Four years ago, Preemie Awareness Day (November 17th) was just another day. While our oldest daughter, Charleigh June, was considered early-term at 36+6 and spent time in the NICU, she wasn’t truly classified as a preemie. That all changed in November 2015 when our twins were born suddenly on Friday the 13th at shift change…
Even in November, the Texas heat lingers, so I didn’t think much of it when I was hot and swollen after a pre-closing walk-through of our house. I spent the remainder of the day like I did most afternoons – miserable and on the couch with my feet elevated. Just days earlier I had narrowly missed admission to the hospital, as I had managed to control those pesky contractions by hydration, even though I was already dilated to a four. I stayed hydrated and off my feet, and felt better by the end of the evening.
The next morning, I woke up early in horrendous pain. I was absolutely miserable and attempted a few baths in hopes of alleviating some of the pain. Anxiously awaiting 8 a.m.so that I could call my OB. After a few hours in the Texas heat the day prior, I certainly had to have been dehydrated.
The baths didn’t help much, and I eventually started timing the pain. I wasn’t overly familiar with being in labor since I was induced with Charleigh June and had an epidural the minute they started Pitocin. Chad begged me to chill out and relax, but when things went from painful to holy cow, he got up and showered while I called the OB.
I distinctly remember him asking before we left if I wanted to bring milk for Charleigh June or bring anything with me to the hospital, but I was certain like all the other times they’d give me fluids and send me on my way. Thankfully, through all the pain I was together enough to call my parents in Illinois and text my best friend, Crista.
The drive to the hospital was painful, and I’m fairly certain I spent most of it in tears. Upon arriving at the hospital, Chad insisted on going into the ER to bring me a wheelchair. I rolled my eyes, wanting nothing more than to get the show on the road. I remember waiting for what seemed like forever for Chad to park my truck while I filled out paperwork in excruciating pain, anxiously waiting for L&D to come to get me.
Once I finally made it to the floor, Chad had to take a well-timed (if you sense my sarcasm) bathroom break. The nurse wheeled me to my monitoring room and sent me to change, which was quite tricky. I made it to bed just before Chad and Charleigh walked in, followed by the nurse who was there to check me. But that cervical check had to wait because I was dry-heaving.
I was completely dilated and Baby A’s bag was tight. At just over 33 weeks, it was go time. I begged and pleaded with the nurses to call my OB since he wasn’t on call, and told them that I’d wait if needed to ensure he was there – I didn’t want a complete stranger cutting me open.
The tiny room was soon flooded with people – multiple nurses, the anesthesia team, and an ultrasound machine so that they could check positions of the babies. Chad took Charleigh June out of the room and they sat at the nurse’s station leaving me to fend for myself, thankfully Chad was on his A-game. He texted my best friend and asked her to come to the hospital to watch Charleigh June, uncertain of whether or not she’d make it in time. He also managed to frantically call my parents to tell them the babies were coming.
Next thing I knew my beloved OB ran into the room, hair still wet from the shower. He confirmed what I already knew, I was headed to the OR for a C-section. In more pain than I ever thought possible, I screamed as they wheeled me back, and smacked at a nurse. I had no idea if Chad would make it to the OR, things were happening quickly. I begged the anesthesiologist to give me general anesthesia so that I didn’t feel anything at all, a battle that I ultimately lost.
I was hysterical, struggling to get into place for my spinal. Before I knew it there were four anesthesiologists in the room, attempting to place the spinal unsuccessfully. Thankfully at that time my OB came into the room, got down to my level and was able to calm me down and comfort me to the point that the epidural was successfully placed. Next thing I knew my OB was asking if I could feel him cutting me open…
In the nick of time.
I didn’t feel anything, and before I knew it Chad walked into the room with tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled before laughing.
Crista had made it to the hospital, with her girls in tow, literally just in time. Charleigh June was well taken care of, and I could attempt to relax.
I remember feeling pressure immediately before my OB yelled, “It’s a girl!” As quickly as Campbelle was born, she was whisked away. Then some more pressure followed by complete emptiness. “It’s a boy!”
Unsure of what was going on with my twins I was relieved it was over. I heard some whimpering and was shown Coleson’s face very briefly before they took him away…