Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baby, Baby, Baby, OH! (crazy long)

I'm finally sitting at a computer instead of hunched over my phone, so before I forget all the details....


Friday, June 26th 2015
June Lueinna 6lbs 4 oz
Chloe Rae 5lbs 14 oz

But we'll start a couple days early, say...on that Tuesday.

So Tuesday, June 23rd, Russ and I headed in for a routine OB appointment. My OB had been telling me I was going to go into labor "any day now"...for 4.5 weeks. If I had been physically capable, I would have kicked him in the face. 

I did the routine pee in a cup, blood pressure, yadda yadda, then stripped down and sat on the exam table. Dr. B came in and told me that my blood pressure was elevated and that there was protein in my urine and just to be safe, I needed to go to the hospital to have them check everything. 

"You may be having babies today, you may not. Just give me a call later and let me know" about non-chalant!

So we get to the hospital and all checked into triage around 2. My blood pressure was excellent the whole hour we were in there and just as I turn to Russell and say "I think they're going to send us home" a nurse opens the curtains and tells me my protein levels are about 50x what they'd like to see. Soooo, babies it is! 

We were admitted and checked into a birthing room. My mom and Hannah came and we all just hung around as the Drs and nurses got me hooked up on pit and, antibiotics, and an iv drip and a heart rate monitor for Chloe and a heart rate monitor for June and a contraction monitor for both of them. Needless to say, I wasn't going ANYWHERE.

We all ate lunch (if only I had known that would be the last solid thing I ate until Saturday night, I'd have GORGED myself)

Sparing no gory details, here we go....


Over the next couple  hours, 4 nurses and 2 Dr.s came in and tried to find my cervix. Yes. it took that many people just to FIND it. The nurses were brainstorming who to ask next to take a go "ask so and so, she's really good" "so and so has long fingers" no no.

6 agonizing goes later, my cervix was located and I was informed that I was at a whopping 2. (cue crying)

The nurses continued to up my pitocin with no success. The monitors were picking up steady contractions, none of which I could feel, but nothing was progressing. I was so stressed because June kept moving and I'd lose her heart beat on the monitor (also, for some crazy brief space of time...due to some system glitch, they were picking up 3 heartbeats...uhhh s'cuse me? no.) so I had to lay really still.


Dr B comes in to check on me and check my progress. I'm still only at a 2 and starting to feel contractions but nothing more than really uncomfortable period cramps. He informs me that he is going home for the day but he'd be back to check on my in the morning.

Cue the longest, sleepless night of my life.

before he leaves he informs me that I shouldn't eat anything until I get the go ahead.


Dr B comes in and wakes me up. After a long night of pitocin, he checks my progress and informs me that I am now at a 4 and mostly effaced. He breaks Chloe's water. He again informs me that he will be at the office and will most likely be there to deliver the girls unless it was after 10pm then it'd be his partner.


Contractions are still just uncomfortable, but I need to sleep, they give me something in my IV that didn't necessarily make the pain go away so much as I just didn't care that I was uncomfortable...I was also completely lucid...but seeing purple trees.

I told me mom and Russell "I know what I'm saying right now, but I'm definitely seeing a ton of purple trees"


So contractions are a real thing.  Russell was amazing staying by my side and helping by applying counter pressure when contractions would spike. They checked me again, Still at a 5. One of the nurses then tells me that Chloe is sunny side up....why nobody informed me of this until now, I have no idea. but they said that could potentially be the reason I'm not progressing.

I ask them what my options are, they say "well, we can try to manually turn her"
...yep. exactly how that sounds.

They were able to turn her from facing up to facing my left (she was on my right side).

I'm still not dialating and around 2 pm I was starting to get really nervous and asked about an epidural (dream birth, I'd have been in a birthing center with a tub, but...twins...and preeclampsia, so meh.) After talking a bit and weighing the odds of having to be knocked out if I went to a c section, I decided to get the epidural.

I was able to get some good sleep, but still felt tired when I woke up...maybe because I hadn't eaten since tuesday afternoon....

Dr B comes in and seems completely inconvenienced that I haven't had these babies yet. He asks me, so are we doing a c section or what are we doing here.

Well thanks for the vote of confidence jerk face.

I stumble over my words and tell him that I'd still like to try to have them vaginally. He huffs and puffs then says he has to go do a c section and that if I'm not ready to push by the time he's done we'll do a c section.

At this point, I've been hooked up to Iv's for so long that my legs and feet are already HUGE. I've been propped up on a birthing ball for hours but nothing seems to be helping.

Terrified, I turn to my nurse and ask her to do whatever it takes to help me. We restart pitocin. They try a foley bulb, and 'manual stretching' all sorts of awesomeness. My nurse suggests I turn off my epidural so that I might be able to feel my contractions and help them more... I do as she suggests and ish gets intense.

Obviously this is my first rodeo and I'm all in riding double, but from everything I've been told, pitocin makes contractions MUCH worse. At this point, I'm rocking over 30 hours of it in my system. My nurse JUST barely helps me dilate to a 10 as Dr B comes back in.

"she's ready to push!" she snaps at Dr. B
(ugh, I will never be able to express how grateful I was for her standing up for me)
He says, fine, let her push, I have another c section, keep me updated.

I start to push with contractions, but nothing feels like its progressing. My nurse ties some knots in a sheet and has Russell hold them as I pull on the other end to help push. We pull my knees to my chest. An hour goes by. Dr B comes back in and asks how things are going. He still seems like he just wants to go home.

I'm pretty close to agony, so not really concerned about him being a jerk, more just wondering if my body was going to rip in two.

It was almost calming how painful it was. Like all I was experiencing was pain so there wasn't anything else to think about or feel. I kept thinking of ways to define what I was feeling. The closes I came to was feeling like someone was crushing my bones and injecting them with acid.

