Corona Virus Day #240: Preemie Day?!?!?: November 17, 2020:
Who knew this was a thing? Not me! But, since it is, and we need to focus on happy thoughts, I’m going to tell you about my favorite preemies…Finley, Ellen and Cooper Dorsey.
When Bryan and I found out we were pregnant with triplets I think Bryan was in shock and I was more immersed in gratitude, Bryan got there…but hearing “how about 3 babies” is not something anyone prepares you for! Most people don’t know our whole story and it’s a long one that maybe I will someday tell here. But for now…I’m gonna keep it focused on the positives…our 3 little bundles of joy, Finley, Ellen and Cooper Dorsey.
They were born on May 5, 2010. The day they arrived I had been in the hospital already for 4 days because of pre-term labor. Our doctors had been giving me magnesium, which I’m here to tell you, is the Devil’s drug. Only someone who wants a person to suffer would give this drug to a very pregnant woman.
I had four monitors tired around my very large belly, one for me and three for the babies. The doctors wanted to make sure no one was in distress while monitoring my contractions. I was not allowed to eat or drink during the day for 4 days in case I needed to go to emergency c-section. I wasn’t that interested in food but I really did want to have water dumped on me repeatedly because that drug, the Devil’s drug, it makes you feel like you are sitting on the surface of the sun. I’ve never in my life felt so hot. Bryan was laying cold towels on my bed and body while he froze to death in our, what he tells me was a freezing cold hospital room.
On that third morning the doctor came in to check me and see if I had dilated any more. He said I was good to go and left me there to wait. For the record, I was totally cool with waiting. I wanted those babies to stay in my belly as long as possible. When I went into the hospital I was 32 weeks and 2 days pregnant, when you have a multiple pregnancy you literally count every single day and I was counting every single day.
About 10 am I needed to use the restroom so I stood up, released myself from all of the monitors and headed to the bathroom. The second I stood up I knew something was off. I told Bryan to call the nurse, who came in to check me for like what seemed like the 300th time since I got there 4 days prior. It didn’t take long for her to say, page the doctor. She could feel baby A, aka Finley’s head. I learned that wasn’t good news and that simply pushing him back in wasn’t an option.
No, no, no, no, no was all I could say. I wasn’t ready, they weren’t ready, it was too soon. I was now 32 weeks and 6 days pregnant. My mom, pregnant sister and Bryan were all there with me when I got this news. I was panicked…I’m not going to lie.
From here it all happened so fast. They prepped me for surgery and I reminded my nurse that after the babies were born Bryan was to go with them and leave me. Thankfully our doctor agreed to allow my mom in the room once all the babies had cleared to be with me while I quite literally got put back together.
Finley arrived first. They held him up Lion King style (and no, this is not a joke). I saw him for maybe ½ a second and they whisked him away. Ellen came next and I didn’t even get to see her, followed by Cooper, who I also didn’t get to see. The doctor assured me they were all fine and that their nurses and doctors were attending to them. Did I mention there were 26 people in my operating room? It was crazy. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.
Bryan said that watching these babies be born was an absolute miracle. When he describes it to me, I’m not sure how he didn’t pass out. It sounded awful and my body can attest to just how much they pulled what used to be my stomach because I was a different kind of sore when the spinal tap wore off.
Perhaps the worst part of the whole ordeal was that I didn’t get to see them or hold them until hours after they were born. I went to recovery…which was more like my own personal version of hell. They sewed me up and then proceeded to press as hard as they could on my stomach and uterus to help the swelling go down. Let me tell you, when someone cuts your pelvis from hip to hip and them sews you back together then they tell you they need to push on your newly sewed up mid section…it’s not a good time. But the second I saw those tiny humans all that pain went away.
Finley was born at 12:59 at 4 lbs 13 ounces.
Ellen was born at 1:00 at 3 lbs 15 ounces.
Cooper was born at 1:01 at 4 lbs 7 ounces.
The 12 lbs. of baby, three placentas, plus all the water explained my rather large belly or at least that’s what I tell myself!
If you don’t believe in miracles, you should have a baby or witness a child birth. If that doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will. Watching these three miracles move in my belly before they were born was really something to see. My stomach looked like there were snakes in there. Cooper definitely moved the most, followed by Ellen who I think mostly moved to kick Cooper out of her space and Finley was the most chill. If you know them, this sounds about right.
I will never in my life forget that elevator ride up the NICU in my hospital bed to see those little humans. I insisted I be taken up there as soon as they could get me out of recovery. They were not in the same room so I had to see them one by one which was bitter sweet. I visited them in the order they were born.
When I got up there…Finley looked big, even though I know he was not. I didn’t get to hold him. But he looked at me and we chatted about how much I loved him and how grateful I was for him. When he cried he sounded like a baby goat, which strangely, made me feel like he was going to be just fine.
Ellen on the other hand looked like a tiny baby bird and made no noise. Her head was smaller than the palm of my hand, I didn’t get to hold her either. But I did sing her songs and hold her tiny little hand and tell her how she was going to grow up to be a fierce, confident and beautiful girl.
Cooper looked just like Ellen in boy form, tiny, bird like and perfect. Bryan said that the first time Cooper opened his eyes since he’d been up there was when he heard my voice. I didn’t get to hold him either, but I sang him songs, held his hand and told him how much I loved his sweet little face.
Also, in the moments of this first meeting, I cried and cried and cried the happiest of tears. So did Bryan, so did my nurse (the one taking care of me, her name was Sarah). It was a pretty awesome moment.
Our dream of being parents had finally come true. The journey to get there was not in anyway what we thought it would be, but GOD has a plan and we just have to go with it!
Can I pause for a second and give a shout out to everyone at Overland Park Regional Hospital who took care of me and our babies. Those 8 weeks we spent in the NICU were long and stressful. But…if not for the NICU nurses I may have lost my mind. They were amazing, incredible human beings. When I called them in the middle of the night they didn’t act annoyed, some even let me talk through the phone to the babies when they were being fed their bottles. 10 years ago when they were born, parents weren’t allowed to stay and that nearly killed me. But…the nurses made it bearable and I’m so grateful. I truly believe there is a special place in HEAVEN for nurses. This experience proved that even more so.
So, on national preemie day, happy preemie day to my favorite preemies…Finley Joe, Ellen Anne and Cooper Claerhout. You three weren’t the first to make me a mommy but you were the first I got to hold in my arms…a moment I will never, ever forget and one I will always be grateful for.