My Birth Story
Grab a cup of coffee, this is going to be a long post…
On Saturday the 4th December my blood platelet count was 163, my gynae wanted to deliver as soon as the platelet count dropped to below 150 so we all decided that Monday 6th December would be the DAY. My blood pressure was hovering between 125/80 – 140/90.
Platelet count is taken to determine the clotting ability of your blood, without this you can obviously bleed to death, anything below 100 and I would have had to undergo general anaesthetic (to prevent possibility of bleeding too much or a hematoma in my spine) instead of the spinal block which would have meant I would have missed the birth of my children.
Thankfully my platelet count on Monday was at 152 which meant I was good to go. I must say that I had to trust my my gynae here 100%, he has delivered 115 sets of trips and I knew he wouldn’t risk anything by delivering too early. It was difficult though to trust that at 33 weeks everything was going to be OK.
Monday 6th December 2010 arrived. I was calm as a frikken cucmunber. We took some last photos, did the NST test and DH and I sat chatting excitedly. They came to tell me that they had moved the c-sec to 6:30am, half an hour earlier because my anaesthetist was sick and the new anaesthetist had other appointments. Fine by me. So I got ready and wheeled through to the theatre. DH went to change and then all of a sudden my gynae was running out the theatre and there was a HUGE commotion going on. What had happened is a lady 31 weeks pregnant with twins had arrived at the hospital vomiting and the NST test indicated her twins were in distress. They had to deliver immediately and she was wheeled passed me. In a strange coincidence her gynae was also mine, so she basically had my gynae, pead, anaesthetist, theatre staff and theatre all ready for her to deliver. Afterwards my gynae said to me that her uterus had ruptured and that 5 minutes later, she and the twins would have died. Id like to think that it was meant to be that she arrived at that time and everything was in place and she delivered safely. Her twins are in the NICU too now and they are doing well.
Anyways so I got wheeled back to the hospital room for an hour which is when the nerves set in a bit. Hubby and I sat there just staring into space and he actually said to me – “I don’t know what to say”. Then we finally got wheeled back again, hubby changed and we were taken to the theatre. There were alot of people in theatre all chatting and everyone seemed excited. Hubby started the video camera and I got my spinal block, my legs went warm straight away and I had to have help lying down on that tiny table.
They put the blue partition up and my gynae started. I felt nothing which was great. I was so proud of hubby as he filmed everything and didn’t feel like he was going to pass out. My paed then said “he is down to the uterus” and I was like wow, thats amazing that I can feel nothing. Hubby then jumped up and said “oh my word” as my waters of Trip I (A) broke. Then the most amazing sound – a crying baby. My gynae held A up (and she wee’d!) so I could see and then passed her to the paed. Then Trip II (E) arrived and afterwards the assistant told me that she was already crying as her water broke which is obviously a great sign of lung maturity. My memory goes a bit fuzzy here. I remember feeling a bit woozy and on the video you can see my gynae really pushing and moving my tummy to get Trip III (G) out. She was the smallest (strange because I felt her the most throughout the pregnancy) but also cried as she came out. They then whisked all 3 of them to the NICU whilst I was stitched up. As instructed by me before all this hubby went with – I was scared someone would steal them 🙂 and he got all of it on video. I was stitched up and taken to recovery. Ive actually never felt better. I got a bit of the shakes but nothing serious and then I was taken to High Care which is a formality with having had triplets. I was given a couple of shots and then lay there wondering what the hell just happened! My mom, sister, BIL and MIL then came to see me and we all chatted and I was shown some photos of the babies. They were perfect, pink, breathing on their own and weighed as follows – A: 2.04kgs, Apgar 8,9,9 born at 8:22am; E: 1.78kgs, Apgar 9,9,10 born at 8:22am and G: 1.68kg, Apgar 8,8,9 born at 8:23am.
