Friday, January 1, 2010
Sophia and Cecilia's birth story
Yesterday morning at 7:55 a.m., Sophia Michelle and Cecilia Louise Tice were born via cesarean section at Rockford Memorial Hospital by a talented team of doctors and nurses. Sophia was born first and weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces and was 16.55 inches in length. Cecilia was born only 32 seconds later and was 3 pounds 11 ounces with a length of 16.75 inches. The day started out very early, and Tim and I only got about three hours of sleep during the night (the anticipation was out of control). I started getting prepped around 6 a.m. with an IV, and some of our family came in to support us as we waited to be brought to the operating room. The anesthesiologist came in before the surgery to run over the spinal block and to prepare us in general for what to expect. He warned us not to be alarmed if we did not hear the twins crying after they were delivered, because it is common for babies that young (32 weeks exactly) to have breathing problems. He told us they might need to be intubated immediately to avoid lack of oxygen to their brains. My favorite nurse from high risk moms named Theresa came and got me for the spinal block, and Tim joined us after the first incision. I was very nervous, both about the surgery and what might go wrong with the girls. Tim and I were both holding our breath when we heard the doctor say that he reached the uterine lining, because we knew that meant that the girls were coming. To our relief and absolute delight, they both came out kicking and screaming!! I can not describe my emotions when I heard their little cries, but I can say for certain I have never felt that way in my life. It brought tears to my eyes and a love to my heart that only a mother must know. Almost as wonderful as hearing my little miracle angels was seeing my husband's face when he saw them from his much better vantage point and hear them himself. His smile, and the light in his eyes was priceless! After they were delivered, there was a lot of activity in the room with each of the twins having their own team of doctors and nurses. Tim was able to cut the cords which made me so happy. When the placenta was delivered, and we were able to see the cords, we realized just how lucky our family was. The cords had two square knots and another knot wrapped around those making one softball sized knot. It made it that much more evident that my 56 days spent inpatient on bed rest with constant monitoring were worth every minute. Seeing the knots only reinforced how close we were to losing the girls. At any moment the cords could have compressed and stopped blood flow to the twins. The nurses brought each of the girls over to me to see before they took them away, and I fell in love instantly. They were so tiny and perfect! It is still hard for me to believe that I am partially responsible for creating something so beautiful and perfect. The doctor gave both girls Apgar scores of 9, which is pretty amazing. For those of you who are uncertain about the Apgar, it is a scoring process done on all babies immediately after delivery. It scores the baby's color, heart rate, reflex, muscle tone, and respiratory effect from 0-2. Our babies received all twos except for their color which scored a one. Our doctor told us that in his 20 years of delivering high risk babies, he has never seen cords like ours and never gave 32 week old twins an Apgar score of 9. It really gives a whole new meaning to "miracle babies"! After my initial recovery, they took me to take a look at the girls before they moved me to my room. At that point they were laying out in open beds, and I was only able to see them for a few minutes. Later that evening I went to see them again, and Cecilia was on the CPAP which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It helps the baby breathe but is not breathing for her, she is still breathing in her own oxygen. It just helps her lungs and keep her from getting too tired because breathing is very difficult for her at this point. She was also have problems with low blood pressure. At that point Sophia was doing pretty well, but as of today she too is on the CPAP. Today they are both having problems with low blood sugar and low blood pressure, so they have both been given dopamine which helps with these things. All in all, we are so blessed that they do not have any major problems. It is definitely hard to see them struggle, and they cry often. Cecilia was really fussy until they placed her on her belly, and it really seemed to soothe her. It is also a joy to see them fight and become stronger. It is funny how they both maintained the personalities that I associated with them in the womb. Neither of them have taken any food through their feeding tube yet, and they threw up when they tried yesterday. The nurses say that their bodies are too busy trying regulate other processes to handle digesting food as well. They are getting nutrition through their IVs though. The nurses say they will try and feed them some breast milk tomorrow and hopefully they will tolerate that better than the formula. Tim and I go and see the babies often and talk to them and touch them through the windows in the beds. We will continue to keep the blog updated with any changes, good or bad. We will also continue to add photos, and I am hoping to get a photo of the cords tomorrow or Sunday.