Friday, May 17, 2013

Kendall and Kylie's Birth Story

I thought it would be appropriate to post this now since Kendall and Kylie’s second birthday is fast approaching.  I apologize if I get jumbled or have poor sentence structure.  I know that I don’t have the ‘flowery’ writing ability of many bloggers out there.  I tried to condense this as much as possible, but it’s still quite long.  Enjoy.

I was lucky to have a fairly drama-free pregnancy.  The only hurdle I had to endure was going on (partial) bed rest from 32-36 weeks pregnant.  When putting me on bed rest and pulling me from work, my doctor told me he didn’t think I would make it to 35 weeks.  We were informed at 32 weeks that I was only about .25 cm of cervix away from getting placed on hospital bed rest.  I ended up having to be induced at almost 39 weeks pregnant.  To be honest, I was dreading an induction.  I had read some horror stories about being induced; how it made labor more painful, and how it could possibly stall labor, not that I was actually IN labor to begin with.  After I hit the 37 week mark, I tried to encourage my body to go into labor on its own.  I ate eggplant, took daily walks (and showcased my gorgeous cankles), cooked all day, and possibly everything else you may have read that can help induce labor (with the exception of castor oil).  Nothing happened.  Nada.  Barely a contraction. Those girls were happy in there.  At my last prenatal appointment, 3 days before my induction, I was 1cm dilated and about 90% effaced. 

Kevin and I had one last ‘us’ day the day before my induction.  We woke up and went out to breakfast at Mimi’s Café.  After breakfast, we went over to the mall for a while, walked around, bought the book ‘Corduroy’ and some Godiva chocolates, and just enjoyed some time together.  We then went home to finish watching Season 3 of ‘24’ on Netflix, clean and pack our few last remaining items.  Per my request, Kevin made a dinner of barbecued chicken, broccoli, and mashed potatoes.  Before going to bed and getting one last “good” nights’ sleep, we went out for my one major splurge throughout my pregnancy, Cold Stone Creamery.  I had the Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and it was fabulous!
The next morning we checked in to Riverside Hospital at 7AM.

We had to wait for a few minutes for our room to be ready, but I was in the room, changed, and hooked up to IVs and monitors by 7:30AM.  They started the Pitocin immediately.  At first check by Nurse Pam I was about 2 cm dilated and almost 100% effaced.  Dr. Jones came in and did an ultrasound.  Both girls were still head down.  We crossed our fingers they would stay that way.

The first few hours were pretty easy.  My contractions were minimal, and Kevin and I just sat there and chatted with each other and the various people who came in and out of the room.  My parents arrived around 9 AM or so.  The doctor said that he thought I would go fairly quickly (due to the fact that Baby A’s head was SO low), and was estimating I would have them by dinner time. 

My water broke around 9:30AM.  I went to the bathroom, and when I was done I stood up and was leaking (blood).  Pam checked my cervix again and I was dilated about 3 cm.  I thought maybe this would go quicker than I expected.

Pam didn’t think the monitor belt was getting a good reading on my contractions, so she decided to put an internal monitor in.  It was extremely uncomfortable, and it further broke Baby A’s bag of waters.  So much so that I thought I was going to flood the place out!  That’s when my labor (and pain) really started kicking in.

The late morning and early afternoon dragged slightly.  I wanted to walk the hallways, but I wasn’t allowed since I was on pitocin.  Instead, I munched on ice chips, gritted my teeth through contractions, and bounced on an exercise ball for about an hour.  I got back in the bed for Pam to do her last check of the day, and I was only dilated to about a 4.  Seriously?  Ugh.

Pretty hot
At 3PM I got a new nurse, my neighbor Jean.  She is a lot of fun, and our easy banter kind of took my mind off the fact that I was really in pain. The contractions would not stop coming.  Jean kept looking at the monitor and commented that my contractions were weak.  This was difficult for me to believe because it seemed like I barely had a break between contractions.   She continued to bump my pitocin.

