Today, I bring you handsome Colton & sweet, sweet Keltie, born at 26 weeks & 1 day. Eek! Twins!! You know I love twins. Ha! Read on to find out how these two were brought into the world and what they faced during their lengthy stay in the NICU.
On Thursday, January 19, 2012, I was lying in bed watching the news
and I thought I peed my pants. I literally got out of bed laughing
because I couldn’t believe I was doing that kind of stuff already. I
took my pants off and noticed it was more than just a dribble – and then
I went into the bathroom and I was gushing fluid. I knew right then
and there that this wasn’t urine and that my water had broke.
I called down to my husband and told him we had to go to the
hospital. He came running upstairs and couldn’t believe his eyes. I
was hysterical but he grabbed me my phone so I could call the OB's office
and they told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible. They
started me on monitors for both babies' heartbeats and contractions and
they did a test that confirmed it was, in fact, amniotic fluid. I had
suffered from preterm premature rupture of membrane (pPROM).
The OB came in and did an u/s which did little more than confirm both
babies were still breech and she did a physical exam and found that my
cervix was still closed. I was apparently contracting, but didn’t feel
them at all – I was 3-4 minutes apart when I came in! I was immediately
given a steroid shot (the first in a two shot series) and they started
me on magnesium sulfate to stop the labor. A neonatologist came in to
talk with my husband and I and we were essentially told that at
25w3d gestation, the babies had a 50/50 chance of survival. We were
heartbroken. But, the team of doctors (OBs, MFMs, etc…) were going to
work as hard as possible to keep me pregnant for as long as they could.
I was then moved to a room in the birthing unit where I was monitored
very closely. I was given an u/s Friday morning that confirmed it was baby girl’s sac that had broken and it was a full rupture. Her fluid
level was considered “low”, but she wasn’t showing any signs of
distress. I was given goals to make it through the steroid series and
to 26 weeks gestation - and I did, barely.
Sunday morning I was stable enough that they moved me to the
maternity special care unit where I would stay until I delivered the
babies. We didn’t know if that would be a few days or a few weeks, but
we were hoping for the latter. So many friends and family visited with
me throughout the days I was in the hospital and on Monday night my mom
came to watch the Bachelor with me…the last show I would watch before becoming a mom.
Before my mom left the hospital for the night, at around 10:00pm, the
amniotic fluid that was leaking turned pink. The nurse came in and
checked the babies and they sounded good and they hooked me up to the
TOCO to check for contractions and there was nothing. The nurse spoke
with my OB and they said that it can happen where the fluid changes
colors and it was considered “normal”. At around 2:30am, I was having
these lower abdominal pains – almost like I needed to have a bowel
movement. I got up to try and go a few times but nothing happened. I
finally called in the nurse and she checked the babies and both sounded
good. She put me on the TOCO and it wasn’t registering anything.
Then I was getting those lower ab pains more severely and I finally
asked her to move the TOCO lower. Well, I was registering large,
sustained contractions and so she called my OB once again. The OB came
down to my room prior to her next c-section and did a “digital exam” to
see if I was dilated and guess what? She looked up at me and said, “I
can say I feel two little feet”. I about died. I was approximately 6cm
dilated and Baby Girl had essentially kicked her feet through my
It was then like a scene from a movie – while they were rounding
people into my room, I called my husband and we both knew he’d never
make it. They made one attempt at an IV in my room and my OB finally
said something along the lines of “we don’t have time for this – she’s
got to go NOW”. I was then flying through the hallways – I was so scared
that I was physically trembling. I went right into the OR and there
wasn’t even time to give me a spinal so I was put under general
anesthesia and that’s the last I remember before waking up in
excruciating pain in recovery.
On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 3:19am, at only 26 weeks and 1 day
gestation, I gave birth to two beautiful preemies: Colton Christopher
weighed 1lb, 13 oz and was 13 inches long and Keltie Grace weighed 1lb,
9oz and was 13 inches long.
Keltie spent 100 days in the NICU and was discharged 3 days after my
due date. She had a relatively "usual" NICU stay with breathing,
feeding, and growing being her challenges. Her biggest hurdles was a
pneumothorax (collapsed lung) healed via a chest tube and
nephrocalcinosis which is essentially build up in the kidneys which
presents with high blood pressure. She has since resolved all of that
and only remains on a very small dose of a diuretic to keep things
moving along through her kidneys. Keltie is 9 1/2 months old and is now
approximately 15lbs and almost double her birth length. She likes
rolling, sleeping on her belly (no matter how many times we turn her),
blowing raspberries, and yelling. She's got a killer smile that can
turn any frown upside down.
Colton spent 142 days in the NICU and was discharged 6 weeks after
his sister. His course was about the same except he suffers from severe
acid reflux which was making him stop breathing and thus the reason for
his extended NICU stay. Colton also had laser surgery in one tiny spot
in his eye for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) but it shouldn't affect
his vision much, if at all. Colton is also 9 1/2 months old and now
weighs approximately 18lbs and is an inch longer than his twin sister.
Colton likes rolling, playing with toys, eating, practicing sitting, and
spitting up (in large quantities...still). He is a ladies man and uses
those big, beautiful giraffe eyes to catch everyone's attention.
So – that is the birth story of our twins…or, as we refer to it,
Keltie deciding to break her sac and then sticking her feet where they
don’t belong. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of love I feel
for these two peanuts. It actually overwhelms me at some points.
They’re absolutely beautiful and fought as hard as they could to come
out on top. I’ve learned to appreciate the small things – things that
“normal” parents likely take for granted. They are true miracles and we
celebrate them every day.
Feel free to learn more by visiting their blog: http://project26weekpreemies.wordpress.com.
Photo and story submitted by momma Krista.