Happy one week birthday babies!
It all started last Friday. I’d had a good non stress test that morning and everything was looking like I’d be going to 36ish weeks before having a c-section. I decided we should go out for dinner, because in reality the babies could have decided to come at any time. David got back from a run and I asked if he’d like to go out for a fancy dinner and he did, so he got ready to go while I hung out on the couch. I was wavering. I didn’t really want to get dressed, and certainly not in anything nice, but I convinced myself we’d be just 5 minutes from home, so it wasn’t a big deal. So we went to Blazing Noodles at Pechanga and had a wonderful dinner. I went to bed shortly after we got home as I was very tired.
I woke up on Saturday morning and knew something was off. I was having weird feelings and decided to wait for 30 minutes to see if they’d go away. Sure enough, they did not, so I called Labor and Delivery, explained what was going on and asked what I should do. They recommended that I immediately come in to get checked out. I thought maybe they were being a bit dramatic, so I decided to wait another 20 minutes and see if I felt any different. Nope, definitely still feeling weird. I went upstairs to wake David, which I felt bad about because he had only been asleep for about 3 hours. I told him they asked me to come in and wanted to find out if he wanted to come too. I assumed he’d say no, since it was too early for the babies to be coming, but he surprised me by saying yes and getting up. About 50 minutes later we were both ready to go, so no hurry or rushing around. I was still feeling weird, but okay to drive, so I drove us up to Riverside in case David wanted to get a bit more sleep in the car. On the drive, I asked David about the boy name I had picked out since we had yet to agree on one. We finally had a name for our little man. My mom called to find out what a good time to hang out would be, and I had to let her know that we were actually on our way to L&D.
When we got there I was admitted and asked to change into a lovely hospital gown. And nothing else. Oh boy was that going to be interesting! I got all the standard things done: temperature, blood pressure, and and IV. Just before the nurse was going to put in the IV, Davids mom called me. Of course I picked up because I welcome distractions from needles, especially giant IV ones. I let her know that I had been admitted and it was maybe going to be baby time, maybe not. The doctor then came to examine me and let me know that yup, I was leaking amniotic fluid. I definitely wasn’t going anywhere, but the babies might not be either. They were hopeful that I could be kept until 34 weeks, then deliver.
All Saturday was spent in the hospital being annoyed what seemed like every 15 minutes by a nurse, but it went by pretty quickly. I had 4 monitors hooked up to my tummy: one for each baby and one for contractions. I could watch the monitor and see when the contractions were happening, and every time a nurse or doctor came in they asked if I was feeling them. My answer was the same every time: no.
Then Sunday morning happened.
I woke up again at about 7am on Sunday, and immediately could feel contractions. They progressively got more painful and closer together, and got to the point where when they asked on a scale of 0-10 how painful they were, I said 8. And they weren’t regular contractions either. Oh no, that would be too convenient. Almost all of the pain from them was in my lower back. Awesome. I was given a magnesium pouch that went in over the course of 20 minutes. Normally a bag that size would take hours, so it was incredibly painful. Magnesium is supposed to slow or altogether stop contractions. Ha! That would be too easy. They slowed for about 10 minutes, then kept right on going. At this point it was time to call the parents to let them know that it was almost certainly birth day. My main nurse was so on top of things that about 30 minutes before the doc said “ok, c-section time” she’d already had me fill out the consent forms, which was good because magnesium also makes you a bit loopy, so I was going downhill fast. Once they decided it was time, everything happened pretty quickly (I think).
They got me ready to go, gave David his OR outfit, and started wheeling me toward my OR. I started to tear up a bit because I knew that this was for real happening. In just a few minutes my babies were going to be pulled out of me and welcomed into the outside world. Once we got to the OR it was the last time I’d move on my own for approximately 12 hours. I was able to move myself from the bed to the operating table, and when it was time to sit up and get the spinal, it was the last time I’d sit up on my own with a big pregnant belly.
Things happened pretty quickly after that. David came into the OR and the surgery was started. I could feel that they were doing something, but obviously not that it was painful. It was just strange. Then I heard my boy cry for the first time. It was 11:51am. After some more digging around, I heard my energetic, wild girl cry for the first time. It was 11:53. It started to get harder to breathe as getting out the first two had shoved the third up into my ribs even farther. But then I heard my quiet one take a few seconds to cry. It was 11:54. All three got a quick cleaning before being wrapped and brought around the curtain for me to see. One of them was placed in Davids arms and one was placed on me. Then all three were on me and we were taking a picture. David then left with the babies to go to the NICU while I got my tubes tied and got sewn up. I really don’t remember much after David left. One minute I was in the OR watching them leave, the next minute I was in recovery, wanting a warmer blanket. As soon as I was stable enough to leave recovery, I was pushed to the NICU, passing the baby birth button, which David got to push three times.
When we got the NICU I got to hold Isaac and Clementine for a few minutes while David got to hold Edith. At this point they were still labeled A, B and C, so we let the nurses know their names. They were all so beautiful, and doing remarkably well for being 33 weekers. None of them need breathing assistance, even in the OR, and all the nurses were impressed. Now it was time for me to get settled in my hospital room and wait. You have to stay laying down for 12 hours after the spinal, so it wasn’t until about 11:30 that night that I very very slowly got up. I had to walk a total of about 60 feet before I could be allowed to sit in the wheelchair and go see them, but I did it. It was hard and painful, and made me very tired, but I desperately wanted to see my babies.
Holding each of them again just reaffirmed that yes, I really did grow three people in my body, and I did a damn good job of it. The majority of 33 weekers need at least some breathing support, but my three didn’t need any at any time. Breathing can be one of the biggest hurdles for babies to get over, so not having to do that means that they’ll get to come home sooner.
And today they are officially one week old. It’s still hard to believe, especially once I was discharged and we went home alone, but I know that up in Riverside my three babies are growing and learning how to feed properly, which is what they need to come home with us. I’m very hopeful that they’ll be home by the end of the month, if not by my 36 week date.