The Twins are Here… A Rissland Adventure!

4/2/2019 Hey Friends!

I am taking a short break from the blog this week as we are on Spring break.  I thought it would be fun to share some old blog posts from when I first started blogging back in 2009.   This is the post that started the blog.  When the boys were born it was one crazy night.  Several of you remember it (and lived it!)  but if you are just starting to know me and my crazy family, this is where it all started.  I couldn’t re-tell this story a million times because it is long so I thought why not blog about it?  You will laugh out loud and you might cry.  Enjoy reading and viewing the old photographs and I will have another gem of a post for you on Thursday.  

xxoo,

Fran

 

August 2009

Welcome everyone to the Rissland Blog.  I started this blog from the outpour of phone calls and emails from my wonderful family and friends when the twins were born.  Everyone wanted to know my story.  Since I couldn’t get back to everyone (and I so wish I could) I decided to blog about the adventure.  I am taking you back just a bit so you all can understand a little about why we tried for a 3rd child and where we are today.  FYI – You will see more photos as you scroll down.

March 2009

It was truly a shock on March 3rd when Karl and I found out we were having twins.  I will never forget that day.  That was our 6 week ultrasound and when the doctor said “uh oh there are two” we both said “holy shit!” at the same time.  We were in a stupor for about 48 hours.  But we got a grip, starting telling family and it got better once we wrapped our heads around it.  We wanted to try for a 3rd child for Riley  due to his diagnosis of Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (www.cdlsusa.org).  Having a child with special needs is a wonderful thing. He is certainly doing very well and  he has certainly taught Karl and me a lot. We realized we wanted him surrounded by family as he/we get older and there is nothing better than family.  Since we started late in life having kids and I am no spring chicken, we wanted to try while Reese (his younger sister) was young. Once we started telling friends we would get asked this question:  ‘So you have one of each, why would you try for another?’ This was not about us but about Riley. Friends understood after our answer and told us what were doing was a wonderful thing.  We have everything in place for Riley as he gets older but we felt that a large family would definitely be good for him too.  So we tried for a 3rd and were surprised with 3 and 4 🙂  Yes, we are truly blessed!

May, June, July 2009

When we found out about the multiple pregnancy I called a very dear friend of mine, Michelle, and told her as she has twin boys that are 3 years old.  I knew she could help me wrap my head around this. She said my emotions were pretty much what she went through too.  She mentioned this wonderful group of mothers called the North Fulton Mothers of Multiples Club (NFMOMC) that meets once a month, has various outings for the kids, a great message board and is a great support group.  I decided to give it a try and attended a meeting.  The women were wonderful and I felt very comfortable with everyone.  The following month I joined and have not been disappointed.  It’s nice to have friends that understand what you are going through and to bounce ideas off of.   They offer so many things to do with your kids, they do a lot with the community and are helpful once you have babies…  ie:  will make meals, check in on you, offer babysitting for your other siblings etc.  They also have a great consignment sale twice a year!

I had a pretty non-eventful pregnancy except for in May when the doc put me on exercise restriction due to a bleeding episode.  When he found out how many classes I was teaching and what they were he said NO more exercise… no teaching, no taking, no walking….   “Are you talking to me?” I said.  Yes, he said “no exercise or you will end up on bed rest possibly at a later date”.  I understood, though I already was modifying quite a bit…  2 babies and I shouldn’t chance it even though I taught a step class and Reese came out 13 hours later, but this was a different situation and if this was the worst of it by not exercising? I was ok with it.  So pretty non-eventful from that point. I was just happy that I could still have a fun summer with R&R by taking them swimming, the movies, puppet shows, camps, etc.  Toward the end of the summer the doc told me I would really be feeling a multiple pregnancy and he was right.  As summer activities started to die down and school was starting for Riley I was kind of glad to only have Reese to tend to during the day because I was really starting to feel large.

August 2009 – The Twins are here!

The events  of August 17 to August 18th were certainly funny (to keep it light) as well as scary.  Let me preface these events with a day or two prior to August 18th.  On Sunday, August 16th I was a little more tired than normal.  For those that know me pretty well know I can go all day and not miss a beat, but that Sunday I was totally wiped out.  I was supposed to go dinner with some friends from one of my step classes but I cancelled that afternoon due to being so wiped out.  That next day, Monday, I felt so much better and it was a typical ‘Monday’.  Riley was at school and Reese and I ran a few errands, nothing too strenuous as I was really pacing myself since I was getting bigger and didn’t want to chance anything. That evening was your typical ‘witching hour’ with the kids; dinner, bath etc.  Had them to bed by 7:45pm and I finally settled in around 10 pm.  I was tired but not wiped out like I had been.  No other warning signs at all!

