Travis and I were up at 4:00am ready to be at the hospital by 5:00am. I always like getting the first appointment of the day. It makes for an early morning but usually things run on time. We arrived at the hospital and the nurses got everything hooked up. IVs in, monitors on and then we waited. The nurses would come in and out thinking they were tracking the same baby on the heart rate monitor so they would move the monitors around trying to find 2 separate heartbeats. I didn't think much of it because the babies always had very close heart rates and they had been laying side by side for most of the pregnancy.
Sleepy, but ready to meet the babies
Dr I starts again, there is a lot more pressure this time trying to get both babies out. Then I hear the sweet sound of a baby crying and my eyes tear up. They say "it's a girl". The next words out of Dr S's mouth changed our lives forever. "Baby boy....it's not good...I'm sorry." I could hear her praying and somewhere in there I heard "this is so odd, I don't know what happened...I've never seen this before". It was so surreal and I didn't really know what was going on. There wasn't a dry eye in the room and I can't even remember if anyone spoke. From what the doctor figured there was maybe a clot in the umbilical cord that cut off the supply to the baby. We just couldn't understand why just 1 week and 3 days earlier he was fine. The nurses took baby girl to the warmer and her mom got to cut the cord. They wrapped her up and brought her over so I could see her. She was perfect, 6 lbs 13 oz.
After the doctors finished with me, Dr I walked around the curtain and said he was sorry. He also told me he had to stitch my uterus twice because it was pretty thin and that I shouldn't have any more babies. Oh good, let's add insult to injury. They rolled me into the recovery room (or wherever they take you after, I don't even know). The IPs went to talk to the staff and see their baby boy. I was able to nurse baby girl for a little while as the nurses did their routine checks. After having a baby the nurses have to come in and push down on your stomach to make sure the uterus is contracting and bleeding is not excessive. Let me be real, that hurts! After the first few times the nurse did it, I could see in her face something wasn't right. She had the charge nurse come in and they felt it was necessary to push on my stomach every 5 to 10 minutes. I wanted to punch them.
Getting to nurse baby girl
They finally called Dr I back in after giving me all of the medication they could to help stop the bleeding. He thought there were probably just some leftover clots that if he removed them it would slow the bleeding down. He did that in my room and said he would be close by if that didn't work. (I have no idea the time frame for all of this.) In the meantime, baby girl was being snuggled by my sister-in-law while the parents were trying to process everything else that was going on. Also, I received a call from my Annie, she had left work and was about to get on the freeway to come up to Fresno (she's 4-1/2 hours away). I tried to talk her out of coming but as I was on the phone with her my doctor walked back in and said he had to take me back into surgery to do a d&c and place a balloon to help stop the bleeding. I hear "I'm coming" and Annie hung up.
Back into the operating room, Dr I and Dr S are again working together and tell me they will place the balloon and then watch to make sure that stops the bleeding. If it doesn't then they will have to take out my uterus. I wake back up in my room and honestly can't remember much. I think baby girl is in the nursery and my siblings may have come in to visit me. I do remember the nurse lifting my gown and me saying "Um...that's my brother at the end of the bed.". I guess there is no modesty when having a baby.
The nurses were then regularly checking to make sure the balloon was working and the bleeding was slowing down. It did work, for a little while. Then Dr S came back in and said she had to take me back in to surgery to remove my uterus. The bleeding just wasn't stopping. They told Travis it would be about 1 to 1-1/2 hour surgery. They took me back in again (sometime around 3pm) and this time I was out very quickly. I remember opening my eyes and seeing my brothers and hearing Annie say she was my sister. I wanted to say something to them but I couldn't and then I fell back to sleep. The next time I woke up was the middle of the night, I was in a panic thinking I was choking and couldn't breathe. No one was in the room and I tried to call out to someone but I couldn't talk or move my hands. They were strapped down. The nurse came in and yelled at me to calm down. How could I calm down when I had no idea what was going on? She told me I had a breathing tube and my hands were tied to make sure I didn't pull it out. I finally calmed down and fell back to sleep. When I woke up again it was morning and my throat hurt. Again I felt like I was choking. I tried to sign letters of what I wanted but it was the same nurse and she just seemed annoyed and kept telling me to calm down. Dr S came in at some point and I just kept pointing to the tube to take it out. I hated it. She was finally the one who thought of getting me paper and a pen to write down what I needed to say and they let me have my hands free. The respiratory therapist came in about 10 to start the process to remove the tube. I had to breathe on my own with the tube still in for 30 minutes before he could take it out. I started choking and feeling like I couldn't breathe again and was terrified. I could even hear my mom getting worked up a little. I finally got through all that and he was able to remove it. That tube was the worst!
I had visitors throughout the day and another doctor came in to tell us about the surgery. It ended up taking 3-1/2 to 4 hours because they couldn't stop the bleeding and they had to replace 11 liters of blood (according to him). After further discussion with Dr I and Dr S they had to have 4 doctors in the operating room trying to stop the bleeding. My body wouldn't clot the blood so any blood they transfused just kept coming out. Dr S said it was amazing though, the work of everyone in the operating room that through it all they were able to keep me stable. They did everything right and for that I am forever grateful. When Travis asked if it was life threatening Dr S said "absolutely". That was a difficult thing to hear.
I spent the next few days in the hospital making sure my counts and vitals were good and then I was released to go home on Tuesday. It felt so good to go home. Everyone is now trying to get back into a routine. The IPs are spending time loving on their sweet baby girl along with grieving for their baby boy. I have had the opportunity to visit them twice and it does my heart good to watch them with her. Travis returned to work on Monday and I have been working from home.
Baby girl snuggles
Thank you so very much for all of our friends and family that have blessed us with meals, cards, flowers and visits along with offers to help with the boys. Please forgive me for not responding to messages, I have read every one and appreciate the support and encouragement. We are also still trying to get answers, if there are any. There are days when darkness settles in my mind and I feel guilty...maybe this was my fault...what if we would have delivered the babies 1 week sooner...what if we missed something. Those days are difficult. People ask me how I'm feeling, I don't really know how to answer that. Physically, I'm doing better everyday. I'm up taking my kids to school and getting back to being a mom. I'm off the narcotics and only need to take Ibuprofen 1 or 2 times a day. And I'm pumping for baby girl, which is going well. Other than that, I don't know. We are just taking one day at a time. If you think of us, please continue to pray for healing and peace for us all, along with the staff at Clovis Community. I have heard that this has really shaken quite a few of them, one even decided to retire. Though we had much loss on that Friday we also have so much to be thankful for. There is a beautiful new baby girl who gets to be loved by amazing parents and God must have more for me to do here. Guess I better get busy. Love you all!