Warning: this is a LONG explanation of the days leading and the days following the birth of the girls. :P It may be boring but is mostly for documentation of what we went through for these little ones to be here. :)Hope you enjoy.
May 16, 2010- Sunday
Like most Sundays we were spending it with the Mr.s family. We were going out to dinner this time to celebrate birthdays. Choice of restaurant: Teppanyaki Steak House. One of my favorite places as well as the Mr.s. This one in particular had sushi rolls! I was so excited to have some fish and felt starving. As I usually do I ordered 2 rolls and was ready for some eats! Unusually I didn't eat them both, I ended up eating half of each, not normal. I had been having the normal pulling/stretching in my belling from the girls movement, feeling like it was just another day. After laughter and cracking some jokes of a older lady who thought she walked into the local gogo bar wearing the shortest pink skirt, fish net stalkings, bright sparkly jacket..oh yeah, a keeper. I started to feel a little ill, talking a little we started to think maybe it was some braxton hicks. Which I had had a few days back but felt a little different.
Kind of shrugging it off I was ready to go home and rest. My feet were still swollen as ever and felt as though they were ready to explode (not to mention my entire body). I hadn't been working since April in hopes of taking the stress of the babies and me, not to mention mobility was limited. The rest of the night was normal, I was feeling better and we were enjoying some time watching one of our regular series on NetFlix, then going to bed around 11pm.
May 17, 2010- Monday
The night seemed to progress like most, restless, tossing, and turning trying to get comfortable. Around 2am I realized that my stomach was hurting more than normal and I hadn't slept more than 30 minutes since I've been in bed. I tried to relax breathing and shoving pillows every which way. By 3am I was hurting pretty bad, so I decided to do what all the pregnancy and twin pregnancy books told me to do when having a case of braxton hicks. After walking around and bit and drinking some water I thought I felt a bit better. I laid back down and tried to fall asleep.
About an hour later the cramping uncomfortable pain was back. I was 32 weeks barely and couldn't think of what could be wrong. I remembered people saying to take a nice warm shower which will usually calm the mom and slow the contracting of the stomach. By the time I was done showering again I felt better, I laid down once more looking at the clock and seeing it was nearly 5am. Tonight was going to be a tiresome night.
At 5:30am, it felt worse, to the point I was sitting up in bed every time I contracted cringing in pain. One suddenly came and I almost whimpered, sitting up grabbing at my stomach in fear that things weren't normal. This time it woke Austin, he looked toward me, "Are you ok?"
"I don't think so. My stomach hurts like I'm having contractions. I haven't slept all night."
It was silent for some time as he tried to wake up further. I laid back down taking a few deep breaths. After a moment Austin asked, "can I get you anything to help?"
I answered, "No, I'm pretty sured I've tried everything. I showered not that long ago and have been up and out of bed walking and drinking lots of water."
He nodded still hardly awake.
6:30am rolled around and we both now were wide awake. At this time he began timing the contractions. They were rocky, going from 7minutes apart to sometimes 5minutes. Around 7am nothing had changed, I was getting hot though so threw off my covers and felt my stomach tighten. Up until this point I hadn't even thought to look at my stomach. So, I lifted my shirt up over my giant belly. Shock, was probably the first thing that jumped into my mind. It was like something you would see off of Alien, my stomach was contorted into 2 large lumps going every which way. As the contraction subsided the lumps went away. Again, as the other one started I called to have Austin come over and watch with me. My muscles tightened and started to form 2 huge football shaped lumps one being diagonal going from my ribs down to my side as the other was vertical from my just below my ribs down to below my bell button.
We both couldn't help but chuckle at how crazy it looked. More time passed and I was feeling exhausted, Austin was preparing for work still timing the contractions, which were now nearing 5 minutes apart more often than not.
He eventually looked at me, "You should call your mom, or even Dr. H."
After a sigh, "Dr. H isn't there till I think, 9am? But I guess I'll call my mom see if she or someone around her knows what I should do since she is at work."
I called my mom at her work, explaining this mornings events. She asked a couple around her and they all said to go to Labor and Delivery and that most likely that is what Dr. H's nurse would say. I being super stubborn insisted that I was fine and I would just wait till 9 and call into the Dr's office. Around 8am I called the dr's anyway and left a message explaining how I felt and asking what I should possible do.
Shortly after I got a call from my mom concerned. I let her know it was still the same, was starting to hurt more because of how frequent it was but that's it. Being the totally awesome protective mother that she was, love you mom, she said she would run over to his office (about 40 feet from hers) and see if he was in yet. I told her not to but she insisted, so how was I going to stop her?
10 minutes later she called, asked a few questions that he wanted to know, and then I heard in the background as she responded, him say "she needs to go to L&D".
