Thursday, September 28, 2006

Birth Story - Part 3

So. The total time I spent waiting to get into the labor & delivery assessment area was about 45 minutes. I arrived at the hospital around 11:30am and was being wheeled back to be checked around 12:15pm.

Once I got back there things moved quickly. I was greeted by nurse Tracie. I handed her my cup of amniotic fluid and she handed me a cup to go and give her a urine sample. She put a hospital gown on my bed and told me to change into it once I got back from the bathroom.
Allen took a seat in a chair by the bed.
When I got back to my little triage room, I saw that my OB- Dr.W was there ahead of me.
He asked me where Carly and Ben were? (remember, he's been with Carly through all of her losses, he knew what a BIG deal this was.) I shrugged. The last time I had talked to her was right after my water broke at 10:30am. It was now almost 12:30pm, and Carly lives about 15 minutes from the hospital.
He did a check to confirm that my water had indeed ruptured. (Baby A-the boy)
They did this by peeking under my sheet and gown, and having me "Cough hard," so Dr.W and my nurse could watch and see if amniotic fluid would come out. Lovely. Of course it did. Then he did an internal.
He could tell by the internal check that baby boy was still breech. So he verified with me that we were headed to a c-section. Dr.W and my nurse discussed the fact that he (Dr.W) had a 1pm scheduled c-section for the lady in the next curtained off room. Dr.W said "She's going first" meaning me. I could tell that he wanted Carly and Ben's babies here safe as sound, as much as we did. Dr.W asked me if I wanted him to go call Carly and Ben. I said yes. He left.
My nurse asked me a million health questions, and got my IV started.
Dr.W came back and said that he had reached them, and that they were on their way.
Allen left the room to go and wait by the elevators for Carly and Ben.
From here on out, my memory is hazy. Everything was happening at once. My room was filling up with people and it was all action, and movement and everyone talking.
The next thing I remember is that the nurse anesthetist came in and talked to me about having a spinal, and the c-section procedure. I remember signing papers. I told someone- the head anesthetist Dr. or the nurse anesthetist about our situation and the fact that I wanted, no, I needed, BOTH Carly and Ben to be in the OR and witness their babies being born. They said they'd see what they could do, but that hospital policy was only one person allowed.

Finally Allen, Carly and Ben came through the curtain, I believe that both Carly and Ben hugged me. Carly told me that as soon as they stepped off the elevator and saw Allen that she burst into tears, and that Ben grabbed Allen and gave him a big hug and kissed him soundly on the cheek.
Allen said "now I know what whisker burn feels like." I laughed.
I heard Ben telling someone- Allen? me? that they took so long because Carly had to take a shower and get ready before leaving for the hospital. I still can't believe it took them almost 2 hours from the first phone call until they arrived. They almost missed the birth. Crazy.
Then, one of the nurses entered and handed Carly and Ben white jumpsuits to get into. We realized that they were both being allowed into the delivery room. They suited up. I started to tear up.
Another nurse put on my ID bracelets, one for me, one matching me to the babies.
Then, she had a second set, and she looked befuddled as to who she should give them to.
"We usually give them to the husband..." She trailed off.
I asked what the exact purpose of the second set of bracelets was. She said it is to allow access to the babies.
I asked her to please put them on Carly. And since the babies would probably be in the NICU, I knew that Carly was allowed to bring 2 people with her to see the babies at any time. That way Ben could just get in with her. Perfect.
Another nurse brought me a small cup of medicine. I think it was anti-nausea medicine. She told me to "down it like a shot." It was pretty nasty. Off to the OR I went.

