So, I've been meaning to write about the day that our precious peas were born... but, as I am sure that you can imagine... I haven't exactly had much time. :) But, today... I figured that I would give it a shot!
Everything really started on the Monday before they were born. Well, Sunday night. The whole night, I felt as if Eli was going to kick...well, OUT. Seriously felt like the kid was going to poke a hand or leg through the exit at any given time. I had an appointment with Dr.G that morning (Monday). When I explained my discomfort, saying that there was a lot of pressure - and that I felt like a baby was going to come out, the doctor decided to do an exam...just to make sure nothing was happening. We were told that my cervix had softened.
On Tuesday night, I was still experiencing a lot of pressure "down there"... accompanied by spotting, and braxton hicks contractions. Clif called the ER, and talked to Dr.F about it (who at first was convinced I was in labor). He said to rest, drink plenty of fluids...and call Dr.G in the morning to fill him in on things. I called first thing that next morning (Wednesday), and he wanted to see me. When he did his exam, I was told that my cervix had shortened...but I was not dilated. Dr.G sent me to triage to be monitored for contractions. I was having contractions, but they were few and far between and only lasting for 10-20 seconds each. Nothing to write home about. SO, I received my first part of the steroid shot - and Dr.G told me that he thought the babies would be here within 7 days.
By the time I was discharged, and we arrived home... I thought that I would have to go back to the hospital. I was having more and more contractions. But they subsided...and I made it through the night. Thursday started out uneventful...we slept late, and then headed to the doctor (again) to get the second part of my shot. After getting the shot, we went and got dinner... and then headed home.
Thursday night was not a good night. I struggled for several hours with whether or not I should call the emergency room. I knew who was on call - and I didn't want that doctor to be the doctor to deliver... so I waited it out. I had contractions all night long, sometimes 15 minutes apart...sometimes an hour. So nothing that was really timeable. My back ached...and I was feeling horrible. I was awake the majority of Thursday night, well into Friday morning.
Funny thing, Thursday night - I had told Clif that I thought we should pack my hospital bag... but he said that we would do it the following afternoon. Friday morning, I decided for myself that we should go ahead and pack the bag before leaving for the doctors office...Mother's intuition I guess.
Again, upon waking (or rather just getting out of bed)... I called Dr.G's office and told his nurse what was up. I actually had an appointment with the specialist, Dr.D that morning...so they told me to let them know there and have them check me. We thought we were going to be seeing the male, Dr.D (older doctor) - but ended up seeing the female, and very blunt Dr.D. Which we are so thankful for. We first had an ultrasound and were told that the babies looked really good...and all three were super active. I told the ultrasound tech about the contractions - and she said that the doctor would be in to do an exam.
Nope...Dr.D came in and announced that she wouldn't do a pelvic exam. She explained that since Dr.G had been doing the exams, she didn't want to miss something and think that there was no progression... or a lot, when there really wasn't. SO, she sent me back to triage to be examined by Dr.G, who just so happened to be the doctor on call that day. Yay!
When we arrived at labor and delivery, we were told that triage was full so they put me into a room. Which I was excited and nervous about all at the same time! I honestly think they had forgotten about me at one point, but FINALLY...the ball started rolling. They hooked me up to monitors and I was told that I was having 9 contractions every ten minutes. I was in full blown labor and had absolutely no clue. I mean... I was experiencing some discomfort... BUT... I would have never guessed that I was in labor.
Dr.G came in the room for my exam, and announced that I was 1cm dilated. Which was pretty big considering my *very* stubborn cervix. :) He told us that there were medications he could try to give me to stop labor, but with my contractions...and my progression over the last few days - that if he sent me home, I probably would be back in by that night. Reality kicked in at this point, and Dr.G told us that he advised going ahead with the csection...that day. He left to put me on the OR list...which took some time, because there were a few people ahead of me...AND not to mention that I would need two OR's.
Needless to say - much of the rest of that afternoon is a blur to me. Nurses were in and out of my room, preparing me for surgery. They started an IV and started pumping fluids through me like crazy...so I had to make a couple of trips to the bathroom :) They came in and gave me some anti nausea medicine (the same as I got before...yummy sour stuff!)...and told me that I was next on the list.
Dr.G came in a few times to keep us updated - and they let us know that the neonatologist that was on the floor would be coming to talk to us... preparing us for things ahead of us. Dr.P came in to meet us, and explain things that may or may not happen that afternoon. We talked about respiratory issues...along with about a million others. We asked him a ton of questions...and he said he'd see us later that afternoon.
Next in was the anesthesiologist. He left a lot to be desired. Definitely not like my very first experience with an anesthesiologist. :) But that's okay. I signed the consent forms...and they began rushing me around for surgery.
Poor Clif's nerves had been shot since Wednesday morning when our nurse, J, told us that Dr.G said if I was the least bit dilated, it was baby day! Needless to say, during the time we were in the room before surgery...Clif bladder went through a lot! Seriously, you would have thought that he was the one that was pregnant!
Oddly enough, during that whole time... I remained completely calm. I wasn't nervous about the surgery... I wasn't nervous about the babies being okay... I was calm. I had peace. I had prayed for this peace my whole entire pregnancy...and God granted it to me. I knew that this day, like any other, and our children were in His hands.
Clif and I got one last picture together, and then I was taken to the OR. Whew. One of two OR's reserved for my delivery. They explained that the first baby out would be taken to the second OR.
