This is going to be a very informative and positive post. Just a few days ago Greg and I didn’t have a clue when we were relocating to Philadelphia, when we would deliver the babies, how the delivery even went like, or what was to come before us. Our only jobs were to sit and wait, and for me to keep baking these babies.
Tuesday morning we made our trip to Philadelphia. We had all our clothes, baby clothes, everything packed to stay for four weeks. We were told we would come for our 30 week appointment and depending on how I was doing, they would tell us if we were staying or not. If we didn’t stay, we would be allowed back for two more weeks before really relocating. This was very hard for us. When you have a child already, leaving them is the worse and hardest thing possible. If we were going to be given two more weeks with him, we would take it in a heart beat. However we had two baby girls to worry about also.
Wednesday we had all our appointments. When we say appointments, we are scheduled to see a ton of people. First was the echo on the girls’ hearts. This is an hour long ultrasound where they look at the girls hearts. The echo turned out good. Both hearts were beating great and they had great blood flow. Second was our ultrasound. The girls were moving all over and it was hard to get good measurements. Not to mention, I am so large laying on my back is a challenge. After the tests we met with the OB. He was great and very pleased with the growth of the girls. He said they were doing great and we could go home for two more weeks. He said everything anatomy wise looks excellent. This is pure music to our ears. I felt my heart smile in that moment. Later we met with the midwife. She was sooo nice. She told us our scheduled csection date, March 1st. To our surprise, we were pushed back from 34 weeks to 35 weeks. This is great news because even though I would be that much bigger, so will they and that means the most. We also scheduled the date we would relocate to Philadelphia. We would be going February 13th. That is when the fun stuff really begins.
During our visit we also learned what delivery day would be like. We would be scheduled for the morning. Not sure the time yet but I am guessing early. We will go in and I will get prepped. Greg will be in the room with me. There will also be a huge huge team of doctors and nurses. Because there are two babies and they are conjoined, we will have two OBs doing the surgery. Once the girls are delivered they will go to a team who will stabilize them. Before they leave, I will get to see them quickly. Greg will be able to go and take pictures while they clean them off. I will be closed up and taken to my recovery room where my parents will be. Once the girls are stable, they will bring them by the room so we can see them again. It won’t be for long but at least we can see them. The girls will then go to the NICU and later we will be able to see them again.
We also learned about feedings. Because they are conjoined, the babies will not be able to feed by mouth at first. They will get IVs. However there is a procedure they would like us to do and its called oral care. This is where every time I pump, one of us can take our clean finger or a swab and take the milk and coat each girl’s mouth. This way the milk is absorbed into their cheeks. This is entirely new, cool, and exciting bonding experience for us.
Here we are though, very excited to see our little girls soon. Five more weeks of baking and they will be stronger and healthier. We are hoping March 1, 2012 will be our little girls’ birthdays!
I wanted to thank everyone that came out last night to show their support and those that couldn’t make it out but still donated. You all are amazing people who have a special place in our hearts. This is what a great community is all about, coming together to support those in need.
Years ago, I swore up and down I was going to leave this area. I said I didn’t want to stay around here. I think we all think that at some point. I met my husband and we were still not sure if we wanted to stay here or not. But as time went on, our minds changed and we fell in love with this area. Since finding out about the twins, our decision to stay here has been confirmed and you all just reminded us our decision was the right one with all the love and support we have received.
Seeing all of you that could come last night left me in tears when I got home. I hold it together in public because I hate hate hate crying. However when I got home, the emotions started flowing. The tears came because so many of you gave to help us out. Tears came because not only did you donate, but you were there to hug us and just let us know you are praying for us.
If I did not see you but you were there, I am so sorry. It was overwhelming with the amount of people. If you couldn’t make it, know that we appreciate your thoughts and donations. Thank you again!
I can’t forget about our son. I have not done a post yet about him. This is to Owen, our big man.
I will date back to September 2009, I found out I was pregnant. We were shocked and surprised, and so happy. My due date was June 1, 2010. We were so excited to have a baby. We knew our lives would change, but never knew how much. We also didn’t know we were about to discover a love we never knew was possible. January 2010, we found out we were having a baby boy. We knew from that moment his name would be Owen Wyatt. And boy does the name fit him well. We started buying and perparing for this baby. He was already loved by so many.
