3 Feb 2008

History 101..part two

So suddenly bleeding again, at 24 weeks and 5 days-resulting in a midnight visit to the hospital. This time I landed up being admitted as there was some signs that my cervix was getting shorter, although I had felt no contractions and the CTG had also shown nothing. It was a Thursday night when I was admitted and they (Dr D) planned to do the cerclage on the Monday. Dr D felt there was no danger of delivery in the near future so she wanted to wait until the results from the infection screening were back. Thank goodness they gave me the steroid shots to "ripen the lungs" then though.

We got to 4am Sunday morning when they landed up doing an emergency cerclage as the lower sac membrane was starting to enter the cervical passage and my cervix was funneling. That was fun, NOT!! Don't recommend the tocolytics though, as I had an extreme case of the shakes on them- the racing heart rate was liveable but I was literally shaking my whole bed!

The next 3 days were spent on tocolytics (got to try 2 because of the extreme reaction to the first). On the Tuesday afternoon I was taken off the meds (only supposed to stay on the second medication for 48 hours) and within 3 hours I was in labour, so first medication restarted and for the first time we got to speak to one of the neonatologists in the hospital. He was good but also believed in giving us the blunt facts: 60% survival rate with a high rate of disability, would need breathing assistance and every day we could hold on would be a bonus.

After this talk we decided to delay the CS until the next morning if possible and see if things didn't settle again. That night I had very heavy bleeding and contractions continued unabated so
the next morning (Wedensday) I was first on the operation table. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint) I had to be knocked out for the surgery as the spinal block didn't work. In retrospect I'm very glad I wasn't awake and that my husband, Mr Z, wasn't allowed to stay, as later we heard that Enya had been touch and go after delivery.

Ciara was delivered first and did really well- she even managed a cry, but Enya's placenta had been detaching and it looked as though the membranes had also ruptured i.e. no fluid around her and she was covered in congealed blood. They had to pump her stomach to get rid of all the blood she had swallowed. The scary thing was I had been monitored the whole night and there had been no signs that she was in any distress.

I don't remember much of that day except Mr Z coming to show me photos of the girls and to say that Enya was struggling and had been put on NO gas to try open her lungs up as she was not saturating well on 100% oxygen, despite 2x surfactant doses. That did the trick and after 6-8 hours on this treatment they were able to put her back on to normal oxygen and she maintained her sats (she was on high frequency oscilation ventilation at this time).

I saw them for the first time the next day- tiny wrinkled red beings with dark fluff (lanugo) over their bodies and their eyes still sealed shut. Ciara was by this time already on CPAP, Enya was still being ventilated but with a less aggressive mode of ventilation. Love at first sight it was not, I think I was still in shock at what had happened. That being said, we were encouraged to touch them-gently cupping our hands around their heads to encourage bonding. I look at photos of the first few days and can't believe these are the same babes we brought home.

to be continued.....

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