Pretty Eveel Adventures

Pretty Eveel Adventures: February 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

stretchmarks forever!

When i went to my Obgyn to get my stitches removed, Dr Tham overheard me complain to the nurse about how bad my stretchmarks were.

He then said quite plainly, "They're not going to go away. Overstretched skin like yours won't heal like other women's. You'd have to go for laser treatment to remove the stretchmarks."

I responded with a "WHAT?"

So yeah, apparently carrying the twins caused my skin to overstretch and unlike other mommies who carry 1 baby, my stretchmarks are forever.

If i do decide to do the laser treatment thingee, which my doc said will cost about $7K at this point in time, then i'll have to make sure I do it, only after I've decided to sew my womb up, close shop and decide firmly not to contribute to our country's birthrate anymore.

Ah well....I have many more things to stress about aside from the stretchmarks, doesn't really bother me now that I have to live with them for much longer. It's like a proud war wound I can look at to remind me of the 'battle' I went through.

Sigh...only regret is that I won't be able to prance around in a 2 piece. =(

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Breast vs Cup vs Bottle

I know. Breast is best!

So when it was clear that my milk supply was slow in arrival and definitely insufficient for the 2 demanding babies, I had no choice but to give in to formula. But i made it very clear to the hospital, cup feeding only, please! I had heard enough about nipple confusion from breastfeeding nazis to know that it was cupfeeding and NO bottle!

That worked all well and good while the nurses were cupfeeding Upin and Ipin. And even though I was given lessons in cupfeeding, I later realised that it is an art that takes time, practice, patience and above all alertness. Cupfeeding is almost impossible when you're continuously feeding 2 babies in a sleep deprived mode. I found that I was pouring more milk down my twin's shirts than into their cute lil mouths!

Cupfeeding lil Upin at a decent hour was manageable most of the time.

Regardless of the challenges, i was determined to continue, even if it meant snapping at my hubby at wee hours of the morning, being short with the twins when they weren't 'cooperating' and feeling increasingly exasperated at my inability to satisfy the appetites of my lil babies.

But when a follow up trip to the pediatrician revealed that the twins were losing weight rather than gaining weight, I had to listen to my husband who softly said, 'We have to think about what is best for the boys, not what is ideal for ourselves'. I also had to listen to the pediatrician AND my obgyn who hinted that if cupfeeding wasn't working, I should think about the bottle.

I caved the next day, when I split a whole cupfull of milk all over lil Ipin's front. I took the bottle out, filled it with formula and gave it to him.

lil Ipin being bottle fed my grandma
I felt guilty for awhile. And fearful that they'll reject my boobie after enjoying the fast flowing milk supply from a bottle. But thankfully, they still want my boobie. Yaay! And now, feeding times are much quicker, I am less stressed out at night and enjoying the mommy experience so much more.

So there.

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first few days- survival mode

On hindsight, it was quite a blessing that lil' Ipin didn't come home at the same time as his brother Upin. It meant that hubby and I had some time to get used to having 1 baby around at home, and the routine of night-time feeds before having to tackle 2 demanding lil babies.

Now, I had grand plans to tandem breastfeed the 2 of them, i.e. feed them at the same time. But, as usual, I forgot to consider the curve balls life throws at you. Not only did Ipin come back later than Upin, being smaller he didn't suckle as well, and had challenges latching on.  Tandem feeding was almost impossible because I had to spend extra time fussing over Ipin. So, I had to flush down the toilet bowl my wonderful idea of saving time by tandem feeding.

It didn't help either that my breastmilk is taking forever to make its grand appearance. Definitely insufficient supply for 2 babies. So i've had to supplement with formula. This means that feeds take doubly long.

Hence, the programme, considering that cup-feeding each twin took an hour was as such:

1st hour: Feed 1 Twin
2nd hour: Feed the other Twin
3rd hour: Sterilise stuff, express breastmilk if nec, take a short 20 min/half hour nap.

Then REPEAT CYCLE, all day AND night long.

Lil Upin enjoying his sleep...if only mummy could sleep like that too!

