Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest Photographer

Our friend Kristen came over yesterday for a little photo shoot. From the moment she heard we were having twins, she was itching to take their photos. And they turned out great! It's awfully tricky, though, working with twins. It seemed like once one would quiet, the other would flare up. Or start tinkling. So we'll have to have her visit again- she had so many ideas that the boys wouldn't cooperate with. So that means more pictures down the road!

Enjoy some more at her blog!

Oh yeah, I promised to give you a little background on choosing names. There's not much to tell actually, we picked Liam and Dash because we liked them a lot. But Sean wanted Liam to be a nickname for William and Dash to be a nickname for Dashiell (how it's traditionally spelled). I wanted Liam to be it's own entity and Dash to be a nickname for something like Dashel. So we compromised and stuck with Liam on it's own and Dashiell spelled its traditional way. I just know people will be mispronouncing Dash's name all his life...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Twice Upon a Time

Sean already provided a good rundown of the day(s) that lead up to the birth of our sons but I wanted to tell things from my own perspective before I forget much more. And with more detail than you'll probably care for.

So on Monday my doc declared that I should be induced the next day. Both babies were head-down and she didn't want to give them time to switch it around. So we had to wait until the hospital called us that night to find out when they had time to induce me. We finally found out at about 11pm that they wanted us to come at 7am!

So after a night in which I did not get a whole lot of sleep, I woke up extra early and got ready, eating breakfast at about 5:30 am. At 6:15, the hospital called to tell us that they couldn't fit us in at 7am and would call by 9am to tell us a new time. After lots of back and forth calls, they finally called us in somewhere in the 11 o'clock hour. At least we got to take a little nap during the whole ordeal, but it was somewhat of a frustrating morning.

Once we got the official call, I started to get lots of contractions. The excitement must have triggered something. Once at the hospital and in the room at noon, the nurse put all the monitors on me. That was one of the worst parts about the whole thing. They had to keep tabs on the babies' heart rates and on the contractions at all times, so I was stuck in bed on my back at a slight recline. It was such a terrible position, every contraction hurt wildly. I just wanted off my back, at least on my side. But the nurse wouldn't have it. Plus, I was really starting to feel the hunger pangs of eating such an early breakfast (they told me at home that I shouldn't eat, the meanies).

So when they started me on Pitocin at 1pm, I could really feel it. And the doctors that periodically stopped in kept saying that there was no reason to wait for an epidural, so I didn't. I had it put in by 2:30. Sweet, sweet relief. Sean was annoyed that he couldn't stay to watch, but it was hospital policy. Getting an epidural was not as big of a deal as I was expecting. There were some pains when they did the numbing shots and some weird sensations as the cannula was put in, much easier to handle than the labor pains.

Then I sat around for about three or four hours, mostly sleeping, I think. And munching on ice chips. When they finally checked my dilation, I was only 3cm- pretty much how I had started out. Realizing the Pitocin wasn't doing it's job, they upped the amount.

That delay in getting enough Pitocin allowed for one wonderful occurrence... we got to watch LOST. Complete with interruptions from nurses and the intercom. But it was a great diversion. And holy cow, can you say coincidence? I don't want to spoil anyone if they haven't seen the "Across the Sea" episode, but the opening series of events were just so nutty in relation to our situation. I should be careful to not mistake coincidence for fate.

So, somewhere in the evening, I was declared to be 5cm dilated. Progress is good. Oh, and my water broke, yay! By around 11:30, I started feeling really uncomfortable, so they checked again: 8cm. I guess they are reluctant to check frequently because when I told the nurse a half hour later that I was SUPER uncomfortable, feeling the urge to push, she wanted to wait to check. The next half hour was miserable. I'd try to sleep but wake up every minute to try with all my might not to push. I finally convinced the nurse that I needed to be checked again... yep, 10cm! Thank goodness!

Sean had been asleep and was jarred awake to change into scrubs. All twins in this hospital are delivered in the Operating Room because of increased risk of complications. They wheeled me in as I started feeling more and more delirious. The pain/discomfort I felt combined with not eating for FOREVER made me feel very weak. Then they made this frail, epiduralized woman switch beds by crab walking over. Mean mean meanies.

