Writing this in hopes of sharing it one day with my little fighters, with all of our family and friends who are praying for us and as a way to process everything that has happened.
After being in the hospital for almost a week my team of doctors started talk of releasing me. I was over joyed, then terrified.
They talked about it from Wednesday onward. On Friday night I spoke with my mom and Kevin about a feeling that I shouldn’t go home.
I had no contractions, the twins were great on the non stress tests and heart monitors and our ultrasound looked wonderful.
We came to the conclusion that I should talk to my doctor when she did her rounds and really break down everything before I went home.
And that is what I did.
On Saturday morning my doctor came by, Kevin was at work and she said everything looked perfect and that I was good to go. I asked her a million and half questions and told her I wasn’t sure I should go home.
She said it was normal to be nervous but I had no reason to be.
I asked her, “if things go bad, if labor starts up again, what do I do and how much time will I have?”
She told me I would have plenty of time and I would have symptoms well before the twins would be in any danger.
I asked when I had to leave and if I could stay, take a nap and eat a meal and wait for Kevin to come before I left. She laughed at me for staying and said that was fine that I had till midnight to leave.
After she left I called Kevin to update him and told him I was staying instead of having my family come get me, he agreed with me and I told him I was going to eat something and take a nap.
While I was there my nurses switched over and my new nurse came in and said we might as well hook me up to a non stress test while I was here, just for my peace of mind if anything.
Once they tracked down the twins and got me all strapped down with monitors my nurse left and I waited for the twins to move to click the button.
Five minutes went by, twins kicking and rolling, still on the heart monitors and doing great.
Then I had a contraction. A very strong contraction.
I looked over at the monitor and saw that distinct mountain on the monitor.
Three minutes later, contraction. A stronger contraction.
I pressed my call light and asked them to send my nurse in right away. I knew things were not ok.
I texted Kevin, “I think the twins want to come, called nurse.”
By the time she came I had three more contractions and was in the middle of one when she arrived.
Then with the next contraction I texted Kevin, “this is so hard to do without you, this hurts like when I was at the end with Noah.”
She stopped the non stress test and rolled me on my side saying she thought I was having them because of my position, she told me there was no way I was in labor.
I rolled over and a minute after laying on my side I had another stronger contraction, this one registered at +100 on the monitor at its peak.
She sat me up and went to call my doctor who had gone home to shower.
My contractions were 3 minutes apart and all registering at +100 at their peaks.
My doctor said I probably just was anxious from being released. My nurse then told her, “she said they were like the contraction she had with her son, at the end of labor, she is really quiet and not making any noise so I am not sure if she is really in labor.”
It was then that my doctor ran out the door, she said she remembered that in my labor with Noah the worse the pain got the quieter I got and at the worst of the pain and labor I didn’t make a noise.
Two women came into check me to see how far I was. The last time I was checked I was 3 cm dilated.
The woman checked and got on her phone for a doctor to come verify.
I asked her how bad it was and she didn’t want to say.
I said, “I know it isn’t 3 any more please tell me, do I need to call my husband?”
She looked at me and said, “maybe 8 centimeters but I don’t think you will be for long, you should call”.
The doctor came in checked me while I was contracting and felt me go from 8cm to nothing left, I was fully dilated, there was nothing left.
I texted Kevin a very jumbled, very misspelled text, as they were wheeling me out of the room “come now call my mom they are coming” (not how I actually texted it).
I was swarmed in the hall way.
As we passed my old hallway in the PICU, my old nurse saw me and threw her clipboard at someone else and took my hand told everyone she was going back with me.
She helped me breathe through contractions down the hallway. I don’t know what I would have done without her.
The nurses were so kind, they stroked my forehead and helped me fight the instinct to push and took me to the OR to prep me.
Kevin and my doctor were both on their way. I was terrified that they wouldn’t make it when they started asking me if I would be ok with not having a csection.
I had to, through contractions tell them that mono-di twins have a very high mortality rate when born vaginally and that the second twin is very likely to die in labor and told them no matter what I would make sure they didn’t come out, they were also both breech.
