Monday, March 7, 2011

Birth Story

This is the looooong version of the birth story.
The short version can be read {here}

The long-version of the birth story begins at about 9:00 on Thursday night.
I was having contractions, but they weren't painful and (as you may recall) I have them pretty constantly.
Nonetheless, I decided to time them, since it's hard to tell the difference between contractions with a 9-minute interval and contractions with a 6-minute interval.
So I was lying in bed timing contractions, and they were coming every 7-9 minutes, which was normal and didn't raise any red flags.
I got up to use the bathroom and on my way back became briefly dizzy and nauseous, and then a second later I was really hungry.
Since I've spent so much time in bed lately, food has started to pile up around the bed, like boxes of dry cereal, pudding cups and a package of donuts. I knelt down to see if I could reach the donuts I'd kicked under my bed earlier and felt myself get wet.
It wasn't a gush of fluid, and since I was pregnant and have had very little control over my bodily functions lately my first thought was "Am I still peeing?" then "Am I really wet, or am I just leaking a bit?"
I reached down to feel my underwear and pulled back a hand that was covered in dark red blood.
Lots of blood.
Travis was in the living room working with his business partner Joe, and I shouted "It's time to go to the hospital. My water just broke!" (Even though, clearly I wasn't covered in amniotic fluid. I wasn't sure what else to call it and part of me thought maybe it was just the blood from my mucus plug dropping.)
I waddled quickly back to the bathroom (leaving a trail of blood) and heard Travis say "Well, Joe. I think our editing session is over for the evening."
(He has no memory of saying that.)

I tried to clean myself up, while Travis quickly gathered the few things that weren't packed in our hospital bag. I called Labor and Delivery and said "Hello, my name is Rebeccah Pitcher. I'm 35 weeks pregnant with twins. I just wanted you to know I'm on my way in, I'm gushing blood."
The nurse said "Get here as fast as you can. We'll be ready."
We hurried out to the car, which luckily had the carseats installed (even though now it seems like we'll have plenty of time before they actually need to ride in their carseats, sadly).
And we took off.
I still wasn't in pain, and it was really exciting to think of the boys coming so soon, so it wasn't very stressful or worrisome.  I called Travis' parents and told them that my water had broken (still, not true) then I called my parents.
"We're going to the hospital," I said. "And this time it's for real."
"What makes you say that?" my dad asked.
"I'm losing copious amounts of blood," I said.
"Ahh, yes. That sounds real."

Then I called Mary, who was planning on coming down this weekend and had been asking me all week to have the babies before she got here.
"You're getting your wish," I said. "These babies are coming tonight."
That was the total of our conversation, because Mary began crying so hard she couldn't respond.
And we were nearing the hospital, so I hung up.

The nurses were waiting at the door with a wheelchair and had me all the way to the room before Travis could park. Luckily, the doctor was already there and he was one of our favorite doctors, and we'd met with him just a few days before and gone over our birth plan, so we were confidant that he'd do everything possible to help us have the type of birth experience we wanted.
He checked to see if I was dilated, and I was still only at 1cm (which I'd been at for several days). They found both boys heartbeats quickly and they sounded healthy and strong.
Dr. Allen said we should "proceed with labor" by either giving me pitocin to strengthen contractions and help me dilate or by preparing me for a C-Section.

We decided to have pitocin since I still wanted to deliver vaginally, but were told that if my bleeding didn't slow we would have to schedule a C-Section anyway.  We were also told that I could be in labor (receiving pitocin and having contractions) for over ten hours.

A little before midnight I started receiving pitocen.
By 1:30am my bleeding had completely stopped. My contractions were every 2-4 minutes, but I still couldn't feel very many of them. Only one out of four or five contractions was painful, and even then it was more uncomfortable than anything.
Travis had fallen asleep on the couch, and I was dozing in between painful contractions.
As always, Baby B (Micah) was very wiggly and about 3:30am the nurse came in to readjust my monitor and try to find his heartbeat again. She had me roll on to my side, and I felt a lot of pressure suddenly on my pubic bone, followed by a little flush on blood.
I woke Travis up (which was hard work; he was out.) And asked him to sit up with me while they checked me out.
The nurse called in the doctor, who checked my dilation. I was only 2cm after almost four hours of pitocin.  He decided that, since I was bleeding again, I should be prepped for a C-Section to happen in the next hour or so. They went to find the anesthesiologist to give me a spinal (since I wasn't on any drugs so far) and I got up to use the bathroom before I couldn't move my legs ever again.

About half-way to the bathroom there was a huge gush of blood. My legs and feet were covered.
I made it to the toilet where I sat and could feel and hear blood pouring out of me. Travis leaned out of our room and called to the nurses "She's gushing blood now, we need some help."
He said that within seconds he could see my face drain of all color.
The nurses and doctor rushed in, took one look around and changed the plan.
I was put back in bed, and rushed down the hall to the operating room. Travis was told to stay put.
I thought he would be put into scrubs or something and meet me in the room, so I was freaking out a bit when a few minutes had gone by and he hadn't shown up. I was put on a skinny operating bed under bright lights and both my arms were stretched out.