Finally everything was set and I got to start pushing at 1am. It took about an hour of slow progress but Liam was born at 2:16am. They put him on me and he was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. It was so distracting that it was hard to put all my effort into pushing out Dash. But then they took away Liam to check up on all his vitals and such so I got back to work and Dash was born 11 minutes after his brother. And so there was somehow another thing equally as amazing as the babe I had beheld just minutes earlier.

Sean was great the whole delivery, saying sweet things and holding my hand, while I kept my eyes closed and just focused on breathing. And oh he was so happy when he met his sons. He cut the cords like a champ and followed around the babes as they were being checked on. He radiated happiness.

After they were finished with me, they made me switch beds again (I know!) but put a magnificent warm blanket over me. But I had already started shaking and quivering and the blanket didn't get rid of it. Yes, I was cold but the exhaustion of pushing and the lack of food just utterly put my out. They put me in a temporary room while they finished up with babies. The nurse finally asked if I wanted some food (YES) and took, I swear, at least a half hour to bring me a juice box. Geez.

Then I got taken to the recovery room. That's where I started getting a headache. I tried to stay awake as another nurse gave my babies a little sponge bath. By the end, my headache was raging. They gave me some medicine and about two minutes later I had a huge wave of nausea. If I had had any food in my stomach, it definitely wouldn't have stayed there for long. That's when I curled up and had Sean rub my head. I desperately wanted to be with my new babies but I couldn't function at all. Sean was super exhausted as well. So we had them go to the nursery. I felt terrible at sending them away but there's no way I could have cared for them that early morning. That's when I felt my first moment of despair- I had just become a mom and I'm already not able to take care of them? Man, it was awful.

But I somehow fell asleep around 8am and when I awoke at 9am, the headache was gone and no sign of nausea. Hallelujah! And it's a good thing I felt better by then because minutes later, the start of the parade of 800 hospital personnel visits began. I wonder how many of those visits I don't even remember.

We got the babies back and over the next several days started to figure out nursing and diaper changing and all the other things they needed. And we stared at and held them. And tried really hard to get some sleep, which was awfully elusive.

On the second day, blood work showed that Liam had a bit of jaundice, so he had to be put under lights.

Liam lights small
Gosh, that was so hard. Liam would be in there crying and crying and I couldn't pick him up to comfort him. That's when I had my first good cry. He had to stay under the lights for about 24 hours but thankfully his bilirubin levels improved so he could be discharged without consequence. And I could cuddle him whenever I wanted.

It was great to go home and not have people interrupting our sleep every few minutes, though it was so hard to get any sleep the first several nights. But we've gotten in a pretty good swing and getting decent sleep most nights. Boy am I glad my mom's here to help.

So that's how it happened. I am so grateful that everything went relatively smoothly. And that my boys are so perfect.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A bit the same, a bit different

Do these boys look like twins? As terrified as I was that I wouldn't be able to tell them apart, I actually don't have too much trouble. Liam has more hair and Dash's face is narrower. Of course, at 2 am with most my wits still asleep and in the dim light, my surety isn't so strong.

But they both have those adorable creases under their eyes, featured here on Liam.

And here's Dash modeling their wrinkly foreheads.

Dash pulls out that wrinkle forehead quite often. He must know how his mom melts every time he does.

And how she practically evaporates when he looks at her with those eyes. They have such incredible eyes.

Liam sometimes tries for a swashbuckling, debonair look. It works too.

He didn't love his sponge bath so much, at least not at the beginning. After a while, he calmed down and enjoyed it a bit.

Dash was pretty chill the whole time. I bet they'll love bath time soon, just like their momma.

But both little boys love their daddy with all their hearts!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beautiful Boys

So I'm a mom now! And have thus removed myself from society to figure out how to care for my two sweet boys. People weren't kidding when they said it'd be a struggle to find time to sleep. I'll be doing my best to put up pictures and such but man, it's hard to be on the computer when I could be sleeping. Or staring at these amazing kids.

Because I've never seen anything more precious...
liam and dash together small
Dash and Liam taking a snooze together.

... more beautiful...

liam sleeping small
Little Liam has a fuzzy head of hair.

...more innocent...

Dash sleeping small
Dash enjoys the swaddle.

...more adorable...

Darrin liam small
Liam having a cuddle with his Uncle Darren.

