Finn & Rebecca

Finn & Rebecca

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Finn and Rebecca have arrived...

Our birth story…

Well…they didn’t stick to the plan and our precious little miracles chose their own time to arrive into our lives…
                                        The last belly shot taken in hospital before the twins arrived.

On Sunday, I woke up with a bad headache after a really awful night with little sleep. I felt as if I was literally drowning in fluid. My sinuses were swollen, I was struggling to breathe properly and I couldn’t believe that my body could swell any more than it was already. I had put on about 18kg just in the 3 weeks in hospital - all fluid! My thighs were stretched beyond belief.  I couldn’t cross my legs or even sit on the loo properly. Walking was difficult and I could barely fit into a wheelchair. I remember lying in bed during the night crying, thinking to myself that my body couldn’t do this anymore. My Dr called me into her practice rooms which are just down the passage from the maternity ward to do a scan to double check our little girl’s doppler and their weights before the planned caeser on Monday. I could barely climb onto the table. The scan showed that her doppler had actually improved a bit! Their estimated weights were 2kg and 1.6kg. So we were all set for our big day…or so we thought.

By mid-morning, my headache had become so bad I could barely think straight. I tried taking Panados, putting ice against my forehead, lying with a cloth over my eyes. It just got worse and worse. The Sister in charge called my Dr who asked them to take into the labour ward and a quiet dark room to rest. She came in to see me, checked my blood test results and looked at my BP which was about 160/106 at that time. She said to just keep quiet and rest and we would go ahead as planned on Monday morning. By 2pm, I had not improved and my BP had continued to rise. It was around 180/115. At 14h30, the Sister came in and told me that my Dr had called to say we were doing an emergency caeser straight away at 3pm. They had already called my DH and he was on his way.

I was immediately put onto a line and a drip and a nurse shaved me dry!!! No baby powder even! We couldn’t use the theatre we had planned to next to NICU as there was a leak – so next thing I knew I was being wheeled at great haste off to the main surgical theatre floor. Alongside me were the neonatal sisters with the incubator that would carry our babies back down to NICU immediately after the birth. It was such a surreal experience. The theatres were all empty, as no planned surgeries are done on a Sunday. It was eerily quiet. We were met at the entrance by the scrub sister and then I was in pre-op while the Dr’s and DH got into scrubs. The anaesthetist arrived and explained to me that the spinal block may be tricky due to all my swelling and fluid on my back. He said I may have to be put out completely and I asked him please to make sure he got it right as I really wanted to be awake to see my babies being born. I was quite calm at this point, but extremely anxious at the same time. I moved onto the delivery table and bent over to begin the spinal block. It was incredibly scary and painful as the Dr tried to get the local anaesthetic into my spine first.  I could feel the needle hitting bone.  After about 5 attempts, he finally slid the proper needle into place and the spinal block was done. I lay down until it took effect.

My Dr started cutting and discovered that I had masses of scar tissue from the previous laporotomy after my ruptured ectopic. She explained that there are pristine uteruses and then there are some that are not…I was the latter, but a really tricky case as she battled to cut through all the layers of scar tissue. This took quite some time. Then one of my muscles started bleeding, which is also unusual. She had to put in a drain for the muscle. Finally she reached the uterus and the next thing I knew after feeling much tugging and pulling, our little girl was pulled out head and arms first as if she has been waiting all along to make her big arrival.  Rebecca was born at 16h06, crying with a lusty yell and a red face. My Dr showed her to me and I was in floods of tears. I couldn’t believe that this tiny precious little human being had been growing in my womb for 31 weeks and 3 days. She was whisked off by the paediatrician and the neonatal sisters. Then, our little boy was pushed down reluctantly.  He stuck a leg out as if to say, I am not ready to come out thanks. But he was pulled out by the legs and also arrived yelling. Finn followed his sister one minute later at 16h07. I recognised him immediately as he was shown to me. It was too much to process and I remember turning my head towards the table where they were being worked on desperate for another glance.  They were wrapped up and brought to me again and I got to kiss each one on their heads, before they were wheeled away straight to the NICU.

                                          Rebecca's arrival into the world...

                                          Seeing her for the first time...

                                                        Finn legs first...

                                                        Finn arrives a minute later...


                                                      Seeing him for the first time.  I recognised him from the 4D scan!

                                                       The NICU team working on the babies...

                                         Kissing Rebecca on her head...also kissed Finn but no pic...

