Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Birth Story (and then some.. :) )

Let me start by thanking the Lord for a safe delivery of our two princesses, and of course to everyone who sent their well wishes through calls, text and Facebook. To those who liked their photo, we know who you are and we appreciate taking the time to click and say hi.

Now, meet the Tan twins, Naisha Bridget and Naevea Beatrice .. :)

We wanted to name the girls after saints, which is why we chose Beatrice and Bridget.  Bry chose the name Naevea which meant "alive" and I chose the name Naisha which meant "special"

Born a minute apart, weighing around 3.8 pounds. We know that they'll be tiny from the start. That's actually the reason why they were delivered early. The twins have been growing slowly for the past two weeks which cause the doctors to be concerned. Thank God they're okay. We would have wanted them to be delivered full term but as long as they're healthy and safe, we were prepared to welcome them early.

So the day of the twins will be delivered arrived, and I was as nervous as ever. I told Bry to arrive just a few minutes before the surgery so he didn't have to leave Ben behind very early in the morning. It was scary being taken to the operating room by myself even if this wasn't my first time. I was also worried that Bry would not arrive on time to see the girls being delivered. Thankfully, he arrived just as the doctors were about to start the surgery..

As the girls were being delivered, I felt very nervous.  I kept on praying that they'll be fine. I was relieved when I heard a baby's cry and then another one a minute after. I was also relieved that Bridget was able to latch properly. Bea tried, too. She was able to latch gently then the girls were brought to the NICU right away for monitoring.

During the next few hours. I stayed in the recovery room until I was stable enough to be transferred to the regular room. I wanted to talk to Bry and ask him how the girls were doing but I was told that he wasn't allowed inside. Thankfully, the two girls were brought to me for feeding in the recovery room. They had a blood pressure monitor attached to them and were in an incubator to make sure the temperature around them was stable. Not so bad, I thought.

The next few hours were a blur, I was tired and everything was happening fast with visitors and feedings. I was feeding the girls one after the other until several hours later when they were brought to me at the same time.. it was a challenge breastfeeding them at the same time with their tiny mouths and soft heads/neck. I was grateful there were nurses to help, and even more grateful that when I tried to express milk, there was actually colostrum coming out. This gave me hope, maybe I can actually feed the twins after all.

The first week was quite challenging. After the first day, I had to be the one to go the NICU for feedings. It was hard getting up from bed and walk with a c-section wound. It was tiring going for feedings round the clock. There was one time I felt asleep while feeding the girls at the NICU. Thankfully the nurses were able to (literally) catch me as I was able to fall while dozing off.

As we coordinated with our doctors, it became clear that the girls needed to stay behind until they gain some weight. It was really a challenge, they lost a lot of weight during their first 5 days. This is normal for newborns but the twins can't afford to lose a lot since they're very light to begin with. The doctors suggest we cup feed to monitor their intake, and so that the twins can be fed while I am not at the hospital. I knew where they were right but that meant I needed help since I was still building up my supply. Thankfully, there were kind hearted and generous moms who offered to share their liquid gold. We are forever grateful to them. You ladies know who you are. Thank you for helping us with our goal of giving the girls only breastmilk.

As I go back and forth the hospital's nursery to direct feed (while recovering from a c-section), I tried to tell myself that what I am doing will benefit the girls in the long run. (This is especially true for female babies.  Long term breastfeeding decreases their chances of having ovarian and breast cancer) The nurses would tell me that most parents would just leave milk for their babies who stay behind and not feed directly any more. I feel blessed that I have the support and means to go to the nursery twice a day for feedings. It was hard work, but I know feeding them directly would increase my chance of breastfeeding the girls successfully. It was also a challenge leaving Ben behind at home. There was one morning he woke up without me and Bry by his side. When our helper told him that Bry was at the office and I was at the hospital, Ben said "oh no, I am alone again". I felt very sad after hearing that, I prayed that the girls will be allowed to go home soon so all the kids are in one place. It was stressful worrying about Ben whenever I am at the hospital and worrying about the twins whenever I am with Ben

About a week after I left the hospital, I got my wish. The doctors were seeing a trend in the twins' weight gain and were cleared to go home. It has been a wild ride ever since. We're getting to know the girls better each day, and at the same time trying to help Ben see that he's now a big brother. We are a work in progress, often-times  Bry and I would be in "survival mode", taking things a day at a time. We're happy, harassed, lost, stressed, but we are finally COMPLETE :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

My wardrobe of nursing and breastfeeding clothes, loving Latch A Babe Maternity and Nursing Wear

When I was pregnant with Ben, I bought clothes that were for my pregnancy.  I thought of breastfeeding but I never thought of buying nursing clothes until I gave birth.  As I began to enjoy nursing Ben, my wardrobe evolved to mostly breastfeeding clothes, and because Bry and I were planning to give Ben a sibling, I made it a point that most of my clothes, particularly dresses, are for both maternity and nursing.  That way. I'll be using them for a long time.( take note that there are clothes for maternity only, nursing only and for both)

One of my favorite maternity and nursing wear is LAB's Cher Dress.  I got mine in choco (brown) and love the fabric and the print.  Here are some photos of me wearing it while pregnant and nursing.
preggy me at MTQ on Palm Sunday, Father is asking if I am ready for the twins, I quickly replied "no" haha

nursing Bridget

Full view of the dress :)

I'm so happy there are brands like LAB wears that make me look good even as a bloated preggie and a harassed new mommy.  To see their collection, you can check out their Facebook page here