Read about our NICU experience from the beginning with: Life in the NICU – Part 1
I should have entitled this post – “Chronicle of Small Victories” – because that’s really what it is. There were so many small victories leading up to the big victory of our boys coming home, my heart is so full reliving them all.
Just as I was getting into a routine at the hospital, we were told they would be moved. As of March 5th, 2014, they were no longer under Level III care and would have to move to a lower level facility to free up space for two other babies in need. I couldn’t be there to accompany them on their trip across the city, but I called the new hospital as soon as I could to hear how their trip went, and Caleb and I headed down there to get them “settled in”.
The next time either of those babies were moved, it was to go home.
Want to read about the little boys arrival? Head to – Graduated: Labour and Delivery
Everyone in that labour and delivery room made me feel like the hard part was supposed to be over. They were here and they were going to be ok. But the keyword was “going”. I still wasn’t quite sure what was in store for me as one part of our journey had ended and another began. I just knew we had a long way to go.
All I had read preparing for this moment had told me that these babies were meant to be here in May and not to anticipate them coming home sooner than that. They were no longer protected in the comfort of my womb, and so they were going to need to be protected in the comfort of the NICU until they were essentially full-term.
As I lay in bed awaiting the moment where I could be taken up to see them, I found myself asking, was I prepared for how fragile and small they would seem? An hour and a half later, I could answer that question. No one would ever be prepared.
Caleb met my mom and I and we all went up to the NICU together, buzzing with excitement. This was soon met with disappointment as they informed us that because of a terrible flu season, visitors were restricted to parents only. Not a happy start…
I could do my best to describe what it was like to meet my two perfect (albeit-too small) babies for the first time, but I could never do that justice. So here are a couple of videos that I hope will portray it a little better…
February 13th, 2014 – My water broke while I was in the staff room at work. I was casually “pinning” some Valentine’s Day activities to do with my kindergarteners the next day and – well, there was a gush. I maintained this unusual sense of calm as I explained to my boss what was happening and my coworkers started frantically running around me collecting my things. This sense of calm lasted me several hours – until my husband arrived at the hospital, my rock, and I could stop being strong, and cry. I was 28 weeks along. I didn’t know what this meant at the time – the only numbers I had really given any thought to were 37 and 40. 40 being the number of weeks I carried my two singletons, and 37 being the number of weeks I had expected to carry these twin boys. 28 seemed very far away from the 37 I had been expecting.
My doctor came and spoke to me – I had just seen her a few days earlier as I had had a routine ultrasound. She looked at me and said, “you’re not supposed to be here”. My pregnancy had been textbook. Although I was ultimately considered high-risk because I was carrying multiples, I was the lowest risk of all the high-risk. My babies were nestled in the safety of their own sac and had access to their own placenta. That was huge. Both were beautifully positioned with their heads down and, along with the fact that I had delivered my two singletons naturally, the doctor was favourable to a natural delivery for these twins. My biggest issue up until this point had been the waddle I had developed and the pressure that came along with having two heads lodged in my pelvis. I had just struggled with putting my notice in for my maternity leave as I was nowhere near ready to say goodbye to my kindergarteners.
Now – things were different. They diagnosed me with pPROM – which is a fancy short form for “preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes“. They did figure out that only one baby had ruptured (our Henry), meaning the other baby was perfectly content in his safety net of fluid. The doctor explained to me that they could ultimately let me go on like this until I reached 32 weeks gestation, or until my body went into labour on its own (which – could have been days, weeks or hours… they didn’t know). I had to face the reality that no matter what, I was going to have two premature babies.