At 33w4d the Chadiferinas arrived weighing 4lbs 4oz and 4lbs 8oz, just after 6pm, one minute apart.
On Saturday, February 11th when I got up I was feeling an occassional menstrual like cramp and KNEW that was a possible pre-term labor sign and tried drinking water, changing positions, and emptying my bladder. Probably about 3 hours after they started and hadn't stopped I was thinking it was time to get going to the hospital just in case (there was no real pattern to them, but they wouldn't stop when I changed what I was doing). I texted Jenn to give her the update just before 2pm and had Kent put my laptop in the car. I was still waffling a little because they didn't feel at ALL like labor contractions that I've had before. However, what pushed me over to knowing it was time to go was when they had started getting painful and I figured it wasn't just "nothing" anymore. When I got in the car I was just hoping they would be able to stop whatever was going on and planned on maybe being at the hospital for awhile until they arrived!
I was counting the contractions/cramps in the car and they were about 7-8 minutes apart. I figured at that point regardless of the fact these felt NOTHING like labor contractions I remembered, indeed that's what they were. They were so low! The pain was all really deep in my pelvis - my upper belly would tighten, but I was only hurting down low. I was getting worried at that point. Usually for me once they have a pattern to them and are at the 8-10 minute range we have babies 4-5 hours later. I focused and tried to stay hopeful and prayed for the girls all the way there. Finally got to the hospital and felt like they took FOREVER to get me checked in! I'd been there a full HOUR before they even hooked me up to the monitors! I was getting peeved, kept thinking we were going to be past the point of no return if they didn't hurry up. But I also had no clear idea of what that point was. I never asked at what point they wouldn't try to stop labor before since previously I hadn't been contracting when I'd been checked. However the nurse said they were 3-4 minutes apart once they had me hooked up... and they hurt... a lot.
The midwife came in and did an ultrasound and very matter of factly told me we were having a c-section that afternoon. B had turned transverse and A's head was no longer engaged - she said she felt the bag of waters and "something" that she didn't think was head presenting. I asked why we couldn't try to stop labor and I seriously felt like she was talking to me like I was stupid which irritated me but perhaps being in pain and rather confused and overwhelmed at that point contributed - she told me I was dilated to a 4 and was in active labor. They wouldn't stop it at that point. Well CRAP. At that point I pretty much just gave up worrying about it and gave up on anything I had 'hoped' for in our delivery - nothing was going to the "plan" - I know, it never does! :)
Jenn and Chad had already made the decision to head over and were on their way, but at about 5:10 I was told we'd head back at 5:30 for the section! I called right away and gave them the update and said I hope that gives you enough time!! The nurse said they never went back on schedule and they should be fine. Sure enough, the anesthesiologist came in right before 5:30 to get my epidural in and Jenn and Chad got there at about the same time. Chad went off to get changed, and Jenn came in and held my hand while they had me roll over and got me numbed. It kicked in pretty quickly. I really like the guy that was with me throughout the whole delivery - he was really nice and funny too (and he had big muscles, that didn't hurt!) :D
Once the epidural was placed and I was confirmed numb, they got the catheter in, covered me up and off we went to the OR. From there it was like a TOTAL blur - we were in and out in about 20 minutes total. I felt so numb and weird from the meds but fine too - just sort of out of body experience I think. They moved me from the one bed to the delivery table, got my arms stretched out, got the drape in place, and wiped iodine or whatever it is they use all over me. Jenn and Chad came in not long after. Chad had his camera ready and Jenn held my hand. Next thing I know I was smelling my flesh burning as they cauterized as they went and LOTS of tugging and pulling then "Baby A - TIME!!" 1 minute later "Baby B - TIME!!" And the most beautiful sound ever - their little cries!! I totally started crying and Jenn got teary too. I was trying to look behind me to see the girls and see Chad with them, Jenn finally went to her girls too and then they brought them over for me to see the little burrito babies. They are ADORABLE. Like little dolls, totally precious and perfect but so little!! B needed a little encouragement to get to breathing well, but she did it! The closed me up and I didn't hear anything about complications or bleeding so I assumed everything must have gone well on the other end of the drape! The anasthesiologist I liked wiped my tears off for me!!
Jenn and Chad went with the girls, and I was taken down to a recovery room for about an hour or so. My vitals were great, so by about 8:30pm they rolled me up to the post partum room. Jenn and Chad popped in briefly before heading out to get some dinner and told me the girls were doing amazing and they were so appreciative and sweet!
They came back from dinner around 10:30 I think and brought me two potted flowers and two cards - one from them, and one from Jenn's parents!! SO sweet!! They also ate at BBQ to celebrate, in honor of our very first in person meeting when we all went out to lunch at a BBQ place! I thought that was too cute!
