This Is The Agony Of Having Twins In The NICU
“Oh my,” the doctor said as she was conducting my ultrasound. She sensed our concern and quickly added, “There are two!”
I looked over at my husband who was bouncing our 3-year-old and 1-year-old simultaneously on his lap to prevent them from throwing a fit. We locked eyes and exchanged looks of shock and excitement. From that moment on, our twin boys have taken our life by storm, beginning with their bumpy arrival.
At 28 weeks and 4 days pregnant I woke up in the middle of the night (time to pee…again). As I sat up and began to walk to the bathroom, I made a disturbing revelation — I had already peed. Seriously? But the more I thought about it the more I realized there was a chance that my water may have broken.
I drove myself to the hospital since our kids were sound asleep. I assumed I would be returning home soon to laugh with my husband about how I went to the Emergency Room over a bedwetting incident. But after a quick test revealed amniotic fluid had in fact leaked, I was given steroid injections and put on hospital bed rest.
Flash forward to 30 weeks pregnant…
I awoke at 2 am. I had to pee (again). As I sat up, I realized that my hospital bed was soaked. I figured this time I really had done the unthinkable. I called for my husband who had decided to stay the night with me since his mom was in town helping with the kids. He hopped up to help me to the bathroom. As soon as I stood up I knew something was terribly wrong. We turned on the bathroom light and saw what looked like a crime scene…blood all over my bed, pooling onto the floor from my legs. He ran out of the room to alert my nurse.
I remember her running into the room and talking on her work phone. We could gather from her call that the doctor was delivering another baby at the moment. I felt the blood pouring out and tried to stop it. When she got off the phone, I asked her if I was going to die. She said, “Just hold on, Sweetie.”
I told my husband to take care of the kids and never stop talking about how much their mama loved them. The rest of the night is a blur, although I distinctly remember being in the operating room lying down with my hands strapped to the side while they slathered my stomach with iodine. I was terrified they were going to start the surgery right away and yelled, “I’m still awake!” The anesthesiologist put his hand to my cheek and said, “We know, honey, don’t worry.”
When I awoke, I felt like I was outside of my body. The neonatologist was explaining everything that happened. Both of the boys were delivered safely. But Cannon had ingested a lot of blood into his lungs and stomach from my placental abruption. And Bennett had suffered a small brain bleed. They had a long road ahead. She told me that I lost a lot of blood, but that I had about 60 percent more blood volume than normal from my twin pregnancy. In other words, I had plenty of blood to spare.
Bennett and Cannon were born at 3 lbs. 10 oz. and 3 lbs. 4 oz., respectively. They were in the NICU for a total of 63 days. I can still hear their monitor alarms sounding off in my head. When they finally came home from the NICU, they were on oxygen for six weeks.
Bringing home two babies who have stopped breathing too many times to count during daily NICU visits was terrifying. I asked the nurses if they recommended buying a monitor to use at home and they convinced me it was a terrible idea between the false alarms and overall sense of worry it would create.
At six weeks they had perfect oxygen levels, and we finally ditched the tanks.
Flash forward almost three years…
Bennett and Cannon are doing so well, we often forget about their scary entrance into this world. They have chubby cheeks and cause major trouble together, just as we imagined they would (more trouble than we ever imagined, actually). They are as healthy as we desperately hoped and prayed they would be. And we couldn’t be happier and prouder to be their parents.
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