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the story of lincoln and vivian’s arrival. part IV.

Part I
Part II
Part III

On June 19th, 2012, 10 days after checking into the hospital, I woke early after a long night of contractions, interruptions from the nurses and treatments to stop my labor.  I was in pain.  My doctor came in to do his routine morning check and I welcomed him, eagerly anticipating some kind of answers.  I’m still not really sure what I wanted him to say, but whatever it was – he didn’t say it.  “Well, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing” he responded casually as he patted me and turned to go.  I knew he couldn’t give me answers because there were no definitive questions even, but it was still hard to see him come and go with no new news.

Soon after, around 8am when the nurse came in for her morning rounds, I told her that I was having contraction pains.  She checked the computer to see what the contraction monitor was picking up, but didn’t see much action going on.  This made me feel like maybe my pains weren’t really contractions.

As soon as she left my room, the husband came over and sat with me, letting me squeeze his hand through the pain and trying to soothe me. I recalled something I had heard once about submitting to the pain, and so I tried to embrace it.  Feeling the wave come over me…slowly tightening over my midsection. Within minutes I was hurting badly enough that he insisted I call the nurse back in.  After trying to convey to her again that I was really hurting pretty badly, she said she was going to call the doctor and see what he wanted her to do.  Around 9:30 am, after what felt like hours but was really only minutes, she came back saying that he wanted to have my cervix checked to see if I had progressed at all.  I vividly remember looking her in the eye and telling her that I thought I might die if she checked my cervix.  I was already in so much pain I honestly couldn’t imagine adding another check.  But there was no option.  She brought in another nurse and after checking me she declared that my cervix was basically gone and all she could feel was the baby.  I started to freak out..I think it was just the overwhelming emotion of thinking our babies were about to be here, the fear of whether they would be okay or not.  It was just so much, and it felt strangely unexpected.  Fortunately…and unfortunately the nurse quickly explained that she wanted to have someone check me again to make sure…so in came nurse #2 who the husband and I often refer to as Cookie but whose real name was actually Pepper.  Pepper didn’t hold anything back, and the pain was almost unbearable.  But she also came up with a much different result…I was still only dilated to a 5 and hadn’t actually changed much since 10 days before.

But after delivering this new piece of information to my doctor, he announced that he wanted to schedule a c-section for 11 a.m.  After much agonizing over the last couple of months, I had finally accepted that despite my desire for a natural birth, a c-section was most likely in my future.  Both of my babies were breech and with the new factor of being premature, a natural delivery just wasn’t in the cards if I wanted my babies to be safe and healthy.

Upon the nurses leaving the room to go get the anesthesiologist to give me an epidural, the husband and I were alone.  And full of both joy and fear.  He rushed to the head of my bed, grabbed my hand and with tears in our eyes he began to pray.  I don’t even remember exactly what he said, but I know our hearts were both asking God for protection and safety for our babies.

He prayed for maybe a minute or two, and the moment he said amen, I felt something burst and water gushed all over me. Shocked, I looked at my husband and exclaimed “my water just broke!” In a panic, he raced out of the room into the hall, shouting “my wife’s water just broke!”

I’ve honestly never seen nurses move so fast.  Suddenly everyone was in overdrive. The nurse wanted to check me one more time to make sure my water really did break…which at the time seemed completely silly.  What else might it have been?? Of course it was my water! As several others rushed in around me and began unhooking my monitors and cords, I shouted random orders at the husband. “Get the paper for the footprints!” “Don’t forget the camera!”  “Make sure the battery is charged!”  He was completely freaked out.  And suddenly time froze.  And I said to him “honey, I need you to be sane right now.”  And he was.  He was so good.

After confirming that my water did indeed break (shocker!) they began wheeling me out the door and down the hall.  Around a corner, through another door and into the operating room.  I was alone now.  They had to get me prepped before Jon could come in.  I was still in so much pain, and when they asked me to roll over onto my side and curl into a ball so they could stick the needle in my back, I truly didn’t know if I could do it.  With lots of help from the nurses, the anesthesiologist began poking around in my back asking me where I was feeling pain from the needle.  On the left side. On the right. In the middle.  What did this guy want to hear?? I wondered.  Finally it was in, and I began to go numb.  Jon was at my side now.  Dr. K came in.  I felt tugging in my stomach.  Jon and I squeezed each other’s hands.

Crying.  The absolute most unreal moment of my life.  My baby boy’s first cries.  I could only catch a glimpse of him, craning my neck to the side as they took him past me to the incubator.  And then another cry.  A different cry.  My baby girl.  Both of them born in the same minute.  10:06 a.m.  My heart exploded with joy.

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My babies were crying, and I’d never felt so much all consuming happiness.  Through the blur of my tears and swollen eyes I strained to see them.  I ached to touch them.  They were only feet away from me, but I couldn’t get to them.  I was seeing them and feeling them through Jon’s eyes and hands.  I was on my back, still being stiched up, and their incubators were behind me.  I twisted my neck as much as I could, desperate for a glimpse of them, as I tried to breathe.  And then suddenly, there was Linc.  Wrapped in a blue striped blanket, Jon held him close to my face, and I touched him.  I felt his face with my fingertips, and I tried to hug him to me as close as I could.  He was finally here, and he was safe.

