Jeana&amp;brandon: Ava &amp; Lily's birth story
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 6:20 PM
Twins Via Vaginal Delivery! (Even though mommy was planning on a c-section...)
Thursday, June 22nd
I started having contractions, though I have to say I didn’t think they were “real”. We called my husband Brandon’s brother, Brad. They’d had a baby about a year ago, and Brandon felt that he’d be able to tell us if they were “real” contractions. Why in the heck he thought this, I’ll never understand. I called my Mom and told her that I was having contractions, but nothing really regular and my water hadn’t broken or anything like that. I was 36 weeks and 2 days along. My belly measured 46 cm at the last appointment, but Twin B was breech, and Twin A was head’s down…so I was expecting a c-section. We’d scheduled an induction for June 30th, about a week away. We timed the contractions…10 minutes apart, 8 minutes apart, 12 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart. Basically, nothing consistent. Oh, and they weren’t painful. I did have a few tinges of what was comparable to menstrual cramps. I’d make a funny face and Brandon would laugh at me…and in turn I’d laugh which would make the cramps a little worse. He’d laugh harder, I’d laughed…you see the pattern here. We finally went to bed around midnight when we realized that it wasn’t “time”.
Friday, June 23rd
Friday started like any other day. Brandon got up for work, and since I was on bedrest, I “got up” with him. He left for work at about 6:30 and I dozed off a little while longer. I had a non-stress test at 9 am at Dr. Cote’s office. I got up around 7:30 am, took a shower, got ready and headed to his office at around 8:30. I’d started having contractions again, but they weren’t any different than the previous night. I got to the office, got hooked up to the monitors and visited with the nurse a bit. I told her I knew Dr. Cote had a c-section that morning (one of my co-workers actually)…but that I thought I was having contractions. The girls were doing fine on the NST, heartbeats considered…but they weren’t very active. The nurses all commented that they were probably resting up, getting ready to be born. Finally Michele, Dr. Cote’s nurse, came in a buzzed them with this little buzzer tool. They weren’t pleased. That got them to moving which was what they wanted, so they could see that their heart rates would raise and lower. Michele told me they would call Dr. Cote about the contractions, but to go ahead and go home, rest, and they’d call as soon as they heard back from him. So, I get in the car and start to head home. On the way, I call Brandon and let him know that I should be hearing back from Dr. Cote sometime soon, as to if I need to go to the hospital or not. He asked if he should go ahead and head home, since he’d need to drive and shower before we could go to the hospital. I told him yes, because the contractions were starting to get stronger. After I got off the phone with him, I called my Mom to let her know what was going on. She told me that Dad was in Jefferson City, MO at a conference. She was going to call his cell phone and leave a message to let him know that we could be going in today. If they needed to come to Omaha, Dad would have to go from Jeff City, to Memphis, MO (about 3 hours), pick up Mom, and head to Omaha (about 4 and a half hours). I got home and within minutes the phone was ringing. It was Michele. Dr. Cote wanted me to come in and get checked out. At the last appointment, I was 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced, so they wanted to make sure that the contractions weren’t changing my cervix at all. Brandon finally got home a little after that, showered, and we headed to the hospital. We took our bag with us, but didn’t plan on needing it. We got to the hospital around 11:30 am. Once up to Labor and Delivery, they put us in one of the nice, big labor rooms. I got in my gown, got the girls hooked up to monitors, and settled in bed. Everything was going great, but the contractions were becoming more regular. The nurse told me that we’d probably be staying and having the babies, and I got my IV. I was given magnesium for my pre-eclampsia, to prevent seizures. It made me feel sick and hot, and just plain icky. I was given anti-nausea meds to help with the sickness feeling. Brandon made some phone calls to give updates, and I rested on and off until about 2 pm. By that time, the contractions were just becoming uncomfortable. The nurse offered to give me a shot of pain meds in my IV, and I agreed. Whatever that shot was, I never want it again. I immediately felt loopy and sick. I threw up a few times, and basically felt like I wanted to talk and respond, but couldn’t. It was the worst feeling ever. Brandon made