Corona Virus Quarantine Day #47: 10 years: May 5, 2020
Can I start by saying I wrote this last night when I couldn’t sleep. Can I tell you today was an amazing, incredible, hard and exhausting day. I look forward to tell you about it tomorrow but for today….this sweet trio deserves to hear this story…
You guys…10 years ago today I woke up in a hospital room with four monitors strapped around my belly laying in a bed that was wet from the cold towels I continuously begged Bryan to lay on my body. I felt a hotness that I have never in my life experienced before or after that time. This was going to be the start of my 4th day in the hospital delaying labor. I was 32 weeks and 6 days pregnant with triplets.
This picture was taken 5 days before they were born! I was awesomely huge as Bryan repeatedly suggested.
The doctors had given me a drug called magnesium…which I believe to have been invented by Satan himself. While it’s good because it delays the labor part and when you are 7 weeks shy of a normal delivery every day counts…it is the most horrible wretched experience I had ever had. 3 days of lying in bed having contractions with four uncomfortable, itchy straps monitoring all of our heart beats on my enormous belly with 3 humans moving constantly inside of me. Just to be clear there were 4 monitors because there were three of them and mine heart rate mattered too. While on this wonderful medicine I felt like I was lying on the surface of the sun with a migraine headache. The contractions were a piece of cake compared to that. I also had an IV in my arm because I was not allowed to drink or eat anything in case I had to go into delivery.
I was super unhappy when this picture was taken (notice the fake smile) but now I’m glad I have it. The monitors…so itchy! And now I remember there were 5. 4 heart beats, 1 contraction monitor. By then I could read that damn machine myself.
When the doctor came to check me that morning all looked good and seemed to suggest I could keep the babies in for another day. At about noon I had to go to the bathroom so they had to unhook all of my devices and I struggled to get up. The second I did I knew something was different. I felt a pressure that I cannot describe and I told Bryan to call the nurse in immediately.
Sure enough, Baby A…aka Finley was ready to come out. They could feel his head and she paged the doctors and I was prepped for my emergency C-section.
I begged them to let them stay in longer. I remember feeling a fear that I have never again experienced. I had been warned for months that this very situation was likely to happen, pre-term labor…and I had been celebrated for making it so far…but it wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted more time to let them grow.
Bryan and I had already experienced incredible loss and sadness in our journey to be parents and I was not about to let anything happen to these three humans I had growing inside me. I’m pretty sure I asked the doctor to sew me up…as if that was possible in my situation.
He calmly told me no and I was put prepped for the OR. Bryan, my mom and my very pregnant sister were there. Hunter was born just 10 days later.
The OR was the coldest room I have ever entered in my life. This coming from a woman who had just felt like she had been sitting on the surface of the sun and I have to tell you it felt amazing. I don’t think Bryan agreed. For a man who is always hot, my pregnancy may have been the one time he experienced what it’s like to be me…cold all the time. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me my spinal tap. She complimented me on my spine, which I found very strange (but with the two epidurals I’d get with my other child birth’s I received the same compliment), but I didn’t care what she said as long as she kept my babies safe. I do distinctly remember her saying to hold still. I thought that was amusing because I was sitting up, my enormous belly was contracting and I saw scared shitless.
In a matter of minutes the OR filled up. 26 people besides Bryan and myself. Each baby had a team of nurses and a doctor. I had two doctors who would assist in the delivery and my own nurse, Sarah, who was an angel sent from Heaven. I remember craving red Kool-aid which I can tell you with absolute certainty I had not drank in over 25 years. Weirdness.
I could not feel anything from my shoulders down. That was a strange sensation…or lack thereof. Bryan who was also scared shitless acted like he wasn’t. He held my hand and did not show the horror and fear I later learned he felt watching two grown men tear at my skin as hard as they could to get our babies out safely. He said it was rooted in his mind that it is somewhere between hard to believe and very real and concrete. I now wish we would have filmed it. It would be a weird thing to watch but I kind of want to see it.
The anesthesiologist kept me sane as she gave me a play by play of what was happening because I couldn’t see or feel anything (the feeling came later…and let me tell you…it was quite unpleasant). The surgery itself to get the babies out took 3 minutes, though it felt like 3 hours. Once they had made their incision they pulled Baby A, Finley out and he cried immediately. They held him up like they hold up Simba in the Lion King and took him to his team of doctors and nurses immediately thereafter. One minute later came Baby B…Ellen. They did not show me Ellen and she didn’t make any noise which freaked me out. At that point, Bryan was conversing with her team of doctors and my doctor was reassuring me all was fine. One minute after that….Baby C…Cooper had arrived. 12:58, 12:59, 1:00pm.
I did not get to see Ellen or Cooper before they whisked them away to the NICU. I was deeply horrified by that and slightly traumatized. It was incredibly important to me that Bryan go with our children. I did not want them to be alone. He didn’t want to leave me but I insisted and quite frankly no one was going to mess with me that day…so off he went.
We had asked permission in advance for my mom to come in the operating room once the babies left and I was being put back together. This way…I wasn’t alone, which was important to Bryan.
I owe my mom an enormous apology I suppose because she has to watch them sow my insides back together. I will spare you all the details but when the doctor told me he was going to sew my uterus back into my body and that when he did that it would feel like I was having a heart attack. He reassured me I wasn’t having an actual heart attack and not to panic.
Ummmm ok buddy…this may have been good information to have before this point. First of all…why did they have to remove my uterus? And apparently my intestines. Gross I know..Sorry.
