Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 4 weeks old

How on earth did my little babies get to be four weeks old already?  Tate grew up so incredibly fast.  But I feel like Finn grew up even faster.  Now all I did was blink and suddenly a month with my baby Kenna and baby Taryn went by!  Why must time go faster the more sweet babies I have?  It's really not fair!

This week they've been much more awake. Which is fun and also kind of a bummer.  It's fun to have their little eyes open more and see them look at us and try to find us when they hear our voices.  But I do miss our longer stretches at night.  They're pulling more like 3 hours at a time instead of 4 or maybe 5 like previous weeks. But at least they are giving us 3 hours at the same time and they rarely stay up very long after we feed them.  I've been nursing one baby and bottle feeding the other.  During the day, especially if I have distractions during feeding time (like running Finn to the potty, getting him a snack, changing a load of laundry, answering the phone, etc.) it can take 45 minutes to get them both fed every three hours.  But at night, with Glenn feeding one, we can be back to bed in 20 minutes, which is awesome.

We had their 1 month appointment this morning and it was so nice to check their weight.  I felt like they were getting so big compared to the teensy tiny way they came home.  But today Taryn was still only 7 lbs 1 oz and Kenna was only 7 lbs. 9 oz.  Sweet little teensies.  They are both growing really well and looking very healthy.

So here they are, Kenna and Taryn at 4 weeks old.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tate's Birthday

Tate's birthday this year was a very fun day.  We decided before the birthday season began that we would be doing family birthday parties this year.  Tate was sad about it at first, but on his birthday he didn't seem the least bit bugged that the only people showering him with attention and love were his family.  We started the day with pancakes, in the shape of party hats, per Tate's request.  Finn and I yelled "Happy Birthday" to him on the bus and he waved and smiled out the window.  He told me later that the bus monitor had everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to him.  He was thrilled.
A couple of hours later Glenn came to pick up Finn, the girls, and I to take us to main camp to get their passport photos taken.  After we got their photos we drove to pick Tate up from school so we could take him to lunch.  We went to El Chico's, one of the few restaurants on camp where the boys always have quesadillas and are very happy.  
We love our birthday boy.
Tate even had the waiting staff sing him happy birthday.  He loved that!  I thought his little face might crack from smiling so big.  Man, I love that big smile of his.
We dropped off Tate back at school and Glenn drove us back home and decided to stay home with us since we couldn't get a taxi home on such short notice and since by the time he got back to work the work day would be nearly over.
Tate got home from school and Glenn took him and Finn to the pool.  Those boys are little fishies.  Tate is getting braver every time he goes swimming.  He loves being under the water and loves swimming on his own.
Little cheeser.

Finn wants to be big SO BAD!  He had a bit of a rough day with all the attention on Tate.  He kept asking, "And when will it be my birthday?"  He loves jumping in the pool too.  But of course, he still does so with a life jacket.
Both boys love when Glenn throws them in the pool.

Tate decided to sneakily steal Glenn's sunglasses.  I don't think Glenn suspects a thing.
After swimming and baths Tate requested mac and cheese for dinner followed by birthday cupcakes, with fireworks, of course.
He was absolutely showered with gifts from aunties, uncles, and nana and grampa.

Star wars toys from Adam and Cami, toy story mania from Auntie Aubry and Cody.
It was so fun to see him read all his birthday cards this year!
Nana sent walkie talkies and a movie.

And we got him some paints,

and new star wars bedding.

Then we snuggled up on the couch and watched a little bit of movie before heading off to bed.  It was a great day.  Tate was so happy and we had fun making it his day.  What a great kid.  Happy Birthday Tate.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 3 weeks old

These little ladies turned 3 weeks old on Tate's 6th birthday. We had a very busy day with birthday festivities and we also had to venture to main camp to get the girls passport pictures taken.  It's a long process to get the girls their passports, iqamas, and multi-entry/exit visas, all of which we need to have by April so we can take them to London.  So Glenn is chipping away at all the paperwork and processes every day.  It's a mess and I'm so glad Glenn is taking care of it all!