a few more phone calls to let everyone know that they’d better head out to Omaha, because the babies were going to be born sometime today or tomorrow, and that we were getting ready to have an ultrasound to see if the babies were breech, head’s down, or a combination of both. Once the ultrasound tech got to the room, I was starting to come out of my pain-med induced fog, but was to the point that I was just nauseous and irritable. Brandon told me I snapped at her when she asked questions. I don’t remember this but I am really sorry about it! The ultrasound showed that both babies were head down and we could proceed with a standard vaginal delivery. I got a little nervous because the entire time, I’d banked on having a c-section. I didn’t prepare, AT ALL for a vaginal delivery. I got checked shortly after the ultrasound, and I was at about a 4, 100% effaced. At this time, since the pain meds the nurse had given me earlier were all gone, the new nurse asked if I wanted to have my epidural now. She reminded me that Dr. Cote encouraged an epidural, due to the high chance that I might need an emergency c-section. I kind of danced around the idea because I was scared to death of having a needle stuck in my back, but after talking with Brandon…and telling myself that it will all be ok, I said, “Let’s do it…”. So then came the long wait for the anesthesiologist to come to the room and get it started. It felt like forever, but it was probably only 15 minutes. And I can honestly say that the epidural did not hurt at all. I was given a numbing shot, and the nurse helped me arch my back so they could get the needle in the right place. This was the hardest part, because I was having contractions, and the position I had to be in for the epidural to be put in place wasn’t exactly making my contractions painless like they had previously been. But I got through it, got laid down and comfy in bed (complete with a Foley catheter)…and it seems like it was easy going from then on out. At one point, I felt something warm between my legs. I told the nurse I thought I was leaking and she checked me. Sure enough, I was starting to leak a little. I was 5 cm at this point and they were just getting ready to break my water when it went on its own. That’s one thing I didn’t really have a grip on…the amount of water that would be present after it broke. HOLY COW! It came in two big gushes and Brandon couldn’t stop laughing. By the time we got settled after the great flood of 2006, it was about 6 pm. I called to check on my parents and they were just leaving Memphis (still 4 and a half hours + away). I told them I was halfway there and for them not to hurry. From 5 cm to 7 cm was pretty uneventful. Once I got to 7 cm, Twin A started having issues. They were having troubles keeping her heart rate on the monitors. They inserted an internal monitor that attached to her head. This eased my worry a little, because she was so on and off the monitor that it kept going off, nurses would rush in, we’d find her again, and then she’d bounce around more and be gone again…so the internal monitor helped a bunch. Once I got to 8 cm’s (around 8 pm), Twin A again was having issues with her heart rate. Dr. Cote came in to speak with us, letting us know that he was giving Twin A 10 minutes to “stabilize” and if she didn’t, they were going to proceed with an emergency c-section. Twin A waited literally 9 of those 10 minutes to stabilize, but she made it under the allotted time! They continued to watch her closely. My Mom and Dad arrived just as I was reaching 9 cm’s. It was around 10:30 pm. Shortly after, Dr. Cote came in, checked me, and said…”Let’s go!”. Not until after I delivered did I get a chance to talk to my Mom and find out that he told a nurse, “She’s not a 10 yet, but we can’t wait any longer with Twin A’s heart decels”. My Mom was a wreck. Thank God I didn’t hear this. What a good doctor! Brandon was given his scrubs, and they wheeled me into the operating room. I had to deliver in the OR in case I needed an emergency c-section. They got me in the OR and Brandon joined me shortly after. He looked so cute in his scrubs! I had to be moved from my laboring bed to the operating table (ooh la la so comfy…NOT) which was a chore. With my massive epidural that I was in love with, I couldn’t move my lower extremities! They put a special rolling attachment between the beds and moved me over. They need to make wider operating tables, I’ve determined! Anyway, we had to wait for 2 Head NICU Nurses, an anesthesiologist, 2 PICU nurses, and an OB resident to arrive before I could start pushing. Dr. Cote was getting extremely mad…and they finally did an all-hospital page to have the people missing report to the OR – STAT! He wouldn’t have been so mad, if it weren’t for Twin A’s