I have two, yes two, 3 year olds... The time is flying by. Many of you have heard or read my story about how my girls came to be, but I know I have some new followers so I will try to keep it short :)
A little over 3 years ago I was admitted to Mercy hospital for a bulging bag and I was leaking amniotic fluid. I was 22 weeks pregnant. At first I didn't think much about it, they put me in an ambulance, it was snowing that day, the last snow of the year in 2010. The ambulance was driving 70 MPH down a slick and dark highway... I get goosebumps thinking about it. Blissfully unaware... That book, What to expect when your expecting, it has ONE paragraph about leaking fluid, and not even a good one. I threw that book in the trash mind you. Anyway, earlier that week I had scheduled my 3d ultrasound with a clinic in DSM and was super excited to see their tiny faces in 3d. Little did I know I was going to see them that day. They wouldn't let me walk, they wheeled me up to a room. A nurse came and let me sit in a wheel chair and wheeled me to an ultra sound room. While I was in there I told her about my 3d ultrasound and she smiled sweetly and said she would do one for me. Again, not thinking anything about it I got excited to see my babies. She then started to get less and less talkative and more and more serious. She told me I would be in a trendelenburg position for the remainder of my stay and that the Dr. would be in to talk to me soon. She also told me she would bring in my pictures when they were done.
When I got to the room all of my friends and family were there. There was like 15 people in this tiny room. All these people to be there for us, for my unborn babies. The Dr. was an assistant to my other Dr. Dr. Whang, laugh all you want the man is a genius and he is one of the many who saved my girls' life.
She came in and explained that I was in a very dangerous position and that if my children were born that day or even in the next few weeks they wouldn't make it. I was devastated. We had just suffered a loss the year before and all I could think was why would God give me these babies and take them away too? Was it because I was not a good person, did I say the wrong thing and this is punishment? Alot of crazy things pass through your brain when you think the worst.
The ultrasound technician came in soon after the Dr. left and brought me my pictures.... In all honesty I thought that was one of the last times I would see my babies alive. I broke down in tears. I cried so hard. The room with all my friends and family fell silent. Heads were down and tears were quietly being shed for these precious lives... Almost everyone stayed in my room that night, people were sleeping everywhere. Even though some of those people aren't my friends now or we have went our separate ways it means the world that they were there for me and my family that day. My BFF Em or my Mom and Dad would come stay with me so I wouldn't have to be alone. I could not get out of bed for anything. Bedpan you ask? Yes... yes a bedpan. Em shaved my legs... yes, she loves me. Embarrassing? Yes. Was it worth all of it, HECK YES. I would do it for a year if I had to.
The next day the neonatal Dr. came and told me the same thing, that 24 weeks was the age of viability and if I could make it that far that their chances or survival would increase to 40%.
Skipping ahead a few weeks, after what I thought was a kidney infection, my girls were born. One the old fashioned way and one C-Section. I didn't get to see either of them until later that afternoon. They were of course beautiful. And fighting to stay alive.
I don't want to go thru our whole NICU experience, its long and scary. We had amazing nurses and doctors, like seriously amazing. I held Brienna for the first time after 3 weeks and Breadon was after 4. Yeah, not my favorite, not only did it kill me not to hold them, I just sat there. Feeling helpless is not my forte, but I like to think that just me being there was something. I also learned people will say alot of dumb things when you are in a crisis. Things that seem harmless but they aren't. I also did a lot of talking to doctors about medications, being an advocate (yes, control freak), and its all part of it.
Words and phrases to describe it: scary, angry, reading, learning, loving, holding, worrying, dying, better, I thought I was going to lose her, bath, hearbeat, oxygen levels, ventilator, antibiotics, pumping, she isn't responding, healthy, happy, are you kidding me, gowns and gloves, embarrassing, funny, helpful, spells, blood gas, wash your hands, steroids, blood transfusions, kangaroo, terrifying, car seat test, coming home, pneumonia, spinal taps, cultures and so many more.
Four long months, probably the longest 4 months ever. We lived in the Ronald McDonald house for 2 months of that. I am a control freak by nature so I had to be there everyday for 14 hours or more just to make sure they were okay. Toward the end, after Brienna came home, I could only go for a few hours a day but Breadon came home a short 2 weeks later.
Home was oxygen and monitors, and I am thankful, I probably wouldn't have slept without them. I had tons of help from amazing people when they came home. It is complicated getting two babies hooked to oxygen and monitors, but worth it. Totally worth it. We couldn't go anywhere but doctors appointments for a year. A restaurant here in town closed the restaurant so we could take them to supper once in the fall. They couldn't be around other children for a year. I hardly ever left the house. I felt a duty to be with them everyday all the time. After about a year I was ready to take them places. To show off MY cute kids. Trust me, have twins and then never be able to show them off or take them anywhere... is that a dumb complaint, yes probably, would I change it, no... but its normal, have it taken away from you and then judge me :) Physical therapy, heart specialists, speech therapy and a TON of Doctors appointments. Its all gotten us where we are today.
Why am I reliving this?! Over the last 3 years they have literally defied all odds. They had their 3 year check up yesterday. I love our Doctor. He is amazing. He made me emotional. He is so in awe of how well they are doing. Medically they are miracles. He was singing our praises telling us how well we were doing. I can't take a compliment to save my life so I just cried instead! I don't feel that I have done anything extraordinary. I feel like we live our lives day to day. I do what everyone else does. I take care of my kids. Easy stuff.
To me, every baby is seriously a miracle. It blows my mind. We have had our share of scares and worries, but no matter what the problem, from day one I faced it head on. I always do my research, ask questions and make sure I am getting the best care for my kids. I don't ignore anything. Ask my BFF and Mom, I run everything by them, I am sure they want to smack me. :) I am glad I am a control freak, I think my kids are doing so well because of it. At any rate, this is super long and drawn, they are such cool kids. They are my favorite. They are my life. I have fallen head over heels for my kids. They worked so hard to be here, there must be a plan for them.
On the day of their birth:
Breadon, Born April 1st at 8:27am Weighing 1 pound 4 ounces 12 3/4 inches long
One week old:
Our first family picture: (Brienna on left and Breadon on right in both pictures)
They light up my life :) They truly are miracles. Love you girls.