Saturday, September 18, 2010

So here's what happened

Last Monday (right, Labor Day) I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and my water broke. I knew that meant to get ready because once you're water breaks, you're having babies. Its not like going into premature labor where they can try to stop it.  If you'll recall, my doctor had told me that I had to make it until Tuesday to be able to deliver at our home hospital. So Monday morning saw us sitting at 33 weeks and 6 days instead of the required 34 weeks. I thought sure they'd let us stay. It was just a matter of a few hours right? Wrong.

I was transported 3 and 1/2 hours by ambulance to UAB hospital in Birmingham. The ambulance ride actually wasn't that bad. When I had been hooked up to the monitors at the hospital, they showed that I was having contractions but I wasn't feeling anything. The babies were tolerating the contractions VERY well and they didn't expect us to have any trouble getting to Birmingham. And we didn't. When we got there and got checked in, the nurses hooked me up to the monitors again which were showing contractions again. But I still couldn't feel them. The doctors decided to give me a shot of Demerol to try to slow or stop the contractions until after midnight, when they wanted to induce labor. I couldn't really understand why they wanted to slow or stop labor for 12 hours and then induce me but again, it was all about making it to midnight so that we'd be at 34 weeks.
I talked the doctors into waiting until the next morning to induce me. I had only slept 4 hours Sunday night and by Monday night I was exhausted. Sometime during all this, I got 2 steroid shots which were supposed to help the babies' lungs to develop. Anyway, Tuesday morning at 6am, I got hooked up to Pitocin and the real laboring began. Around 11am (and after having made VERY little progress), I finally gave in and decided to go ahead and get the epidural. The babies were tolerating the labor very well but their Mommy was not. What I really wanted to do was get up and walk around but that's pretty difficult with 3 monitors and an IV and a blood pressure cuff. So I got the epidural but it took them an hour to put it in. Its not supposed to take that long and from the conversation between the doctors, I take it that there is something atypical about my spine.

Anyway, I'm being induced and having some visitors. My mom and Steve's mom were there. People kept thinking it should be going faster than it was. Finally, about 8:00pm, the doctors decided that I was about 8 cm dilated and that it shouldn't be too much longer. They set up a tray to take to the OR with us and at about 10:30 the OR people came to take that tray because everyone thought it wouldn't be much longer. As it started to get later, I started to be able to feel the contractions more and more and I began to worry that the girls would have different birthdays. Everyone was fooled though because neither girl was even born that day! At around 4:00am Wednesday morning, I began to feel like I really needed to push and the doctor decided it was time. We made the move to the operating room (which is an awful place to birth) and got all set up. Amelia Eleanor was born at 4:31am and followed VERY quickly by her sister at 4:37. Claire Elizabeth did not want to wait and came screaming out after about 4 pushes.
                                                                     Amelia Bedelia
Claire Bear

The girls are doing great and only had to stay in the NICU for a few hours. After that, they were transferred to the Continuing Care Nursery for 8 days and then we came home! Having two babies in the CCN for that long was hard but there were lots of other families there that had it worse. Our girls basically just needed to grow a little bit and show the doctors that they were eating and gaining weight.

I, unfortunately, was the one with all of the trouble. Because of the botched epidural, I got a spinal headache that lasted for 4 days before having a Blood Patch. That's where they take blood out of your arm and inject it into the epidural space. It made all the difference in the world though and I was able to finally get up and around and care for my girlies. I would not wish that spinal headache on anyone though. It was 4 days of misery. All you can do is lay flat in a darkened room. One day, I spent the day laying in bed crying all day and when the doctor finally came, he said I wasn't in "enough pain for it to be a true spinal headache." Showed him when that blood patch fixed me right up.

My mother-in-law used to work in the NICU at UAB so she still knew a lot of the nurses and got to catch up with them. My mom works in the OR at UAB and so she was able to come visit us really often while she was on breaks. My sister-in-law just started working at UAB last week and so she was able to come over after work too. Wonderfully, we had lots of visitors and people to admire our precious girls. Despite all that, it is still good to have them home and not have to worry about all the monitors and noises. Both girls have a head full of dark hair and we could not be more delighted with them!


  1. Thanks for sharing your birth story! The little ladies are just adorable and arre absolutely precious!! When I saw your last post I was terrified because I knew you had just been to the OB and they weren't concerned that you were going to be going into labor at all so I thought something had happened! I can't believe your water broke - just like that! And that few hours wouldn't allow you to deliver at your hospital with your doctors - suck! I am so glad that everything went well though and you have two BEAUTIFUL girlies to show for it!!! Congrats momma! Can't wait to hear your updates! I'm just about 2.5 weeks behind you, so I can't wait to be following in your footsteps soon!
    Oh, how much did they weigh?? They look like they are great healthy weights=). You did such a fabulous job!

  2. Congratulations! I'm so glad they didn't have to stay in the NICU long. But how scary that you had to take such a long ambulance ride! They are just beautiful and you did a great job.

    And now I am bursting in tears of joy for you as you embark on this amazing, crazy, adorable, beautiful journey. Have a wonderful, wonderful time!

  3. Wow, what a long time to wait huh? I'm so glad you guys are doing good, thanks for updating! Enjoy every second of it! :)

  4. They weighed in at 4lbs 15oz and 5lbs 1oz. Good sizes for 34 weekers. I ended up delivering at 34 weeks +1 day= I could have stayed home!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Such beautiful baby girls! Glad to hear you are feeling better and the girls are home! Let the fun times begin! Enjoy every minute of it!