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Pregnancy Complications

Success Stories - Laraine

Three months after having a miscarriage in my eleventh week of pregnancy due to a chromosome abnormality, I found out that I was seven weeks pregnant and this time with twins. Of course, I was a wreck being that I was not planning on becoming pregnant so quickly after having my miscarriage. I was reassured by the doctors that there was no need to worry and that it was the beginning of a great pregnancy being each baby was in its own birth sac, each having their own placenta, etc. So after two weeks of being in shock that not only was I pregnant again but this time with twins, I decided to make the best of it and to not worry.

Due to the previous miscarriage and becoming pregnant with twins, I was advised to see not only my regular OB but also a team of high risk specialists. This meant that I was being seen pretty much bi-weekly by one of the two teams. My husband and I ran the entire gamet of genetic testing/counseling to be sure of avoiding any problems. We were assured that everything looked fantastic and there was nothing to worry about.

I can remember my 20th week visit to the high risk doctor, where they performed the task of measuring every little part and organ of the babies to determine any abnormalities. The visit was great and the doctors was extremely pleased with this "perfect twin pregnancy". Well, exactly 12 days later I found myself having severe lower back pain at about 3AM. I did not think of it as a sign; I just assumed since I was measuring about 36 weeks due to there being twins, that I was just getting more uncomfortable. At about 8AM after not really sleeping much, I felt as if I needed to have a bowel movement. I went to the bathroom and all of a sudden felt something bulging from my vagina. Scared to death, I screamed for my husband, who immediately called my OB. Since at this point there was no bleeding, she advised us that it may be the pressure of the twins and to come right in but not to worry. At this point, due to this being my first pregnancy, I did not then realize that the back pains were pretty much contractions in my back and they were about 6 minutes apart.

We arrived at the office and I as usual gave a urine sample and to my complete shock and surprise there was blood everywhere. As you can imagine, I was a complete bundle of nerves and scared to death. My OB quickly put me in the stirrups and did not even have to insert the speculum because she immediately saw my water bag in the vaginal canal. She too at this point looked extremely worried. She quickly checked my chart and her exact words statement was "she is 23 weeks and 1 day we have got to get her to the hospital immediately to try and save these babies." We did not even wait for an ambulance since the medical center was thankfully around the corner. My husband drove straight to the ER where they waiting my arrival and I was rushed to L&D, put in trent position (which is pretty much the head of the bed lowered to about a 50 degree angle to keep gravity from bring the water bag any lower than it was) and given about 400 mg. of magnesium every hour for the next 12 hours to stop the contractions. For those of you who have been on mag, it is not a very comfortable drug. Thankfully, it did its job and slowed my contractions from every 6 minutes to about one every hour or so.

At this point, the high risk doctors as well as my own OB performed an ultrasound to find that not only was my water bag in my vaginal canal but so were the feet of twin A. The choices and options given to us at this point were one worse than the next. One was to allow the bag to break, risking twin A of possibly being crushed in the birth due to the size, and stitching me back up to save twin B. The next was deliver both of them right away with a minimal chance of survival and the third was to see how long the mag would do its job and how long my body would continue to stay pregnant . . . so we took what we thought was the best of these options and said we were going to leave it in God's hand and see what happened. I was then given a series of steroid shots to improve and quicken the development of their lungs in case they were born sometime soon.

With each passing day, twin A, kept dropping lower and lower into the canal. By day 6 of being on the mag, it was beginning to lose its effectiveness and the contractions were becoming closer together again. The water bag was also beginning to weep and therefore breakdown. The decision was made at this point to deliver the babies by c-section since twin A would not survive a vaginal birth.

At 9:30 AM on April 17, 2002, I was prepped for the O.R. and scared to death. On hand in the O.R. were two of my regular OBs, one high risk OB and two teams of NICU staff for each of the babies and of course my wonderful, supportive, encouraging husband who did not let me see him sweat although he was dying inside. At 10:39 AM to our utter surprise, upon the delivery of twin A, assisted by a loud cry for a 1 pound 3 ounce baby girl (we were told not to expect a cry due to their lungs being so underdeveloped) was our little Brianna followed by her brother Nicholas who weighed in at 1 pound 7 ounces. I was able to quickly kiss their faces which were the size of a beanie baby and they were rushed off by their NICU teams.

In the NICU they stayed for 14 weeks. Early on they were both intubated and under the bilirubin lights for warmth and jaundice. There were constantly a million little pic lines and tubes coming out of their belly buttons and tiny veins. We also had to undergo PDA surgeries on both of them for heart murmurs that would not heal with medication and about one million other medications, x-rays, blood transfusions that are a part of the wonderful, and I do mean wonderful, world of the NICU. The staff became not only their surrogate families but ours as well as we spent many days and hours including holidays with them.

On July 10, 2002, we were finally able to the hospital to not only see them but to take them HOME!!! They did come home on apnea monitors and some oxygen during feeding for Brianna, but they were home and as healthy as 24 weekers could be.

Today, they are 14 months old. Brianna is 20 pounds and Nicholas is 24 pounds. They crawl everywhere, pull themselves up onto everything and are healthy, happy and full of smiles for us to enjoy! I must say, that although it was the worst experience of my life, the joy and love we get from our two miracles is indescribable!

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