So at last I left you, I was getting wheeled back to the OR to have the babies :)
My evil plan to start labor is here. And then part II (laboring at the hospital) can be seen here.
The nurses wheeled me back to the OR and I was SHOCKED how many people were in that room. I think it was about 11 or 12.
- Dr. Adashek
- MY labor and delivery nurse
- An ultrasound technician to check and see the position of the babies during the delivery. There was a possibility that Caris (baby B) could flip either breech or head down because she was transverse and the position she went in after Kinley was born would decide the next step of the delivery
- The anesthesiologist
- The NICU neonatologist
- 2 nurses per baby (total of 4 people)
Since I had the epidural, they used a transfer board to get me on the table in the room. Once I was settled and covered up with a blanket (it was freeezing in there) they let Troy come in and stand by my head.
I couldn't believe how CALM that room was. It struck me because Avery's deliver was such a nightmare of craziness. Everyone was making small talk and taking their time getting everything prepped. Dr. Adashek came in and put his ipod in the dock...no Transformers music this time, haha. The anesthesiologist did a quick check to make sure I couldn't feel anything in the event that Dr. Adashek had to do an emergency c-section. Yep....nothing.
I couldn't believe how many people tried to talk me out of a vaginal delivery. They kept explaining to me everything that could go wrong. And asking me "are you sure you want to do this?" and "we could just take them right out and there wouldn't be a risk of a vaginal delivery and a c-section," but I stuck to my guns and was like "NO WAY. We are doing this and it's going to be fine." In the back of my mind, I was TERRIFIED of having a c-section but I figured if, in my mind, a c-section wasn't going to happen and I just kept positive in my mind, there was NO way that I couldn't do it.
Once Dr. Adashek was all prepped and ready, 2 nurses held my legs while Troy stood up by my head. He asked me if I could feel ANYTHING when I had a contraction. Nope. NOTHING. No pressure, no pain, nothing.
He told me that the nurses would watch my monitors and tell me when to push. I pushed maybe 2 times before Dr. Adashek told me that he would need to use the vacuum on Kinley, which I really, really did not want. The way she was positioned, she wasn't straight down. Her body was nestled inside my left hip, at an angle with her butt coming up towards the ribs on my left side. Whenever I pushed, her head was going down at an angle towards my right side. Troy said that the vacuum was more like a hand pump and not as scary as what you would picture when someone says "vacuum." He said that Dr. Adashek placed it on her head and "pumped it up a few times" to make a seal with the crown of her head and when I pushed again, the vacuum helped her come out straight down, rather than towards my right side. So it was more like a directional guide than a vacuum. Which made me happy to hear afterwards.
Dr. Adashek lifted Kinley up and showed her to us right when she came out screaming at 2:11pm. I couldn't believe how much hair she had. I looked right at Troy and said "SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE AVERY!!" I'm not sure he heard me. He started crying immediately. I love that man. He really is so much more emotional than I am. I don't think I registered emotion yet because I still had a baby to push out.
The ultrasound tech had the wand on my belly almost immediately to determine the position of Caris. Luckily, she had flipped head down after Kinley was born...YAY! To keep her head down, the tech put her hand on my stomach and pushed her into my right hip so she didn't try and flip breech and run my vaginal delivery plans.
Dr. Adashek told me that my cervix closed ALLLLLL the way up after Kinley came out. Uh oh. So my doctor grabbed the forceps and used them to open my cervix back up and put his right arm INSIDE ME to more than halfway up his forearm. Thank God for epidurals. I cannot IMAGINE how that would have felt without drugs. He had to grab Caris's head and pull her down so that I could push her out.
I just remember laying there and looking at Dr. Adashek. Kinley was screaming her head off, but it still seemed SO calm and quiet in there to me and all I could do was look at him. He was concentrating SO hard. He was (literally) elbow deep in my body with his eyes closed, feeling around for her head for about 3-4 minutes. I felt like we were the only people in the room, he was so close to me. His head was almost right over my stomach. He had his left hand on my stomach to help move her from the outside and use as a reference while his right hand pulled her down. At some point during this, the neonatologist called out Kinley's weight at 5lbs 4oz. She was 19 inches long.
He got Caris in position and told me to push again. Her head came out and he immediately told me to stop. I didn't know why at the time, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and he cut it off while her body was still inside me to make sure that nothing got too tight when I pushed her out. He lifted up Caris and showed her to us and handed her off to the neonatologist at 2:19pm.
And then I started freaking out. She didn't cry. And she didn't cry. And it was an eternity. I kept asked Dr. Adashek what was wrong with her and he kept saying "nothing, she's fine." I think that must've happened 5 times. She finally started crying and they told Troy he could go over with them. He basically ran.
The nurse and ultrasound tech immediately starting massaging my belly to help it start going down and get both placentas out. Hard. I could not believe how hard they were pushing on my stomach. Again, I'm glad I had the epidural, because that was like a dang deep tissue massage on my belly. Dr. Adashek told me I had a small tear and he started stitching me up. Caris's weight was called at 4lbs 14oz and she was 17 3/4 inches long.