heart issues (which I was somewhat unaware of). I looked at the clock as the nurses helped me get my feet up in the stirrups and it was 11:08 pm. The nurse told me I could push when I had my next contraction. I leaned over and said, “But I can’t tell when I’m having contractions…” She giggled and said, “That’s okay sweetie…I’ll tell you” and she kept her hands on my belly the whole time. Well, one hand on my belly, one on my neck. Brandon was on the other side, holding my shoulder up as I’d push. I had a hold of the rod attachment under the stirrups and was pushing with all my might. Afterwards, my IV line was SOOO sore, and I know it’s because I was bearing down so much. At the time though, I felt nothing. I peeked over my massive belly and looked at Dr. Cote and said, “Am I doing it right?!” and he said, “Yep, you’re doing great”. I’d pushed 3 times, took a little rest, and pushed once more when I felt a “pop”…which was Twin A’s head coming out. Dr. Cote screamed, “Woah woah woah stop pushing” and Twin A – Ava Grace – was delivered at 11:23 pm, after only 15 minutes of pushing. She was assisted with forceps due to her deteriorating heart beat. She didn’t cry immediately which upset me. Also, she was dramatically smaller than what I had pictured. The TV shows just don’t prepare a twin mommy for the birth of her child. Ava weight 4 lbs 11 ounces. She was 17 and ¾ inches long. I kept asking, “Why isn’t she crying…why isn’t she crying” and the NICU nurses had her surrounded and I really couldn’t see her. I looked at Brandon and said, “Go to her” and he gave me a look like, “Are you sure” and I said, “GO!”. He went by her and I heard the sweetest little whimper I’ve ever heard. Dr. Cote tapped me on the leg and said, “Hey Jeana, we’ve got one more to go here”. I smiled and started pushing. I’d peeked at the clock and it was 11:25 pm. 5 minutes later, I felt another “pop” and heard a cry. Twin B – Lily Rae – was born at 11:30 pm and was crying before her shoulders were even out! She weighed 5 lbs 6 ounces and was 18 inches long. She looked like a giant in comparison to Ava. They’d already whisked Ava away to the newborn nursery to give her a quick once over (Brandon went with her) and I got to meet Lily while I was being “repaired” (I had a 3rd degree tear). As I was being fixed up, the doctors and nurses were all checking out the placenta (the girls shared a placenta). Ava’s portion of the placenta was attached to the uterine wall with blood vessels. I’d noticed after being checked that the doctors had quite a bit of blood on their gloves. Being my first labor and delivery experience, I imagined that this was normal…but come to find out, Ava was losing blood as the placenta was disengaging from the uterine wall. Also, her cord was attached to the placenta with blood vessels. One nurse told Brandon that we should be very thankful because, “That little girl probably shouldn’t even be here”. I’ve requested my records to see what the final diagnosis was on the placental issues. Brandon got to carry Lily to the newborn nursery, past all of our family members. Ava had some issues once they got her cleaned up…she had some “static” moments where she stopped breathing. They believe this was due to the magnesium that I was on to prevent the seizures associated with eclampsia. For this reason, Ava was transferred to the NICU. Lily had no issues and was never admitted to the NICU. Ava spent 3 days in the NICU, due to the breathing issues, and they also detected a heart murmur. It actually went away before we were discharged. I felt pretty good after delivery. I had some troubles with the magnesium, which I had to remain on for 24 hours following delivery. This kept me from getting up out of bed, which sucked. I really wanted to shower. I also passed out twice, once in the NICU when visiting Ava and once in my postpartum room. Again, this was due to the magnesium and my low blood sugars from not eating for so long. Both girls passed their Nebraska mandated hearing tests, and Ava had to pass a car seat test to make sure her little body could handle the car seat. She did wonderfully. We were home on Monday evening. Recover was fairly easy for me. The biggest adjustment was just getting used to all the ROOM I had in my belly after the babies were born. That was probably the worst feeling – standing up following delivery. It felt like all my internal organs dropped back into place, after a 9 month displacement. I’m so glad I got to have a vaginal delivery. I didn’t take any classes and thought I was going to be so unprepared…but really, it’s all motherly instinct. Pushing wasn’t that hard, and I had no troubles at all.
Lily and Daddy - walking from the delivery room to the nursery.
Lily and Mommy - just hours old.
Ava in the NICU - what a sweetpea!