Pam passing the buck to Jean.  Me looking enthused.
Finally, around 5PM (and almost 5 cm dilated), I decided enough was enough.  I wasn’t even getting a minute between contractions and was dying for some relief.  I decided to get an epidural.  OMG.  What in the world was I waiting for?!?  The epidural was the most fantastic thing ever.  I started feeling relief immediately.  I felt weak for getting one when I was only halfway dilated, but at that point I didn’t care.  I felt like I could carry on conversations and laugh again.  It was a nice break.  She also took out my internal monitor and gave me the belt again.  That’s when it clicked that my uterus was a bit too distended for an internal monitor to read correctly.  My contractions were coming one right after the other, and Jean backed down on the pitocin.  No wonder I was in so much pain!

Jean did one last check at about 6:30PM before I got a new nurse, and I was a little over 5 cm dilated.  Sigh.  We settled in for what was looking to be a LOOOONG night.  That dinnertime prediction definitely was not in the cards any longer.

Amanda, my third and final nurse took over.  We clicked immediately.  Her, my parents, Kevin and I just sat around chatting for a while.  We were having such a nice conversation that I completely forgot I was in labor, and I was ignoring the pressure I started feeling down below.  Finally around 8:30PM I told her I was feeling pressure.  My parents left the room and Amanda did a check.

“You’re not going to believe this.” she said.  
“What?!?” I asked. 
“You’re complete.”
“WHAT????”  Kevin just sat there with a shocked look on his face.

I couldn’t believe I went from 5 cm at 6:30PM to 10 cm at 8:30PM.  I was so relieved that I decided to get an epidural.  That would have been a rough two hours! 

Parents saying goodbye before two new family members were born!
Amanda rushed out of the room to call Dr. Jones, while Kevin and I just sat there in disbelief for a few minutes.  I was honestly expecting to be in labor for a LOT longer.  Especially considering how the day had gone up until that point.

While waiting for the doctor to arrive, Amanda came back in and had me do some ‘practice’ pushes.  I glanced at the clock and saw it was 8:55 PM.  (Side note:  I’m always amused by the phrase ‘practice pushes’, I mean, they are real pushes, right?)

Let me just talk about the atmosphere / room setup for a minute.  Since L&D was so busy that day, I was in one of the smaller labor rooms. We had an infant warmer in there for each of the girls (in addition to a few chairs, TV/Cabinet, table, etc).  Dr. Jones made the decision not to have me deliver in the OR because he truly felt that I was not going to need a c-section.  So, in addition to all the furniture, the doctor, Amanda, and Kevin, there was also another resident OB helping and one nurse for each baby.  On top of all that, when I started pushing, one of the photographers from ‘One Born’ came in and was taking pictures, and Kevin’s mic went out, so another producer had to come in and fix his mic.  Needless to say, my room was insane.  Even if I had wanted parents in the room with us, there was truly no space for anyone else.  People ask me if it was weird being filmed / photographed during labor and delivery.  I really thought it would be, but when I was in the middle of delivering two babies, the president could have walked in and I would not have batted an eye.

Back to delivery; after I started doing practice pushes with Amanda, Kevin ran to use the restroom in my room.  We weren’t sure how long this was going to take, so it was pretty much now or never.  I remember him yelling “Don’t have any babies yet!”  When he came out of the restroom, Amanda looked at him and said, “Do you want to see your daughter’s head?”  Poor guy.  He didn’t know what to think.  He wasn’t sure if he should be grossed out or amazed (he ended up being completely fascinated with the whole delivery process.)

Dr. Jones arrived sometime after 9PM, and we were in the thick of it.  I was pushing with all my might at each contraction.  After every set of pushes, I would look around at everyone for reassurance that I was doing ok.  Everyone in the room was wonderful and truly encouraging.  Just as I started getting exhausted, and was pushing as hard as I possibly could, Amanda shouted “Open your eyes!  Look at your daughter!”  At 9:17PM Kendall Anna entered this world with a healthy set of lungs.  I looked at her and remember thinking “Oh my gosh, it’s a baby!”  I have no idea why that was my first thought.  Thinking back, I’m always amused by that.

Happy Birthday Kendall!
Kevin cut the cord, and I got to hold Kendall for about 2.2 seconds before giving her over to the nurses and getting myself ready for round two.  Dr. Jones broke Baby B’s water and immediately started pressing on my stomach, trying to guide her into place while frantically summoning the nurse to grab the ultrasound machine.  He needed to make sure she was still head down.  From this point forward, everything was pretty much a blur to me.

When Dr. Jones tried using the ultrasound machine, it had stopped working.  There were a few other quirky things happening, so we think the room was having electrical problems.  This is when it got a bit scary.