After I was all patched up they took me to recovery where I lay in agony that I had not seen two of my three babies and I didn’t have a cell phone in the room so I had no updates on how they were doing. GOD bless my nurse Sarah who got them for me and reassured me they were fine. I had to be in recovery alone with my nurse so I sent Gaga up to the kids and Bryan. Bryan, my mom and Bryan’s parents all saw Cooper and Ellen before I did. That is of course if you don’t count them rolling past me when they wheeled them out of the operating room…I couldn’t see them or anything else but whatever. I was upset and emotional and had just given birth to three people…I was entitled.
I have to tell you…that didn’t make me happy. I was hyper emotional from just having given birth and it took me a few days to get over the fact that they had all seen them before I did…after all, I had carried them all those months and I had the marks to prove it.
There was so much in this they prepared me for…the post birth scenario was not included. Sarah had to push on my uterus which has just been sewn back in my body…not to mention the hip to hip incision I had in my stomach. That was not my favorite. It was a cruel form of torture in a series of hours that I couldn’t be with my own babies.
When that hell ended Bryan came to retrieve me to take me up to see the kids. My mom snapped a photo of us in the elevator before we went up to see them and it remains one of my favorite pictures of all times.
Seeing them outside my body for the first time, holding them in my arms for the first time is an experience I could never properly put into words. We had waited so long, lost so much before they arrived it was one of the most surreal, magical and perfect moments of my life. They were all three in separate rooms so I visited them in the order they were born. Finley was first. He looked big…being born at 4 lbs. 13 ounces. He had dark hair and cried like a baby goat. He had on a knit yellow hat and was absolutely perfect. Ellen was long and skinny and looked a little like a baby bird. She was fuzzy, very pink in complexion and so incredibly small. Her sweet head fit in the palm of Bryan’s hand. Ellen was the smallest being born at 3 lbs. 15 ounces. Cooper was a mover and shaker from the womb and once outside he didn’t change. I was not allowed to hold him yet but I could put my hand in his incubator and talk to him. When he heard my voice he opened his eyes. Bryan swears to this day that was the first time he opened his eyes. I will always cherish that moment.
When they were in my belly I sang to them, read to them, talked to them ALL the time. I am certain it is why they all enjoy reading and all of them love some form of music to this day! Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Mothers Day was 2 days after they were born. My first Mother’s day I was the mom of 3 beautiful, perfect, miracle babies. The miracle part is a cool story but for a different day.
I am not going to tell you that the weeks that followed this one were easy. They certainly weren’t. I was hospitalized with severe anemia and needed blood transfusions as I had lost half of my blood volume, I was in a great deal of discomfort, the babies all had their own issues with eating, keeping their heart rate normal and Cooper developed a serious infection. One, that doctor described to me would be the parallel of an adult being shot in the stomach.
Never quite got over that one. I distinctly remember wanting to throat punch this man. Thankfully he wasn’t our doctor very long.
Finley was able to come home at 4 1//2 weeks, Ellen at 5 weeks and after 8 long weeks of NICU time, Cooper was the last baby to come home. Having to take your babies home one at at time is a struggle I cannot explain. 10 years ago Overland Park Regional did not allow parents to sleep in the NICU so I spent most of my nights trying to pump breast milk and calling the nurses to check in on them. Sleep was not a part of my life. Those nurses were sent to me from HEAVEN. I really believe that. They were patient and kind, understanding and calm which is totally what I needed. I really believe that GOD has a special place reserved in HEAVEN for nurses and no one can convince me I’m wrong.
Nevertheless, 10 years ago May 5, 2010 was one of the best, most exciting, most terrifying and incredible days of my life.
So many people have walked this journey with us over the years. Our parents, our siblings, our friends, our colleagues, my students and our players. Our kids are immeasurably blessed by all of these people and so are we.
Today we celebrate three of the kindest, sweetest, smartest, most creative and amazing human beings I know. I know that I am biased and I’m ok with that. But today of all days I have to thank GOD for giving us the greatest gift ever…the gift of being their parents.
Please enjoy these pictures from that day so many years ago. Tomorrow I will update you on this tumultuous day we had today!
Finley as he came out in the operating room!
Cooper on the left, Finley on the right. They spent a lot of time under those lights. Especially Cooper and Ellen! These were to prevent jaundice.
This was the first meeting. I had to be wheeled up on a bed over two hours in the torture chamber that was “recovery” but seeing their faces and holding their hands made all that discomfort go away!
Oh my goodness. My heart melts when I look at this. When I first got to hold them. My heart literally burst.
Kangaroo my most favorite thing about the NICU. Babies get to lay on your bare chest. It’s supposed to be good for their heart rate. I know it was good for mine. This was Finley Joe.
The first time they were together outside the womb. I was not there for this experience which did not make me happy at the time…but man….look at those humans. Ellen in the pink and purple hat. Cooper in the green hat and Finley (who looks really tan) in the blue hat. My heart!
Ellen. When they had to wear these mini oxygen masks it broke my heart. There was a lot of stress at this time but I was certain they were going to be fine. They had a lot of powerful prayers coming their way!
That pillow. The nurses always made me put it there to protect the incision! I had just washed my hair. I can remember that first shower…both terrifying yet exhilarating. To be clean!
The first time the three of them were at home together. One of the coolest days ever. I got dressed up! They had special outfits. They had to be over 5 lbs to come home, pass a oxygen test and a car seat test. Cooper was the final baby to come home. I was over the moon excited!
I’ll see you tomorrow with an update on this crazy day and all that ensued. A special thanks to all who came out to make their day special. We will celebrate your awesome tomorrow.
Much love my friends!