Today would have been the day that I thought I’d be posting another update from bed rest, and celebrating that we hit 31 weeks. But I think Romy, Piper, and God were in cahoots with plans of their own, because instead we are celebrating that today they are a week old!
That’s right, Romy and Piper. Romy Jean Nyman and Piper James Nyman came into this world Thursday morning, September 7th, at 11:19 am and 11:20 am. It all happened so fast that parts are a blur, but I’ll try to share the story with you how we remember it.
So as you know from my last post, we were discharged from the hospital on Wednesday the 6th after two weeks of strict hospital bed rest. As luck would have it, my sister Tahni happened to fly in that afternoon, with plans to stay with me for a couple of days and then head to Palm Springs for the weekend for one of her best friends’ bachelorette parties. As soon as she got to the house, she kicked into gear and started cleaning and organizing both the babies things and my clothes, which was something I had needed to do since we moved in here!
As Tahni organized things for me and while I tried to help direct her from my bed, I started to notice that my contractions were more painful. It was common for me to have contractions every once in a while in the hospital, even painful ones sometimes, but these seemed to get more painful as the afternoon turned into evening. By evening, I started to notice my lower back hurt in a way it hadn’t before and that got me worried. I tried to drink a ton of water, pee, and then laid in bed on my left side (that’s what they tell you to do when you want to slow contractions down) and tried to will the contractions away. I was too afraid to even get up to wash my face and get ready for bed. (If you know me, you know that I NEVER go to bed without washing my face! ;)). Throughout the night I’d wake up every hour or so with a really painful contraction, but I was tracking them on my phone and the fact that they weren’t very close together made me feel better.
By morning, I had decided we needed to go back to the hospital to be safe. I knew I needed to go back, but felt so silly for even coming home in the first place. Tahni re-packed my bag, Blake helped get things together, and I took a shower. I wanted to shower because I assumed I’d end up back on the magnesium to stop the contractions and then back in the antepartum unit again like the first time I checked into the hospital, which would mean no shower for a few days and lots of sweating! The shower seemed to relax/slow the contractions. I remember even trying to convince Blake that he should go to his office and Tahni could get me checked in to the hospital. Luckily he didn’t consider that for a second ;). Not long after my shower, I was slowly and carefully getting myself ready to go and lost my mucus plug when I went to the bathroom. To make sure that’s what it was, I did a Google image search and then checked with Tahni who confirmed. At that point getting to the hospital seemed much more urgent, so Tahni helped me finish getting dressed and ready.
Headed to the Hospital
All of the sudden my contractions got so much more painful, and were getting so close together! By the time we were in the car on the way to the hospital they were 3 minutes apart and I was in SO much pain that I was just trying to focus on breathing. As much as it hurt, all I could think about was the girls and if they were ok. With all of the contractions I hadn’t felt them moving much, and all I wanted was to hear their little heartbeats! I think during the car ride is when I started to wonder if my labor might have gone too far too fast for us to stop it.
Blake got us there as quickly as he could and pulled into valet. As he ran to get me a wheelchair, the valet guy opened the door and saw my state and said, “Are you doing ok?” I’m sure he’s seen so many couples pull up just like us, and he handled everything quickly so we could be on our way. We got up to the floor for obstetric triage/emergency to check in where I had checked in before, and all of the sudden everything felt different. I think that was the moment I realized I REALLY might be in labor, just as the words came out of my mouth to the guy trying to check us in – “I think I might be in labor.” He asked why, and I told him that my contractions were 3 minutes apart and very painful, and that I had lost my mucus plug. He sprung into action, and everything happened so fast from there.
They wheeled me into a room and quickly hooked me up to an IV and magnesium. The main nurse helping me had helped me before when I was on the antepartum unit so she knew my story. She tried to help me calm down during my contractions, telling me that’s what would help the girls the most. Once I was situated and on the magnesium, the nurse checked me. I’ll never forget her face when she felt Baby A’s head and said I was dilated to at least an 8. We found out later that I was actually fully dilated – to a 10! The nurse said, “These babies are coming today!” and things started moving even faster around me.