...more exciting...

Dash Eyes small
Their eyes, oh their amazing soul-searching eyes.

... or more perfect than Mr. Liam and Mr. Dash.

P.S. Dashiell is pronounced Dash-ul. More on how we picked names later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Bradley Bunch

Here's Katie, 6:30 on the morning we went to be induced. Last big belly shots
We finally ended up getting called to the hospital at 11 am. (There was a delay because the hospital was delivering 4 sets of twins that day!) Induced labor aroud 1 pm, then here's Katie at 4pm, after a wonderful epidural. Go anesthesiologists and Nurse Anesthetists!
2:30 am the next morning - here they are!!! Liam on the right and Dash on the left.

Little baby Liam Sean Bradley.
Dashiell Reid Bradley, sucking away!

Mom and the babies are doing great - no NICU! We should be home on Friday!

Two is Twice as Nice as One

They're here! We have two beautiful little boys! Liam Sean Bradley was born this morning at 2:16 am, clocking in at 5 lbs, 13 oz. His little brother Dashiell Reid Bradley followed 11 minutes later, weighing 5 lbs, 5 oz. Mother and babies are both doing great! They are adorable little angels and we will get pictures up as soon as the internet starts cooperating!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Now for something completely different...

At long last, finally here!! Not the babies, silly. That's tomorrow... No, I mean the table Katie and I have been working on for the past few weeks. I finally got enough motivation (read: babies are coming tomorrow) to finish the table. So here it is:


Like it? Me too! While I'm at it, here are some pictures from my field trip to NASA last week.

The Apollo mission control!!!!! We got the VIP tour and actually got to go into the room instead of looking at it through the windows like the other tourists. This was where it all went down - I even got to sit in the Flight Director Gene Kranz's chair (you know, Ed Harris in Apollo 13). This was the highlight of the trip. I tried not to press too many buttons...

The Neutral buoyancy lab. Where the astronauts practice their spacewalks. Those hoses at the top go to an astronaut currently training for her next mission. We got a cool tour from one of the divers and one of the astronauts. Stinkin' cool!


Shuttle mission control. This is for the shuttle missions after liftoff. There wasn't a shuttle in space at the moment, so they were practicing scenarios while we watched. Also cool.

So, more pictures coming soon: they will be waaaaaay cuter! So excited!!!

New Plan

Good news- both boys are vertex! That means no cesarean necessary, score!

Even more exciting news: my doc wants to induce me tomorrow. As in, I'm going to be a mom tomorrow. Of two baby boys.

Holy moley, how will I ever feel ready?

Ready or not, here they come...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Little Stinker

Baby A has been head-down the entire pregnancy. So what does he do a week before he's to be born? Turn sideways. What a stinker!

So, I'm going in to the doc's tomorrow to see if he's moved back.
If he's head-down: do a celebratory dance and then plan for a normal delivery. Unless I go into labor on my own, I'll be induced on Thursday.
If he's still sideways: sigh and plan for a C-section on Wednesday. bleh.

We got some more ultrasound pictures, probably our last set. It seems like the bigger they get, the harder these pictures are to decipher. So I drew in my interpretation of the the ultrasounds as a copy to the right:

ultrasound 36 weeks
My babies have muscley arms and very hollow eyes. Incidentally, baby A is 5 lb 12 oz and B is 5 lb 8 oz. So I think they'll be 6 lbs when they're born- what a good size! I think that's bigger than Sean was when he was born.

We enjoyed our last kid-free weekend by going to a movie- Iron Man 2. Wonder when the next movie excursion might be...

So, I wasn't an out-right mom today for Mother's Day but Sean made me a steak dinner anyway, the sweetheart. It's pretty surreal to think that I'll definitely be a mom by week's end. We'll be a family of four... wow. Wow wow wow!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cinco de Mayo de Love-o

On the third anniversary of the birth of our marriage:
  • Our babies obliged and were not born
  • We had another obstetrician appointment, which I'll probably tell you more about tomorrow
  • Sean had his eye dilated so he and others could learn an eye exam. He kindly took a picture with his phone:
  • I finished my last day of work!
  • We ate at the Cheesecake Factory
  • I fell in love with my Sean all over again, just like I do every day. But that day, it was extra special.
If our boys have his precious, wrinkly eyes, I'll be over the moon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


You know those lists you'd make when you were a teenager about the desired essential qualities of your future spouse? A few things on my list were: handsome (super check), intelligent (ultra check), makes me laugh (hee, check), and loves dogs (check ruff).

