Saturday, January 02, 2010

Double the Blessings at Christmas....Our Early Delivery

I was settled in for Christmas at the hospital. Family had arrived and come by. We were coordinating with Santa to bring presents to the hospital for Christmas Day, it was all set. Then, our little girls, our Momo rascals had a gift all their own to give, their presence, a little earlier than expected.....

On Christmas Eve, my husband, along with his father and brother-in-law came up to the hospital on Santa's behalf to drop off gifts while our oldest daughter was distracted by Grandma and Aunt Cindy at home. I had just finished my morning routine - the shower time I absolutely lived for while inpatient because it was my escape from monitors, IV drip and persistent vital taking from my fabulous nurses (Let me reiterate...they were the BEST! But they had to do their jobs caring for me and escaping monitor A, monitor B, the Toco, blood pressure, temperature and reflex testing was much needed for me in the morning).

As I returned to my bed, we started the search for baby heart rates. Madison was our usual easy find, lower left side down by my hip, where she always nestled her little body. Charlotte, my little stinker, had to be searched for per usual. After finding them both, we started to see a pattern of decelerations happening with Charlotte. They weren't severe decelerations (big drops in heart rate) most of the time but they were persistent. Shifting didn't help, time didn't help. Both heart rates had a base of somewhere between 120-140 on a regular day. At this time, we were seeing Charlotte's down in the 100-110 range. My nurse and I, both knew this to be abnormal after all these weeks of continuous monitoring. Additionally, I should mention that a healthy heart rate for a baby in utero is 110-160. This all started happening while my husband was there, so he took our family members home and headed back to the hospital while we continued to monitor. After an hour of this base line change for Charlotte on monitor as well as verifying the change on ultrasound, we called my doctor (Dr. G) who happened to be the Staff doc on for Christmas Eve. He then sat with me for about thirty minutes, watching, counting by listening versus watching the numbers on the monitor because we were going through the thought process of well...maybe the machine is wrong...maybe we wore it out with all this monitoring....um...not so much. Dr G. along with Dr. C the L&D OB doc watched together for a while and with the persistence of the decelerations as well as some severe decels, they decided it was time to deliver. Thankfully my husband had returned and we could do this together. I was also so grateful that Dr. G could be with us. He is the one who had seen us through this entire experience. He's the doc who would come see me everyday inpatient, we'd always talk "shop" and then we'd usually talk about something mindless, like the Tiger Woods scandal. It became part of my daily routine to chat with my doc, my friend and the person who we came to rely on so heavily for advice and reassurance on our course of treatment. The fact that he was there, made this unexpected turn of events more bearable. He was as invested as we were and we knew that he would do everything possible to ensure a positive outcome. With that being said, I knew he was worried and therefore very focused on the task at hand. My otherwise engaging doctor had a serious face and was all business as he and the nurses wheeled me into the operating room.

This all happened so fast once the decision was made to deliver, the operating room was literally around the corner from the room that had been my home these last five weeks. So, off I went. I was scared, my head was racing. But the staff that was with me were all familiar faces which made all the difference. And those that weren't familiar to me, like the outstanding Anesthesiologist who looked me in the eyes as I laid on the table being prepped and said "What is my job? To take care of you, you're going to be ok" - this helped me cope with my worries. He saw the fear, he heard me tell my husband how I hadn't seen my daughter the day before, I didn't get to kiss her and tell her I loved her before the surgery.....he knew I was worried that I wouldn't make it through all this. I know it sounds a little dramatic, but my biggest fear is not being here for my girls. To be taken from them and not be able to kiss their fears and worries away, to fight with them over silly nonsense, to nurture their hearts with a little cuddle. And so, terrible thoughts like, what if I have complications? came to mind. But, this kind eyed anesthesiologist kept repeating, "What's my job? To take care of you." This was a saving grace while they were prepping me for surgery. Craig was only allowed in for a few minutes just before. Since we had to get the girls out so quickly, there was no spinal block, there was no husband at my head to talk me through it. I was being put under general anesthesia because this all had to happen quickly. And before I knew it, I was asleep and then I was waking up in recovery.

Charlotte Renee was delivered first at 2:23 pm at 2 lbs, 11oz and 15.5 inches. Madison Lee was born in the same minute, I'm told her feet were coming out as her sister was being delivered, at 2 lbs, 13.4 oz and 15.5 inches. They made it to 28 weeks 4 day, we were shooting for 32 weeks (see previous posts). I am told they both came out crying which was such a relief. The cords were wrapped around each other, and had a loose knot, so we're not certain what our little girls were doing in there because the cords looked better than we expected. There was some kind of restriction happening, but no definitive answer as to why based on what the cords looked like. They must have been sitting, squeezing or playing jump rope in there with their cords to cause the decels. But, nonetheless...Charlotte wasn't recovering from the drops, so delivery was the only safe option to ensure an accident didn't happen.

