They are finally here!

We made it! I thought I’d go ahead and post another update since obviously our status has changed completely within the past 24 hours. And many of you already know that by now. But I do want to write some of this stuff down for 1) honesty and 2) posterity. I still haven’t changed my mind that other women need to know some of the real deal about this thing we call pregnancy, and now I’m including delivery. 🙂 Plus it is a welcome distraction to write this since I’m in a fair amount of pain and the morphine has worn off.

Every day that we have been here we have gotten confirmation through daily ultrasounds and monitoring that both girls were just doing so excellently well, not to mention a few words from the Holy Spirit that He was taking care of our daughters. Believe me, sometimes we had to cling to those things. Anyway, earlier this week we had a new perinatologist come in and give us his opinion based on his medical expertise and experience that we wouldn’t make it much further in this pregnancy. He specifically said we would be lucky to make it another week, simply because the bleeding was such an abnormal thing that he was greatly concerned about. It had been treated too casually and had simply gone on for too long. And he was right. I had bled consistently every night for about four weeks, and this wasn’t just light spotting. So I gave the news to everyone and was trying to mentally get ready for an eventful week. Plus, I felt like this was just one way that God was hinting that the pregnancy would soon be over. A couple of times throughout this last week during some heart monitoring sessions a couple of the nurses made comments that, “The girls both seem older than their actual gestational age.” When I asked them what they meant, I was told that babies at this stage have heart rates that are fairly stable, meaning they don’t really fluctuate greatly between 120-160 beats per minute. In fact, babies’ heart rates don’t really start to behave that way, accelerating and decelerating, until roughly 35 weeks along, and it basically has to do with how far their nervous systems had developed. I was stunned. Yes, the girls had gotten steroid shots to quicken their development but quite frankly, their hearts had always done that since they started getting monitored. The nurses’ comments were casually made, but me being a mother and a Christian “tucked all these things into my heart,” (Luke 2:51.) For me it was the Lord nudging me again and reminding me that these girls were not were not going to make it to term.

The next day we went and got our big level II ultrasound so we could get all the specific numbers on the girls, and, no surprise, they were doing great. They were doing so great that Dr. Aisenbrey said we might make it to 28 weeks after all. It was great news that we excitedly shared with many of you, but we weren’t forgetting all the little clues God had given us. Remember, He hadn’t revealed when the girls would come, just that they would probably be here early. So we spent the rest of the day just relaxing when I had another bleeding episode around 6:15 that evening. It wasn’t an abnormal amount, but remember the bleeding had occurred for four weeks at this point. And the amount was substantial enough that Dr. Gordon, who is a pretty laid back guy, felt the urgency to send us back to Labor and Delivery for the fourth time for constant monitoring of the girls. At least this time I got to take my own bed from Maternal Special Care with me, which was far more comfortable. 🙂 But constant monitoring makes for a sleepless night, and that in itself makes being in L&D no fun. Throughout the night I had a couple more bleeding episodes, which I informed the nurses of so they could document it for the doctors. Come the next morning (yesterday) Dr. Aisenbrey walked in and informed us that we were quickly approaching the point of no return. It was basically only a matter of time until I had an incredibly serious bleeding episode that would be detrimental to both me and the girls, and he felt we were only days away from that point. We could try and buy a couple more days and wait to deliver the girls since at this point every day counts, but if we took that gamble and lost we would also lose any days that we had tried to gain with the girls. And he also said no doctor would have a problem throwing in the towel at this point. But he did leave us with that choice, so Kevin and I discussed maybe trying to last one more day and seeing how it went. Then Dr. Gordon came in and told us our situation had been on his mind the previous night, so much so that he had lost sleep over it (it reminded me of Xerxes’ sleepless night in the book of Esther…isn’t it great how consistent God can be?) He strongly felt we needed to deliver the babies that day, and after consulting with Dr. Aisenbrey on the wisdom of that he informed us he wanted to set up a c-section for noon unless we strongly objected to it. And he said that waiting one more day wouldn’t be of much benefit to the girls. To have both doctors independently come to the conclusion that girls should be delivered that day was all we needed to hear, and we told him that he could go ahead and set up the surgery. We had already come to a peace about it several days prior, and Kevin made the point that trying to keep them in to avoid a long term disability was irrelevant since God has already determined the path they will walk. We let family know right away, and many of them came down to support us and pray with us and await the births of the two newest family members.

