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N o more oxygen!

Yesterday was about as miserable as I have ever felt. But, things are looking up.

I did sleep from about 4 a.m. to 4:45 but then up again to feed and get things ready to go downtown. The morning went fairly smooth, the twins ate well and didn't fuss too much. Reagan was up at 6:00 and I actually got to spend about twenty minutes paying attention to nobody else.

Reagan and I woke Kari up at 7:30 and got the 8:00 feeding underway a few minutes early. By 9:05 we had all the kids fed, twins loaded in the car and I was on my way downtown for the sleep study. At 9:11 Kari called me and told me to return to the house. I was thinking maybe they canceled the appointment. That would be great for me. My back was killing me, Grandmom needed to be picked up at the airport, and I could really use some sleep. Nope, I had forgotten the diaper bag and cooler with food for the twins. They were sitting there by the front door, right where I had set them. Right where I would not forget them. Fortunately, I had left myself some extra time since I didn't know where I was going.

Back on the road I called the doctors office for exact directions. I got the answering machine. No problem, I tried again 10 minutes later. No answer. Where the heck are these people? I pressed on. I was pretty sure that it was close to the Woman's Hospital and I do remember where that is. I called one more time and got a nurse. She gave me exact directions. Although, she said "entrance 10" I never found "entrance 10" but I found a "garage 10", that must be what she meant.
No, that is not what she meant. I spent 20 minutes looking for a parking spot, got the stroller out, untangled hoses and wires, got the twins transfered to the behemoth that we call the stroller, and limped to the elevator. I dailed the office again for more directions. No answer. I asked the first person I saw with a name tag for directions. "Oh, that is several blocks down that way." Great! "Can I walk there from here?" I asked.
Name tag woman looked me up an down then replied "I would move your car over there. There is construction."
"Well I am already 15 minutes late. I guess I will walk it." The though of reloading the car was not a pleasant one. Every step I took was shooting pain down my right leg and lifting that stroller again seemed an unsurmountable obstacale at that time.
"I am heading that way, we could load you in my car and I could drop you off." offered name tag woman. Again I looked at my watch and then at the stroller. Not going to happen.
"Thanks anyway. But, I really better just walk." It was very nice of her to offer, but that just seemed like more effort than it was worth.

15 Minutes later we arrived at the appropriate check in desk. Good thing too, because I really needed to sit down. Sitting didn't really help the pain either. I wanted to lay down on the floor, but both girls had begun to scream. They had asked us not to feed them before the study, but I was out of ideas. So, I got the bottles out of the cooler, unstrapped Madison and took her out. Jordan screamed harder so I put one bottle in her mouth and propped it up on a burp cloth and turned my attention back to Madison. Just as I put the bottle in Madison's mouth the pager went off. So I returned Madison, still crying to her seat, repacked the bottles and wheeled them to the desk. More paper work to fill out and a new pager. Ok, wait a bit more, get the bottles back out. One woman offered to help, but since she was there with two filthy little kids I declined. Ok, her kids didn't look filthy and I appreciated the offer, but the threat of infection overroad my need for help. I got the bottle in Madisons mouth and the pager went off again. At least things were starting to move.

We were lead to a small room where a nurse got their weight, length, temp, ect. That was quite a chore. The stroller barely fit in the room and I had not placed the O2 bottles and monitors in the stroller in the most organized manner. So, while I was sweating from the pain shooting down my legs, I was trying to untangle the mass of cords and tubing to get enough slack to reach the changing table.

That task complete, we were lead to another room. Thankfully, this room was large enough to accomodate our mega-stroller. Here Gorgina and Helen came in to attach leads. Gorgina asked "How are you?" (ha ha ha ahhhh)

"Do you REALLY want to know?"

"No." she says then "Just kidding. Yes I want to know. Maybe you need someone to talk to."

"Well, my wife has postpartum depression, I have 4 kids under 3, I have gotten 45 minutes of sleep in the last 40 hours, and I threw my back out last night."

"Wow, you can use some help. We usually don't feed the kids, but we will help you. Maybe you can even get a nap." Well, my spirits soared at that. However, I never did get that nap.

Helen started feeding Madison and Gorgina picked up Jordan while I filled out more paperwork. I was thinking that they would look after the girls while I sacked out in the lobby. Nope, Helen had to go do something so I finished feeding Madison. Then Gorgina gave me a number to call if I needed anything and she left. I was instructed not to leave without calling to have someone in there with the girls. Well, so much for the nap because one of the girls was squawking at all times. I had to get both of them to sleep for a "good" amount of time for the study to be useful.

A bit later I called the number because I really had to GO. I got an answering machine. I finally grabbed a passing nurse. When I returned I was introduced to Laura the deaf nurse. She was very nice, but very hard to understand.

The doctors down loaded the monitors and studied the data. It turns out that Jordan had not be having apnea, just shallow breathing. Both girls are doing very well and the doctors say that they no longer need to be on O2. It was such a joy to peel all that sticky tape off their faces and throw those rubber hoses out for good. They look very different to me without the oxygen tubes strapped to their faces. Kind of like seeing someone without their glasses for the first time or someone who has had a mustache as long as you have known them and then shaves it off. You still recognize them but there is something different. They look good.

They adjusted Madison's monitor so it won't go off till her heart rate gets to 230 (it was set to 220) now and that should eliminate the constant alarms we get.

At any rate, the doctors finally said that they had seen enough and gave us the green light to go. Laura came in to disconnect the girls from the monitors. She was working on Jordan, who had just finished eating, and was rewarded with a 120 ML shower of partially digested formula. After new clothes for Jordan, reattaching the portable monitors, and making one last sweep of the room for loose articles we were on our way.

It took me about a half hour to limp back to the car and get the girls loaded. It wasn't until I got to the bottom of the parking garage that I discovered that you must pay inside and then exit. So I spent 40 more minutes finding a new parking spot, unloading the girls and all related equipment, lugging them to the automated parking machine, repacking the kids in the car and then finally heading home.

The doctors were a little concerned that I was driving with the lack of sleep that I had. And rightly so. If I had it to do over I would have rescheduled that appointment. By the time I got home my face was pretty red from slapping my self awake.

I had a 5 minute reunion with my Mom before going upstairs and slipping into a coma for about nine hours. I was back up around 2:30 a.m. and came down to give Kari a break.

I have to go feed the kids. More later.


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