The girls are growing.  This week is the first week that we've really been able to tell that they are getting bigger.  Their little feet now reach to the toes of the cute pajamas that Auntie Aubry gave them that we brought them home from the hospital in.  It's the worst seeing their teensy bodies stretch out and fill out.  They're still pretty little and don't quite fit into 0-3 month clothes yet, but they are growing and it happens so fast I just want them to stay teensy a little bit longer.  This week they are getting just a little too squished in the same bouncy chair.  The first two weeks of their lives we'd snug them up in the same bouncy chair for their naps but they're getting just a bit too big now and they need their own space.

They're still sleeping pretty well.  We usually get anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours (if we're really lucky) at a stretch.  Usually Kenna is the one waking up hungry and we have to wake Taryn up to get her to eat at the same time so they stay on the same schedule.  They really don't cry very much at all.  They wake up and cry when they're hungry, but otherwise they're either awake and happy or asleep.  Every few days they have a little fussy period in the evening for an hour or so but it's not every night.

We're really lucky that they've been such good babies so far.  I overheard Glenn telling someone the other day that these two have been an easier adjustment than either of our first two babies.  I thought, "That might be an exaggeration."  Then I thought about it, and he's probably right.  Thus far, they've been incredibly easy babies and we are SO grateful!

Kenna and Taryn, 3 weeks old.

And some brother snuggles for good measure.  

Dear Tate,

Dear Tate,

We made it.  Your first birthday in Saudi Arabia.  We've lived here for four months now and I'm amazed and so proud to say that you are loving life here and rolling with every single punch that threatens to knock you down and out.  And there have been a fair amount.  You are a great example to me on days when I'm feeling beat down by this place and the changes we've had to make.  Watching you enjoy yourself and make the most of this new experience and find joy in the strange new elements of our lives here is a marvel, Tate.

You have grown up a lot this year.  It breaks my heart to see you so big.  Every time I see your little ankles sticking out from yet another pair of pants or we have to take you for yet another haircut I'm reminded how incredibly fast you continue to grow bigger and older and a little farther away from my little boy Tate.  My little Tate who will willingly hold my hand on the way to the bus stop and ask to snuggle during family movie night.  And at the same time, I'm immensely proud of how you have changed and matured this year and it feels like my heart might burst when you talk about things you've learned or things that happen on the bus or at school that you've just brushed off that would have thrown you for a loop and ruined your whole day a year ago.  It's funny to me that this drastic move has made you tougher and more easygoing rather than completely rocking your world.  I'm just so proud of you, kid.

This year has not been a very easy one for our family, but you've been a spot of sunshine when things are stressful, as always.  I was really sick for a while, we were really busy getting ready to move, we had family living with us, you started full day kindergarten and then had to leave your new class and teacher and start all over here in Saudi, going to school all day every day and riding a bus by yourself, and then your new little sisters joined us just three short weeks ago, and none of this has really made you too upset.  It's been amazing to watch.

You are still a very positive kid, Tate.  You say the sweetest, kindest things and give the most thoughtful compliments.  Your teacher, Ms. Karr, tell us all the time how much she likes you and how you give her compliments all the time.  You're always telling people that they look lovely or that you like their shirt, their shoes, their bike, or their hat.  My favorite was when I was huge and pregnant you would tell me all the time, "Mom, you still look pretty even though you're getting big." A couple of weeks ago you had a little run in with a kid who was not very nice on the bus.  You got over it quickly but your dad and I were a little upset.  The thought of anyone hurting your feelings just crushes me as your mom.  And as we talked to you about being nice to others no matter what they do, you started telling us about a lesson your teacher taught you at school.  You said, "I am a bucket filler, not a bucket dipper.  I always want to fill other people's buckets and make them feel good."  Your dad and I looked at each other, got a little teary, and told you we were so proud of you.   You are a bucket filler.  You make people around you smile and feel good.  You always have.

You're a great big brother.  You love your brother Finn and he loves you too.  He just lights up when you get home from school.  He misses you all day long being stuck here on camp with just me, and now me and the babies and he's so excited to be able to play toys with you and wrestle and chase you around our house when you get home.  You are great to humor him and play nicely with him even though you're really tired from a long day at school.  You adore your baby sisters.  You were SO excited for them to be born.  You would hug my tummy and tell everyone you met that your mom was going to have twin baby sisters and how you were so excited to feed them bottles and snuggle them and kiss their tiny cheeks.  And you do all of those things.  You are a great help and a sweet brother to your little sisters.  I'm excited for them to grow a bit more and be able to interact with you.  You're going to love making them smile, just like everyone else you meet.