The c-section went perfectly, I've never had one with my children so I was worried. But it was pretty darn good.
Carly and Ben sat by my head. They were told that they had to stay seated, but that when each baby was brought out, they could stand when told, if they wanted.
I told the anesthetist that I wanted to see too! He offered me a mirror. I said "Yes!"
After about 10 minutes,(I think) I heard, "It's a Boy!" and the anesthetist grabbed a big flat mirror and held it above my head, tilting it on an angle over the curtain. I could see my OB arms and gloves, and in them was a nice sized, but small wriggly red/pink baby and they were suctioning out his nose and mouth. He started to cry. I started to cry. I heard someone call out "1:30pm!" as the time of birth. Carly and Ben had stood up to see, and after a minute they were told "Ok, sit down."
They did, and Carly bent in half at the waist, leaning forward toward me, crying. I was already crying and I remember the male nurse anesthetist grabbing something gauzy and wiping my eyes. (my arms were tied loosely out to the side for the operation)
I heard someone call out "Baby boy is 4lbs 2oz!"
Then a minute or so later a nurse came around the corner and handed baby boy to Carly.
She held him for a minute and handed him to Ben. I remember her saying that she felt so excited that she might pass out. (not really) I told her she better not, that she'd miss the birth of her daughter, as they were about to pull her out.
"Here's baby girl!, she looks great too!" I heard.
"Ok, stand up!" someone said again. And Carly and Ben stood, and my mirror got held up, and I saw baby girl being suctioned out, and she was crying and I remember thinking that she looked a little bigger than the boy, and just as beautiful, red, and wriggly.
"1:32!" was called out as her time of birth.
Carly and Ben sat down, and I remember turning my head and looking back toward Ben, and his eyes were all shiny, and he was looking down at his son in his arms.
"4 lbs 12 oz!" they called out for baby girls weight. "Good job!" I heard them telling me from the other side of the curtain.
I remember saying out loud "This is even better than I thought it would be." And I was laying there crying my ass off.
Then a nurse brought baby girl and handed her to Carly. It was so incredible to see each of them sitting there with a baby in their arms.
We were talking about how much the babies looked like Carly, with their dark curly hair and her ethnic nose, when someone joked from behind the surgery curtain to Ben, " You sure that they're yours?"
Ben came right back with "I KNOW they're mine, I signed the cup!" and everyone in the room burst out laughing. It was great.
The babies needed to be checked out in the NICU- standard procedure for 34 weekers, and they still needed to finish my c-section and close me up. I told Carly and Ben to go with the babies, I was in good hands, they didn't need to stay with me. So off they went.
My male anesthetist was the best. Not only did he talk me through the whole c-section from the start, he offered me the mirror, he snapped a couple of photos for us, he wiped my eyes when I cried, he grabbed warm blankets to put on my upper body while they were closing me up before I even had to ask. I joked with him as they finished up with my guts on the other side of the curtain " You're pretty good at this. I bet you've done it once or twice before" and he said, "Well I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!"
Holy shit, I loved that guy.
My nurses on the post partum floor were awesome and I went home 72 hours later. The boy went home with Mom and Dad 5 days after birth, and the girl went home 2 days after that.
Pretty great for 34 weekers.
I feel really good, no postpartum blues or anything. It feels so good to have the weight of the babies out, the heartburn is gone, I'm sleeping through the night, I can walk again , etc.
I've lost all of the pregnancy weight.
When I look at the babies, I don't feel any sense of connection or loss. As I shouldn't, but I guess you never really know.
I feel like I should. Like I'm looking at Carly and Ben's babies. That were brought into this world with help from me. It's really neat.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Birth Story- Part 2

So, I hung up from talking with the Dr.
I told Kate, who has her own phone line/number in her room to "call Grandma to come and get TJ." (my MIL)

At this point I'm standing in the kitchen pantless, wearing only this shirt.

~A little story on this shirt.~
The night before, my best friend came over and surprised me with it. I had been telling her for the last week or so, how ready I was to deliver the twins, and how uncomfortable I was getting. Of course she knew the whole story about how Carly wanted me to go "naturally" and if that meant 40 weeks, so be it. My BF saw this shirt, and bought it for me on Wed night. Thursday night we went out to Walmart together (the beginning of this story) and I wore it out while we were shopping. Then I wore it to bed. I woke up, and my water broke. We now call it the "magic shirt."

