|Delaney & Tenley 1 year old|
My OB had me come back in for another ultrasound 2 weeks later. My husband was unable to come due to his broken bones so his sister accompanied me. When my doctor was unable to find a membrane, she referred me to a perinatologist. Again, I didn't think much of it and she didn't seem very alarmed and we were just relieved that the twins were still doing well. They were diagnosed as Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twins when I was around 14 weeks along at my appointment with the perinatologist. He told me to get prepared to be admitted to the hospital at 24 weeks and was pretty blunt that it was a very high risk pregnancy...but I don't think I truly heard him at that point. I left feeling hopeful and excited because they were growing and doing so well. Every time I went in for an ultrasound, I prepared myself for the worst, so just to see two hearts beating...that is all I really needed to see. But when I got home, we started looking up Mo-Mo twins on the internet and we saw the grim statistics of 50% survival rate and realized it was very serious and we could very well lose our babies. Things were going bad left and right for our family and friends and I just felt like we were most likely doomed. I honestly didn't expect the pregnancy to end well. I really expected the worst despite the doctor telling me that they had 70-80% odds of surviving and I had the mindset that someone had to be in the other 20-30%. Four weeks later I went back and the babies were doing great and I started to feel a bit more hopeful when I saw that they were still ok. Then I started feeling them move and with the help of my husband's positive attitude, I began to feel more optimistic. I just had this feeling that I just needed to get to 24 weeks and it would be fine.
My husband's sister lived in the area so she came up and visited several times a week, did all of our laundry, brought us food & home cooked meals and took my husband shopping. She was a life saver! Family and friends came to visit and people sent cards and care packages. I kept family, friends and church members updated through CaringBridge.org.
Monitoring sessions were an hour long, though it usually took about 1.5-2 hours after the nurses actually found the babies and got them to stay on. I did monitoring around 8:00 am, 3:30 pm and 10:30 pm and slept all night, except for all the trips to the bathroom! Monitorings weren't the most fun or comfortable laying in one spot for so long but it was so reassuring to hear my little ones heart beats. The girls jumped off the monitors so much that my husband got really good at getting them back on. We usually played Wii during monitoring sessions to keep my mind off of being stuck in one spot. I got to see them on ultrasounds twice a week, sometimes more if they were hiding from the monitors! There would be days when the tech would tell us that the cords looked tangled and then the next time, they would look untangled. There was some concern about the flow of the blood through one of their cords, but luckily it turned out to be nothing. Every night that I went to sleep, I woke up nervous. I had an anterior placenta so I didn't feel the girls move as much as most people probably feel their babies. So at night, I didn't feel them move and so if I didn't feel them when I woke up in the morning, I was always very anxious to get up and get them on the monitors right away. Once I heard their little heartbeats, I could relax.
One tip for inpatient - if you want anything, just ask your doctor. They are on your side and most will usually do whatever they can to accommodate you and make your stay more comfortable! If you don't want woken up in the middle of the night for vitals, just ask! If you don't want an IV or hep lock, ask. I didn't get an IV put until I was taken to L&D to deliver the girls. Not all doctors will be as accommodating, but many are! I had free roam of the hospital (I had to ask my doctor to write an order, otherwise the nurses wouldn't let me leave without a wheelchair). My husband was still healing so he was in a wheelchair and couldn't push me but I was allowed to walk around freely. My doctor's let me go out on day passes about once a week in between monitoring sessions. That kept my spirits up big time to be able to go out to eat with my husband and family and friends! Once I became too big and uncomfortable, I chose to stay in my room.
Everything that happened down at Labor & Delivery was just a whirlwind. So many different nurses coming in and out and doing this and that to me. I barely knew which end was up! My legs were shaking uncontrollably, I was so excited, scared and nervous. I was prepared for a long night of monitoring and delivering babies was the last thing I thought I'd be doing that night!! All the excitement raised the babies heart rates as well, so we were glad that their heart rates weren't dangerously low anymore. As soon as I got my epidural, my body just went still. It was so nice to not be shaking any more. The anesthesiologist asked me if I could feel anything and I said no and he said "Good because they have already cut you open!" The c-section went fast, seems like they got the babies out quickly. I remember laying there just waiting to hear the sound of cries. Baby A came out crying, it was the sweetest sound I have ever heard. I just cried tears of relief when I heared her cry. They took her off into another room to check her over and give any medical attention that she may have needed. I waited again for the sweet sound of cries for Baby B but she wasn't crying at first, she came out sneezing! My husband went to the other room to see how they were doing while I got sewed back up. He brought me pictures on the camera and when they were all bundled up and ready to go up to the NICU, the nurses brought them in to see me for about 2 seconds. I didn't get to hold them but they held them out so I could see them. They were the tiniest things I have ever seen! Baby A, who we named Tenley weighed 3 lbs 6 oz and Baby B, who we named Delaney weighed 3 lbs 5 oz. Their cords had a small knot but definitely weren't as tangled as I imagined they would be.
|Meeting Tenley for the first time.|
|Delaney 6 days old|
We spent most every day with the girls and learned to do their cares. We only got to hold them once a day, I feel like I should have been able to hold them more, they seemed so calm and relaxed when we held them. We helped with their baths every 2-3 nights and weighed them and changed their clothes every evening. The NICU stay seemed long but they were only there 31 days. I had read about lots of 32 weekers who had been in the NICU for 3 weeks so I had my heart set on getting out of there at 3 weeks. I shouldn't have had any expectations like that. Having the babies in the NICU was the most difficult part of the journey and healing from the c-section just made it even worse. I had issues with milk supply and it was just a very stressful time in my life. Once the girls started eating from a bottle, we knew when Tenley was coming home but thought Delaney would need a few more days in there. We called on Tenley's discharge day to make sure she was still coming home so we would know our plans for the day. Instead we were surprised with the news that BOTH girls were going home! Finally....our hospital journey was coming to an end! I could go HOME!!! (We had been staying with my sister in law's family while the girls were in the NICU since the hospital was far from home).
All they needed was a little time to grow and learn how to eat on their own and we were lucky that they didn't have any health issues. They didn't even need to go under the billi lights for jaundice. Everything went perfectly. They spent 31 days in the NICU and came home on their 1 month birthday. It was a very scary and difficult pregnancy but as with other things in life, its as good or bad of an experience as you make it! And inpatient is really the way to go! I would do it again in a heartbeat! Tenley & Delaney are 15 months now and are happy, healthy little girls. They are developing right on track with their actual age and other than their small size, you would never know they were born 2 months early! I hope my story will bring hope to somebody. I read as many positive stories as I could find all throughout my inpatient stay and I remember thinking that if these people's babies survived and they got through it, then maybe my babies can survive too. Now after connecting with so many MoMo mommies on Facebook after my inpatient stay, I have seen with my own eyes how many babies really do survive, even if they come earlier than 32 weeks. Stay strong and have faith that everything will be ok!