Monday, January 5, 2015

Due date

I keep starting posts and never finishing them. Here is one I started on Sunday and added more to on Monday. I'm going to put it up now, even though it's not really finished or I never will. 


Today is my due date and instead of waiting for my babies to arrive I'm waiting for one to wake for a feed and the other to graduate from NICU.

The babies will be three weeks old on Tuesday and the last 3 weeks have been the longest, scariest roller coaster ride ever. They arrived on December 16th at 2.31 and 2.32 am, at 37wks and 1 day gestation. My whole pregnancy making it to 37 wks was my goal, that is when twins are considered to be full term and usually don't require any NICU time. Of course my guys decided not to follow along with that one and took everyone by surprise! 

The weekend of dec 13th I had contractions on and off all weekend. The Friday night was so uncomfortable that on Saturday morning I was crying to J that I was done. My belly was huge and sleeping was hard and so was breathing with baby boy lodged up under my ribs. I spent the night moving between the bed, the recliner and the couch trying to get some sleep. On Saturday I started bleeding and called my OB who said it was probably just the beginning of labor. That it wasn't a concern unless it got heavier and to call back when contractions were 5 mins apart. My contractions never became regular so I continued to wait. 

On Monday morning I was woken around 3 with more contractions, although these felt a little different to the others I had been having. Again I tried to sleep in between them, thinking they would stop eventually. I even sent J to work, as I was pretty sure they wouldn't come to anything. When N got up for the day I tried to doze on the couch while he watched a little tv, but it wasn't long before I thought I should start timing the contractions as they seemed pretty frequent. To my surprise they were around 10 mins apart. At 11 I texted J and told her that she should probably start heading home and called N's school to let them know he wouldn't be in that day. J flew out of work, speeding all the way home, calling her parents and our neighbor to watch N. Think she was a little surprised when she got home to find me pottering around in my pjs, talking about packing my bag and wanting a shower. I hadn't even called the OB yet! 

Finally after a shower I called the ob and told them the contractions were 5 mins apart. She told me to head to the hospital, so off we went. At this point I was still convinced it wasn't real and that I would be sent home. 

We arrived at the hospital at around 3. I was taken to my room and checked. I couldn't believe I was 5cm dilated and wouldn't be going home! 


Both babies were put on the monitor and this was when things started to get uncomfortable. Being stuck in the bed made my contractions more painful and harder to deal with. My OB came and checked me and said I should get an epidural and they wound break my water to move things along. By 10pm I was fully dilated but the babies were still high up, so pitocin was started in the hope that they would come down more. By this point my amazing midwife had arrived from another delivery and she was awesome - massaging my very swollen feet, applying lotion, and answering my questions. By midnight I was told I could start pushing and push and push I did.

At around 2 the OB came to check me again and told me that there was no change. So I had a choice to make, keep pushing for another hour or have a c-section. Both babies looked good on the monitor and he said it was fine to keep pushing, but that he couldn't guarantee that baby B wouldn't need a c-section because of his size and breech presentation. Given his opinion about that I decided to go ahead and have a c-section.

Everything was very calm and relaxed in the OR and before I knew it J was brought in and they started the c-section. I heard that baby a - our little girl had arrived and expected to get a peek at her, but didn't think too much of it when that didn't happen. Right after baby B arrived and I heard a little cry and saw him over the drape for a second, before he was gone. Little did I know that I wouldn't see either baby again for close to 12 hrs.

Things started to get a little crazy after that and I can't remember it all. J went to the room where they were working on the babies and wasn't allowed in. She got a glimpse of them through the door. Baby girl was blue and being resusitated and baby boy was being bagged. They were both intubated and headed to the NICU amid a flurry of activity and questions. Nobody could believe how much they were struggling considering the gestation that they were born at. At this point I still didn't realise how sick they were. I remember being told that they needed some help with their breathing and were going to the NICU, but the Neonatologist was really calm about it all. J went with them and I was told I could go up after I was sewn up and had spent a little time in recovery.

After the babies were born the release of pressure from my body was huge. I remember thinking at one point that I was having a heart attack. I guess my organs started to move back into place and it really hurt. Again I was thankful for my midwife who held my hand and kept me calm.  She stayed with me in recovery and helped get a little info from the NICU. I found out that baby girl weighed 6.3lbs and baby boy was 7.12lbs, great weights for twins. At some point I was told I wouldn't be able to go and see them and J came back down to say they were working on the babies and she hadn't really gotten to see them either. I was moved to my room and we tried to sleep for a while. 

During the course of the first day we found out a little more about the babies condition. Both babies had immature lungs and were given surfactant to open them up, it worked for baby boy, but made little difference for baby girl. Our daughter also appeared to have a heart defect - the structure of her heart looked good, but it wasn't doing its job. It couldn't oxygenate her blood or pump it around her body. This in turn made them worry that lack of oxygen had caused brain damage. She was on a special ventilator and a cooling blanket, that brought her core body temp way down in an effort to protect her brain. She was also sedated so that she could rest and be pain free. They asked a lot of questions about my pregnancy and labor, but couldn't find any answers there as to why this was happening to her. My whole pregnancy baby boy had been the one we were concerned about having heart issues, not her. Even during labor her heart tracings were perfect, he was the one that had some decelerations and was the reason I had a c-section. 

Finally getting to see my babies was overwhelming and pretty scary. They were in different rooms and it was hard to get a good look at them from the wheelchair I was in. I also felt unsure about touching them and was worried that I would cause them more discomfort. In many ways it was like looking at someone else's kids. It was so far from what I expected to have happen and was hard to get my mind around. Learning the ropes in the NICU was foreign and tough, we have been lucky to have some amazing nurses who have made the experience so much easier for us. 3 weeks in and has all become so normal. I'll try and write more about it soon soon.



Three weeks on and baby boy is home, loving being the only baby and for the most part nursing well. I'm pumping for baby girl too, so not sleeping much. After scaring us with her difficult start baby girl has come so far. I keep hearing how well she's doing considering how sick she was. I don't think I realized how close we came to loosing her, on many occasions and one of the nurses told me it's probably better that way. I feel really torn between being home and being at the hospital. There never seems to be enough time and wherever I am, I'm feeling bad they I'm not at the other place with the other baby. 

N loves the babies and has loved having J home more. She's back to work today, so I'm anticipating that it will be a rough few days while he adjusts. My parents arrive tmrw and despite not always having had the easiest relationship with them, I'm looking forward to it. It's amazing how being a parent makes you look at your parents differently and in my case with less judgement. They may not have parented me in the way that I feel I needed, but they probably did the best they could.