moms to follow to complete her Doula certification (at no cost to the Moms).  I jumped at the chance to get back into the positive head-space I was in when pregnant with Lorelai.  Jesse is very personable and knowledgeable.  I immediately felt comfortable with her, and was glad to have her support.  I hope she gains from our experience together, and I know she'll make a great Doula upon completion of her certification!

On April 2nd, I was experiencing some "incontinence" throughout the day.  This continued on April 3rd, so I decided to get checked out at Labour & Delivery to be sure it wasn't a slow amniotic fluid leak.  I was assessed and happy to hear it was just urine!  A bed-side ultrasound showed that Fetus-B turned into the head down position (which might have been a reason for the extra pressure on my bladder).  I was also swabbed for Group B Streptococcus (GBS). 

On April 6th, the Boucheres celebrated Easter early.  I had a feeling that I might not make it to Easter and didn't want the added stress of hosting, cleaning, cooking, etc., being so close to my due date.  It worked out great!  Although I didn't do much of the work, I was pooped after a full day and a full belly! 

On April 8th, I had my ultrasound and OB check-up (which will now be weekly going forward).  Fetus-A (Frank Breech) weighed in at 4 lbs., 6oz. and Fetus-B (back to Breech-oblique) weighed in at 4 lbs., 4 oz.  Mom, babes, growth and fluid all looking great.  I'm GBS positive, which means antibiotics for me at delivery.  My OB informed me that if Fetus-A remains Breech, we're looking at a C-Section in about 3.5 weeks time.  Now, how do I get that baby to flip?  Did someone just say 3.5 weeks????

On April 13th, I had my first "boy" dream.  

On April 14th, I had my 2nd prenatal visit with my Doula, Jesse.  

On April 15th, I started my weekly ultrasound and OB check-up.  Fetus-A and Fetus-B both scored 8 out of 8, but still remain Breech.  

On April 17th, as per Doctor's orders, I finished my last day of work.  

On April 18th, I went to L&D to be assessed.  I was again feeling a constant urge to pee and I was experiencing a pinching sensation every so often in my cervix.  It didn't last...each one was only a split second, but each one stopped me in my tracks.  Better safe than sorry...  In the end, all was well.  I guess the weight and pressure of twins in my uterus was causing what I was feeling.  It's amazing the relief I felt once hearing the good news...

On April 23rd, I got a call.  I did have a UTI, which was the reason for my frequent urge to pee last week.  I started a course of antibiotics...

On April 24th, I had my ultrasound and OB check-up.  Fetus-A, Breech, weighed in at 5 and a half pounds.  Fetus-B, head down (oblique) weighed in at 5 pounds.  Mom, babes, growth and fluid perfect!

On April 28th, I had my Non-Stress Test in L&D.  The twins tested "awesome" and were very active.  The Nurse predicted boys.
My next routine ultrasound and OB check-up was on Thursday May 1st, and I was in for a shock.  Mom, babes, growth and fluid were still all measuring perfect.  My OB originally thought to book a section for May 7th, which would mean me coming in every 2 days for ultrasounds and NSTs, as things can quickly change with MoDi pregnancies around the 37th week.  I was either to be "overly" monitored, or deliver the twins.  She checked to see if the 3rd or 4th were available, but the OR was booked.  The secretary found an opening...the next day...Friday May 1st.  My OB said, "Let's have these babies tomorrow".  I couldn't believe it.  I called Mike.  Mike called his work.  I went for pre-op blood-work.  Then, I went home...the last time as a family of 3!  

Mike and I cleaned and prepped for the big day!  Bags officially packed!  Peter and Daniela arrived that evening, and my parents were expected in the morning. 

It's midnight's birthing day, and of course, I cannot sleep.  Here I sit, updating my blog, expected to arrive at L&D for 5:00 a.m.  I'm gonna snuggle with Mike and Lorelai for about 4-hours before our next adventure begins...

And, here it is...  Take a long, LAST look at Simone being pregnant (36 weeks, 3 days).  This book will officially close tomorrow morning.  I have had 2 amazing pregnancies and will always have my blog to remind me of just how amazing!!

We arrived about 5:20 a.m.  I met my Doula, Jessie, and Mike went to Tim Horton's for a quick breakfast before meeting us up on 4WF (L&D).  I thought I would have a long wait before my 7:00 a.m. C-Section, but I was taken in right away for prepping (vitals, IV fluids, etc.).  I can't believe I'm posting this awful pic...

