August was a crazy month at our house! We were, of course, expecting the arrival of our twin girls this month, we just didn't know it would be so early! The following are part of what I journaled during our "experience." It's a long post...bear with me!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
With my pregnancy being that of multiples, I was having two weekly non-stress tests done since I was 32 weeks along. Most of my NSTs were normal with the girls being a little non-cooperative through some of them, but nothing that raised any concern. That was until August 4th. That day I had a routine NST and an ultrasound with Dr. Dizon-Townsend at MFM at AF Hospital. Both the girls looked great on the ultrasound. They were measuring small, in the 15% percentile, for gestational age, but the perinatologist assured me that was totally normal for a twin pregnancy. I was then moved to the NST room and hooked up to the monitors and that's where I stayed for 2+ hours. Baby A (aka Emmie) was causing the doc some concern. Her little heart raced in the 180s for the first 20 minutes of the NST. When her baseline HR finally dropped to a healthier level, we couldn't get her to make any accelerations. After 2 hours hooked to the monitors and a BPP on Baby A (which she passed), Dr. Townsend decided to let me go, but scheduled me for an amniocentesis the following Tuesday to determine if the girls' lungs were developed enough to induce me earlier than we had originally planned. So I started preparing myself to be a mother of 4 the following week. That still sounds weird by the way...mother of 4! Now I had a definite delivery date and all kinds of thoughts and emotions were racing through my mind. Little did I know what the next 24 hours would bring.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I woke up this morning with thoughts of all the last minute things I wanted to accomplish for the girls. I work better under pressure, so nothing like procrastinating things a little! At 9:15 a.m. the phone rang. A call from UVRMC...hmmm. It was my perinatologist calling to say that she had worried about me and my babies ever since I left her office the day before. She asked that I drive down to UVRMC for a repeat NST just to make sure everything was o.k. I was a little panicked, but thought she was just being thorough and that there was nothing to worry about. So I woke Ezra up and told him what was going on. We got ready and dropped the boys of with a friend thinking we'd be back with in 1-2 hours. We were hooked back up to the monitors and little Baby A repeated her pattern from the previous day. They continued to watch the girls' hearts for over an hour and then Dr. Townsend came in to tell us that she was not comfortable with what little girl A's heart was doing and that she had already called the hospital and told them I would be coming in that afternoon to deliver. WHOA...seriously? We were not totally prepared for that news. And now I was scared that something was wrong with my babies. The doctor said the HR pattern Baby A was giving us was indicative of an infection and that she was most likely sick and she needed to be delivered. I knew they would be tiny babies but now, they may be sick too. I was so excited to finally meet these sweet little angels, but also scared at what may lay ahead of them. Being so unexpected, we had to take care of a couple of things before we headed to the hospital. We packed bags for the boys and dropped them off with their grandma for a sleepover and also had to run to SLC to drop off Ezra's company van. Once we ran our errands, we checked into the hospital around 2:30 p.m. Oh, yeah, and we were informed that my doctor, who I knew was on vacation that week, had fractured his pelvis and was out of commission. So the doctor on call that would deliver me was new to the clinic and I had never met him. Wonderful! And when he called the hospital to let them know I was on my way, he told them I would be having a c-section...um, no thank you! Apparently this doctor wasn't as experienced with twin deliveries and we knew that Baby B was transverse, so he decided that a c-section was necessary. So, when we arrived at the hospital to deliver, they were prepared for a c-section until I told them otherwise. My doctor had assured me through the entire pregnancy that as long as the lower baby was head down, and she was, that we would not need to do a planned c-section. Long explanation, but part of the story :) So, here I am in all my prego glory, about 7 hours before my babies were born:
