Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Birthday Story

So, I was thinking that I should probably tell the story about how my precious pumpkins made their grand entrance into the world. Now I know those who read this blog (all 5 of you!) have been waiting with bated breath for this, but I think one day my babies might be interested in the story of their birthday. *Disclaimer - this is a long one, so if you're only mildly interested, stop right here.

I was 36 weeks and going to see my doctor (Dr. Singleton) weekly, if not twice a week, to have the babies checked out. Everything was going fine we were just monitoring them closely since we were getting down to the delivery date. We had talked with Dr. S and due to a variety of circumstances including one breech twin, we had scheduled a section for February 10th. Because everything was going so well we had no inkling that we wouldn't make it to the 10th. I love how we think we're "planning" things!

January 26th I had my regular weekly appointment and was a little concerned because the weekend previous my blood pressure had been elevated.In fact, I had done a urine collection and turned it in that morning to check my protein level. For most of the pregnancy I'd been monitoring my pressure at home to watch for anything abnormal. The nurse checked my pressure and sure enough is was elevated. Up until this point I had a totally normal pregnancy and my pressure had been great so the nurse was a little concerned.

Funny sidebar you'll want to tuck away for later, we were in the exam room waiting and Dr. Sellers (another Dr. in the clinic) comes in looks at us with a puzzled expression and says "Wait, I'm not supposed to be seeing you today." The clinic was crazy that day and we were in a room he normally uses while they were preparing one of Dr. Singleton's room. Why was it crazy you ask, there was an ice storm on the horizon. So you know people in Arkansas are clamoring for doctor's appointments and loaves of bread.

Dr. Singleton wanted me to check my pressure again as we left and it was higher than when I came in the clinic so he sent us over to L&D for monitoring. I should have known right then and there to go home and get the bag because babies were coming, but never having given birth I was dumb! We get to L&D at about 4:00pm and they hook me up to the belts and spend FOREVER trying to get both babies to cooperate and stay on the monitors. In addition they are constantly monitoring my pressure, which gets higher as we progress. I had already called my mom and she arrived in less than an hour to check on me. So for the next 2 hours I lay there and people looked at me. I'm starving, the ice storm is raging, and I'm still not thinking we're having babies. In fact, my mom still had to drive to Pine Bluff so I sent her home around 5:30, convinced we were going home. Stupid.

At least by this time Trey and I are thinking we might be staying the night and we need some kind of overnight bag. However, there's that pesky ice storm. We live in an area where either way you go, you have to pass a large iced over bridge to get home. It would have been a dangerous undertaking and could have taken hours. So, we just planned to tough it out and get our things in the morning when we were sure we'd be discharged.

I start getting fuzzy on times here but I think around 8-8:30pm the nurse who has been in contact with the on call doctor comes in and wheels the bedside stool up. I remember thinking if she's wheeling the stool over and sitting down, something isn't right and we're having babies tonight. She tells Trey and I that the doctor is at home but is on his way in. A little while later the door opens and in walks Dr. Sellers (you'll remember him from our sidebar earlier) and he says "I guess I was supposed to see you guys today." He explains that my pressure is causing my body to enter into dangerous territory for not only me, but also Hulse and Olivia. He proceeds to tell us in not so many words that we are going to have these children tonight or something potentially serious could happen to me and them. I ask if we can wait until the morning, not really. So I ask if we can give our families time to get there, and he says he'll do his best, and then they start prepping me for the section.

The scoop is that my BP has elevated to the point where I could be in danger of having a seizure. If that happens with the babies in utero it's not a good situation for mom or baby. To try and prevent me from having a seizure they start me on a medication called magnesium sulfate. This stuff has a nasty reputation and I had read about it, but thank the Lord it didn't seem to affect me negatively and I didn't have a seizure so that was a blessing.

In what seemed like a crazy whirlwind I was taken to the OR, got my epidural and spinal, and they brought Trey in and we started. Hulse you were born first. You came out and immediately started crying. They told me you had hair and that everything looked great. Three minutes later Olivia you arrived quietly on the scene. You took a little more time to pop out because you were backwards and they tried to turn you around, but you just insisted on coming out bottom first. And just like that it was over. The doctors and nurses continued to check you out and finished with my part of the procedure. They wrapped you both into a tight little package and I held you for the first time as we went down the hall to our room. The doctors and nurses gave you some shots, cleaned you up, took your footprints, and wrapped you up. Hulse you were 5 lbs, and 6 oz and 19 inches long. Olivia you were 5 lbs, and 5 oz and were 18 1/4 inches long. I was so relieved that you were both here and that everything was ok. You met your grandparents and then you spent the night in the nursery so mom and dad could rest.

I woke up around 3:00/4:00 on 1/27/09 and everything was really fuzzy. So I reached for my glasses and put them on and everything was still really fuzzy. In a little bit of a panic I woke Trey up and told him to call the nurse that I couldn't see. He understood me pretty well in his sleepy state because he jumped up and called. Over the next 48 hours I felt like someone had taken dirty contacts and put them over my eyes. Apparently, my BP was so high the vessels behind my eyes has constricted or the fuzzy vision was a reaction to the mag sulfate. Who knows, but I thought I was going to be blind. It was much better when we left the hospital, but it took probably 2 weeks after we got home to be completely normal again. My BP continued to be higher than everyone was comfortable with for a few days and I ended up staying for 5 days. At some point Dr. Sellers rounded on me and we got the result of that urine collection I had done and my protein level was 3,000 times what is considered safe. So it really was God's hand moving with us that day to deliver those babies before something happened to me or them. We finally made it home, and you know the rest of the story, you're 5 months old and growing like weeds. We love you so much and can't wait one day to tell you all about your birthday.

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