Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Birthday Baby Girls

March 3rd will forever be one of the scariest days of my life. As I'm writing this a month later. The emotions are still there. The fear was the worst part, I was so scared for my daughters, scared i was going to lose them. What if the u/s was wrong and Laynie wasn't big enough? What if delivery wasn't good for Lorelai? What if something happens to me during the c-section? What if I don't tolerate the anesthesia well and it harms the girls? Truly the fear I felt was all for the girls. Honestly you could do whatever to me, so long as my girls were safe. My life didn't matter, it was theirs...and delivering at 27 weeks is extremely scary. I just wanted my girls here safely.

The day started off like each one of them, we were awaken to go down to MFM to have our daily ultrasound. I had been feeling a little worried for most of the previous few days because her cord blood flow had looked so bad. It was persistently absent and reverse. It just gave me an unsure, uneasy feeling. Then the ultrasound happened. Her cord blood flow was pretty much the same. But her ductus flow as absent. And to top it off Lorelai's fluid was less than 5%, which was dangerously low. So for the first time ever Adam and I agreed with Dr. Conover in that waiting two more days wasn't going to necessarily do more good than delivering today because things looked so bad.

I will never forget the panic that ran through me when he told me that we should deliver today. I felt like I was sucker punched. Even though we knew this was imminent and a possibility everyday, when it actually happened it was scary.

We walked back to our room at 10:07 where Adam and I were calling family and friends to let them know that we were delivering today. I was crying, quite honestly sobbing. I remember walking into our room and seeing a familiar face in one of the nurses that was on HRU. She was setting up my IV and Bag of Magnesium. I was to get a bolus of magnesium ( a dose of the medication over a short period of time). And then we would go back to the OR. I remember feeling so panicked and scared. I remember the OB who was on call (Dr. Hughes) coming in and asking if I had any questions, and all I told her was I wanted and ON Q pump.
Next I remember my mom coming and just losing it. The fear I felt truly is indescribable. We also ensured that the hospital priest was called. We wanted the girls to be baptized as soon as they were stable enough.

They started the magnesium and I began to feel hot, and a little uneasy. The magnesium went in over 20 minutes then we were on our way to the OR.

As we went to the OR, my mom stayed back in the room, we were met with Fr. John. He said a beautiful prayer over us and for a split second I felt more at ease. Once we got back to the OR area, they put adam in a different room while I headed into the OR to have my spinal. I was quite scared about this since I'd never had any major kind of surgery and never really had any type major medication. I wasn't sure how I was going to react since I passed out from taking a vicodin a few years ago!

So they sat me on the edge of the table and I held my nurse (Leigh)hand. She was quite calming. The anesthesiologist placed the lidocaine and then the spinal. He asked how I felt and I remember feeling the medication work down my rear end. i have to say that was the oddest feeling ever. It can only be described as weird. Once my rear end felt "weird" they placed me on my back, anchored my foley and began to prep me for surgery. As they were prepping me the spinal started to work it's way up my body towards my head. That was a panicky feeling. (not that the whole emergency c-section wasn't a panicky situation in and of itself) I remember starting to feel like I always do before I pass out. I told the anesthesiologist this and he tried his best to calm me...then came the nausea...he quickly gave me some zofran which helped. Then he began to narrate what my OB was doing to me which also helped calm my nerves. I remember him telling me they gave me a big pinch to ensure that I was numb.

Then by the grace of God they allowed Adam to come into the room. The NICU team came over and introduced themselves to us. Ashley and Katie were the nurses that would be there to wisk our precious little angels off to the recessitation island to stabilize them. We were told Fr. John would be allowed in as soon as they were stable to Baptize them.

Dr. Huges then told me they were ready to start. Adam brought his head down to me and we began to pray. We began to recite The Our Father, and many Hail Mary's...we repeated this until the girls were safely here. It felt like it was taking forever but it was really 5 minutes or less, and at 11:39 we finally heard the smallest little cry and we were told our beautiful little Lorelai was here! We were told she looked great, unfortunately we were unable to see her since they had to immediately take her back to ensure she was able to breath. Then one minute later at 11:40 we heard the most beautiful little cry that can only be described as a little mouse squeak. And at that moment I lost it. I knew our little Laynie was here and was healthy enough to have cried. I was overjoyed. I was scared. I was fearful for what the next few moments meant for her. But again we were told she looked great. The girls were given APGARS of 8/9 for Lorelai and 5/7 for Laynie. We were told Laynie just got some points off because of her color. (apparently she was pretty blue).