You love to swim.  It's probably your favorite thing to do.  Your dad took you swimming with Finn today after you got home from school and you were so excited.  Can you believe we live in a place where  you can go swimming on your birthday now?!  You've always loved the water but the last few months you've really taken off swimming on your own.  We still need to get you in to some lessons to help you learn the strokes and gain a little more stability, but you can jump into the pool now and swim to me or your dad or the wall without any trouble all by yourself.  Every once in a while you've been under for a while and I get nervous and yank you up.  You just smile and say, "I like to be under the water."

When we lived in Denver you were in gymnastics.  You did gymnastics for about 6 months right up until we moved.  I've really missed seeing you in that setting every week.  It was so fun to watch your coordination improve every week and watch your little body figure out cool new things you could do. I think they have classes for your age on main camp but all of our activities are kind of on hold while we're living out here on Rakah.  It's just so hard to get over there that we're just sort of waiting until we move to get you in classes and sports over there.  Luckily, you're completely fine with that.  You're so tired when you get home from school that all you really want to do is play with your brother and maybe go bowling or watch a movie.  We don't have a lot to do here on camp but the things we do have, we do often.  We go bowling, play at the park, and swim when it's warm enough.  We've also been to Rashid mall several times to ride rides.  You're a pretty brave rider and it's fun to watch your face while you get whipped around.

You're still a pretty picky eater.  Your favorite food is macaroni and cheese. You have peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day for lunch at school.  You've had a LOT of pepperoni pizza in the last few months since we've moved here.  It's your favorite thing to order when we go out or when we get lazy or busy and order from the snack bar here on camp.  You are getting a little braver and more willing to try new foods now, however.  You can usually be convinced to try a bite of dinner.  You don't usually have more than one bite, but the fact that you can be persuaded to try a bite is a very big deal for you.

The last few months you have also taken HUGE strides in your reading.  We finished your reading practice book a couple of months ago and it's been almost magical watching how much confidence it's given you and how the simple skills learned in that book have been a springboard to you enjoying reading.  You read incredibly well and you like it.  You're constantly reading signs and you don't fight me on reading time when you get home from school anymore.  You're such a smart little stinker and your dad and I often look at each other over your head while you're reading and exchange looks of disbelief that you can read the words you can.  It makes me so proud to see you enjoy reading.  It's a skill that will take you so far in life, my boy.

Man, Tate.  I just can't believe that it was 6 whole years ago that you came into my life.  I say it every year, but your birthday is an extra big deal for me because it was the day I became a Momma.  My favorite job in the whole world.  You and me, we've been on this crazy ride for 6 years now and I think we're doing pretty well.  Every day you become a smarter, more amazing little boy.  And every day you teach me more about how to be your Mom.  I am impressed and amazed by you every single day, Tate.  I can't believe that someone so wonderful came in any way from me.  It's been a great 5th year Tate and I think year six is going to be just as great.

I love you more than you can even imagine, my kiddo.
The world is yours, Tate.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Picture Tuesday: 2 weeks old

