Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life in the nicu- part one

First of all, we were in the nicu with the girls for 9 weeks (Caroline) and 12 weeks (Josie). Looking back now, I wonder " who the heck were those people and how in the hell did they get through that?" I now know that I was living in a God fog! Our God is so good that he never allowed me to doubt his complete control of our situation! When we first started to get acclimated to nicu life, the staff would tell us of the roller coaster of emotions that we could expect. Of course, we would never quite know until we actually experienced it for ourselves. Those emotions included happiness, sadness, relief, confusion, frustration, anger, joy, sorrow, helplessness, exhaustion, and complete love! One of the moments that come to mind ( at this time) are Caroline's heart surgery: Caroline was 23 days old when they told us that her PDA valve, which had closed earlier with meds, had reopened. Our only option for successful treatment was for them to perform a PDA ligation surgery. We were told that she would be transferred to kosair downtown for the surgery and that they would go through her back laproscopically through her ribs and tie off the valve surgically. Wow! To think about this procedure now blows my mind. A 23 day old baby who weighed right at 3 lbs going in for heart surgery? Albeit a "minor" surgery in their eyes, still a heart procedure! But for some reason ( my God fog) I was fine and knew that this is what needed to be done for my baby. The surgery was successful and we were back at suburban, but not until after a 5-day stint at kosair. We were relieved to be back with the staff we had grown to know and love and our sweet sister Josie.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shame on me! Catch up time!!!

Well...all I can say is that I am a complete slacker when it comes to this blog! Because I am now a busy mom of three baby girls, I lack the time it takes to document. I feel like I am starting to forget important details and I am far from being able to do the girls baby books like I would want. Due to this reality, I am going to revamp my blog for memory's sake! I will be using my best memory to back track over the next several posts.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The crazy week that changed our lives forever!

First of all, I apologize for the delay in getting all our excitement posted!!
We will rewind back to Thursday 4/29, the date of my last doctor's appt...
On Thursday 4/29 We had a doctor's appt at 2pm to check the growth of the girls and to check my cervical length. The ultrasound of the girls looked great and they were growing just as they needed to be. Next they did the ultrasound to check my cervix. When the tech hesitated with the instrument and quickly took some photos and ended the procedure, we knew something was not right. She then explained to us that I had no cervical length and that the doctor would need to come and speak with us about our options.
When our doctor came into the room he let us know that I would be admitted directly to the hospital for complete bedrest and be put in Trendelenberg (spelling?) position meaning that my feet would be positioned 8-12 inches above my pelvis. They called this laying on my head. Of course, overwhelmed, I started to cry as they prepared a wheelchair to take me next door to the hospital.
Once I was checked in the questions started to flood my mind. How long would I be there? What are the next steps? How would the babies be?
I stayed in this position day and night, to eat, change clothes, use the restroom. You name it! I was not allowed out of the bed or to even sit up. Let's just say that this was not the ideal life for me.
We continued to live this new life until early Saturday (Derby Day!) morning when I was woken up by awful pains in my back at about 6am. The nurses let me know that I was starting to contract. They quickly gave me a shot to stop the contractions and gave me a muscle relaxer to relax my uterus and keep it from contracting. I was then told that we would just need to wait and hope that my water didn't break too soon.
After this drama I was told that someone would be giving me a bath and washing my hair that morning...hallelujah!!! This was probably the best thing that I had heard in days!
After my bath, as I was putting clothes on I suddenly felt like I had peed on myself. Knowing that I hadn't peed on myself I realized then that my water had broken. The nurses soon confirmed this and said that our plan would know be to keep the girls inside as long as possible. They would continue the muscle relaxers and monitor me for infection. At this time I felt like a ticking time bomb and didn't really know what to expect as they had said that women under these circumstances had been in my position for up to 2 weeks before delivery.
We made it through the rest of the day betting on Derby races and came out about even- thank God! We had several visitors on Sunday and it was nice to see some of our friends and family. After everyone left on Sunday at around 5:30 or so, my back pains came back. The pain was not registering on my contraction monitor and one of the nurses thought that it could be a back ache from being in the bed so long. I was convinced that these pains were the same as the previous. My doctor finally decided to check me at around 6:30. They were surprised to find that I was 4 centimeters dialated and that Miss Caroline was trying to kick her way out. They could feel a foot and a knee trying to come out.
At this moment about 8 nurses rushed into my room to prep me for the OR. Tears started rushing down my face uncontrollably. I had known that this moment would come but was unprepared for the urgency. Poor Dan tried his hardest to keep me calm, but was not allowed in the OR until the spinal block was done.
After all things calmed down the emergency c-section started with Dan and about 15 others (nurses, doctors, etc) in the OR. The girls were out so quickly both being born at 7pm and 7:01pm. They were so small but crying (a great relief to me!)
Dan went with the girls to the NICU as the crew stitched me up and took me to recovery.
The next 7 or 8 hours were quite a blur for me. Dan tells me that he greeted all of our family while I was in recovery and, once the girls were stable, took them all up to see them in the NICU.
All I remember is falling asleep in recovery then getting transported to my room. I was helped by a wonderful nurse that I never saw again during the duration of my stay. She got me settled in my room and by then all of our family found my room. I was still a little hazy at this point but do remember seeing everyone briefly. By the time that everyone left it was about 1am. I was then wheeled in a wheelchair to the NICU to meet my daughters!
They were born at 27 weeks exactly and were 2 lbs even and 2 lbs. 3 ozs. They were so tiny and perfect. They were both started on ventilators, which they were both weaned within the first 2 days. Both also needed to be under the billi lights for the first 5 days or so. At first sight they looked so scary with all of their tubes, wires, and the shades over their eyes to protect them from the lights.
We were so happy, but still very unsure of all that had gone on that night. I was extremely tired as well.
The next couple of days went by so quick with several visits from loved ones and visits from my floor up to the NICU. We were discharged on the next Thursday, 5/6, and the girls will need to stay in the NICU until they get big enough to come home. The doctors feel that this will be 8-10 weeks or so.
In my next entry I will discuss life in the NICU and since the girls were born.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers for our precious new family. We are so blessed to announce the early arrival of our sweet baby girls- Josephine Jane Safley and Caroline Kathleen Safley.
We love you all and can't wait for you to meet them!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Pics

Pics of the girls room so far and the pics from our last visit on Friday 3/29...enjoy!












