Can life be good AND crazy? Of course, it can - but it sure is exhausting. Fast forward from yesterday's blog a bit - young, married, just bought a house, and we find out we're pregnant! How exciting. I have to say that was the most peaceful and exciting time of my life. In 1996 Lauren was born. If there ever was a perfect pregnancy and birth, she was it! No morning sickness, no issues except that she was a month early but at 6lbs 6oz, we chalked it up to my Dr. doing his math wrong. She was a great baby who loved the attention of others. It was even more exciting and manageable as my best friend, Shelley had a baby girl who was born six days after Lauren. We were off of work together and to this day, Shelley and I are still close as can be and Lauren and Brittany are best of friends. Life is good!
About 1.5 years later, life is still great and we are pregnant again. Will never forget going for my first sonogram of this pregnancy. It's a Friday in October and I'm so excited as Tom and I are going to Toronto the next day to see Phantom of the Opera. I drink what seems like Lake Erie before my sono and follow the rules to a tee. My belly is all gooped up and the look on the technicians face changes, she squints her eyes and gets quiet. Then slowly, the corners of her mouth turns up and she has a giggle. 'This is the baby and this is the other baby'...everything went silent. In my wildest dreams, I never even entertained more than one baby. Following that, I had a dr. appt - Tom asked 'are you ok to drive?'. Apparently, I even looked shocked. Another life altering moment that is forever engrained in my mind. Our friends and family were so excited - we were too but suddenly 'our perfect world' had hit a speed bump - not a big one but big enough. We were told that May 7 was our due date. How cool is that - it is Tom's mom's birthday and my fathers! Needless to say, the ride to Toronto the next day was full of chatter between us although I was feeling a bit numb and overwhelmed by the whole idea...already!
The pregnancy was nerve wracking but I wasn't having any issues - a bit swollen but no concerns. On March 25, I was at a team breakfast but couldn't help but notice that the babies weren't nearly as busy as they usually were. After enjoying most of the buffet at breakfast - Hey I was pregnant with two babies!
I called the dr.'s office and they wanted to do a sonogram and 'strap me up' to check the babies heart rates. Baby A was doing well but Baby B was having a tough time. the heart rate was erratic and of great concern. My dr. rushes in, gets on the phone and is 'jabbering' quickly. I ask the nurse 'whats going on?'. Keep in mind, I was just going to get checked out and Tom wasn't there. He was at an endochronologist appt and he really needed to be there as his diabetes needed some good attention, so why would I have him cancel to just watched me get checked out? I hear Dr. Tseng 'what do you think about delivering baby b and keeping baby in utero, should we fly her to Magee Women's in Pittsburgh?, etc" What was happening to my perfect world?? I leave a message on Tom's cell phone - Thank God for cell phones. Everything happens so fast - Dr. Tseng explains that Baby B has bradiacardia - erratic heartbeats that is of great concern. They could send me to Pittsburgh to do a procedure to keep Baby A in utero but they don't feel Baby B could wait that long. WHAT - my baby could die?!? I just had a great breakfast with my coworkers and we were laughing! Okay, I am suddenly being prepped for a c-section. I hear a familiar voice in the hallway - 'what the hell is happening?' Tom comes running in as they throw scrubs at him.
At 3:07, Baby A - forever known as Andrew is born and at 3:10, Baby B - Julianna enters the world. I never even saw them as they were wisked away. Good thing I was out most of the day as I expect that could've been the longest day of my life... we met the Neonotologist who explained that the babies had a 50% chance of living. Both had lung concerns and all the issues of premature babies.... now this wasn't just a speed bump, this was a crater in the road. This was the biggest crater that Tom and I had ever come face to face with not only individually, but as a couple. I didn't meet my babies until the next day. they were 24 hours old by then which we were told that the first 48 were critical - we were half way there, right?
They were so tiny, and skinny and fragile. They were hooked up to sooo much technology. The constant beep of the heart monitor is a sound that I still can't stand to hear even while watching TV. After 3 days, I went home nothing short of being hysterical - what an awful feeling of leaving your babies behind! It's not suppose to be like this. We still count our blessings that we had amazing healthcare within three miles of our house. After 17 days, Easter, lots of daily support and a heart monitor, Julianna comes home. It was a nice transition and Lauren was excited to have JuJu home for the first time! Andrew's hemotocrit level was dangerously low and he wasn't thriving - I returned to my ob/gyn begging him to let me do a blood donation to transfuse to Drew in hopes of increasing his levels. Dr. Tseng knows my persistance and reluctantly agreed. That afternoon, Drew had a 'lock' inserted into his forehead because he veins elsewhere were so tiny. He received my blood and instantly, he went from being a grey color to a slight pink. in the morning, he was a great pink color and eating like a champ. On Day 21, Andrew came home. Our family of two parents, three kids, a cat, a dog and a partridge in a pear tree were all under the same roof and life is good!