Those of you that follow our blog may remember back in August last year we announced that Our Big Family’s About To Get A Whole Lot Bigger, and if you follow us on Social Media you’ll have likely seen that our twins arrived a lot earlier than anticipated.
I took a break from blogging to focus on my family as we adjusted to this rather abrupt change in our lives, but now that the twins are 6 months old, and thriving, I’ve decided it’s time to start sharing their story.
On Monday 18th December 2017, one week before Christmas, I dislocated my knee whilst walking down the stairs and subsequently slid down the rest of the stairs on my bottom. Being 30 weeks pregnant with twins at the time, my thoughts instantly went to making sure that they were ok. I went into the Day Assessment Ward in Maternity where the bump was monitored. Both twins heartbeats were good, they were moving around ok, and although I was having a few mild contractions, these were put down to Braxton Hicks and nothing to worry about. I was given painkillers for my knee and just told to take it easy as I was sent home. My knee was swollen, my bottom sore, but I was just relieved that the babies were ok.
The next morning, I got up to go to the toilet as usual around 6am and when I got back into bed, I felt a trickle of water & knew, my waters were going.
Not wanting to panic anyone, we got all the kids to school as usual (hubby doing the school run) before heading to the hospital, which, lucky for us, is only next door. By this time it’s 9am and I’m starting to feel some mild contractions.
At the hospital I was taken straight to Delivery Suite where I was scanned. There was still plenty of fluid around the babies so initially the thought was that my waters hadn’t broken fully. Twin 2, who had been breech at the last scan 2 weeks earlier, had turned himself around and was now head down, along with his sister, so there was no immediate panic over a possible emergency Caesarian section. At this stage there was even talk of me going home on bedrest and just being monitored. Then the doctor examined me, to another gush of fluid, and it was confirmed my waters had indeed gone. At this point we were told that going home was no longer a possibility, we were looking at days rather than weeks before delivery.
I was given a first dose of steroids to strengthen the babies lungs and monitored.
During the day, contractions were sporadic but gradually started to get stronger. I was given a bolus of magnesium sulphate, followed by an intravenous drip of it, to help protect the babies brains, as well as a second dose of steroids.
Then it was just a waiting game. We were hoping for days, we got hours.
At midnight I had a huge contraction that had me calling for the gas and air. The midwife decided to check me and found I was already 9cm dilated and just about ready to start pushing. What happened next is all a bit of a blur.
The room quickly filled with people and two recusitairs for the babies. My legs were put up in stirrups (not an easy task with my still very swollen and unbendable knee), and at 1.55am, Cassidy Constance made her entrance into the world, weighing just 3lbs 3.5oz.
I didn’t get to see her at first, but hubby reassured me that she was a good size. She was taken over to her resuscitair and once stabilised, Daddy even got to hold her for a few seconds and brought her to me where I gave her a quick kiss before she was whisked away to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
Whilst Cassidy was being looked after, I had a midwife stood with her hands clamped either side of my belly, to stop twin 2 from turning himself around now he suddenly had so much more room. And the wait began. Contractions had stopped. I felt acutely aware of the fact that if they didn’t restart we’d be looking at an emergency c-section to get him out quickly. But thankfully, half an hour after his sister, at 2.25am, after much more pushing than I’ve ever done before, Cody James made his entrance into the world, weighing 3lbs 13oz.
This picture hubby took quickly, is all we got to see of Cody at birth. He had to be resuscitated and stabilised, before being taken off to the NICU to join his sister.
At 30 weeks 5 days, they were 10 weeks premature.
I was left alone to get some rest, whilst hubby went to see the babies in the NICU, then home to grab a couple of hours sleep, then get the older children up, dressed, fed and to school, before coming back to join me. Even though our world had just effectively stopped, the rest of the world carried on around us.
At 9am on Wednesday 20th December, we went to the NICU to see our babies properly for the first time.
Cody was on CPAP then, but was struggling and had to be given a dose of Surfactant to help his lungs and put onto a ventilator to give him a helping hand.
Cassidy was also on CPAP, but doing better than her brother, and was even able to have a small amount of my expressed breast milk that first day.
I even got to hold her for the first time.
Seeing our babies so tiny, covered in wires and tubes, was so scary, but the NICU staff were brilliant at explaining everything to us and getting us involved in their care right from the start.
Cassidy – Day 1
Cody – Day 1
We had no idea at this point what lay in front of us but we knew that we had a long road ahead.
I will continue to share our NICU journey in instalments, as and when the twins give me the chance! But as a little sneak peak, this is the little munchkins now.