Week 35, Day 1: The Dumpling’s BIRTHday

Dear James and Jackson —

“Oh, no, Oh no,” your Mama burst into tears at 4:45AM on September 16, 2013.

“What? What is it?” your Daddy said, out of a deep sleep of only two hours.

“My water broke.  My water broke. The babies will go to NICU.”

Sometimes the best laid plans are not meant to be, which is why I am glad I decided to surrender to whatever will be during Week 32.

You came into the world with a bang.  And tonight, I sit next to my hospital grade Symphony Breast Pump as it churns out liquid gold for your nourishment — longing for both of you to come home.  I write the story of your BIRTHday.

At midnight, during the first hour of your 35th week, I was sitting in the car waiting for your Daddy to bring me a Maui Banana shake from Fatburger.  If I were to claim a craving during my pregnancy with you, I would have to claim this shake.  Dr. D wanted me to crave fish head broth, but somehow a Maui Banana shake was all I could muster.  I had just written this post —  Week 35: The Home Stretch.

Little did I know at the time how close to home we actually were.

Sunday, September 15th was a rather average Sunday.  We were supposed to go to your grandparents’ house for dinner and have Barone’s pizza.  About the time we were getting ready to leave, I went to the bathroom and there was a spot of blood.  I did not get alarmed.  I heard this was normal as you got closer to delivering.  I called Dr. S and instead of heading to have Barone’s pizza we were sent to the hospital to have me checked.

In many ways I was grateful to go to the hospital to be checked.  I had been feeling like you were running out of room and I was longing to hear your little heartbeats.  They told me your heartbeats were strong.  They hooked me up to a monitor as well and told me I was having mild contractions, but my cervix was still completely closed.

I was sent home without incident.

After leaving the hospital, we went to eat Barone’s pizza at your grandparents.  The night was normal until around 4:45AM when my water broke.  I had been reading about this water breaking; wondering if I would know it when my water broke?

The answer is yes, I most definitely knew my water had broken.  An entire warm lake left my body and within minutes I was having contractions.

Your Daddy had only been asleep for two hours.  The first thing he did was calm me down.  My only goal for this birth was to carry you until a least September 28th so you would not have to go to NICU.

“Honey, this is exciting.  This is what we have been waiting for, it’s beautiful.”

Suddenly joy washed over me as he held me and I was able to calm down and get dressed.  The minute I was dressed, more water gushed out of me.  I don’t get dressed again.  I decide to sit on a towel in the car.

I had contractions and more water rushes all the way to the hospital.

When we got there, the admitting woman was busy with someone NOT pregnant with twins, having contractions on a red birth ball in the lobby of Tarzana Medical Center Women’s Pavilion.  I started moaning on the birth ball while your Daddy held me in the middle of the lobby.

Perhaps it was the moaning.  Perhaps it was the birth ball.  Perhaps it was the fact that I looked like a drowned rat.

She finally sent us upstairs.

By the time Dr. S arrived, I wanted the c-section to happen.  Not because I was in great pain with contractions now five minutes apart — on one level I was enjoying them — but in my mind, I knew you would be in NICU.

For whatever reason, that separation terrified me.  I knew Jackson was transverse at the very top of my uterus.  I had read horrible stories about delivering one vaginally and then the second via emergency c-section.  Healing in two places was not something I needed.

I was wheeled into surgery at around 7:15AM.  And within what seemed like minutes — you were born.

At 7:29am on September 16, 2013 — James Philip Wilcox — came into the world.  You weighed 5 pounds and 9 ounces.  You were 19 1/4 inches long.

At 7:30am on September 16, 2013 — Jackson Roy Wilcox — came into the world.  You weighed 5 pounds and 9 ounces.  You were 18 1/2 inches long.

J and J Pic One

Your First Picture
Jackson Roy (left)
James Philip (right)

There are some really funny pictures where you are looking at each other screaming.  I just imagine you had a thing or two to say to each other about all of that kicking.

