I realized that I never gave a full story of how we came to meet our little babies so much sooner than we expected so here it is...
The day after the steroid shots on June 5th and 6th (and my shopping excursion) I was very tired, swollen and short of breath all day on Sunday the 7th. I pretty much just stayed in bed propped up on 4 pillows just trying to breathe. Rich left for Detroit on Monday the 8th and part of me thought that maybe he shouldn't go but I thought I was just being silly. All day on Monday the 8th I was having a hard time catching my breath and just thought it was the babies pushing up on my lungs but finally around 3:30 in the afternoon I called my doctor to ask if the swelling and shortness of breath could have been a side effect of the steroid shots because I could tell that I just felt different. My doctor and the office nurse essentially said that I should come to the ER. Well I figured that I probably shouldn't drive myself so I called my next door neighbor, Lisa, to drive me to the ER. I also called Rich to tell him the latest and he hopped on the first flight back to Dallas.
I got the ER and they took me to Labor and Delivery. I don't know if I mentioned this, but my OB (and perinatologist) was on vacation so I was seen by her partner who I have never met. Some of the nurses were the same ones over the weekend and they were surprised at how I looked because they said I was terribly swollen in my face compared to a few days earlier. My feet and legs also had pitting edema which is where you push in on the skin and it stays pushed in. Really gross. I wasn't having contractions and all the babies heartbeats looked good but the shortness of breath and swelling were concerning. Plus my blood pressure was in the 160's-170's which was a complete change from just a few days earlier when it was 120. They thought that maybe I had a blood clot in my lung causing the shortness of breath so I had an chest x-ray and a spiral CT of my lungs plus labs done.
From that they determined that I had fluid around lungs, called a pleural effusions, and fluid collecting around my heart, some abnormal liver enzymes and my platelets were low. And I was starting to get a headache and having back pain from using my accessory muslces from trying to breathe. They said that they would watch me overnight and wait for me to be seen my a partner of my perinatologist in the morning and go from there. The OB said that she was hoping I would be able to get rid of some of the fluid and carry the babies for another week or so on strict bed rest but it depended on the perinatolgist.
Finally at about 10:30 that night, Rich arrived (only after I begged him to stop at home first to feed the dogs and let them out because I was worried) and he said that he thought that something was going to happen this week because he could tell something was different because he could tell I couldn't breathe while sleeping.
The next day, Rich brought me all my stuff from home like contact solution, socks, shampoo and all of that because I knew that I would be in the hospital until I delivered. Late morning, a perinatologist came to see me and they did a sonogram to see if the babies were taking practice breaths. Essentially the perinatoligst said that the babies looked great but that my health was not good and that she wasn't sure how long she would recommend that I go. In the meantime, the night before they had started to collect urine over 24 hours to see how much protein I was spilling which is an indicator of my kidney function. She wanted to see the results of the 24hour urine before making a decision but said I would probably deliver in the next few days.
At about 5 pm on the 9th (24 hours after admission) they moved me to the high risk antepartum unit and Rich went home to eat dinner and let the dogs out. I had just ordered dinner (room service rocks) and my OB came in about 6 pm and said the results from my urine test came back and they were through the roof and that I would need to deliver in the next hour or so. Essentially, I had preeclampsia combined with HELLP syndrome and my organs were starting to look like they were getting stressed or damaged and delivery was the only option.
I called Rich to tell him to he had to come back to the hospital, to bring the name book because we still hadn't settled on names, and no he didn't have time to stop at Target to get a CD to put in the camcorder. That was at 6:15 or so, Rich got there about 15 minutes before they wheeled me into the OR, I got into the OR at 7:22 pm, they put in the epidural, Rich came back into the OR and babies were born at 7:48, 7:49, and 7:50. That is how fast it happened.
Rich was unbelievable, he was not freaked out by the surgery and even went around the curtain and took pictures of them pulling out the babies. I won't post those pictures because they are pretty graphic but I think they are awesome because you can see all the umbilical cords. You know, the life lines that kept them nurtured for 30 weeks and 6 days.
Everything happened so fast and I was so sick that everything was a bit of a haze. I know the birth of your babies is supposed to be one the most amazing events in your life but for me it was scary because they were so early and nothing was going like I had envisioned. It was so sudden and I was so scared for our babies that were sleeping and growing and healthy in the womb and suddenly before they were ready they had to face the big world. Plus, I had to be on my back for the surgery which made it very hard for me to breathe so the whole experience wasn't all flowers and rainbows.
Incredibly, all babies came out screaming and everyone kept saying how big they were which made me feel a little better. I only got to see Beckett and Eloise before they took them to the NICU. Rich and I agreed beforehand that he should follow the babies to the NICU and leave me in the OR. Luckily, as soon as Rich left with the babies, they gave me a little medicine to make me sleep through the rest of the C secion while they closed. In total, I was in the OR for just over an hour before being taken back to Labor and Delivery.
I didn't get to see the babies until they were about 24 hours old because right after delivery they started me on magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures that can happen with preeclampsia. Mag sulfate is a terribly nasty drug that makes you feel like you have the flu, nausea, vomiting, and apparently memory loss and slurred speech because Rich said I kept asking the same questions and not making sense when I talked. I didn't know that until later but he picked my mom up from the airport and warned her that I was acting crazy but it was just the medication. And I threw up about 5 minutes after her and Isaac walked into the room. Welcome!!! But Rich was incredible running back and forth the NICU, taking pictures and video, delivering milk and keeping me updated.
The delivery of the babies was the best thing for my health and the doctors said that all of the problems with my lungs, heart, kidney and liver were just acute insults with no permanent damage although another pregnancy for me is high risk and not recommended. Don't worry, I think 3 is enough and I've had enough surgery for a while so I think it is Rich's turn to get a little taste. Snip, snip.
That seems like forever ago even though it was just 3 1/2 weeks. In that time, all the babies have made amazing progress. Today when we go in all three will be in the same bed, they are either breastfeeding or taking a bottle 3 of their 8 daily feeds and they are awake more and more looking at us with their beautiful big eyes.
Rich and I always stop and say to one another, "Can you believe that we have 3 babies?" I've said this before but I'm continually amazed at how lucky we are.