I really can't believe that I am sitting down to write about the day the twins were born in September! I never in a million years thought that they would be born so early when they were due November 27th. The day they were born was a crazy crazy blur and I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I had wanted so I'm going to try to write down details before I forget them. I actually went through my texts with Ryan so I could make a time line of what happened because I didn't remember!
On Wednesday September 16th I had my weekly appointment to check on the babies. The plan was to do an ultrasound, growth scan, and then a regular appointment. After getting there and doing my ultrasound we immediately saw that things were worse with my cervix situation which was the reason I had been on bed rest for the past month. At that point the ultrasound lady said they were not going to do the growth scan because they might send me to the specialists in Greenville to have it done there. I was super disappointed because I wanted to see the babies and how much they had grown (little did I know I was going to get my wish!). After meeting with the doctor she decided to send me over to the hospital in New Bern to be monitored to see if I was having any contractions. She stressed that she was just doing this as a precaution and that if everything looked good they would see me the next day for the growth scan. She recommended I stop on the way and get something to eat because they would not let me eat over there so I headed out, ran by Chick-fil-a for a breakfast biscuit and then checked into the hospital outpatient area. Ryan knew what was going on but I told him just to run over on his lunch break because I was fine until then. I got checked in and hooked up to the heart/contraction monitors. I made it to labor and delivery triage around 11:30 a.m. Over the next few hours I just hung out. I remember the babies were super active. They nurses had to come in every couple of minutes because one of the babies would move and then they would have to re-position the monitor to try to find them. It was almost comical how often they had to do it. Looking back I'm so thankful that I had those few hours of being pregnant and seeing/feeling them move. I had no idea that would be the last day of ever being pregnant! I also remember thinking that I could not wait to get out of there and how I was going to stop for a coffee because I was tired. Little did I know that it was going to be a long day ahead!
Ryan came and hung out with me and then headed back to work. It probably sounds crazy that he was working while I was in the hospital but that is how comfortable we felt about the situation, especially after talking to the doctor who was on call. Around 1:30/2:00 the doctor checked on me and was about to let me go home when she decided at the last minute to make me wait one more hour just to be safe and then she would check me again. I had had almost no contractions during the whole time I had been at the hospital. Unfortunately when she checked me again I was now 3-4 centimeters dilated. The doctor still didn't think there was a whole lot to be worried about since I wasn't contracting but just to be safe she suggested that we transfer me to Greenville and that we do steroid shots and start magnesium sulfate. Now came the not so fun stuff. The nursing student was assigned to do my iv, blew my vein, and about killed me digging around with her needle. Praise the Lord the labor and delivery nurse took over and did a much better job. They got the iv in around 3 and started fluids and the magnesium sulfate which is not a fun drug to have. It makes you feel extremely hot and flushed and not good. By 4:15 I got my first steroid shot. Ryan showed up after going home and grabbing a few things and the ambulance transfer people showed up around 5:30.
|This picture probably says it all- do I look like I'm getting ready to go into labor???|
|I took this picture from the stretcher because I thought the boys would think it was cool that I got to ride on it|
We were only there a few minutes when the resident doctor, Dr. Bates came in to see me. I remember her asking me how long I had been having contractions to which I told her I hadn't had any that day or only a few. After thinking about her question for a second I said, "Am I having contractions now?" to which she replied, "yes every 2 minutes or so." Yikes! That's when I started to freak out a little..especially when I looked over at the monitor and saw this: steady consistent contractions.
Even at that point I still thought they would be able to stop the labor at least for awhile. Dr. Bates did an ultrasound and saw that BOTH babies were breech. They were almost side by side because they could not even figure out who was baby A and who was baby B. She then checked me and I was 6 centimeters and she said, "Let's talk about a c-section." When I heard the number 6 my heart dropped. I remember looking at Ryan and saying, "Oh my gosh these babies are going to be born tonight." There are no words for how unprepared both of us were to hear that. I was in active labor without even feeling it and things were moving really fast. The attending doctor, Dr. Sutton, came in and emphasized that we needed to do a c-section sooner than later, especially with them both being breech, early, and my labor going so fast. Everything after that was a blur. They quickly started prepping me for surgery. The NICU doctor briefly stopped by and I had to sign a bunch of papers. They did not even run my labs or start another iv, they ended up just taking me back ASAP.
Some things I was really thankful for was that the attending doctor who did the surgery knew Ryan from when he was in med school. It always feels nice to have a connection. Dr. Sutton also had a very calming presence and a confidence about her. The anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist were super- very confident, slightly humorous, and they did a great job of keeping me calm. Because things happened so fast I had little time to worry. When I got wheeled into the OR I was very overwhelmed with the amount of people in there. Each baby had their own isolate and each had their very own NICU team, probably 5 people per team. I had two nurses assigned to me, a resident, an attending, a med student, the anesthesiologist and anesthetist, and who knows who else! I remember thinking it was about 20 people in the OR. The two teams waiting for the babies is what really got to me. It was so nerve wracking yet comforting to know they had so many people to care for them right after being born. One of my biggest praises from the day they were born was that we were able to get to Greenville in time. Knowing that the babies were so early but would have the specialized care they would need was very comforting. They started the surgery and I kept saying, "Please don't forget my husband!" Thankfully Ryan finally showed up.
Before long Andrew Baker was born. I felt very ill prepared as to what a 29 weeker was going to look like, if they would be able to cry, etc. Thankfully both babies did cry on their own and just looked like miniature versions of regular babies. Andrew came out with his butt first! We had no idea which baby would be born first and I remember the doctor saying, "I see boy parts" which is how I knew Andrew was coming out first. I remember feeling excited that Kate was going to be the baby of the family. I mean what could be better than having three older brothers to protect her? :)
Then it was Kate's turn. She came out feet first. I remember thinking that she looked much smaller than Andrew.
One thing that was really nice was that the Doctor held them for about a minute for delayed cord clamping. This gave Ryan and I a few precious seconds to actually see the kids before they were whisked away to the NICU teams. While the doctor held them they were wrapped in what looked like a bread bag to help keep them warm.
|Still in the "bread bag"|
And just like that- I was no longer pregnant and now the mother of four! I got to recovery around 10 p.m. and was told I would need to stay there for two hours. I don't remember a lot about that place, just that every time I turned around the nurse was giving me more pain meds. She was able to get us the baby weights and an update from the NICU. Andrew- 3 pounds 13 ounces. Katherine- 3 pounds 3 ounces. I was pretty surprised that they were both over 3 pounds. They were born less than two hours after we got to Greenville. I still can't believe how fast things happened! Finally when I left recovery my nurse graciously wheeled me on the hospital bed to the NICU so I could see the babies before going to my room.
This was definitely not how I planned for things to go. Honestly I am still processing all that happened and I am grieving the loss of the birth experience that I had hoped for. However I am so thankful for these two precious babies and for their lives. God's presence was felt so clearly to me the day they were born and His fingerprints were all over the events of that day. Even though this took us by surprise, nothing about their lives is a surprise to Him. The timing seemed all wrong to me but His timing is perfect. I don't understand why this is the path that He chose for us to walk down but I know that we are not walking it alone. I love you Andrew and Kate- Happy Birth Day!!!