Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Delivery Story

Blogger uploaded these pictures in a really funny order and I can't change them right now. So I will try to explain each picture and try to remember which baby is which. First, is the story of how we got here so fast and early:

Saturday we didn't have anything planned other than getting the house more set up from moving in 2 weeks ago. Pictures of the house will come one of these days. I promise. Anyway, I woke up and started having pain and pressure. To me they felt more like contractions than what I have had before. I have had some cramping but it was a constant pain and these were definite off and on pains. On Saturday I was 33 weeks and 3 days; too early to be going into labor. My other babies were full term and I just figured these would come full term too. I tried to not let it get to me. We went to Lowe's and shopped around, but the pain kept coming back on and off. Brett was starting to worry but I didn't let myself get freaked out over it. We got home and I laid on the couch most of the rest of the afternoon and watched movies with Jules. I started keeping track of the contractions and they were ranging from 3 minutes all the way up to 30 minutes with no longer than 30 second contractions. They were very inconsistent. I talked to a friend who is a week ahead of me in her twin pregnancy and had been on bed rest. I asked her what she thought was going on and she told me that I should be on strict bed rest for the next 48 hours. Another friend told me to call my doctor. I hate bugging doctors on the weekend when they are with family so it took me a while, but eventually I called him. He said it was just pre-labor and not to worry too much about it. It could be because of twins and also that it was my third pregnancy. He told me not to over do it but that I didn't need to be on best rest per se. If he wasn't going to worry about it, neither was I. He also told me not to worry about keeping track of the times because it will just drive me crazy. Luckily I asked him when I should go in if these continued. He just said to monitor the pain. If it gets really painful and they aren't going away, then I should go in. He told me to take a hot bath and make sure my belly got in the water and stay there for 20 minutes to see if that would change the pattern. So that's what I did and we went to bed.

Sunday and Monday were pretty good for the most part. The contractions had pretty much stopped. I didn't do too much on Sunday, but on Monday I was starting to get a little nervous that they were going to come sooner than planned. Not as soon as they did, but sooner than planned. So I went out shopping and stocked up on food essentials and toiletries, I finally got around to buying some new nursing bras and stuff like that. It was a very full day of shopping and walking around but no contractions. I was super tired after so much shopping but not like I was going into labor by any means.

Monday night the contractions started while I was sleeping. I was so tired that I didn't really pay much attention to them or the pain level. I just know that every time I moved, it would start up a contraction. I didn't get too much sleep that night. When I woke up they didn't really stop. I started getting the babies room a little more prepared. I put diapers in their basket on the changing table and started washing their baby clothes so I could hang them up and stuff like that. It was taking me a while to do it all because the contractions kept coming and going. I had planned on making some curtains for their room and also their car seat canopies that day too.

The pain was not going away so I talked to Brett and we tried to figure out what I should do. I told him that I was thinking about just going to the hospital just to make sure. I figured they would just give me some medicine to stop the contractions and send me home. Brett had freaked me out a bit saying that I really might be in actual labor. I did start to time the contractions a little and they were about every 1:30 to 2 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds a piece. My friend had told me that when they are lasting that long then I should go in. The contractions were getting strong enough that I felt if I were in actual labor I would be getting an epidural and that's how I judged the pain level. I was starting to get a little nervous and did pack my bag really fast. I talked to Brett's mom and had her meet me at the park-n-ride to get the kids and I was going to drive myself to the hospital. I called my mom to have her meet me at the hospital just so I wouldn't be there alone. She works pretty close and knew she could come so that was a relief. I didn't want Brett to have to leave work if it was just false labor. When Tammy saw me she decided that I shouldn't be driving myself to the hospital so she drove me and dropped me off and took the kids home with her.

I got to the hospital and got myself checked in around 1pm. The lady at the desk later told me that she thought I was going to be a false labor mom because I looked too relaxed and calm. It really was because I had no intentions of having the babies.

They put the monitors on to make sure they were okay and started tracking my contractions. They were very consistent at 2 minutes apart. She was going to have me do my culture test and stuff but when she looked, my bags were right there. If she had tried, it would have popped the bags. She checked my dilation and I was at a 6. She quickly called the on call doctor to make a decision on what to do next. They had hoped they could try to stop them for a few hours but I was progressing quickly. I asked if I should get Brett there and she said yes and that I should hurry.

Brett quickly left work a little panicked and surprised. I was really calm during the whole thing because it all just felt so surreal to me. I was not planning on any of this happening so fast. I ordered my epidural and in the past it has taken a while to come, so I figured Brett would be there to hold my hand through it. They came in right away and gave it to me as the on call doctor and my doctor discussed what they should do. So Brett missed the epidural by a few minutes. He likes to watch that kind of stuff and I just need his hand to hold. The nurses were great and I just held theirs instead. The medicine started to work right away and right after getting it, the contractions started to get a lot stronger. The doctors decided that the best way to go was a c-section because of the way the babies were sitting. With how fast everything happened it would seem like it was an emergency c-section but it wasn't an emergency at all. They prepped the operating room and got me more numb with the epidural medicine and we were on our way. I started to shake, which I usually don't do until I'm about ready to deliver. It wasn't as much shaking in my legs this time though, it was in my arms. I couldn't control them nor my chin. The operating room was cold but they put a nice warm blow up thing with warm air flowing through it that warmed me right up. They didn't waste any time and about 15 minutes of being in the O.R. I heard a baby cry. It was so crazy. Then about a minute later I heard the next baby cry.

