Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Mason & Riley

Happy Birthday to our babies!  What a year it's been.  I can still remember how shocked we were when we first found out and how nervous we were the entire pregnancy.  What would we do with two babies?  How would we handle them at the same time?  How would Logan react? 

When we first found out we had multiple ultrasounds to confirm the pregnancy and weekly ultrasounds to make sure both babies continued to grow.  I still remember a very early ultrasound when one of my doctors Dr. M walked out of the room and said "be careful what you wish for".  He had seen something on the u/s but, didn't let us know that it was indeed 2 babies.  It was a few weeks later when we had our 12 week NT scan that the tech told us she thought we were having a boy and a girl. 

 At our 20 week gender ultrasound appointment it was confirmed that we were indeed having b/g twins.  I still remember telling Logan and it was like he'd hit the jackpot, a brother and a sister!

We prepared for the babies arrival but, never really knew what we were in for.  A little after Christmas I started having braxton hicks contractions and ended up in L&D sometime in mid January for monitoring.  It was the week before my grandmother's funeral and my doctor didn't want me to make the car trip to San Diego for the services just in case something happened.  From that point forward I took it as easy as possible and set my sights on making it to my scheduled c section at 38 weeks.

The morning of February 28th arrived and we dropped Logan off at my parents house.  We arrived at the hospital around 530/6 am and began the prep for my repeated c section.  The nerves I felt this time were unbelievable.

The anesthesiologist had a difficult time getting my spinal in and my doctor urged her to try one more time before making the call to knock me out.  I am so thankful for that last try!

This time I felt more pain then I did with Logan but, the excitement to meet our babies helped me power through the odd pains, tugs and nausea.

At 8:16 am baby A Riley Elizabeth was born weighing in at 6 pounds 9 ounces.  A minute later at 8:17 am baby B Mason Scott was born weighing 6 pounds even.  Dave says they were actually born in the same minute but, they called them in separate minutes.  We sort of like that Riley is the "middle" child and has an older and younger brother to look out for her.

At first Mason seemed to be in respiratory distress and they whisked him away to the NICU.  I was sad.  Dave left with Mason and by the time he returned to the OR they made the call to send Riley to the NICU as well.  I was crushed. 

They sewed me up and sent me to recovery where I had to sit and wonder how my babies were.  Finally, after I was cleared to go to my room they wheeled me through the NICU for a first glance.  They looked so tiny, Logan was 9+ pounds when he was born and the difference in size and addition of the machines just made them look little.

We got settled in to our room and Dave made multiple trips back and forth to the NICU throughout the morning to check on them.  Surprisingly, early in the afternoon they brought Mason to me.  He was so cute and looked just like his big brother.  A few minutes after Mason got to me Logan arrived.  He was so excited to meet his siblings.  He kept asking where Riley was and it broke our hearts to tell him she was in another room that he couldn't go in to.  Little did we know then that having the NICU experience would make this illness with Riley much easier on Logan.  He knows she came home eventually and the doctors made her better so he tells us all the time that Riley will get better.
Unfortunately, Riley still had to stay in the NICU and was being monitored for her lung development.  Most expected Mason to be the one to need the longer NICU stay as usually little boys end up in the NICU.

The next morning I remember wondering how I could get over to see Riley.  I knew I had to get up and walk or else I would only get to see her through pictures.  Unlike with Logan when I didn't get out of bed for 36+ hours (big mistake) I made sure to get moving ASAP.  One of the nurses who I knew through work gave me a pep talk and pretty much made me get out of bed.  I am thankful for her proactive nursing and encouragement to this day.  Dave walked in the room as I waddled my way back to the bed from the bathroom and I think he almost fell over.  It's true when they say there is  a will there is a way.  I was determined to see my little girl!

Seeing Riley in the NICU was the hardest thing I had ever gone through.  She was hooked up to a zillion machines and we could only touch her at first not hold her.  She had the signature Hopper baby look though and laid in the warm bed in just a diaper with her hands up above her head.  She was watched over 24 hours a day with a nurse sitting beside her the entire time.  This would be the first time I knew what angels nurses were.

