Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Maggie and Bea are born!

The girls have already been here for three months and time is flying.  It has taken me awhile to write this post because (1) I’m busy and (2) it was an emotional, difficult, and scary time.  But here we go…

We welcomed Margaret Johanna (“Maggie”) and Beatrice Catherine (“Bea”) on September 27, 2013at 36 weeks and 3 days gestation.  Maggie was 6lbs 3oz and 19 3/4 inches.  Bea was 5lbs 12 oz and 19 inches.  After spending the early months of pregnancy in bed due to hyperemesis gravidarum and the later months of pregnancy in bed because being on my feet caused lots of contractions, it was ultimately time to deliver due to my blood pressure and various other problems related to preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome.  I’d spent September 25th in triage getting lab work done and having the babies monitored while the nurses watched my blood pressure.  My blood pressure had been high at my appointment that day and I mentioned to my doctor that it had been running higher at home too.  We had been monitoring me closely because I had preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome with our other set of twins.  Labs came back OK (my platelets were a little low but they had been for over a month) and my blood pressure was lower than it had been in the doctor’s office, so I was sent home. 

On September 26, my doctor’s nurse called to check on my blood pressures and they were high again, so I was sent back to the hospital.  This time I stayed overnight.  My platelets continued to drop and my uric acid was elevated.  My blood pressure was elevated but not dangerously so and I felt pretty good.  I was really flushed and my chest was bright red (this happened right before our other twins had to be delivered, too).  Over the course of the night, my platelets got even lower and the next morning, after consulting with MFM, my doctor decided it was time to deliver the girls.  Even though both were cephalic, I’ve had two prior cesareans (Baby A in the first set of twins was breech and I had an unsuccessful VBAC attempt with my singleton), so we started getting ready for the OR.

Then came the bad news…  My platelets had dropped to the point where I wouldn’t be able to have spinal anesthesia or an epidural due to the increased risk of paralysis.  I was going to have to have general anesthesia and to make matters worse, I’d be getting magnesium sulfate as well to prevent seizures.  I’ve had “mag” before for tocolysis and for preeclampsia in my first twin pregnancy.  It is not fun.  It makes me violently ill.  I think I could have handled the news that I would have general or that I would have mag, but knowing I would  miss the birth due to the general and then be vomiting and out of it from the mag when I woke up was too much.  I was really upset, although I’m sure I seemed calm and cool to everyone else.

We spent a couple of hours waiting on an OR and for all the necessary people to assemble.  My doctor was supposed to be on vacation, but she came in to do my surgery anyway.  I am so grateful that she did!  Right before it was time to go to the OR, I got some wonderful news.  Apparently, even though my platelets were low, my clotting studies came back well enough that I was able to get a spinal after all.  I was still going to need mag but at least I wouldn’t miss the birth!

We headed to the OR and George had to wait outside while I went in.  I sat on the OR table and got my spinal while my doctor talked to me and held my hand (I’m so grateful for her).  They had to use the smallest possible needle, so it took a little while to inject all the meds.  As I was numbing, they got me situated on the table and let George come in. 

The got started with the surgery.  Not too far into the surgery, the back of my head started really hurting and my vision got really weird (lots of firework-like floaters) thanks to the preeclampsia.  After a dose of Versed, I was able to relax and wait to hear the first little cry.  I felt some pulling and tugging and then I heard Maggie make a strong cry.  She was handed off to a nurse and I got to see a quick peek as they took her to let the neonatologist assess her.  A minute later I heard Bea cry.  It was a little weaker than Maggie’s but still a good cry.  A few minutes later I got the wonderful news that the twins would not have to go to the NICU.  George left to be with the babies and the doctors finished closing me up. He was able to bring the babies back in for a brief visit and I got to meet them up close. 





Daddy and his girls


Me meeting the babies for the first time


Me with Maggie (left) and Bea (right)


Maggie (left) and Bea (right)






Meeting their new siblings (Jacob, Grace, & Clare)


After surgery, I was wheeled to a L&D room for recovery.  Once I was in the room, my monitor kept alarming due to my blood pressure.  It kept going up while the nurse was getting everything to start the magnesium sulfate.  The last time I checked it was 170/110.  Fortunately, it came down quickly once the mag was started.  Unfortunately, about 5 minutes after the mag was started and right as the babies were being brought to my room I started vomiting.  I spent the night in a haze of vomiting and nursing.  I was vomiting every 15 minutes, often while trying to nurse.  I felt so awful that half the time I didn’t know which baby I was nursing.  I think at one point I even threw up a little on one of the babies’ heads, although I have no clue which one.  George was great!  He spent the night bringing me babies, cleaning out my emesis basin, and holding babies himself. 

Right after we got to my L&D room




Middle of the night phone pics with Daddy



Day 2

The Next Morning


Maggie (lower in photo) and Bea (upper)


Clare and Bea


Our room and me still feeling terrible (This was the loudest room ever.  The doors and the chair were so squeaky!)






I was able to come off the mag midday the day after my c-section.  I started feeling better right away although I was weak from being so sick.  I was transferred to the postpartum unit to recover for two more days.  The pain from surgery was manageable although it did hurt quite a bit to get up the first time.  I think the thing that actually bothered me the most was the swelling.  I was swollen everywhere but my feet felt the worst.  The pain from my incision really only bothered me if I was getting up or changing positions, but my feet were uncomfortable all the time.  Still, it was a vast improvement over the way I felt on the mag!

Jacob, Grace, and Clare with Bea


Me and Clare with Maggie


Jacob, Grace, and Clare with Bea (left) and Maggie (right)


Me and Grace with Maggie


Day 3

Jacob and Maggie


Grace and Bea


Maggie (left) & Bea (right)


Day 4

The twins were born on a Friday and we were able to go home Monday around noon.  The twins were very sleepy the first three weeks and it took a lot of effort to wake them up enough to nurse, but things are going great now (I even wrote a significant part of this post while nursing).  They were around the 5th percentile at birth and are now around the 25th.  They even have rolls!

Little Foot


The hospital photographer stopped by before we left and took some photos. 






Bea (left) and Maggie (right) all ready to head home!


1 comment:

  1. What an amazing story! I'm late reading it but I enjoyed it nonetheless. You are an incredible mom, making such sacrifices of yourself for your children, Megan. I'm in awe of you, having 2 sets of twins! I met one other mom recently who also has 2 sets of twins...back to back!