Archive | May, 2012

“I’m Going Home” – The Rocky Horror Show

21 May

After finally experiencing the momentous occasion of the birth of my twins, the next big event that I had been anxiously waiting for was to go back home. At 122 days in the hospital, I only had four more days to go until my discharge papers were signed making my entire hospital stay a whopping 126 days! April 25th could not come soon enough and unfortunately, those four little days recovering from surgery were going to be harder than expected.

Immediately after the c-section, I was taken to the recovery room where we got to spend our “golden hour” with the twins and get some good skin to skin contact before they got whisked away to be fully cleaned up and checked out. My epidural was still going strong so I was feeling really good snuggled up with the kids and just taking in the fact that I had successfully accomplished the biggest challenge in my entire life. Then once the twins left, the anesthesiologist started to transition me from my epidural to regular pain medications since we were only going to be in the recovery room for about two hours. The nurses mentioned that during surgery, there was one complication that occurred which was now under control. I had lost a large amount of blood when the two placentas were removed. This occurred because my uterus was not able to work normally since I had been so inactive these past several months. My uterine muscles were atrophied along with all of the rest of my muscles. My doctor had anticipated this outcome so they put in a Bakri balloon to put pressure on the bleeding so that I would not need a transfusion. This life saving device came with a price because once the epidural was turned off, the strongest of medications did absolutely nothing to control the pain from everything I just went through. They gave me Percocet, Dilaudid, Morphine, and Oxycontin to name a few, but nothing could touch this level of pain. After five long hours, they ended up turning back on my epidural which provided the only relief. While this whole ordeal was going on, I sent Brett out with the twins to spend time with our families who were worried about us since I had not been released from the recovery room. Brett soon returned with the twins once I was stable and after a total of seven hours in recovery, I was sent back to my original room in labor and delivery to be closely observed. I did not get to see my family at all since we got back to our room at 2:00am. After two difficult days recovering, we then made the transition to our postpartum room on the other side of the maternity ward where we would spend our last two nights at the hospital.

After all of the months isolated from the real world, April 25th was at last here and the final packing began. Before we officially left, I decided to take a walk around the hospital one last time. Ironically on this day, the hospital started a new program where all of the moms on bed rest would meet twice a month on their gurneys to discuss their thoughts and feelings with the hospital social worker. Apparently, this program was in the works for awhile and my Facebook group helped make these face-to-face meetings more of a priority. I popped into the meeting briefly to say goodbye to everyone and assure them that every single second spent lying in bed was so unbelievably worth it. Once my babies were in my arms, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat regardless of how difficult or long this endeavor had been. It was nice seeing everyone and being able to leave them with hope that bed rest can lead to a very successful outcome in their own pregnancies.

The last and most important things we had to pack up were of course the twins in their brand new car seats which I got to see in person for the very first time. A huge wave of emotion began to hit me as the room started to look empty with all of our things loaded up on carts to take down to the car. Tears began to fall as a wheelchair was rolled in, signaling that my stay was in fact over. It was very surreal to know that my new life was finally about to begin as I sat down in the wheelchair with Ethan on my lap in his car seat. We started to move and Brett walked next to me carrying Ella in her car seat as we both cried tears of joy. Then after 126 days of confinement, my wheelchair was pushed out into the fresh air and I got to see the gorgeous blue sky for the first time since December. I could see the clouds and the sun and human life happening outside of the hospital walls. I then realized just how much this entire experience completely changed my life and the way I view the world. I had given up four months of my life in order to give my kids the chance to live. A very small price to pay for two beautiful, healthy babies who will get to know that life is extremely precious once they have been told the story of how they came into this world.

*The song “I’m Going Home” is from the 1975 Broadway musical The Rocky Horror Show which then became the famous midnight cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank-N-Furter sings this soulful ballad once he finds out that he is being taken back to his home planet but desires to stay on Earth instead. In my case, there was no way I was desiring to stay at that hospital one more minute, and seeing our car pulled up outside ready to take us all back together was so glorious. The entire car ride home both Brett and I continued to cry that at last we were free to be a family. Brett had made the lonely drive back and forth down Pacific Coast Highway so many times coming to visit me. Now, his wish came true that this final drive back home included not only me, but the twins as well. We all made it through this incredible journey with an enormous appreciation for all of the amazing blessings in our life. Don’t dream it…be it!

