Well, now that we have the "stats" out of the way, I guess I'll start at the beginning and we'll see how far I get before the girlies wake up! My last post ended with me talking to my doctor and the decision being made to induce me the following morning. And so, at 4:00 on August 31st, the nurse came in and hooked a bag of pitocin up to my IV. I tried to get some rest, but I was obviously both nervous and excited, so I mostly just sat there in bed with my eyes closed and listened to the Finau serenade me with his snoring. At around 6:25, the anesthesiologist came by. He was somewhat abrupt and not particularly friendly, and he asked me if I wanted an epidural. I told him that I wasn't really in all that much pain yet, and I thought I could wait. He then told me that he had 5 scheduled c-sections to cover, so if I wanted an epidural in the next several hours, now was the time. So, obviously, we did the epidural right then! Something random that I remember: my phone has an alarm set for Ilaiasi's bus at 6:35. While he was doing my epidural, my phone alarm went off, and for whatever reason, he was VERY put out by that. Apparently, he works in silence. I'm thinking administering pain medication to pregnant women in labor is not typically a noise-free job, but, hey...what do I know?
Dang...didn't get very far before the girls woke up! To be continued...
UPDATE, October 19, 20ll:
Ok, picking up after the epidural was administered:
So, after the cranky anesthesiologist left, my contractions really started picking up. Unfortunately, the epidural didn't really seem to help all that much, but having had Ovaka with no epidural whatsoever, I was prepared for the ensuing labor and didn't really stress about the epidural too much. At around 7:15 or so, my doctor came in and checked me. I think I was maybe a 5 at this point, and he had to go assist with a c-section, so he said to have the nurse call him when I thought I was ready. I just hung out and talked to my mom until the contractions started getting pretty painful...probably for about 45 minutes...and then I had my mom get the nurse. They checked me and said it was time to call in Dr. Crowder, and within about 15 minutes everybody was ready to meet the girlies. There were a bunch of people in my delivery room this time...NICU nurses for each of the babies, my nurse, Dr. Crowder, Finau, and my mom. I remember them setting up a table with all of the different instruments needed for the birth, and then having the heated table over in the corner to keep the girlies warm after they were born. My sweet girls were born at 8:22 and 8:26, just 4 minutes apart and with basically two pushes each! This was by FAR my easiest delivery, and yet it was the one I stressed out about the most! Fear of the unknown is a very powerful thing, and I'm SO glad I had nothing to be afraid of. My biggest fear was that there would be complications that required an emergency c-section, but thankfully that didn't happen. Oh, here's another interesting thing: before all the excitement got completely underway, my mom asked Dr. Crowder about the birth process and when the girls' placentas would be delivered. He told her that it typically goes baby A, placenta A, baby B, placenta B. So, we were a little surprised when the order instead went baby A, baby B, single placenta. This happens when one of two things occur: either the babies implant close enough to each other that their placentas merge and grow together, or the babies are identical twins who share a single placenta. If twins share an amniotic sac, they are definitely identical, but if they have seperate amniotic sacs, they can be either fraternal or identical. My doctor said that since the girls were in seperate amniotic sacs, he would have the placenta tested to determine whether the babies were identical or fraternal. At my 3 week post partum check up, he gave me the results of the test, and my girlies are identical twins.
Anyway, back to the birth...so, my cousin Adam graciously volunteered to pick Ilaiasi up from school so that he could come and meet his sisters. My labor went pretty fast, so the girls were born before Ilaiasi and Adam got to the hospital. With all twin births, there is a mandatory NICU stay of 24 hours in the hospital where I delivered, and they usually take the babies very shortly after birth. However, my girls were doing great, so they reluctantly let them stay in my room for about 2 hours after they were born so that we could wait for Ilaiasi to arrive. My sweet son finally came, and Adam told me later that they had stopped to grab him a drink at a gas station on the way. Ilaiasi, before choosing a drink for himself, grabbed a diet coke and asked Adam if it would be alright for him to get a drink for his mom. Man, I love that kid...such a good, good boy.
The girls were doing really well, so I figured the NICU stay was just a necessary formality and that they would be going home with me the next day or the day after that. I was so disappointed and discouraged to hear that they were having breathing and heart rate problems. It's a very scary thing to have your child stop breathing or watch the monitor and see her heart rate drop. The alarms were very...well...ALARMING, but it was such a relief to have wonderful, skilled nurses taking care of my baby girls. They really made the two weeks of NICU stay as easy as it could possibly be for us, and I will always be grateful for that. All in all, I feel really blessed to have had a fairly uneventful NICU experience -- I know that many parents are not so fortunate, and I am truly grateful that I was spared the trial of a bumpy NICU road. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the girls during their hospital stay:
|Proud daddy! Actually, Finau was being a wiseguy and giving me a big, cheesy smile because I harassed him about never looking happy in our pictures. I don't care why he did it...I love it! :)|
|Me with the tinies in our comfy brown feeding chair. The NICU had the BEST, MOST COMFORTABLE chairs!|
|My mom named this picture "NICU Stinks."|
|Going home outfits: September 13, 2011...finally breaking free of the NICU and coming home! Yippee!!|