Thursday, September 15, 2005

They're heeeeeerrrrreeee!!!!

I've finally got a couple of minutes to write more than a couple of lines...I've literally started this birth story at least five times in the past four weeks and haven't been able to finish it until now...

As a lot of you know, my c-section was scheduled for September 14, our four year anniversary, because Audrey was still transverse. I was still on strict bedrest and taking Procardia XL for the PTL, and had my last OB appointment on September 8. My mom drove me and on our way to the office, I warned my mother that if my OB makes me go to the hospital for more "monitoring", I would demand that the girls be delivered that day!! Little did I know...

At the appointment, my blood pressure was checked twice and both times, it was dangerously high. Also, my legs and feet were extremely swollen beyond recognition and my urine revealed that I had protein in it. All of that combined with the fact that I had made it to 36 weeks (I was 36 weeks 3 days) convinced my OB to deliver the girls that day. When she told me that I had finally developed pre-eclampsia and that I should go home and get ready, I was shocked. We had been expecting this for six weeks because of the PTL, but when it actually became real, I was freaked out!!!

Jim met me at the condo and we packed up and drove to the hospital. We arrived at 2:30 p.m. and got prepped and strapped to the monitors. I began contracting more often, about every 2-3 minutes, and it began to get more painful! My OB hadn't arrived yet and I wondered if we'd even make it to the operating room!!

My parents and mother-in-law came into Triage at around 4:30 p.m. to let us know they had arrived...I think my dad was more nervous than any of us! I was just anxious to get it over with...I was terrified of the surgery and though I knew what to expect, I still just wanted to get in there and get it done.

Finally, the nurse anesthetist arrived and told me the anesthesiologist was on his way and that things would start happening quickly. Meanwhile, my OB arrived and visited with me and eased my fears a little. Jim was whisked away to put on his little operating room uniform and I didn't see him until I was strapped down and numb.

The operating room was so bright and cold and busy. There were people everywhere, but my nurse (Donna!) and OB were wonderful, rubbing my hands and legs while I received the spinal and telling me everything would be wonderful. Finally, Jim was allowed back in and things got under way really quickly.

I didn't feel a thing, not even the pushing and pulling that I had been warned about. I was surprisingly calm, but still anxious to see my girls. All of a sudden, my nurse anesthetist shouted to an NA that there wasn't a mirror in the room. They called other operating rooms looking for one, but my OB announced that it is too late, that Baby A was coming. Sure enough, seconds later, I heard a strong squeal and at 5:39 p.m. Margaret Marceau was born.
Immediately I began to cry and ask Jim over and over if he could see her. He couldn't because she was taken immediately by the pediatricians. At 5:40 p.m., another hearty cry errupted and Audrey Adelaide arrived into the world (hand first!). I heard a few chuckles and my doctor announce that Audrey had just peed all over her.

We were unable to see them for what seemed like forever, and I kept asking Jim if everything was okay. I heard them crying, but we hadn't seen them yet. Maggie's team announced that she was 6 lbs. 2 oz. and 19.5 in. and that her APGAR score was 9. Then Audrey's team announced that she was 5 lbs. 0 oz. and 18 inches and her APGAR score was also 9. A nurse giggled and said Audrey was peeing again! I was so relieved to know that they were okay, but still we were unable to see them! I was starting to get very nauseus and headachy from the spinal and became a little disoriented and distracted, but soon enough, the girls were brought to Jim and he was able to hold them up to me and let me see and kiss them. They were gorgeous. More beautiful than I could have ever imagined! And they looked NOTHING alike! Later, after comparing baby pictures, we determined that Maggie, though named after my side of the family, looks just like her daddy and Audrey, named after his side of the family, looks just like me.

After the c-section, I was sent to Labor & Delivery because of my pre-eclampsia. I was put on Magnesium Sulfate (for the fourth time in six weeks!) for 24 hours to prevent seizures associated with pre-eclampsia and I didn't really see my girls too much in that period of time. I was in and out of conciousness because of the Mag and the pain medication and they were being monitored.

The next evening, we were admitted to Postpartum and the girls were able to spend most of their time with us. They were only taken away for vital checks. I was still in quite a bit of pain, but Jim is a natural and took such good care of them while I was recovering in the hospital. We were discharged on September 12th and are adjusting wonderfully at home.

Maggie and Audrey are amazing. They are growing bigger and bigger right before my eyes. You wouldn't know that they were a month premature. They eat and sleep and that's about it! Maggie is a little more easy going than Audrey, and I wonder if that's because Audrey is smaller. She just needs to be cuddled more, it seems, than Maggie does. But they are both so precious and just the best little girls I know. The furbabies are in love, as are anyone that meet them. They are sleeping in four hour increments and I'm waking them up at the same time so that they are on the same schedule. Once in awhile it doesn't work out, but for the most part, these girls are so good.

Thank you to everyone who wished us well as we struggled through preterm labor and the hospital bedrest. I was so frustrated for so long with the strict bedrest and hospital stay but I can see now that it was all worth while to have two beautiful and healthy baby girls!

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