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And then sweet Viv.  She was lowered down to me in the same way, and I traced her tiny face with my eyes and hands, trying to memorize her delicate features before she was taken away to the NICU.

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Lincoln was absolutely perfect. Vivian was beyond extravagant.  If he seemed small, then she seemed microscopic.  But they were both crying and pink and so beautiful and healthy.  The most surreal moments of my life were when I laid my eyes on them.  And then they were gone.

It was ten minutes from the time my water broke to the moment they were born.  And then within another half hour I was back in my bedrest room.  Quite literally alone.  I felt my belly to see if they were really gone.  Everything had happened so fast.  Finally my mom came in, and then the lactation consultant.  Something about how to pump was said, and as I tried to take in those details all I could think about was getting to my babies.  While the doctor said I could see them in a few hours if I felt up to it, I died a little at the thought of waiting that long.  Thank goodness for kind nurses, who offered to wheel my hospital bed through the NICU so that I could see them before I was taken to my new room.

While every detail of their birth is etched into my mind, the first moments I spent with them in the NICU are kind of fuzzy.  I remember reaching through the porthole to feel their tiny bodies and let their fingers wrap tightly around my mine.  And I remember the weight of my baby girl’s perfect little body as she was laid in my arms.  Her fuzzy hair against my lips as I kissed her sweet head.

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touching Linc

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holding Vivian for the 1st time

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   Back in my room the hours seemed endless as we waited for the numbness to subside from my body.  Again my doctor said if I felt up to it I could be wheeled down to see them, and I honestly thought he was crazy.  Literally nothing could have kept me from being with them the first moment possible.  Nothing.

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 And so began life with our miracle babies, Linc and Viv.  I’ve never felt so thankful and blessed.  They are tough little babies, and though our journey through the NICU was the hardest 17 days of my entire life, they were so strong and inspired me so much.

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to be continued…

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over the weekend…

This weekend was pretty low key.  We spent a lot of time around the house trying to avoid the flu…and so far it seems to have worked.

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Staying around the house does have its perks though.  We managed to clean out our closet, which was way overdue and decorate our dining room wall.  We have a very simplistic style, and I have a huge aversion to too much “stuff.”  If something seems cluttered in the least it drives me crazy, and I’m more likely to have a completely blank wall than one with lots of different things adorning it.  That combined with the fact that I tend to be indecisive means that we have a lot of bare walls in our house.  The following quote totally resonates with me -

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.  ~William Morris

But it is nice and homey to have some pictures of the twins and things we love around the house.  Gotta find a happy medium:)

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 Anyway, so literally that was the weekend.  Wouldn’t have sounded exciting to my 20 year old self…but it was really quite nice.

I’m trying to finish up the last part of my birth story now that the twins are 6 months old.  For some reason it’s hard for me to sit down and get started on those types of posts, but once I do it all comes pouring out. You can read part I, part II and part III if you haven’t already, and hopefully part IV will be up tomorrow!

 How was your weekend?

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little things i’m loving this week

Bring on the coffee this morning!  Last night was a bit rough for Jon, myself and the little guy.  Sissy slept right through Bubba’s yelling – amazing how she can do that.  Yesterday the twins had their 6 month check-up, which of course came with their 6 month shots.  They are on a slightly delayed shot schedule, so they only got one, but it was still rough.  Both babies were fussy and didn’t nap well the rest of yesterday, so I was a little nervous about how last night was going to go.  First Linc didn’t want to go down at bedtime, which never happens.  Then he woke up at 12:30 and again at 3 and just cried and cried.  We ended up giving him Tylenol, which I always use as a last resort, and after I rocked and cuddled him for awhile, he went back to sleep.  Poor little guy.

So we shall all push through today, and make it the best we can.  The zoo with friends is on the agenda, and I’m debating about whether we should go or not.  But for now….it’s time for this week’s edition of all the little things that helped make this week great.

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The Lumineers Album.  I’m sure you’ve all heard their song “Ho Hey,” and maybe I’m late to the party and everyone has already been rocking out to the album.  But if not – almost every single song is amazing.  I love their vibe and it’s just perfect for having on at the house when the twins and I are just hanging out playing all day.

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I found this yogurt a couple of months ago, and I’ve literally eaten it almost every day we’ve been home since then.  My favorites are blueberry, peach and strawberry rhubarb.  I boil water in the tea kettle, pour it over 1/2 cup dry oats until the oats are completely covered, let it sit for about ten minutes until all the water is soaked up, and then add in 1/2 container of yogurt.  The result is smooth and creamy with little bits of sweet fruit throughout.  And let’s be honest, the packaging is beautiful.  But the best part is the company that makes it.  According to their website, it was created in Noosa, Australia, but is “hand-crafted daily, at a family-owned dairy farm of happy cows in Colorado, USA.”  The ingredients are simple and contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives.  Check out their website if you get a chance – really great people with a great story.   Oh, yeah, and you don’t have to make an extra trip to the health food store to snag a container.  It’s available at Target!  Okay, I’m done now:)

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One night this week, we were happily leaving Whole Foods after a delicious dinner when an employee approached us and thrust a beautiful bouquet of tightly closed tulips into my hand.  She mumbled something about closing, flashed a sweet smile and then disappeared back into the store.  All week they’ve brought brightness to our living room, and I’ve loved watching them open up a little more each day.