We were also told by our nurse that with twins, they are required to have two doctors in the delivery room, and that we would deliver in the O.R. in case they needed to do an emergency c-section to get the second baby out. That meant that Dr. Parker would be there as well as the less experienced Dr. Taylor. I breathed a huge sigh of relief because Dr. Parker had delivered over 6000 babies and he has seen and done it all! The nurses reassured me that if Dr. Parker delivered me, he could do it without a c-section. So, we were hooked up to the pitocin to induce labor and then we waited. After a couple of hours, the contracts were painful enough I asked for my epidural which became a nightmare in and of itself. I don't know if it was the weight of two babies or what caused the problem, but my epidural didn't take. Dr. Taylor came in and broke my water at 6 p.m. and was feeling every single contraction! The anesthesiologist came back in to check my epidural and he was so puzzled as to why it was only working on my feet! He gave me and extra heavy dose of medicine to see it it would take effect, and it did nothing. He decided he needed to pull it out and move it up one spinal block. When they sat me up to prepare to reposition it, my blood pressure fell through the floor and I nearly passed out and felt like I was going to puke! They decided they needed to lay me back down and get the weight of the babies off my spine and within minutes, my epidural kicked in. The doc said it was one of the strangest epidurals he's ever done. I was finally feeling better with the epidural working now, but was positioned funky and was hurting a bit so the nurse tried to help me move, and my blood pressure crashed again. Same feelings...I wanted to throw up so bad, and I felt like I could just pass out and wake up next year! We're still not sure why my blood pressure was so out of control, but I finally stabilized and at 9 p.m., the nurse checked me and said, "Oh, wow, you're ready to deliver. I'll go call the doctor!" Par for the course this day, she called Dr. Taylor to let him know I was ready to deliver and they would be moving me to the OR only to find out he had been called to another hospital to deliver someone else. Seriously people!! So, lucky me, Dr. Parker was there within minutes and we were wheeled in to the OR.
We were all setup in the OR and the room was full of nurses and respiratory therapists...I've never had so many people attend a delivery before! With one little push, and I mean little, Emmie was born at 9:15 weighing 4 lbs 9 oz and was 17 inches long. She was so tiny! Ezra was able to hold her for a minute as we delivered Baby B. Ella was transverse and high in my abdomen, so Dr. Parker had to deliver her breech. He tried three times to pull her out, but she kept kicking one leg out to the side and doing the splits. Ella was born at 9:22 p.m. weighing 4 lbs 13 oz and was 18.5 inches long. she was struggling so she was whisked away to be cared for by the nurses and RTs. I wasn't able to hold either of my little babies that night. That was SO hard as a new mom! The girls were taken to the nursery and around 12:30 a.m. I was transferred to mother/baby. At 1:30 a.m. I was able to go see them in the nursery. It was so good and yet so hard to see them in the nursery. They were my babies but they were struggling so hard to breath. The pediatrician told us they may need to be transferred to another hospital with a level 3 newborn ICU. My heart broke! How could I be stuck in the hospital while my brand new babies were being sent to another hospital? I cried for the rest of the night in my room. So many emotions were flowing at that point. At 4 a.m., the pediatrician came to my room and told me they decided the girls were too sick and needed to be sent to the NICU. The transport team was on their way and they would bring the girls in to see me before they left with them. They wheeled my tiny little babies into my room in an incubator on a bed with so many machines it was bigger than my hospital bed. I knew they would be getting the care they needed, but it was so hard to see them leave me. I couldn't sleep after they left. At around 5:30 a.m. a neonatolgist, Dr. Gerday, called from the NICU to let me know that they had made the transition safely and that both girls required a ventilator to breath for them. I don't think at that moment, I really understood how sick they were. I'd always taken my babies home from the hospital with me within 24 hours of their birth. Something I'd taken for granted too.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This was a whole new experience for our little family. I felt so good that night and was able to get up on my own by 6 a.m. that morning and I now that Heavenly Father was blessing me that night. At 7 a.m., Dr. Parker came in to check on me and he knew I wanted to be with my babies. So he signed my discharge paperwork and at 9:30 a.m. I walked out of the hospital to head to the NICU at UVRMC. I was not prepared to see my fragile little newborns in the condition they were in. Ella was on a ventilator and because of her breech birth, she had extensive bruising on both legs from her knees down. She was completely purple and black. Both girls also required photo-therapy lights because of jaundice so we couldn't even see their faces. Emmie had done well enough in the first few hours in the NICU, they were able to take her ventilator out and we were able to hold her for just a few short minutes that day. I wasn't able to hold my precious Ella until she was 4 days old. But despite the fact I couldn't hold them, I needed them to know I was there, so we sat by their bedside all day that day.