While I was laying there, listening to my babies cry, Troy finally walked over holding Caris, all wrapped up so that I could see she was okay. He laid her on my chest and neck for a few minutes while I got stitched up. She was SO SMALL! I couldn't believe I had done it. I had both of my babies out and safe and sound. And I had a vaginal delivery. I was pretty proud. The neonatologist called for Troy and the NICU team entourage took my babies out in incubators to go get checked out in the NICU.
Not gonna lie, it really, really sucked laying there by myself in the OR as all the people dwindled down to just me, Dr. Adashek, and my labor and delivery nurse. I felt SO alone and my body started to totally freak out. I was violently shaking. Huge tremors. Voice shaking. Teeth chattering. Uncontrollable.
The labor and delivery nurse told me that it was "not an uncommon side effect" after delivery. She said it was a response to the combination of a sudden decrease in hormones, loss of the placenta, and the epidural wearing off after birth. And mine was amplified with 2 babies. I didn't feel cold, just completely overwhelmed.
The intense, constant shaking lasted about 3 hours. Troy was gone in the NICU for about an hour and came back in to check on me in recovery. He showed me a bunch of pictures he had taken during the delivery and in the NICU and then headed back down to the NICU to be with the girls. I was snuggled up in the blankets trying to calm down because the nurse said the more I tried to fight the shaking, the worse it would be and the longer it would last. I remember being super disoriented because the recovery room had no windows. And I'd been awake since about 6am the day before (up for almost 36 consecutive hours) so my body was exhausted but with no windows, I had no concept of time. I just wanted to sleep, but my body wouldn't stop shaking.
The nurse brought me in a tray because I kept saying that I was starving during the delivery and to "get these babies out so I can eat." The food was pretty good. Except I was having a seriously hard time feeding myself with all the shaking. I remember talking to Troy's dad and my teeth were chattering so hard, it was difficult to have a conversation.
I stayed in the dark watching re-runs of Friends on TBS, trying to eat, and wishing that I was with my family. The nurse came in and finally helped me out of bed to go to the bathroom. Once I was up, it was on. I'm pretty sure the nurse hated me. I was like, "YOU GET ME A WHEELCHAIR. RIGHT NOW!" Troy showed up in the middle of this and followed the nurse to bring back the wheelchair for me.
He wheeled me down to the NICU and I was pretty heart broken when I saw the nurses had them both propped up in the incubators, feeding them formula. I seriously started crying. I am a hardcore breastfeeder and Avery NEVER had formula and I nursed her for 14 months, when she decided she was done. Watching them hooked up to monitors and drinking formula from the nurses just made me so sad. They were so little I was afraid to ask to hold them. I felt like there was nothing I could do to take care of them.
This is Kinley. Her head was settled into the pelvic bowl THE WHOLE PREGNANCY. Her face was crazy crooked when she was born. The left side of her jaw was stretched and pushed to the right. All the muscle cords in her neck were really tight. We've been working on getting her to turn her head to look over her left shoulder and massaging her neck and jaw muscles to help straighten her out.
And this is Caris:
The neonatologist came over and talked to us immediately and said that Kinley was doing great and would be released to come to our room on the mommy baby floor in a few hours. Caris was still needing some support and needed to stay in the NICU at least for the night.
They moved our room from recovery to the mommy baby room and put us in a room that was right across from the door to the NICU. Kinley came over around 8pm that night and I immediately tried to nurse. I started bawling when she latched right on and started nursing. I was SO happy.
Avery came and visited the next day and held Kinley and went and visited Caris in the NICU.
I gotta tell you. Recovery after this birth was a DREAM compared to after Avery. I didn't think my recovery after Avery was bad or super painful, but this was nothing compared to that. Maybe it was easier because I had done it before and knew what to expect. Maybe it was because they were smaller. Maybe it was because I had 2 kids in the NICU (they both ended up back over there) for a few days after I was discharged and had no choice but to drive and be dressed and be back and forth from home and hospital for a week. I dunno. But holy cow, it was so much better.
They are amazing little babies. They are so good. And Avery is doing so well with them and being gentle. She has only picked Kinley up one time without adult supervision and she even supported her head! We feel so blessed.
We could not have made it this far without the help of a lot of people while I was on bedrest:
- Our church small group for meals and babysitting
- Our military family for meals and babysitting
- My Mom
- My Stepmom
- Troy's Aunt Kathy
- Troy's Mom
And all the prayers from everyone. You guys are awesome. This was a seriously HORRIBLE and WONDERFUL year at the same time. We went through so much to get these babies here and home. I cannot believe that almost our whole year was consumed by getting pregnant and trying to keep these babies safe.
Today is their due date and they are almost 5 weeks old. We are so blessed to have so much support from my mom, who has been here since the day they were born. She is making sure I get a 5 hour stretch of sleep at night and encouraging me to nurse. She's making sure I eat and that my house is clean. And doing laundry. Oh. My. Lord. The laundry is crazy.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We have so much to be thankful for this year.