What was the best part of your week?

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the most wonderful time of the year. part II

Christmas has been more fun this year than it has in a long time.  It has gone by way way too fast…but there were so many times where I stopped and tried to seal the moment in my mind forever because it was so special and sweet. Having Viv and Linc in our lives has made everything just a touch sweeter, but when I held each of them in my arms on Christmas morning….seeing them look at gifts, lights, glittery decorations with wide eyes…it was just the best.  More than anything I used the day of our Savior’s birth to focus on everything we have to be thankful for – Jesus himself, and our sweet precious babies he has given us.

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It’s crazy how Christmas is no longer just Christmas Eve and Christmas morning – we’ve had Christmas in Duncan, Christmas in south Texas, and this week we’ll have Christmas in Harrah.  I have to admit, despite how worn out I am from traveling and whatnot, I’m pretty stoked that we get to draw it all out for so long.

Linc and Viv experienced their first flight on Sunday as we headed down for Christmas with Jon’s extended family in south Texas, and they did so great.  I think the pressure during landing bothered Linc a little bit, and I ended up having to feed him right as we landed, but otherwise everything went perfectly. After being picked up at the airport, we went straight to Grandma McCoy’s house.  Jon’s aunts, uncles and cousins were there, all waiting on pins and needles to meet our sweet babies.  My heart soared seeing them surrounded by so much love.

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We stayed with Jon’s Grammy and Aunt Karen that night, and the babies slept like angels.  In the morning the babies opened gifts from Grammy, Aunt Karen, and Jon’s Aunt Bev.  Lincoln just kind of sat back and took everything in, while Vivi really got after the gifts.  She loved tearing the paper, and then attacking the gift and trying to eat it.  It was precious how excited she was!

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The rest of the day brought with it warm, humid weather, and a trip back over to Grandma McCoy’s for more time hanging out.  I worked really hard to keep the babies on their normal routine as much as possible, and it really paid off.  They napped fairly well, and therefore were happy babies when they were awake! Later Christmas Eve night, the adults did our gift exchange and had the traditional Christmas Eve seafood dinner.  And as usual we ended the night with games around the table – a favorite McCoy family tradition.

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Christmas morning, we felt so much joy hearing our babies start “talking” in their bed and getting to pull them over into our bed and cuddle for a little while.  By far our favorite part of the day these days.  After feeding them and getting everybody ready we headed over to Jon’s Aunt Brenda and Uncle Ronny’s.  The McCoy family traditionally gathers there on Christmas morning to start the day off with hugs, lots of hanging out and pancakes.  The family has grown to be rather large over the years, and there is an element of comfort that comes with the chaos of Christmas morning.  After pancakes (which the twins slept through), everybody piled into the living room to open gifts.  This time Linc gave Viv a run for her money and did a little paper ripping of his own:)

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We spent the rest of the day just hanging out – passing the babies around, eating tons of food and even taking a little nap in the afternoon.  What a great first Christmas for the Lincoln and Vivian.  They won’t remember it, but they’ll be able to see in the pictures and videos how much love they were surrounded by.

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the first thanksgiving

Thanksgiving had a double special meaning for us this year as it was the 1 year anniversary of the week we found out we were having a baby!  That’s right a baby.  We didn’t see our elusive little baby b on the first ultrasound.  On the night before Thanksgiving we announced to my mom that we were pregnant and the next day we told the rest of my family by giving my grandparent’s a new Christmas ornament.

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Later that week we shared the news with Jon’s side of the family.  A perfect weekend for sure.

And 2 weeks later we discovered tiny baby #2.

This was our year to go to my family’s Thanksgiving celebration, so on Wednesday night we packed up the car and headed to my mom’s.  This wasn’t technically the twin’s first time to go to Grandma’s house, but it was the first time that they stayed for very long.  Bright and early Thursday morning we were up cooking, loving on the babies and getting everything ready to go over to my grandparent’s house.

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For as far back as I can remember, we’ve gone to my grandpa and grandma’s for Thanksgiving Day.  While the food is amazing, it’s really not about the food (well, okay, it’s a little about the food).  I’m just so thankful that I still get to go to my Grandparent’s house every year.  Just being in their home is so special to me.  I was smitten at getting to take the twin’s this year, and I hope we’ll go for many years to come.

Later in the week we stopped by my Aunt Terri’s to see my dad and his family.  We don’t see them very often, so it was great to introduce the twins to everyone and of course great to see my dad.  So much to be thankful for.

 

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