Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

In honor of the twin's second birthday, here is the very long story of their birth. Enjoy!

At 30 weeks, 3 days, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning thinking I'd peed the bed. Not too unusual for carrying twins, right? I hobbled to the bathroom and realized I couldn't stop the flow... and it wasn't pee. I called out to Kyle who immediately woke. I said "Honey, I think I peed the bed, or the cat peed in bed." He said "Hon, if it's cat pee, then he exploded." We slowly realized it was my water that had broken, we got very scared. Kyle called 911 and the medics came and asked me a bunch of questions while I sat pantsless on a towel (with another towel over me). They hauled me into ambulance #1, and I was whisked away to hospital #1. Kyle quickly grabbed a few items of clothing and followed in the car. The medic kept asking if I was feeling contractions, but other than being wet and tired, I felt fine!

A hospital #1, they determined that yes, indeed, my water had broken. Duh. The fluid was clear and I wasn't dialated at all, and was having no contrax. They gave me a steroid shot for the kids' lungs, and some meds to stave off labor, and said they would have to send me up to hospital #2, where they have a state-of-the-art NICU. I was carted into ambulance #2 and drove 45 minutes, sirens blaring, to the next hospital. Kyle stopped at home to feed the cats and change the litter box, and grab everything we might need for a long hospital stay. I think I texted him several times to remember the camera (he did, without me having to remind him, lol).

During ambulance ride #2, I started feeling a mild crampy sensation and knew they were contrax. The medic (who I think had 4 or 5 daughters!) talked intelligently about pregnancy and labor. At hospital #2, they checked me again - still not dialated. The docs said they wanted to keep me pregnant for as long as possible, hoping for at least 4 weeks, up to 6 weeks. All in the hospital. Fun. But the kids had other plans.

The contrax didn't respond well to the meds. They'd slow for an hour or so, then start back up again. At about 2 pm, my contrax were so bad, I couldn't talk through them. The docs checked me and I was 2-3 cm. At some point, the docs realized I was having those babies and stopped the meds that were supposed to be keeping me from going into labor. At 3pm pm I was 4 cm. The nurses started getting everything prepped. At 4pm, I was 9-9.5 cm. Yes, I dialated 5-5.5 cm in an hour. The nurse who checked me just about tripped as she scampered to tell the doctor. The doc came in and confirmed dialation and left again.

The goddess anesthesiologist gave me my epi (while I curled awkwardly around my giant belly) and said "you'll probably feel the next couple contractions before it kicks in..." she looked at the contrax printout "or not." It kicked in immediately! The nurse enthusiastically said, "Let's do a couple practice pushes!" so I did. So she said "Stop! You're too good at this!" and they whisked me into the OR (in case of emergency, since it was high-risk with preemie twins.)

I asked them to turn the florescent lights down, and they did. Strangely, I think that was one of the most important things for me, because it showed they listened to my concerns and had my best interest at heart.

Once set up in the OR, I started pushing for real. Then I realized the epi had already worn off. So. Much. Pain. Kyle told me later that I screamed "OH SHIT THAT HURTS!" but that was my only swearing. :)

5 pushes later, at 5:27 pm, Giovanna Amelia Kae came out, tiny and skinny, but still larger than I had expected. They cleaned and bundled her up, held her up so I could see her, then took her off to the NICU. I would have started crying right there, but I had more work to do, lol.

The contrax had slowed way down, so I got a refill on my epi (yay!). After 4 or 5 tries, the docs finally broke Roman's water, then had gone to another delivery room to deliever another baby (a 27 week preemie!), and the nurses told me to tell them when I felt like pushing. I said "NOW" and one of them ran to get the docs back!

3 pushes and Roman Markus made his way into the world at 5:48 pm. Again, the nurses cleaned and wrapped him (he was a screamer!), held him up to me, and took him to the NICU. I asked the nurses a lot of times if my babies were doing ok. Each time, they told me they seemed big and healthy for 30-weekers, and kept saying how happy they were I got to 30 weeks - anything earlier than that was much scarier!

The docs delivered the placentas (they were fused on one corner), cleaned me up, and I was taken back to the other room. I told Kyle to go with the babies - they needed a parent there. I thought it would be hard to wait alone, but I knew they'd be ok with their daddy there to watch out for them. :)

Shortly after I returned to my room, family and friends started showing up. Everyone took turns going to visit the kids in the NICU, while I recovered the use of my legs. As soon as I could prove I could walk from my wheelchair to the toilet, they wheeled me down to the NICU, too. It was over an hour since the kids were born.

I was so nervous going in to see them - I didn't know what to expect. They were in incubators, with lots of tubes and electrodes, but having grown up being exposed to hospitals and medical equipment (my dad's a pharmacist and my stepmom is a nurse), it wasn't as scary as it could have been. I was instructed as to how I could touch the kids without causing them stress (head and feet only - their torsos were too sensitive), and I just sat there crying and talking to them for ages. Eventually, I went back to my room. Family and friends all hung around for awhile, then headed out.

Giovanna was in the hospital 6 weeks (came home Dec 9), after a little jaundice and a lot of growing. Roman was in for 9 weeks (Dec 29), having had a lung tear (still has a scar from a chest tube), a heart valve that didn't close properly (medication fixed it without surgery), and reflux issues.

Giovanna, 2 days old:

Roman, 2 days old:

Our first family photo:

The day Roman came home:

And now!

1 comment:

Rachael said...

Wow. I remember that day like it was yesterday and driving to Tacoma to find you alone in your hospital room and wondering where Kyle was because at first I didn't realize you'd already had teh twins. I didn't get to see them that day, but a little later, and even then they were so incredibly small. I can't imagine what those months after they were born were like for you.

Looking back now, I can't even believe they were ever so SMALL! They are so big and amazing and smart now! Happy Birthday Roman & Ginny!!!