So by 9am we were off to UVRMC, work, traffic, nothing was going to stop us ;). We got to the hospital around 9:30am, got checked in and a short giggle from the nurse when we told her it was twins.
Within 20 minutes I was undressed, wearing a lovely light blue gown, lying in bed waiting for some test results to come back.
It was almost 11am, when we finally heard word back, I was in for monitoring for the day, the week, however long it took.
It took the nurse about 20 minutes to get me hooked up to an IV, my monitors for the girls and my heart rate, and BP cuff, and a monitor for my contractions. (the lengthiness due to the girls not cooperating while moving the monitors on my belly)
We were explained to that my blood pressure was high and that my pee test came back "odd", so they were going to draw some blood check my cervix and see what shows up. I was 1cm dilated which was nothing crazy. So the blood team came in and made me cry, no, not really but I wanted to. The contractions had picked up and the monitor was showing them being about 4 minutes apart and I was getting very uncomfortable almost painful really. I tried to rest while Austin sat by my side trying to keep me calm.
Time passed and the contractions where wearing on me. My tests results had shown that levels were high but concerns were mainly going to be the contractions that were just getting worse. While they tried to tone down the contractions they would do a blood test 3 times a day to watch my levels.
They gave me medication to help me relax around 6pm. By this time contractions were 2-3 minutes apart sometimes having them every minute. It was painful. My family described it to me like this:
"You would wake up every so often squeeze your hands into fists and whimper in pain. Sometimes your face would go pale and you would hold your breath. Your dad could see it coming and try to hold your hand in hopes of helping."
I really don't remember a lot of this part, I was exhausted. I had already been unable to keep food down and wanted it all to be over. The rest of the night seemed to go about the same. The contractions would drift to frequent and less frequent, I was in and out of sleep. My tests kept coming back high. They brought a cot in for the Mr. to sleep on. Although we didn't get much sleep. The most I remember about that night was trying to keep the monitors still so that I could hear the girls heart beats perfectly, the entire time I was more concerned about their safety than my own.
May 18, 2010- Tuesday
By Tuesday morning the contractions were few and far between finally and I was able to get some rest. I was still getting blood drawn often and at this point had already felt like a pin cushion. I told the nurses taking my blood that it is hard to find my veins and that butterfly needle seem to work the best..but still some insisted..and failed.
I was even more swollen than the night before, as the Mr. described it: "Your thigh all the way down to your ankle is the size of a giant water melon".
So much fluid had built up I waddled to the bathroom. (Now you have to imagine before I was pregnant I was a 120lb 5'5 girl. I didn't get to weight myself while in the hospital but I know a week before I was 165lbs)
They let the Mr. take me for a walk around the hospital, which really meant he could push me in a wheel chair. I was nauseous when I stood mostly anyway so I didn't mind having to sit. The nurse said only 30 minutes out of bed or else! (By the way I loved my nurse she was such a doll, all my nurses were just amazing really) It was nice to get outside because it was such a beautiful day. Before we knew it, it had been 45 minutes and we were heading back to the room.
More tests were done and it looked like some of my numbers had gone down while other hadn't. Not to mention I only had a contraction every 1hr to 1 1/2hr now. They said things were looking good and come Wednesday I may be heading home, as long as my numbers stay the way they were.
My mom had come by and did toe nails and spent some time keeping me company. It was great! Night time rolled around and I sent Austin home, the doctor and nurses said things were looking up so there was no point in him losing another nights rest or days work. He left and said he'd be back after work Wednesday afternoon.
That night I slept little, the contractions were coming back and I just wasn't feeling well. Something felt, off.
May 19, 2010- Wednesday
I had an early morning "pricking" for my blood, which I felt I should be selling for mucho money at this point! I still didn't really feel well but kept it quiet. Thinking, maybe it's just cause I haven't had a good meal in the last 2 days. The girls heart rates were good and my test results were about the same. By the time Austin was off work I felt tired again, having contractions about every 30 minutes, which wasn't bad, but I had lack of sleep. We watched some TV, played games and occasionally would listen as one of the girls would get the hiccups. By about 3pm I wasn't feeling well again, but almost worse. This time I decided I would tell the nurse (thanks to some persuasion from the Mr.) when she came and checked on me with her normal questions:
How are you feeling?
This time I said yes...to pretty much all of it. I had a headache, my stomach was hurting. I did not want to even think about eating and I felt dizzy, even just laying in bed sometimes. She looked concerned and decided to call the doctor. He had her get more blood work and decided they would go ahead and give me the dreaded steroid shots! I'm pretty sure the 2nd to worst part of this whole thing were those shots. Right in the hip/butt and oh boy did they burn! 2 of them!