I was in the operating room just before 7:00 a.m.  I was terrified about the spinal (and the whole process, really), but Dr. Hussein (Anesthesiologist) was amazing!!  He wanted me to ask him all my questions, which I did, and his honest answers really helped my fears subside.  The spinal was in, and it was not as horrible as I expected.  Right after, Mike and Jessie were allowed in the operating room and were by my side.  Dr. Christyne Peters and Dr. George Arnold were my surgeons and at 7:00 a.m., the incision was made...

At 7:14 a.m., we welcomed Gia Marie Reali into the world.  She weighed in at 6 pounds, 1 oz.  Perfection!

At 7:15 a.m., we welcomed Remi Marie Reali into the world.  She weighed in at 5 pounds.  Perfection!

We were healthy!  We were happy!  I missed Lorelai...

I was in Recovery for most of the day.  My room was ready, but the floor was busy and a nurse had not yet been assigned to my care.  I arrived in my room mid-afternoon.  I finally got to see Lorelai.  She was not at all impressed by her new sisters, but at this point, was still happy to see her Mama!  It was so hard being away from her for the very first time.  With the help of my nurse, I was up that evening for the first time.  My Mom spent the first night in hospital with me, as I wanted Mike to be home with Lorelai.  From then on, it was my mission to keep up and moving...

On Saturday, my IV and catheter were removed.  I continued moving and walking.  Family and friends visited throughout the day.  Lorelai visited again, and this time, she was not too impressed with either her new sisters or her Mama.  I was hoping the new arrival would not affect her, but she was definitely faced with a tough was written all over her face.  

On Sunday, our hope was to go home.  Gia had lost over 9% of her body weight, so she had to gain wait the same day before we could be discharged.  We had to supplement both girls until my milk came in.  We did, and it worked...both girls gained!  The twins had to have a car seat test (90-minutes each), which they passed with flying colours!  

Mid-evening on May 4th, we were discharged news ever!!  A new adventure about to begin for our family of 5!!!!!  

PS - 8-days after birth, Lorelai warmed up to her Mama and new sisters.  

We would like to thank "everyone" for their love and support throughout both our pregnancies.  We are surrounded by family and friends, that without, would make our adventures impossible.  From the Realis to all of you, thank you and we love you!  

Although I have my hands full, I hope to continue blogging...stay tuned!  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Double Trouble: The 2nd Trimester (November 19 - February 24'14)

The 2nd trimester didn't start off without worry!  I woke up bleeding the night of November 20th.  With sweet Lorelai fast asleep in her crib, I headed to the ER all by myself.  I was scared.  I knew this wasn't good, but at the same time, I still sensed my babies were there.  The Emergency staff at Markham Stouffville Hospital were quick and efficient!  The ER Doctor that saw me immediately told me that this type of bleeding was not uncommon in this stage of pregnancy.  She also told me that in the worst case scenario, nature is at work and I was not at fault for any of its mysterious ways.  She managed to calm me with her words...  After a quick exam, some blood work and a Rhogam shot, I was scheduled for an ultrasound the next morning.  I headed back home and snuggled up tight beside my 2 loves.  The morning of the 21st, I headed in for my ultrasound.  Again, the technician in Diagnostic Imaging at Markham Stouffville Hospital was wonderful.  As soon as she put the wand on my belly, she immediately let me hear 2 strong heartbeats within!  I was able to relax and let her finish the job.  In the end, reports were sent to my Family Doctor and my OB, and there was never any reason found for the bleeding.

On November 25th, my baby girl turned 1 and I was fully able to celebrate her milestone birthday with family and friends over the weekend! 

On December 2nd, my maternity leave was officially over and I returned to work!  As was the case with every transition in Lorelai's short life, this one was just as easy!  It was easy for me too knowng that Lorelai would now be with her Daddy during the day.  She was getting the best of both worlds and  Mike and I were grateful.

Between December 10th and February 11th, ultrasounds and OB check-ups were every 3-weeks.  The bleeding never returned. 

Early December,  we received a free crib (needing still 1 more to make 3).  I also got my first full pay cheque since returning to the office.  Now, that was refreshing!  On the 18th, I had my first gender dream...boy/girl, which cannot be...hmmmm!  With Lorelai, we both dreamt "girl" on more than 1 occasion. 

Early January, our anatomy scan revealed two healthy Fetuses and all their perfect parts!  The anatomy scan is when gender can be determined, but we're hold-outs for the big surprise on the big day!

Late January, I  pre-registered with Markham Stouffville Hospital for delivery, and saw my belly move for the very first time. 

On February 4th, Fetuses A&B reached viability!

