Sunday, May 20, 2012


{These are the words from my journal that I kept while in the hospital.}


I only know two things right now.
One, I shouldn't be here, two, my babies shouldn't be here.
People keep telling me what a miracle I am. I am so grateful to God, so grateful to be alive!
I've been stuck in my room all day because they are running so many tests.
I haven't even met my babies! I've asked every nurse I can find if I can go meet them yet, and they all say they're going to check, but never come back and all of the sudden its a new nurse on shift. Last night I couldn't meet them because they didn't know if I had an infection yet, and the boys are in the NICU for a little while. I hate waiting, but I am so happy because my doctors all say every test is negative, its medical mystery they say.  I don't really know how the flu virus turned into labor, but they are here and they are okay! Brandon says they are almost 4lbs, which seems great to me! I think maybe God knew I should be here because the babies were going to come early and I wouldn't have made it in time. I don't quite understand this, but I know that God is so good, and it feels so good to be in his hands!

You just can't believe how perfect my babies are.  It made my heart ache to see them hooked up to so many tubes and in incubators.  But they are so stunning.  Their little tiny features are just perfect.  They look a lot like Brandon,  I think! They are the most precious things, so fragile and so tiny... I'm a little afraid to handle them.  I can't believe they are here and that they are mine.  I could almost feel my heart expanding today.  I am so proud, I just can't believe all of this.

They moved me off of ICU today! It feels so amazing.

Things aren't quite as rosy today.  I have major baby blues.  Or maybe it's the fact that I was pumped full of morphine for a few days and now it's wearing off.  I have so many memories coming back about all that happened.  I'm terrified. I don't know if it can be baby blues if I don't have my babies.  I miss them so much.  All three of them.

It's 3:45 am. A small victory, I pumped two bottles! I'm finding it hard to believe that I can rely on my body right now to do what it needs to do. I feel so mixed up, but at least I am able to feed my babies. Many thanks to the crying baby in room 2014 for your inspiration. Ps. I'm crying with you.

We're pretty proud of ourselves,  It's the last day of our Dave Ramsey classes.  We have worked so hard budgeting to feel like we have control in our lives in the area of finances.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel and we can take a deep breath and know that even with the added blessing (and let's be honest, CHAOS...) that twins promise to bring with them.
I was so proud of our little class completion certificate.  Of our changing family and blossoming marriage.  And when I saw that pretty sheet cake on the table with a giant pre-cut piece just siting there, I grabbed a set of forks and rushed to out seats. I squeezed the hand of my husband, patted by belly, and reached for a forkfull. Life was blissfully sweet.

Not too long after, about an hour into class I started to feel an old familiar friend.  Nausea.  I suffered through the end of the lecture, and made my way to the ladies room. I vomited up my cake.  Oh joy.

I spent most of that night dry heaving. Just perfect.

I finally stopped throwing up at around 7am.  I crawled into bed, and was awoken by mild cramping. I knew it wasn't labor, more like muscle cramps from throwing up all night.  I debated in my mind whether I should go to the ER to get an IV of fluids to prevent dehydration (and also a hefty bill) or if I should just drink gatorade and ride it out.  I finally woke Brandon up and decided we should go in.

I called my doctor, and he told me to come to Labor and Delivery to get checked.  We left Gage with my friend Becca and were checked in.  I spent the next six or so hours on the most uncomfortable stretcher ever.  They gave me three IV's of fluid and told me I more or less had a stomach virus, I wasn't dilated, and that the babies looked great.  Meanwhile my cramping was slowly getting worse.
I could tell I wasn't being taken seriously, and if it weren't for one delightfully pushy nurse, I probably wouldn't be here. In fact, I'm positive I wouldn't.

They were extremely busy, and after several hours, the Doctor finally came in.  He was extremely concerned.  My cramping was getting worse, I had a fever, and my blood pressure was very low.
He touched my belly and told me I was seething hot to the touch, and told me I was going to the ICU.  He feared I had an infection that was now septic.
I was 31 weeks and 4 days pregnant with our twin boys.

I spent the next several hours having my blood drawn so many times I lost count.  They ran every test they could think of.  I was in so much pain, and so fearful. They kept telling me that the babies were fine, that they had no intention of delivering them.  I was nearly kicking and screaming in protest as they wheeled me off to take X-rays, I was so worried about hurting my babies, but they insisted that everything was worth the risk, that they had to act urgently.

Up to this point I had only agreed to take Fentanyl for pain, and they started me on a morphine drip.  All of this was so upsetting.  I was drifting in and out of awareness, there were so many doctors and nurses buzzing around me, talking to each other as if I was no longer there.

I remember when my pain suddenly peaked and I was sobbing uncontrollably.  Brandon held onto me, and I could see fear in his eyes for the first time.  He hides his fear so well, it is not a look I even recognized.