All in all, I was lucky if i had 2-3 hours of sleep a day.

Yes, yes,  although I have no confinement nanny helping me, I am staying with my mom. BUT she doesn't help with nightfeeds. In fact, I try not to tap on her help for ANY feeds, trying to do it all by myself. I think its important for me to learn how to not depend on others to help with the twins. Of course, the hubby is excluded from the 'others' category!

Lil Ipin, not quite happy, that his nap was disturbed for a bath!

But i do depend on my mom to help me bathe the twins in the morning, and wipe them down in the evenings. I could do it myself, but I think having a extra long shower in the morning and in the evenings helps me cope better the rest of the day.

I'm not discounting how difficult it is to take care of 1 baby, but me tackling 2 babies got me thinking that 1 baby can't be all that bad! =P

Now, did I start feeling that I hadn't sent out an eviction notice to the twins quite so early. No no no! I was happier being sleep deprived because of the activity, rather than sleep deprived due to the inactivity of my labourious pregnancy. LOL.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Upin and Ipin back together again...

Friday, 12 February 2011

Upin and Ipin reunited!
Our family, at last, felt complete.


Lil Ipin

Wednesday, 09 February 2011

Lil Ipin
As soon as I arrived home from being discharged from the hospital, I had lunch and rushed back to the hospital to feed my babies who were still stuck in the nursery ward. I could only take them out to feed them, and not a minute longer as they needed to be back under photo-therapy. So precious moments were spent in the breast-feeding room near Ward 3.

Doctor Loh, the pediatrician, made it very clear to me that the issue he was worried about for Twin 2 was his falling birthweight. He was born at 2.29kg, which is a decent weight for a full-term baby but for a baby born at the end of 34 weeks gestation, he needed a little more observation. He did say he could ask the nurse to give Twin 2, Ipin, more formula per feed, but at such a young gestation and low birthweight, it was likely that his digestive system wasn't very well-developed and more formula would work against him rather than for him. Breastmilk or colostrum was best, and he encouraged me to express and come feed Ipin when I could.

So i did, camp myself at Thomson, ignoring my general fatigue, little discomfort from my c-section wound to nurse my baby back into my arms.

We were delighted to have Twin 1, Upin, return with us the very next day. But Ipin was held back for another 2 days. Every moment I spent with him in the breastfeeding room was precious! He was a fiesty little thing, and despite my breastmilk not coming in as quickly as I had hoped, the nurses still encouraged me to nurse him.

I also met many mothers in the breastfeeding room. One of them had a preemie baby at 32 weeks who was at NICU. She was also expressing for him, but couldn't feed him herself as he couldn't suckle yet. Instead she fed him by tube. It was the 2nd week for her, with no indication yet, when she could bring him home.

We both shared how painful it was to leave the hospital without our babies, and how we never expected our time in cofinement to be spent confined in the hospital.

I counted myself really lucky, that both Upin and Ipin made it as far as they did, with a decent birthweight to boot. And that Ipin, maybe had only a day or two more in nursery, before I could bring him home. And i pray really hard that the mommy i met will soon be able to bring her baby home with her.

without my babies...

Monday, 07 February 2011

I was surprised enough when on the day that I delivered my twin boys, my OBGYN Dr Tham said that I could be discharged the following day. Well, technically I could. I was already up and about 12hrs after the c-section. I had pee-ed and i had poo-ed. And i also had been walking up and down the hospital corridors to get some exercise.

BUT, because people told me to take the opportunity to rest in hospital, I decided to stay till Monday, a total of 2 nights in hospital.

But when Monday rolled along, I was horrified to be informed by the pediatrician taking care of my twins that he'd have to hold them back in hospital. The twins had jaundice. And Dr Low was worried about the weight of twin 2, which was falling and falling.

Yes, I know that newborns usually lose 7-10% of their bodyweight in the first week, BUT my babies were born at the end of their 34th week of gestation. Hence, there was a need to be extra careful.