Mid-February, 2 more dreams.  Mike dreamt boys and I dreamt girls! 

On February 15th, my sister-in-law hosted a grilled-cheese, diapers and wipes shower in my honour.  It was such a great day, and I was blessed with the love and support of family and friends.

On February 20th, we had our infant car seats installed by Baby Car Seat Installers in Markham.  Our bus is ready!

As of February 25th, ultrasounds and OB check-ups were regularly scheduled for every 2-weeks.  Fetuses-Reali were growing right on track!

Thus far, its been a great twin pregnancy.  I'm feeling good...I'm feeling energetic.  My only real pregnancy symptoms have been very chapped/sore lips, some moderate heartburn, swollen gums and "frequent" trips to the ladies' room.  I'll take it!

Heading into the 3rd Trimester at 27-weeks!  Next blog you read from me will end with an introduction to my twin babes...  Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Double Trouble: The 1st Trimester (August 20-November 18, 2013)

I'm back!  Here we are, 1-year later...

We have spent the last year learning to be parents, and becoming a beautiful family!  We have enjoyed every second with our baby girl and are in awe of her everyday as she grows, experiences and learns!  She is something so special that no words could ever describe...

Somewhere between August 30th and September 3rd, the magic happened!  It was a busy week...LOL.  This time was different...I knew instantly, but I can't explain how?  Bam!  Pregnant!  But,  never did I fathom...

I do know that much has changed since last time and now.  Blogging monthly??  How does a new Mom do that?  I'm back at my computer blogging, but even finding time to blog "per trimester" is proving difficult.  Gotta start somewhere, so here goes:  Double Trouble:  The 1st Trimester (August 20-November 18, 2013).

Mid-September a pregnancy test confirmed my suspicions...I was pregnant.  So, we celebrated with dinner out.  We knew we wanted to complete our family...we wanted Lorelai to have a sibling close in age, and let's face it, I wasn't getting any younger...  I wanted 1, Mike wanted 3, and we compromised on 2.

The first to know (before even confirming my pregnancy with a blood test) was my November 2012 Birth Club, the Amorosis and my management team at work.  My November 2012 Birth Club is a group of amazing women/mothers across Ontario who all came together when we were expecting our November 2012 babies.  What a network of support, and such a valuable resource...not to mention the many friendships formed!  As a first-time Mom, I was so lucky to be a part of them (and continue to be to this day).  Mrs. Amorosi had her suspicions.  I was buying the maternity clothes she was selling even before I was pregnant...LOL.  We were having a "sangria" dinner party late September...she had to know, but I think she already did!  Early October, on the same day my pregnancy was confirmed by blood test,  I told my management team at work.  I was due back from maternity leave on November 25th, and it was only fair that they could plan accordingly.  It was hard.  On the one hand, I was so happy to be expecting, but I felt guilty going back to work pregnant.  I assured them that the next time I returned, I was never leaving again!!

Thanksgiving 2013, we announced our pregnancy to our families.  As we went around the table disclosing what we were thankful for, Lorelai revealed her shirt..

On November 5th, I was shocked to the my very core!  I was at my IPS ultrasound, and the technician asked me if I was ready for the good news.  I was confused and told her that I was already here for the good news.  She said, "it's double the good news".  I was floored...I was numb.  Mike, Lorelai and I were having twins...

I never even imagined this never even crossed my mind.  For the next 2-weeks, Mike and I were reeling.  It was a surreal feeling that I don't think either one of us could explain.  Was it for real? It felt other-worldly...

Then came the questions...  Could we do this?  Could we afford this?  Is our house big enough?

I will admit, I was a bit down at first.  I had this perfect little baby girl that was my whole world.  For her whole life, everything I had was hers to give.  How could I continue to love and give the same to her?  How could I love 2 more babies as much as I love my first?  How would I share myself with my husband...MY 3 KIDS, and still have time for myself?  It didn't take long for me to feel my heart open to Fetuses-Reali.  Love only gets bigger and stronger.  Love makes us better.  By adding more to my life, I was adding more to all of their lives too.  I felt my love overflow and I knew everything would be just fine!  I am blessed with abundance, and for this I am grateful.

Mid-November, a few more people needed to know (due to circumstance...usually involving alcohol) the Fiorindis, the Scagliones and even the Noseworthys!  I had my first OB appointment and this was REAL!

On November 18'13, we went public!

153 Likes, 171 Comments, Numerous E-mails & Texts, Phones ringing off the hook!

Never did I think I could shock the world again, but I did (and the world shocked me too)!

Hang on to your hats...Fetuses-Reali coming Spring 2014!