Tyler put his gear on, then they started to wheel my bed out of the room. My mom said goodbye at the door. I was crying because I was so nervous and it was all overwhelming. My doctor asked if I was okay and I told him yes, that I just nervous.
My doctor instructed the nurse what to do when baby A came out and where to place her hands on my stomach so that baby B wouldn’t go too far over and flip. He gave instructions to the nurses, and then it was time to push! He said that he was waiting for another contraction. They told me how to push and where to put my hands, which was underneath my legs and to pull towards me. My doctor was surprised that I still could move my legs! It was a good thing though; the anesthesiologist did a great job and the medicine numbed me where it should (down “there” 😉 ) but I could still move my legs quite a bit. When another contraction came, they told me to take a deep breath hold it, then to push and the nurse counted for 10 seconds. Then I took another deep breath and did the same thing. I think we rested for a minute, and then when another contraction came, I did the same thing. I can’t remember how many times I pushed, but it wasn’t very many. Harris came out at 6:31 pm and we got a little cry right when he came out! The doctor held him up, said, “this is your blood, not his” to reassure me, and then handed him to the doctor’s who put him on a bed and started to make sure he was okay.
Another contraction came, and when the doctor could see that Goldie was in a good position, I pushed. I felt like my head was going to pop off each time! I told my doctor that and he said that sometimes people will pop blood vessels. I wanted to push as hard as possible but I was legitimately concerned that my veins in my head would pop! I pushed a couple of times through contractions, but Goldie kept flipping the wrong way. Tyler told me later that he was getting concerned because it was taking longer than expected. In between one of the contractions, one of the doctors asked me if I wanted to hold Harris. I got to hold my baby boy for the first time while his sister was still in my belly! I also got to see Tyler hold him and it was one of those moments that I will never forget. Tyler has wanted to be a dad for years, and I loved seeing him hold his son for the first time. All of the sudden, another contraction came on and the doctor said, “okay, it’s time to go to work!” I handed Harris back to Tyler. It was a little chaotic because I had to start pushing right away!
Finally, after about 15 minutes, we got our precious girl out at 6:45 pm and she wasn’t breathing right away so the doctor cleared her nose and mouth. He cut her umbilical cord and we got a nice cry out of her! They whisked her away to the next room to work on her. It was hard for me to breathe so they gave me some oxygen up my nose. It was now time to deliver both placentas. My doctor pushed his hand on my belly to try to get them in the right position and it really hurt so he asked the nurse to get the anesthesiologist again and gave me some medicine through my IV. I was bleeding pretty badly at first, and then it stopped. He said that he was glad he could wait the 5 minutes for the medication to start working because if I had been hemorrhaging, he would have had to get the placentas out right away. My mouth was completely dry so I asked if I could have a drink or ice, and the doctor asked one of the nurses to get me some ice. When the medicine started to kick in, I couldn’t feel the bad pain any more, and he delivered both placentas. I actually didn’t even get a glimpse of them! I was always curious as to what they would look like, but I was so out of it on medication that I laid there trying to breathe deeply and ate a few ice chips.
Since Goldie kept flipping, I tore and the doctor had to stitch me up. We didn’t think I would tear because the babies were small. He took his time doing a good job with the stitching. When he was done, it was time to wheel me back to my room. As soon as I got to the room and was rolling in, my body started going into shock and I started shaking uncontrollably. This was the worst part about the delivery. It started to hurt my jaw and my neck. I felt so cold and I was shaking SO hard. My sweet mom met at the door, and was surprised and said, “she’s shaking.” She then held my head and laid with me on the bed, trying to help me relax. She even laid on top of me because she knew that the extra weight would help with the shaking. Finally, after what seemed like an hour (it could have been, I can’t remember), the nurse called my doctor and asked if she could give me some medicine to help relax my muscles. She put it in the IV and my body finally started to calm down. That was by far the worst part about delivering!