Even though the urge to push was strong, the will to keep both my boys alive was much stronger.
Anesthesiologists were reading me the risks to having a spinal and telling me depending on how bad things could go they may knock me out. Another nurse was explaining all the risks of a csection and another was placing an IV in the vein in the center of my wrist while two others were changing me into a hospital gown.
All I could do was focus to not push and get through each contraction.
It wasn’t about the days they stayed in anymore, it was about the minutes.
My doctor came around the curtain in her street clothes and checked me immediately, “I feel a foot! Time to go now!”
She ran out of the room and Kevin came around the curtain pulling on his scrubs.
He took my hand and I told him how sorry I was, he kissed my forehead told me how proud he was of me and how much he loved us and they took me into do my spinal, while leaving Kevin behind.
My nurse from the PICU came in and I was so thankful since Kevin couldn’t be there during the spinal. She let me hunch over her and hug her and she prayed over me and the twins for the surgery quietly into my ear as they placed the spinal through my contractions.
They laid me down, still sticking me with different monitors and tubes.
My doctor came in and started swabbing my stomach for surgery and started cutting as Kevin came into the room.
All I could do was look into Kevin’s eyes.
The fear I felt was unexplainable and I could tell Kevin felt the same.
It took them a long time to get them out.
They had three doctors, two pushing from under my ribs, tugging and pulling since they were breach and my doctor trying to get each twin.
The pushing and pulling was so intense my body was swaying from side to side on the table and I felt like my ribs were breaking.
I couldn’t breathe waiting for them to come out.
They asked me if it mattered who was who and if I wanted to know who baby A was and I said, “Yes! It has to be Aiden, A is Aiden.”
Then they pulled him out and whisked him away.
In what Kevin perfectly described, felt like days, only two minutes later Evan was born and whisked away.
I told Kevin to go be with them and to leave me, I could see in his eyes the pain of leaving me and the pain of seeing them taken away. I asked the nurse to take him and he rushed out with her after them.
He left and I laid there feeling so empty.
It was only then after they were no longer in me that I started to cry.
The anesthesiologist wiped my tears away and one of the doctors asked why I was crying and all I could say was, “I let them down.”
They all started telling me how good I did because they weighed so much more than they should have and how their APGAR scores were 9’s.
It didn’t matter, I was supposed to give them 40 weeks of life and nourishment and I failed them.
They finished the surgery and did nerve blocks on my stomach because the anesthesiologist said it was a very intense csection and he insisted on it.
They wheeled me into recovery and wrapped me in warming blankets and new monitors.
I shook violently from the chill of the surgery and my core becoming so cold, the swing of hormones and the fear all combined.
Kevin came back in as the sweet nurses tried to keep me calm.
He had pictures of Aiden and Evan, they looked so small but so perfect. I was allowed to see Evan briefly as he was on his way to the NICU where we were headed.
My heart swelled with love when I saw him, it felt so torn seeing him out of me. My body instinctually wanted him back.
Family rushed to be at the hospital and came in two by two to see me, they were all so shocked and supportive. They all stayed with me in my recovery room the 2 hours I had to be in there.
Finally they wheeled me in to see them, still on the bed from the csection.
We were wheeled in to see Aiden first. As soon as he heard my voice he perked right up and opened his eyes.
They told me I could touch him and my heart raced with fear. I was so afraid to hold Noah when he was born and he was over three times the size of the twins. And here I was just afraid to touch them.
I placed my finger ever so lightly on his hand and he tightly squeezed my finger, almost to say, “mom, its ok you wont break me, I am stronger than I look”.
They then took me to see Evan. He was exactly who I thought he would be. His brother was feisty and kicking around and Evan wasn’t lethargic or listless he was cuddly and calm. He was bruised all over from the difficult delivery and immediately placed under the jaundice lights.
When I placed my finger in his hand he grabbed it and stroked his long little fingers and gave me a good squeeze.
The visit was such a blur. There were so many people in the rooms, so much information and I can’t remember any of them or what people were telling me. All I heard was, they are doing great and my mind turned off everything else and it was just us and our boys to me.
