It's been a bit of a whirldwind around here as we settle into our new normal. We came home from the hospital last night and are now trying to figure out how to balance hanging out in the NICU with the rest of life and healing from my c-section, and just hoping that our babies are able to join us at home soon. To fill you all in, here's how the labor/delivery went down...
I had an appointment last Friday, and there were no signs of labor on either the ultrasound or the cervical check--everyone thought we were still weeks away. I was uncomfortable over the weekend, but nothing very different from what I've been feeling for weeks now. On Sunday, I began worrying about baby girl, thinking she wasn't moving as much as normal. This feeling continued, so on Tuesday I called in and went for an ultrasound. Again, everything looked perfect. Tuesday night I had a board meeting, and towards the end of the meeting around 7:45 I had two really strong contractions. I didn't feel anything else, though, and thought nothing about it. In fact, on my way out of the meeting, I kept telling people to expect the babies in about two weeks.
Andrew and I walked the dogs around 8:15, then we opened and began playing with our new video baby monitors. Andrew had the light off in the nursery and was making faces into the monitor, and I was downstairs checking to see how well it worked. We were laughing, joking around, but when I started back up the stairs I only made it to the third one. Suddenly, my water broke, just like on a movie...it was shocking! I called up to Andrew, "Honey, my water just broke," and he thought I was joking. When he looked over the railing and saw me standing in a puddle he realized this was the real deal, and he immediately began freaking out. Neither of us had packed, so we began throwing stuff together. I finally got Andrew calmed down, we got enough together to get us through the day, and off we went. Luckily, my doctor was on call, so he met us at the hospital.
In triage they quickly confirmed that my water had broken, and the doctor said we'd be doing a c-section within the hour. I wasn't contracting yet, so I was still pretty calm. I was upset that the babies were coming earlier than expected, but I knew there was nothing we could do. Unfortunately two emergencies came in, pushing us back, and I began having strong contractions around 1:00 a.m. We were finally wheeled to the OR at 3:00, and at 3:21 a.m. on August 24th we heard the most beautiful sound--our two babies crying. I saw them very quickly in the OR, and Andrew got to hold them each for about 30 seconds, then they were whisked to the nursery. Andrew and our families got to watch them being evaluated and stabilized, but I was stuck in my room recovering. Finally, 6 hours later, my babies were wheeled in to meet me. It was bittersweet--they were the most precious things ever, but they were in isolettes and I couldn't hold them.
The babies headed to the NICU across the street, and I was taken to postpartum. Andrew and the families got to go visit in the NICU, but again I had to wait. This was truly excruciating. I was hearing about my babies from everyone else, when I should have been the first to know them. Finally, around 3:00 p.m., I got to visit the NICU and touch our son and daughter. Since then, Andrew and I have been visiting as much as possible and soaking up every second with our babies.
As of now, Barnes is on nasal oxygen. He is receiving my milk via tube to his stomach, and is digesting better and better. We really hope his breathing improves soon, as we need to get him more stable so we can start working towards other goals. Andrew and I have both gotten to hold him (inside his pouch) a few times, and we cherish those special moments.
Frances is on a respirator and is on medication to close a valve that failed to close after birth. Once she is off the medicine, she will hopefully begin eating via tube. We have gotten to change her diaper, but have not yet gotten to hold her, which is breaking my heart. I am aching to have her in my arms!
Although it's terribly difficult to not have them here, we know they are in the best hands right now. We are incredibly thankful for East Tennessee Children's Hospital and all the wonderful doctors and nurses there. We will keep you all as updated as we have time to, and we beg you to continue to pray for the twins' health and development.