Delivery of Preemie Twin Babies
By Nicole Zimmerman, author of The NICU Rollercoaster
The touching personal story of the delivery of twin preemies.
I was so scared. I was more scared than I had ever been in my whole life. Why was this happening? It was too early. We had fifteen more weeks to go How could we have the babies now? They weren't ready to enter the world. It was an unreal moment that is frozen in my brain. The room appeared very bright and sterile, and Ed hugged me after the doctor had left. We both cried.
How could this happen? Friday, July 7, was just a normal day in a normal life, but now everything was turned upside down. They put all sorts of monitoring equipment on me and raised my feet so that the babies would sty in. They gave me an IV with medicine to try and stop the labor. The labor/ How could I be in labor? None of this made sense. It was way too early. They also gave me a shot that would help the babies' lungs if they couldn't stop the labor. They said the longer they could keep them in, the better off the lungs would be. Ed left to call our parents and the nurse left the room.
I was all alone to thing about what was happening. The hours passed, and the nurses and doctors came in and out. One doctor said," We can't keep you here. We need to get you over to Duke or UNC Hospital where they'll be able to take care of the babies. The NICU here is not equipped to take care of twenty-five weekers." I lay there for several hours and tried to deny the inevitable. I was in labor
I was told that they were going to transport me to UNC Hospitals. They have a level three neonatal intensive care unit that can handle twenty-five-week-old infants. Apparently, twenty-five weeks is close to the cutoff point for human life. These days, a twenty-five weeker is probably going to make it, but an extra week can really make a difference. Twenty-three and twenty-four weekers are much more iffy
The ride to the hospital took forever. One of the EMTs drove and the other stayed in the back with me. I could see the tops of the trees going by out the high windows of the ambulance. The EMT looked at my charts a lot and took my vitals. After we arrived at the hospital, they wheeled me in a back entrance and into a room with a big window looking over Chapel Hill.
A fantastic nurse there, Jennifer, seemed to understand how scared I was, and somehow she made me feel better. A few minutes later, Ed walked in He had followed us to the hospital in our car. At this point, it seemed that they would be able to hold off my labor for a while.
But things soon turned. The resident cheerfully told me, "Nicole, you have dilated to five centimeters. The babies are so tiny that we can't keep them in. To make things more interesting, Julia is in breech position so we'll have do a C-section and soon." This was a very bad dream. For weeks afterward, I kept thinking I might wake up, everything would be fine, and one of this would have happened.
They wheeled me over to the operating room, which was a bright and sterile as the earlier one. A lot of people were milling around - residents, interns, nurses, pediatricians, surgeons, students, and on and on. There were probably twenty-five people in the room. Preparation for the surgery seemed to go on for a long time. They sat me up and gave me a spinal block in my back. It felt so strange. Jennifer stayed with me the whole time and gave me a hug as they did the spinal block. She did a great job keeping me calm. Eventually Ed cam in, and they put a big blanket up, and it was time to deliver the twins.
I started shaking, and one of the doctors asked, "Are you cold?" I'm not sure. I think I'm cold or scared or both."
"Well, it's normal. In any case, shaking and shivering are just side effects of the medication." Still, I was nervous that I would jerk at the wrong moment, and they would cut the wrong place.
The C-section seemed to take a long time. At one point, Ed peeked over the curtain and described how he saw all my insides lying on my stomach. I couldn't see him because they took my glasses, but I'll be at that point he looked a little pale.
Julia came out first at 5:13 p.m., but they didn't show her to me like they do on television. They just scooped her out and rushed her out of the room since it wasn't big enough for me and two babies and all the medical staff.
Ronan came out less than a minute later. They took him over to a corner of the room and started to work on him. I didn't get a real good view, but I heard him cry before thy inserted a breathing tube, or as they say, 'intubated" him. They let Ed go over to the next room and see Julia while they finished up with me. It didn't hurt, but I felt a lot of pressure on my abdomen. They seemed to take longer to put me back together than it took to get the babies out.
The hours ticked by and around 10:00 pm. I demanded to see the kids the nurse said she was waiting for one of the doctors to write a pain prescription for me and everyone was busy. I choose to go anyway. I was not going to wait any longer. It might not have been the smartest decision. Every bump on the way down - moving from carpet to hard floor, going into the elevator - hurt beyond belief. They rolled me into Pod B where we were to spend many, many weeks.
Nicole Zimmerman is the co- author of The NICU Rollercoaster, the touching true story of the early arrival of premature twins and the ups and downs of their 160 days in the hospital. Heart-warming personal preemie blog posts are interspersed with helpful information for preemie parents coping with the issues of very early or small preemies.
Comeunity | Special Needs | Premature Baby/Premature Child
Preemie Books | Special Needs Books | Preemie Shops
Baby | Preemie
Parenting | Preemie
Advocacy | Celebrate
COMEUNITY: Premature Baby Premature Child http://www.comeunity.com/premature>/p>