Friday, July 20, 2012


After two years of infertility, multiple methods of advanced reproductive technology (ART), my fourth medicated cycle which was a converted one from IUI to IVF was successful.  At my six week ultrasound, I found out I was carrying twins!


My pregnancy had some concerns.  At seven weeks, they were concerned with Baby A’s yolk sac and its viability.  However, a viability ultrasound at eight weeks showed this to be a non-issue.  Then, at nine weeks, I started bleeding.  I was diagnosed with a subplacental tear / subchorionic hematoma.  I continued to bleed for eight weeks and it was a long, stressful time during my pregnancy.  Finally, at week 17, it stopped and I breathed a sigh of relief.  From that point on I was glowing!  I felt like a million bucks, everything looked excellent with the babies on my ultrasounds, and I was so excited to be pregnant and enjoying my pregnancy to the fullest.


On Thursday, January 19, 2012, I was lying in bed watching the news and I thought I peed my pants.  I literally got out of bed laughing because I couldn’t believe I was doing that kind of stuff at only 25 weeks.  I took my pants off and noticed it was more than just a dribble – and then I went into the bathroom and I was gushing fluid.  I knew right then and there that this wasn’t urine and that my water had broke.


I called down to my husband and told him we had to go to the hospital.  He came running upstairs and couldn’t believe his eyes.  I was hysterical but he grabbed me my phone so I could call the OB office and they told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible.  My husband was literally frozen with fear – he was walking in circles and trying to secure the house and the dogs and I just lost it, grabbed my keys, and got into my car with him chasing behind me.  I couldn’t wait one more second and just HAD to get to the hospital.  


So, yes, I drove myself the 37 miles to our regional hospital all while on the phone with my mom, grandmother, and best friend (and fellow preemie mom) Julie.  I made it in 30 minutes.  My mom met me there and my husband soon followed.  When I pulled into the hospital, I saw what I thought was the valet guy and literally hopped out of my car and handed him my keys.  I didn’t care whether he was actually a valet or if I just gave my new car to some random guy in a red coat.  I walked as fast as I could with a towel between my legs and made it to the birthing center where my mom was waiting.  Note:  it was a valet and I still have my car.


They started me on monitors for both babies heartbeats and contractions and they did a test that confirmed it was, in fact, amniotic fluid.  I had suffered from preterm premature rupture of membrane (pPROM).  The OB came in and did an ultrasound which did little more than confirm both babies were still breech and she did a physical exam and found that my cervix was still closed.  I was apparently contracting, but didn’t feel them at all – I was 3-4 minutes apart when I came in!  I was immediately given a steroid shot (the first in a two shot series) and they started me on magnesium sulfate to stop the labor.  A neonatologist came in to talk with us and we were essentially told that at 25w4d gestation, the babies had a 50/50 chance of survival.  We were heartbroken.  But, the team of doctors (OBs, MFMs, etc…) were going to work as hard as possible to keep me pregnant for as long as they could.


I was then moved to a room in the birthing unit where I was monitored very closely.  I was given an ultrasound Friday morning that confirmed it was Baby Girl’s sac that had broken and it was a full rupture.  Her fluid level was considered “low”, but she wasn’t showing any signs of distress.  In addition to the magnesium, I was given two antibiotics to ward off infection and because I tested positive for group B strep earlier in my pregnancy.  That first night / morning  is a blur to me – I wasn’t allow to sit up at all, had to urinate in a bed pan, and was literally left to lie in bed and do nothing.  I was given three goals to try and make and they were:
- Goal #1:  second steroid shot (Saturday at 1:30am)
- Goal #2:  steroid series considered complete (Sunday at 1:30am)
- Goal #3:  26 weeks gestation (Monday)


I was moved to a new room in the birthing unit on Friday and I stayed there until Sunday morning.  Again, I was closely monitored and completed the magnesium and steroid series successfully where I stopped contractions and it looked like labor was held at bay for the time being. 


Sunday morning I was stable enough that they moved me to the maternity special care unit where I would stay until I delivered the babies.  We didn’t know if that would be a few days or a few weeks, but we were hoping for the latter.  I was allowed to finally get up, only to use the bathroom, and I could shower for five minutes a day.  It was a lot of freedom compared to how I was monitored at the birthing unit.  So many friends and family visited with me throughout the days I was in the hospital and on Monday night my mom came to watch the Bachelor with me…the last show I would watch before becoming a mom.


Before my mom left the hospital for the night, at around 10:00pm, the amniotic fluid that was leaking turned pink.  The nurse came in and checked the babies and they sounded good and they hooked me up to the TOCO to check for contractions and there was nothing.  The nurse spoke with my OB and they said that it can happen where the fluid changes colors and it was considered “normal”.  At around 2:30am, I was having these lower abdominal pains – almost like I needed to have a bowel movement.  I got up to try and go a few times but nothing happened.  I finally called in the nurse and she checked the babies and both sounded good.  She put me on the TOCO and it wasn’t registering anything.  Then I was getting those lower abdominal pains more severely and I finally asked her to move the TOCO lower.  Well, I was registering large, sustained contractions and so she called my OB once again.  The OB came down to my room prior to her next c-section and did a “digital exam” to see if I was dilated and guess what?  She looked up at me and said, “I can say I feel two little feet”.  I about died.  I was approximately 6cm dilated and Baby Girl had essentially kicked her feet through my cervix!


It was then like a scene from a movie – while they were rounding people into my room, I called my husband and we both knew he’d never make it. They made one attempt at an IV in my room and my OB finally said something along the lines of “we don’t have time for this – she’s got to go NOW”. I was then flying through the hallways – I was so scared that I was physically trembling. I went right into the OR and there wasn’t even time to give me a spinal so I was put under general anesthesia and that’s the last I remember before waking up in excruciating pain in recovery.


On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 3:19am I gave birth to two beautiful preemies:
- Colton Christopher weighed 1lb, 13 oz and was 13 inches long
- Keltie Grace weighed 1lb, 9oz and was 13 inches long


Both struggled mostly with breathing issues throughout their NICU stay.  Other challenges presented themselves such as a pneumothorax (Keltie), nephrocalcinosis and hypertension (Keltie), bilateral hernia repairs (Keltie), severe reflux (Colton), aspiration of thin liquids (Colton), and retinopathy of prematurity or ROP (both babies).  Keltie was discharged from the NICU at 100 days.  Colton remained there an additional six weeks because of his spells which were related to his severe reflux – he was discharged at 142 days.


So – that is the birth story of our twins…or, as we refer to it, Keltie deciding to break her sac and then sticking her feet where they don’t belong.  I can’t even begin to explain the amount of love I feel for these two peanuts.  It actually overwhelms me at some points.  They’re absolutely beautiful and fought long and hard to get to where they are today.  I’ve learned to appreciate the small things – things that “normal” parents likely take for granted such as seeing their faces for the first time, touching them for the first time, their first poop, their first 1ml of breast milk feeding, overcoming breathing issues, etc…  We are lucky to have them home with us – it’s wonderful to have our family together under one roof.  More information about their NICU experience can be found at:  http://project26weekpreemies.wordpress.com.



0 comments:

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

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