Twins: 6.5 Months

Since the twins came home from the hospital they have been sleeping together in a travel crib.  Last week, Colt kept crying out at night. I’d pop up to check on them and both babies would be sound asleep with placid looks on their faces.  I figured baby CoCo was having bad dreams UNTIL I happened to see Bonnie roll-over, whack him in the face, and roll back!

Bonnie has become increasingly mobile and often thrashes around while she is falling asleep (she has a signature move.  The one where you are laying on your back and whip your legs under you to pop up to standing.)  Poor Colt often receives a beating from his sister without being able to roll away or even put his hands up to shield his face!! So we bought a second-hand crib and while it’s bittersweet to have them apart, they seem to be sleeping much more peacefully.

Bonnie has developed a few tricks.  If we say “KISS!” she’ll press a big, open guppie mouth against your face.  (The smell of her face and mouth and kiss is so sweet and her little mouth so soft.)

Tongue/Lip Ties

Off and on since birth I have worried that Bonnie has a lip tie.  Her latch, while correct, is SO DIFFERENT from Colt’s.  It’s like she has a beak and chomps instead of sucking.

While he latch is stronger than Colt’s, it’s much less effective.  She rarely drains the milk on her side, like Colt does easily.

In the early months, every time we nursed she would throw her head back and wail.  She seemed to get frustrated after a 15 seconds. She has never been a long nurser.  It was Bonnie’s norm.

But I’ve kept experimenting with her, and around 5 months or so I discovered some tricks to compensate for her latch/sucking and those occasional successes are LIKE GOLD!  She never stops wiggling when she’s awake so it was shocking to see her after a full feed—she was completely relaxed despite being wide awake; she was laying on the bed, not stirring, with a contented grin on her face.

It doesn’t always work (and it’s a lot of extra work that comes at the cost of my other baby wailing for me the entire 30-40 minutes) but it’s an improvement!

I’ve asked at a couple of medical centers but they either didn’t know what it was or didn’t know how to help me.  Breastfeeding is not very common in Korea.  The older generation seems to think it is unhealthy and unsanitary.  But there is a HUGE movement in Seoul to encourage breastfeeding and many more mamas are.  Part of that movement includes government mandated “Baby Rooms” (also called “Suckle Rooms.”)  I have been spoiled by the beautiful, comfortable “Baby Rooms” found in subway stations, parks, malls, etc.  And because nursing isn’t common, I have the rooms all to myself!

As I’ve continued to research tongue-ties I discovered that clipping the tongue tie is (or was?) illegal in Korea.  Parents believed it would help their children speak English more without an accent and so they would rush out to get their babies/preschoolers tongues clipped without any medical necessity.

 

Bonnie and Colt continue to be as different as the sun and the sea.  Nursing is a social event for Colt and he likes my undivided attention.  If one of the big kids comes into the room to ask a question, he will stop nursing, lay back and patiently wait for them to leave before resuming.  Even if I pull out my cell phone, he will stop nursing and wait for me to finish before continuing.

He is a social man and will occasionally detach, tell and animated story and the moment the last syllable is out, he’ll go right back to nursing.  It’s like he just needed to get that tidbit of information off his chest.

Well most of the Colt stories are about food. I was in church after sacrament and I was chatting in the overflow with Colt on my lap.  He was grinning at the friend and mid-conversation decided he was hungry and dive-bombed my shirt with great accuracy.

When Colt is laying down and crying, all of his tears run into his ears, forming little pools.

Advertisements

34+ weeks: Training to be a Sumo Wrestler

Pretty much.  I eat, sleep, and then eat some more.  I’m doing my best to pack on the pounds.  😉

The week has been a doozy in terms of doctor’s appointments:

Monday, October 14th

This was my regular, every 3 weeks appointment.  The plan was an ultrasound and then consultation with the doctor.