Since the doctors were suddenly working under extreme time constraints they had very little time to explain what was happening.
My blood was being drawn from one arm, while another arm got an IV while a third doctor inserted a catheter, none of which was really explained to me. It just happened suddenly.
I was in shock and my whole body was shaking and my teeth were chattering.
The anesthesiologist leaned down and said "Rebeccah, listen, your placenta has pulled away from the wall of the uterus. We need to get your babies out right now. We're going to put you to sleep."
"We need to wait,"I said, "We need to wait for my husband."
I still couldn't figure out where Travis was.
"He's not coming, We can't wait for him," said the nurse from my other side. "He can't come and we need these babies now."
There was a big digital clock over my head and I stared at it, as they put a mask over my face, telling me to take "big deep breaths."
It was 4:10 when I fell asleep.

Grey was born at 4:19 and Micah was born at 4:20.

At about 7:30am I woke up. I could move my legs fine, but I was still too out of it to really do anything.
"Your babies are healthy and fine," the nurses told me, but they wouldn't let me see them.
"They're being monitored and you need your rest," they said.
Travis showed me a little video on the camera of Grey crying, and I sat in my bed and sobbed.
"I want to see my babies," I kept saying. But they all insisted I go back to sleep.
And I fell asleep immediately, despite being so upset, and woke again at about 9:30am.

Then they let me see the babies.
Travis wheeled me down to the NICU, where the boys were in separate beds. I couldn't even see both of them at once. They handed me Grey and I held him for about half-hour. I was still exhausted, and actually dozed off several times while I held him.
"Are you ready to see Micah?" Travis asked.

I wanted Micah so badly, but I couldn't bring myself to set Grey back in his bassinet. I just sat there and cried until a nurse took him and wheeled me over to Micah.
Then I held Micah and dozed off and cried off and on, until Travis decided it was probably dangerous for me to be holding them while asleep.
I was wheeled back to my room and put to bed.
I slept terribly.
All I wanted was my boys, but I couldn't have them.
I only saw them twice more on Friday for about half-hour at a time.
And I was still dozing off while I held them.

Then Saturday morning, after a night of very little sleep, we went down to see the boys. They had been placed into a bassinet together and their vitals were looking good.
I was allowed to start pumping and feeding them.
Travis finally got to hold them. (I selfishly had not realized that Travis hadn't even held them yet.)

And I even got to hold both of them at the same time for a moment while Travis went out of the NICU for a few minutes.
Saturday evening and night my milk started to come in, and I started pumping regularly.
By Sunday morning I could walk and pee and shower, and had mostly stopped bleeding and shaking (I was shaking a lot, and my teeth were constantly chattering).
And  now I can even breastfeed a little.
They finally moved me downstairs to a room by the babies and I can get to and from the NICU in just a minute or two.
I'm still a little broken-hearted that the boys might not get to come home for a few weeks, but it's starting to all seem okay.

And it's only been 72 hours.
I feel like I've had these boys all my life.
And I've always been a mother.

Three days.

A lot has happened in the last three days.

Pictures tomorrow, I promise.



Brittany said...

Currently sobbing. I can't wait to see you and meet these little guys.

tammy said...

This post made me cry. I am so happy for you and so happy that you and your babies are healthy. Yay! They are here!

Shawntae @ alittlekingandi said...

What an amazing birth story but scary too. I'm so glad you guys ended up being okay. I love your little guys names. Hope all is well and you can take them home soon!

Tying the Knott said...

Currently balling. Your baby story is intense and emotional and perfect with a happy ending of healthy babies and mommy. Congratulations Becky. Your babies are beautiful!

Boni Lady said...

Love being a twin momma... such a great life! Sitting here reading your story in tears... scary, but oh, such a blessing for you! Continuing in prayer for you and your boys!

Celia said...

I can't stop crying. I am at work, sitting in my cubicle, trying not to audibly sob. I am so happy everything ended up being ok. You are so strong, Becky! I'm excited to meet them in the near future.

Camille said...

I don't know if this is normal for nursing women, but I "let down" whenever I have strong feelings of "my heart going out to someone." Like having empathy, but a lot deeper. Anyway, I let down several times reading this post! I remember those feelings (divided by two because I only had one...)! I'm so happy that they are so healthy and strong and that everything ended up okay. Crazy to deal with Travis not being there! What a story. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca B said...

I saw the post on Spearmint Baby about your birth story, and I hopped over here to read. Now I am sitting at my desk trying to not cry. Your boys are so adorable.

Hillary Brooke said...

Such a beautiful and heartachy birth story. It makes me want to go and scoop up my little sleeping Huxley and give him a million kisses.

good job, mama. gorgeous boys.


Anonymous said...

Crying. Thank you for sharing. I felt like I was there. You and your family are so strong.