It's been another fast and busy week.  Glenn was home from work all week except for Thursday.  At Aramco if you don't work at least one day during the week, you have to count the weekend days as vacation days as well.  So he went in on Thursday so that he wouldn't have to take vacation for Friday and Saturday.  He was really great to stay a little later on Thursday morning and help get Tate to the bus stop.  I have no idea how I would have done it with the babies and Finn without our double stroller.
As soon as Glenn walked out the door, Finn yelled upstairs that he had thrown up on the couch.  Perfect.  At least it was a company couch and not ours!  Ha!  We laid low all day watching shows, feeding babies, and letting Finn take a long nap.  He seemed just fine after he threw up.  He probably just had something caught in his throat and it made him gag.  Luckily it was a one time thing.
Being home with 3 kids all day just a week after giving birth was not the easiest thing I have ever done but it was not too terrible.  The hardest part was realizing how stuck I'm going to be for a while.  Probably until we move to main camp.  It would be hard to get out at home with twin babies, but at least it would be possible.  I could get in the car and drive to the store.  We could get in the car and go to a fun park.  But here, I can't get in the car and go anywhere.  I'm going to be very stuck on this little camp for a while and that's a little scary to me.  I have a really hard time feeling stuck.  We can go bowling and we can play at the park here.  But that's about it for us all day every day because I just don't know how we'd be able to get anywhere on the shopper busses with Finn, two car seats with babes, a stroller, and big diaper bag.  Yikes.  Please bless I don't lose my mind!
We got word on Thursday that our shipment would be arriving on Monday.  We were a little panicked for a couple of days waiting to see if the guys would be here to remove our Rakah furniture on the same day that we got our stuff, or if we'd have to pile it all in our main room for a few days.  Luckily, they were able to come by on Monday as well, which was a huge relief.  This was our front room with maybe half of the rakah furniture in it.  Glenn was a workhorse moving everything around, and taking apart beds to make as much room as possible.
Glenn gets one day off to help unpack the shipment and then he took one more vacation day today.  Yesterday the trucks showed up at 8:30.
Finn was invited to play with a new friend on camp.  He and his momma played with Finn all morning which was heaven for both of us.  Finn loved it and came home so exhausted.  5 women from our morale group came by and helped unpack and organize our kitchen.  It was incredible to have that all done right away.  They were so wonderful.  It would have taken us forever without them.  The girls and I camped out at the Larson's house for most of the day.  I'd feed the girls and get them to sleep and then go back to help unpack or move things around.  I didn't feel like I did too much at the time but it definitely caught up to me last night.  Last night was pretty rough.  Turns out I'm still healing.  Bummer.
This is our main room last night.
Most everything is unpacked now.  Glenn has been working nonstop all day.  It's been amazing to have him around today to help get things settled in a bit.  The biggest problem is that there is just not nearly enough storage in these villas.  We have the little maid's room absolutely stuffed and there are still boxes all over the master bedroom and office.  The kids rooms are almost done and the living/family room looks good too but we still have a long way to go.  And I can't even think about doing this again in a few months when we eventually move to main camp.  Moving is the pits.
We did get a pretty great night's sleep last night in our own bed.  And it's wonderful to have our own couches again.  I really do love our furniture.  It's so cozy.
The girls have been troopers this week.  They've continued to give us 4-5 hour stretches at night.  So if we stay up with them until 10, we usually just get up once at 2-3 and then again at 5-6 which is about when we'd have to get up anyway to get Tate ready for school.
They are still so so sleepy.  I thought that the boys were awake a lot more of the time by 2 weeks old but the girls sleep almost all of the time unless they're hungry.  It's awesome.
The boys have been a little sick this week.  Finny with a cough and runny nose, and Tate had pink eye this weekend.  We had to make our first outing as a family of 6 to main camp clinic on Saturday to get him some meds.  Good times.  The boys have not been too pleased that we've asked them to keep their distance from the girls while they're under the weather.  Luckily they're almost better now and the snuggling can begin again!
So without further ado, here's picture Tuesday.  Kenna and Taryn, 2 weeks old.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Delivery and Hospital Stay

