I don’t consider myself to be a superstitious person…until I realize I am. On February 13th, a Friday, I was released from the hospital after one night. I was admitted because Baby A was small and had some flow issues from his umbilical cord back to his placenta. After overnight monitoring, they decided I could go home and just report to the Maternal Fetal Medicine office twice a week for ultrasounds and non-stress tests. As we left the hospital I had wanted to say, “Maybe Friday the 13th isn’t all that bad after all!” but we were driving home and I figured it would be best to wait until we arrived home safely, just in case. A few short days later I was admitted to the hospital again because the flow issues continued and Baby A hadn’t really grown. This time I was there for the long haul. I could write an entire post on how miserable I was living in the hospital, but I will spare you. My husband started bringing in the crock pot and cooking homemade meals for me once I was sick of the hospital food. I was scheduled to have an ultrasound with growth scan on Friday, March 13th. That also happened to be the day that we reached 33 weeks. I’ve always considered 33 to be my lucky number, and I have no idea why. My ultrasound showed the same flow issues, and the growth measurements showed no change over the last two weeks in Baby A’s size. They estimated him to be about 2lbs 12oz, or the size of a typical 29 weeker. We had also seen, in both babies, the potential that they could have coarctation of their aortas that could require heart surgery. The doctor told me not to eat or drink anything and said he was going to talk to the team and he would get back to me. He returned with the news that we would be having a scheduled c-section that day around 3pm. An hour later, there was an emergency and we were told our c-section was pushed back and it would be sometime that evening.
I was running on adrenalin. I was excited but incredibly nervous as well. I knew that delivering the babies at 33 weeks meant they’d be going up to the NICU, likely until they reached 40 weeks. The OB for my office that day was a doctor I had never met before, I wish my doctor from MFM could’ve delivered me. I was taken to the OR, Kyle was left in the hallway while they inserted the spinal to numb me. I was shaking uncontrollably. One of the anesthesiologists was super great with me and basically held me while the whole thing was happening. After it was in, I was laid down and exposed and Kyle was able to come in. I decided I was going to tell my toes to move, so I did, but they didn’t move (obviously). I had a small panic attack. I felt like I was in some horror movie where I had been put in a bathtub and given a drug that paralyzed me and could just see the running water coming up to my mouth and nose and I couldn’t get away from it. That’s a tad dramatic, but I didn’t like it.
When they began to perform the c-section, I had the weirdest sensations in my body. I wasn’t in any pain but could feel all kinds of pulling and pushing. At 4:58pm, Porter was brought into this world weighing in at 2lbs 12oz, just as predicted. He was whisked into a room off of the OR to be assessed by the NICU team. Baby B was stuck way up in my abdomen so they had to push her down, again the weirdest feeling ever. At 4:59 they pulled Winter out of my belly by her leg, she was 4lbs 4oz. She had some immediate bruising from being pushed and pulled out. She was also whisked into the other room and Kyle went with them. I thought that would be it, that I wouldn’t get to see my babies. Kyle came back with pictures and one of the NICU Nurse Practitioners surprised us and said that I should get to see the babies. For a few precious seconds they held Porter next to me so I could see him and Kyle snapped a few pictures. Then they brought Winter over and showed me her head full of dark hair. And then they were gone.
I was left behind while they closed me up, which seemed to take forever and I was wheeled into recovery. At some point that evening, they wheeled my hospital bed into the NICU so I could see each of the babies. I don’t really remember much, luckily Kyle took a ton of pictures to show me later.
Long story short, I never considered myself to be superstitious, but it turns out I am. Friday the 13th isn’t always bad, for me it’s a lucky day. And my lucky number finally made some sense. I had made it to 33 weeks pregnant exactly when my babies decided they had to make their grand entrances into this world. Within a matter of a minute, our lives have been forever changed.