I went back and read yesterday’s update and realized I didn’t really explain how we got to this point at 29 weeks and three days. During Meg’s weekly MFM appointment last Wednesday, they decided that they wanted to start seeing her three times a week for monitoring, as they were concerned about Isabelle’s cord blood flow. Basically, her end diastolic flow had been occasionally absent. They told us last week if they began seeing reverse flow that they would take the babies out to make sure that Izzy wouldn’t be at risk.
Well, what began as a very ho-hum Monday morning, turned into the most amazing day of my life when I received a call from Meg at 8:20am as I was pulling into the parking garage at work. Meg had her 8:00am appointment and as soon as the sonographer noticed that Isabelle had some reverse flow, they called the MFM into the room, he made an executive decision to get our girls out, and off to the OR they went.
While Meg was surprisingly calm, I was extremely panicked. These babies weren’t supposed to be here for another three weeks. Meg said, “Honey, they’re delivering the babies this morning. Go home and get our hospital bag and get over here.” Then, about ten minutes later, as I was minutes away from the house, she called back and said, “Forget what I said. Get to the hospital because they want to deliver within the hour.” I told her I was minutes away from home and received approval to pick up the items we needed, as they would wait for me if I could get there quickly.
I’m not exactly sure what happened, but my brain kind of stopped working. As soon as I walked in the house, I forgot everything I had been sent there to retrieve. My wife must have figured this would happen because she left a list at home for me. When I finally arrived at the hospital, I couldn’t remember “Do I park in the North or the South parking lot for Labor & Delivery?” Even though Meg and I took an entire five-week, 10-class Marvelous Multiples baby session, which included a tour of the hospital, I completely blanked on how to get to L&D. After receiving instructions from some very nice ladies at the front desk who obviously witnessed this sort of behavior before from expecting dads, I finally found Meghan, who was already gowned up and ready to go into the OR.
I had to put on my own hazmat suit before being allowed to participate and couldn’t help but think of lunch lady references once I put on my
They wheeled Meghan back to the OR first and came to get me once they had set up her spinal. She was feeling no pain. In fact, since our heads were behind the big curtain, neither of us realized they were actually cutting in to her belly until I saw a moderately red latex glove reaching up to adjust the light on the other side of the curtain.
They told us as they were pulling each of the girls out, but we didn’t hear cries right away. In fact, they had to put tubes down each of their throats so they could apply surfactant to their lungs. Once that was done, while we were still in the OR, we heard each of them cry before they were whisked away to the NICU. The original plan was for me to go with the babies, but they needed about an hour with them in the NICU before they would let me see them. At that point, Meg needed me more. The spinal had worked great, but as they were “cleaning up the insides,” Meg felt some uncontrollable visceral pain. They didn’t really prepare us for that. She was squeezing so hard, I thought she was going to snap my thumb right off. Well, we survived, thumbs intact.
My wife is such a trooper. She didn’t end up falling asleep until around midnight last night and it was only because I needed to get some sleep and strongly suggested that we turned out the lights. I think she was on such a high yesterday. Besides that 15-30 minute clean-up period in the OR, she had a permagrin pretty much all day long. She was told not to stand or walk around during her first day, but by the evening, she was in the NICU, walking around with her IV bag, cleaning the babies with little wipes.
I even got in on the action and changed Isabelle’s diaper. I’ve faced some pretty tough challenges, but I’ve never encountered anything more intimidating than a 1 lb 7 oz girl with a wet diaper. Talk about scary! She looked so frail and I was so afraid that I was going to hurt her with my meat hooks. We both survived.
We went to bed last night with all of the girls doing extremely well. They all had just the nasal cannulas and were breathing on room air. The nurses in the NICU did tell us that the first 24 hours is considered the “honeymoon” period and that hours 25-72 could be a little unpredictable. Madelyn had a small bout with apnea earlier in the day, but by bedtime, that had disappeared. Besides being featherweights, none of our girls are having any obvious issues at this time.
Meg did well overnight and had her catheter and IV removed this morning. She’s up and walking around and even got to shower. She began pumping last night and I can already tell this is going to be an arduous process to keep up with. We’ll get through it though, just like we always do.
We’re off to see our babies and spend some time in the NICU. Enjoy the pics below!
Baby Madelyn - apparently the hair is a protective mechanism for preemies and it will fall off of the places where it doesn't belong
|Baby Madelyn - apparently the extra hair is a protective mechanism that you see on preemies and will disappear as she grows larger|
|Baby Isabelle - grasping Meg's finger|
|Look at those tiny digits|
|Apparently, there is a diaper size smaller than Preemie. It's called WeePee. How funny!|
|Isabelle's miniature foot and ankle. The nurse was putting a bandage on after her heel prick.|
|Hi Baby Sophia!|
|Sophia was doing what I was thinking|
|Sophia taking her first look at us|
|Baby Sophia soaking up some fake sun with her eye protectors|
|Baby Isabelle catching some zzzzz's|
|Look at the small little red hand|
|Baby Isabelle taking a quick peek at us|
|Dad and Baby Madelyn|
|Dad and Baby Sophia|
|Mom and her tiniest daughter|
|Dad being intimidated by someone weighing < 2 lbs|
|I'm not sure who was more scared|