So I was soon whisked away and prepped for the c-section, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little scared about having the surgery. I wasn’t expecting it to go other than smoothly, but it was still something of a venture into the unknown, which can be daunting. The doctors and nurses were all incredibly patient with me, but my nerves did cause me to have a few more bleeding episodes, even one right on the operating table. Dr. Gordon started rushing to try and get the surgery started before it was too late, and all the bleeding episodes just prior to surgery were confirmations that Kevin and I had made the right decision to not put off delivery any further. As far as the c-section went, all I can say is it was a very odd experience. It’s true that they numb you up so well that you can’t feel any pain, but you do feel all of the tugging and pulling that goes on. And the anesthesia made me drowsy, but I was determined to stay awake. Kevin was an incredible support and just kept reassuring me the whole time. The anesthesiologist was standing right at my head and was able to tell us exactly what was going on, and they actually got both girls out very quickly. We heard Eva cry as she came out, and it was such a relief to hear it that I started to cry, too. Of course, the NICU doctors whisked them away before we could see them, but we had been expecting that so it wasn’t upsetting. Getting me sewn back up took longer and was an uncomfortable procedure, though it was never painful. Once they were done Dr. Gordon’s assistant told me I had a nice flat tummy again, and Dr. Gordon told us he was able to find out that Eva weighed 1 lb. 12 oz. and had Apgar scores of 8 and 9 and basically was breathing on her own, which almost never happens at her gestational age. He wasn’t able to find out Abigail’s since the NICU people kicked him out, but it was so great to hear that our daughter was doing so splendidly.

At that point I was whisked away to a recovery room, and not much happened other than a visit we got from one of the NICU doctors, who informed us that both girls were doing so well. We found out that Abigail weighed 1 lb. 4.8 oz., which means she didn’t gain as much as her sister, but it was still enough to ensure a better chance of survival. Of course, we already knew she would be okay. 🙂 I also got my first opportunity to pump, just to try and get my body started on making breast milk, even though the girls won’t be having that anytime soon. So after that I got wheeled away to see our daughters for the very first time. They are so precious! Still very small, but bigger than what I had pictured. And the nurses there reiterated how wonderfully both of them were doing, and that they had been quite active initially when brought in. All great news to our ears. Kevin managed to get one picture of each girl, and we passed them along to family. Then we got moved into our new room for post delivery and settled in. Dr. Gordon came to see us and just let us know with how pleased he was with how everything went. He also told us the NICU had informed him that Abigail had already made meconium and since that too is not something that typically happens for her gestational age it was probably an indication that she had swallowed some blood in utero and may have excreted it in her sac, which would have been extremely dangerous for her. So it was definitely the right decision to deliver when we did. After his visit we settled in to watch the Lobo basketball game (finally! Hooray!) when our nurse told us we would probably be able to make another visit to the NICU and see the girls if we so desired. We decided we wanted to see the girls again, and it would be a good opportunity to get me moving around, which I needed to start doing. But let me tell you, it was much harder than I anticipated. I was in an incredible amount of pain (even with morphine) and just making it across the room to a wheelchair was a Herculean effort. But I made it! Kevin wheeled me down and we got to see the girls again, and they are so tiny! The nurses said they are still doing fairly well; they will have ups and downs while still in the NICU but that there wasn’t anything alarming that was occurring. We didn’t stay too long since we were wiped, but it was just so nice to see them again. We came back, climbed into bed (which took me a while to say the least) and got some sleep. I didn’t get much because I’m still in quite a bit of pain, and it will definitely take me a while to recover. But Kevin is sleeping as I type this, so I’m glad he’s able to catch up.

I’m sure we will be seeing the girls again today. We are so blessed to call you all friends, and I’m not sure how well we would have fared if it hadn’t been for your thoughts and prayers. We give God all the glory for the safe delivery of these girls. They wouldn’t have stood a fighting chance without His hand involved in every step along the way. But He is good and faithful, and we are definitely blessed beyond measure. We wish we could open up visits to see the girls to everyone, but because that would greatly increase their risk of exposure to disease we have decided to allow only immediate family to see the girls at this time. And once we get them home we still have to limit who can see them for several months to prevent their immune systems from becoming compromised. I really hope it doesn’t offend anyone, and we ask for your patience on this while we get the girls good and healthy. I can’t wait to see their budding personalities and discover who they each will become. We love you all and are so blessed to call you friends. Thank you again!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie Valdez-Martinez
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 23:41:45

    AMEN ! Our GOD is Awesome! I will continue to pray for you all. Gosh! I’m crying happy tears for you! HUGS!


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