A Little Life Update & Learning the Importance of Small Victories

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Wow.
Time just flies.
From finding out we were pregnant, to finding out we were having twins, to preterm labor, to having babies at 32 weeks (+ 6 days), to now having babies in the NICU.
It's just been such a crazy journey.
And something I've been waiting a long time to document.

So where to begin?
Maybe filling in some details from these last few weeks.
On Tuesday, 09/12/2017 I was at work and started feeling absolutely awful. I had some bad pains in the side of my abdomen and something just felt off. I felt so bad that I called Dave and asked him if he would come pick me up from work.
I got home and tried to go lay down, but nothing was stopping the uncomfortableness.
About an hour later, I started feeling pains similar to that of contractions (I wasn't 100% sure because at this point in my pregnancy I already felt so stretched and it didn't feel like there was room for much else).
A couple hours when by and I finally told Dave things weren't getting better and I needed him to call our midwife. After talking with her, she encouraged that we come in and get checked.
At that point, I was having a bad feeling we weren't going back home that night, so I knew better than my last pregnancy and packed up an overnight bag just to be safe.
Then we headed to Sioux Falls.
We got to triage where they discovered my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and I was already dilated 3cm.
They weren't sure what was going on or why I had my pain in my side. They ran some labs but the only thing that was out of the ordinary were that my liver enzymes were high. They worked to try to stop my contractions and admitted me for that night.
Over the next couple days they kept indicating that I might be delivering sooner rather than later and I had all sorts of people from NICU come by to talk about what happens when they deliver babies early. We had social workers/case managers coming and discussing options for housing, etc. if the twins came early. And we saw different lactation consultants who discussed feedings, pumping, and breastfeeding preemies.
It was all good information, but also a little overwhelming and intimidating to even think about.
For the next few days I was closely monitored and by Friday it seemed that they were finally able to slow things down and I was feeling so much better. They ended up discharging me that afternoon.
I was so excited to be home and be back with Phoenix, though I was on very limited activity and was told that I would need to be very careful over the next few weeks.
Well, you know the ending by now, but that didn't even last more than 24 hours.
Friday night I went to bed and started waking up every hour barely able to breath and I was having awful chest/shoulder/back pain on my right side.
I got up early that morning completely worn and exhausted and waited for my mom to come over. I was anxious to see her thoughts on what I should do, though I secretly knew what her response would be at this point. I was really hoping it was all just in my head and that I was just overreacting.
Sure enough, mom took one look at me and was shocked that I hadn't already gone in.
I called the midwife team again, and they recommended that I go to the ER in Sioux Falls as my symptoms were sounding like something that was either respiratory or heart related.
At this point, I was just devastated.
I didn't want to leave, I wanted to be home.
It didn't get any easier when we went to leave and Phoenix started bawling.
I may have started crying at this point because I knew deep down we probably weren't coming back.
We got to the ER and they ran test after test: Catscan, Ultrasounds, EKG...nothing.
Finally the ER Doctor came in and told me that he wanted to consult with the OBGYN on duty that night and see their thoughts were before we did anything else.
Sure enough, the OBGYN wanted me to check in to triage.
I'm pretty sure at this point, I knew we were going to have our girls that night.
As soon as we got to triage, Dr. Kelly, the OBGYN, came in and let me know that my 24 hour urine analysis came back with protein in it.
My liver enzymes were also high again.
Dr. Kelly explained that the steroid shots that they had given me earlier that week as well as the medication I was put on to stop contractions were masking other symptoms of HELLP Syndrome (an intense form of preeclampsia) and that I would be delivering my girls via C-Section that night.
Next thing I know, I'm getting prepped for surgery.
I was whisked back to the surgical room, was given a spinal tap to insert anesthesia, and laid on a table with my arms stretched out. A blue sheet was placed in front of me to block out the surgery, and Dave was finally brought it to the surgical room.
Somewhere between the anesthesia and being laid down on the table, I broke down.
Throughout this pregnancy I was so open to however my "birth story" would look like- I liked the idea of a vaginal birth, and I was okay with whatever needed to be done to keep the babies okay.
What I struggled with was this was too early-
Would my babies be okay?