I couldn't bear to leave my babies behind, and asked to stay one more night. Knowing full well, that they'd not be able to go home with me the next day either. That one extra night, knowing that I could see them at least for all their feeding times was soo important to me!

While I was deliberating on whether to stay an extra night or to be discharged, Dr Tham jokingly teased me, ' Your life is so aimless (w/out the twins) already?'

And he was right. It was totally aimless and pointless without my boys.

By the time the next day came along, I was mentally prepared to leave the hospital without either twins. Yet, as soon as I got into the car, and my hubby drove off, the tears kept rolling off my cheeks.

For the first time since we were married, WE felt incomplete.

The proud grandmas with the twins


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The day my life changed

04 February 2011

I caught the flu bug that was going around the house. Mum first got it, passed it to dad, passed it to sis, who passed it back to dad, to mum, and back to sis. It was inevitable, after avoiding the flu for 2 weeks, that I finally succumbed to it.

It was also the 2nd day of the Chinese New Year, the clinics were closed. So i took some panadol and spent the day in bed. I was just thankful that the rash on my stretchmarks seemed to have tapered off. The itch was bearable and I was able to rest well.

With the flu, I didn't think any differently about the backache that developed in the late afternoon. And with the long hours I was napping, I didn't think any differently about the mild cramp-type feeling I was experiencing. I thought it was merely the usual cramp type feeling i get for staying in one position too long.

But i had a naggy strange feeling about it by the evening. I thought, could it be? Could i be experiencing contractions?

It wasn't the first time the question crossed my mind. So i just did as I used to, go about my daily business, but conscious of the fact that if the aches and cramps intensified that I had something to worry about. But it didn't seem to intensify, it didn't come and go, it was just slight and persistent.

By 10pm, I was even more feverish, my body was aching and something was telling me that something was not quite right. Although, I was quite sure I wasn't in labour. I thought it could just be the Braxton Hicks contractions if anything.

After telling my husband that we should go to the hospital, and then changing my mind a couple of times, we finally left our home about about 11.30pm or so. We arrived at the hospital just about midnight.

05 February 2011

Lucky for us, we did. For i WAS in labour, though i didn't know it, and by the time the nurse checked me I was 3-4 cm dilated already. The funny thing was throughout the first half hour in the hospital, they kept asking me if I was having contractions, and I would pull a funny face and say, " I don't know". I really didn't. It wasn't painful or anything, just mild backpains and crampy feelings, that was all.

At one point, I even turned to the nurse and asked her ," So AM I in labour?"

She gave me an exasperated look and said,"Yes dear, and quite far along!"

So my OBGYN was called and the Operating Theatre (OT) was ready even before he arrived, so in a matter of minutes I was whisked into the OT, and at 1:13am I heard my firstborn (Upin) scream his lungs off, and shortly after at 1:14am my secondborn (Ipin) joined the chorus!

After getting to hold them for a few seconds, the pediatrician whisked them off for a thorough check-up and Mr Eveel went with the babies. While I was left in the good hands of my OBGYN who, without my knowledge, was battling another new battle for me.

I was bleeding profusely. My uterus was over-distended and what they call 'soft', and it wasn't contracting as it should have been. The long and the short of, what I recall in my hazy drugged up state, was that we were in the OT much longer than a routine C-section. I had to have a blood transfusion, up to 4 bags of blood, and a platelet transfusion. It was all quite dramatic I remember, as the blood platelets had to be sent from another hospital.

And the last words my doctor said to the nurse was ," I think she'll be ok. She should be ok. I'll go home and pray that tomorrow morning, she'll be ok!"

When I tell friends this, they gasp in horror, saying that it would have freaked them out. I on the other hand was quite calm, mostly because I was groggy from the epidural, nauseas from the medication that they injected to help my uterus contract, and vomiting into a bowl next to me. I also had 110% faith in my OBGYN and well, trusted him with my life. So it's quite important you find a doctor that you are totally comfortable with.

But I'm ok. And the twins are Great!

So welcome to the world Upin and Ipin!

Upin, born 1:13am on 05 Feb 2011

Ipin, born 1:14am on 05 Feb 2011