Amanda and Dr. Jones were monitoring Baby B’s heart rate, and although they weren’t saying anything directly to me, I knew something wasn’t right.  I looked over at the monitor myself, and remember seeing the number 67.  Immediately alarm bells went off in my head.  Wasn’t her heart rate supposed to be 130+?  This can’t be good.  Amanda had mentioned to me that they may have to give me oxygen if her heart rate wasn’t recovering properly.  I kept asking if she was ok, and wasn’t really getting an answer from either of them.  I don’t remember what Kevin was doing at that point, but I’m sure worrying was a part of it.

Until I watched ‘One Born’ I had no idea that Amanda did indeed put the oxygen mask on me and told me to take deep breaths.  Getting more oxygen would hopefully help her heart rate recover.  It didn’t.  Dr. Jones then ordered Amanda to get the vacuum ready.  This needed to be a quick birth. If she wasn’t out within minutes, I was going to have the dreaded ‘Double Whammy’.  Although foggy, I knew what I had to do.  They got the vacuum in place, and ordered me to push.  I gave four big pushes and again Amanda yelled at me to open my eyes.  Kylie Ella made her grand appearance at 9:25PM.  She didn’t cry immediately, but was very pink, and had a look of shock on her face.  When she came out the first words out of my mouth were “She’s so little!”  She was a half pound smaller than Kendall, and just looked so tiny.

Happy Birthday Kylie!  (we didn't get a good pic right away)
I held her while Kevin cut the cord and then she was whisked off to the warmer to be cleaned up.  Then the fun really began.  (And by fun I mean NOT fun).  While we were watching the nurses work with the babies, Dr. Jones was working on me.  He was trying to deliver the placenta, and the placenta happened to be quite content where it was.  After pressing on my belly and tugging for a few minutes, he realized he was going to have to use a bit more invasive measures.  I ended up getting a D&C right there.  My epidural had worn off a while ago.  Enough said.  Good thing I barely remember it.

This little one helped me through the tough stuff.
Anyway, after the placenta adventure, we got to see the babies being weighed and measured.  Kendall was 6lbs, 1oz and 19 inches long.  Kylie was 5lbs 10oz and 19 inches long.  Kylie’s APGARs were 9/9 and Kendall’s were 8/9.


My parents came in and got to meet the girls and I got to do kangaroo care with them.  Definitely the best part of my day!  I remember that Kendall started rooting immediately once she was on my chest.  I couldn’t believe she knew what to do.  Everyone had the chance to hold them and take pictures while they pretty much slept through it all.  It was amazing.

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Courtesy of Lifetime

Brand new family!
A short time before we were ready to go up to post-partum I started shaking really bad.  My teeth were even chattering.  My mom kept asking me if I was cold.  I wasn’t at all.  Amanda said I was in a mild state of shock due to blood loss.  I ended up recovering a few hours after we went up to post-partum.

By the time the girls were bathed, I was taken care of, my parents left for the evening, and the girls were breastfed, it was 2 AM or so.  The nurses offered to take the girls to the nursery for a few hours so we could get some sleep.  I felt terrible sending them, but I was SO tired.  I had been up for 22 hours at that point and desperately needed a few hours of sleep. 

Exhausting day for everyone
The rest of our hospital stay was uneventful and actually wonderful.  The nurses in post-partum were amazing, and it was nice to be able to hang out and relax with the girls and our family before the insanity began of taking twin newborns home.  The nurses loved taking the girls to the nursery.  They were SO good in the hospital.  They slept so much, nursed, and barely made a peep. 

Mom and Dad

Kendall and I

Kylie and Daddy

Kevin and his Mom
 At discharge, (40ish hours after they were born), they had lost a little weight, but were still within a healthy range.  We took the most nerve-wracking drive home from the hospital, and even had to stop about 15 minutes into the drive to check on them.  Ahh.  First time parents.
We made it home!

Daddy and his girls

 Once home, it was just time to figure everything out.  We were lucky that my parents stayed an extra two days.  Kevin’s parents and brother also were there the night we got home and for part of the next day.  It was fun, exhausting, and draining, and there are times when I still feel like I’m trying to figure out this whole MoM thing.  But yes, it’s totally worth it.

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