Thursday, April 7, 2011

In the blink of an eye...

I feel like each day that goes by goes by faster than the day before. I don't know if it because I'm in my 30's or because I have three kids...probably a little of both...but, I feel like I blink and the day is over. After all I went through with my pregnancy with the twins and then having 28 week wee little ones, I definitely see life through a new set of eyes. Life is just so precious. That's such a cliche thing to say, but seeing a team of people do CPR on your baby who isn't breathing will give new meaning to that expression.

That day still haunts me at times. My heart still races and I feel panicky just sitting here writing about it. Sometimes I have nightmares about it...but, the ending isn't happy (thank goodness it was in real life). But, it is part of our story...a vision I am thinking won't ever go away. 

I dreamed about that day again last night. She has been sick with a cold for about a week now and she was coughing before I went to bed. That is what usually triggers the dream...her being sick. 

One of my friends told me I never really wrote about my delivery with the twins. I think because it is hard for me to relive some of the details of that day. I do want to share it though...because, after all, it does live happily ever after in reality. And it was one of the most amazing days of my life.

When I knew delivery was immeninent, and I knew no amount of prayer was going to change the fact that I was indeed going to give birth to these twins at 28 weeks, I found my "happy place". You know, that place where women go when they are 5cm dilated, 100% effaced...and you know, waiting on their epidural! 

I only asked for a quiet atmosphere. And it was...quiet, serene, and I had just watched the sun set over a row of crepe myrtles...minus the team of I think 9 (?) medical staff there waiting on these little ones to arrive. When you've had a baby before and the babies you are about to deliver are tiny, there isn't a whole lot of pushing to be done. Nevertheless, I pushed or blinked and there he first son. He cried the tiniest cry. Everyone smiled when he cried. What is it about that first cry your baby makes that just makes you instantly feel bonded and love? You could feel everyone around let out a sigh of relief. I can remember my friend who was my labor and delivery nurse look at me with a huge smile and say "Sarah, he is beautiful and he is perfect and he is breathing on his own."

He was breathing. He was perfect. I can still hear those words. 

Things are a little fuzzy for me for those few minutes in between Jacob being born and Audrey being born. I am told that they did an ultrasound and that Audrey had turned head down (she was laying transverse before). I was too busy staring across the room as some staff busily assessed and cared for Jacob.

For a moment, I almost forgot, that I wasn't done yet.

Audrey is head down and you can push when you are ready

I don't think I really pushed. I think she mostly just fell out. That was a surreal moment. Having one baby come out of your womb is a miraculous event in itself. Having two babies come out was almost having a glimpse of what heaven will be like. Amazing doesn't describe it. 

But, the feeling in the room change. 

I waited for that first cry from her. But, I never heard it.

I glimpsed her blue, limp body through the group of people working on her. At this point, every person  has their job: some are tending to Audrey, some to Jacob, some to me. I couldn't take my eyes off of what little I could see of her. 

I watched them perform CPR on my daughter.

It's the image that haunts me still. I remember feeling like it took forever to stabilize her. I remember seriously thinking "ok. I know I am numb form the waist down, but I could crawl over there and just do this myself. They are taking too long. She's going to have brain damage if they don't get her revived soon." In reality, I am sure it was only a couple minutes...but, try telling that to the mother laying there watching all this from a few feet away.

I remember someone massaging my uterus to try and get it to stop bleeding. I remember feeling a little dizzy and having a brief moment of thinking "am I about to die?" I wasn't. I think all the excitement mixed with losing some blood was starting to get to me though. I remember wanting to scream "GIVE ME MY BABY! I can do this MYSELF!!!"Medicines will make you think crazy things. 

My face must have been starting to elude to the fact that I was about to fall apart, because the cutest little NICU nurse looked at me from across Audrey's bed and said "It's ok mom. She didn't have much of a heart rate and wasn't breathing, but she is ok now. 

Everyone else was smiling and happy. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to process what has just happened.  It was like this celebration was going on and I'm just laying there feeling like I am about to have a panic attack or complete meltdown. 

And for the first time since we knew this delivery could not be stopped, I felt alone. It was a very unnatural feeling to not be able to hold my babies after birth. It was like one of my limbs was missing...a sort of phantom pain feeling.

I think the only thing that kept me from completely falling apart was the nurse said "would you like to hold Jacob for a couple minutes before we have to take him to the NICU? He is stable at the moment, but will probably be need oxygen very soon once he starts to get worn out. 

It was the most magical two minutes of my life. She was right...he was perfect.  

Jacob after birth

And just as quickly as they had handed him to me, he was taken away. My babies were not in my arms for me to show to the world. It was a very unnatural feeling to leave the hospital two days later without my babies.

In the end, we did indeed, have our happily ever after. It was over two long months that I waited to lay in my bed and snuggle with my babies. 

However, I'm left with these dreams at night that leave me shaken and emotional for a day every time I have them. The problem with the dream is that Audrey does not make it. Sometimes, in my dream, I do in fact get out of that bed and drag my numb legs behind me and grab my baby. I take her and try and save her myself. 

It's just a dream. I know that. But, when I have it, it feels so real. I will wake up and have to turn on my light and try and calm my racing heart down. And then, I have to go in each child's room and just watch them breath for a little bit. Sometimes I'll sit in Ella's bed and just comb my fingers through her hair. Sometimes I'll go pick up Audrey and just hold her for awhile. Other times, I'll just sit in the rocking chair and watch Jacob and Audrey breathe. 

When I dream about that day, it just reminds me how life is over in the blink of an eye. Life truly is such a gift from God. I think we all have certain defining moments in our lives that are permanently pressed in our hearts...moments that change us. Seeing Audrey brought back from that grim moment was one of my moments. Perhaps the dream is there to always remind how truly blessed I am and not take these days for granted.


Wanting What I Have said...

OH what a blessing you are to me. I am sitting here crying, having read this precious story of God's goodness and sovereignty. Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

And on a side note, I am thrilled the Lord so perfectly provided exactly what you needed when you needed it! How awesome!

Amy said...

sarah, i seriously have no words.
this was beautiful.
i cried through the entire post (and believe me, it was definitely an "ugly-cry!")
praise God for watching over precious audrey.... and jacob - i know that He has big plans for those sweet babies of yours - all THREE of them!

Cadie said...

Sarah, what a beautiful post. You made me smile and cry. And, such great reminders. I love reading your blog. You write so beautifully, and know exactly what to say to capture our hearts.
I love the pictures. Audrey is absolutely beautiful. And, what a special picture of Jacob. I love happy endings!

Angela said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal, hard and yet beautiful moment. What miracles they are. Life is precious!

I know this is on a side note. But I haven't shared with anyone that I replayed many moments of our rocky time in the hospital for over a year after our babies' birth...everytime I would close my eyes. I seriously think I had some post traumatic stress issues! So I can sympathize with you when you say you wake up and just go and watch your babies breathe. It truly makes us appreciate life and the small things life brings! God is good!

Heather said...

My birth story was very hard to write and relive. Thanks fir sharing. Having a preemie is hard, a scary day. It's so cool you got to hold him after delivery. They took my B right away out of my room to another hospital. It was hard!

Amber said...

I know those dreams all to well.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers. Prayer works as you can tell from my jumbled post.

Your children are absolutely beautiful and your photography is amazing.