Then I started struggling to breathe and my heart started beating incredibly fast.  My BP shot up and I was put onto oxygen. It took another 30 minutes or so to stitch me up and then I was wheeled to recovery. I started shaking quite badly. I remember thanking the anaesthetist, who replied saying he really thought it was touch and go at one point and was now so stressed he was off to have a large drink…..great!  My BP was still extremely high so I was wheeled down to high care in the labour ward. It got worse. And worse. I was not really completely conscious at this point so I only remember some of what happened. But by 8pm or so, I think my BP had shot up to 225/125, which is apparently really extreme.

I recall glimpses of my Dr sitting on one chair monitoring me and my DH on another just watching me.  I was shaking and slipping in and out of consciousness. I remember my Dr saying, we are taking her to ICU now. Then we were off, all action stations when we got there. I remember the anaesthetist arriving again to put in an A-line (a line straight into my artery to monitor BP directly and constantly). I was hooked up to a full monitor system and two more lines were put into my arms for other drips. I was also put onto magnesium sulphate to prevent seizures. By this time I was completely zoned on pethadine and the effect of the mag sulph drip which apparently has horrendous side effects.  I had a self administering pump, but I was too out of it to use it so the ICU sisters kept pushing it for me. Then I was out.  

I spent 3 nights in ICU. The hospital kidney ICU physician became my primary Dr during this time as he handles any GPH cases.  Essentially pre-eclampsia is a disease of the kidneys primarily and mine was pretty bad apparently. I had critical levels of protein in my body, hence the oedema and blood pressure complications. The disease is a response to the placenta and becomes life threatening. My Dr had been monitoring me so closely to allow me as long as possible to nurture our babies, but the critical point had arrived and she made the decision not to wait a minute longer – so she had made the call to do an emergency caeser. It was the right call, as I cut it really fine apparently. I was in reality, really really sick even though my blood results did not indicate organ failure yet…we were close. Both Drs now tell me that I was one of the worse cases they have seen in a while. The ICU staff also said that they hadn’t seen a maternity case in so long.

                                          Day three in ICU...

                                          Finn in the beginning, in NICU...

                                          Rebecca in NICU...

                                          Finn with his incubator mascot...

                                          Rebecca with hers...

ICU is another ball game completely. I felt like I was in a real life episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It was really impressive though seeing the skill of the ICU staff – a seriously slick operation. It was so humbling being completely helpless and essentially strapped down to monitors, unable to do anything for myself. They had to do everything including washing me, helping me to eat, move…It was incredibly frustrating too and I had many hours of weeping to myself as I couldn’t see my babies. I couldn’t do anything for myself. It was really hard. I was losing about 8 litres of fluid a day via the catheter - can you imagine if I hadn't been on one how hectic it would have been getting to the loo every 15 minutes! On the Tuesday, I begged the Dr to let me go down to see my babies.  He agreed. We strapped the catheter to the wheel chair and they unplugged all the monitors and DH wheeled me down to NICU to meet Rebecca and Finn face to face again. I will never forget this moment. I could just see them from the wheelchair, and was so overtaken by emotion that all I could do was weep. They are beyond the most precious things I have ever ever seen in all my life. There they were. Real little (and I mean so very very small) live, perfect, complete babies. They were here. Our little miracles had finally arrived and how absolutely perfect they are.

Rebecca was born weighing just 1.430g and Finn 1.940g. She did not even need oxygen at all and her agpar was 8/10 and 9/10. I believe she was clearly ready to be born and knew to put her energy into developing her lungs. She is small but feisty already.  Finn was a little more reluctant, putting his energy into growing instead of developing his lungs, so while he weighs more, he needed some help with breathing and was on a c-pap for a while and then just a nose-tube. His agpar was 8/10 and 8/10.  So impressive for prem babies! They are doing so well, and both are off oxygen already. They are getting the hang of oral feeding and their digestive systems are getting stronger. Their umbilical lines have also been removed and this means we can start kangaroo care sessions with our babies…can’t wait.

I got back to the maternity ward on Wednesday evening and now am just a walk down the passage from NICU. I get to visit them whenever I want to. I am expressing milk every 3 hours during the day, but until my BP stabilises we cannot use the milk due to the meds I am on.  This has made me really sad, but I am hopeful that I get taken off the nasty BP drugs soon so we can start feeding them my breast milk. Then the next step is to move to kangaroo care and breastfeeding, when their suck reflex kicks in at about 34 weeks or so. Today they are 5 days old or 32 weeks and 1 day. We are praying that their stay in NICU is only another 3 or 4 weeks tops, so we may get to take them home at 36 / 37 weeks, which is when they would have been born.

