Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On the arrival of Ryder & Brynley

On Sunday, August 11th, at 6:46pm, Ryder Thomas was born, weighing 4lb3oz, and measuring 17.5 inches long.

Two minutes later, at 6:48pm, Brynley Marjorie was born, weighing 4lb14oz, and measuring 16.5 inches long.

For 2 days prior to delivering my babies, I had felt extremely uncomfortable. I was already in the hospital on bedrest (only allowed to get up for showers and potty breaks), trying to stave off infection due to P-PROM, and trying to keep my blood pressure in check. I was basically just being "fed and watered", as my OB put it. My lower back was really sore, and my belly felt extremely tight. I figured it was just the extra weight of the twins growing, and never thought much of it.

Here I am the night before I delivered...

I had posted the picture to Facebook and people had said I'd "dropped" and that they thought things could be happening soon... I was "in it to win it" as I would tell people, and was going to make it 1 more week to our 35 week goal.

The morning of their arrival, I felt "off", I had even texted DH early in the morning to "warn" him that he should get his papers for school done early because I was a little nervous. I had also noticed some mucus strings in my "leakage" the past couple of days and thought that was weird. My midwife visited and said everything looked good and they would probably schedule my c-section for 08/20, even though if they did, she wouldn't be able to attend and she was sad about that. She discussed how much further I'd made it than anyone thought possible, and that everything looked so great. I texted everyone the updates, and a little while later, DH came to visit.

During DH's visit, I was served my lunch and had a hard time eating it. I was so uncomfortable that I was rolling around in the bed trying to find a position of comfort. I just felt like everything felt so heavy. DH left to write his papers, and I tried to nap. I couldn't nap from the pain, and then continually tried to use the bathroom to relieve the pressure. No luck, texted DH again that he better be writing his papers because something wasn't right. This continued for about 2.5 hours. After every bathroom trip, I would tell myself "ok, time to call the nurse". I think I was in total denial about what was happening - I wanted to keep those babies in, damnit!

Around 4pm, after a particularly painful trip to the bathroom, with no relief, I finally called my nurse.

"I'm scared. I'm having really bad lower abdominal pain."
"How long has this been going on?"
"Two and a half hours."
"Two and a half hours?!?!?! Why didn't you call me?"

They hooked me up to the fetal monitor... the babies looked great. Me? Not so much. Contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I had went into spontaneous labor sometime that morning.


Suddenly, my room was pandemonium. There were tons of nurses in my room, I was calling DH, my parents, everyone... This was really it. The nurses rushed me down to Labor & Delivery. I remember just asking for them to grab my cell phone, charger, and my digital camera. Everything else would stay in this room because this would be the room that I went to after the babies were born. Everything seemed to happen so fast.

I remember them getting me down to L&D, changing me (they didn't even want me to move on my own), and asking me where my husband was. The fact they were asking where he was scared me. I called him and he was 3 minutes away.

They called my midwife and she was on the way. DH then arrived. They then told me that my OB had someone covering for him because it was his son's birthday. Awesome. The thought of having some doctor I didn't know operate on me and deliver my babies was beyond frightening. Then they told me who the doctor was, Dr. Morgan. Hey wait, why do I know that name? Because lots of my friends use him and he's delivered a ton of my friends' babies. I instantly felt better. DH changed into his scrubs, which was funny because he wears scrubs for his one job.

At some point, my mom arrived in the labor room, as did my mother in law. I remember someone telling me my dad and his girlfriend were in the waiting room, as well.

I remember them doing blood draws, and as was the case throughout my stay in the hospital, they couldn't get an IV on me. They made 5, FIVE, attempts in my left arm. Around this time, my RN husband got in a "little tiff" with the Charge RN, and insisted he try to get a line for me. He made an attempt in the left arm, but there was literally nothing left there. He then made an attempt in the right and got it! Whew! Finally an IV.

I heard the nurses keep calling the doctor to give him updates. "Her pressure is 220/110", "her contractions are getting closer together", "things are happening quickly". At some point, my midwife arrived and did an internal exam. Good lord, that thing was awful. Then, at some point, the doctor arrived. He was super nice, caring, and explained everything to us.

Oh, and according to my mom and my mother in law, "he is really good looking", lol.

Through all this, I was having contractions. Now, I don't know much about contractions. I had been having Braxton Hicks throughout my hospital stay up to that point. I had only ever felt 1, and that was like my first night in the hospital. That morning, I knew something was wrong, but I really didn't think that could be what contractions felt like. They felt like bad cramps and a sour stomach or something. Even when all this crap was going on, they didn't feel THAT awful to me. I think my bigger issue was that they were doing 5 million things to me at once and I'm trying to breathe through contractions and "oh hey, by the way, sign this form to allow us to give you blood transfusions if necessary", and "oh yeah, we need to shave you".