On Tuesday, January 27th Glenn and I woke up early, got ready, and double checked the bags for the hospital to make sure we didn't forget anything.  Then we got the boys up and had breakfast together followed by family prayer then Mary McGrath came over to watch Finn for us.  She is a dear friend here on Rakah camp and we are so lucky to have her so close by.  She is one of those people who is so genuinely kind and helpful that she leaves no room for feeling guilty about accepting her help.  I love her.  We gave Mary some instructions, kissed Finn, and got in the car with Tate and all our stuff.  We dropped Tate off at school on our way to the hospital.  It was fun to see him off at school and see him excitedly telling his classmates that we were having babies today!
When we got to the hospital we wandered around a bit trying to find Labor and Delivery.  We asked a couple of people and eventually ran into Dr. Ashoor who directed us to the right place.  That was  awkward.  I went into the prep room, got changed into my gown, had a blood draw and got an IV started.  Eventually Dr. Faraj showed up and did one last ultrasound to check baby B's position, just in case she had decided to turn head down.  She hadn't.  So we decided to go ahead with the planned C-section.  Glenn had to go to the waiting room since there was a Saudi woman in the prep room.  The nurses told me that Glenn could join me after she left.  After about half an hour of waiting, I saw her walk by and asked the nurse if she could get Glenn.  She told me yes and then sat there on the computer.  A few minutes later I asked again and she got up and went to get him for me.  We sat together and took one last pregnant picture while we were waiting for the operating room to be freed up and cleaned.  
Just a couple of minutes later they called from to let us know the OR was free, sent Glenn to get in his scrubs, and wheeled me into the OR.
It was a pretty scary 30 minutes or so...that seemed like several hours between leaving Glenn's side and when I saw him next.  The OR is sort of a scary room.  Sterile, cold, lots of tools, most of them sharp ones, and a table with big bright lights above it.  I was nervous immediately and wished that Glenn was there to hold my hand and tell me jokes.  The anesthesiologist gave me my spinal and they moved me to the operating table.  It was incredible how fast I was completely numb from my rib cage down.  They gave me some oxygen, tied my arms down (that was more than a little disconcerting), and put on an oxygenation monitor and a blood pressure cuff.  That stinkin' cuff startled me every time it started squeezing my arm.
They started prepping me right away and I asked when my husband could come in.  They said once the blue sheet is up over my belly that they'd let him in.  I waited and as soon as I saw that blue sheet I asked again.  It was like they'd completely forgotten.  Oh yea, sure, we'll send someone to get him.  So they sent someone out but kept getting me ready and Glenn kept not arriving.  After another minute I asked again and they said they hadn't found him yet.   Another minute went by and I started to get a little panicked.  I said, don't start until my husband gets here.  The anesthesiologist got this panicked look on her face, looks over the blue sheet and says, "don't start until her husband gets here."  Then it got really quiet and she said, "they already started."  I got teary and she said, "It's just the skin, they've just cut the skin."  I said, "Get my husband now".  And about another minute later Glenn walked in all outfitted in his scrubs. No one had given him directions so he'd just gone back to the waiting room...and for some reason they didn't look for him there immediately?!  I was a bit of a mess when he arrived.  Seriously, you started my c-section with out my husband?!
Anyway, I was so glad he didn't miss it!  He was in the room for just a couple of minutes when they pulled out Miss Kenna Jean at 10:58 am.  She immediately started crying nice and loud.  They laid her on the table with the top of her head facing me and the first thing I saw was this tiny head covered in black hair.  I couldn't believe we made a baby with tons of hair, let alone tons of dark hair.  It seemed like much longer but it was only two minutes later that Taryn Kinsley was born at 11:00 am.  I didn't get to see her right away but I heard her crying.  It was interesting having so little information just given to us like it would be in the states.  Glenn went over and asked what they weighed and then told me.  Then their weights, time of birth and apgar scores were written on a white board across the room but I wouldn't have known them otherwise.  Kenna weighed 2.820 kg (about 6 lbs. 4 oz.) and Taryn weighed 2.54 kg (about 5 lbs. 9 oz.).  We still don't know their length.  I don't know if it was even recorded.
The nurses brought each baby over to me for just a minute and untied one of my hands so I could hold them a bit and look at their tiny faces then they whisked them to the nursery.  