Also on the list was being a handyman. Happily, Sean deserves a big check mark for that, too! He sure is the ideal man for me.

He already has a nice collection of tools (at my encouragement) and now that we have a good sized house to fill and a garage to do some building, Sean began his first big project over his week break. Oo, isn't he studly?!

He's making us a new coffee table to replace the little Ikea one that's falling apart and doesn't match the decor of the room. He used a plan from Knock Off Wood- if you're a do-it-yourselfer, that's a handy site to frequent.

He's almost done now- the table's all put together and it just needs a bit more sanding and then staining! His next project will be to refinish the kitchen table... though it may be a while before the duties of fatherhood allow him to begin.

Sean's handy work even gives me some photo op's, like after he planed some wood. Except then I wait until 10 pm in a dimmly lit garage to take a picture and only one photo turns out.

He also put together the crib, which finally arrived, and is set up in our room for the time being.

And of course I couldn't resist plopping down on the floor to help. Luckily Sean likes it when I help. Because I only occasionally mess up.

Now that the crib's set, we just need some babies to fill it! But for now Mr. Snugcow and Mr. Snugbear will hold their places. Babies will be so much awesomer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Welp, we guessed wrong. No babies came on May 3rd. Or May 4th. When oh when will it be?

Anybody else want to weigh in? Pick a date or do you think I'll be induced? Whoever's closest... gets to babysit!

Let me give you a visual, maybe seeing how pregnant I look will effect your prediction.

Maternity clothes don't really fit anymore. There's lots of layering involved.

As much as I joke around about how big I am, as much as I whine about how I can't sleep and how I can't get rid of my itches and that my hips can't hold all this weight and how I'm never comfortable anymore... I'm so grateful for this pregnancy.

And how smoothly this pregnancy has gone! I don't want to jinx anything but there's only been a few tiny hiccups in an otherwise uneventful pregnancy (uneventful besides the whole twins thing, ha!). I've been able to work all this time, never had any morning sickness, never had any need for bedrest. I feel really, really lucky.

That said, I can't wait to meet them! And be able to lay on my back again. And wear my wedding ring instead of a twist-tie.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Are you asking me a question?

*If you can't see the video, try refreshing lots of times (it took Sean at least 10 tries!)- I don't know what the trouble is!

We could play this game all day.

Every day's wonderful with this pup. Even the ones in which she gets into the garbage can.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

10 pounds

My goodness, how'd I go so long without posting?! These days are just flying by.

Good news, we have more ultrasound pictures, the 3D kind. And guess what, they look weird. Surprised? Me either.

ultrasound 34 weeks
You can sort of see some sliver of face, with who knows what covering up the rest of his head. At least the nose is pretty clear in both, squished though it may be.

Both boys are doing wonderfully- A is 5lb 2oz and B is 4lb 12oz. I have 10 lbs of baby in me! And that was on Tuesday! No wonder I could hardly walk when I woke up this morning (let alone half the rest of the day).

Oh, and speaking of A and B, I had previously thought that we'd share the names of the babies once we picked them out. But now... we're sort of protective over them. And don't want to share until they're born.

But that's going to be soon, ladies and gents. Our high risk doctor thinks they ought to come out at 36 weeks, because risks increase at that point for monochorionic twins. But our regular doctor thinks that they need more time in their mommy's tummy, the perfect environment. Soooo she said she was going to think about it and read up on the literature and tell me what she decides at my next appointment. That's next wednesday, when I'm 35.5 weeks. The last time she had monochorionic twins, she induced at 37 weeks. I'm thinking she'll stick with that. Which means... we'll have these boys in the next two weeks!

A couple months ago, Sean and I individually guessed when I'll deliver. I guessed May 3rd while Sean guessed 35 weeks and 3 days... which turns out to also be May 3rd! Will we be right?

Incidentally, our anniversary is the 5th. I'd, ahem, prefer if they weren't born that day. But will it be before or after? Will I be a mom by mothers day?

We'll find out OH so soon!