Happy Birthday to my lovely 8-going-on18 daughters!
The following is the email I sent to family and friends on June 11, 2004 about 2 hours after Thing 1 and Thing 2 were brought into this world.
The short story… June 11, 2004… Emily Suzanne was born at 1:04pm, weighing in at 4 lbs, 12 oz and was 17 inches long. Abigail Jyne was born at 1:05pm, weighing in at 5 lbs, 12 oz and was 17 inches long. They were 35 weeks 2 days gestationally.
The long story…. June 11, 2004… I actually went into labor. Here are details of the day.
6:45 am – I woke up as normal, but didn’t feel really well. I figured it was just par for the course as both babies had just been checked out the day before. Little did I know! I got up, took a shower, did all my various morning activities like normal, but consistently felt bad.
8:00 am – Joseph and I got ready to go. I took him to YMCA camp just like I have done every other day this week. But, while driving from camp to work (about 30 minutes) my legs kept getting weak. They would feel very similar to when I was getting my period (way back when!).
9:00 am – at work and feeling very odd. I couldn’t really monitor what I was feeling as it just seemed pretty constant. I called hubby to see if he thought I should call the Dr. His very logical response was “Try to see if you can count them.” Told him I really didn’t think I could, but I’d try.
9:14, 9:18, 9:22, 9:26, 9:32 …. Hmmm… 5 “episodes” in 20 minutes.
9:45 am – Called the Dr. and explained what I was feeling. She said, “When can you get over here?” Given I was at work, I was 5 minutes away. Called Hubby again and let him know I was going in to see the Dr.
10:00 am – Dr. checked me out. Cervix is still closed and maybe 50% effaced. BUT, she suggested I head to Labor & Delivery for a couple of tests – NSTs basically to see how the babies were faring against what I was feeling. Called Hubby again!
10:20 am (ish) – Drove myself to the hospital (2 minutes away from Dr. office). Walked up to L&D (3rd floor of Raleigh Community Hospital – now Duke Health, Raleigh Hospital) and they were waiting for me. Once they got me settled into the room (TCC 1) I was strapped with fetal monitors, a contraction monitor and an IV with fluids. The fluids were an attempt to see if the contractions would stop.
By 10:45 am – at this point, the IV fluids aren’t doing anything to stop the contractions. Dr. Moody has checked me and found that I am in fact dilating – and have reached nearly 2cm and 80% effacement. Putting these two things into the equation and with the babies having reached the 35w point, she decided it was time to have babies!
11 am – 12:30 pm – preparation and time for Hubby to get to the hospital. Dr. Moody had asked where he was and I told her on the way. Luckily, she had another c-section right then, so we had to “delay” a couple of hours. I stayed on the monitors the entire time and Hubby made his way to the hospital. I’d called him to tell him to “hurry” it up as we were definitely having babies today! [This, despite his commentary upon my not feeling well that ‘today was not a good day to have babies’]
12:30 pm – in the OR. The anesthesiologist got set to give me a spinal. Hubby wasn’t in the OR quite yet as they bring him in once I am totally numb. The spinal wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be and I did not get sick (much to my relief)! I was numb from the waist down and did experience one of the goofy effects a spinal which is the feeling that breathing is hard to do.
12:58 pm – I hear the nurse anesthetist give the start time for the surgery. Hubby’s at my left, just like with Joseph and at least this time, I’m not shivering like crazy!
1:04 pm – Emily Suzanne is born!
1:05 pm – Abigail Jyne is born!
Two girls! Oh my! I actually commented to Hubby that he is totally screwed. Can you imagine what life with two girls is going to be like??
Dr. Moody commented that there was a large amount of blood in Emily’s sac and that the placenta would be sent to pathology (a normal occurrence for twin deliveries – and one that can help determine identical vs. fraternal status).
Emily was bundled up and brought over to me. I gave her a quick kiss and off she went back to the baby warmer to await her sister.
Abby, who was in no distress, had clear amniotic fluid in her sac. She was shown to me over the blue drape between my head and the surgery area. Blue, covered in blood and stuff. Ewww!
Hubby then went with the girls to the NICU until my surgery was complete.
1:45 (ish) – I’m back in the room. My recovery was all done in the room. Still completely numb from the spinal, too! Dr. Moody came in and discussed Emily’s distress with us, explaining that not only was it the time for them to come out, it was a necessity that they come out. Emily had basically been breathing and “drinking” blood while in her sac.
It is completely unknown as to when this happened. Could have been that morning, could have been before. Since at least Wednesday or maybe earlier like Monday, I hadn’t had much of an appetite, nor much energy. Generally, I would have chalked this up to 3rd trimester pregnancy, but in hindsight, I wonder if my body was actually telling me something – and preparing for Friday’s early arrival.
Abby, on the other hand, had immediate respiratory issues because her lungs were just not mature yet. Due to Emily’s distress, her respiratory issues were not nearly as severe – in fact she stayed on room air. But Abby, being happy were she was, was just not ready. She was put on CPAP, at 40% oxygen. Basically, that’s a pressurized oxygen machine that had her breathing 40% oxygen and the pressure was to keep the aioli of the lungs open.
4:00 pm – Visitors (just family at this stage) started to appear and lots of phone calls were made to friends to announce the girls’ births.
10:30 pm – I finally got to see my girls. By this point, both sets of grandparents had arrived and were able to go see each of then in the Special Care Nursery. There are rules in the SCN about who can come and visit. Two sets of grandparents are allowed, as are two support people. Immediate family (Mom, Dad and kids over 3 years) are allowed no matter (assuming good health). Until the girls get out of the SCN, no one else will be able to see the girls, except those individuals above. For E & A, we had my parents, Hubby’s parents, Steph and Catherine as the designated individuals.
Going to see the girls was tough. It was my first time out of bed (ouch!). They were still all strapped in with their IVs and such. But still, they are beautiful. Earlier in the day, the nurses brought me pictures of them (individual pictures) which makes them look much bigger than they are. We’ve since gotten our camera and added our own pictures to the mix!
And this is what I saw the first time:
And today …
My girls turn 8!