Last time I posted I was in the hospital for possible preterm labor. I ended up being there for 2 nights. Since nothing changed or advanced in those 48 hours, my OB finally agreed to let me be on bed rest at home. That was a Friday. My OB wanted me to make it to 34 weeks and I was pretty confident I would make it. I had a week to go!
I made it through the weekend without anything changing. I was pretty uncomfortable and to make it worse, while I was on IV fluids in the hospital the swelling spread from my feet to my legs. I had tree trunks for legs. I actually gained 15 pounds in water weight during my 2 days in the hospital. I also went from peeing every half hour to only a few times during the whole day and that seemed pretty odd to me.
Then early Monday morning I woke up with a really bad headache. I didn't think too much of it. Mostly I was annoyed I couldn't take advil because I knew tylenol wouldn't do anything for it. Then I started throwing up. At this point I started to get a little worried. SH consulted Dr. Google and those things came up as symptoms of preeclampsia. My blood pressure was completely normal just 2 days before in the hospital so we were hoping all these other symptoms could be normal. SH decided to email our OB. We figured we should let him know, but didn't actually think it would be a big deal. We didn't hear back from him all day so I figured it must not be anything urgent. He finally got back to us on Tuesday and wanted me to come in so they could check my blood pressure. It was really high. Somewhere in the range of 170/80. I also had protein in my urine. He told me I had to go back to the hospital. So, off we went. On our way there I told SH I didn't think I would be leaving the hospital before having these babies. He agreed. Although I think both of us thought it would be at least a few days before that happened.
I get to the hospital and they start pumping me full of magnesium (to prevent a seizure) and giving me all sorts of medication to lower my blood pressure. At this point it was clear I had preeclampsia and they were just trying to determine how severe it was and whether they could bring my blood pressure down to give the babies a few more days. I was dealing with the nurses and residents and no one was really telling me anything other than the babies would be born soon - maybe that night or maybe in a couple days. The NICU doctor came to talk to us within an hour of us being there and told us they were ready anytime the babies came. She seemed confident the girls would be fine. She said they would probably be the biggest babies there. I was still managing to stay calm somehow. I thought this could all be controlled and maybe we could get to 34 weeks. Then they told me they had a room ready for me and were moving me. They wheeled me into a delivery room (bonus - it was one of the rooms with huge windows overlooking the hollywood hills - one of the rooms I was hoping to get. Sadly I would not be in there for long). This is about when I started to realize this was really happening and I was having these babies whether I was ready or not. I had already made it clear I was hoping for a vaginal birth. Looking back, I think they were getting ready for possibly inducing me. They did an ultrasound to make sure they were both still head down (they were) and checked my cervix to see if I had dilated more since my last visit (I did not). That's about when my OB showed up. He said my platelet count was low and I was not responding at all to the 4 doses of blood pressure medication they had given me. He said I had to have a c-section and we were doing it in the next 15 minutes. What?!?!?! He said we didn't have time to wait for me to have a vaginal delivery. The babies were fine and not in any danger, but I was and they had to get the babies out ASAP. Did I mention that SH had run home at this point to feed the animals and give keys to our neighbors so they could take care of our dog? He was gone for maybe a half hour. When he left it was safe to assume nothing was going to happen immediately. (Seriously, it never failed that doctors only showed up with important information during the times he left the hospital).
Now I really started to freak out. I was shaking. Like full body shaking I was so scared. I think I may have started to cry at one point, too. My OB was awesome, though. He tried to keep me calm through the whole thing. He apologized because he knew this wasn't what I wanted. So, SH got back and put on his fancy outfit for the OR and off we went. I think I may have asked at some point if I could be put out completely. I seriously did not think I could handle feeling them pulling and tugging babies out of me while I was awake. Remember, I pass out when I get blood drawn. Thankfully, the first thing the anesthesiologist did was give me something to calm me down and I finally stopped shaking. He did the epidural and it was a piece of cake. My OB and one of the nurses did an awesome job of talking to me and keeping me distracted. (I'm pretty sure I was telling them I was supposed to be home watching the finale of Dexter and now I would have to watch it with the babies and that didn't seem like an appropriate show for them to watch). As with most things, the c-section wasn't anywhere near as bad as I anticipated. I could feel tugging and pulling but it didn't bother me. It was really an odd feeling, actually. He pulled the babies out and I heard them cry and I was so glad I was awake for that. (SH took pictures of the surgery, but I haven't looked at them yet. I am a little afraid to.) They brought Riley over to me so I could see her, but Paige needed oxygen so I didn't get to see her before they took them both to the NICU.
This was all such a whirlwind. I think I showed up at the hospital around 3:30pm and the girls were born at 8:30pm. I certainly never anticipated this happening. It wasn't until days later that I began to understand how serious it was for me. Mostly because of how alarmed the nurses were each time they took my blood pressure in the following days. I am still battling the high blood pressure which may not get better for weeks still. I think everyone was trying to keep me calm so didn't really tell me anything more than they needed to. I am just so grateful we all came out of this safe and healthy.
Ok, I'll talk about the NICU and finally holding my babies later. SH is on his way back from the airport with his mom who will be staying with us for 2 weeks. This should be interesting.
In the meantime, here is a picture:
|Riley is on the top and Paige is on the bottom|