I didn't get a whole lot more details, but I guess there wasn't too much to tell. Jenn said the girls were both on room air and had feeding tubes in for now but they were going to work on mouth feedings in the near future. Once they mastered that they would graduate to the lower level "growers and feeders" NICU. Everyone who came in with updates on the girls said they were great weights, were doing really well and probably wouldn't be there long at all which was a relief to hear, though I still feel guilty about them coming early and not keeping them safe for a couple more weeks. Jenn and Chad seem happy and I know they would let me know if there was something going on, so I am just trusting they really are doing well and just need to put on some weight and master feeding and before long they'll get to go home!
I am fairly sore whenever I move around which I know is of course to be expected - the incision site burns sometimes. I was still on the epidural for pain management the day after delivery and had to wait until around 3:00pm before I was able to get up and move for the first time. They tried at 6am but one of my legs was still too numb so they said we'd try again after breakfast, we tried again around 11am but my leg was even MORE numb than the first time because someone came in and turned up the pain meds to my epidural in anticipation of it hurting when I finally did get up to walk. It made the numbness worse! When we tried the 2nd time and I had NO control over my left leg so they started weaning me off the pump and switching me to percocet before they came back a few hours later and we tried again. That time it worked just fine! I had much more control and feeling in my leg and with a little help was able to walk for the first time. I didn't go far and it was hard, but my nurses were awesome! They got my catheter removed, got my bedding changed and I got back to bed. Not long after that they removed my IV and my epidural completely and I was "free" of all attachments and given the green light to move on my own as long as I was comfortable and sure I had control over my legs. I had no trouble moving around after that though was still pretty sore and didn't try to do much more that day.
That morning I had gotten to eat real food for breakfast which was great after an evening of juice and water - though I did get chicken broth and 2 popsicles too. It was great to have "real" food again though I was on a "soft" diet for about the first 24 hours - it was still real food, but more restricted. I had a fruit plate with cottage cheese for one meal. It wasn't long til I was on unrestricted diet again. Some of the hospital food was kind of gross, but soups and sandwiches were always good!
On Monday I got to go upstairs and visit the girls for the first time in the NICU! It was AWESOME! I can't even describe what a great feeling it was to have permission to see them and hold them a little. The nurses were very nice; I was a little worried about if they'd give me any trouble getting to have access to the babies but they were great. Jenn and Chad had made sure to tell my nurse the night before that I had permission and they put a note in the chart in case there was any question. Jenn said they did call her phone and leave her a message after I went up there too. I was able to take up the little bit of colostrum I'd pumped as well. The nurses had been taking the bottles up for me prior to that point.
I got to visit again on Tuesday morning and the nurse was SUPER sweet and brought both of the girls over for me to hold at the same time and she took some pictures for me too! That was awesome! They just melt my heart and I feel such a huge amount of pride and happiness for Jenn and Chad when I look at their little faces!
I was told I would most likely be discharged on Tuesday and started trying to figure out how I was going to get home the night before. Since I'd driven myself to the hospital it was a little more complicated because I needed someone who could drive me and someone who could drive my car! I had a couple possible options but neither would be able to come until about 7pm or later and that would be fine, but it was Valentine's Day and I knew I was probably interrupting plans and that it was an inconvenience to say the least! It ended up working out perfectly though - a friend of mine who had told me a week before she was coming my way from Alabama to pick someone up at the airport in the evening sent me a text and asked if I was still at the hospital or at home. I told her I was still at the hospital at least 'til the evening since I had to wait 'til 2 people were able to come get me and help me home. She texted back her mom was with her and they would get me home! I was SO EXCITED!! I hadn't seen her in forever and was just looking forward to visiting, getting a ride home early was lots of icing on the cake! :)
We got back to the house around 3:30pm and we visited a little and then they headed out to the airport and I got settled on the couch and pumped. We didn't pick up my script for percocet on the way home so I've just been on IBProfen since yesterday afternoon and so far I am feeling pretty good most of the time! I woke up for my first night time pumping session pretty sore but after a couple IBProfen I've been good since then, I just am trying to stay on top of it every 4 hours or so. I'm looking forward to getting through this first week and seeing how I feel - I definitely seem to feel better than I was expecting to so I can't complain!
So, that is the summary of the past few days - it's been a total whirlwind and I am happy in some ways and so sad in others. I just wish I could have had another 2 or 3 weeks with the girls and kept them safe inside where they could have grown a little more, gotten a little bigger and a little stronger before having to face the world. I am happy they are doing so well, and so happy for Jenn and Chad. I am SO blessed to have had this experience with them, and feel like it is far from over. I get to pump for the girls and hopefully get a decent supply of breastmilk for them and will hopefully continue to stay in touch and get to visit in the weeks and months to come! :)
I am wiped out now and it's almost time to pump again! I'm hoping if I can stay off the percocet maybe I'll be able to take what I've pumped to the NICU on Friday or Saturday.