At that moment Adam and I cried (well he may not have really cried but you get the idea). We were so happy that our little Angels were here. But then the panic and realization of what had just happened set in for me. I wanted to know they were ok, I wanted to know that they had been baptized and all went well.

Shortly after our nurse Leigh was able to go back and get some pictures for us. She was only able to get pictures of Lorelai at first because they were working on getting Laynie intubated.

sweet Lorelai

Lorelai--she looks like Lincoln to me
Then while the continued to put me back together. Adam was able to go back and see the girls and Leigh was able to get a few pictures of our extremely small little girl. We were told that Lorelai was 2 pound 2 oz an Laynie was 1 lb 8 oz. He told me he wasn't able to see Lorelai because they were placing her umbilical lines. But he was so excited and I was thrilled for him.

Our Laynie

Oh so tiny. They use the plastic bags to keep them warm

Adam meeting Laynie for the first time.  

Then it was off to recovery for me. I have to say the first 24 hours after a c-section are the worst strictly for the itching. It wasn't an hour after they were born when I started to itch ALL over. My nose itched so bad that I rubbed an open spot on it! I had a scab on my nose for almost a week! The shakes that you get about an hr and half later were bad as well as the nausea. I had to get a few doses of anti nausea medication.

But while we were in recovery Dr. Kearby came back and told us that both girls looked great. Lorelai was on CPAP and tolerating it very well (this was rather remarkable that a 27 week old preemie didn't need to be ventilated). Laynie was ventilated and was also tolerating things well. Lorelai was having a little bit of trouble keeping her blood pressure up so they had to give her a bolus of fluid. She had less fluid in her amniotic sac so this wasn't surprising.

Finally at 2:30 we were able to finally see the girls! They were beautiful. Life was good. They looked great and they were oh so sweet. Laynie's nurse Ashely lifted her incubator so that I could actually touch her. It was the best moment!!! Lorelei's nurse Katie also allowed me to touch her.  it's a moment I will never forget and a moment I will cherish forever.
Laynie Renee

Sweet Laynie
So Tiny but Oh so adorable
Lorelai Raegan
Oh precious and sweet Lorelai

We had two beautiful little girls. Two what appeared to be healthy little girls. I felt at ease, because I knew these girls would fight to get bigger and fight to stay alive. I felt the most at ease I'd felt in weeks knowing they were here and in the best possible hands.

Happy Birthday sweet girls. Your birthday was traumatic, exhausting, scary and the most precious day I'd had. I'm so grateful to God for allowing me to carry you both until 27.5 weeks. We fought hard and we were able to get you as far as possible. Your daddy and I love you more than anything!!! Thank you for being such fighters with me! We did it!

Friday, April 3, 2015

27 weeks with the girls

Going from 26 to 27 weeks with the girls was a huge milestone. When we finally got to 27 weeks I felt I could breath a little easier. While 28 weeks was still our goal, I felt so much better knowing that if we delivered at 27 weeks it was so much better than 25 or 26 weeks.

The few days leading up to 27 weeks were somewhat uneventful. Laynie's cord continued to just bounce between intermittent absent to reverse flow to having flow. Everyday brought us something different but we were just hanging out at or status quo. We prayed daily and the relief I felt everyday knowing I'd get one more day was one of the best feelings I would get.

On the day I turned 27 weeks the OB that was covering decided it would be best to schedule my c-section for 28 weeks since Adam and I had decided not to push our luck past 28 weeks. Every one of the OB's agreed with Adam and my decision to not push it past 28 weeks. For Adam and I we were given such horrible prognosis and not a whole lot had changed in the month that we were dealing with all of this. So we just felt that 28 weeks the chances of survival were pretty good and they didn't really increase that much until 34 weeks so why risk losing her.

Dr. Heitt described it the best when we were talking about it. Adam had mentioned that when we start to see red flags that it would be time to deliver. Dr. Heitt plainly stated that we were swimming in red flags, in fact they were crimson flags. That was the point where Adam and I knew we were making the right decision. 28 weeks was our goal!

On March 2nd our ultrasound was showing absent flow but no reverse flow. The doctor we were dealing with that day was Dr. Conover. We weren't thrilled with this fact since he was so non compassionate to us about Laynie 4 weeks previous. But we went with it. We were just grateful to be getting one more day.

But then on March 3rd. Everything changed....