Monday, March 25, 2013

Birth Story

Babies are here! 
Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Tuesday, January 8th
I woke up with a pretty intense pain in my back. I wasn't sure what the problem was, but my back had been hurting for a few weeks so I didn't worry too much about it. An hour later, the intense pains were still coming and going and I remembered I had read on my OB's website if I was experiencing more than four contractions in an hour to go immediately to Labor & Delivery. I woke Chad up and told him something didn't feel right. He had me count how often I was having these "episodes". I had four in 45 minutes - although they were sporadic, I knew it wasn't right, so off to the hospital we went.

Once we got to the hospital, they hooked me up to a machine that allowed them to hear the babies heartbeats and see my contractions. From what they could tell, my uterus was "irritable" and I wasn't actually having contractions. I was so embarrassed! They then gave me a shot which calmed my uterus down and the contractions whatever you want to call them had subsided. They then gave me a fetal fibronectin test - basically it would tell them if I was going to be having my babies in the next two weeks. If it was positive it was a 1 in 5 chance it was actually positive (there are a lot of false positives), however if it was negative, there was a 99.9% chance it actually was negative. So we were hoping for negative, but knew if it was positive, it was most likely a false positive. Make sense? Well, it was positive. My Doctor gave me lots of prescriptions to help with contractions and told me I was now on bed rest. He also mentioned if I had any contractions between now and 35 weeks, he wouldn't hesitate to put me on hospital bed rest. I had an appointment with him that upcoming Friday, so he told me he would then check to make sure I hadn't dilated and everything was good - if so, I'd be taken off bed rest. Little did I know, my babies would be here by then.

Wednesday, January 9th
Nothing to report here. I hung out at home, caught up on Pretty Little Liars, obviously, and seriously missed being at work. But I was willing to do whatever I needed to to keep my babies healthy and safe.

Thursday, January 10th
I woke up and everything was normal. Around 1:00pm, I started having more "episodes", however they weren't in my back like the other night. These felt like actual contractions. I immediately took some of the medication the Doctor had prescribed me to help alleviate the pain. Nope. I texted Chad and let him know I was having more pains. We texted back and forth for a little over an hour (him asking if I thought he should come get me, me telling him I'd be fine (all the while I was freaking out inside), etc). At around 2:30pm, I decided to time the contractions. I had 4 in about 20 minutes. There was a huge snow storm, the roads were horrible, and I knew it would take Chad at least an hour to get home, just to pick me up and drive me right back to where he was. I was in too much pain so I called my mother-in-law, Dani, and asked her to take me to the hospital. 
While we were in the car, I had five or six more contractions and Dani said to me, "I'm afraid you're not going to be leaving the hospital this time, Kate".  I agreed and was so disappointed to be put on hospital bed rest for the next 10 weeks. I couldn't believe everything that was happening - and so quickly. My pregnancy had been perfect! Sure, I was big and uncomfortable, but overall, I felt great.
Chad showed up at the hospital just as they were taking me back. When they got me in a hospital bed and hooked up to a monitor to check my contractions, they were coming on much stronger and faster. They were so painful - oh my goodness, they were painful! I remember thinking, "man, these kill, I can't even imagine what actual contractions are going to feel like!". Well, these were actual contractions! The nurse watched the screen for about 30 minutes and I was having contractions every three minutes. She hooked me up to magnesium sulfate to try and slow down the contractions but it wasn't working. She desperately wanted to check to see if I was dilated, but she couldn't get a hold of my Doctor to get the OK. Three hours later, he showed up (all the while I was still having contractions every three minutes apart) and did an ultrasound. The babies weren't in distress and seemed just fine. He decided to check to see if I had dilated. I was at a 6 and 100% effaced.
"Well, it looks like you're having these babies today, Katelyn", he said.
I was in utter and complete shock. I stared at him and immediately broke down. 
"NO!", I screamed. "They aren't ready yet! I'M not ready yet!"
The doctor was just as shocked as I was. I looked over at Chad and he had his head buried in his hands, crying. Till that day, I had never seen Chad cry - it was absolutely heartbreaking. 
The next few hours were a whirlwind. They immediately called the anesthesiologist to get my epidural. Blessed epidural. Chad called my mom, his family showed up, and we waited until it was time. The doctor could tell in my ultrasound that baby A was head down, but baby B was transverse (horizontal). He explained I would be able to deliver baby A vaginally, and he would then try to re-position baby B over my belly. If she wouldn't easily move, he'd have to then do a c-section to get her out. My worst fear - having to experience both a vaginal delivery and a c-section. He explained that he didn't want to put any trauma on baby B because she was too fragile. 
Three hours later I was wheeled into the OR to deliver the babies.

(Right before the delivery)

Our sweet Avery Renee was born. 2 lb 8.9 oz and crying. It was the best sound I had ever heard. She was absolutely amazing. I wanted so badly to examine every part of her, but they immediately took her away. She had a whole team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists working on her. Hearing her cry, I knew she was going to be okay, but my body was aching to hold her and tell her how much I loved her.

(I'm not normally a fan of the "right after birth" babies covered in icky stuff, but I had to post this to remember just how tiny she really was)

Harper Dawn was born. 2 lb 8.9 oz (just like her sister). The doctor held her up for me to see but, unlike her sister, she wasn't crying. Not a sound. She was blue. Before I could ask if she was going to be okay, she was whisked away. When they took her, they took my heart as well. All I could hear was doctors voices, talking quickly to one another. It wasn't real. I couldn't believe any of it. This was not how I had played my children's birth out in my head. I was supposed to be able to hold them, kiss their heads, look at how beautiful they were, and let them know how long I had waited to hold them in my arms. I didn't get any of that.

(Chad was able to snap a photo of her for me while she was being intubated) 

To be continued...