That's the only thing I felt like came close to accurate.

Another half hour goes by and I'm exhausted. I'm starting to panic.

What if I only have the energy to get one baby out? I've been at this for over 30 hours and haven't eaten in almost as long. I look to Russell to tell me what to do, but he's a little freaked and just keeps saying "you're doing great"

Everyone is telling me that. It's starting to piss me off.

I roll onto my side and tell them I'm done but my nurse convinces me to keep going.

After 2-2.5 hours of active pushing, I give up. I again, roll to my side and bury my head under my arm. All I can say is "I can't" and "I'm sorry" over and over again.

They wheel me into the OR

I'm entirely naked, the room is freezing, I'm contracting and in the most pain I've ever felt by far. The anesthesiologist appears and tells me its going to be ok. He tells me what he is going to give me, but I just stare at him. I feel like its a huge accomplishment just to notice he had a face.

Finally the drugs kick in and the contractions stop and Russell is by my side.

As soon as the pain stopped I was fighting not to fall asleep. Like head lolling, eyes closing, chin dropping even though I'm laying flat. FIGHTING to not fall asleep.

I ask Russell if it's ok. I tell him I'm sorry I couldn't do it.

I'm numb, but I can feel the pressure of them cutting into my abdomen. I had asked to do skin to skin asap regardless of if I had a c section or not.

I had asked them to bring my babies to my breast as soon as they could.

The moment was finally here and I didn't care. I had no idea that that's how I would have felt. I wanted to care. I kept trying to care but I was SO tired and drugged and drained. I could feel them pushing my body. A c section is not a gentle process.

I hear Chloe cry and I look to Russell, he has tears in his eyes. They hold her over the blue curtain for a brief moment and it is the most surreal thing I have ever experienced. I force myself to acknowledge what just happened

"that's my daughter' I think.
'that's my daughter'
over and over

They call the time of birth 12:00 am Friday, but Russell later told me he was watching the clock and it was 11:58 on Thursday so technically the girls were born on different days.

but we're not done.

Chloe is gone and I don't remember hearing June cry. I don't remember them taking her out. The next thing I remember is a nurse coming around the curtain and saying 'here is your baby B' and pushing Junes forehead against mine.

Of all the moments I don't remember from the hospital...I will never forget that. The warmth of my baby's skin against my face. The first time I ever felt her outside of my belly. I still press my head against hers sometimes and I'm right there again.

They take June away and I look at Russell. He looks torn and asks me where he should go. I tell him go with the babies. He goes.

As soon as he leaves, I let myself fall asleep as they stitch me shut. I start to shake uncontrollably, like I'm freezing. The anesthesiologist is there to assure me it's ok. I'm so freaking tired I didn't even process what ok was. All I wanted to do was sleep.

More than seeing Russell, more than seeing my babies, more than anything in the world, all I wanted was to sleep. I hate that. but looking back I was so drugged up and my body had been through so much, my brain wasn't working in a way that let me revel in the bliss of having new babies.

They lift me onto another bed and roll me into the recovery room. There, I see Russell sitting in a chair with two bundled up babies. His eyes are glassy and he keeps saying "you did so good, you did so good"

My nurse appears again and massages my stomach and tries to help everything contract back down. A little bit of time goes by and at some point they bring June to me to nurse. I don't remember exactly, but I think she was too sleepy and wouldn't latch.

They bring Chloe to me. A nurse I've never seen grabs my breast and latches Chloe on then turns away. Not ungently, just efficiently? Regardless, I'm holding her and thinking, I should NOT be holding a baby right now. I'm so tired.

Then I notice Chloe's fingers and toes are blue, she arches her back weird and shoves her face into my chest. I pull her away and her lips are blue.

It was like a bad dream where you try to yell for help but nobody hears you. I can hear myself saying it, but I can't get myself to say it loud I just keep saying "she's blue. somebody help. she's blue" I hear a nurse say, yes her fingers were a little blue but after I keep saying it over and over they come to my side and realize she has turned almost completely blue. They take her from me and clear her airway. I find Russell in the crowd of people and tell him to go stay by June, who is across the room in a bassinet. He looks scared, but goes.

They wheel us all to a room and tell us...stuff, I don't remember. I look at the clock, it's 4am. I don't remember waking up to feed them. I don't remember anything for the next 4 hours I just slept until they came in and brought us to another room. The last thing I remember was asking Russell not to sleep. To watch them and keep their airways clear.

 The first day, I genuinely thought was 3 different days. I kept freaking out because I hadn't fed them. I couldn't get out of bed and they just wouldn't stay awake for any amount of time. I ask Russell to go ask the nurses to give them bottles. A lot of the first two days I just remember being scared and being in pain.

They won't latch and my milk isn't coming in. Every two hours, I try to latch for 15 minutes to half an hour then pump for 15 minutes then supplement with a bottle. Around the 4th day I start to get more than a drop of colostrum when I pump. The day before they let us go, Chloe's jaundice levels spike and she has to go under the lights for the  night.

They had her in her little bassinet in my room with a big blue lamp over her. The room was way too cold and she was just there alone in the middle of the room with just a diaper on. They said I could only take her out to feed her ever 2 hours. She would pull her goggles off and cry. I couldn't handle her being there so I had them put the light over my bed and took turns with Russell laying in the bed and having her sleep on our chests against our skin. it was the only way she wouldn't cry.

I can't remember, but I think we finally went home on a wednesday.
We made it 2 minutes from the hospital before I made Russell pull over so I could check on them.

It definitely wasn't the birth experience I would have chosen, or that I had hoped for and it was weeks before I felt like I wasn't in a complete fog and could begin to process the fact that my babies were actually here.

If you read all that, you're crazy and probably need to go to bed.

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