Ok. So I'm standing pantless in the kitchen, water still trickling down my legs, onto the kitchen floor. Kate is calling my MIL from her phone. Hubby is on his way from work to come and get me. Carly and Ben have been notified. OB has been notified. The only other call I needed to make was to my best friend Brenda. I called her and told her that my had water broke, and about how I worn the shirt she bought me to bed etc. We had a laugh over that. She was very excited that the babies were on their way. She asked me if I needed a ride to the hospital. I say "no, Allen is on his way." (insert forshadowing music here)

I hung up with her, and asked Kate to run upstairs and grab my hospital bags.
I grabbed a disposable plastic cup put it between my legs and caught 1/2 inch or so of the pinky amniotic fluid, so I could show the nurses/Dr at the hospital.

My front door opened and I looked up expecting to see my MIL. She only lives 5 minutes away. Nope. It's my 20 year old nephew, who lives with my MIL. My MIL had sent him to pick up TJ.
Thank God I was standing behind the kitchen island, blocking me from the waist down.
"Stay there!" I hollered at him. "I'm not wearing any pants!"
"Ok!" He said laughing.

(my husband later said that it didn't matter matter anyway. Our 6'2, 260lb nephew is gay. He couldn't care less about seeing my 'gina.)

So TJ and Robbie left. I went and put on a pad and some dry pants. I left the shirt on. What could be more fitting?

I called Allen to see how close he was to home. His work is 25-30 minutes away, I figured he was about half way home by now.

"Ummm, I'm on the freeway, but I'm at a dead stand still. And it looks like traffic is backed up for miles."

Ok, this freeway is never at a dead stop. Even if there's an accident or construction it will at least creep along.

"What the hell?" I said.

"I can't go anywhere, it'll be a bit before I can get to the next exit ramp...I'll take another way once I get to one..."

I cut him off. "Don't worry about it. Meet me at the hospital. I love you."
and I hung up.

Kate threw my bags in the car. I grabbed a glass of cold water to sip on the way to the hospital. Since I had just woke up, and had been running around ever since, I hadn't felt the babies move yet. I wanted to wake them up for reassurance for myself.
I grabbed a towel in case I flooded the pad I had on. At this time the leakage had slowed to a small trickle here and there.
I put the towel on the car seat seat. Kate was out side as I backed down the driveway. I realized that I had told Carly I would call her back to let her know what the OB had said. I hollered at Kate to call her, and tell them I was on my way and for them to head to the hospital.

As I was driving I sipped on my water, willing the babies to wake up for the day.
I didn't turn on the radio, I remember driving in silence paying attention to the road, and my body at the same time. I wasn't having contractions yet, but I knew that they would be starting any time.

Finally, after about 10 minutes, I felt the babies start moving. I remember tearing up, knowing that they were OK in there. I quit drinking the cold water because I knew that I was probably going to have a c-section (Boy had been breech all along, and still felt like he was in the same position.) and I should have an empty stomach if possible.

About 15 minutes into the drive I felt my first contraction, and they continued about every 7-10 minutes

When I got to the hospital I was flustered, and missed the birth center emergency parking spaces close to the doors. I ended up driving past them to the parking garage that I normally park in for appointments. So I ended up on the 3rd floor of the parking garage. I grabbed my luggage bag, thank God it's on wheels, and walked my contracting, amniotic fluid dripping self into the hospital.

I got off at the labor and delivery floor, and went to the reception desk to check in. The was one girl ahead of me. The receptionist/secretary slid me a form. I filled it out. I wrote my name, my Dr's name, the date, the amount of weeks pregnant, and I checked boxes to indicate that it was a twin pregnancy and that my membranes had ruptured and that I was having contractions. In the notes part I wrote that there was blood in my amniotic fluid. I slid the paper back to the secretary.

I stood there with my bag at my feet and my plastic cup of amniotic fluid in my hand.

I overheard the secretary tell the girl in front of me that the Triage/Assessment area was full, she would get her back there as soon as she could. That she could "have a seat in the Family Waiting area" and she would come and get her.

Oh Boy.

When it was my turn, she asked me if I had pre-registered. I said yes. I made sure to tell her while she was pulling up my info, my current status. Twins, pre-term, membranes had ruptured, blood in it.
She was unfazed.
I was told to "take a seat in the family waiting room."
Holy shit.
I felt like people should be falling over themselves to get me in there! Guess not.