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My first glimpse of the sky!

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I’m free!!!

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Happy tears as we leave as a family

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A dream come true

“Paciencia Y Fe” – In the Heights

2 May

The day had come exactly four months from when the journey began. I was admitted into the hospital on December 21st and now on the very last day of the 36th week, my babies were finally born on April 21st. While being on bed rest, I have listened to the heartbeats of my twins 244 times and felt them kicking and moving inside of my belly more times than I could count. As I was waiting for the c-section to begin, I could not help but think about how extraordinary it would be to able to meet and hold them after all of this time spent lying in bed.

The night before that amazing day, Brett and I decided to have a date night since it would be our last official night together as a married couple without kids. I was allowed to leave my room and have dinner with him in the family dining room at the hospital. It felt so good just to be able to sit in a chair and eat normally for the first time since becoming bedridden. I definitely will not miss eating lying down with a big towel draped over me. He brought in yummy food from Hillstone which is one of our favorite restaurants and we had a feast with filets and loaded baked potatoes. A much needed break from my usual hospital food dining experience. Dinner was really nice and we got to spend some time out on the patio for some fresh air before going back to the room. After dinner, we arrived in the now famous, room 2524 and the packing up began. Brett started taking all of the decorations off of the walls and little by little, this room went back to the way it was 17 weeks ago. It was very bittersweet in a way because our “Santa Monica studio” had become our new home, but we were so excited to be finally going back to our real home as a family.

The next day, when the time came to go to the operating room, they let me walk down the hall instead of being rolled in which made the start of this next chapter just that much better. Finally on my feet again! My doctor told me how amazed he was that I had gotten this far along in my pregnancy. He, along with all of the nurses were expecting my c-section to be an unplanned event. Typically, women in my situation go into full preterm labor where contractions can’t not be stopped by major drugs and the birth commences with an emergency c-section. This scenario had already happened to some of the other moms here on bed rest, so I always made sure to prepare myself for this kind of potentially scary event. Yet as each week went by, the chances of me delivering too early became less likely and the NICU started becoming a maybe instead of a have to.

In the operating room, I was being prepped for surgery and a sense of calm came over me even though I was being poked and prodded. Then Brett came in and sat down beside me in full scrubs and I knew that the show was about to start. At 5:22pm the first cry was heard from Ella Madison and my own tears could not stop flowing. Then at 5:23pm there was another cry from Ethan Tate and my joyous crying began to echo theirs. Two strong crying babies! They are breathing on their own which means that they could be alright. As soon as Brett came back to me after checking on them he confirmed that they were both very healthy scoring an 8 on their first APGAR test at one minute old and then the score raised to 9 at the five minute mark. No NICU!!! Once they were all cleaned up, they brought them over to me so that I could kiss each one and look at them for the first time. After all of the incredible sacrifice and hard work over the past couple of years, we were finally a family and all of the thousands of minutes spent on bed rest just melted away. Not only were they healthy but everyone in that operating room could not believe their weights! Ethan weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces and Ella weighed 6 pounds even. My petite five foot frame carried over 12 pounds of baby not including the added weight of the two placentas and amniotic fluid sacks. What was even more amazing was the fact that this small piece of string which held my cervix shut for the past four months made this successful outcome possible. My doctor is also an expert at performing the cerclage procedure which drastically helped improved my odds. I heard many horror stories online of poorly done cerclage procedures where the stitch comes loose or falls out, resulting in dire circumstances. When I was being sewn up after the c-section, he was also taking out the cerclage and I requested to keep this miraculous piece of string so that I could never forget how Dr. Tabsh saved the two precious lives of my twins.

*The song “Paciencia Y Fe” is from the 2008 Broadway musical In the Heights which won many Tony Awards including Best Musical. The character Abuela Claudia sings this song about her journey to America from Cuba as a young girl, and how her mother kept telling her “paciencia y fe” which means patience and faith since the transition was very difficult. Since being admitted into the hospital, this song has been playing inside of my head because I knew that patience and faith were two things that I would need to survive this tremendous life event. It was so important to stay positive, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and most importantly…stay in bed!

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Brett taking down the decorations

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Me and Dr. Tabsh the night before the c-section

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The Broadway Babies meet Mommy!

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Proud Papa