Mom to Skye & Paighton
June 4, 2010
June 3rd, 2010
I began my day on bed rest. I had been on bed rest for the previous two weeks due to my cervix shortening. At my formal ultrasound, when we found out we were having twin girls, we also discovered that my cervix was measuring 2.5cm. Not good!
That was on a Thursday. By that Sunday, I noticed some not so nice discharge and went straight to Triage at Labor and Deliver at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor. While the discharge turned out to be normal (yes there are some disgusting things that are totally normal during pregnancy, but I didn’t know this yet, this being my first pregnancy and all), but my trans-vaginal ultrasound showed that my cervix had now shortened to 1.5cm. SO NOT GOOD!
At that point, they kept me in the hospital for the next three days to monitor the girls, my cervix, and me. At the end of that three days, my cervix had behaved and stayed between 1.3cm and 1.5cm. They sent me home on strict (ish) bed rest and with some Prometrium capsules (progesterone) to insert every night at bedtime. Lovely. Great. Whatever.
So home I went, with my instructions to have my husband wait on me hand and foot and stick medication up my vagina. While it did bother me to have someone wait on me hand and foot, I quickly acclimated. Anything for my babies, my Twinkies. At this point, we had a doctor’s appointment every week to check my cervix and to measure the babies because on top of all this, I had Gestational Diabetes. Yes, I had a very high-risk pregnancy. However, the diabetes was pretty well controlled and the babies were perfect in every way…that was a relief.
A week after that stint in the hospital, I found myself in Triage again. Once again, I noticed some very strange discharge, but again everything checked out fine and my cervix hadn’t changed. Another long night of dragging hubby to the hospital, he is such a trooper!
My next cervix check at the doctors went very well; the cervix measured the same as it did in the hospital so this was encouraging. It didn’t get any worse and that was the best case scenario at this point. Yea! Wait another week.
The second week of bed rest and the second cervix check at the doctors. This visit was VERY encouraging as my cervix was now consistently measuring 1.6cm whereas before it was fluctuating between 1.3cm and 1.5cm, as the cervix is dynamic and changes every time they measure it. The doc, hubby and I were all happy to see this and I went home on a cloud. I was SO POSITIVE that everything would be wonderful and I would carry these babies far enough along so that they could survive without any problems. That was May 27th.
Finally, we come to Wednesday, June 2rd, 2010. Early in the morning, approximately 2:30am on Thursday, I awoke and for about the gazillion time that day, I had to pee. I stood up from the bed and at that moment, I felt something inside me that I can only describe as exactly what it was. I felt like I had opened up and something had dropped down into my vaginal canal, just a little. I freaked out, but since I was not in any pain, I assumed I had just pulled a muscle or had yet another twinge, as they were very common through this pregnancy.
I proceeded to the bathroom, did my business, and then went back to bed, all the while panicking on the inside. I knew something wasn’t right and I could not shake that feeling through the entire rest of the day on Thursday.
Here is a message that I posted on the Huron Valley Parents of Multiples Thread:
“Anyway To Stop Feeling Paranoid?Or am I just doomed to feel this way considering my situation. I go to the doctors tomorrow and I am so happy it is in the morning so I don’t have to be tortured all day about what is going on with my body!Anyway, so after feeling so confident all week that things are great, today I am so down and scared!I feel like there is something wrong and spent all night awake worrying! This is driving me mad!Now the only reason I feel like something is wrong is because i feel like I pulled a muscle when standing up to go to the bathroom last night. Everything feels fine now, bu tat the time it went straight into my vagina and I was like“OMG is my cervix opening or my bag bulging”.It all went away. The pulling muscle feeling isn't that unusual. I felt that way all this pregnancy when the girls have had what I call a “growth spurt”, which they have been doing this week. I can feel my poor uterus stretching to accommodate them!
But of course I am overly paranoid and evaluating EVERY LITTLE THING that is happening to me.
I know, I should just wait until tomorrow and worry about it then if there is something to worry about, but easier said than done!”
Talk about premonition. That night around 7pm I began feeling what I thought were bowel cramps (being constipated as I was!), but they seem to be coming in waves, although not very consistently apart in minutes. After expressing my concerns to my husband about wondering if these were contractions, I used the bathroom. Ahhh…relief. Cramps went away, all was good.
Cramps returned in the same fashion as earlier…after about an hour I used the bathroom again and Viola! Success. Relief again.
And then 2am hit. At 2, I began to cramp again and realized this must be contractions. However, I was too scared for that to be the truth and refused to believe it. I started to time the contractions and they were very erratic, but happening about once every 15 minutes. All the pamphlets the doctors gave me said as long as you only have 4 an hour and they go away after some water, then no need to come to the hospital. So, I tried to sleep.
At about 3:15am I woke my husband and told him that I think I should call the doctor, because I just feel like I am in labor. I had no idea what contractions felt like and what I was feeling was pretty mild, but now they were like 3-8 mins apart. The thing that convinced me was just the timing of them, knowing that normal bowel cramps do not come in such regular intervals.
The doctor told me to get to the hospital so to the hospital we got. Our lives were to change forever.
They wheeled me into Triage about 15 mins after arrival. By that time, the contractions were consistently 4 mins apart and in my back. They changed in nature on the 30min trip to the hospital.
The resident hooked me up to the ultrasound (vaginal) and as soon as the picture became clear on the monitor, I knew we were in trouble. My bag was bulging into my vagina and I was 4cm dilated. This is approximately 4:30am on Thursday June 3rd 2010. The day time began again for my husband and me.
