Thursday, June 30, 2011

Laura Jane's Experience

Since Matt has had a chance to share his thoughts about bed rest and birth over the last few weeks, I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience of how our two little miracles came into this world.
For the past couple of weeks, my body was so sore and I had completely slowed down. I spent most of Monday morning sleeping. Sometime after 11:00, I felt the urge to go potty. When I sat down the blood gushed. For some reason I had my phone with me. However, I actually had to think about how to dial 911.
The 911 lady was very helpful, though half of the time I was thinking about the fact I hadn't showered, was still in my pajamas, and was trying to put the dogs in their back area. The 911 lady wanted me to stay on the line, but I needed to call Matt. He didn't answer and his office line was too frustrating to try and get the receptionist. Fortunately, Matt's co-worker called me and then gave him the phone. It wasn't long before the fire truck and ambulance showed up. They were followed very closely by our 80-something year old spit-fire of a neighbor wondering "Where's Lilly". The guys were all so nice and helpful. They weren't the typical "hot firemen" though. Oh well! On our way I called Mom and heard from Matt that he was already at the hospital.
I got to the hospital around noon and was quickly surrounded by nurses and doctors. Questions were coming from everywhere. I was apologizing for having not taken a shower and for having just eaten a snack and whatever else I thought I needed to apologize for. I wasn't too nervous since I knew I was in good hands. However, once my doctor silenced the nurses I knew I had already lost too much blood and he was ready to roll.
Dr. Mora was amazing. He let me hold onto him during the spinal that they had told me was going to really hurt. I had been told I could scream, cuss and swear, or whatever. I whimpered a bit as it didn't really hurt. But then it was over and I wondered why they thought it was supposed to hurt. I was told I was "quite the trooper" at that point.
The numbing sensation was really weird and cool until it hit my lung area. My anesthesiologist was amazing and made me feel so much better. I remember Matt coming into the room, but quickly started feeling like I couldn't breathe. I was given something that helped. However, I fell asleep or was just completely out of it and was not aware when our miracles were born. I did hear Talitha and I know I sent Matt to be with Wesley. I also remember Dr. Mora telling me I was now fixed. I believe I did a fist pump and said a big "Thank you." He said, "I've never received that exuberant of a thank-you before."
My babies were here and I was okay. I was pretty exhausted from carrying these two around and the drugs, but fine. I kept being told how impressed the nurses and doctors were with both of us. We were so calm and just went with it all. We never felt the need to panic.
I saw Talitha while I was in recovery before she was taken to NICU. But, I didn't get to see Wesley until much later that night when our wonderful nurse, Matthew, rolled me in there. I am still amazed at how beautiful they both are, and yet how different they are from each other. Talitha is still our aggressive one while Wesley just hangs out but doesn't want to be too far behind his sister.
It's also been fun to watch LilliAnne take on her big sister role. She really wants to stay with us at the hospital "until we come home". She has stayed at our house with grandparents and friends, but I think she is scared I'm going to end up here for a long time like when I went to Everett. She loves being in the NICU with the babies, has introduced herself to another mom in there (though Matt got scolded by the nurse for allowing her to talk to someone else), has gotten to hold both of the babies, and today was singing "Rockabye Baby" and a couple of other songs to them through the incubator doors. She also did "This Little Piggy" on Wesley's toes.
We are all looking forward to going home and starting our life together as the Randall 5.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wait! We're not ready after all!

But we are!

I was going to begin this post on the 27th with a theme of waiting. Pregnancy really teaches patience. Whether it is waiting for the test strip to tell us the news, waiting for what seemed like hours for a few minutes with the doctor, waiting for 5 years for the news that LilliAnne is coming into the world and will be ours via adoption, to waiting through 9 years of infertility to find out we are expecting twins to then having to wait 35 weeks to finally meet them, pregancy is full of waiting.

When it is time, there isn't any waiting involved at all. In fact, from the time I received a phone call from Laura Jane saying an ambulance was on its way to pick her up because of excessive bleeding, to the time Wesley took his first breath, exactly one hour passed. Granted, we had a quick birth because of the praevia, bleeding, and twins and the ensuing c-section. Many others get to wait hours or even days while labor runs its course.