I remember signing some papers held in front of me during my contractions as I was laying on my side on the table, with no idea what I was really signing. An anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself. Although I wished I could just keep laboring on my own, I knew I was getting a C-Section because it was too risky for our little babies to go through the birth canal. So I jokingly asked the anesthesiologist, “If you’re going to have me on magnesium and having contractions, can I get my epidural now?” He said, “Oh it’s too late for that, we are doing a spinal block!” He then told me the needle was smaller than an epidural, so I was on board ;).As they wheeled me into the OR, I saw two pods ready for the babies (now I know that they are called isolettes) and it really hit me that my babies were about to be in them! I heard them talking about how they were trying to find a doctor. My doctor was off that day, so they told me it would be another doctor from her practice. Then that doctor couldn’t get out of surgery fast enough, so they found another doctor willing to come in and do it. (One blessing of my hospital bed rest was that I had been able to meet with all of the doctors from the practice, so although I was bummed my doctor had to miss it, I felt really comfortable with the doctor who came.) As I lay in the OR and everyone moved so quickly around me, I tried to focus on the anesthesiologist because I knew that was the first important part. He did the spinal block (it didn’t hurt bad at all) and then communicated with me about what I could still feel. I was nervous because I could still feel exactly where everyone was touching me. He asked me if I could feel him pinching me and I said I could feel where but it didn’t hurt. Apparently that was the answer he was looking for, because he had been pinching me really hard. So things moved forward.
I don’t know at what point Blake was allowed to come in, but I remember being so happy to see him. I was glad I didn’t know the moment they cut into me, and then I just felt some pressure and some tugging. Suddenly I felt a release of pressure – of that pressure on my ribs and lungs that I’d felt for so many months – and I knew Baby A was out. The neonatologists had told me that I might not hear the babies cry, and not to worry if that were the case because sometimes babies don’t cry when they are born that early. But that’s all I was waiting for – to hear a little cry – because that would help me know that they were ok. And you guys – I heard one. Baby A came out crying! That sound was the most magical thing to me in that moment. And the doctors told me she was out, and kept saying how cute she was. And with some more pulling and tugging, just a minute later, I heard another cry! And then again the doctors were exclaiming how cute she was. So I knew I had crying, cute baby girls!The neonatologists and nurses immediately went to work on both of the girls. Each baby had their own little team around them. I couldn’t see them from where I was, so I remember just trying so hard to listen to all of the voices in the room – to the doctors on each baby, to the doctor as she finished my surgery, and to all of the nurses. Blake was able to go back and forth between being with me and going over to see the babies. He even got to cut Baby B’s umbilical cord!
As soon as Baby A was ready to go, her neonatologist wheeled her over to me to let me get a peek and update me on how she was doing, which was so kind of him. I got a little glimpse of her face, which was so comforting to see and know that she was real and she was doing ok. Just a minute later, I also was able to get a glimpse of Baby B as she was wheeled out to go to the NICU. They asked Blake if he wanted to come with them, and he looked at me and I could tell he was torn. Of course I told him to go!
They finished putting me back together, and then took me to recovery. Blake was there to meet me, and it was so comforting to know that they were doing ok. He had told Tahni to come to the hospital, so she showed up while I was in recovery as well. I was so happy to see her! While I was in recovery, they had to actually admit me to the hospital, which we all thought was funny – they hadn’t had time to do it before the surgery!Once I was done in recovery, they asked if I wanted them to wheel me on my bed up to see the girls in the NICU before taking me to my room. Looking back, I think this was so kind of them, because once they transferred me to my bed in my room I wouldn’t have been able to go to see the girls again for 12 hours. In the NICU, I was able to get a closer look at the girls all nestled in their isolettes, and I got to hold their hands for a few minutes before they took me to my room. So that’s the birth story of these two amazing little girls, who at that point were still called Baby A and Baby B. As I try to write it now, just a week later, it seems so hazy. I’m anxious to have Blake write down his version, which is probably more accurate than mine in some areas ;). I didn’t get my perfect birth plan, I didn’t get the birth I had imagined as I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I didn’t get a third trimester to finish nesting – instead I was coming off of a two week stay in the hospital and feeling weak from such strict bedrest. I didn’t get my videographer to document it, a photographer in the room, or the fake eyelashes I had planned to finally try out. And I didn’t even get to see/touch my girls after they came out and do skin to skin right away. But you know what? It doesn’t matter at all, because I got my girls here, safe and healthy thanks to some amazing doctors and nurses. And I promise you that in that moment, that’s ALL that matters!
Later that night, we were able to go see the girls again. That’s when we officially decided on their names – Baby A would be Romy Jean Nyman, and Baby B would be Piper James Nyman. Romy Jean comes from my two grandmas – Ramona and Jean – who I have always been close to and love so much. Piper is a name we have always loved, and James comes from my Mom’s dad – James W. Barham.
It feels like so much has happened since this day just a week ago, and I don’t want to forget any of it. I will update you more on what happened over the hours and days after delivery.