Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Our birth story
I always read birth stories when I was pregnant and I always thought I would share our story but it was really hard and emotional for me every time I would start and I would just stop. It is something I want to remember every detail of but it was the scariest time of my life at the same time. From the beginning we knew the girls were off in sizes and with identical twins that is something they watch closely. At 16 weeks we started bi-weekly ultrasounds with our MFM. At 18 weeks we were supposed to be the giddy parents at our growth scan to find out the sex of the babies. We did find out they were girls but that was over shaddowed by having to have the talk of what we were up against. We had our first major talk of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and Inter Uterine Growth Retardation (IUGR).

For the next couple of appointments it was awful. Every night before an appointment I would be a mess because of the worry I had for our baby girls. There is a place in Cincinnati called the Fetal Care Center who performs a surgery for twin moms who are diagnosed with TTTS. I was borderline TTTS and we were approaching the 24-25 week mark where they cannot do much for me and the girls were viable so instead of a risky laser surgery they would just deliver. I went to Cincinnati (4 hrs and out of state for us) to see if they could help keep my girls cooking at 23 weeks. At this point Baby A was 32% smaller than Baby B. After 11 hours of testing, I was told that I as still borderline TTTS and there was nothing they could do for me and sent me home that evening. I was disappointed they did not have more answers for me but I was a little reassured that we did not have TTTS and that all their organs looked good. I then started weekly u/s because the MFM thought okay this may not be TTTS then it is IUGR and we need to watch to make sure the girls are growing. The MFM guessed that I would have the girls around 32 weeks and sent me on my way.

At 27 weeks I went in for a routine ultrasound, I went alone because I thought we have 5 more weeks and it was just a check up no big deal. The dr said he didnt expect to see the girls like that after only 1 week. I was officially diagnosed with TTTS, IUGR, Pleural Effusion on 1 baby, and Fluid in the abdomen of the other. He stated we needed to start the steriod shots in me asap and I would have the babies that week. I was sent to L/D to get my first round of shots but becauase we were so early I had not filled out my admit papers and so they sent me to the ER. I sat in the ER waiting room balling my eyes out alone, and that was probably the worst day of my life. The next day I went in for round 2 of shots and start my daily ultrasounds. The dr was out of the office that day so the tech sent him the images electronically and called him. After she called him, the tech came back in the room all nervous. She stated that things had gotten worse and that the Dr wanted me to go to another hospital in town that had a better NICU. I didnt think I needed my bags packed yet so I went home packed quickly. We were admitted and monitored. I would have flipped out if the nurses had not been as great as they were. We were hooked up and monitored. My MFM did not have privledges at the hospital but he knew the Head of the OB dept so he asked him to take care of us. We were monitored all night and were scheduled to have our c-section the next day at 2 pm. DH and I did not sleep much. We were overwhelmed with family and friends visitng and the fact that our babies were coming early.

At 1:30 (after dying of dry mouth and hunger) we were taken upstairs to the surgery floor. There had been an emergency c-section for a 22 weeker in front of us so we had to wait in the hallway for a little while. We tried to joke and laugh to make things light but we were scared to death. We finally went in and I was given my spinal (which I LOVE). It didnt hurt at all and it was just one painless shot to my back. I laid down and they began. DH was so nervous and quiet. I had read birth stories and watch a million episodes of a baby story so I thought I was ready for this. It was not the happy joyous c-section I had envisioned. I was not even told that my babies were born, no "its a girl", nothing but silence from the staff, beeping of machines, and the sound of them using a pump to get my babies to start breathing. I could barely see them using the bag to help the first baby and could not see baby b at all. DH was in shock and could not talk, could not take a picture he was just in awe and yet again just scared. They asked him if he wanted to go with the girls. He did not know what to do and I had to tell him go with them. I was left alone in a room where I knew no one. Again the nurses saved me, they were trying to crack jokes with me and keep me from crying uncontrollably they tried to help me name my girls and just were the best I could ask for. Ella Winn was born at 2:45 at 1 lb 8moz and Sophia Daneille was born at 2:46 at 2 lb 3 oz. I was wheeled back to my room at 4 pm where I was met by friends and family. DH was finally able to come down and show me pictures of the girls. I had to recover a little and the girls had to be stablized. I was finally able to go see them at 8pm that night. I was not able to touch them, hold them or kiss them but I was able to see and meet my girls. The first month was up and down and crazy to find balance. It washard to make the nautral transition of becoming a mom in a very unnatural situation.

NICU Stay Complications: 2 days old-Sophia had a pulmonary embolism, 3 weeks old- Ella was dianosed with coarctation of the aortic value 6 weeks old we transferred NICUs to yet again a higher level NICU, 6.5 weeks Ella was the smallest heart patient to survive angioplasty surgery at our hospital, a few apnic coding, chronic lung dieases, reflux. Ella had a 111 day stay and Sophia stayed 78 days.

One year later my girls are so precious and I cant believe how far they have come. Ella is 14 lbs 6 oz and Sophia is 17 lbs 10 oz. We have had our obstacles along the way and this year definately is not what I expected it would be. For the first few months home, we were isolated and constantly at the doctor. But everything we have gone through makes me more greatful for the milestones we have. I am sure every mom gets excited when your baby crawls for the first time. When you have a child who is developmentally delayed and is obviously not comparable to other babies, your Mommy heart hurts and when they finally meet these milestones, it is the greatest thing in the world. Sophia is a little ahead of her adjusted age and doing well. Ella does have some delays and we are still discovering new obstacles for her to overcome but if we have made it this far, we can overcome anything else that comes our way.

It is a horrible situation for anyone to have to go through, but it has taught me so far to love and enjoy every ounce of the girls, every poopy diaper I get to change, and every breath they take. Little things like holding them for the first time, our first family photo, dressing them in clothes for the first time, their first sponge bath because they spit up everywhere are just gold. If you made it this far, bless you. I know it isnt the typical happy birth story but it happens and it needs to be shared with the rest of them and hopefully this helps other moms out there to know they arent alone.


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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