I walked in the doors of the operating room, and immediately saw Dr.G. Any nerves that I may have been feeling were gone. I knew that he would take care of me.
He was actually HILARIOUS... because he was walking around doing the NURSES jobs. He said that if he didn't help them with their jobs, that he would be pacing outside the door. :) I guess he was nervous too? He helped me up on the table... took my blood pressure, got out the doppler...found the babies heart rates...and then it was time for my spinal block. >.<
When I had my csection with Lilly, the spinal went smoothly. This time... not so much. The anesthesiologist started by sticking the needle in...telling me to arch my back. Really? He kept telling me to lean forward...lean forward...arch my back. I wanted to be like, "dude...have you SEEN the belly on the front of me? I only can "lean forward" so much!". Geez. Dr.G stood by my side the whole time...first just with his arm around my shoulder,rubbing my back...telling me that it would be okay. And by the time that the second needle poke on my spine didn't go correctly (did the needle bend?) and he had to ask the nurse for a new needle... I thought I was going to pass out. It hurt. BAD. At this point, Dr.G was standing in front of me...arms around me, up on a stool...holding on to me, to be sure I didn't fall off the table from leaning forward so much. It was super sweet...while holding me on the table (did I mention that he was having to BRACE himself on the stool? Embarrassing)... he continued to talk to me...he knew it hurt, it would be okay...ect ect. He even rubbed my belly! :) FINALLY, they finished with the spinal... and laid me down.
Things went pretty fast from that point. The nurses put in my cath... and the anesthesiologist placed an oxygen mask over my mouth (saying it was for the babies). That's when I freaked out. I'm claustrophobic...bad. And I hate having ANYTHING placed over my face. I literally thought I was going to pass out. I couldn't breathe...which is funny if you think about it. I was really about to have a panic attack when a nurse came to my side. She had a mask, and scrub hat on her head. She leaned down and whispered my name and said how happy she was for me...asked how I was... ect. I was thrown off by her talking to me, and then she whispered..."it's me. It's Heather". Omg. She was in the OR with me during my first csection. She checked on me numerous times during my stay in the hospital during November 2009. She is part of the S.H.A.R.E group in our area, and she participated in the Share Walk To Remember that Clif and our family went to last year. She heard that we were there...and WANTED to be there. At least, that's what I gather. How awesome is that?
I started to calm down, but still had an overall sense of panic. And then I saw him...Clif. Go ahead, you can gag now. But as soon as he was by my side...holding my hand... I was okay. At least one of us was! Poor Clif was hysterical. When he saw me, he started tearing up. Seriously thought we were going to lose HIM! He actually thought he was going to have to send my mom into the OR to be with me.
When he sat down next to me - we immediately started talking about how we were feeling...and then I heard Dr.Garcia say something about my bladder being out. I'll never forget looking up at Clif and saying, "umm...have I already been cut open?" Before I could finish my sentence...I heard them say that Baby A was out, and gave the time of birth...and then I heard Eli scream for the first time. Clif and I both burst into tears...well, I burst into tears...Clif CONTINUED to cry...and then sobbed. :) It was a precious time for our little family. Things went FAST then. We were able to peak over the sheet and see each baby coming out (once, Clif looked too soon and saw Dr.G's arm shoved in my abdomen up to his ELBOW!). What a precious experience that we will NEVER forget.
Dr.G should seriously get a reward for record time triplet csection. From the time he cut me open (without me even knowing it) until the time he sewed me up...twenty one minutes. Wow!
Our triplets entered the world...
"Baby A" - Eli Zayne - @5:28pm - 4lbs.06oz - 16 3/4 inches
"Baby B" - Easton Layne - @5:29pm - 3lbs13oz - 15 3/4 inches
"Baby C" - Elliana Rayne - @5:30pm - 2lbs15oz - 15 inches
Clif left me in the OR and went with the babies to the neonatal intensive care. We had arranged for my mom to come into recovery with me. I think that the average time in recovery is 1-2 hours. I was there for 45 minutes ;) I came out of surgery just fine, though I was told later that I did lose a good amount of blood. Though, it wasn't to the point of needing a transfusion. Praise the Lord!
After what seemed like forever... I was wheeled to the 14th floor. NICU. I was taken in, and was introduced to my precious babies for the very first time in person. They were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I couldn't help but cry. Ahh...thinking back on it now just gives me chill bumps!
After twelve hours, both boys were off of CPAP... and on room air. Elliana followed the day after. Doctors and nurses were shocked out the size of our 31 weekers...and at how well they did.
The only one that really had immediate problems was Eli. Apparently he came out screaming, and then stopped. They gave him a dose of surfactin for his lungs, and the following day - a dose of caffeine because of his heart rate dropping. But other than that, the babies did wonderfully.
Clif and I were/are so incredibly blessed with a wonderful staff that cared for both me (during and after my pregnancy), and for our children. Dr.G will never fully understand how thankful we are that God placed him in our lives. In our children's lives. All four of them (at one point, don't remember when...Dr.G did acknowledge that we have four children).
As for the NICU staff...we couldn't have been more pleased. They were ALL absolutely AMAZING. Of course...we did have our favorites... :) And they know who they are!
Another way we have been blessed is with a wonderful group of prayer warriors. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the family, friends, and complete strangers that have prayed ( and continue to do so) for our children.
God is good...all the time...and we are living proof. He held our hearts through the biggest storm of our lives...and on January 4th, 2011 (actually if you want to be literal, December 23rd,2010)...he blessed us with not one, not two, but THREE rainbows.