Vaughn and Malcolm

After a pregnancy fraught with worry, discomfort and pre-term labor, Malcolm Charles Nelson and Vaughn Louis Nelson were yanked from my womb on January 24th 2008 at 8:50pm. Malcolm weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces and Vaughn weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces-- quite large for twins! Read on for the story behind the story.



On January 24th I had a regular check-up with my OB. My c-section was scheduled for February 6th when I'd be 38.5 weeks, but my OB was hoping to deliver me sooner than that because twins are usually delivered around 37 weeks. She measured my tummy and found that I was measuring 50 weeks pregnant! And she surprised me by saying that of her twin patients, I'd complained the least through my pregnancy. I think I saved my whining for the nurses. The babies looked good on the ultrasound, but my blood pressure was high, so the doctor sent me to the hospital to be monitored. She was hoping that they would decide to deliver me (I was 36 weeks and 5 days), but she said that they'd have to get an abnormal test result from me to justify it. All tests were normal except that my blood platelet count was low, so that became the reason to deliver the babies.


Malcolm and Vaughn


Once the decision was made to deliver, there was no putting it off, and the c-section was set for around 8pm. Gisele went home with my mom, and Nels came into the operating room once I was prepped. For the operation, I was kept awake and given a "spinal" which is a one-time shot in the back. It wasn't reassuring when the anesthesiologist kept pinching my belly and asking me if I felt it. He was a very jovial fellow, though, and he kept joking with me and asking me how I felt. I wasn't sure what disaster he thought might befall me (coma?), but everything was fine. I couldn't tell that the doctor was cutting into me, but I heard someone say "there's a bottom", and "he's big!", and then Malcolm's enraged cries. He was lifted above the curtain into our view, and he was blue with a wet coating of wax. A minute later came Vaughn, also loud and waxy. Nels went back and forth between the two babies as they were cleaned and weighed. Soon enough, I was sewn up and stapled closed.

We stayed for 3 nights in a private room, and the babies stayed with us. I got pretty sick of the nurses coming in at all hours to take temperatures, perform hearing tests, and prick baby heels, but Nels loved the food and wanted to stay another night.



Two weeks old

The past two weeks have gone surprisingly well.


Malcolm

I was very worried about bringing Malcolm and Vaughn home because of my memories of how difficult Gisele was as a baby. Our first pleasant surprise, though, was how well they took the 25 minute ride home from the hospital. Gisele always always cried in the car, even from a young age, but Malcolm and Vaughn are making trips to Bonita and sleeping the whole way. And it's still too early to tell, but they seem to be fairly mellow and don't cry much. They have had little reason to cry so far, though. I nurse them on demand (pretty much all day) and I let them sleep on me at night while I recline in a glider. As with Gisele, they are spending very little time in their bassinet.


Vaughn

You may wonder what the differences are between these two. Physically, they are very different. Malcolm has medium brown hair and Vaughn has reddish/brown hair. Vaughn has "stork bites" on his forehead (in the shape of a "V"!),nose, and eyelid that should fade away in about a year. Vaugn has full lips, Malcolm has thin. As for personality, Malcolm looks around much more and is more content to sit by himself; Vaughn's eyes are usually closed and he cries if left on the couch while I do something. And their nursing behavior is much different. From the start, Vaughn has been a voracious nurser. Malcolm had a harder time figuring out how to latch on and he often becomes confused and tries to eat his hand instead. He eats, but not with the gusto that Vaughn eats with. At their two week appointments they had gained weight, and their doctor thinks that they should do fine without formula. Gisele's early obesity attests to the fact that I make lots of milk.


Left picture:Vaughn (top) & Malcolm (bottom)


How is Gisele handling all of this? She mostly ignores the babies and carries on with her playing. We try not to shush her very loud and constant chattering except when she goes into the bedroom where a baby may be sleeping. She hasn't shown much jealousy outwardly, but she does have more tantrums than usual, and she did ask us recently if we cared more about her or the babies. I felt very bad that she would have such a thought, but I'm sure it's normal. Gisele is really looking forward to a time when Malcolm and Vaughn are old enough to learn from her. She hasn't realized what havoc they will wreak on her life and any possessions she holds dear.




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