Friday, June 27, 2008

E-Mail Update #8 -- BABIES!!!

Many of you have heard by now that the babies are here! They were very timely, making their arrival on Wednesday, June 25, right at exactly 30 weeks -- our second goal due date. They also arrived on the anniversary of my seventh week in the hospital. Here are their stats (and in birth order):

Piper Grace: 3 lb. 2 oz., 15 3/4 inches long, 12:36 p.m.
George Henry: 3 lb. 15 oz., 15 1/2 inches long, 12:37 p.m.
Rosemary Faith: 1 lb. 14 oz., 13 inches long, 12:37 p.m.

Things happened very quickly. I felt my first strong contraction at 11:15, was fully dilated (to the doctor's GREAT surprise) at around noon, and had the babies less than 40 minutes later via emergency c-section. In the operating room I had two anesthesiologists, four ob/gyns, and two nurses watching me. The babies each had a team that consisted of a neonatologist, a neonatal nurse, a respiratory therapist, and two other people that I can't remember (it was a team of five for each baby). There was also a senior supervising neonatologist for all of the babies.

My mom had come down on Tuesday, and she was in the hospital room with me when everything went crazy. Luckily, the nurse who I had that day just saw me when it all started and knew something was going on, and she told Mom to call Gary and get him over here quickly (I missed that part, and was kind of surprised when Gary came running in). Gary left work in the middle of a meeting and made it just in time for the doctor to check me and announce, "Okay, sweetie, we are having these babies -- RIGHT NOW."

The UAB team was fantastic. I couldn't believe that we moved that fast. I was especially impressed that the ob/gyns made the call that I had enough time to get an epidural so that I could be awake during the surgery. Many times doctors in this situation will not look closely enough at the situation to determine whether or not that is possible and will put the mother under general anesthesia, which means the mom is not awake during the birth. These doctors not only took great care of me and our babies, but they also thought of me and made sure I had the best experience possible. The neonatal team also made sure that I got to see the babies after they were born before they went to the NICU. I was completely blown away by how beautiful all of these babies are!

The babies all started out breathing room air -- which is amazing for 30-weekers. Those steroid injections really did their job. Henry had to get a little oxygen help a few hours after he was born, but it was not for long at all and he came off the extra oxygen very quickly. Rosemary and Piper have not needed any extra oxygen. I was allowed to see the babies around 2:00 a.m. this morning (due to the surgery and waiting until I could sit up). We arrived at the most critical care NICU to find that Rosemary and Piper were no longer there -- they were moved to a stepdown nursery (which is a less critical care NICU). We were amazed. We were especially amazed that tiny Rosemary made it there before Henry! Henry was moved to the stepdown nursery a few hours later. We are told to expect them to stepdown again in a few days.

When we talked to the attending ob/gyn this morning, we learned why Rosemary is so little. Her umbilical cord did not pass through the placenta correctly, which means that she was not getting all the nutrients, blood, etc. that the other babies were. No wonder the poor thing wanted out! The neonatologists were actually encouraged by this because it means that there is not a problem with Rosemary herself -- there was just a problem with the "food" she was getting in there. The nurses all refer to Rosemary as the "fiesty one" of the three, which of course is no surprise to me.

The neonatologists have been amazed at how healthy these babies are, and we ourselves cannot believe how great they are doing. To my ultimate surprise, I was told today that it is possible that Henry could come home in just TWO WEEKS! We had originally been told 5-6 weeks as an estimate for all of the babies, so two weeks is almost beyond comprehension! Of course things can change, but so far we have some extremely healthy babies who are well ahead of the curve.

I am also pleased to attach some pictures of the precious ones to this e-mail. There are three pictures of each baby attached -- at birth when we first saw them, at 6 hours, and at 21 hours.

For now, we are not seeing visitors in the hospital. We are trying to spend as much time as possible with the babies, which means that we are not in our room very much and when we are it is for resting and getting medical care.

I will continue sending updates when I can. Thank you all so very much for thinking of us and keeping these babies in your prayers.

Piper at Birth:
Henry at Birth:

Rosemary at Birth:

Piper at 6 hours:

Henry at 6 hours:

Rosemary at 6 hours:
Piper at 21 hours:
Henry at 21 hours:

Rosemary at 21 hours:

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