Harris weighed 4 lb, 1 oz and Goldie weighed 3 lbs, 14 oz. Goldie was 17 inches long and Harris was 17.5 inches long.
All of our family arrived and Tyler took them all, 3 people at a time, into the NICU to visit the babies. He said that after I delivered them, he spent about an hour in there watching the doctors work on them. He said that he didn’t want to leave because he was nervous that they wouldn’t let him back in 🙂 After he got the information that he could come and go, he brought all of our family in to visit them. I was laying on the bed back in my room and very out of it. My father-in-law fed me some grapes, everyone would help with giving me ice chips, and my sweet mom fed me a turkey sandwich. I hadn’t eaten anything in 24 hours. A couple hours later (I had to ask Tyler how long because my reference for time was way off), the nurse checked me to make sure that I was still looking okay down under 😉 and then they transferred me to a wheelchair. I was freezing so they wrapped me up in warm blankets. They wheeled me to the NICU to see my babies. I forgot that this happened and a couple days ago I was looking through photos and was reminded that I had gone to see them! After I saw them in the NICU, they took me up to the Mother and Baby floor to a new room. This room was a lot smaller. I got settled in with the help of the nurses, Tyler, my mom and in-laws.
The nurses woke me a up few hours later to pump and I have been pumping every 3 hours since. My colostrum came in right away the first pump which I was honestly so surprised about! I think it’s amazing that our bodies know what to do. Truly a miracle, really, that our bodies can grow humans and then know what to do feed them.
The following morning I woke up and felt unbelievably horrible! I was still on the magnesium sulfate IV and everyone, all the nurses, doctors and anyone I have talked to has said it makes you feel awful. My doctor came in and told me he was really excited about my babies because he said that he hadn’t expected them to do so well being born so early. He told the nurses that they could take me off of my IV’s. They did that, took out my catheter, and helped me to the bathroom. It’s a miracle that I made it the bathroom with how horrible I felt. It was only a few feet away, and I took it really slowly so I wouldn’t throw up or fall down, and I made it. A blood clot came out and I looked up at the nurse and said, “what is that?!” Oh man…nurses are incredible!! They see you at your most vulnerable you have ever been in your entire life, and they lovingly help you through it. I was so blessed by some incredible nurses while I was there.
Thursday was a blur. The magnesium sulfate was still in my system. I had people trying to come in to talk to me, like the lactation consultant, and it was all so overwhelming because my body and brain just wanted to sleep. I talked to my mom and told her that I needed her to leave work and come help me. I had forgotten to have Tyler bring my glasses and my face and eyes were so swollen that I couldn’t put in my contacts so it was really hard to deal with everything and also have everyone and everything be so blurry. My mom drove to my house, got the glasses and drove to the hospital to help take care of me. She worked for several hours with my insurance to order a breast pump. Tyler still couldn’t drive himself at this point because he was still taking hydrocodone for his surgery and he had a follow up appointment that same morning. The best timing ever 😉 His sister dropped him off after the appointment later that afternoon and we went to go visit our babies. OUR BABIES! We still can’t get over it.
Tyler and I talked for a while by ourselves in the room, and I cried a lot too! Whew, what a crazy couple of days. My body was exhausted to the extreme. I needed to have some one-on-one time with my Tyler.
After he left, my mom came back and we decided that we needed to go see the babies again! It was getting a little late but we love them and couldn’t stay away. We happened to show up at the NICU right when they were going to do their first sponge bath, so we got to help. The nurse showed me how to do it and I helped give Harris his first bath. After that I was tired and needed to sit down and pump so my mom got my pumping supplies back in the room and I sat there and pumped while she helped give Goldie her first bath. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen in my whole life! Goldie was crying and didn’t like it at first, so the nurse gave her a little bit of sugar water on her binky and her eyes opened wider and she started sucking her binky so hard! It was SO cute and one of my favorite moments so far with her. She then laid there and sucked her binky while they washed her hair and it made me laugh because I felt like she thought she was having a spa day or something. Her precious hair being combed…oh, I couldn’t even handle the cuteness!