My doctor allowed me to stay a day longer then normal and we discharged with just Mason 5 days after my c section.  It was such a happy/sad moment.  As we drove away from the hospital I cried and cried.  How could we just leave our baby behind.  I knew she was in good hands but, it was hard. 

Thankfully, 2 days later we got to bring Riley home!  And our adventure began.

Mason, you are a spitting image of your big brother.  You look so much like Logan that Logan thinks some of the pictures around the house from when he was little are actually you.  You have a fiery personality,  You are determined.  You adore your big brother and sister.  You've come a long way from the little 6 pound infant you once were.  At last check you were 22 pounds.  You've taken your time to do things but, always do them on time.  You army crawl with the most determined look on your face.  If you want something you will get it.  You are SO close to walking and cruise the couch and anything else in your path.  You eat anything.  I don't think we've given you something that you haven't enjoyed so far.  You have a little temper already and when you are hungry or tired it really comes out!  I think you may have my personality.  You light up a room and have since you were born.  Your giggles and smiles are infectious.  I hope your determination to get something and happy go lucky personality never change.  You're our littlest bubba and bring us so much happiness.   We can't wait to see you grow.  Thank you for being our youngest and being so much fun.  Happy Birthday Mae Mae! xoxoxo

Riley, oh how you've tested us from day one.  You are our cautious, curious little girl.  I tend to think you know you have 2 brothers who will always watch over you so you let them take on those protective roles. You're picky, in a good way.  There were only certain people you'd let in your circle.  Once in they were your buddies.  You don't like new situations and rarely crack a smile at a stranger.  Daddy thinks this is good.  Once you are comfortable in  a situation you have fun.  You're sneaky.  One of your brothers turns the other way and you dive in to steal a toy.  We've always joked that you were our lazy baby but, really I think you like the attention you got because of it.  While Mason would do something you'd sit and watch and then sneak in your milestone a couple weeks later.  You do things on your time and when it is right for you.  You are so girly.  You love your dolls and the pretty makeup mirror you got for Christmas.  We call you our pretty pretty princess and mommy calls you pretty princess pants.  You adore your brothers.  We love seeing the way you look at them and how much you want to be like your big brother.  We hope your feisty nature and serious personality take you far in life.  You've scared us more then we ever thought possible.  I think mommy and daddy both have half a head of grey hair now.  We are thankful for you.  We are thankful you're here to celebrate your birthday.  Keep fighting baby girl. xoxoxoxo

As we celebrate today a bit differently then we had expected we still realize it is a celebration no matter where we all are.  I've always LOVED 1st birthday parties.  Celebrating a child's first year of life and toasting the parents and family for surviving the first year!

We're so thankful to have both of our babies with us as we hit this birthday.  I knew my life had changed forever when Logan was born but, I never knew how much it would change.  We've gone through some of the best and worst days of our lives since having children and yet, I know these trials and tribulations will only make all of us stronger.  The thought crossed my mind the other day that if things had gone according to Dr. Doom we wouldn't even be in this situation and given the opportunity to celebrate both of our babies today.  I quickly replaced that thought with how thankful we are. 

We've prayed, remained hopeful and faithful and been supported through the last couple of months and last year by the most amazing group of people.  We've had support from all over the country and many countries around the world.  Our families have banded together to help make this whole situation and the transition to 3 kids easier for our little family.  We've met the nicest nurses, doctors, therapist and support staff to help us make it to this day.  We've had good days and we've had bad days.

Today we choose to celebrate Mason & Riley and toast all of you.  One day when my letter begins Happy 18th Birthday Mason & Riley we will tell them how far they've come and how loved they've been by so many different people.  So thank you.

Happy Birthday Mae Mae & Ri Ri.  Thank you for changing our lives forever!

And cheers to all of you!

Dave, Megan, Logan, Mason and Courageous Riley!

*** All of our professional pictures are courtesy of Julie Andress Photography.  If you're in the Pasadena area and need a photographer I can't rave enough about her work.  Check her out!***

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