Just before hooking me up to all the IVs it the nurse told the Dr. I was contracting every 2 minutes! not good.
They decided to do an ultrasound to check on the babies location so they could more easily monitor them and also to check on how dilated I actually was. The ultrasound showed strong heartbeats from both of my boys, and yes it showed they were still both boys! It also confirmed what the Dr. had said, that I was 3cm dilated. One other thing it showed was that my water was actually already being pushed out through my cervix. Basically, if you think of what a water balloon looks like if you squeeze it but don't break it, that sort of hourglass shape it takes. That is what was going on with my water through my cervix. Not good!
As I said before they placed me on more IVs and stabbed me more times than I can remember. I recall the following medications:
Magnesium Sulfate: This served to inhibit labor and also to protect my babies neuro development and blood vessels. It was given through an IV drip and was supposed to relax my uterus and as a side effect completely relaxed every muscle in my body to where I felt a little jello like. They had to monitor my magnesium levels in my blood and took blood samples every 4 hours. Every time, stabbing me with a new needle. When all was said and done I counted at least 10 needle holes in my left arm from blood draws.
Beta-Methazone: A steroid shot (in my butt!) that was given to me for the babies. This is intended to boost the babies lung development. It is given twice when in preterm labor, 24 hours apart and the goal is to make it 48 hours from the first shot before the babies are born so they can receive the full benefits. I made it about 24 hours. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
A shot of something that helped to keep my blood pressure from dropping too low (it got so low at one point that I became nauseous and sick.)
Some pill they kept giving me to stop preterm labor. Don't remember the name...
A shot in my arm to stop preterm labor. Again, not sure of the name.
hmmmm... I am sure there were more IV drips involved though I don't recall what they were or even much about the 24 hours following my hospital admission.
Matt arrived at the hospital and they had a nurse from the NICU come talk to us a little about premature babies and how the first few days would go. One specific thing she pointed out was that preemies tend to have a "honeymoon" period for a few days after they are born. That is, once the initial issues of being born at 26 weeks are taken care of immediately after birth, they tend to have 2-3 days where things are fairly smooth sailing and then problems begin to occur.
By the time the NICU nurse was done speaking with us, my contractions had become so intense that I could no longer talk through them and had to really begin concentrating on my breathing techniques. Oddly, I was actually having the perfect labor experience that I wanted with Athan where I experienced all the different stages and could reflect between contractions. However, this was very much the opposite of a perfect labor experience. Had I gone through this at full term I would have almost enjoyed the progression of pain and the act of the "hee-hee-hoo" breathing. Now, every contraction I felt seemed to just seal the fate that my boys were not waiting. Every single one of them had me more and more worried... They sucked, and hurt. Worst off, they were not slowing down despite the best attempt with all the meds. The pain had gotten so intense and I was so stressed that I decided to get an epidural in hopes that it would calm me down enough to slow contractions. It did!
So , now I add epidural to the list of drugs. My contractions are beginning to go from 2-3 minutes apart, now as long as 9-10 minutes apart. And no pain!
When a woman is in labor, they stick all sorts of monitors on her to keep an eye on the babies heart rate. Since my babies were so small, the nurses had a hard time getting them on the monitor and beyond that, keeping them on the monitor. They had so much space in my uterus still so they were moving all over the place. Therefore, the full night of the 27th/morning of the 28th was spent playing chase the babies in my tummy. Thus, absolutely no sleep for me! On top of all the meds I was on, paired with the sleep deprivation, I was becoming a little crazy. Matt spent whole night attempting to sleep on the couch which turned out to be rather unsuccessful for him as well.
By noon on the 28th, the epidural was working really well on the pain in my abdomen and back from contractions, but not so well on my cervix pain. Every contraction (still luckily 7-10 minutes apart) was still quite painful, but manageable. Since I was placed with my head angled downward, the epidural was having a hard time fully affecting my lower body. My epidural was set at 8 (not sure what the measurement was) where as most women in labor are set at 12. Because I was angled on my head, if we turned the epidural up my BP would drop significantly and it was already very low (as low as 70/35ish).
From this point on during the day I spent in bed, managing pain and waiting for a sign of my water breaking, which I expected at any second. They would not check my cervix because my water was so bulging and they did not want to risk rupturing the membrane thus sending me into an immediate c-section. So, I had not clue as to how labor was or was not progressing. I kept thinking I felt a small gush of fluid and every time they checked it was blood and not my water. Good thing it wasn't my water breaking, but it did confirm that my cervix was dilating more. (When a woman's cervix dilates, small blood vessels break and cause bleeding.)
Along with the bleeding, baby A (now Daxton) was very low in my abdomen. Leaving me to believe that he was ready to come out!
After a short time, I began to be more concerned with the bleeding and how heavy it was getting. I knew that this much blood was more than just small amounts of dilation. I was just waiting for my OB Dr. to close his office and come check on how things had progressed.
Around 545pm on Tuesday, my OB came to check on me and saw the amount of blood and immediately decided that it was likely that I had become almost fully dilated and given how low Dax was, it was likely that he was actually starting to descend through the birth canal.
My OB checked me and confirmed that his suspicions were correct. : (
Time for a c-section. We had made it just under 24 hours from my initial admittance into the hospital and it was time for my boys very early arrival.
Things moved very quickly after this. They immediately changed my epidural settings to prepare me for surgery (maybe even changed the medication, not just dose. not sure) We were told that Matt would not be able to be present in the delivery room with 5 Dr's performing the surgery on me (including the anesthesiologist) and 6 NICU nurses per baby totalling 17 Dr's and nurses. There simply was not enough room. However, once the surgery room was set up and the anastesia all ready, they asked me if I would like him in there and I, of course, said yes. Luckily he got to be by my side while our little angels were born.
Getting a c-section is a very interesting experience. While you can feel absolutely no pain, you can feel pressure from touch. So I was able to feel the pressure of the scalpel and everything. Dax was so low in my uterus that there was not much work needed to get him out. Trev on the other hand was still up towards the top of my rib cage. So, from the pressure I could feel, they pretty much had to reach in and pull him out. We expected silence when they were born since they were so premature and their lungs were not fully developed. However, for both boys we are graced with a very light but audible gurgling sound. It was not that of a full term baby but it was something. Truly one of the most wonderful noises I have ever heard.
Dax was born first at 6:26pm and Trev followed at 6:28pm. The nurses immediately went to work hooking them up to ventilators and all of the wonderful medical equipment that is keeping them alive and healthy now.
My OB Dr. spoke to me afterwards and informed me that I in fact had an infection in my amniotic fluid which is what led to the preterm labor. Apparently this is something that just happens sometimes and they don't usually know why. It seems that I somehow got a tiny pinhole prick on the amniotic sack which introduced some sort of bacteria. Crappy luck, but it is what it is and now I had no desire to dwell on what had happened and it was time to look forward to the journey that lies ahead and to be strong for my boys!