What would it mean if they went to the NICU?
What did this mean for Phoenix?
What would we do and how would we manage?
I was so scared.
I hated that I literally had no control of what was going on, I had no control of my body, and  I had no control over what would become of my little girls.
And I remember as I lay there, I kept hearing God repeat to me that He was still good, that He was there in the midst of the chaos and that everything would be okay.
Once Dave came into the room, I suddenly had such a sense of relief and I knew I just had to let go.
This was again part of our story and part of our journey.
Next thing you know, I'm hearing tiny little cries as Zoey came into the world with Zion right behind her (literally, as they pulled Zoey out, Zion reached her hand out- even from the beginning, she's indicated that she doesn't want to be left out of anything).
The NICU team was there and started right away getting the babies prepped to bring them to the NICU.
After a quick hello to my babies, they were just as quickly gone.
I asked Dave to go with them to make sure the girls were okay.
And then I was suddenly alone again with the surgical team as they stitched me up and got me ready to go back to the recovery area.
Unfortunately because of my preeclampsia, I was put on Magnesium and bedrest for the next 24 hours and wasn't able to see my babies, to touch them, to talk to them.
Talk about a hard situation...and to imagine some mom's who have their babies airlifted to places like Sioux Falls may not see their babies for a matter of days, depending on when they get discharged.
Devastating.
Dave kept making frequent visits for me to the NICU and would FaceTime me in so I could see the girls.
And in these moments, there was both excitement and sadness.
I was so glad my girls were healthy and doing well, but my heart hurt knowing this meant we would have still such a long way to go until we would all be home.
And I guess now we're here, Almost 3 weeks later- 20 days that the babes have been in the NICU.
Some days have been really hard dealing with things like unexpected surgeries, postpartum depression, dealing with emotions of going 24 hours without getting to be with your newborn, being in the birthing suites and knowing the other mothers around you have their babies in their rooms to snuggle and care for & your own were 2 floors down in the hands of others, being away from your toddler and your husband...from your sanity, from your security, and just everything else that lies in between.
Then there's those good days were your baby is able to finally breath on their own without any assistance, or excitement for a poopy diaper because that means your baby's digestive system is working, or moving from an incubator to a crib because they can finally hold their own body temperature, or watching them take their first bottle.
It's such a reminder that everything is a season.
And though our situation isn't ideal, this is exactly it- it is only a season.
They will learn and grow.
We will learn and grow.
And one of these days here (hopefully sooner rather than later), we'll be home. We'll be all together again. And we'll be able to find our "new normal."
But for now, we breath. We celebrate the small wins. We take it a day at a time. And we trust in our story that it will help strengthen us and teach us as parents.





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8 comments:

  1. Anonymous10/05/2017

    L O V E it. �� You are all amazing.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Your daughters are beautiful! I will keep watching for you and the girls to be all HOME together!!!

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  3. Beautiful words 💗 praying for you all... Those little girls after gorgeous 😘

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  4. I didn't know you were going through all this. My great granddaughter went through this last December, spending a month in the NICU. At least my granddaughter was able to visit her most every day. It is hard not being with the new born babies. Prayers for you guys.

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  5. Wow this made me cry I 100% understand everything you just said... I am praying for you because I know at times it will be hard for you.
    Kamie

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  6. Anonymous10/06/2017

    Wow... thank you for sharing your story with us... amazing how many highs and lows you can go through. My little man was emergency C-section and I blacked out right before the surgery. I woke up a couple hours later feeling like I had missed the whole thing bit he is healthy and growing every day. May God be with you, your precious little ones and your family.

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  7. Anonymous10/06/2017

    Thank you for sharing. God is good. I got a phone call from doctor's office today with my biopsy result and will be having breast surgery. But, am thankful for excellent medical team and supportive family,friends. I'm praying for you and your family. God is good, all the time.

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