Saturday, December 3, 2011

Coming Home Debacle

At 2:45 yesterday, we left the hospital. If someone had told me last Saturday that I would be bringing home two babies in exactly a week, I would have never believed it. I expected the babies to stay at least a couple of weeks in the NICU, and I certainly didn't plan on delivering the twins first thing Monday morning. This is one of the rare instances in life where I feel incredibly grateful that not all things can be planned (everyone knows I love to plan)...because sometimes, things go much better than we can imagine.

We said goodbye to the amazing staff at the hospital, including Cindy, who was one of our favorite nurses. I loved my nurses so much! I can't believe how much of a difference it made to be surrounded by a caring, attentive hospital staff.
(Pay no attention to my appearance.)
Cindy was by my side when the babies were born and repeatedly offered me her hand to hold, as the operating room table was not very delivery friendly. I refused to take it because I knew I would hurt her and instead made a fist with that hand and squeezed Nathan's hand with the other. She is an amazing nurse, and I will always appreciate her positive words of encouragement during labor. As it turns out, I really do enjoy words of encouragement.

One of the nurses offered to push me out to the car in a wheelchair and before I could respond, Nathan jokingly said: "Well, if you give natural birth to twins, you have gotta walk out of the hospital! Otherwise, you lose all of your street cred." Funny man.

Ezra and Elliott looked so tiny and fragile in their carseats, and Nathan made sure to drive 10 mph the entire half a block home.
We fed the boys and they went to sleep instantly in their bassinet.
They are slightly jaundiced, so that is why they are yellow.
I told Nathan and Cheryl that despite the sore chest and the lack of sleep, I felt really positive. I let them know we could handle two babies and that I was focusing on not being overwhelmed. Less than 10 minutes later, I was using my electric breast pump and suddenly heard a loud pop, followed by a rhythmic, loud clicking noise. The pump had broken. It had worked perfectly this summer, so I knew the break was due to us storing it outside in the cold garage. Once we brought it indoors, the components expanded and something broke.  I lost it almost instantly.

While I was crying in the bedroom, Nathan jumped into action. It was 4:00 o'clock on a Friday, so we didn't have much time. He hurried to make calls to WIC and medical supply companies. WIC had no electric pumps available and the medical supply companies charged a minimum of $85.00 a month in addition to a one time fee of $75.00 for attachments. The local Walmart only had the cheapest brands (which I tried with Eliza and broke in a matter of days), and the closest Target with a breast pump was an hour away. The babies needed to eat in two hours, and we didn't have much milk leftover. Additionally, I was in an immense amount of pain.

All of the boys' feedings have to be monitored, so we know how many millimeters they are consuming daily. They can nurse while using a Supplemental Nutritional System, but the pumped breast milk is needed for this. So, I spend my day pumping and then actually nursing. It sounds crazy, but we have to make sure everything is documented until they gain a little bit more weight. Thankfully, we had a hand pump we could use and Nathan decided to go to Target. Three hours later, he triumphantly returned.

Before we opened the new pump, though, Nathan wanted to look at the motor on the old pump. He unscrewed the front of the system and out popped a small, square box.
As it turns out, the entire mechanism for the Medela Pump In Style system for is contained in the aforementioned yellow square. The rest of the bag is merely cosmetic and the motor itself is surprisingly simple. Nathan instantly saw the part responsible for the malfunction. Like we thought, a small piece of plastic had expanded in the heat and then contracted in the cold, bending the material.

Although the problem had been located, Nathan wasn't sure how to fix the pump. He took it over to his father, who just so happens to be a pump engineer for irrigation systems. He instantly thought of a solution and less than five minutes later, the motor was running smoothly. We definitely plan on taking back the new $300.00 pump. Once again, we were blessed with a small miracle (yes, I consider saving $300.00 a miracle of sorts). And yet again, I was reminded that things really do work out.

Now, I'm going to go back to looking at these precious babies. They SLEEP!

(Sidenote: To those of you wondering when I find time to blog with such a busy schedule, I blog while I pump. It helps me focus on something other than the excruciating pain. Sorry for the graphic information for those of you don't care.)


  1. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Keep pumping. Keep blogging.

    I hope you know how much I love all of this. And you. And your babies. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

  2. 85 a month and 75 for a kit?? That is crazy. Here, you can get them for like 30 a month. And the hospital didn't give you a kit? If it is the same brand, it will work on any pump usually. Most use Ameda. The hospitals around here even do short term rentals.

  3. Love the pic of them in the car seats! So tiny! Keep up the great work! You're amazing!

  4. First thing, I just want you to know that the first thing I do when I open my computer is go directly to your blog. I can't even wait until I scroll through my reader feed to see if you have updated. I have to see if there is anything new on Twin Watch 2011. :) I am so happy you are blogging frequently again, ever since you got deathly ill when you became pregnant. For awhile, you were busy, and working, and oh gosh, I didn't get to hear all about your daily life and it was just terrible! So I'm happy you're blogging again, even though your breasts are being tugged at painfully while you're doing it. I'm sorry. I hope it gets better soon. I'm so glad you're home and I'm so glad your pump is fixed and your crib sheets are super cute too!!! And your babies are even cuter! And so tiny in their little car seats! I cannot wait until we come to visit at Christmas! It's too far away, dang it!!!

  5. I'm SO glad that you're finding time to blog, and I always blogged while nursing or pumping.
    Now that the babies are bottlefed it's much more difficult to find time to write.

  6. Oh my gosh, I about had a heart attack when that pump broke. I felt so guilty! Until I read that you were sure it wasn't MY fault (praise heaven) and you fixed it! This post was an emotional roller coaster for one Becca Vaughn. Love the teeny boys in their chairs! And--cute crib sheets!

  7. Celia! You are superwoman!!! Your baby boys are so so so adorable and just so beautiful! Them sleeping next to each other has to be cutest thing I've ever seen!

  8. You really are amazing, and i am so glad you find the time to blog. I'm slightly addicted to your life.

  9. Cutest, sweetest babies ever! I love it when they then are all snuggled up to each other when they are sleeping.

  10. Wow Celia- you r doing awesome! I did the same thing while doing feedings. It was the only way to stay awake for 2.5 hours and then get 1 hour of sleep then back up to feed! Looks like the cribs worked out! Call me anytime! 509-727-0592 or text! Hope you have a good week! Holli


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