Now for the events of that late evening/early morning

At 11:50 pm, August 17th my water broke waking me up from a sound sleep.  I immediately called the doctor and left a message that we were on the way.  Karl called Unc and our friend Joan to come over and stay with Riley and Reese.  After the phone call to the doctor I stood up to clean my self off and felt something ‘hanging’ below.  Why a foot came to mind I still don’t know but I had Karl take a peak.  He quickly took the phone from me and called 911.  While the paramedics were on their way the 911 dispatcher and Karl determined that what I thought was a ‘foot’  (I already knew they were breech which is why I thought foot) was the umbilical cord.  He handed me the phone because the dispatcher instructed me how to take a heart rate from the umbilical cord to see how the boys were doing.  She waited with me on the phone until the paramedics arrived.  Within 8 minutes the paramedics started quickly entering my master bath.  Not 1 but 6 gentlemen were in our master, taking heart rates, sticking me with an IV and then another putting his hand up my crotch to keep Baby B off the cord.  “Nice to meet you too” I said to the paramedic with his hand up my crotch but I knew he had to do what he had to do.  My doctor called back during these events and said there was no time to go to  Northside and to quickly go to Johns Creek Emory.  “Sorry, we cannot deliver you” she said, “but you will be in good hands” (no pun intended)  so let me finish the ‘hands’ story.

The paramedics took me down the stairs wrapped up in our bed sheet and a red tank top, nothing else.  I had no time to pack a bag.  Once I was carried down the stairs my friend Joan was there to watch Riley and Reese while Unc was on his way.  I told her to quickly get a camera this is Facebook material!  to which she laughed and told me I was out of my mind. Remember I tried to keep it light so no one would freak out. In all seriousness I asked her to please check on Riley and Reese after we left and make sure they were ok.  It’s funny how many things go through our mind when you are in certain situations.  Once they get me outside there is a fire truck, 2 ambulances and a police car.  Wow, I thought, why a fire truck and 2 ambulances?  All this attention?  I was put on the gurney and put into the ambulance and told to get on all fours.  Hmm… ok, all fours, no problem for me, having done enough Yoga I could handle this. Well the all fours position was to keep pressure off the cord for Baby A to get oxygen and yet another ‘hand’ was put up my crotch in order to help with this.  Since I was put on exercise restriction back in May due to having multiples it was very apparent to me that my strength has gone down hill as I was starting to shake. Had I been still exercising and lifting weights I would have been fine being in that position.  Note to self:  Get back in the gym pronto and work on that strength again!

As soon as we get to the hospital I am quickly flipped over and greeted by the L&D nurse and team who were waiting for me. As soon as she saw me her ‘hand’ went in to keep Baby A off that darn cord….  3 different hands in 20 minutes????  Anyways, I remained pretty calm and was told it was going to get pretty loud as the team was getting ready to get these little boys out.  And so it did get very loud….  The next thing I heard was that Karl could not be in the room, I started to panic and my happy, lets try to keep it light, attitude was gone and a mask was put over my face.  No time for an epidural.  They were giving me general anesthesia and I woke up about 2 hours later….  Where is my red tank top and bed sheet?  I really liked those bed sheets and that maternity red tank top.  They probably got tossed into the garbage.  I am sure they were thinking I did not want those items back.

Chance Karl (Baby A) was born at 1:08 am and Colin Andrew (Baby B) was born at 1:09 am. They were taken to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). When I woke up I was still not all there.  I saw Karl and then caught a glimpse of my brother Frankie holding my hand. I went numb as the pain started and I needed pain meds pronto!  My sister in law Erin was there too. I was so grateful to them for coming as Karl really needed someone there as he was not able to be in the room with me.  After recovery we were taken to our room and literally passed out.

Chance Karl

Colin Andrew

August 19 – 21st

I spent the next several days resting and healing.  Karl brought my laptop to keep me busy (I hate not being in the know) and I visited the boys a couple of times a day.  Every time I would walk down the hallway to the NICU someone would stop me and tell me “Oh, you were the patient with the prolapsed cord that caused all the commotion the other evening/morning”…  I was starting to get a complex!  Just call me PC for short I would reply 🙂  But these folks were so wonderful!  I cannot tell you how wonderful everyone was to me and my family.  If you ever end up at Emory Johns Creek Hospital you will be in great hands. Oh and may I add, the food is really good – especially the burgers!