                                          Holding our babies for the first time...

I cannot put into words what the babies do to my heart.
It simply takes my breath away every time I look at them.
When I see how my DH looks at our babies, I can hardly contain the emotion I feel.

It has changed my life irrevocably and forever.

                                          Finn's foot.

                                          Rebecca's hand.


  1. Congratulations! I'm so sorry to hear how sick you became though! But you did an amazing job holding on as long as you possibly could! You should be very proud of yourself and your body for allowing you to get to 31 weeks! You'll look back in about a month or two when you finally feel human again and realize just how truly sick you were for so long. (I did and I wasn't near as bad!)

    Congratulations again and welcome to the world Finn and Rebecca!

    All my very best to you!

  2. Congratulations! Goodness you are a brave woman. Your story had me teary. So glad you are alright and that Rebecca and Finn are well (love the names too). Hope they catch right on to all they have to do and get home as soon as they can.

  3. Oh my god...I don't know whether to cry happy tears or tears of relief for you!!! I am just so relieved that you made it through and that your babies are doing so well. care of yourself! LisainSK

  4. Geluk!!!!!! geluk!!!!! geluk!!!!!!!

  5. Cam .... I am in tears. Shew such an amazing and scarey story at the same were so sick and so brave to keep baking those babes for as long as you did. I pray you recover quickly and are all able to go home and start your life together as a family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I have always been inspired by everything you have endured and your absolute faith and strength through it all. I am so glad your dreams have finally come true.

    P.S. I love the names!

  6. Cam...I am so glad you are ok. What a very scary couple of weeks DH, you and the babies have had. You are so strong and it appears that your babies (love the names btw) are strong just like their amazing mother to be breathing, adjusting and growing so well. Thank you so much for sharing your story, you have been such an inspiration to me through so many of my own dark times. I am sending you white light that you will recover completely and that your babies will be out of NICU and home very soon in their amazing room, full of love, that has been waiting for them. Lots of hugs, Nellie

  7. What a roller coaster. You are all so strong. Congratulations mom! Thinking of you and your babes.

  8. Oh Cam, I have read your amazing Birth Post 3 times now, in tears each time and have just got my DH in tears too after reading it to him and crying once again myself. You are so brave and strong - well done! An inspiration to my family when my twins are finally delivered.
    Congratulations Cam, here's hoping your 2 little miracles are out of NICU very soon xx

  9. Sorry you had such a rough time but just so grateful that you are okay and recovering and that your babies are doing so well. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it was not to see them those first few days but those extra weeks that you gave them inside obviously did them the world of good and means that they will be home sooner rather than later (although obviously even a day after you will feel too long). What a journey you've had. After this rough ride I sincerely hope you've been blessed with 2 angelic little babies that eat like champs, sleep like logs and just gurgle and smile!!! Can't wait to see some photos, they have such beautiful names so sure they'll be gorgeous to match.

  10. Congratulations on delivering those strong little premmies, Cam. I'm so sorry that you've had to endure so much and am so relieved to hear that you're all out of the woods. Hope you soon have your baby angels home where they belong.

  11. Shoo! This was scary to read - so I cannot imagine how scared you must've been. I'm really pleased that you are on the mend!
    Congrats on the birth of your 2 little angels, Cammy! I am so happy for you, I really am. Looking forward to the pics when you are up and well!!!! :-) :-)

  12. Welcome Finn and Rebecca! Love the names you chose.

    So glad to hear that things are going better with you. I hope their stay in the NICU is short.

  13. PHhhh Cam, congratulations to you and your DH. You really are a brave one. I am sorry you had to endure soooo much through your journey and all the way till recovery after your LOs' birth.
    I hope from now on you will get better and strong to enjoy it all (and have energy to take care of Twins !!) and that your LOs grow stronger so they come home with you v. soon !!
    Looking forward to see pics !!

  14. congratulations Cam! So glad to know you are doing better and your twins are doing so well! You are a very brave strong women.... enjoy your little blessings and I pray they will be home soon xxx

  15. Hi Cam - congratulations on your gorgeous twins!! xxx

  16. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pictures of your incredible experience with us !
    Your little miracles are perfect and cute and you just did so well carrying them and delivering them in difficult health conditions ! I hope you can enjoy the kangooroo care and that they come home with you soon, soon. Take care of yourself and hope you recover 100% health soon too!!