It had been an ordinary day for me. Work, during the day, then attend a breastfeeding class (oh, the irony), take a baptism seminar at our church and then home for a nice warm bath before bed.
KICK. POP. GUSH.
“Did I really just pee myself? “ I thought as I got up to the bathroom. That’s when it hit me, my water had broken. I quickly calculated in my head and realized I had just turned 30 weeks, that day. Thirty weeks, that’s too soon, I thought to myself with a pang of fear crossing my heart. I had little time to linger on that thought as I yelled to JG to call the doctor.
Doctor: What happened?
Me: I think my water broke.
Doctor: How many weeks are you?
Doctor: What position are the girls in?
Me: Same position as your wife’s twins were when she gave birth (incredible how I remembered this tidbit in the midst of trying to refrain from freaking out.)
Doctor: Oh, right. I see… Okay, you’re going to go to the ER and I’ll meet you at the hospital. Let’s make sure your water did really break and we’ll take it from there.
ME: Okay, see you soon.
As I stood in my bathtub (I didn’t want to leak all over the place) JG frantically threw a bunch of things into my LeSportsac bag and all I could do was stand there and think a million things…
*Damnit, why didn’t I pack my bags sooner?
*God, I’m 30 weeks, is this normal?
*Why won’t the water stop gushing out?
*What am I going to wear to the hospital?
*Should I call my mom?
*Are the girls really coming this soon?
*Keep it together, Stephanie, Keep it together!!
As we ran out of the apartment and made our way across 195 to our hospital, all I could think was God, please protect my girls and let this go smoothly. JG dropped me off at the ER entrance and as he went to go park, I stood there again trying not to panic while holding a towel around me (admittedly I felt a little embarrassed as water continued to leak, but then again I figured these people have seen it all).
Once I got wheeled into the nursery things started to unravel quickly. I was admitted and then sent into triage where the nurses began to set me up with IVs, take blood pressure, check me down there, etc.
Sure enough, my water had broken. Okay, so now what?
The nurses proceeded to tell me that I had dilated 2cm and that the doctor had ordered to try and stop my contractions, which at this point started to feel like mild period cramps.
By 7am, my contractions had not stalled at all and in fact, had proceeded to get worse and worse (ladies, think period cramps times a thousand). My doctor(s) came in and informed me that I would indeed deliver today and to prepare for a “vag” delivery (which we had determined previously I would try since both girls were head down).
At this point, I went ahead and received the epidural which was heaven sent and by 1:20pm, “Gabs” had been born, followed by “Via” who was born 7 minutes later. It was definitely top three experiences of my life with JG right be my side coaching me the entire way.
The girls were immediately transferred to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) where they spent a total of 6 very long weeks. To say this was one of the hardest experiences of my life is an understatement, but luckily our dolls did excellent and had minimal complications.
Over the past few weeks we've seen the girls grow and improve more and more each day. They went from needing assistance with breathing and antibiotics inside the NICU, to breathing on their own and feeding just like full term babies. They have since passed all of their tests including hearing, vision and head trauma.
|Daddy holding hands with Via for the first time.|
|Mami holding Gabs|
While they still have the occasional BradyCardia from time to time (newborns sometimes get lazy and forget to breathe… but this is normal and they recover quickly although it gives mom and dad heart attacks every time) we are ecstatic to finally have them home. Sure 16 bottles every 24 hours is exhausting, but just to have them home, we feel like the luckiest people alive.
As far as personalities, we already know that Via is a sweetie pie who is very "tranquila" and loves to sleep and sleep! She loves to have her head rubbed and sucks on her pacifier just like Maggie Simpson. Gabriela is a feisty one with a big personality. She even earned herself a couple of nicknames from the NICU nurses including "Diva" and “Jalepeño Pepper”. She also likes to sleep in various yoga poses with her hands extended above her head and legs crossed. They both love to stare at us with their big beautiful eyes!
At this point there is no denying they look like daddy but only time will tell if there's more of mommy in there. :) Our babies are a true blessing and we’re so excited for this new phase in our lives. Thanks to all for your continued prayers and support.
Side note: If you’re a “NICU mom” then I applaud you for your courage and strength. It takes something special to be a good NICU mom and I know how difficult this process can be. All I can tell you is hang in there, babies are wonderful and resilient and grow quickly.
A special shout out to the NICU moms I met @ Mt. Sinai and all of our NICU nurses. You all have our hearts!