While sitting in the waiting room, I spoke to the other girl who had checked in ahead of me. This was her first baby, and her water had broke also. At least I knew I wasn't the only one they were making wait!

I had assumed that Carly and Ben would be there ahead of me, but they were not. Interesting, because I live 35 minutes from the hospital, and they only live 15 minutes away.

Then I noticed the TV hanging up above me. There was a breaking news story on. It was about a fatal accident involving a semi-truck and a smaller vehicle. The semi and the car were blocking all the lanes of the freeway and the helicopter showed that traffic was backed up for miles and miles. That was the freeway that Allen had been on.

Next, they cut to a story about a local hospital building that had been evacuated because someone "put a hazardous chemical in a toilet" or something to that effect.
They showed the building. Guess whose it was? My Ob's office, about 5 miles away.
I guess that's why his answering service took the call instead of his secretaries.

So I sat there for a bit- 10 minutes? 20? And then I saw my husband go walking by the door. I went and stood with him in the hall way.This is where he took the picture of me in the shirt-waiting...and I eyeballed the intake secretary, reminding her of my laboring self.
He told me that he had managed to get off of the freeway at the next exit (I think he drove on the shoulder) and took an alternate route to the hospital.

Allen and I waited another 20 minutes or so. Eventually we wandered over in front of the intake desk, where I grabbed an empty wheelchair. I continued to sit right in front of the desk, and eyeball the secretary. We called my Mom in Montana to let her know that I was in labor. My contractions were a steady 7 minutes apart by this time, and were getting stronger.

Finally, a nurse came out of the triage area and asked if I was Dee Lastname. I said "yes" and I was wheeled through the triage doors.

Finally! I was on my way.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Birth Story- Part 1

August 31st 11pm-12pm

I went shopping with my best friend at the 24 hour Walmart. I definitely felt that nesting urge. I was picking up items that I wanted for when I delivered, like thank-you cards for my children and gift cards loaded with money on them for supporting their Mom this past year.
When I got home I went immediately and put their thank-you cards and gift cards in my packed hospital bags. (so I would have them to give to my kids after I delivered) I went and got ready for bed. While I was using the bathroom, out of nowhere, I had a surprise bout of watery diarrhea. Immediately a light bulb went off. As I was climbing into bed I told my husband about what happened in the bathroom. I also said "It could be nothing, but it was just like what happened before I had Kate. My body might be emptying itself out before labor starts, so I may be waking you up in the middle of the night. Or it might be nothing. Just thought I'd mention it."
And we went to sleep.

Around 10:00am as I was waking up, I felt a little "click" or "pop" inside. My eyes weren't even open yet. "Hmmm" I thought half asleep, "that felt like when my water broke with Kate" So I purposely changed positions and rolled over to see what would happen. Nothing. No water came out. My eyes were still closed. I went back to sleep.
Around 10:30am I woke up again, needing to go pee, and while getting out of bed, I stood up and my water broke. Thank God I was wearing flannel pajama pants, because this gush of water soaked them. I knew immediately what it was and I stupidly stood there on the carpet beside the bed for what seemed like a full minute, shocked and surprised and unmoving. Then I realized I better get my ass into the bathroom, and onto a tile floor as I was dripping water down my legs with every movement.
Adrenaline kicked in and I started to shake. But in a good way. I knew the babies were going to be here- today was the day! I remember sitting on the toilet, peeing and amniotic fluid water coming out at the same time (weird feeling) trying to calm my racing mind. My kids were both sleeping (it was the last weekend before school started) and needed to be woken up. Allen was at work, I needed to call Carly and Ben... I was in labor! What a rush!
Then I looked down at the bathroom tile between my feet and noticed that the drips on the floor were medium pinkish/red. Not clear fluid. But not dark red. Medium pink. And I started to panic just a little.
I woke Kate up, calling to her from the bathroom, telling her that "Mom's water broke!" And she went into my room ( TJ had crawled in my bed sometime in the early morning after Allen had left for work) and woke him up. All of our bedrooms are near the bathroom I was in. We told him that my water had broke and that Carly and Ben's babies would be there that day. The kids were so excited.
I called my husband at work, to come and get me.
Next I called Carly and Ben.
When she answered the phone I said, "Hi, my water just broke."
She said "OMG, are you serious? I laughed and said "yep, it's for sure." She started freaking out immediately saying to Ben in a breathless voice "Dee's water just broke, OMG, my legs are like jello, I can't stand up!"
I heard Ben in the background saying "Carly, calm down!" But he sounded like he was plenty nervous too!
I told her as soon as Allen got home, we'd head over to the hospital. The hospital is located in between their house and ours. (15 minute drive for them, 35 for us, we're a little farther away)
Then she asked me if I had called our OB yet.
I hadn't, it had only been a couple of minutes since I woke up, and he was next on the list.
I called his office and got the "Office is closed" message. HUNH? It was 10:30 on a Friday morning? WHY wasn't the office answering? I waited on the line like they said for emergencies and was put through to his answering service.

