Last Monday I was evaluated for preeclampsia at my scheduled doctor's visit, and was released to do a 24 hr urine collection for a better indicator of the condition. Tuesday afternoon we received a phone call from the doc saying that I did have preeclampsia and I needed to come to the hospital tonight to be admitted, and to deliver the following day.
Eric and I made our way to the hospital and although we were both tired, neither one of us slept that night...probably out of anticipation. The next morning (Wednesday) they started me on Pitocin, broke the presenting twin's water, and I got an epidural at about 0900. I know some people are very into the whole "natural" childbirth thing, but I had been in so much pain with this pregnancy already (and it was high risk trying a vaginal delivery anyway) that I was all about my epidural!
I progressed VERY slowly throughout the day, and had to get my epidural increased at 1400 b/c the pain was getting to be a little too much. At 2030 I was still only 7cm dilated and the pain was increasing significantly, so they called for another adjustment to the epidural. When I was getting a bolus I told the doc that it felt like it wasn't in place, and I could feel fluid dripping down my back. At that point I had complete movement and feeling in my legs, so they took out the first one, and put in another. But it took an hour for this to happen, and during that time they had to turn off the pitocin b/c my contractions were only 45 seconds apart and so painful that I was crying without realizing it, and was having an impossible time catching my breath between them.
So, at 0000 (Thursday) the doc checks me and I'm still only 7cm and is worried b/c my contractions were never very consistent, and we were approaching the 18hr mark since my water had been broken. Eric and I talked about it, and we wanted to try for one more hour b/c I really didn't want a C-section. The doc agreed, but in the meantime he called in the OR team, and had me sign all the consents that would be needed.
At 0100 I had become more swollen, and still had not progressed so into the OR we went. The Nurse Anesthetist that placed the 2nd epidural said that since it was working, he wanted to stick with that instead of placing a spinal also. I was weary, and asked him if it would work as well, and he said yes.
I have battled with nausea the entire pregnancy, and this day was no different, so as they strapped me down I had to turn my head to the side and try to focus on not throwing up. The nurse anesthetist verified I was numb, and I told him that it wasn't as effective on the left, but if was still above where they would be working, so they proceeded.
I felt a lot of pulling and tugging, and was thrilled when I heard the first baby cry, and then the second. I couldn't believe I was actually a mommy! And then...I started to feel pain on the left. I told the nurse about it, and he said, "you'll feel some pressure and tugging," to which I responded, "I feel PAIN!"
My epidural was not cutting it...and I felt them sewing up my uterus, muscles, underlying tissues, and the skin. They shot me up with everything they could, but nothing was helping.
When I got into the recovery room I was in more pain than I could have imagined, so they gave me 4mg of morphine and I was pretty out of it. I remember hearing Cooper grunting, and asking Eric to hand him to me...then the nurses came in and took him back to the nursery b/c it wasn't resolving. Carter was smacking and sucking and then the doc came in and said that they did a chest xray, and Cooper had a small pneumothorax (hole in his lung that was increasing the pressure in his chest, making it hard for him to breathe), and his blood showed signs of infection.
We all thought that Cooper (the bigger of the two) was the presenting twin, but it was Carter. So they called the local neonatalogist and he wanted both babies to be transferred to their hospital's NICU. I never freaked out (not sure if it was the drugs, or that I knew they were being proactive), nor did Eric. The neonatalogist, along with a team of 3 nurses, came with EMS and I was able to see both the boys for about a minute before they were transferred.
The rest of the day was spent with people waking me up every 5 minutes, and a complete lack of communication caused me to get very frustrated with the nurses and doctors. One nurse told me I could only have ice chips, then a doctor walks in and asks why I won't drink anything....then I asked when I could get out of bed (b/c I know the sooner you get up and moving, the sooner they will discharge you) and I was told not yet...I tell them I'm hungry (b/c one of the nurses refused my lunch b/c I hadn't drank the fluids from breakfast) and another nurse comes in and says the doc says "you have to get out of bed if you want dinner!" I was about in tears b/c everyone was telling me something different to do, or not to do...and no one was communicating! So, by the time the night shift took over, the nurse actually asked me what was going on (b/c the docs were freaked out b/c I wasn't outputting any urine) and she realized I was trying to comply with everyone's commands. So, she got me out of bed and walked with me around the unit...I started outputting urine, and before midnight she took out the foley and disconnected me from all the fluids.
So Friday morning the doc says I clear to go, b/c he knew I was dying to go see the boys. I had sent Eric home that night to get a good night's sleep b/c I knew he was exhausted, and I knew I would need a lot of help b/c the swelling in my legs had made it VERY hard to move around. I took a shower at the hospital, and we headed over to see the boys.
It was almost unreal for me b/c they were both sleeping and I wasn't going to wake them up, but over the next few days at least one of them was awake and I've been able to do multiple feedings, while I let Eric change all the diapers (I figure I'll be doing enough of that at home, and he doesn't' mind).
Cooper's pneumo cleared up within 2 days, and both boys have been getting antibiotics which is why they are still in the NICU. They should be coming home Thursday after their last dose, and we are excited to bring home our beautiful boys.
Okay, if I forgot something or the details seem a little garbled, sorry. It was a whirlwind of events over the past few days. I'm healing, slowly, and in quite a bit of pain...but today was a day of rejoicing b/c some of the swelling is starting to go down in my legs, and I hope sometime soon I can start wearing shoes again!
I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers, we are so blessed to have our boys here without any life-threatening complications.
And here are some recent photos of the boys.