Mama and Jackson

Mama and Jackson

Mama and James

Mama and James

Family Pic

Daddy and Boys

Daddy and his Boys
James (L) Jackson (R)

Daddy went with you to the NICU where Jackson had to be put on oxygen, but only for 24 hours.  Our doula, Melissa, stayed with me in recovery and at 10:10am exactly, I was wheeled into the NICU.

I could not hold Jackson because of the oxygen tube.

James latched right on to my breast for a few minutes and then fell asleep on my chest.

Mama and James Day 1

Mama and James

I felt as if I had waited my whole life for this moment.  It was pure joy.

Not one bit of it went exactly how I had envisioned it.  Not getting pregnant.  Not being pregnant.  Not delivering you into the world.

Nothing.

But in the end, it was absolutely perfect.  I was meant to have these two perfect babies named James and Jackson.

My life changed forever the minute I saw you.  The minute I held you I knew nothing was the same.  I was not the same.  My heart expanded and continues to expand every single day in ways I never thought possible.

It all started one week ago tonight.

Pure love.  I can’t describe it any other way.

I’ll admit, I do hate the NICU stay.  It hurts my heart to leave you there every night, but even that has a silver lining which I’ll write more about later.

At least I am trying to believe it does.

I never imagined my heart could grow this big.

Love,

Mama

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Week 35: The Home Stretch

Twin Pregnancy Week 35

Twin Pregnancy — Week 35

Yes.  I am wearing Oscar the Grouch pajamas.  I have always loved him. One of the first songs I sang was I Love Trash.  What better way to acknowledge my Muppet love than with pajamas?

I wish I had something exciting to report.  I’ll admit, it IS exciting to write I have made it to week 35 without incident.  My stomach is large and high.  As you can see, the Oscar the Grouch top does not actually fit.  I am hoping these little boy dumplings will keep cooking in there for at least two more weeks.

At my appointment with Dr. S last Monday the dumpling of the left side of my stomach was head down and ready.  My zen baby … except when he starts beating his hands on my cervix every night like he is trying to break out of Alcatraz.

The other one was in sort of a curved, transverse position.  His head was half-way down my right side.  Without going into elaborate detail, I’ll just say, this guy is definitely my little Jonathan.  He moves, he grooves, he hangs on to my ribs for dear life — sometimes I think he is taking a spin class in the womb.

Zen is not exactly the word that comes to mind for his enthusiastic nature.

I’ll admit, recently I’ve had some uncertain moments.  Some cramping and Braxton Hicks contractions have occurred that made me think they were coming … but these scares always end with me sitting on the couch eating an Outshine Bar before taking yet another nap.

I have fully surrendered to the nap.  Multiple naps.

Friday I picked up my new glasses (seen in photo above).  These correct the astigmatism that has been making my world blurry.  I made the decision not to wear contacts until after the babies are born and I find out if this new blurry existence is permanent.  I don’t care if it is, really.  But I don’t want to buy expensive astigmatism contacts only to find out it isn’t.

The nesting gene most definitely has me organizing and re-organizing everything.  My husband has to stop me and put me to bed.  On one level, I have never felt more prepared, and yet I know there is no way we are anywhere near prepared for what is about to take over our lives.

The nursery is ready except for a few small things.  All the clothes and diapers I need in the beginning are washed and folded.  The swing and the bouncer are put together and I even have the batteries!  We’re packed for the hospital.  I’ve pre-registered at the hospital.  We have a pediatrician.  Jonathan is getting the car seats put in the car the car.

I’ve bought the fabric for the Halloween costumes … because, you know, all 4-week old infants need a Halloween costume.  I will admit – if you’ve been following the blog you’re going to love them – or at least the idea of them.  We’ll see how they turn out.

