Thursday, November 25, 2010

Newsflash: I'm a preemie mom!

Despite all my effort to prevent preterm labor, I crossed the threshhold from pregnancy to motherhood last Friday night -- just shy of 33 weeks. My delivery date goal had been 36 weeks. Friday morning, my OB all but put me on bed rest because he said he could tell I wasn't resting enough. He commanded me to rest more and I obliged, spending all afternoon on the couch. When I went to the bahroom a little before 8 p.m., I discovered a sea of red in the toilet. Called the doctor's office and headed straight to the hospital with DH.

To make a long story short, my water had broken and I was in labor. At around 10 p.m. my OB said, "We're going to have these babies tonight." And I asked, "How soon?" He said in 30 minutes to an hour! He was right -- I got an epidural within about 30 minutes and I was in the OR for the c-section shortly after that.

Baby A, our little girl, arrived first, weighing 4 lbs. 11 oz. and was 17.5 inches long. And Baby B, our little boy, arrived two minutes later weighing 5 lbs. 1 oz. and was 18.5 inches long.

They are in the NICU and will be for several weeks. I'd love to have them home by Christmas, but I don't want them to come before they are ready. DH and I are learning a lot about the medical challenges they are facing, most of which have to do with breathing, their heart rates, and digestion -- all pretty major stuff. However, I think size is on their side. We expected them to be much smaller.

If I could keep my eyes open, I'd tell you more. But I am more sleep-deprived than ever. I got no sleep Friday night, maybe 2-3 hours Saturday night, etc. Getting home from the hospital last night helped -- you get no rest in the hospital! I'm learning to pump my breast milk -- and it's beginning to work! But I'm supposed to pump 8-9 times per day to get things established and be ready for the babies when they learn to breastfeed. Right now they each receive milk through a tiny tube inserted in the mouth -- they're getting a combination of my milk and donor milk, which we started them on because my milk had not yet come in.

I can't end this post without telling you how in love we are with these sweet babies. The boy is beautiful and the girl is feisty. I love it! (We can't really see Baby Girl's face or hair very well because of an apparatus that involves a hat and large tubes that help her breathe. Baby Boy had one, too, but he graduated a few days ago to a simpler setup that allows us to admire his sweet face.) It is hard to believe that they are just five days old.

Needless to say, I am grateful for this outcome. The NICU has its scary moments, and we certainly aren't out of the woods yet. It is overwhelming at times -- the fear that one of them won't make it. But I don't think that's what we are dealing with here.

So, I'm feeling BIG gratitude on Thanksgiving 2010. I think back to one year ago and Thanksgiving was just a week or so after our one-day workup in Denver. What a difference a year makes! I am grateful for my new babies and I'm thankful for all of you who've read my blog and supported me along this journey. What a wonderful community we share.

As I am grateful for the positive outcome I have found, I also carry much hope in my heart for equally positive outcomes for all of you who are still seeking to build your family. Do not give up hope!

Happy Thanksgiving.