My memory isn’t too good for the rest of Monday but I do know that I asked for a breast pump and was truly amazed when I was able to pump and something actually came out. Afterwards I read that this is the colostrum that collects during the pregnancy but I was happy that they could start with that (little did I know that they wouldn’t eat their first meal for over 36 hours, instead they received a drip with proteins etc). On Monday evening I was wheeled on my bed to the NICU to finally meet my children. I held A and held back the tears, it was by far the most amazing feeling in the entire world. Its actually almost overwhelming. Im crying as I type this.
Monday night was a nightmare, not because of pain but rather because the morph.ine sent me for a loop. I was flying with the stars and by Tuesday I had to ask them to stop with the injections or i would loose my sanity.
On Tuesday I was moved to Maternity and was able to get up for the first time which I couldn’t do on Monday due to the morph.ine and the electronic compression socks that were attached to me. I then went up to the NICU again in a wheelchair this time so I could see my children again. It was a bit scary then as they hadn’t been fed and I could see the amount of weight that they had lost, they looked skinny and wrinkled which obviously freaked me out. They only started feeding at 3pm on Tuesday and started at 3mls every 3 hours. In the NICU they always check to see how much food has been digested by aspirating what is left in their tummies via their feeding tubes. If there is nothing then they increase the feeds. As of this morning A was on 18ml feeds, E on 24ml and G on 21ml feeds so they have increased alot since Tuesday. Every day I can see an improvement and all but A has reached their birth weight again. A battled a little with her breathing and had to get oxygen but the other two have been OK. A also doesn’t digest her food as well as her sisters which goes with having a premature digestive system.
Im expressing every 3 hours and we rotate who gets the breast milk. Im up to around 25mls an express which is basically one round of food for one of them. The expressing has been difficult. After getting lots of colostrum I basically got nothing on Wednesday and Thursday which was disheartening to say the least. The two drops I was getting I syringed up and took it to them in the NICU. The sister just put it on one of their dummies so she could have a taste. I was feeling very down as I watched other mothers bring full bottles of EBM to the NICU. It was explained to me that due to the fact that the babies were prem, that my body was trying to play catch up and expressing at 33 weeks vs 40 weeks is a different story. I started on meds to bring on the milk and that seemed to help as I started getting a bit more by Friday. I unfortunately didn’t get to speak to a lactation consultant as I suppose they felt there was no need as my babies were not with me but I really would have appreciated some help with one of the sisters actually sitting with me to let me know that I was at least expressing properly (I know how hard can it be?).
I had a few tears inbetween all this which was difficult as my mom, dad and MIL were hovering most of the time so I had to at least try and pretend that I was OK. Visiting hours are ridiculously long, like 4 -8pm and it was hard to try and hint that I needed time to myself and to express. My mom was insistent on sitting with me and thankfully my hubby stepped in and said that I needed to rest (my mom wasn’t impressed but that is a whole other story). Its extremely difficult to be on the same wavelength as family/friends as they are so super-excited and whilst I am too, having your babies in the NICU is a completely different story than having the babies with you. You are stressed that they are still OK, being looked after etc etc. No-one will quite understand unless they have had a baby/babies in the NICU, which is why I have appreciated the support from 2 wonderful moms who have been there – Marcia and Roz. When I got sms’s asking when Im being discharged with the babies and when can people visit them in hospital or when I saw massive full term babies rooming in with their moms in the hospital rooms or heard families oohing and aahing over the babies, I tried to not let it get to me. The babies still have a long road to travel in the NICU, I haven’t even dare ask when they might be coming home although a sister mentioned around 6 weeks time. Im just taking it day by day.
My days are now filled with expressing and visiting them in the NICU. The sisters there are very nice, some nicer than others. Most understand how an.al we are but I can see others get a bit irritated with all our questions but hey I literally dont care, all I want to know are the updates and know they are doing well. Yesterday we both held a baby using kangaroo care which was wonderful. My DH is totally and utterly smitten with his daughters as am I and I often have to pinch myself. This time last year I was facing my 6th IVF failure and now I have 3 daughters. In un-frikken-believable….