It’s true that the first year of a child’s life is all about photo-ops for the parents.  I just hope I don’t make people crazy by taking nine gazillion pictures.  I’ll try to abstain, but make no promises.  After all, I’ve been looking at pictures of everyone’s kids, animals and food for five years.  (And I love every one of them!)

Here is where I gasp and say I can’t believe I’ve been on Facebook for five years.

Speaking of Facebook, I have a favor to ask my readers.  I am going to be locking down my personal Facebook page after the Dumplings are born.  I want to be able to share things on my personal page that are not for the blog or the world.  I am no longer going to allow people to follow my personal page, so if you are, I ask that you like my Terrilox page by clicking here or subscribing via email.

On Tuesday we have our final appointment with our perinatologist, Dr. D.  Hopefully we’ll get our final 3D pictures of the Dumplings before we hold them.

This week I’ve listened to a lot of Emmy Lou Harris.  I sang the entire Red Dirt Girl album to the Dumplings the other day and read to them from Where the Sidewalk Ends.

I feel the singing and reading is starting to connect with them.  They know I am communicating with them.  I especially feel their responses when I rub my belly while doing it.  It’s as if they are playing with me during this time.  I wish I could explain it better, but they move and react to my hand and voice in ways I have not noticed until recently.

Earlier this week I was driving and singing in the car.  I always sing in my car with the radio turned up.  I worry sometimes that I am singing them too much country music and not enough classical music.  Or smart people music. (What is smart people music?)  Am I making them dumb in advance by my music choices?  After all, really smart people have written books saying that classical music makes babies brains bigger.

But I can’t sing classical music in the car.

So I sing Runnin’ Outta Moonlight and Little Umbrellas (among other things) and hope for the best.  Perhaps I can make-up the classical music in the future … when I’m not driving?

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Dear Dumplings — Week 33: I’m a Princess Of THIS Prairie

Week 33 Pregnant with Twin Boys

Pregnancy Pic — Week 33.

Dear Dumplings:

Well, here we are at 33 weeks and 2 days.  I can hardly believe it.  It seems like just a short time ago I found out I was officially pregnant and now they tell me you could come popping out at any moment.

I am begging you to stay in there for roughly three more weeks.  Our next appointment with Dr. S is next Monday and our next appointment with Dr. D is at 35 weeks and 2 days. I would love for us to make both of those appointments.

The big question — can my bladder handle the pressure?

I still have a few things to finish.  Final packing for the hospital … selecting the pediatrician … finding my shoes.

Honestly, I can no longer see my feet.  But I can definitely feel yours.  I think we play a game where I grab your foot and you tuck it back in, though it could be your knee.  Whatever body part it is, it freaks your Daddy out when I put his hand on my belly.

I love it, but I’ve had to get used to little dumplings kicking around in there for awhile now.

You’ve been very active the past few days.  I know where both of you are.  If the weight of my lower abdomen means anything, I think your heads are back down.  I sure do hope I’m right.  It would be perfect if you could stay like that, okay?

Today I washed and folded all your newborn and 0-3 month clothes.  I also packed your clothes for the hospital.  I think you’re both ahead of your Mama and Daddy in the style department.  In fact, I know you are.

Maybe you’re asking yourself why Mama hasn’t written in so long … again?  But probably not.

Writing has been on my mind, but lately my eye sight has not been very good.  I’ve been told one of the possible side effects of pregnancy is a relaxing of some eye muscle which brings on astigmatism and blurry vision.  I have terrible eyesight.  I am nearsighted — legally blind nearsighted — but contacts have always given me 20/20 vision. Right now they give me 20/25 vision at best.

I’ve never been told I have astigmatism … until now.  And it really is awful.  The world is just slightly blurry.

In some instances — like standing in line at Wal-mart — this is a good thing.

Pregnancy Pic -- Week 31 and 3 days

Pregnancy Pic — 31 Weeks, 3 Days
Photo By: Erin Clendenin

At 31 weeks and 3 days I had some pictures taken by my friend, Erin Clendenin at our mutual friend’s home.  The one above is one of my favorite.  I’m glad I did it that day because I have not been able to stand that long again until today.