Being wheeled back to my room I was so broken.
I was empty. Literally. My boys were off being cared for in the NICU and I no longer was caring for them.
Kevin came with me and we took a moment to be alone before everyone came to see us.
I cried, he cried. We held each other. He assured me that every nurse and doctor that saw them was impressed with them but he knew no words could comfort me, so he just held me.
Noah came in with my family and instead of being wild and crazy he crawled up on me and pushed his cheek against mine and gave me a big hug. He kept pulling away to look at me in my eyes and then would squeeze me again.
The following days were all so confusing. In fact it just seems like one really long day.
I have been on a rollercoaster of emotion.
Sometimes it is easy to see them, sometimes I break down.
I broke down once and they actually surprised us and said they were doing well enough for skin to skin and be held for the first time if we came back a little later.
Kevin let me hold each of them first, since we could only hold them so much for the first day.
I held Aiden first. He was so light and I was so scared. He was crying from being moved, this little lamb of a cry. As soon as they placed him on my chest and I gave him my finger he leveled out and stopped crying.
He opened his little eyes and checked me out for a while and then drifted off to sleep.
Holding Evan he was such a cuddle bug. He wanted to be held with both hands and hummed to.
Holding them felt so perfect. My body missed them. I never wanted to let go.
The first night I couldn’t sleep. I sat awake in not able to grasp that they weren’t with me anymore.
The next nights I would fall asleep in spells of exhaustion and awake crying because I didn’t feel them kicking inside me anymore and my mind still thought I was pregnant and they were in trouble.
Every time I fall asleep I heard the noises of the NICU and remember the labor and feel all the fear of what every day holds for the next months.
Kevin curled into the hospital bed with me and feeling him next to me helped calm my brain and we have been sleeping that way ever since they were born.
Having him next to me makes it easier to feel normal. I went from being pregnant and cosleeping with Noah and sharing a bed with Kevin to being alone and empty and I just couldn’t take it.
Last night we went to visit them so excited and then looking at Evan, the “baby” of the family being the youngest and knowing (even though it is slight) he is struggling more than Aiden and looking at just how much they look like Noah when he was born just smaller broke my heart.
I wanted them in my room. I want to breastfeed them. I want to hold them and not be afraid to breathe because I might move a cord the wrong way. I want them to only have to fuss with diaper changes not with having PIC lines adjusted and tubes in their noses. I want them to not have to struggle to live. They don’t deserve this. They shouldn’t have to fight to live, they are just babies.
I would so much rather it be me in the ICU. I would much rather something have happened to me in the pregnancy if it meant them coming into the world strong and healthy.
They are expected to be in the NICU for 8 weeks. Could be more, could be less.
There are so many unknowns at this point. And with preemies it can all change on a dime.
I feel like I am going to be holding my breath for the next year.
I am trying to take each moment at a time. Trying to trust the doctors, which is very hard for me. I am a mom who cried when Noah got his first diaper rash (a month ago). I cried every time Noah got his shots…so to see them with tubes and PIC lines it is so agonizing.
Getting to hold them has really helped.
Every time I hold them it feels like a puzzle piece being put into place.
This is the hardest experience we have ever been through. I have no words that could describe this pain.
This hurts in ways I could never imagine. I ache for them and miss them so much. Even when I see them I miss them because they are supposed to be with me.
Today I go home. I am so mixed up inside about going home. My heart is separated in three and outside of my body. I miss each of my boys and love them all so dearly.
I know Noah needs me just as much as they do. I can tell by the confused look on his face when he comes to visit, his little break downs and the fact that it has been almost two weeks since I have been home or he has been home (he has been living with my mom). His entire world has been turned upside down.
I also know that all I can do for the twins is hold them whenever I can, keeping pumping, give them all the love I can and trust their doctors and try to keep myself together for them. It is hard not to just sit and watch them breathe all day and night.
They are so small and already so much stronger than me.
Please pray for them and if you don’t pray at least send good thoughts their way.
They are such little fighters, they are my heroes.