Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Five Years Ago....

Five years ago today .....
  • I had been on bedrest for eight weeks
  • The last two were in the hospital on a Magnesium Sulfate drip
  • WARNING: DON'T READ THIS ITEM IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH! I had endured major humiliating indignities all to keep my two precious boys inside of me a little bit longer, the main one being that the area between my legs had become so incredibly swollen that the nurses all used to come in with various remedies for me to try, all telling me they had never seen anything like it before. It eventually got to the point where it took FIVE nurses to get me off the bed onto the extra wide commode they put right next to it for me to pee: two on each leg (to make sure my legs didn't close at all) and one behind me.
  • In the early morning of February 28th the nurses came in to tell me that it is within my right to refuse medical treatment, and that if the doctors don't agree to do an emergency c-section that morning, they would go over their heads to the chief of obstetrics in the hospital.
  • As soon as the doctors came on duty that morning, they spoke with the nurses, came in a did a cursory exam of my body, and told me they were doing an emergency c-section in an hour. This is after they had responded to my mom's request that I be examined earlier in the week by glancing under the covers, saying that lots of women pregnant with twins get swollen, and leaving.
  • They tried to catheterize me but the amount of swelling made it physically impossible to do. My husband arrived that morning to the sounds of my screams as they tried for fifteen minutes to make this happen before they gave up.
  • The doctors attempted to give me a spinal but the amount of swelling was so extreme that I was no longer able to sit up.
  • I was given a general and the boys were taken out as fast as possible as soon as I was out, within seconds of each other. They were six weeks premature.
  • While DH was watching from behind the glass, he witnessed a big splash as my bladder ruptured. He continued watching in amazement as they paged a urologist STAT to do emergency repairs.
  • A weighed 5 lbs 4 oz.
  • B weighed 5 lbs 6 oz.
  • They were taken immediately to the NICU and given C-Pap to help them breathe, but only for that first day and night.
  • Supposedly I was wheeled through the NICU to see them after I woke up from my general, but I sincerely have no memory of this whatsoever.
  • I began pumping as soon as I could sit up that day (whew, what a relief to be able to do that again) and was amazed at how much it HURT!!! But I kept it up every two hours and eventually it stopped hurting. Those first couple of days were so incredibly frustrating - I knew I had to do this to force my milk to come, but I was physically unable to get out of bed so I needed to ring for a nurse each time I had to pump. And each time I pumped I got a little bit more, but in the beginning it was literally a drop of collostrum. Some of the nurses acted as if this was a waste of time, but others encouraged me, stressing how this was liquid gold and that every little bit helped.
  • I was allowed to see my babies the next day and one of the nurses took Polaroids of me holding first one boy, then the other, then both together. I looked at these as I continued pumping every two hours.
  • I had a long recovery, so I guess it ended up being a good thing that the boys had to stay in the NICU for a couple weeks. I ended up needing physical therapy to walk again - had a walker that I used for those first two weeks and a wheelchair that I used whenever I returned to the hospital to visit. And of course, my catheter bag stayed with me for a good couple of weeks so my bladder could heal. Since all the swelling went to my legs and feet, it was probably a good thing that I didn't have to get up to pee!

I look at the boys now and find it impossible to mesh the picture in my mind of them in the NICU with how they look today. It's amazing how big and strong and active and verbal they are.

B is my sensitive child. He gets worried when people (whether real or on tv/in stories) do the wrong thing. And he always comes up with great ideas, which he announces by saying, "I've got a great idea!" He loves building things with legos and blocks, and is currently in love with the musical "Joseph" and performs bits of it for us every night.

A is my challenging genius. We figured out this year that he has Asperger's which finally explained so many of his behaviors that we just couldn't understand. Now we know that, for example, he just can't help himself from touching electronics, so we have been working on adapting the environment so he doesn't have access to things like the computer, and teaching him strategies to help him find other things to do when he feels the compulsion to touch stuff he shouldn't touch. He is now such an incredible reader that while he's not interested in sitting down and reading bigger books like we know he is able, he can read all mail we receive and read what I write as I write it! He loves to sing and dance and clearly has the music in him!

I love listening to them talk to each other and play together. I'm so glad that I had twins first - they learned to share and compromise so early really because I gave them no other option. They are both so incredibly affectionate and outgoing I just have to laugh.

I feel so blessed that God allowed me to finally conceive these two incredible boys and carry them almost to term after five long years of trying. Hard to believe that it was about ten years ago when we started our journey to become parents. So many twists and turns happened along the way, but ultimately I'm so grateful things happened when they did, even if I couldn't see it at the time.

Happy birthday to my beautiful boys!


M-j said...

Happy birthday boys!
Wow! What a story! I am hurting just thinking about what you went through!

Perky said...

Happy birthday, Aaron & Brendan!!! Mazel Tov, Rachel on five years with your miracle boys!

Anjali said...

A Happy, Happy Birthday to your darling sons! As I read what you went through to give birth to them, I'm humming, "Did you ever know that you're my hero?"

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Aaron and Brendon! Once again I am reminded of how much I admire you Rachel, you are an amazing woman, a wonderful mom, and the best friend I could ask for :-) Love you.
Aunt Nicole

Lauren said...


Gee, you went through a lot. So glad you don't remember the details, ha.

This encapsulates a lot of the wonder and agony of parenthood.

Happy 5th to your boys.

Garry said...

Happy Birthday! I have two birthdays coming up in April. We have 3 kids and my son will be 9 and our little baby girl will be 1.