They both looked so tiny all bundled up in their blankets.  Glenn went with them while I was being sewn up.  It took much longer than I anticipated.  I was lying there for 45 minutes after Glenn left.  Dr. Faraj said everything looked great and then she left and I was transferred to a recovery room.  Glenn met up with me there a bit later, told me that the nursery was kind of confused when he asked them to let me feed them.  I guess they don't have very many breastfed babies here?  And told me the incredible news that I would be staying in my own room.  Hallelujah!  That was the part of the hospital stay that made the the very most nervous.  I can't imagine how awful it would be to share a room with several other women and their babies.  They only have 2 single rooms and I was SO fortunate to have one of them!
 The nurses in recovery were funny.  Both had pretty strong opinions about what I should be doing and they disagreed and fought with each other pretty boldly right in front of me.  Oh Saudi.
I had to stay in the recovery room until I could start to move my legs.  I threw up twice while waiting the hour or so for that to happen.  It was not great but at least I was still pretty drugged up so it didn't hurt!  Glenn left to go pick up Finn in Rakah and then get Tate from school and I was wheeled to my postpartum room.
My room was nothing super nice but it was heaven to have my own space.  I had a little bathroom, a little couch, and plenty of room on the sides of my bed to have one bassinet on each side.
I threw up several more times waiting for the boys to visit and was still throwing up when they came.  They gave me some anti nausea meds and it got much better.
Seeing the boys with their sisters was the very best.  They were both absolutely ecstatic and just lit up to see and hold their babies. They looked at their teensy fingers and toes, touched their soft hair, and sang them rock-a-bye babies.  It was so sweet.

Too soon they had to leave and I was on my own.  I did okay that first night.  I sent the babies to the nursery after I fed them and they were able to stay there for a few hours in between feedings which was nice.  I got a couple of hours of sleep at a time, interrupted of course by nurses coming to take my vitals all night and see if I was still feeling sick.  It was frustrating having to call someone to help me change a diaper or pick up and put down my girls because I couldn't move much on my own yet.

