The girls’ birth was a whirlwind and their labor leading to birth baffles me like crazy.
As a preface, in this whole process in the hospital, I had fetal monitoring twice a day. It was not uncommon for me to contract frequently, bleed, etc.; weeks I had been doing this.
On Friday night, the 20th of May, I had started to feel soreness in my back with every contraction and mentioned it to my nurse. I thought it was only achy from an osteopathic manipulative therapy treatment I received earlier that day. My Monitor strip showed no signs for alarm. Actually my uterus looked calmer than it had in awhile and the girls were looking amazing. So I took some Tylenol and went to sleep. Before I went to bed, I went to the restroom and out of nowhere I heard the Lord say the four words he has said to me almost every day since the we found out we were having twins, “Do you trust me?” At that moment, I knew. I knew He was telling me that they were coming and that it was not only ok, it was time. To the natural mind, 31 weeks and 3 days does not seem like the perfect time to be born, but he began to remind that he knows all the hairs on our head. He knows when we are going to die. And……..every day we are supposed to come in to this world. I answered with a “Yes” and a weird unexplainable peace in my heart, and I went to sleep. I kept waking up from the contractions every hour. I would have to breathe through them a little and groan and then, they were done. I would fall back asleep. All night long this continued. This is where my high pain tolerance is a curse because I felt different but still couldn’t tell if it was “something” or just being sore from the adjustment. I decided that if I woke up in the morning and still had back pain I would say something. Honestly, deep down I knew. And I knew I just needed to rest in Him. The Lord had prepared me, but also because if it was just muscle soreness, I would feel better after some sleep.
I woke up all night long, however. By 8 am, it had not gone away. If anything, it was more intense and frequent. I started timing the contractions…3-4 minutes apart. When my nurse came in at 9, she said I was actually going to have a Labor and Delivery nurse (ironically) in a few minutes cause she was swamped. Her first question was, “How are the contractions today!” This was very abnormal for this particular nurse to ask me that first. I had her multiple times and she never led with that question. I said, “Well, let’s talk about those…”
One thing led to another, I was having to really focus and breathe and writhe a little through them. The L&D nurse checked me, and to my extreme shock, I was 8cm dilated!!! What?!?! I knew things were changing over night and I knew I was dilated, but I only thought she would say 3 to 4 cm. I progressed so slowly with my son, that I did not believe that what I was feeling was equivalent to this. I was whisked down to Labor and Delivery and from one floor to the other floor, I was complete. So complete that Dylan’s bag of waters was bulging and she was already trying to come out. Kalen and I had already known we were doing a scheduled cesarean due to the amount of risk it added to have them vaginally. My doctor told me that if wanted to push Dylan out vaginally, she was right there and that if I pushed she would come but if not, I needed to speak up now since there was no time to put a spinal in and we had to go. (Meaning it was an emergency C-section and I would be going under.) I knew what i needed to do and I told her, “C-section, let’s go.” I knew Emery was going to be C-section and I never had peace about having either vaginally. In 20 minutes, they were delivered and in the NICU.
The next full 24 hrs for me is very foggy because of pain medication and shock. It wasn’t until about day 2 post delivery, that I actually felt like I took in my girls clearly even though I had met them.
From the get go, Dylan was doing great. She only required the least extreme form of lung assistance (CPAP machine) and was pretty much on maintenance. Emery came out crying, but took a turn for the worse and scared everyone. Her lungs were almost completely stiff and she was put on the most extreme form of lung assistance called an Oscillator. She also had to have a chest tube put in because of a Pneumothorax (collapsed lung).
From there, both girls have been doing nothing but jumping hurdles. Little Miracles! Emery had gone from the most extreme form of lung assistance to the least, the CPAP, since day 2 in the NICU and in 24 hrs required less assistance even from that machine. On that same day (3 days in the NICU), they had turned off the vacuum on the chest tube and watched it for a while and did X-rays. After showing no signs of air in her chest cavity she got her chest tube out yesterday (Day 4 in the NICU). She’s determined to catch her sister, apparently. Her strides are UNBELIEVABLE!
Dylan at this point is still doing amazing. Her biggest strides are that she just keeps upping her intake of food. Emery is upping her food intakes as well, just at a little slower rate than Dylan which is okay.
Today, (day 5 in the NICU), we walk in to find that Emery has gone down to the lowest assistance she can go on the CPAP and is holding steady! She also increased her feeds even more.
Today, Dylan has undone me. I walk over to say hi to her and realize she looked so different. It took my mind about 10 seconds to register what was happening, but then it hit me: I could see her whole face. She is COMPLETELY OFF CPAP and breathing room air. Boy, is she happy!! And so so beautiful! And it looks like sister isn’t too far behind!
Below are a few pictures from delivery to today, 5 days post delivery.