Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight For Preemies

November is Prematurity Awareness Month! The March of Dimes has organized the Fight for Preemies and has encouraged parents of preemies to use November 17 as a day to share our stories and help spread the word about the March of Dimes and how important their mission is.

Most people who are reading my blog already knows our story, but I wanted to share it quickly for those who are new to my blog.

I found out at 11 weeks that I was pregnant with twins and it was definitely a surprise! At that moment I knew the pregnancy was going to be high risk (not to mention I was already considered high risk because of my Diabetes). I knew all of the bad things that could happen, but I tried to not think too much about it and enjoy the pregnancy. Things were going very well in the beginning...I didn't even have morning sickness. Unfortunately, my good luck did not last much past 18 weeks along. I started to efface at about 19 weeks or so, but was told not to worry too much about it yet. Then at about 22 weeks I was measuring 1cm dilated so I was put on modified bed rest at home. I continued to work until about 24 weeks, but then had to quit because I needed more time laying down. At 27 weeks I woke up and just didn't feel right, I was having some cramping so I called the doctor. They told me to go to Labor & Delivery to be put on a monitor to see if I was having contractions. Apparently, I was having some decent contractions pretty regularly (I guess not having kids before means you don't really know what a contraction feels like!). They decided to admit me so that they could keep a close eye on me and the boys. They tried multiple medications to stop my contractions (including Magnesium which is the WORST!) and nothing seemed to help. The doctors and nurses were all getting me mentally prepared to deliver the boys anytime and it was just so scary. I was given two doses of steroids to help the boys' lungs develop quicker just in case I did deliver them early. Finally, they tried one last medication which worked. After having no contractions for 2 days they allowed me to go home on strict bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I spent a total of 7 days in the hospital and was so glad to be home. I had weekly OB appointments and was allowed to go to the bathroom (take 1 shower/bath a day) and that was it. At my 30 week appointment I was measuring 2cm dilated so the doctor told me I would probably be delivering sooner than later. Only 3 days later I woke up at 2am and realized my water had broken! I was so scared. We rushed to Labor & Delivery where they found my water had definitely broken and I was having some serious contractions on a regular basis. The decision was made to admit me and try to keep the boys inside of my as long as possible, but only a few hours later I was being wheeled to the operating room to deliver my boys.

They were born by c-section (both breech) at 30 weeks 3days on August 5, 2007. Zak was born first weighing 4lb 2oz and was 17 inches long. He came out breathing on his own and I was able to see him and kiss him before he was taken to the NICU. Ryder was born second weighing 3lb 1oz and was 15 inches long. He cried very faintly (I didn't hear it, but Ben said he did since he was in the other room with Zak) and then was not breathing on his own. The NICU team intubated him, put IVs in and rushed him to the NICU. I was able to see the isolette wheel by me, but he was buried under blankets and hooked up to the breathing support so I wasn't actually able to see him. Ben went to the NICU and took pictures of my boys for me. I was finally able to get wheeled to the NICU in a wheelchair to see my babies in the later afternoon. I didn't know what to think when I saw Ryder hooked up to the ventilator and all of the Ivs and wires, it was so scary. Then I went to the next room to see Zak. I was surprised, but so excited when the nurse asked if I wanted to hold him! I got to hold Zak that afternoon and loved every moment of it. I was able to hold Ryder about 2 days after their birth once he was off the vent. Both of the boys had pretty easy NICU stays, but there were issues with infection (possible NEC for Zak) and learning to eat. The both stayed in the NICU for 5.5 weeks and came home with apnea monitors and weighing 4lb & 4.5lbs!

Today they both have asthma, but it is controlled with inhalers. Ryder was diagnosed with a genetic disorder (Klinefelter's Syndrome) and has some developmental delays, but we are working with the county Infant & Toddlers program to help him with therapy sessions. Overall, they are both happy and healthy toddlers!


Annie said...

Be a parent of multiple is challenge plus many of them are preemies. My girls also are preemies.

PS: I have a giveaway on my blog, maybe you could use it for Christmas gift.