Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leah & Natalie's Birth Story

Our journey to the birth of our girls began on Wednesday June 9th with our amniocentesis. Since we had a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks my doctors required this to ensure their lungs were mature prior to delivery. We arrived at the hospital at 10:30 a half an hour before the appointment as we were instructed. We checked and sat in the waiting room for a bit before we were called back to the exam room. We were brought back to the same room we brought to when I was checked into the hospital a few weeks ago with my fever. Greg and I made a couple jokes about the memories and how far we've come.

The first thing the nurse did was a quick ultrasound to double check the position of the babies while she waited on the amnio kit to come from the office. Sure enough little Leah was still breech and Natalie was still transverse which we'd discovered in the ultrasound the day before. The nurse found a couple of good pockets of fluid to recommend to the doctor and a few seconds later he came in. The doctor that did the amnio was actually one of the maternal fetal medicine doctors I'd seen at the hospital after I was transferred for the fever. He remembered us and we also joked about how I was still pregnant. I was a little nervous about the procedure but he put my mind at ease. It is done without an anesthetic because once the needle gets to the fluid there is cramping regardless. When the amnio kit finally arrived he proceeded to make a couple jokes about how he didn't need the instructions and the needle not being long enough. Greg came to my side and held my hand and put his other hand in front of my eyes so I didn't have to see the procedure.

He then did another ultrasound to find the right location to put the needle. He found a spot in Baby A's (Leah's) sack and stuck the needle in and he was right initially it stung a bit but was not so bad. When he got to the fluid little Leah decided to move around and cut him off from the spot and I started to have a contraction, which the doctor pointed out to which I responded with an I know! He ended up pulling the needle out because he could not access the pocket of fluid any longer and started looking for another spot. He ended up finding a better spot in Baby B's (Natalie's) sack and apologized and stuck the needle in again. I watched on the screen as he hit the pocket of fluid. All of a sudden Greg's hand dropped down and I could see him pulling the fluid out of my belly and I thought that is pretty darn cool! This was until I looked up at Greg who looked awfully woozy and fell over on me and passed out. It turned out he'd decided to look to see what was taking so long and the sight of the needle sticking out of my belly was too much for him. The nurse caught wind of what was going on and sat Greg down in a chair with his head between his legs and I kept asking if he was ok. I was laughing and panicking at the same time because the last thing I'd expected was for him to pass out.

The doctor then told a story about how he'd passed out in the first surgery he sat in on after he was accepted into med school and told Greg not to worry about it. He also commented on the fluid and said it looked nice and cloudy and said it was a good indicator of lung maturity. He told us we should have the results sometime that afternoon and to call my doctor's office if I haven't heard anything by three. We then had a non-stress test and monitored the babies for 30 minutes before we were sent home to wait.

We ran out for a quick bite to eat and then headed home where I decided to take a nap to pass the time while we waited to get the results. I waited until around 3:30 and called the doctor's office and as I was waiting the call waiting went off and the scheduler let me know that their lungs were mature and we were good to go. Greg and I were so excited. We sat out on the porch that evening with the dog and enjoyed our last evening without children.

The next morning we were up at 4:30 since we had to be at the hospital at 6 am to prepare for the surgery. We arrived at the Family Birth Center for the last time as expectant parents (for this pregnancy) and were excited and nervous about how this was all going to work out. I was taken back to a room and Greg was sent down to the cafeteria for breakfast (good thing - I was worried he was going to pass out again!). I changed into a gown and the nurse began to prep me for the surgery by drawing blood and putting my IV line in. They finally brought Greg in as they tried to get the babies on the monitor and get a strip before the c-section. This was all rather humorous because the girls must have known something was up because they would not stay still for the strip. I had 5-6 nurses attempt to get them on the monitor and it was just simply not happening. Even my doctor came in and tried to get them on the monitor and could not get them both to stay on at the same time. Throughout this process they asked me what the girls names were and I told them and was very specific to point out that I needed to know which baby came out first because each girl had her name based on position. Even the doctor got in on it and told me he would let me know! Finally, he gave up on getting them on the monitor and said it was time to get in for the surgery and we were wheeled to the operating room.

When we got to the operating room they had me sit up on the table while they put my spinal in. I'd been prepped for this by the anesthesiologist while I was in the surgery prep room and I was a bit nervous but knew what to do. It took forever for them to get the spinal in. I was seriously beginning to think there were going to be big problems. It finally went in and I started to feel tingly in my feet and slowly through the lower half of my body. They brought Greg back in the room in his spacesuit type outfit and they began the surgery. I should also mention that there were two neonatologists in the room one for each baby and two nurses for each baby since they were still not considered full term. While they were waiting one of the nurses asked my doctor how big he thought the babies were and said between 6 and 7 pounds each. I was surprised, I knew that was what they'd measured in the ultrasound but had always expected them to be a bit smaller.

Greg sat up by my head and talked to me. I kept telling him how weird my legs felt and all I felt in my abdomen was pushing and pulling but no pain. All of a sudden the room was filled with the screams of the first baby and I heard my doctor say Baby A breech is out and I started to tear up knowing that Leah made it safely into the world. They took her right over to the warmer and began to check her out. Then a minute later I heard Baby B, head down, 8:48. My doctor brought her over and held her up for me to see and I started crying. All the while one of the nurses started taking pictures for us.
While they were closing me up they brought a scale over and weighed each of the babies for us. I have to say I was surprised at Leah's size and how much smaller Natalie was since they'd never shown much discordance. Then one of the neonatologists came over and said they looked great and they would get to go back to my room with me which was the best thing I could hear!

From there we were wheeled back to the recovery area for an hour to be monitored and then to our hospital room. I have a second blog planned about our hospital stay so be on the lookout. Just give me time because I have 2 babies to care for!

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