The twins have arrived, and we are now officially a family of five! Two moms and their THREE little boos! Evan Felix (6lbs. 9oz., 18.25 inches) and Katelyn Joan (6lbs. 1oz., 18.5 inches) arrived via scheduled c-section on August 21 at 4:46pm and 4:48pm respectively. (Felix is in honor of Kendra’s grandfather, Felix Bauer, and Joan is in honor of my great-aunt, Joan Kouble – both amazing people whose names we are proud to pass on to our twins.)
Though the birth was fairly smooth, Evan stopped breathing for a few seconds after he was born. The NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) team came in and checked out both kids, deemed them healthy, and left the operating room. We thought we were in the clear, but over the next hour, it became obvious that the twins were experiencing some respiratory distress. Nothing critical – they just had difficulty maintaining a level of oxygen above 75%. The NICU team was called back down, and they made the decision to admit Evan and Kate.
When they arrived at the NICU, both kids were put on CPAP machines to help them inflate their lungs with each breath. Although they were breathing on their own, their little lungs weren’t quite mature enough to maintain their oxygen levels without struggling. Such respiratory distress is not uncommon among late preterm babies (35-37 weeks gestation). As part of the standard NICU protocol, the twins were also put on IVs for fluid intake, and administered antibiotics for 48 hours.
It has been hard having the kids in the NICU – since the twins were born at 37 weeks, we expected them to easily transition. As the days passed, we began to accept the fact that they would not be coming home with us today when Kendra was discharged, and tried to focus on the positive. Every time we visited the NICU, the twins made progress. They quickly began regulating their oxygen levels on their own - Kate spent less than 24 hours with extra help, while Evan needed two days of support before he was able to maintain his own oxygen levels. By Saturday morning, they were both off their IVs. Neither developed jaundice or had any issues regulating their body temperature, and both are eating from a bottle.
Addie visited the twins in the hospital, and is already proving to be a fantastic big sister. She helped Kendra while she pumped breastmilk by giving her sips of water and applying lip balm. While I fed Kate, she got me a burp cloth and held the bottle for me. As she held Evan for the first time, the look of love was evident on her face.
Though we were sad to come home without our babies, we are grateful that they are both healthy – and BIG! Addie was only 5lbs. 8oz. full term, so the twins seem huge. This experience is just a minor blip in their lives, and holds no long-term ramifications. Right now, Kate is scheduled to come home on Tuesday, and Evan on Friday. We are excited for them to be here with us, and until then, we will be making the daily journey to the hospital to feed and care for them. Our next great adventure may not be starting in the way we envisioned, but we are trying to take it all in stride as we adjust to life as a family of five.