More time passed and more tests were done, mine and Austin's parents had come by and spent time chatting with us. By around 9:30ish pm everyone had gone home and we were sitting waiting for some more test results. This time the nurse said she was going to call and talk to Dr. H before she spoke with us. Which..I knew couldn't be the best sign in the world.
We didn't see the nurse for a while, then about 25 minutes later I see Dr. H walk in. (Bad sign) He was dressed in his normal clothes like he just came from home with a look of, "I've got not the greatest news" on his face. First he cracked a joke about everyone being gone, and I explained they had all left about 30 minutes ago. (PS. I love Dr. H he is very truthful and I knew I could trust his opinion)
We waited for a moment before we started getting into the nitty gritty since Austin had stepped out for a minute. He asked how I was doing and if things were alright. Soon Austin was back, Dr. H sighed and looked at me.
"So, are you prepared to have these twinkies tonight?"..I was shaking, probably from the medicine and also from fear. I looked at him honestly and said "If we have to I suppose..but I'd rather not, haha".
He than began to explain that my tests results came back doubled in the wrong direction, the BAD direction. Explaining that the steroid shots can sometime "mask" or be a temporary bandaid to Pre-eclampsia. Also that after speaking with my specialist they were both concerned with the results saying I have Pre-E with a high possibility of HELLP Syndrome.
As he explained what these were he also explained our options:
1) We delivery as planned naturally. The problem here was my cervix had not changed in 3 days. So after being induced we would be looking at 12-15 hours of labor. Which during that time my BP could go up more, my platelets get worse, I could have a seizure, or even bleed out. Another problem was that with one placenta when baby A was delivered there would be a high chance it would flip baby B into the wrong position resulting in a vagina/C-section birth. Also with them being so tiny they may get stuck in birth canal.
(Basically the longer we waited the more BAD things could happen)
2) We have a C-section birth. Risks being again bleeding out, seizure, normal recovery time for a serious abdominal surgery. But the babies would be taken safely with no risk to them.
At this point there was so much happening at one and so much information to take in I couldn't think straight. Possibly because of not feeling great thanks to whatever my body was doing, but I don't know. Just yesterday I thought I was doing fine and going to be able to head home and cook the gremlins a little longer. My birth plan I wanted was not a safe one and about to be thrown out the window. It was doable..but not safe.
Dr. H gave the Mr. and I some time to think. Also mentioning that I should give my mom a call and he would speak with her if that would help a little for some outside input on the situation.
As I was crying and shaking at this point, Austin's amusement was that my main concern was that he wouldn't find me attractive any longer after the surgery. :p Now girls you know you would feel the same way. You had a specific body before you were pregnant one you felt comfortable with and you want that body back after you give birth to you child(ren). So getting chopped up isn't exactly on your list of things that your husband would find attractive about you!
He merely laughed and hugged me letting me know he'd of course love me and that at this point it's my safety. The girls are going to be fine, it's me we need to worry about.
I proceeded to call my mom and try to get some "Mommy" help. As I tried to explain all that had happened in the last 45 minutes since she left I was having a hard time. Dr. H saw this and took the phone to explain further. As he did so, our amazing nurse came and started to explain to Austin and I what would happen if we were to choose to do the C-section (as though it was practically decided). She kept reassuring me, "the incision is below your belly button by like 4in. If you're wearing a swim suit that low then I question your motives girl ;)." we of course laughed.
I was shaking, crying, not ready for this! Wanting to jump out my 3 story window and run I thought I had more time! This was too soon and too fast.
20 minutes later it seemed to be decided. Both our parents were on their way back to the hospital and I was bending over a pillow shaking nervously as a epidural was being inserted into my spine.
It was about to happen, we were about to be actual parents. I was about to be cut open and have the 2 angels that kicked and rolled inside of me for the mere 7 months were going to be removed in hopes of keeping ME safe.
Due to the Pre-E and HELLP they put me on a magnesium drip and explained it was to help prevent seizures, I will feel like crap, and will be required to be on it for up to 48 hours.
Everything after that seemed to move too quickly, within 30 minutes we were ready and prepped for the OR. Austin was in his manly suit!--
As I lie shaking like a quake from nerves and the medications, I could see neither of us were prepared or ready but we both knew it was the right choice.
That choice became very apparent during surgery...
May 19, 2010 11:05pm
"Ok, Heather, you're going to feel lots of pressure", "Ok".....there was silence, then shortly, I could hear her. Short breaths followed by gurgled cries. It was our baby A, Oakley Elizabeth, crying as they carried her to be warmed and cleaned. I broke into tears as I watched Austin run around with the Flip camera to capture her first moments in this world.
I was alone laying there listening to her tears and listening to the surrounding strangers welcome her to the world. We had talked about what Austin would do when they were born, if he would stay or he would follow them to ensure they were OK. Naturally we both felt it best he stayed close with them and I would be fine to finish up alone.
