Joey and Tommy’s birth story

 Right now it’s Oct 8, we were released from the hospital today and have been home for 3 hours. The boys are napping on a boppy pillow on the couch by Daddy while I put Clare to bed. I am right now sitting in the rocking chair in her room while she tries to drift off.


I made it to 35 weeks 1 day.  Not bad!!! I had REALLY wanted to make it past where I was when I had Clare (35+5) but oh well, got damn close!

Here are the last pics I took of my belly. These was at 35 weeks exactly:

On Saturday (10/3) evening I started having bad cramps. They weren’t contractions, just a steady pain. I took some Tylenol, drank fluids, and took a long bath. Nothing really helped. I slept ok, but noticed the pain every time I went to the bathroom.  Little did I know this was the last night I’d have as a mother of one!

I woke up Sunday (10/4) with the same cramps, my blood pressure was 148/102, and I had 4 contractions in the first 20 mins I was awake.  I got Clare to school, then texted my doctor. He told me to go to labor and delivery, they would assess me and call him. Shawn and I loaded up our bags and headed off.  On the way to the hospital I jokingly said, “10/4 is a cool birthday!”.  

At the L&D wars we got put into a triage bed. They were BUSY, so to put it nicely we were mostly ignored.  They ran a 20 minute contraction and heart rate monitor which showed strong contractions every 6-10 minutes.  The hospitalist on call checked my cervix and it was closed. Blood pressures were 140s/90s.  The dr decided to let me go home. I asked her what I should watch for that would necessitate me coming back in. She said contractions every 5 mins or blood pressure over 140/90.  I told her my pressures had been higher than that all week. She then ordered one more check – 142/94.  She kind of sighed, and said, “I guess we should admit you for observation”.  Okay then. IV started and fluids running.

Followed by 2 hours of literally being ignored.  Shawn left to pick up Clare and drop her at our friend Majella’s house.  I laid there texting people about how I had to pee and didn’t have a call light. 

Shawn came back and my regular perinatologist got there to check me. He found me to be a fingertip dilated and was more impressed with my contractions. He upgraded me to a “real” admission.  They would give me IV fluids overnight and if I was still contracting in the morning then we would reassess, if not I would be discharged.  

A new nurse, Cate, took over my care.  Thank you God above for sending her right when I needed her.  She told me I was being moved to Room 519.  I told her that  was my birthday and we both agreed that would be lucky. We packed up my bags and started out the door.  She stopped us and apologized, the room wasn’t ready. Since I was up anyway I peed.  When I got back into bed I pointed out to Cate how when I was having a contraction suddenly the left side of my belly was sticking far out, and causing severe pain in my left ribs. She said, “That’s odd.  Try lying on your left side to see if that helps”.  I laid on my left side for about 5 mins, then had to go back on my back for her to hook up the monitors.  As I was rolling I felt a huge gush.  I said “Am I peeing or did my water break?”  She said “I think it’s your water…..” And her face went white.  My heart about stopped. I said “is it blood?”  She wouldn’t answer me, she was too busy hooking the monitors back up.  I widened my legs and yelled at Shawn “Am I bleeding?”  He nodded.  Care starts yelling “I need help in Assesment Rm 1!”.  No one comes. She turns my IV fluids up wide open, then yells at the top of her lungs, “I need help NOW!”   Finally several people flood the room.  This whole time I can just feel the blood flowing out. It was so terrifying, yet I was in some sort of shock which made the whole thing seem like it was happening to someone else.

The anesthesiologist takes my hand and starts asking me questions. He promises me a spinal anesthesia and that I won’t feel a thing.  Yet another new dr comes in and says “so we’ve got an abruption”. Even though I did know it was a placental abruption, actually hearing it scared me. I started crying and I don’t think I stopped till the babies were out.  I just kept thinking back to nursing school, my teacher told us, “Abruptio placentae is the thing that can kill both baby and mom”.  

They wheel me down to the OR, frantically trying to find my dr. He had already headed home.  They are then trying to find the head OB, she’s gone too.  Some other dr is standing over me, scalpel in hand, waiting for permission to start. Finally I yell “I give you permission!!!”.  She laughed, said “Good enough” and began.  Thankfully the spinal is working well, even though it took 3 tries as I kept shaking and crying when the poor guy was trying to insert it. 

Just before Baby A was born Shawn was brought in. He was holding my hand as we heard, “Baby A is a boy!”.  Loud crying by Joey.  Amazing. 

30 seconds later we hear, “Baby B is a boy!”. No cry, they tell me he is being resuscitated, that it was his placenta that had detached.  60 seconds later he finally cries, and then amidst laughter we hear “And he’s peeing all over us!”.  That’s our Tommy!! 

Joey began having some trouble keeping his oxygen levels up and was taken to the NICU for assessment.  Tommy followed a few minutes later.  Shawn went along with them while I was in the OR being put back together.  My dr finally arrived and took over the procedure. As he is chatting with the other OB, she tells him, “You should’ve seen it, we couldn’t even see Baby B, his sac was full of clots, I’ve never seen anything like it”.  I asked a question and then they stopped talking. I should’ve shut up and I would’ve learned more!

Cate took me to PACU and then to postpartum, where I was eventually reunited with my boys.  The next few days were a whirlwind of breastfeeding (going great!), Bili light therapy for Tommy, respiratory therapy And antibiotics for Mommy, and getting to know our new family members. 


7 thoughts on “Joey and Tommy’s birth story

  1. Glad I had all these details AFTER I knew all 3 of you were doing good. Love all the pictures and those 2 cuties in their car seats. Enjoy being home and a family of 5 now. Good Luck!

  2. What a relief that Cate was with you, right where you needed her! SO glad that you all are healthy and safe. I adore the pictures and your sweet, beautiful family, and I cannot wait to see those little boys grow up! Way to go, momma – you did perfect work! LOVE you all!

  3. I was crying the whole time I was reading your post. Such and ordeal for you both and worse when you are a nurse and know how dangerous a situation it was. Grateful that everything went well and that you were already in the hospital. Happy to see so many pictures, especially the one with Dad and his boys.

  4. I can’t even imagine. You are amazing. I balled my eyes out reading this. You are simply incredible – those kiddos are lucky to have such an amazing mom. I love you and miss you guys so much.

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