Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Happiest of Beginnings

**Disclaimer: This post is very long, and I am probably the only person who finds in interesting. Feel free to skip ahead to the adorable pictures at the end while I remember.

...So after the worst day of my life I started a waiting game. Baby A (Matthew) had a ruptured sac and really "needed" to be born. Baby B (Daniel) did not have a ruptured sac and would be in great danger if he was born. The doctors actually said that if they boys had been fraternal twins they may have tried to deliver Matthew and wait a few weeks to deliver Daniel... since both boys were okay I'm really glad we didn't have to do that!

I was kept in the hospital in a high-risk pre-partum room. My legs were both in pressurized boots, my arms had IVs (for fluids and antibiotics), and my stomach had 3 monitors 24 hours a day. It was not comfy! Each morning I was taken for a sonogram to check Matthew's fluids and a decision would be made for the day as to if I needed to be induced.

On Sunday (Memorial Day) my doctor was on vacation and I saw an associate from another practice. During his 30 second stop, he said that my iron levels had changed dramatically overnight and I needed an iron therapy treatment. I guess if I had delivered at that point there would have been a great risk of hemorrhaging. An oncologist came in mid-afternoon to start the 4- hour IV treatment.

Apparently it is very rare to have an allergic reaction to the iron... BUT if you do it can be deadly so they go over all the side effects in great detail and warn you to page them immediately if you have a problem.

About 20 minutes later I had one of the worst pains in my back I'd ever felt. Brian burst out laughing and said he could have called it. While calling me a hypochondriac he paged the nurses, who paged the oncologist, who ordered a Benadryl treatment, but since my breathing was fine everyone agreed it was in my head. I swear in retrospect, I KNOW it was a contraction of some sort. However, at that moment, I was embarrassed about overreacting and trying not to complain too much.

Over the next 12 hours I started having a lot of pains in my abdomen and getting very uncomfortable. I was told this was to be expected with the iron therapy. By 5 am I was in pain. Again, I was told this was a very common side effect and to "hang in there". The same doctor from the day before stopped by at 7 am. I told him about the pain I was having and he said, "Right. We explained to you that the iron therapy could be painful," and walked out... thanks for the reassurance.

I called Brian at about 8 and told him not to come visit that morning. I was in a horrible mood. I didn't feel good and couldn't stop crying. I told him I wanted to just "feel sorry for myself" that morning and that he should spend the morning outside with Kirsten. At about 10 I decided to watch The Notebook. This is my favorite "cathartic, cry your eyes out movie". I thought it would give me a reason to just sit and cry (which is all I wanted to do) but I couldn't concentrate and soon turned it off.

I paged a nurse shortly after that and spoke to her about the cramping and pains I was having. She said it would be fine to take off my monitors (remember I had THREE monitors on this whole time) to get up and use the bathroom. I was again assured that this was common with the iron treatments I'd received.

My dad came to visit at about noon. My poor dad. I was in a horrible mood by that point. I remember tearfully telling him to "just go" a few times and being frustrated when he didn't. I told him I didn't feel good and wanted to be alone. He said he'd just sit in the corner and read the paper and I was totally annoyed. (Sorry dad.) Sometime within the next hour he could tell something wasn't right and convinced me to page the nurse again. The nurses had changed shifts by this point and someone new came into the room.

I explained the pain to her and she sat down and asked a few questions. She looked at my monitors and mentioned it was "possible" that I'd had a few contractions. After a few minutes she asked my dad to step out of the room so she could check me. This is where it all gets crazy!

She did a quick exam and then started pushing buttons on the wall, paging the nurses desk. She said to page my doctor. Now my dad says that in the hall people started running around, he heard an intercom page someone saying "32 week twins about to be delivered", and that a nurse ran past him saying "We're having babies!". I didn't hear any of this.

I knew they thought the babies were coming but this was about the 5th time they thought the babies were coming. I really didn't get that this was the "real thing"... plus I was in a lot of pain and wasn't really processing things very well. I was wheeled out in the hall to see my dad's tearful face and I told him to "cut it out" and that "everything is going to be fine. It will be fine." He was frantically calling my mom and Brian during this time.

Soon I was in an operating room and my mom and my doctor arrived. Everything was happening very, very fast. My mom kept saying over and over "the dad's not here yet,". I was annoyed thinking obviously... but apparently my mom was afraid he was going to miss the whole thing...

Brian walked in and asked if I'd had an epidural. I said no and the doctor told someone to page anesthesiology. Then she said "Never mind, don't page them,". I swear I thought that meant it wasn't really happening... not that it was much too late. My mom says I sound crazy when I say I didn't know they were going to be born, but I really didn't. It was just too much to process all at once. No one ever told me "this is it," and there had been so many false alarms.

I was told to bear down during the next pain and with one push Matthew was born at 2:00 pm. Danny was born with two pushes at 2:05. I kept asking Brian over and over if it was our boys that were crying. I started to get really upset when he didn't answer me. Later he said he thought that was a rhetorical question, "who else would be crying in our room"... but I'd been told so many times how they wouldn't be able to breathe without assistance... how they would be rushed to the NICU at the children's hospital next door... how I would get to see them later that night... Then suddently I was holding the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen.

Brian brought Danny over for me to peek at and then they boys were hurried out of the room.

The neonatologist explained that they were breathing and were doing very well. "For the moment" they would stay at the special care nursery... but to expect a NICU trip soon. It was a good sign that their lungs could work but they would not be strong enough to continue breathing on their own for long. The criteria for staying at the special care nursery was 32 weeks gestation and independent breathing. (If the boys had been born 12 hours earlier they would have been 31 weeks 6 days and would have been rushed to the NICU).

My strong babies never stopped breathing... they never missed a breath... and they never went to the NICU. They stayed at Bayfront for 18 days and then they came home to us... almost 6 weeks before they were supposed to be born. Matthew Dean Taylor was 2 lbs 14 oz and 15.5 inches long. Daniel Ward Taylor was 3 lbs 3 oz and 16 inches long. PERFECT.



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Anonymous said...

Hi! Visiting your blog from Multiples and More. I just wanted to tell you what a beautiful post this is. I have tears in my eyes! Congrats on your handsome men!

Pres-tone said...

This is great Marcie! I can't believe how small the boys were.