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Tracy's Multiples Pregnancy Journal ~ a story of pregnancy after infertility

Birth Story

Rachel and JacobIt all started with a scheduled doctor's appointment on March 4, 1999. I was 36 weeks and 3 days. My regular doctor was out of town so my appointment was with his associate, Dr. N, who is also a perinatologist. Dr. N noted that my blood pressure was up again this week so blood was taken for another Pregnancy Induced Hypertension test. The tests showed that I was within normal ranges, but Dr. N still wasn't comfortable with the way my blood pressure was going up and down. The decision was made to induce me that night. Boy, was I getting scared. This was actually going to happen and now!!

After being admitted, Dr. N introduced me to another associate, Dr. R, whom I'd never met and was on call that night. Dr. R wasn't comfortable with inducing me that night and wanted to do another 24-hour urine test with me in the hospital. The next morning, Dr. N came to see me again, and it was decided that we should do an amnio to see if the babies' lungs were developed. An hour later, the test results indicated that both babies were developed enough to be delivered without any breathing problems. Yay!

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On March 5, 1999 at 12:00 pm, I was induced with pitocin and was given magnesium I.V. for the elevated blood pressure. At 3:00 pm, Dr. N broke Jacob's water when he inserted some kind of a contraction monitor. When it broke, Dr. N also inserted a monitor on Jacob's head to monitor his heart rate. I had no idea what they were doing at this point because once my water broke, my contractions got much worse. I was now in real pain. Two epidurals and several hours later, I realized the pain wasn't going to go away. Neither of the epidurals worked. Thank God for the Stadol which was given in my I.V. to help take the "edge" off the pain. It did allow me to doze between contractions. Unfortunately, my contractions were 3 minutes apart for several hours, and I didn't get to doze much.

At 5:00 pm, the contractions became one minute apart. I was now in a lot of pain, but I felt like I was in a fog due to the Stadol. I still felt the pain, but I was kinda out of it. Maybe it wasn't the Stadol, but the pain that made me feel disconnected to what was going on. I guess a person can only handle so much pain. Larry was a great help. Just knowing he was there was comforting to me . . . not to mention squeezing his hand in hopes of transferring some of my pain to him!

Rachel and DaddyAt 6:30 pm, I started complaining that I felt like I needed to push. A nurse finally checked me (I hadn't been checked since 3:00 pm), and I was dilated 10 centimeters and was 100% effaced. Jacob was ready to enter this world! This is when the second epidural was administered. The anesthesiologist decided that they should give me another because Rachel was still transverse and wasn't moving. This meant the doctor would need to do an external and try to move her after Jacob was born. This sounded painful so I was willing to try a second epidural even though I was 10 centimeters dilated and was trying not to push. The urge to push was extremely overwhelming. This epidural didn't work, and Dr. N couldn't wait any longer. It was time for these babies to be born.

I thought Jacob would be delivered in the hallway as the nurse wheeled me to the O.R. room. I couldn't deliver in the Labor and Delivery room just in case I needed a c-section. The nurses were still putting the table together as they rushed me into the room. It was all happening so fast. I don't think they expected me to dilate so quickly. Larry was rushed into the room wearing scrubs just in time to see Jacob born after three pushes. He came out kicking and screaming. I was so glad to hear his wonderful screaming. He was born at 7:08 pm weighing in at 4 lbs, 13 ozs and was 18 3/4 inches long. I knew all too well that my job wasn't done yet. It was now Rachel's turn. An ultrasound showed that Rachel had not turned and would need some help getting into position or I would need an emergency c-section.

Dr. N tried to maneuver Rachel externally, but she wasn't moving. Her heart rate had even started to drop a little. There was no time to waste, so Dr. N tried to move her internally. This was the most pain I've ever felt in my entire life. But, it was worth it; I avoided a C-section. Finally, I hear the words to push, and I pushed with all my might. At 7:19 pm, Rachel was born weighing 5 lbs, 7 ozs and was 19 3/4 inches long. She was born breech (butt first ~ ouch!) and was not breathing at first. I didn't realize this because of all the commotion around me and the pain that I was in. I still felt like I was in a fog. Larry realized immediately that there was a problem. Both babies had a team of doctors and nurses assigned to them. Dr. N came over to me and explained that Rachel needed a little extra attention and would be fine. She was now breathing. It was only seconds but Larry said it felt like hours before he knew that she was okay. I could hear her crying from the table, and my heart soared.

Mom and JacobLarry carried both babies back into my labor and delivery room after they wheeled me back in. He is the very proud daddy. His parents were there and soon his sister, Missy, and her husband, John, arrived. Everyone was so surprised that the babies were born so soon. I called my family in Virginia and told them the good news. Both babies were healthy and in my arms. I really missed having my family there to share my happiness. These were the first babies on my side of the family that my family didn't get to see immediately afterwards at the hospital. They will be visiting in a few weeks, but I really missed having them be a part of this special day.

After the first 24 hours, the neonatologist decided that Jacob should be moved into the intermediate care nursery so that he could get a little extra attention. He was having trouble keeping his body temperature and wasn't feeding on his own. They had to feed him via a feeding tube down his nose. We spent as much time as possible in that nursery and at the same time, we had Rachel in my hospital room 24 hours a day. I spent 4 days in the hospital and on March 8, Rachel and I came home. It was the hardest thing leaving Jacob behind. I knew he needed extra care that we couldn't give him at home, but it was still heart-wrenching.

Jacob and RachelLarry and I went every night to visit Jacob. It's a 45-minute drive one way, and we could only spend an hour with him every night during feeding time. He couldn't be out of his isolette (incubator) for longer than that without losing too much body heat. We left Rachel with Larry's parents for a few hours every night so that we could spend whatever time we could with Jacob. I cried almost every night as we left him, sometimes even tearing up while we were still with him. He was so small and helpless. I felt helpless too. For the past 37 1/2 weeks, I've been able to control their environment to some degree. Now, I was at a loss for what I could do to help him get stronger faster. It was as hard on Larry as it was on me.

On March 18, Jacob came home to a very elated family. We couldn't wait to put Jacob in the crib with his sister. They are so cute together. I think they honestly know the other one is there. We are finally together again. We're very happy to finally have both babies under the same roof. They are growing like weeds and are gaining weight like crazy. I thank God for my two little healthy, happy miracles.

I'm so glad the babies are here safe and sound and that the delivery part is over. Looking back, the entire experience wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I would do it again in a heartbeat should we ever decide that we want more children. For now, we'll just enjoy and love these babies every day of our lives.

Thanks everyone for sharing our pregnancy experiences with us. All the e-mails of encouragement, congratulations, and just saying hello have been greatly appreciated. We've loved hearing from people from all over the world. I will be printing a copy of my journal and the e-mail responses I've gotten for each of their baby books. What a great thing for them to look back on when they are older and know just how much they were loved long before they were born!

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