On the evening of May 24th - my due date was not until September 9th - I began to feel slight contractions. I believed these to be Braxton Hicks contractions. I had already experienced these a few weeks earlier and had spent time in the hospital on fetal monitors to verify that everything was ok with the babies. The next day, I went to my obstetrician's office for my regular checkup and ultrasound.
All was well and the OB said I would now start seeing her every week. I was 25.5 weeks pregnant.
That night my contractions became worse and I started leaking. I was not sure what it was but after I laid down, the contractions stopped. The next morning, May 26th, 2006, I started feeling the contractions again and leaking more and more. I went to work and called my OB from there. She was out of the office. Her wonderful nurse Crystal had the foresight to send me on to the hospital just be safe. They put me on the fetal monitors and could tell that I was definitely having contractions.
Another OB came in to examine me and I was 3 cm dilated already. She immediately made the nurses turn me up on my head and they began a magnesium drip and also gave me steroids for the babies' lungs, just in case. She then told me that I was being transferred to another hospital where they specialized in high-risk pregnancies and neonatal care.
I called Karl and told him that he needed to get to the hospital ASAP. He had our youngest son at the doctor's office 45 minutes away, but he made it to the hospital in less than 20 minutes. Within 30 minutes of his arrival at the hospital I was in an ambulance and on my way to another hospital. I began to experience strong back labor. Nurse Catherine, another angel, was with me in the ambulance and she started giving me demerol for the pain. She checked the babies' heartbeats every 15 minutes. She also kept me sane during the crazy ambulance ride.
We arrived safe and sound at the new hospital. I was scared to death. My whole family was with us and we were wondering what was going on.
Another OB came in to examine me and discovered that I was 4 cms dialted now and Kaitlyn's bag was probably ruptured. No one seemed to know for sure. They brought in the ultrasound and looked at the babies. Both heartbeats were steady and strong, but Kaitlyn's bag was definitely ruptured. Her head was acting as a stopper in my cervix and only allowing a trickle of fluid to seep out. They stopped the magnesium drip and let labor progress.
By 9 pm that evening I was 9 cms dilated. The doctors and nurses beegan to rush around and prepare for something. We were not sure what was going on. Karl asked the nurse what was happening and the doctor turned to him and said. "We are going to have babies. We are going to have to do an emergency c-section now. Or we are going to have two babies born in this little room and it will be like a slip and slide."
Karl ran everyone out of the room and he held my hand and he a prayer for God's will to be done. He asked that God lay his hands on our babies and take care of them in the way that he saw fit. I was so scared that all I could do was cry.
They came back into the room and handed scrubs to Karl and wheeled me away to the delivery room. I just kept asking where my husband was. Karl said there were at least 20 people in the room when he got there. He also said that it was less than 10 minutes from the time he sat down until Kaitlyn was born at 11:29 pm, weighing 2 lbs and she was 13 1/4 inches long. We didn't hear her cry, but we did hear Grayson cry when he was born at 11:30 pm, weighing 2 lbs, 3 oz and he was 13 3/4 inches long. They were both good sized considering that they were born at 25 weeks, 6 days gestation.
They wheeled the babies by in an incubator and all I could see of them were their heads full of hair and their big eyes. My mom and dad got to see them as they wheeled them out of the delivery room and off to the NICU. My husband got to see both babies about 2 hours after they were born. It was 6 hours before I got to see them in person. However, the sweet nurses in the NICU made pictures of both of them and gave them to Karl to show me when he got back up to my room.
After their very early birth, Kaitlyn and Grayson spent a long time in the NICU. Kaitlyn suffered from NEC and stayed in the NICU after Grayson went home. You can visit Michelle's blog to read more of their amazing story.