Brett was there watching the whole thing but once they came he left and followed the babies who were taken directly to the NICU. I didn't get to see them at all since the curtain was up and everything. I could feel some tugging and pulling but it didn't take them too long to stitch me back up. I felt a lot of pressure in my chest and was having a hard time breathing, but I just kept taking deep breaths which kept me focused on that rather than other things. They brought me back to my room and I just waited. Nobody could tell me how the babies were doing or how much they weighed or anything. The nurse was in and out but didn't have much information. I wasn't nervous that they were in horrible condition, I just wanted some information. It was a little frustrating, but I was calm. I started calling my siblings and letting them know. My mom had already called them to let them know I was having the babies today but they were surprised when I was calling so quickly to let them know they were here.

Before too long they came in and gave me the babies weights and heights. Baby A was 4 lbs. 09 oz. 17 inches long. Come to find out later that she was really 4 lbs. 12 oz. Baby B was 4 lbs. 6 oz. 17 inches long. She said they both seemed to be doing okay but didn't know any details. They arrived at 2:54 and 2:55.

Brett finally came back to the room and showed me some pictures so I finally got to sort of see them. They were all strapped down and had so many cords attached to them so it was a little sad. I still haven't been so overwhelmed by any of it though because I know they are doing what is best for the babies. It took about 2 hours before they took me back to the NICU to see them. I was so tired and lying in a big bed and couldn't see them really well but I was so happy to see them when I could. It was so hard not to be able to touch them or hold them. They got me settled in my post delivery room and we just sat and got checked on a lot. I started pumping after not too long to get my milk coming and to give the babies some colostrum.

We had some visitors that night too. My brothers Sterling and Spencer came and brought their families. Brett was able to take the adults up to see the babies and they took more pictures so I could see them a little better. I didn't get to see the babies again until the next morning. I was still connected to my IV and other things, so it was very difficult. I did 2 trips like that and just waited until I was detached to see them again. They removed Baby B's oxygen at 11pm the night she was born and 2 am on Baby A. That was a huge miracle to be off of it so quickly.

I started this post first thing this morning and now it's evening time and a lot has happened. Today's updates will be another post.

Here is a picture of Brett ready to go into the O.R. I took this picture literally as they were rolling my bed away.
I believe this is Baby A...Her name is Jane. Not sure if she will have a middle name or not. I'm telling you, we had a month left to come up with this stuff that happened in 2 hours.
Baby B. As of right now, her name is Kate. I'm thinking it will stay Kate but we aren't signing any papers quite yet.
Baby B.

Like I said, the pictures downloaded all funny. This is a picture of me right before going into the O.R. I was still smiling and so confused as to what was happening. "I'm still just going to get a shot to stop the contractions right?"The kids didn't see them until the next day. We didn't think kids could even go into the NICU. If they are siblings they can see them for 5 minutes on an initial visit and on the weekends. You have to have their current immunization records though and I only had Libby's. It was after 5 when we found out so we had to wait until the next day. We could only bring one of them in at a time and I couldn't hold them to see the babies. They got to stand on some chairs. Jules was a little scared to touch them at first but did love seeing them. I think they are still a little confused as to what's going on.

Notice Brett and Libby behind the window and in the flash.

Disclaimer: daddy did the girls hair.
Libby actually did really well. She was so excited to see the babies and she wanted to give them their binkis. She handled it really well and didn't have any problems touching them.
At 4pm the next day...25 hours later. I got to hold the babies for the first time. Being so early, they don't have the sucking reflex yet so they are being tube fed. When they get fed through the tube it's nice to get them used to being held and having that skin on skin contact. Eventually they put it all together and that the milk comes from me. It felt so good to finally hold them. It didn't feel so surreal any more. I had never held a baby so small and now I have 2 of them to hold. I cherished every minute of it. Sorry for the immodesty. I had to document me holding them for the first time and that's how it had to be. It was so precious.
It's hard to see how little they are when there is nothing to compare them to. Even looking at them in their beds they seemed to be pretty big until I actually held them. Here is Kate next to my hand. They really are so much cuter in person.

Here is Jane next to my dad's hand
My mom has seen them several times but this was my dad's first time. He went to the wrong hospital the first time and it got too late to make it over to the right hospital that first night. He made it over the next day and got to see me holding Kate.
This is me holding Kate for the first time.
As for right now I am the only one other than the staff that has held them. With preemies they get over stimulated really quick and it just wears them out which doesn't help their development. So for now, it's just Brett and I that can hold them.

It looks like they will have to be here for a while. They have to eat 8 times in 24 hours before they will let them go home. With their slow progress, doing that will take weeks. They are doing well and have these mature little faces and are so cute. I know I'm biased, seeing as they are my kids, but they really are cute. The pictures really don't do justice at all.