Early in the morning on Oct. 1st, Ryan and I headed to the hospital and discovered that not only had I been having contractions for two weeks but also my water had broke. Since "Baby B" was breech and the twins were only 34 weeks, the Doctor decided it would be best for them & for me to do a C-Section.
At 6am Grant Thomas was born. He was 5lbs, 10 oz and 18 1/4 inches long and at 6:01 Lauren Genevieve was born. Lauren was a wee bit bigger than her "older" brother at 5lbs, 11oz and 19 1/2 inches long. Because they were born at 34 weeks+5 days, they had to automatically go to NICU for observation and evaluation. So, I only got to see them for a split second.
While the Doctor and OR staff were finishing putting me back together, Ryan went with the twins up to NICU and snapped the shot below. It's one of the few hospital photos where neither one of them have any cords, tubes or anything.
The spinal block I received for my C-Section was like a super drug! It lasted nearly 8 hours and I wasn't able to go up to the NICU floor to see the babies until I was able to stand and hold weight. After 8 hours, I was able to move my feet and legs, but couldn't put any weight or stand, but I convinced the nurse to let me go up in a wheelchair for no longer than 1/ 2 an hour. I was so happy to be able to see them and know for myself that they were okay.
The 3 above photos were taken in the first couple of nights. We were waiting for my milk to come in so the babies both had to have feeding tubes. They also had a few cords that lead to a monitor that tracked their vital stats. October 1st was the "official" start of RSV season so children weren't allowed to visit in the NICU so Annalyse wasn't able to meet her siblings until they came home. So once we moved to the NICU room that had a window to the hall she was able to see them & we took our first family photo. We lucked out that the twins happened to have all their cords off when she was at the hospital visiting so we got these two photos!
I know I keep mentioning the cords, but seriously, they impeded everything! We didn't always get to hold the two babies together because the cords and (eventually) the bili blankets just sometimes made it impossible. Most of the time if they were held together it was me who got a chance, but we have this photo of Ryan. For being 34 weekers, the babies were born really healthy and they were doing great! After a few days, Lauren's Oxygen Saturation levels started dipping so the doctors wanted to see what was going on. Eventually, she was prescribed caffeine to see if it helped the levels to be steady. When a baby is given caffeine they have to remain under observation for 10 days after the last dose. So we knew they would be in the hospital for at least that long.
On Oct 5th, I went home leaving both of my little ones in the NICU. They were still on the bili blankets and Lauren was taking the caffeine until the 7th. Leaving them was really one of the hardest things I had ever done. We chose to leave the hospital as close to midnight as possible so we could be there with them as long as possible. As we walked across the parking lot to the car, my heart ached. We ran back and forth between home and the hospital (which luckily is only about 15 or so minutes away). Ryan's mom stayed at out house the majority of the time taking care of Annalyse so we could be at the hospital as much as possible.
On Oct 9th, Grant got to come home from the hospital. It was hard to split the two up, but it was really nice to have at lease one of them home. Annalyse finally got the chance to hold her little brother-the first time she held him he toppled over onto the couch :) She really loves to hold him and help out.
After being in the hospital for 16 days, Lauren's oxygen saturation levels were finally steady enough and the drifting was attributed to Acid Reflux, which was treated by adding rice cereal to her milk. The 10 days of observation was over. After adding the rice cereal she was episode free so on Oct 17th, Lauren got to come home! While we had some amazing nurses and doctors taking care of our kids and the Dupont staff was wonderful, we were really happy to finally be able to leave and know that we didn't have to juggle or find time to come back the next day. We were happy that Grant and Lauren would be back together again, that Annalyse would be able to meet Lauren, and our entire family would be under the same roof. My sister Tonya and our niece Kirsten were here for Lauren's homecoming so we were able to get a cousins picture too.
Dupont Hospital has an awesome NICU staff. Like I said earlier we had some great nurses. They try their best to keep the same nurse with the babies as much as possible so you get really close to them and learn to rely on them. The NICU has this tradition that when a baby goes home they put their footprint on a wall upstairs on the 3rd floor where the main NICU is.