Week 33 - Twins Born!

Zella Izabella Ribar - 1 minute old
Zander Jackson Ribar - 1 minute old
A few hours ago I finished my post about bedrest for Julija -- they sent us home, but guess what?  her body said "yeah, right" and we now have two new babies in the family.  Here's how it went::
  • Wed Sep 19 11:00am Discharged from SMH. Go home and cook the babies for a while.  1.5 cm dilated at this point. She got home and we set her up in the bed. She only moved to go to the bathroom. Nothing Else.  While she was resting I went to Publix to stock the Kitchen. 
  • Wed Sep 19 8:00pm Somewhere around 7:45 or so she said that she had had a really strong contraction and had to go to the bathroom 'cause sometimes that helped. A few minutes later she was calling me from the bathroom and said words I'll never forget:  "Dan! There's a jellyfish in my underwear!"  Ha ha -- her water broke.  We called the doc and headed back to SMH.
  • Wed Sep 19 8:20 pm. We got checked in with Julija at 4-5 cm dilated. Our nurse was Cindy -- our friend from Suncoast Church. How cool. 
  • Wed Sep 19 10:30 pm. PAIN!  Lots of painful contractions so Dr. Cohen said "get her an epidural".  A few minutes later we were both resting as the contractions happened quietly on their own.  
  • Wed Sep 20 0:00 am. Cindy has us resting so we could "get ready" for what was to come.  Nice quiet dark room ... I think Julija fell asleep. It was also at that moment we learned that it was also Cindy's 9th marriage anniversary. Awesome.
  • Wed Sep 20 1:00 am. 10cm and ready to go to the OR for some Labor. they wheeled us into the OR#3 and all of a sudden there were about ten people all getting ready to support Julija and the babies arrival.  One of the nurses said "hey! We're all Christians here" and put on some Chris Tomlin or something.  All of a sudden everyone was humming or singing "Our God, is an awesome God." Tears....
  • Wed Sep 20 1:30 am. Push. Labor. She did great. 
  • Wed Sep 20 2:19 am. Zella Izabella Ribar was born. She weighed 4lb 11 oz at birth and scored 9 and 9 on her apgars.
  • Wed Sep 20 2:30 am. Zander Jackson Ribar was born. He weighed 5lb 0 oz at birth and scored 9 and 9 on his apgars.
  • Stop. Thank you God. You are all powerful and most generous with your gifts. 
  • Julija stayed for completion of the delivery and I went off with the little ones to the NICU. 

Zella after her first bath
As I write this,  36 hours have past and we're getting into a near routine with Julija pumping every 2-3 hours, and us visiting the NICU on their "handling" schedule so we can get closer to the twins.  I got to help bath both of them and changed Zanders diaper today.  By the time the kids leave the NICU (~37 weeks of age) we will be doing almost everything as far as the kids go -- bathing, feeding, diapers, everything.
Zander after his first bath
Zander is having a little harder time adjusting to life outside the womb then Zella but is still doing very well. When he gets upset, a warm hand cradling his head, and one covering his legs combined with a soft voice will calm him down. How cool.  He actually was having a hard time with his IV yesterday and they put in a scalp IV today that will be replaced with a PICC line later today.  The IV is very important because a lot of nutrition and medicine goes in that way.  The little veins on a guy like Zander (or anyone 33 weeks in the womb) are fragile. 
Julija did the kangaroo-care with Zella (skin-to-skin) and Zander will be next as soon as he's feeling a bit better. Things were very cute today, but Zella seems to hear us and wake up with eyes wide open when we get close and talk to her.  See if you can see her open eyes in these pics below.  That only happens when Mom or Dad are talking to her.  If that doesn't make you tear up, nothing will....

I can't begin to name and thank all the people that helped us thru this from the nurses, doctors and staff at Sarasota Memorial to the friends and family at Suncoast Community Church and everyone in between.  We are so blessed for no reason except that our Father God loves us.  Thank you everyone.  

Dear Julija - You did a fantastic job through all of this and the babies love you like crazy.  You had all the pain and suffered thru it all without a complaint, but just the look of a Mom wanting to take care of and deliver her children.  I am so amazed by you and love you with all my heart.

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