They needed me to take an MRI, and suddenly Brandon was gone.  I later found out that the Doctor had told him that if he wanted to eat tonight, now was his chance, because things were getting crazier, and he couldn't be in the MRI room.  He headed to a fast food restaurant and realized that our dogs had been left inside since early that morning, and he decided to run home (2 minutes from the hospital) to let them out.

Meanwhile during my MRI I am fighting the symptoms of a raging fever, I had been freezing and now I was so hot I was stripping everything off, they couldn't get me to stay still.

They wheeled me back to the ICU and decided to put a port in my arm for medication.  It was a really long process.  Immediately after they took my vitals and all hell broke loose.

Several people flooded into my room and their voices were elevated, but I couldn't understand what they were talking about.  A lady jabbed a syringe into me and told me it was morphine. They draped a large blue sheet over me, for sanitation I later figured out, and someone held it over my face and told me I needed to hold my breath.

I heard the codes being called over the speaker.  They had a nursing student there, and she was trying to calm me down.  She was a tall girl with long dark hair, and I remember thinking how sad I was for her.  In my mind it was as if this was all happening to her.

I was so confused, fighting to get the paper sheet off of my face.  They were holding me down now, pressing my head and neck awkwardly to the side.  There was a man talking, and he started to dig something deep into my neck, now I was screaming.  I heard someone in the background saying "Where is her husband?! Somebody needs to call her husband!" I was filled with terror.  I thought, "I'm dying.  I'm dying all alone.  I will never see my babies. I will never see anyone again." They were starting life support. I must have become unconscious after that.

I don't remember much of anything after that.  Bits and pieces. I mostly remember them telling me that I was now dilated to 6, and that they had no choice but to deliver the boys.  I was so upset that I wouldn't be allowed to stay awake, I was even more upset that Brandon wouldn't be allowed in there.

But what upset me the most was that the Dr. told me that they were going to take my appendix out, and may have to do a hysterectomy too. I felt so out of control.

I still have no idea when this happened, but at some point the doctors and nurses held hands and surrounded me in prayer.  I can't tell you how much that meant to me.
I am so thankful for such an amazing team of doctors and nurses!

My Mom, Dad, Sister and her fiance all arrived at this point.  My dear baby sister told me that she would be a surrogate for me if they had to do a hysterectomy.  I love her so much. I know she meant it.

My wonderful friends also came, and really helped to calm me down.
I still don't understand why they were allowed in the ICU.  It's scary to think that the staff may have thought I should have a chance to say goodbye to loved ones.

Everything is fuzzy after that point, I vaguely remember having Brandon show me pictures of the babies in from the NICU, he says I was so upset that he was able to meet them and I wasn't!
Most importantly, after my perfect babies were delivered with no complications, I somehow became stable. Praise my amazing Lord!

My doctors were (are) completely mystified. 

Facts I compiled later:
  • There were 4 surgeons in the room operating on me.  My doctor told Brandon that this is unheard of.
  • They took my appendix
  • They poked and prodded every organ they could get to, looking for an infection
  • My blood pressure was "too low to be alive." Brandon remembers hearing that it was 80/40 for hours. May have dipped lower than that.  
  • The anesthesiologists told my parents that they didn't think they could revive me, even with life support
Over the the next few days I was on such a high (literally) that I didn't really understand the seriousness of my condition.  I started to piece things together slowly.  It was a terrifying realization.

I was miraculously up and walking around the next day, and I started getting a clue when the nurses at the nurse station would stare at me wide eyed and whisper to each other about me. I thought I was being paranoid. But it happened almost every time I walked by.

When I first went down to the NICU to meet my babies, the NICU nurse told me she had been reading my surgery notes and she couldn't believe I had made it.  I was puzzled by that, and thought maybe she had me confused with someone else.

A nurse came in to my room to introduce herself at shift change, and mentioned that she couldn't believe I was alive.  I chuckled thinking she was exaggerating, and she looked me dead in the eye, and said "I'm not kidding, you shouldn't be here."

The anesthesiologist made a special trip to my room, and actually teared up while explaining that he didn't think they were going to be able to revive me, and he was so thankful that I was alive.

My operating OBGYN visited me and told me that he still doesn't know how I made it, and that it must be a "God thing" because he has no explanation.

I asked my family casually as we were eating in the hospital cafeteria how bad it really was, and they all stared at me with serious faces.  I burst out crying, and cried pretty solidly for the next day at least.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My fingers tap keys as my brain tries translate emotion into words on a screen.
Aches and pain, worries, tears, prayers and fears.  Little joys along the way sprinkled in
to keep the hope alive in our hearts.  My fingers furiously tap at these black keys, trying to
make sense of all that has happened.  Trying to process what my mind and heart still haven't
been able to.
My story is our story, a story shared by the 5 of us.  My truly precious husband, who faces fear head on, me-- or at least a strange new version of myself, relying heavily on the strength of others, while still surprising myself with the new knowledge that I am also strong. Our three little birds, our amazing beyond words boys, each fighting for normalcy in their own way.  This story also belongs to the Lord who is good, who is our healer, and who uses everything, even the darkest hours for good.