What happened today, you ask?

I played my new Carly Ritter CD on a loop and every time Princess Of This Prairie came on, I danced.  I am not sure why it is this particular song that speaks to me so deeply, since I LOVE so many of them on the album.

Of course it’s the lyrics.  If a song does not have lyrics that speak to me, I could care less about what is going on musically.  Your Daddy and I have this joke in the car when we’re channel surfing and it goes like this:

Daddy:  What happened to music?

Mama:  Toni Basil and Tommy Tutone.

There are actually many more artists (a term I use loosely) I could name, but two of my favorite one hit wonders that make my skin crawl the most are — Oh Mickey You’re So Fine and 867-5309 / Jenny. 

Lovers angst, 80’s style.

Of course, I love My Sharona, so I am a walking contradiction.  Most mamas are.  Get used to it.

So why this Princess Of This Prairie song?  I’m not a princess.  I’ve never been a princess.  I’ve no desire to be the sort of princess you think about when you say the word princess.  And yet, when I sing you this song, I feel like a princess.  It absolutely shatters the image of every princess I have ever thought of and the beautiful simplicity of it makes me cry.

Y’all don’t seem to mind the song either.  In fact, you seem to quite like it when I sing.

The song makes me think back generations of women in my family and your Daddy’s.  The ones I knew and the ones I didn’t.  My Mama, my Mawamaw, Annie, Aunt Paula, Memom.  All women want to be a princess at one time or another, and I think it means different things to each of us.

Hopefully, we each find our princess inside — the princess that speaks to us.  To me, that is what this song is all about.

Somehow, I can picture Mawmaw’s grasses bowing.  She loved talking about grass and hay.  Probably the only Bolo tie wearing princess ever.

As for me, I’ve never felt more like a princess than I do right now, despite the fact that I actually waddle when I walk.  I owe that to two little Dumplings and their Daddy.  I can’t think of anything more perfect than a prairie princess who takes care of two little dumplings and their Daddy.

So yes, I AM a Princess of THIS Prairie.

Of course your Daddy thinks I forgot how to turn on the stove … and he’s got a point.

Love,

Mama

P.S.  After all this talk about Princesses and Prairies — I have to include the song and the correct lyrics.  Enjoy!

Princess Of This Prairie Lyrics — By: Carly Ritter

Oh, I don’t wear a crown that you can see
And the only gown I own,
My mama made when I was 17
No slipper would fit my feet
But I go bare foot anyway
And my horse don’t have a carriage
But oh he’s strong and brave

So you might look at me and
Not think much at all
You might think that castles
Only come big and tall
You might disagree with my mama
That we have all we could ever want
And you might laugh
That I dare think these high and mighty thoughts

But when I walk though my kingdom
All the grasses bow
Birds announce my arrival
And when I leave the coyotes howl
I wave at my loyal trees
And they wave back with a breeze
Somedays it seems the sunshine’s just for me
No one else knows
I’m a princess of this prairie

Daddy works so hard, I never did earn much
But when he came home
He ruled this house with love
He and mama said there was nothin’ that I couldn’t do
That with one smile I could change the entire world

When I walk though my kingdom
All the grasses bow
Birds announce my arrival
And when I leave the coyotes howl
I wave at my loyal trees
And they wave back with a breeze
To me my mama and daddy are royalty
No one else knows
I’m a princess of this prairie

I’m telling you kings and queens
Don’t need diamonds and gold
It’s just something that you know
Deep down in your soul

When I walk though my kingdom
All the grasses bow
Birds announce my arrival
And when I leave the coyotes howl
I wave at my loyal trees
And they wave back with a breeze
I think it’s true
The greatest things in life
Can’t be seen
So while no one else knows
I’m a princess of this prairie
I’m a princess of this prairie
I’m a princess of this prairie
I’m a princess of this prairie

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