Monday, July 27, 2009

The Birth

Janel started having contractions around 2:30 am Saturday morning. Being only 25 weeks we both thought these were cramps brought on by a prescription that Janel had started taking the night before for an infection. However, as the morning progressed the pain associated with the cramping intensified and Janel called her obstetrician, Dr. Hansen around 10:00 am. Dr. Hansen advised us to go on in to the hospital to be checked out.

We arrived at Seton Medical Center around noon. Dr Moreno was the obstetrician on duty and examined Janel and found her to be 5 cm dilated. Upon discovering this they began giving Janel magnesium sulfate through her IV in the hope that this would reduce the amount of dilation and allow the babies to stay in the womb. Dr. Berry, our perinatalogist, was contacted and informed of the situation. After 30 minutes of this treatment Dr. Moreno measured the dilation at 6.5cm and she and Dr. Berry decided to adjust the levels of medication in hope that labor could still be avoided. Unfortunately, the next time Dr. Moreno measured the dilation it had increased to 7cm. At this point Dr. Berry decided it would be safest to get the babies out as opposed to continuing to let labor progress in hope the dilation would go back down.

Nearly immediately after the decision was made to give birth, Janel was taken to the operating room for her c-section. Because of the urgency, Janel was placed under complete anesthetics and I was not allowed to be in the operating room with Janel. However, they did allow me to wait outside in the operating area where I was able to see them carry the boys from the operating room to the NICU prep area. It could not have been more than five minutes between when they moved Janel into the operating room and when Aiden came out at 3:45. Two minutes later they rushed Evan to rejoin his brother in the prep room. From my spot in the hall way I could see the nurses and doctors huddled around each of the boys. There was a lot of beeping equipment and flashing red lights as all of the supporting equipment was brought up and connected. It was perhaps the most helpless feeling I have ever felt to watch my boys in the first minutes of their lives fight to stay alive.
After about 15 minutes, they allowed me to go into the neonatal prep room to see the boys for the first time. I couldn’t get a good look at Aiden but was able to get close enough to Evan for a good look. Because Evan was below Aiden in the womb, they had a harder time getting him out. As a result Evan had quite a few bruises on his arms and legs where they had to grab a hold and pull. On the portable incubator they had Evan in was a clock that showed the amount of time passed since birth. Evan was 19 minutes old. After a couple more minutes in the prep room they rolled both Aiden and Evan to the elevators to go up to the NICU and sent me off to the waiting room until Janel was stabilized in the recovery room.

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