But this post isn't about someone else's experience. It's about ours and thankfully so!

Here's a quick synopsis of the hour of craziness we experienced from 11:36 am to 12:36 pm, Monday June 27, 2011 (plus a few highlights from the ensuing hours).

11:36. I was on a conference call with a client on my cell phone because I was a little late getting back to the office. I noticed my phone blinking and that the caller ID said "Randall, Matt". Having a hunch that it wasn't just an "I'm bored here by myself at home, what are you doing?" phone call, I had my co-worker call her back. Boy am I glad I did that. Not more than a few seconds later, I was told I needed to take the call, traded phones and heard "I'm gushing blood. The ambulance is on its way." I hung up, sat there for a second, and then grabbed a few items from my desk while my co-workers essentially told me I was taking too long to leave. Unfortunately, my phone, and my list of contacts, was one thing I had to leave behind as my co-worker was still on the conference call.

11:48. I arrived at the childbirth center at the hospital. I checked-in with the front desk and found out they hadn't even received the call from the ambulance yet. They pulled her records, called our doctor, and started prepping the Operation Room. I had a few minutes to call Gaga Stacey who had LilliAnne (the only local phone number I could remember!) and let her know what was happening. Then I a drink of water...answered some questions from admission...waited...sat...waited some more...and then realized only a couple of minutes had passed. Then I called Laura Jane in the ambulance and waited a little longer.

12:02. The ambulance pulled up at about the same time as the doctor showed up. They whisked her into a prep room and assessed the situation. I was given the really fun full body gown, booties, and a what essentially amounted to a hair net - for my ever thinning and graying hair...and began getting warm and itching almost immediately. I think 4 people were trying to talk at once (the doc, a couple of nurses, and the anaesthesiologist). I just focused on answering questions, while trying to dress myself (at 35 one would think I could figure out how to pull a gown over my clothes) and realizing that the only camera we had was the ok one on Laura Jane's phone.

And yet, I felt totally at peace with what was going on. So did Laura Jane. I could tell she was just trying to process things and may have been a little scared until the doctor made it clear he was going to go get the babies.

12:10. Called Dad and let him know that the babies were coming (teared up a little with the sudden reality that all the waiting was going to be over VERY soon).

12:12. Watched the doc hush everyone and insist they all move to the OR. That was the last time I saw Laura Jane before they started to get the babies.

12:15. Sitting. Waiting. Watching. Doctors and nurses rushed in. A nurse got frustrated that one of the pediatricians wasn't answering his page.

12:20. Waiting. Lots more rushing. The doctor told everyone to shutup so they could run through the procedural list ("this is Laura Jane Randall. She has complete praevia. Has been bleeding since...etc.").

12:25. Finally allowed to go in and sit by my beutiful bride's head while the anaethesiologist ran her through the drugs she was getting and checked how they were working.

12:30. Laura Jane said she was having trouble breathing, was given something to help that, then nearly fell asleep.

12:36. From behind the curtain, "WAH! Wah! Wah!" "It's definitely a boy!" Through tears, I made sure Laura Jane was ok. She has since said she didn't hear Wesley, but was awake for Talitha.

12:37. An even louder and longer crying stint erupted as Talitha entered the world. So this is what it's like to listen to childbirth. I was sound asleep in a very uncomfortable chair in the waiting room on the day when LilliAnne joined us.

12:39. I finally ventured a look over the curtain, saw placenta, perhaps an organ or two, lots of red liquid, and immediately look up to check on the babies before sitting squarely back down on my seat. Boy, even watching cows, goats, and cats give birth didn't prepare me to see my wife cut open. I admit it. I'm a lightweight!

Shortly thereafter, as I went to snap a picture of the babies, they wheeled little Wesley and his greyish little body out the door to the NICU to help him clear his lungs and breath on his own. Then they stitched up Laura Jane and rolled her to the recovery room with Talitha.

I could write more about the emotions we've experienced since they were born, the many things they went through to get to where they are now (in warming incubators, breathing on their own, with IV's and feeding tubes, but otherwise doing well - just small), and even let Laura Jane tell her side of the story. But we'll just leave you with these photos, a couple of more words, and the promise to write more soon.



Welcome you two. You were worth the wait!