Wednesday morning I was finally able to eat.  The food was pretty awful. About what you'd expect from Saudi Arabian hospital food.  But there was always something on each meal tray that I would eat.  Usually not very much, but something was better than nothing and I wasn't too starving during my hospital stay anyway.
I had a nurse come help me get out of bed to use the bathroom for the first time.  It was nice to get up but I was surprised how hard it was to keep myself from falling over that first time out of bed.  Dr. Faraj came to check on me and took my dressing off.  Miss Kenna was all covered up in her blanket when she came in and she joked, "This one must know she's in Saudi Arabia and that it is custom for girls to cover their faces."
I was able to take a shower and clean myself up before the nurse put on another dressing.  It felt amazing to take a shower.
Glenn and Finn came to visit for the morning.  Glenn brought a box of cinnabons and I had one with my breakfast which tasted so good.  He gave the rest to the nurses.  Bribing the nurses became a theme of his visits.  Aubry gave us the idea of bringing something for the nursing staff to thank them and also hopefully bribe them to take good care of us.  I think it worked pretty well.
Glenn brought a movie for Finn to watch on the little DVD player so they were able to stay for a little while.  They left just before lunch time to get Finn home for lunch and nap.  Glenn and Finn picked up Tate again from school and came for a quick visit after school.  It was so nice to see them all but it was probably the hardest visit because it was the night I was in the roughest shape.  I was in a lot of pain and knew that it was going to be a long night.  Everything hurt.  I had a throbbing pain in my shoulder which was apparently from trapped gas, my stomach was all bloated and sore, also from gas, and having cramps while nursing after having a c section was pretty awful.
That night was the hardest night in the hospital.  I tried to feed the girls and send them to the nursery for a while but they ended up coming back within an hour because they'd get fussy and either the nursery nurses didn't know what to do for them without being able to just give them a bottle, or there weren't enough nurses to take care of them and give me a break.  So I ended up being up all night.  They would eat, I would run to the bathroom and then as soon as I got my bed laid down one or both of them would start squeaking and be up on and off until I would give up and feed them again after about an hour.  It was the first time I tried feeding the girls at the same time.  I was quite the sight, I'm sure, but I didn't know what else to do when they were both screaming at me at the same time.  We figured it out okay.  I was so glad that even though they were small, they didn't have a hard time latching on at all.  That was a huge blessing.  I also spent a lot of time that night snuggling and figuring out how to hold two babies at once.  Not a bad deal at all.  Two sweet, soft, little babies to snuggle with.  It was heavenly.
Thursday was pretty chill.  Glenn spent the morning playing with Finn on Rakah so he would have some one on one attention and play time.  I spent all day just hanging out and feeding and snuggling the girls.  It was nice.  As long as I stayed on top of my pain medication it wasn't too bad.  I found that the nurses didn't always bring me medicine when it was due so I had to ask how long I needed to wait in between doses and then call to ask for them to bring it to me when it was due.  Otherwise it could be an hour or two late and I'd start to get pretty sore.  I was really glad that I brought some movies and a DVD player.  It was nice to have something to occupy my mind during all the feedings and quiet hours.
After school the boys came and brought pizza.  We all hung out and ate pizza and the boys watched a movie and held their sisters.  It was so great to have our own room so they could come visit for a while.  Officially no kids are supposed to be allowed to visit postpartum recovery but they stretched the rules for us as long as the kids stayed in our room.  If we had to share a room they wouldn't have been able to visit.  There would be no where for them to even sit.
Thursday night was about the same as Wednesday.  Not much sleep, but lots of cuddle time with my new baby girls.  It was amazing to me every time I picked them up how small they were.  I loved kissing their soft cheeks and rubbing their soft hair.  
It was pretty great to have a lot of alone time to get used to having my little girls and feel capable of taking care of them on my own.  It was pretty amazing how I didn't feel overwhelmed and frustrated at the task of caring for my two babies at all while in the hospital.  I was tired and sore sometimes but I was always a little excited when one of my babies made noise and it was time to feed or snuggle them.  It was sweet and exciting instead of scary and overwhelming.  They're pretty sweet little babies.  They love to be held and snuggled, which makes them so easy to love!
On Friday morning Tate woke up feeling a little sick so the boys decided to go to church just for sacrament meeting and then go straight home instead of stopping to visit.  My day consisted of getting ready, feeding and snuggling the girls, and waiting around for different doctors to get us discharged.  I don't know if the discharge process would have been more organized if it wasn't on their sabbath, or if that's just the way it goes here.  It was frustrating not knowing when the doctors were going to come or how long we'd have to wait or when to tell Glenn we would be ready to go.  By the afternoon I was very done waiting around and just wanted to go home.
Dr. Faraj was out of town on Friday so another doctor came by to take out my staples and give me a new bandage.  It was not a fun process, removing staples, but it could have been worse.  After he gave me some instructions and I asked him some questions, they gave me a big bag of medications and told me that I was ready to go.  Then we just had to wait for the pediatrician to see the girls.  A few hours later the pediatrician came, the girls got their shots and got looked over by the doctor.  He called me down to the nursery and told me that Kenna had a bit of jaundice and needed to come back to the clinic for another test in three days, and that Taryn had a little bit of a heart murmur.  He didn't seem too concerned about it at all.  He didn't give me much information and I didn't really know what to ask, but his demeanor was not worried so I didn't stress out too much.  He ordered an echo test and said that a cardiologist would be by later to look at it and let me know what he saw.
I had a few hours after that to think about my little girl and what might be wrong with her heart.  It took so long for the cardiologist to show up and by the time he did I was anxious to know what was going on.  The doctor was my least favorite I've dealt with yet in the kingdom.  He walked into the room and said, "So, you broke one of your babies."  What?!  I broke one of my babies?  Do you have any idea how precarious my emotional state is right now?  He told me she had pulmonary valve stenosis and asked me if I knew anything about the anatomy of the heart.  I said no and he asked, "didn't you study science in school?"  I told him that I had but that it had been a lot of years.  He said, "It's been a long time since I studied to be a doctor but I still remember it."  Thanks a lot, sir.  So he had me look up a picture of a the heart on my ipad so he could point to the different parts as he explained what was happening.  It seemed like it wasn't a really scary condition but I couldn't figure out how to get simple, straight answers and I also didn't really know which questions to ask.  I'd ask him, "But she's going to be okay, right?"  And his answer was, "Inshallah, she will be fine."  Which means something akin to, "If God wills it."  I really don't care for that expression.  Inshallah just seems to be what Saudis say when they can't or don't want to commit to a response.  Just tell me straight up that my new baby girl is going to be okay!  He told me that I needed to schedule another check up and echo in 6-8 weeks and that he wanted Kenna to come in too just in case.  He said there was a chance she could develop something similar because they "shared an apartment".  Then he asked what my husband does for Aramco.  I told him Glenn is a Geologist and he asked, "And does he remember what he learned in school?"  I wanted to punch him in the face.  After he left, I called Glenn and told him we were ready to be picked up.
Mary McGrath came over to watch the boys and Glenn came to pick us up.  It was so different being discharged from this hospital.  No papers to sign, no forms to fill out.  They didn't have us officially name the babies.  They just called them twin one and twin two the whole time.  Here's one of Taryn's ankle bracelets.  All of hers said, "Glenn Makechnie Bint 2 of 2" and all of Kenna's said, "Glenn Makechnie Bint 1 of 2". Bint means daughter in Arabic.
The only papers they gave us on our way out were records of their vaccinations and little papers for their baby books with their footprints and birth weight.  That's it.  Then we were on our way.

