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Archive for January, 2013

This time last year, I was getting washed up by a wonderful nurse named Pat.  She even gave me a back rub / massage and helped me feel less “stinky” since I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed, even to use the bathroom.  I had been in the hospital for 24 hours and my labor successfully stopped, with no sign of distress with the babies.  Pat made me laugh – very blunt and to the point.  Sarcastic – my kind of woman.  But let’s back up.

A year ago on January 20th, at around 10:00pm – my water broke.  Here is what I wrote from the hospital one year ago:

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 already.  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 Chris 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 South Shore Hospital all while on the phone with my mom, Grandy, and Julie.  I made it in 30 minutes.  My mom met me there and Chris 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 u/s 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 Chris and I 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 u/s 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 to 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. 

I literally can feel the emotions and envision the events of those days like it just happened.  My chest gets tight and I start to shake when I think about how I was feeling – how I didn’t know the ending to the story.  I didn’t know what the next chapter held, even.  I certainly didn’t know how long I’d hold out (4 days) or what it would be that would put me into full-blown labor (Keltie sticking her feet through my cervix and trying to “walk” her way out).  I only knew in the moment – I knew the sounds of their heartbeats.  I made the nurses keep the monitor sound up so I was constantly surrounded by those “galloping horses” – it helped me feel like everything was okay.  I knew the laughter that Pat and I shared as Keltie kept running away from the machine.  Pat spent that whole night chasing Keltie with the monitor while I tried to get some sleep.  I wouldn’t know, however, that Pat would be with me in the delivery room – the only familiar face in the wee hours of the morning of the 24th.  It would be Pat who “slapped” me back into reality when I woke up from my emergency c-section in horrendous pain because they didn’t have time to give me a spinal.  It would be Pat who said, ever so eloquently, “listen – you just had your body cut open almost hip to hip, your uterus pulled out, two babies yanked out of you, everything tossed back in, and sewn back shut.  No shit you’re in pain”!  It was precisely what needed to be said at that moment when I was on the verge of losing it.  I never got to thank her for leaving such an impression on me – for being a bright light in a difficult period, before things got really tough.  So Pat – if you ever read this, thank you.  I didn’t know how much you’d mean to me, even one year later.

On this past Sunday, the anniversary of being admitted to the hospital, I played with my beautiful twin babies.  I witnessed Keltie use the strength she’s clearly always had to bust out not once, but twice, to crawl down our hallway to say hi to her Daddy.  She’s crawling!  I witnessed her laugh, cry, and make sounds I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear.  I witnessed her twin brother, Colton, sit and smile ever so big while I sang “Row Row Row Your Boat” completely off-key.  He doesn’t care – he loves it.  I witnessed him laugh, yell with excitement, and play with their plethora of toys.  I hugged them – maybe a little extra hard.  I did this probably 23189123810 times on Sunday while tears rolled down my face.  I sat back and watched them interact with a huge smile on my face (and tears, of course, streaming) – they’re starting to do “typical” sibling stuff like pulling each others hair and fighting over the same toy.  I fed them, bathed them, and tucked them into bed with a kiss on their forehead.  I went to sleep with a full heart, a few tears, and a house filled with love. 

The ending that a year ago I didn’t know would be possible, is – I’m living it each day.  Call it by the grace of God, the advancement of modern technology, the caring hands and gentle souls that work in the NICU, the amount of love that hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people sent to them and to Chris and I – likely a combination of all these things – but it helped end our story with smiles, laughs, baby kisses, and lives filled with love and joy.  The night my water broke – I told Chris our babies were going to die.  I was so sure that was how our story would end.  I’ve never been so wrong in my life.  They are fighters, survivors, and the strongest little beings I’ve ever met.  They are our world – and they are living happily ever after.

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Based on Daddy’s schedule, we had their birthday party a little early last Sunday.  As previously mentioned, it was really small due to the risk of germs and RSV to the twins.  Even in taking the precautions we do, both have managed to get pneumonia.  Hearing your preemie struggle to breathe again is enough to make you even crazier. 