May 31 came around and I was 40 weeks pregnant. I went to my doctor’s appointment to find out I was 3 and half cm dilated but I had to go home and continue baking him. I cried when I left. I wanted to have him so bad. I was impatient, uncomfortable, and just ready to have my baby. I went to Jreck Subs that day to meet my brother and to our surprise, I couldn’t fit in the booth. I cried even more. I went home to soak in misery since I was still 40 weeks pregnant. The next two days crawled by. Finally that Wednesday I did my usual routine of going to the Farmers Market. If you didn’t know, my parents work at the State Office building in Watertown. I would go every Wednesday for the famous kettle corn and eat the largest bag they had as I waddled up and down the sidewalks. It was hot that day and I was crabby. I went home with my mom that night and went straight to bed without dinner. I woke up at 9 hungry and ate then back to bed. By 3:15 am I woke up to use the restroom, to only discover I was having contractions and stuck in the bathroom. I called for nearly 30 minutes to my parents to get them up so we could go to the hospital. Finally my yorkie Raidar woke up and therefore woke them up.
At 7:21 am on June 3, 2010, I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy Owen Wyatt. My first words was oh my he looks just like my husband! Owen was a true mini Greg. And to this day he still is. Owen was born and had low blood sugar so he spent four days in the NICU receiving sugar water to bring it back up. Owen was able to come home June 6. My parents and I brought home our little bundle of joy and daddy got to see him on skype. Thank you for technology.
Owen quickly picked up the name Big Man. He is too smart for his own good. He will “pound” fists with everyone he meets. He loves his Spongebob and his trucks. He is completely OCD and its sooo funny. He loves babies and he will be a great big brother to these girls. They are lucky to have him!
I stayed awake last night thinking about this and I think the title duty calls is appropriate for this post. Last night Knights of Columbus, St. Cecilia’s Church, put on a wonderful dinner benefit for us. They sold out within two hours. It was incredible. The turn out was outstanding and showed us how wonderful this community is. Throughout the night people would say how strong I was or brave I was. And last night as I laid in bed, I thought about it. You have do what you have to do when duty calls.
I have always lived by this since I married a military man. My husband served 5 years in the United States Army as Military Police. When we first got married he was just starting shift work. This meant he worked the three rotating shifts; day- 6am to 2pm, swings- 2pm to 10pm, and mids- 10pm to 6 am. Days off together were very far and few in between and when we got a moment we spent it together. I started school that fall and with his shift work, there was weeks we didn’t get to see each other. It was hard but we managed.
The hardest thing was when he got orders to Korea. I will never forget the moment I found out. I was three months pregnant with our son Owen and I was in Oswego for class. I drove at night after work to class two nights a week. It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and a friend called me as I was walking in. She asked if it was true he got orders because she knew I was pregnant and all. Greg didn’t tell me because he wanted to wait for me to get home. My dear friend felt terrible when she realized, I had no idea. I broke down in tears. I knew that going to Korea meant two options. Greg would either go alone and we would be apart a year or I went with him but I would be in a foreign country having a baby with no family around and be there for two years.
After many nights of tears and discussion, we decided it was best if I braved out the year here with my family and he would go to Korea and serve his one year there. It was a very hard decision but it made sense to us. I would be 28 weeks pregnant when he left so it would only be the most logical thing to do. We moved me into my parents house with our two dogs. My parents rearranged their house to accommodate me, our two dogs and our baby gear. March 8th came and he left for Korea. I took him to the airport and saw him off. That was my best friend who was leaving and part of my heart. It was one of the hardest things I will ever have to do.
During this time I had many people ask me, how do you do it? I ask, how do you not do it? Greg is my husband. I knew the life I was getting into the moment I fell in love with him and I knew that by being his wife, it meant I had to be strong and brave when he left. It was either Korea or being deployed several months later like his unit did. Sometimes you have to throw out the window what you think your limits of strength are and let God show you how far you can really go. It will amaze you how much you didn’t know. Also a friend of my mom’s gave me a cross when I got married. It said on it, “God, grant me the serenity, To accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This cross hangs wherever I am because it applies so much to military life. I can’t thank her enough for that cross because something as simple as that, has made a difference in my way of thinking in life.
