Hello everyone...wow 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.