Our immediate family gathered to hang out with Colton and Keltie and celebrate their year of strength and happiness.  We got catering from Mamma Mia’s and it was delicious – chicken parm and baked ziti with salad and rolls.  We ordered their cake from Guilty Bakery – they did an amazing job using the whale theme (which I think we have used to the nth degree and will be retiring it going into their second year haha).  We will absolutely use both places again for their Christening in the Spring and their big Unbirthday party this summer!  Colton and Keltie both LOVED their first cupcakes – Colton ate every last inch of his (no surprise there, big guy) and Keltie had fun with hers until she realized she was sticky haha.  We swooped them up after they had their fun and put them both in the tub and changed them into their Patriots gear to cheer on Wes Welker and the rest of the team!  All in all, it was a great day to celebrate the miracles that are these kids and to gather together as one big family. 

Party time!

Party time!

Birthday2

Mmmmm yummy!

Patriots

Go Patriots!

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The holiday season came and left very quickly – almost as fast as the 5 hour shopping spree I went on to get all the shopping done I could prior to the holiday.  We took Colton and Keltie to pick out their first tree – not sure how much they liked it but it was a warmer “winter” day, so we took advantage.  Tall and skinny – the way we like our trees!  Because it’s such a small world, we ran into one of their NICU roommates while at the tree place!  He was a cutie and, from what I’ve learned, parents of cute babies tend to introduce themselves and inquire about such babies.  So that is when we got into the typical conversation of how old they are “well, they’re technically almost 11 months but they were micropreemies so they’re really 7 1/2 months” and about how they were in the NICU.  Well, this little guy was in the SSH NICU as well because of blood sugar issues.  Ahh, I thought to myself, this is one of the “fatty patatties” that we had as rotating roommates in the Party Pod.  When we said their names, they immediately perked up – they were 3 day residents in the Party Pod as well!!  It was funny, we all got a good chuckle out of it and it was probably more memorable than the actual tree picking out for the twins. 

Christmas Eve we spent at my mom and stepdad’s house for their annual gathering.  It was fun to have the twins dressed up and playing with their oodles of new toys.  It also happened to be their 11 Month birthday!  Keltie had a blast with my uncle’s glasses.

Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas we spent at my sister-in-law’s with the Allan family and Grandy.  It was a wonderful day and once again the kids got spoiled with lots of new toys.  It’s been almost a month and we still don’t know where we are going to put everything!

Since then, we have worked harder on their playroom.  I say “we” but really it was Chris and his Mom and Dad while I was away in Chicago on business.  We went through and pulled out all of their “baby” toys to make room for their new stuff, hung the TV on the wall, got a bookcase to hold all their books and toys, and took out the Pack N Play.  I can’t believe that they’re too “old” for their play mats and things we have used daily over the last 6 months!  It is nice, though, to have a space dedicated to them and all of their things.  They really enjoy having the freedom to roll around and play with new toys that capture their attention.

From the developmental side, they both have had a boom but especially Keltie.  Three weeks prior to Christmas, we had PT come in to work with her on her arm strength.  About the day before Christmas, she started army crawling and sitting unassisted!  Just like she was in the NICU, as soon as we start rallying the troops she goes “oh you just need me to do X,Y and Z, I can totally do that” – typical Keltie.  So, as of their 11 month birthday, I had two unassisted sitters (still without protective reflexes so they do topple over sometimes) and one crawler.  They both started using consonant sounds as well – lots of dadadadadadada and mamamamamama and babababababa.  It’s pretty awesome!  We are still working on Colton crawling – his strength is there but he’s a lazy white boy who much prefers to roll everywhere he goes.

I've been everywhere, man...

I’ve been everywhere, man…

 

              

Who are these big kids?!

Who are these big kids?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health-wise, they’ve been good.  Well, up until they got pneumonia this week.  And passed it along to Mommy and Daddy.  Thanks, guys.  As of January 11th, Colton weighed 19lbs, 11oz and Keltie weighed 17lbs, 3oz.  They have their 12 month check up February 1st, so we’ll get all of the stats and percentiles then.  I can’t believe they’re almost a year old…it’s been the fastest and slowest year of my life. 

This past Sunday we had a very small birthday party for them with immediate family only because of germs and RSV.  And, even with all the precautions we take, they have still managed to come down with pneumonia.  So, if that’s any indication as to why I’m crazy about bringing them places, maybe you can understand it a bit more.  That celebration deserves its own post – so watch for that to come up next.  And – we’re coming into the one year anniversary of my pPROM and the delivery, so I am likely to use this blog to get some of those emotions out.  Stay tuned.

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