Here are our girls on their first day of life.....

Madison Lee

Charlotte Renee



Today our girls are 9 days old, and they are doing really well all things considered. I will write a separate posting on their NICU journey so far. Here's a picture of Jordan on Christmas day opening gifts in my hospital bed. My brave, beautiful and resilient oldest daughter has been remarkable through this entire journey. I am so proud of her, my heart is overflowing with love and admiration for her strength at the young age of four.

11 comments:

Our Story said...

Man, this brought tears to my eyes... I can't imagine having to go through all that, but you are so brave and have been awesome through all this! Now you get to be mommy to 3 beautiful girls, what a great life!!! :)

Our Great Family said...

I am crying reading this.
What an awesome testimony of God's amazing grace! I am so glad everything went well. And now all you have to worry about is who gets more kisses from mommy! ;)

Robyn said...

Wow Nicole! I hope that your girls are doing well. I'm sorry that you couldn't make it to 32 weeks, but they are safe now. I hope YOU are doing good, and I will keep checking your blog for updates. Our four girls are fighting an amazing battle!

B said...

My keyboard is all wet from my tears. Your daughters are absolutely beautiful, all 3 of them!

You have been through so much and I hope that now your 2 little blessings are here the road is a little less bumpy. Each day the twins will grow a little bigger and stronger. I wish you all the best of health and an abundance of joy this coming year.

Melis said...

I don't have adequate words for a response to this except that I am so happy that this has good news. You and your girls are so brave and I'm so excited to see them grow into beautiful women like their mommy.

Kirsten said...

Nicole, Writing through watery eyes - What a Christmas blessing that you are all okay and smiling! I'm so happy for you all - the wonderful care you got and the strength that you all have that helped you get through this journey. I can't wait to see the girls growing in pictures.
Hugs,
Kirsten

angie said...

The girls look so fantastic, Nicole. I'm so sorry that you had to be put under for their birth, but thank goodness for that monitoring and doctors who know when it's time to take care of business. My baby A never had decels and also stayed on my left lower left side.....and my baby B was the stinker with decels. Has Charlotte done better in the NICU than her sister?


I'm looking forward to reading more......and wanted to tell you again that you are an inspiration....your girls are so lucky to such a selfless person for their mother.

Hugs!

danapate said...

I had been praying for you over the past week and wondering why the last post had been a while. I almost had a feeling you had already had those precious baby girls. Your story sounds similar to ours. We knew the time was near but were shocked when our "DR G" (so funny that our docs name was the same as yours) but when he scanned that morning the course of plan changed. He said, "we need to have them now to have them healthy"....our guys were 2pounders as well and I felt so bad that I couldn't keep them in for a bit longer. But it all worked out for the best, because now we have two rambunctious 20 pound little miracles destroying our house...this my friend will be you this time next year. I am praying for your little girls as well as you and your husband. My best advice to endure the NICU is to take lots of pics, spend as much time as you can getting yourself healthy and strong for when they come home, PUMP as much as your body will let you and save it for later (we had to buy a deep freezer to store the 8 gallons of milk I pumped during our guys' NICU stay) and PRAY over your babies every single chance you get. God hears you and HE will comfort you in your time of worry and fear and will protect those babies from danger. I am so happy they made it safely into this world and I will be watching for updates. The pics look great. They look pink and pudgey for 2 LBS!

By the way, I would love to send the girls something we had when we were in the NICU, send me your address or the hospital's address when you get a chance and I will send them a little something.

My email is dana.pate@yahoo.com

Christine:) said...

Oh my goodness!!! Congratulations! What an amazing story- you brought in so many details that I felt like I was in the room with you. We will keep your family of 5 in our prayers. The girls are so gorgeous and I hope the NICU stay has been as smooth as it can be. Congratulations again:)

Jaime said...

Wow!!Thank goodness for good attentive doctors and nurses! And CONGRATS!! Your girls are all absolutely beautiful! I had goosebumps reading your few past posts. Gave me a flood of memories...

girlytwins said...

I cried thru this entire post. I felt like I was reading a page from my Momo journey.

I am so happy for your family. And I love your names...we almost chose Madison instead of Addison :) but the hubby changed it at the last minute.

I am sorry it took me so long to catch up with your story. I took a hiatus over the holidays.

What a wonderful Christmas gift you were given. Congrats Momma to three. Your girls are beautiful.