They started me on the magnesium sulfate, hereafter referred to as "the mag", and then Labetalol, to help my blood pressure. Dr. Morgan said they couldn't take me into the OR with my pressure so high, and that our goal was something under 160/100. They tried to wait it out, but my pressure wasn't dropping that much. They finally decided to just take me to surgery. I remember saying goodbye to my mom and mother in law, and them wheeling us away. At some point, I couldn't see DH and it freaked me out. Here, they had taken him into the recovery room until they started my spinal block. All of the sudden, I had a huge urge to just cry, although I never did.

I got into the OR, and my midwife was there. I felt so much better knowing she was there, it was a friendly, familiar face during a crazy time. They had me move to the table, put on my compression boots, and they were going to start my spinal block. My midwife was who I leaned against during the spinal block. Again, people make it seem like you are going to die from the pain of these things... I really didn't think it was bad... a little bee sting and then instant total numbing from my chest down. From that point on, they had to completely move me. They restrained my arms, put up the drape, and inserted a foley catheter.

Then I remember hearing Dr. Morgan come in, and they did the "test" to see if I felt anything... nope not a damn thing, lol. A few minutes later, they let DH in. He sat near my head and held my hand. I was never so happy to see him. He was BSing with alot of the staff in the operating room, which was funny to me. I was listening intently to everything the doctor said, and paid attention to what was going on.

After about 10 minutes, I felt a little bit of pressure and they said they were getting Baby A out. They got Ryder out, said "it's a boy!", and I didn't hear him cry - instead, it sounded like he was gurgling or something. This freaked me out. They then took him immediately into the other room (which they had warned us they would do since there was 2 of them) so the NICU team could work him up. I was hysterical crying.

Then suddenly, there was a ton of pressure on my belly. It literally felt like they were rocking me, and I heard them say they were "having a hard time getting Baby B out". Then suddenly, no more pressure, and I heard the doctor say "the cord is around her neck twice", and then lots of screams from Brynley. She didn't stop screaming most of the time she was in the room, lol. They brought her over to the area they were working on her at, which was to the left of me, so I could see everything. I felt more confident in how she was doing, regardless of her having had the cord around her neck, because she was screaming so loudly, lol. Drama queen already.

At some point, they brought both babies over to us, one at a time, and we got the above pictures. I wouldn't see them again until the next night.

After that, I was extremely nauseous, but never vomited. It took maybe 30-40 minutes for them to put me all back together, and then they transferred me to the recovery room. I just remember really wanting ice chips and apple juice, lol.

In recovery, I just kept hounding people to find out how the babies were. I just remember thinking that if something happened, I wasn't even completely sure what my babies looked like or what they weighed or anything. One of the techs went and got all their info and wrote it down on an index card for me - I still have that card. Ryan was taken to the NICU to see them, and at some point, I guess our families saw them too because my mom still talks about how Ryder grabbed her finger at 1 hour old, lol.

Ryder was put on a room-air C-PAP, and Brynley was put on a nasal cannula... no other issues (thank you steroid shots!)

During this time starts what I refer to as "the hell of the mag". Magnesium sulfate is an awful medication, and everyone who's ever had it says that you feel like you got hit by a Mack truck - this is no exaggeration. I literally was sweating buckets, was super thirsty, was itching beyond belief, and almost hallucinating. I couldn't focus my eyes on anything and my mind was super cloudy. After 2 hours or so in recovery, I went back to a labor room. They had to keep me on the L&D floor because I was too high risk and needed too much care.

Eventually, DH had to go home really quickly to submit those damn papers he was working on for school, so my mom stayed with me. I was so hot I had the room set to like 50 degrees, was packed with ice, and had cold washcloths all over me, and was STILL sweating. I froze my poor mom out. DH came back after a little bit and I asked him to bring me a milkshake, lol.

The next morning (I barely slept), I asked to start pumping for my babies. I pumped religiously for 20 minutes, every 2-3 hours. I couldn't see my babies, I couldn't touch them, but I was going to do something for them. DH would go to the NICU and take pictures of them for me, even though I really couldn't focus on what they looked like, thanks to the mag.

I remember us having lots of visitors, but don't really remember who exactly was there or what happened. After 24 hours on the mag (normal dosage), I remember begging my midwife to take me off of it. Within an hour of her stopping the medication, I felt better but my mind was still a bit foggy - I do remember that my night shift nurse wheeled me to the NICU in my bed with DH by my side. It was the first time I really got to see the babies since delivery. I cried hysterically, even though they were totally ok. By that time, Ryder was off the C-PAP and on a nasal cannula like his sister. It felt nice just to see them, but all the wires freaked me out.

That is the story of their arrival, I'll focus more on their NICU time and the c-section recovery in other posts. :)


  1. We knew prior to any 3D ultrasounds that our LO has DS. We found out at 13 weeks from CVS & had our first 3D at 16 weeks & subsequently every 4 weeks. Our peri said at the 20 week ultrasound that if we didn't have the CVS done he would never know our LO has DS & we completely agree.

    3d sonogram California

  2. Hey there. Our stories seem so similar and as we were TTC I following your blog closely - it gave me hope! Our LO is now a year old and we have been thinking about number 2. I would love to hear how/if your lining changed after having the twins. My email is Ashleykerrward @