Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Happened Monday Morning?

As you already know, my water broke around 2:30 in the morning. I was sleeping on the couch when it happened and immediately called to Justin. He raced down the stairs to me and we got ready to go to the hospital. We called a neighbor to come be with the kids, though I had difficulty dialing her phone number correctly. I kept combining her number with another friend's and getting that horrible wrong number beeping signal. I was finally able to get the numbers right and get through to Lisa. She came over right away, her husband on her heels, prepared to help Justin give me a priesthood blessing.

We raced to the hospital wrapped up in useless bathtowels, ignoring several red lights on the way. We called the hospital before we got there, though I should have been more clear that my water had broken, not just broken, if you know what I mean. They were waiting for us, but clearly didn't realize that I was going to be bringing my own swimming pool.

They took us immediately to a labor and delivery room to get things under control. I was only dilated to a 1 and 50% effaced, which was great news. We all believed that the worst of my problems was a massive rupture in the sacs, which could be dealt with. They initially had difficulty finding the heartbeats of the babies, but considering their gestational age and the fact that they are twins, that wasn't entirely surprising or frightening. The focus was to get the contractions, which were now coming in full force, to diminish before they did any more damage. They loaded me with antibiotics, steroids for their little lungs in case they were unable to keep them inside, medicine for the pain, pills for the contractions.

We began to be very hopeful. I knew I wasn't going to be able to leave the hospital until the babies were born, but there was a good chance that they were going to be able to keep the babies in for many more weeks to come if they could just get labor stopped. Once they had done all they could to evaluate and stop the progress of my labor, they became more focused on assessing the condition of the babies.

I could watch the growing concern on their faces as they continued to be unable to find one of the heartbeats. The concern kicked up about 12 notches when they finally did find one. One of the nurses asked in trepidation "is that mom's heartbeat?" to which another responded, "no, Mom's is 113." Baby heartbeats should be between 120 and 140. The one that they found was 60. They called the charge nurse, as my doctor had not yet arrived, and she started digging around with the doppler to verify the the heartrate. As soon as she verified the 60, all hell broke loose in labor and delivery.

From the time they confirmed the 6o heartbeat to the time the babies were out of my stomach, it took less than 4 minutes. They wheeled me across the hall into the operating room for an emergency c-section, by which time my body was going into full shock. There was no time for an epidural so they dropped me with a general anesthetic. It took them 1 minute to get the babies out, by which time my doctor had arrived. Both babies were born without heartbeats. It is believed that Dex had been gone for some time, probably hours, and they were unable to revive him.

Dex was 2 pounds 1 oz, 14 inches long. Crew was born at 1 pound 8 ounces, 12 and a half inches long.

I was unconscious for a while during all of this. While they were trying to put me back together, Justin spent his time in the NICU holding Dex, watching helplessly as they fought to stabilize Crew just a few feet away from him. Justin made sure that he was with me when I came out of the anesthesia so that he could be the one to tell me that we had lost Dex. It was a helpless feeling and I feel so much sorrow that he had to be strong enough to deliver that news to me. Neither of us could believe that we had come so far just to have such a tragic outcome.

They wheeled me through the NICU on my bed so that I could see Crew. All I could see were his wee little feet and it was so frustrating. The doctor was very reluctant to offer hope for his future. He had had a very traumatic start in the world and progress looked very sketchy. We knew we had already lost Dex and began to believe that we would lose Crew that same day.

Coming next:
Meeting Dex and Hope for Crew

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