"OK, here we go again, you'll feel some more pressure". Instantly you could hear our little fighter Kenzington Lee ripping up a storm with her cries. I was in awe and shock. I couldn't believe I was hearing the little things that had been kicking and hiccuping inside me these past months! Just like Oakley, Kenzlee was rushed to the other room to be stimulated and cleaned.
I was telling myself to breath, thinking it was almost over..15 minutes and I would begin my recovery--so I thought. While I lie there, listening, crying, I started to feel sleepy, sick. Suddenly noticing a rush of people around me.
Something wasn't right.
Doctors were barking orders, nurses were flying by the seat of their pants, Austin ran to me checking to see if I was OK, trying to speak to me ensuring I was still with him.
I assured him, "I'm fine! I'm just..tired, and thirsty." A nurse came by, "You tired Heather? It'll be done soon, hang in there".
I wasn't worried! The girls were here! Why would I worry? The people working over me knew what they were doing. I couldn't really register what was wrong until shortly I could her the doctor order for some blood. Even then, things were more of a blur than before. But could tell one of our fears had come true. I was bleeding out from my current condition. All I remember from that room again was seeing sheets filled with blood crumpled on the table.
The next hours were a giant blur of shaking, shivering, muttering, and flashing faces. I didn't get to see or hold my baby girls right away like I would have expected. But then again, I was in no shape to do so.
It was late into the night before I could recognize the faces around me. My amazing husband with his loving supportive parents and my parents not far from my side finding things they could do to help.
As I started to come to further they explained to me what had happened. I had lost a lot of blood, more than expected. (reason for not wanting to wait longer) As it was an ongoing joke apparently as I heard them laughing about how they didn't even notice us out of surgery just the footprints of blood leading from the OR to another door. They ordered blood and I was quickly put on a drip. My vitals were still not good which had them keeping me upstairs in L&D longer to stabilize me before taking me to the Mother Baby floor.
It wasn't till early morning still groggy, still unable to say much or comprehend much, that the best part of this event happened. They were taking me down to Mother Baby and I was going to get to see my girls, for the first time.
Oakley Elizabeth Adams 3lbs 13oz 11:05pm ------- Kenzington Lee Adams 3lbs 13oz 11:06pm
It was roughly 4am and I was in no shape to speak, let alone be awake. I just couldn't wait to see our little ones and tried so hard to keep my eyes open.
I was able to reach over and slightly touch Oakley's foot and hear her whimper a little as I stroked it. Her laying there in shock at the world around her.
Kenzington was out like a light, worn out from all the commotion that had happened. Before I could even think further about where I was and what I was doing, I had to leave. It was now my turn to recover.
After that night I was unable to see them again for almost 3 days. I wasn't allowed to leave my bed. My vitals for that period of time were unstable and worrisome. They had me on the magnesium drip for the full 48 hours, making things nearly impossible. Conversations, I was told, was like speaking to a drunk child. This drug is no joke, and if you never have to have it you're lucky. I felt "sick" constantly.
It was hard having to rely completely on everyone around me for help and support. I couldn't even see my own children. It was through pictures and stories of how they were and what they were doing that kept me happy and persistent in getting past all of this so I see them again. Everything was so out of my control it was a whirlwind!
It wasn't till late May 21 I was given the go ahead to be removed from my many machines. Still having to wait for a good nights rest to remove the catheter. Once that was finally removed the next morning..I was itching to see my girls.
I finally did. :) I had been told both had been on and off CPAP machines to help with their breathing which was normal for 32 weekers. I was also told that the day after they were born little Kenzington was breathing on her own for most of the day! But after possibly wearing herself out she had to be put onto a respirator to help her keep her lungs open.
Other than that they assured me they were strong, amazing, beautiful little baby girls for being so small!
For the first little while they were getting very small amounts of my milk. The nurses would joke about how feisty Ms. O was, that she would always wiggle her way out of things. Reminding me of how she was in my belly. They had their daddy's hair, long black(LOVE), and his darker olive skin. It was a joke because as I walked in I asked, "why are they so brown!". Most babies we saw in the NICU were so pale and pink..they just were so tan, some of the nurses joked they were the "mail mans". :)
I was lucky to hold their hands and touch their little feet. The nurses even put cute little bows in their hair.
We weren't able to hold them for some time. They had tubes inserted into their belly buttons and those needed to be removed to do so.
We could tell they were fighters, they were doing so good and so strong! If you asked me they were showing up their old mom. :)
They were born early and here to stay. The care we were under was so amazing and we were so blessed to have such amazing people helping us. Family, friends, etc. <3 I had never felt so much love in my life, from even complete strangers.
This family was kicking it hospital style in the U.C.
(If you'd like to read the progress on the girls through the months in the hospital simply search or go to the month of May 19-July 2) <3