When we got back to the room, I laid in bed and I was feeling kind of anxious so my mom laid there with me on my bed for a little bit. A girl always needs her mama, whether she’s 9 or 29 like me. She had been working so hard taking care of me that she was exhausted too!
The next day I woke up and I was starting to feel a lot better than the day before. I ate my breakfast, continued to pump every 3 hours, and when Tyler got to the hospital, we did skin to skin with our little babies. Harris LOVED it on his daddy’s chest, you can definitely tell that he is our cuddler boy. Goldie liked it but didn’t soak it up as much as Harris did. He completely settled down and she would whimper every now and then but still loved snuggling with her mama. I think she had more room in my uterus because his head was pushed down into my pelvis, so I think she’s used to more room and he likes being snug.
I got checked out of the hospital on Friday night. Tyler stopped to get us some burritos on the way home, and he got up with me every 3 hours to help me with pumping. I would pump and then he would carefully use the syringe to get every single drop of colostrum for the babies and put it into a container. We went back to the hospital the next day to see our babies and did skin to skin with them together on both Saturday and Sunday. Tyler got to do skin to skin with them both at the same time and he had changed both of their diapers twice before I did. He’s a good daddy!
Now…onto their health! Goldie needed a PICC line to help regulate her blood sugar and she needed a CPAP mask to help her breathe at first. Then she got off of it, and Harris needed it. They both needed to be under the lights because their bodies weren’t getting rid of their red blood cells fast enough. Goldie is pretty content sprawling out, but my poor baby snuggler Harris hates not being bundled up. They found some liquid in his lungs and suspected pneumonia so he had to have IV for his antibiotics, and they found a heart murmur and discovered that one of the valves in his heart hadn’t closed so they put him on Tylenol every 6 hours for 5 days and hope that will help it. Seeing him with his CPAP on absolutely broke my heart because I could tell that he was so uncomfortable. He would always have foam/spit coming out of his mouth. They also had to sedate him to put a medicine in his lung to help clear up the liquid, so he had some blood coming out of his mouth. One time he cried so hard that his throat became raspy and I started crying too. It is absolutely torture to see your tiny baby boy struggle like that; it broke my heart! Every time I would talk about him I would start crying because I would picture his sweet little body struggling.
Both babies were tested for LCHAD which stands for Long-chain 3 hyroxyacyl CoA Dehydrogense. Basically, it’s a disease where they can’t digest all fats including those in breast milk. It’s really difficult and you have to be on a special diet your whole life if you have it. A couple of Tyler’s cousins children have it, so we wanted to be extra careful and wait to give them my breast milk until we found out they were negative. Tyler’s sweet cousin lost her baby boy 3 days after he was born because they didn’t know it was an option that he could have it, so now the whole family is starting to get tested. The babies have been eating a non-fat formula and I have been freezing my milk, which came in while I was pumping at the hospital on Sunday.
Today I woke up from my nap and I had the best voicemail of my life from one of their doctors. They both came back negative for LCHAD so they are starting them on my breastmilk today!! Harris was able to go on room air yesterday and is tolerating it very well, he is done with his antibiotics and his heart murmur sounds like it might be getting more quiet which means they hoping that the Tylenol is working. Answered prayers!! I couldn’t bear to see him with his CPAP on because his face getting so swollen and he was looking miserable. I know God heard my prayers.
Being their mama is literally the best thing that has ever happened to me in my whole life. They have the most special, innocent spirits and I like to just sit by their little cribs and marvel at their tiny, perfect features. I was just staring at Goldie’s precious little legs the other day while I was pumping by her. Her little calves, her ankles, her toes. Their bodies are so beautiful. Every single hard thing I did to get them here; the procedures, the shots, the tears; it was all worth it. We love our babies so much! Tyler texted me yesterday and asked, “are you with the kids?” and I couldn’t believe that we get to have children. My little family of four is my greatest gift.