Friday, January 12, 2007

The Birth

The babies were delivered by c-section on Tuesday, June 20, 2006, at approximately 4:30 in the afternoon. The operating room was crowded with doctors and nurses from both Ft. Sanders and Children's Hospital all ready to receive my little ones. I was 34 weeks and 2 days along in my pregnancy, well past the 31 week national average for quads.

Jonathan Carl was delivered first. He weighed 4lbs 9.5oz and was 17in long. He was placed on a ventilator for transport to the NICU.

Zachary Franklin was delivered second. He weighed 5lbs 1oz and was 18in long. He was also placed on a ventilator for transport to the NICU.

Reagan Leanne was delivered third. She weighed 4lbs 12.5oz and was 17.75in long. She was placed under an oxygen hood for transport to the NICU.

Thomas Ervin was delivered fourth. He weighed 4lbs 9.5oz and was 17in long. He was placed on a ventilator for transport to the NICU.

After delivery, the babies were brought to my room before they were taken on to the NICU. They were each in an isolette, and I couldn't really see them, but I did reach out and was able to touch Jonathan's hand before they were taken away.

The next few days are really a blur to me. I remember seeing the babies in the room, and I remember little snippets here and there, but mostly I was unconscious or semi-conscious at best. My relatively smooth pregnancy turned into a very hard post-delivery. My uterus, which is supposed to contract in upon itself to stop bleeding after giving birth, just sort of laid over in exhaustion and did nothing, so I just continued to bleed. By midnight Tuesday night, my kidneys had begun to fail. Somewhere between 2 and 4 :00 Wednesday morning, my blood pressure dropped to 58 over 31. I received 3 units of blood on Wed., 2 more on Thurs., and another 2 on Friday. Friday morning they decided to install a central line in my neck because my veins were so shot they couldn't find one good enough to draw blood from to test.

I finally started to come back to myself on Sat. I remember waking up that morning and calling out for Jim who was by my side in an instant. I wanted to know what day it was, what had happened, and how the babies were. Jim was relieved to know that I remembered having given birth. He was afraid that I wouldn't. My vision was very poor. I wasn't totally blind, but everything was very dark and hazy. I couldn't recognize anyone until they spoke. I was told that this was a side effect of the magnesium sulfate that I was given to keep my pre-eclampsia from progressing to full-blown eclampsia. It was very disquieting, but I was assured that it would improve with time.

By Monday I was improved enough that they moved me to a postpartum room, and that night I got to go see the babies for the first time since they were born. Jim and one of the nurses wheeled me over to Children's. It was hard not being able to really see them, but I got to hold them, except for Thomas, but we'll talk about that later. I made the nurses cry when I asked them to tell me about my babies. Well, okay, I cried too!

I got to go see the babies every day that week, whenever someone was available to wheel me over there! Finally on Friday (June 30), they took the central line out of my neck and let me go home.

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