Monday, December 14, 2009

Birth Story and Update

Hello this has been a roller coaster. A week ago I never ever would have thought that I would be delivering on Wednesday. Life is full of surprises like that, huh? Both Dan and I are drained- physically, emotionally, mentally.... We are in for a very long haul at the NICU but we are ready.

Well, I'll start with my birth story. I woke up at 3 am on Wednesday, December 9th to all this water coming out of me! I called in the nurse and she called the perinatologist on call that night. Meanwhile, they wheeled my bed down to a room in labor and delivery. The nurses tried to find all the babies on the monitors like before, monitored me for contractions, and started an IV. The doctor came in after not too long and checked the cervix. It was dilated only 1-2 cm and he really couldn't give me a time frame of when I could deliver. It was literally that day or a week or two...he just couldn't say.
I got wheeled down to my regular ultrasound appointment at 8am and all of the babies were looking fine. They weren't stressed; not even Baby A, the baby who's water broke. After I got back the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. My back was killing me but I didn't know if it was because I was on my back for so long or if it was back labor pain. The doctor (a different doctor than the on-call one) was concerned that these contractions were not going to slow down and I was truly in labor. She checked my cervix again and she got me at 3 cm and she even saw Baby A's hair. At this point we both knew we needed to deliver. The delivery team was ready for me, the neonatologists and their teams were ready. If we tried to wait another day or possibly two, the C-section could start to be a true emergency and who knows if the staff would be as ready and available. All I could think is "this is so surreal...I can't believe I'm delivering today".
They wheeled me in the OR and prepped me for surgery while Dan waited outside the room. I can't imagine what he was feeling. I got a spinal and they positioned me on the operating bed. Dan was allowed back in, along with his brother Pete, who was filming. I grabbed Dan's hand and wouldn't let go! Dan watched a lot of the surgery and once in awhile would say "you really don't feel that?!" That made me a little nervous! Once the babies started coming out, it was just so emotional. Baby A, Sofia Taylor came out first. I got less than a second to see her before they whisked her away. The monos, came out second; Madeline Sue followed by Josephine Louise. I didn't get any view of them. The big boy, James Daniel came out last, and I got a fleeting view of him as well. The pic below is Dan and I after the C-section in my hospital room. Still numb!

Sofia Taylor: 1.7 pounds, 14 inches long

Madeline Sue: 1.9 pounds, 14 inches long

Josephine Louise: 1.8 pounds, 13 inches long

James Daniel: 2.5 pounds, 15 inches long

Madeline and Sofia are in their own NICU rooms while Josephine and James share a room. We found out Madeline would need surgery to correct her esophogus, but we were assured the procedure was pretty common. (The surgery ended up being quite successful; more so than they thought considering her size.) All of the babies were doing well the first couple days, but the doctors told us the first couple days were called the Honeymoon period.

Saturday night at 3:30am I got a phone call from one of the neonatologists telling me that James was looking really pale which can mean he was having major bleeding in the brain. He was to get an ultrasound of the head in the morning. We found out he did, in fact, have bleeding of the brain; grade 4 on both sides, which is the most severe. At this point we were terrified of losing him. Later in the day the doctor said since he has been stable, it's just a wait and see for him. Today he is still somewhat stable but was having some seizures. The doctors have told us that he is in a really high risk for developing any number of problems, one being cerebral palsy. This will be a wait and see how severe the effects will be, but the chances of him being completely "normal" are so slim. This news is very heartbreaking, but we realize this comes with the territory of being so premature. Keep James in your thoughts and prayers. We think he will be a fighter.

The other three are doing pretty well. Sofia, the smallest, is surprising us as being the toughest one. She has been off the ventilator since Thursday. Madeline and Josephine are very close to coming off as well. Dan and I have started "kangaroo care" with Sofia and Josephine. Kangaroo care is holding the baby on your bare chest and covering the baby with blankets. The babies love it! Their heart rates go down and their oxygen goes up, showing they are very relaxed. It is so special to hold them this way! All three girls need to keep up how well they're doing. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well.

Kangaroo Care Pic

Thanks for all your support and congratulations.


  1. Martha I am glad to see pics of them!! They look really healthy for their gestation. You did a great job!! Will be thinking about all of you and an extra prayer for James!

  2. Martha - They are beautiful. I remember those first few days they were so sureal. James is such a big boy. We are praying hard for all 4 babies and sending xtra prayers for James. Josephine and James are in the same room my Teddy and Samantha were in. I know you don't know me but feel free to email me anytime, I'll pass my phone number to you we spent 74 days in the NICU.

    Many prayers are being sent your way,


  3. Oh Martha--they are beautiful! We are praying for all of you! You can also call me anytime as well. Alison, Mary and I are in the Minnesota Valley group. You are in our thoughts!


  4. They are just beautiful! Congratulations to you. Please know you are constantly prayed for. If there is anything more we can do to help, please let us know! We're here to support you! All our love!

  5. What beautiful strong babies. My husband is a twin born with twin twin transfusion and was given almost no chance of survival and a high risk of birth defects and here he is 25 years later aspiring to be a neuroscientist. We are sending prayers your way and congratulations for such a beautiful family.

  6. Dan and Martha, the babies are beautiful! I'm so glad you're able to kangaroo care with Sophia and Josephine. I bet it's a thrill to get to snuggle your little peanuts. :)

    We're sending up lots of prayers for James and his sisters that each day brings good news.


  7. Thank you for the update Martha! Have been thinking of you, Dan, and your precious babies and praying since Wednesday! I'll continue to do so... I'm sure you are just tired of the NICU already and ready to bring your babies home. Praying for them all especially little James. Take care guys,

  8. They are so beautiful. I will be praying for all of your sweet kiddos.

  9. Hey Martha,
    Glad to hear from you!! Was starting to get worried since we hadn't had an update. Glad to hear things are well. I will most definitely keep James in my prayers. When you get a chance to check your e-mail, I e-mailed you and will be happy to come up and do pics for you. Praying for all 6 of you!!

  10. I've been praying and thinking about you and your family. Stay strong and keep trucking along! I'm sure that God hears your wishes and is doing the best that he can...

    What cute children you have!!!

  11. ugh...poor mama!!! i was reliving everything through your words. my heart is right there with you! hang in there and we'll be saying a special prayer for baby james. its gotta mean more when quads are praying for other quads, right? lol. much love for you and your blessed family!

  12. Ditto to everything Suz just said!! Praying for you and your beautiful family. Hang in there!! Sending you lots and lots and lots and lots of love!

  13. congratulations! You are so brave! I really hope all four of them get through this early period as well as possible. The kangaroo care is the sweetest thing ever.
    Thinking of you!

  14. Martha, we heard from Marie R. this morning about the births, and you and all the babies are in our thoughts. Especially with our own twins being born just a few months ago, our hearts go out to your family in both your joy and your anxieties and the challenges you are all facing. We know that Sofia, Madeline, Josephine and James are blessed already by being born into a wonderful family.

    -John, Michelle, Josephine and Emilia Nephew

  15. Martha,You've been on my heart and mind since I heard that you delivered. Praying for their development, protection, growth, and healing. We are rooting for you all the way, sweet ones!

    Let me know if there's anything else I can be doing...wish we were closer in distance right now!

    Hugs and Prayers,
    Jen Murray
    Quad Mama to Henry, Brooks, Clark, and Isaac