Overall the hospital experience was a positive one.  It was definitely different than my experiences giving birth in the US.  But that was certainly to be expected.  There were some pros, some cons, and some things that were sort of both.
- Having my own room.  I cannot imagine how much harder and more uncomfortable my stay would have been had I been sharing a room and bathroom with one or more women, their babies, and visitors.  I am SO glad that the nursing staff took pity on me and that there was a room available so I didn't have to face my recovery and long nights while sharing a small space with strangers.
- No paperwork at all.  Like I said, I didn't sign a single paper the whole time.
- Sprayers.  In the bathrooms in Saudi there are little sprayers, like the ones in kitchen sinks back home.  Saudis use them to spray themselves off after using the restroom instead of using toilet paper.  Usually I think they're completely disgusting because for some reason the public restrooms are completely soaked after they've been in use.  Totally soaked.  Like water half way up the wall behind and around the toilet, puddles on the floor, soaked.  And knowing that the water has been sprayed, supposedly, off of someone's soiled nether regions makes it even more nasty.  However, as long as you remember to check the pressure before you spray (yowsers), they can actually come in handy for a postpartum mamma.  Enough said.

- Food.  It was pretty bad.  Most every meal had fruit or vegetables, but they were not good fruit and vegetables.  They were slimy and bland.  Lunch and dinner were rice with some kind of meatballs or chicken or fish in curry or other unidentifiable slimy sauce.
- Couldn't log onto the wifi.  A small inconvenience, but it meant that I ran out of data on my phone by the second day and couldn't send imessages to friends and family anymore.

- Care.  The care was very different from the in the states.  There I would have people checking in on me and the babies all the time.  The pediatricians or nurses would take the baby and check their weight or vitals at least every day.  No one saw the babies until the day we were discharged here.  And I had no idea what their weight was upon leaving the hospital.  I didn't know how much weight they'd lost during our stay.  After that first day we were left to our own devices most of the day.  The nurses would come when I called them for pain meds or to bring in meals, but other than that we were alone a lot.  It was kind of nice to not be bothered, but I did wonder sometimes I would know if anything was wrong with my recovery or with the babies...because no one was really checking up on us.  
- Nursery.  Like I said, it seemed like they didn't really know what to do with breastfed babies.  I didn't get much sleep because every time I sent them to the nursery they'd be back as soon as they fussed even if it had only been an hour and they clearly didn't need to eat again.  A couple of times I asked if they could go to the nursery for a bit and was told that there was no room because the nursery was full.  Different.  Just different.
- It was nice to have my own TV in that I didn't have to listen to shows that anyone else wanted to watch at all hours of the day and night.  It was nice once in a while to try to find something to just turn on so it wasn't so quiet.  The bummer was that there were only three channels in English and that they were playing pretty violent action movies all the time.  I seldom felt in the mood for violent action movies while holding my new babies.

So that's it.  We survived having twin babies in Saudi Arabia.  I anticipated the worst case scenario of every situation, as we've become accustomed to doing here just so we're prepared.  But I'm happy to say that it wasn't as bad as I expected.  Primarily because I was able to have my own room.   It was far from my favorite or most comfortable hospital experience, but it wasn't horrible and it's over.  Bringing home both of my boys from the hospital I remember crying on the way home thinking, "How am I going to do this?  How can I take care of this baby on my own?  I've had so much help in the hospital and I don't think I am ready to do real life!"  But this time, I didn't cry at all.  I was so ready to go home.  More anxious to be in my own home with normal food and my own bed (even though it's still not my own bed) than I was scared that I couldn't do it.  We felt ready to start figuring out our new normal with our family of 6.  Here we go!