After the doctors explained to us that I was being admitted, they wheeled me off to my room and basically hung me upside down from my ankles. In reality, they tilted my bed so that gravity would hopefully keep my girls inside me. This sometimes allows the bulging bag to move back up into the uterus. I was 22 weeks exactly. Our babies needed at least two more weeks to be viable.
Throughout the day, various experts came in to speak with us about the situation we were in, giving us little hope. We knew, deep inside, that our daughters were going to be born soon. However, the doctors tried everything they could to keep us pregnant. They explained to me that sometimes this happens due to an infection in my uterus. The body will try and save your life and reject whatever is causing the infection, ie, the babies. They put me on antibiotics right away in case I had an infection, even though my lab work came back as normal and I was not running a fever. Still, they said that a lot of times these infections do not show up in lab work or present with a fever. So, my husband crossed his fingers and I crossed my legs. Still hoping.
Eventually, the contractions became painful and they put me on morphine. They explained that sometimes, if there is an infection, the morphine will relax me enough to slow down and stop the contractions to give the antibiotics time to work. Once the infection is gone, the contractions sometimes disappear as well. Obviously, this would be the ideal situation. This is not what happened.
While my husband and I contemplated our few options, my mother, sister and best friend arrived at the hospital to sit vigil with us. The morphine did seem to help the contractions subside a bit and allowed me to relax enough to catch some very intermittent cat naps. I was not allowed to eat or drink for a long time in case they had to rush me into surgery. Since my gestational age was so early, many complications can arise, especially with the placentas and they didn’t know if I would require surgery or not when the babies came.
Eventually they allowed me to have some broth. My husband decided to go to the little refreshment room to heat me up some broth about 9pm. That is when my water decided to break. I had just rolled over to get more comfortable and I felt the warm gush of water spill onto the bed. I also felt my darling daughter slide halfway down the birth canal. What a horrible and surreal moment…I struggle to find the words to describe the moment when you know your children are about to die.
I said “My water just broke…go get Peter”. My best friend rushed out of the room to find him and before I knew it he was by my side. That man never left my side, but that one time, and he held my hand the entire 36 hours we were in that hospital. I love him like I never knew I could love anyone. I know that feeling is reciprocated.
The nurse quickly checked me and changed the pad underneath me. She called the doctor on call and he came in within moments to check on my progress. He said he could feel Skye’s head and torso and asked me to push during a couple of contractions. She didn’t move down any further so we waited.
At this point, my contractions really came strong and close together. This went on for 4 and a half hours. During the last couple of those hours I was begging for the doctor because all I wanted to do was push. I couldn’t understand why I had to go through all this physical pain and then have to deal with losing my babies on top of that. I wanted to push and stop the contractions, even though at the same time I wanted nothing more than to keep her and her sister, Paighton, inside me. I have never experienced something so unbelievably contradictory in my life.
Tragically, at 1:38 am on Friday June 4th, 2010 Skye made her appearance in this world. She came as silent as she left. What a precious little thing she was, weighing 1lb 1oz and measuring 11 1/4″ long.
I have never in my life sobbed the way I did the moment she was born. I never knew those sounds could come out of me, but they did. Peter and I cried and held our baby girl, our first born. We were devastated. Yet, at the same time, I had just given birth to my first baby.It was both overwhelming and beautiful.
The doctors had our express wishes, that there was to be no intervention with the girls when they were born and that they were to give them straight to us after cutting the cord. And so they did.
After Skye was born, my contractions stopped. We were able to spend a few unhindered hours with her. She lived for approximately an hour before she passed, but we held her and kissed her and fawned over her, even through the tears. She looked just like my side of the family.
The doctor then ordered Pitocin to be given to me to encourage my contractions along and to ripen my immature placentas into delivering without complications. After about three hours, Paighton was ready to make her arrival.And did she ever.
I delivered her on my own. There was no doctor, the nurse was barely back in the room and I was screaming my head off. Peter was trying to sleep, my sister and best friend were in the next room sleeping and my mom was next to me, holding my hand and trying to help me through the contractions. Well they came fast and furious. It was pain like nothing else. I began screaming and woke Peter up who came bolting over to my side just in time for everything to happen. With one big, long, excruciating contraction my water broke and Paighton pretty much flew out of me.
The nurse yelled at me to “Wait”. I told her “I can’t”. And I couldn’t, not even a little bit. The doctor soon arrived and as he was taking care of business “down there”, the nurse looked at me and said “She is moving around”. I replied that I could feel her. I could feel her little limbs moving between my legs and it was such a wondrous and heartbreaking feeling. Later, I felt so guilty because Paighton developed a very large bruise across the top of her head and down around her eyes. I think the force of coming out of me so fast and nobody being there to catch her caused her delicate little bones and skin to bruise, I felt like I might have broke her nose. But she was beautiful. She looked just like Peter’s side of the family.
Paighton was born at 4:37am and weighed 1lb 1oz and was 12″ long. She lived for about 2 hours before passing. I couldn’t stop touching her perfectly shaped head. She must have had my head..hehehe
My beautiful baby girls had arrived, both born alive and I hope with everything I have that they both felt our love for them in the short time we had with them. I still can’t help but think I should have kissed them more and told them I loved them more in their little ears, I don’t even know if I had the wherewithal to do so when they were still alive. I am sure I did, but there was not enough time and I will spend the rest of my days wishing for just one more moment with them to make sure I did everything and said everything I maybe didn’t to them.
Just one more moment…and a lifetime.
Lei blogs at http://livingwithoutthem.com
and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org