"Dr's Answering service"

"Hi, my name is Dee(Lastname). I'm a patient of Dr.Lastname. I'm trying to get through to his office and - the answering service lady cut me off-

"Well, there's been a problem in the building today, and the whole building has been closed."
Her tone sounds like she trying to tell me "that's it, you're not reaching the Dr." Final answer.

I copped an attitude. My tone changed from nice, to abrupt and a little snotty.

"Well" I countered, "I'm 34 weeks pregnant with twins, my water just ruptured and it looks like there's blood in it. I think he might want to know."

"Well" she responds sounding a little less huffy, "I guess I better get you through to him."

Stupid ass.

10 seconds later, I hear my OB's voice on the line. Fancy that. I didn't even have to wait for a call back. Directly connected. The problem is, I can barely hear him. I mean barely. I tell him it's me, that my water broke, and he cuts me off, and tells me to head to the hospital, and we were disconnected. Even that exchange of information took a couple of minutes because we could barely hear each other and we were repeating things over and over. Gah. I didn't even get to tell him that the fluid wasn't clear. Maybe the answering service did? I was worried about the color of the fluid, but not too much, because I know that it only takes a tiny bit of blood to make fluid (urine, amniotic)look pink. I figured it could have been from my cervix opening so fast when my water broke. It had been firm and closed only a few days before at my OB visit.

Ok- that's it for now. Next installment will be how I ended up DRIVING MYSELF to the hospital... and some more of the birth story.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Here's the thing...

I have so much to say, I can't get started.
First of all, I am the slowest typist ever. I love to talk but I HATE typing. A journal seemed like a good idea for me, but any time I've had anything story worthy, you guys have missed out because it would have taken hours for me to tell you all the details.
I really want to give you guys the whole birth story.
But it's overwhelming to think about all I have to say/type.
I think I'll try to do it in short installments, or maybe it will just have to be less detailed than you all deserve.

The other thing is that after the birth story, I'm ending my journal. So I think that's another part of why I'm putting it off.

I'm just wrapping things up with Carly (that's quite a story in itself) and then I'll be able to finish up things here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A picture to tide you over.

Taken just a few hours after the babies were born.

Thanks for all the good wishes. The birth was incredible. Lots of joyous tears shed. My hospital care was wonderful.
But it'll be a while before I get the birth story written. I'm just trying to rest and heal. Talk soon.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Power of the Internet

This is Allen, Dee's husband. I am here to inform you that her water broke this morning at 10:30am as she was getting out of bed. Baby boy delivered around 3:30pm by C-section weighing 4lbs-2oz, 18" long. Baby girl delivered 2 minutes later weighing 4lbs-12oz also 18" long. Babies currently in NICU for observation due to premature dates for twins and under 5lbs, but both babies are doing well and breathing room air. Dee went back to recovery and then sent to labor and delivery due to pre-eclampsia, protien 4+, b-p running high, currently on magnesium sulphate. Will be in a reg room tomorrow if all goes well. Should be home Monday afternoon and she will update all of you then. She says to tell you thanks for all of your prayers and wishes, she didn't have to go to 39 or 40 weeks after all. Well, my work is done here.