I look forward to ultrasounds like Christmas.  Ultrasounds allow me to know the babies are alive and healthy, see their faces and learn more about them (size, etc.) However, I have a really hard time lying flat on my back!  I get dizzy, nauseated, breathless, and sweaty.  I turn on my side repeatedly but the ultrasound tech will constantly motion for me to turn back.  By the time I get up, I’m seeing dark spots and have to hold on to the wall to make it out of the room…and I’m dripping in sweat.  Luckily, this one was quick.  Baby girl is head-down, engaged and will be born first.  Baby boy is breach.  Baby girl is estimated to be 2.3 kg (5lbs 1oz) and baby boy is estimated to be 2.6 kg (5lbs 11oz).

Baby boy’s profile is the top image. Looks like he has quite the pucker.
The next two images are part of baby girl’s face.

The reason I mention being “supine-challenged” is about ten minutes after the ultrasound, the nurse took my blood pressure and it was 157/90.  (Too high.)  The nurse said, “uh-oh, if we can’t get it down…then we’re going to have to tell the doctor.”  (This made me laugh, It felt like warning a child that naughty behavior would be reported to their parent.)

The nurse had me sit down, drink water, and breathe deeply and re-test later but it was still high.  My OB/GYN ordered a urine sample which showed protein so pre-eclampsia was mentioned.  Then he referred me to a cardiologist.  The cardiologist sent me home with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that took readings every 20 minutes.

This is the ambulatory blood pressure monitor. I wasn’t allowed to remove it, even while sleeping.

Tuesday, October 15th

I  went back at the hospital to have my blood pressure monitor removed.  Most of my readings were fine but 5 or 6 were concerning.  The cardiologist did an echo-cardiogram (ultrasound) of my heart.  I have a large pericardial effusion. The pericardium is a sac around your heart and mine is filling with fluid.  This can occur during pregnancy but the volume of mine is abnormal.  It’s squishing my heart and not allowing it function properly.  (This was actually very validating because it explained why I get out-of-breath while doing things as minimal as walking to the kitchen.)   The cardiologist gave me medication, re-recommended bed rest and minimal exertion, and sent me straight to the ER for IV medication.  D came to visit us and brought us my favorite treat:  Orange Dream from Jamba Juice.

My constant companion waiting patiently in the ER.

Thursday, October 16th

Follow-up with the cardiologist.  I felt calm, good…great! I was sure my blood pressure would reflect my serenity with a reading like… 90/50.  The nurse took my blood pressure and it was 158/115.  C’mon!!!  Seriously?!! However, my edema had improved and the doctor thought my heart sounded better.  Anytime my blood pressure is above 140/90 I’m supposed to take a drug called Norvasc and lay on my left side for 2 hours.  If it doesn’t improve then I go to the ER.

Friday, October 17th

Follow-up with my OB/GYN.  Again, my blood pressure was too high (155/86).  I gave another urine sample (tmi) and this time there was no protein so pre-eclampsia was ruled out.  And since hypertension can be managed with medication, there will be no emergency c-section.  Instead, a scheduled c-section will take place between 37 weeks and 38 weeks.

The doctor said during the c-section I will need general anesthesia (as opposed to regional anesthesia where you are numb only from the waist down, but are awake and hear the babies’ first cries and see them seconds old.)   He is concerned that the stress of the c-section is risky with my blood pressure/heart issues and can be better managed with general anesthesia.  I understand.  Then he said “since it’s general anesthesia your husband won’t be in the operating room.”  (Background:  In Korea, husbands are not present for c-section births.  However, a main reason why we chose this hospital is that they make an exception for foreigners and allow husbands in the Operating Room.)

I begged the doctor and said it was SO IMPORTANT to us that D can be present. (We have a myriad of reasons.  Not only does D really want to be there; but I will go from pregnant to empty and will remember nothing.  I need my husband to tell me the story and be the witness their birth as my proxy.)  My sweet, cute doctor said, “Maybe your husband can come in once you are under but he would need to leave at the same time the babies do.”  Deal!!!  Big smile on my face.   (Note: Although D leaves at the same time, he will not be able to watch them in the nursery.  In Korea, husbands are not allowed in the baby nursery.  It’s considered improper.)

Saturday, October 18th

D and the kids got flu shots.  I am SO PROUD of Kimchi and Tofu that they willingly got shots to protect their baby brother and sister.