August 22nd – Home from the Hospital

So this is my 3rd pregnancy (and last I might add) and my 2nd time coming home without a baby from the hospital.  Riley was in the NICU for 2 weeks due to being so small, 3lbs 11oz at birth and only 5 weeks early, but if we would have known then what we know now about his Cornelia de lange Syndrome diagnosis (www.cdlsusa.org) we would have understood why he was so small and had to be tube fed and learn how to eat on his own before he could come home.  Karl and I were devastated that he could not come home with us but looking back at that experience I had the time for my incision to heal and was ready for him to come home when I was feeling better.  But it was a long 2 weeks, especially when you leave your first born behind.   It was not strange to us not to bring Chance and Colin home since we have been there done that. We know they are in good hands and are well taken care of, I can heal, get my strength back, get a couple more things done…..  well ok, for those of you that know me, yes, the nursery is done, the clothes are washed and I am ready, but lets not tell anyone else, ok? and we will be ready once they do come home.

Karl and I know all about the NICU  – all the lights, noises, tubes, respirators, IV’s, PICC Lines, CPapp, Nasal Canula, NG tubes, blah, blah, blah but this is the best place these little peanuts can be at right now, besides my belly where I would really like them to still be, but they decided it was time to come out.  The nurses and doctors have been wonderful and have re-educated us again about all the ‘stuff’ in there.  I pulled out my preemie books that I had for Riley.  Reading those books is bringing back memories as well and is a good confirmation and explanation of everything that is being told to us.  The Neonatologists and Nurses and Emory Johns Creek have been super and are such a caring staff.  They tell you how it is and don’t beat around the bush or sugar coat anything.  We are told this is going to be a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs but that is what you can expect.  For 30 weekers, Chance and Colin are doing great.

August 22 – 25th

My folks are here to help out with R&R while I heal and Karl has gone back to work.  He took a couple of days off due to all the chaos 🙂  Karl gets 1 month paid infant care leave that he will take when the boys come home.  Since I am feeling better every day I am able to do more now so my parents will probably leave at some point next week.  They have been very helpful and I have been very appreciative!  We still visit the boys every day and are getting good reports!

August 26

I got to hold Chance today!  I thought for sure Colin would be first since he didn’t suffer like Chance did but Chance was the first.  It was such a wonderful feeling. Oh, and he is off that big honking respirator!!!!  Yea!  Colin was not able to be held. He was under the Bili Lights for jaundice and could not be disturbed.  Hang in there buddy, I will hold you as soon as they let me!

August 29th

Took R&R to a birthday party at American Adventures today. It was a blast and a nice change of pace.  The kids wore themselves out and enjoyed the kiddie rides.  When we got home I went to the NICU to see the boys.  Karl attended my brother Frankie’s bachelor party. He and Erin are getting married in Jamaica next week!  I am so happy for the two of them!  Congrats Guys!

August 30

I was able to finally hold Colin today!  He kept trying to hold his head up so he could see me – so sweet!  Both babies are above their birth weight!  Yea!  They have really increased their feeds and now I need to increase my milk supply. What that now means is I need to get up in the middle of the night to pump.  They did not want me to that the first week so I could get some rest but now I need too.   I will of course be getting up in the middle of the night when they come home so what is the difference?  At least my body will get used to it by the time they come home.  It’s not about me, but about them and I will do whatever it takes to get this supply in  since I am feeding/pumping for 2.  Pumping isn’t so bad and I know it’s the best thing for them right now.  Breastfeeding did not work well with R&R so I pumped for several weeks and then I was done. Lets hope this milk supply takes off.

August 31st

Karl was able to hold Chance for the first time and I held Colin again.  Karl is with Chance and I am with Colin.  While we were there the Neonatologist instructed the nurses to take out their nasal canulas which means they are now breathing on their own!  Chance’s face is red due to the tape being taken off from his nasal canula.  We will see how they do overnight. The Doc also said he thinks that the boys should be able to come home first week of October 🙂 We will keep our fingers crossed.

 

Yep, I am not crazy as this really did happen 10 years ago. Check in on Thursday for another old post.

XXOO,

Fran

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