Greg and I survived the year apart. I survived a lot on my own and I grew a lot. I learned to have more confidence in myself that I can do this all alone even if I didn’t want to. Duty called, and I had to be a “single mother” for the time being. During this time I gave birth to our son Owen Wyatt Tucker on June 3, 2010 with my parents and sister by my side and Greg over the phone and internet. I had to be by my son’s side while he was in the NICU for four days after birth due to low blood sugar. I had to figure out how to get a newborn and all my stuff to the doctors by myself. I had to learn a lot.
Greg returned when Owen as 9 months old. We moved to Georgia to be stationed at Fort Stewart. We knew we weren’t staying there and wouldn’t be there long. We were just finishing up Greg’s time in the military there. We moved back in November and back in with my parents who once again rearranged their home. This time they had a year and half old moving in, two dogs, and two adults.
Greg served his five years. During this time he served 15 months in Iraq and his year in Korea. I couldn’t be more proud of him then I am today. He served his time and he did it with pride. Greg was brave and when I would break down while he was gone, he would hold me up. He is by far my hero and always will be. He taught me a lot about being gone away from family. He taught me how to survive on my own and how to become a stronger person. He taught me what true love was, what trust was, what honesty was, and most of all he taught me what it was like to be loved. He taught me forgiveness, courage, loyalty, dedication, and how to just be a caring person. Greg is by far the greatest man I have ever met and makes me happier then I ever knew was possible. He continues to love and take care of his family and this makes me fall in love with him even more. He makes me proud and the rough nights of being alone without him waiting for him was well worth it.
So when duty calls, you have to step up and do what you have to do. Because of all the things Greg taught me, when we found out about the twins, we knew we had no choice but to be strong, to be brave, and to take this challenge on with open arms. We have no choice in our eyes, these are our children and we cannot give up on them. We have no idea what life will bring, but we are willing to do whatever we need to do to get through it, and we will do it together. Thank you for saying we are strong and we are brave. We have to be for our girls.
A little inside of my appointments. I go every two weeks to see a doctor. I go to Philadelphia every four weeks and then in between my appointments there, I go to a doctor in Syracuse. My appointments is made up of an hour long ultrasound and a visit with the doctor. The ones at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) are a little longer because they usually add-on other meetings with social workers, tours, and what nots.
During the hour-long ultrasound, each girl is measured. The tech measures the girls’ heads and bellies and legs to make sure they are growing normally and equally. Then I get my amniotic fluid measured as well as my cervix length.
I wanted to let my readers learn why they measure all of this. The size of the heads, bellies, and legs lets us know their estimated weight. This gives us an idea of how they are growing according to the charts also, as well as growing compared to each other. One neat fact about conjoined twins, they will never face twin to twin transfusion. The reason is unknown but conjoined babies grow constant to each other. This is great for us, it is one less thing we have to worry about.
The growth of the amniotic fluid is very very important. Polyhydramnios is the condition of having too much amniotic fluid surrounding the babies. Generally the level can be off with twins because of twin to twin transfusion or in our case, with conjoined twins. The level can cause preterm labor and sometimes stillbirths. This is why it is important I get checked every two weeks, and from here on out I will get checked once a week.
Today we had our 28 week appointment. Number one good news of the day, we made it to 28 weeks. This is a big milestone for moms carrying twins. And we hit this new milestone. Number two good news, the girls are doing great. They are growing together equally and they are both 2lbs 8 oz. The doctor and ultrasound tech said they should be about 4 and half to 5 lbs by the time they are born at 34 weeks. How insane is that!!! We would be so happy if they get to 34 weeks because they will be so strong and developed and bigger.
I will continue to rest and eat lots of food to keep my girls growing strong. I am getting good at this whole eating and resting deal. However I am ready to get up and make it through a store without losing breath and having to sit. I would love to have my son sit on my lap (which has disappeared). I would love to pick up my own shoes or get clothes out of the dryer, however if resting and eating all the food in the house are the things I need to do, I will do it.