Monday, April 5, 2010

Bed Rest....

Well...Four weeks ago, at our last post, the doctor looked at my cervical length which was 2.3 centimeters, and asked if I was still at work. AHH!!! "Yes, I am still at work" I said. She told me at that point that she wanted me back in every two weeks to check the lenghth of my cervix.
After that day, Dan and I decided that we would get proactive about the situation and that I would go on self-prescribed part time bedrest. To us, this meant that I would work and then come home and get in bed.
When we went back two weeks ago they measured my cervix and it had lengthened!!! It was up to 2.8 centimeters and the doctor said to keep up the good work. He really liked what he saw. Dan and I were on a complete high that we had received yet another small miracle.
We were feeling very confident when we went to the doctor this past Friday. This day we would be able to see the babies again along with checking my cervical length. They started the visit with the ultrasound of the girls. They look great and are at 44% growth which is about average for twins. They weigh approximately 1 lb and 3 ozs each and have strong heart rates. After the ultrasound of the girls they did a vaginal ultrasound to measure my cervix. For the first time during one of these ultrasounds I saw a foot in the picture!!! I quickly said that I didn't think that looked good. The ultrasound tech agreed with me and told me that my cervical length had shortened to 1 cm. This was such a jump from 2 weeks before that it was shocking to everyone. She mentioned that she thought that the doctor may put me in the hospital. Of course this brought tears of fear, confusion and desperation on my part. She sent us across the hall to see the doctor and mentioned that we needed to be put in a room to lay down.
Once the doctor got a hold of our ultrasound pics and report he brought us into his office to give us the news that I would need to be put on full time bedrest with only activity to be using the restroom and to take a shower. He has also prescribed a progesterone shot that Dan will be giving me once a week to help strengthen my cervix.
Pretty much he told us that it was critical that we don't have these babies within the next 3-4 weeks. He would like to see me get to at least 30 weeks. I am currently at 23 weeks.
I called work this morning to break the news and get my short term disability claim started.
I have started a list of things that I want to accomplish while I am down. Any good book or movie suggestions are welcome along with social visits. I am taking appointments to hopefully keep me from going crazy. One of my girlfriends is going to bring over her sewing machine and give me a lesson. I may look into making some things for the girls as well as organizing pictures, making phone calls and doing lots of praying!
I am not leaving this bed for a while, so please feel free to call and chat or email me. Please remember us in your prayers because we know that we have a good God that will always take care of us as he always has. It is a little scary, but we are very hopeful that God will continue blessing our family with more and more miracles to come!
I promise pics in the next post~

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Videos

Dan and I went to the doctor again Friday! We are starting to get used to going every 3 weeks now. We are so lucky to be able to see our girls as much as we get to. It is such a fun thing for us to look forward to. They are getting so big! The sonographer mentioned today that she was shocked at how much room that they both have. The girls were stretching out and really making lots of movement today. They both are very healthy looking and we are so blessed. They did check my cervical length and are still satisfied with the workings of my procedure (cerclage) thus far. I am almost 19 weeks pregnant and have gained about 10 pounds thus far. I am starting to come to grips with the fact that this belly is getting larger. Dan and I startted our baby classes at the hospital. These will last about 2 months with the way that we have them scheduled. We are learning so much. The classes are very informative and help us to feel a little more prepared (if that is possible...) Attached is the video that they gave us today. It is a bit long (just a warning). We will be heading back in two weeks just to check my cervical length and then again in another 2 weeks for a full ultrasound to check out the girls again. Thanks so much for continuing to keep us in your prayers. We definitely feel all the blessings that God is pouring over us!
video
video

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Girls, Girls, Girls

Yes, you heard correctly! Dan and I found out late last week that we are having two baby girls! We are completely thrilled. I have to be honest, this is what I was praying for! After growing up with sisters, I have to say that I would be sad to have a daughter that didn't have the chance to have a sister! Mine are so precious to me and I know that our girls will be so close. I am so happy to be their mommy! What a great day that was!
Dan is super excited and had guessed this outcome all along. Ever since we got married and even mentioned children, he has been convinced that we would have 3 little girls. Well, we are 2/3rds of the way there now! He is going to be the best daddy! I told him that he was going to have 2 of the best friends he could ever want in his two daughters. I know that my sisters and I are so close to my dad and I hope that for my new crew!
A couple of weeks ago I joined a club here in Louisville for mothers of twins. This past weekend they had a big consignment sale and my mother-in-law, Donna, and I went together. This was quite the adventure as it was kind of like the blind leading the blind, or dumb and dumber as she stated! We laughed hysterically as we went from section to section wondering what several of the items even were- it was a hoot! We did however leave with some treasures for the baby girls- 2 very nice car seats and a fabulous glider for their room! I also had the chance to meet some great girls who were very encouraging and super sweet. I think that I am going to like being a part of this group.
We have our next doctor's appt on 3/11. Until then please continue to pray for us and our sweet angel girls! We are all so excited for you to meet them~