What an incredible few days. I can't believe how crazy everything was from my last update on...so really I'll just pick up where that left off.
Thursday began the 24 hour urine collection. (Count yourselves lucky if you've never had to do that...I felt like a toddler in potty training). I was actually really frustrated because I had to spend all day Thursday in the hospital and they only monitored the boys for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. The boys had great heart rates and took contractions perfectly. They were PERFECT so why was I still here? Every time I saw the doctor, the only information we got was "I'll come back to check on you in 4/6/2 hours." So annoying. There was very little communication. I am quite capable of keeping my feet up at home, thank you very much. The nurses came in to check my blood pressure a ton and it was always within normal range. So I called my friend Julie, who is a labor and delivery nurse in Arizona. She explained to me that if I were her patient, I would be sitting exactly where I was and that you don't mess around with toxemia. She was grateful I had a good doctor who understood the risks. And she finally helped me understand that the Dr. was worried about ME, not my boys.
Thursday night, I didn't get a minute of sleep. Every time I started to doze off, a nurse or lab tech or housekeeping person would come in and poke and prod me. Then, if I ever went to the bathroom (which happens every 40 minutes or so...) I had to call the nurse and wait for them to add it to the collection to be tested in the morning. The collection ended about 1:30 am. Test results were expected to be back within a couple hours. At 6:30 in the morning, my nurse walked in. She had the most even-toned voice ever and said without any sense of urgency: "We got the results back from your urine collection. Normal protein levels are in the 150s. Your levels are well over 2 thousand, so a labor and delivery nurse will come down to get you and we're going to induce you this morning." And then she walked out.
Since we'd always had 2/4/6 hours in between being told something and it actually happening, Cam crawled into the bed with me and we cuddled and fell back asleep. 10 minutes later the labor and delivery nurse arrived, flipped on the lights and asked if we were ready to go. Cam jumped up and packed up most of our stuff. I got in the wheelchair and upstairs we went. I was hooked up to an entire tree of IVs by 7:15. I had a bag of regular fluids, a bag of pitocin to start the induction, a bag of magnesium sulfate to reduce my stroke threshold due to the toxemia, and a bag of zofran to help with the nausea caused by the magnesium sulfate.
Things went slowly for quite a while. Apparently, magnesium sulfate is also used to stop preterm labor, so it counteracts the pitocin, which meant I was over the max dose of pitocin in about 2 hours and my contractions still weren't regular or very effective. The dr. came in to break my water at around 1:30 hoping that would help move things along. It did, but barely. The dr. had told me that because of my toxemia, I had to have an epidural no matter what because we couldn't risk me being in enough pain to spike my blood pressure and send me into shock/seizure/stroke. I got the epidural at around 4 pm, when they checked me I was at a 4...barely.
From then on out, things really picked up. I took a nap until I was 6 cms. The dr. came in and said that he was going to take his wife out to dinner at a chinese place down the street, but would be back to check me soon. He came back, I was an 8. And my epidural wore off. Not fun. Because we really couldn't have me at risk for a blood pressure increase, the anesthesiologist had to re-dose my epidural 4 times before things got under control. So...many....drugs! About 20 minutes after my Dr. announced that I was at an 8, I turned to Cam and said "Nash just dropped. I want to push." And Cam called the nurse. Sure enough, I was a 10 and completely effaced. I pushed through about 4 contractions, the nurse announced she could see the head and off we went to the operating room. I was on a serious adrenaline rush by this point.
Suddenly, there were people everywhere. Teams of nurses flooded the room, my dr. and another OB from his office were right next to me. Cameron was suited up in a white jumpsuit, the ultrasound machine was to my left. I caught sight of two bassinets and things became far more real.
After pushing through the next contraction, the nurse told Cameron to look because you could see the head. I asked him how far away the head was and he said it was right there. One more contraction and I got through all 3 pushes, the nurse said I was still contracting and could push a fourth time if I wanted to. I said lets go for it and the entire team bore down with me. Nash was here! The doctor turned him to face me. Oh he was beautiful! I watched Cameron cut the umbilical cord and a team of nurses took my little boy to run a few tests to make sure he didn't need any immediate attention.
My focus immediately switched to Gray.
It was a little weird at this point, because my uterus was half empty. There was so much room in there and Gray hadn't dropped yet. I was contracting but I couldn't feel a thing because my uterus wasn't pushing against anything. A few minutes later, Gray dropped and I was good to go. The dr. broke my water again. Two contractions later, my little Gray was here! He came out with his fist above his head and the Dr. had to turn him between the two contractions. That was probably the most painful part of the entire labor. Cameron cut his cord and a team of nurses took him to check his vitals.
Around this time, one of the nurses brought my little Nash back to let me hold. Meanwhile, I delivered the placentas and started losing a lot of blood. My adrenaline was dropping. I handed Nash off to Cameron and assured Cameron that I was only closing my eyes because I was tired, and that he shouldn't worry. There was plenty of reason to worry. Because of the conflicting medications and the extremely high dose of pitocin I was on to get labor going, my body didn't react to the dose of pitocin I was given to shrink my uterus down and stop the bleeding. The next thing I knew I was flat on my back with an oxygen mask over my face and really fighting to stay awake.
The nurse got me some juice and tried to prop me up in the bed, but I was far from ok. I got stitched up and they pumped up the fluids in my IV. Once I was stable, they wheeled me around to the elevator and took me downstairs to the nursery so I could see my beautiful boys. I wasn't able to sit up so they wheeled my entire bed around the nursery. I touched Gray for the first time and said hello to Nash again. And then I went back to my recovery room for the night.
Things weren't good. I had to stay on the magnesium sulfate for 24 hours to watch my blood pressure. Nurses came in over and over again to check my fluids, blood pressure, reflexes, and other vitals. I didn't get a bit of sleep, but I was so tired. The magnesium sulfate apparently does that to you, exhausts you but keeps you from sleeping deeply. The next morning, the nurses brought my boys in to see me. They were healthy and pink and perfect. I still didn't feel very good, but a few hours of being with the boys lifted my spirits so much. We enjoyed our first Saturday morning together (amid more vitals checks and blood draws).
I still wasn't improving, though, so breastfeeding was not an option. It broke my heart. Saturday night I had a 6-hour blood transfusion and got off the magnesium sulfate. Things are much better now. Like all newborn babies, they dropped a portion of their body weight over the first day. Because they don't have a great deal of weight available to lose, they're in the NICU right now to get extra help with feeding. Scary as it was to get the news that they needed to be transferred there, it really is a great situation. They have no other issues and I know my babies are getting enough to eat now. Also, it's more of a breastfeeding bootcamp for me. I get 1 on 1 help from the best lactation specialists and nurses at every feeding and they're working with me to overcome the effects of the magnesium sulfate from the first 24 hours of my babies' little lives. We've already made tons of progress and I am so thrilled.
I truly can't believe they're here and that they are ours! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and while things didn't go exactly as I dreamed they would, I couldn't be happier. We are all here. We are all healthy. We are all happy.