Here’s the post everyone has been waiting for. Thanks for your patience as I was resting and recovering for a few days after giving birth. I really want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received. It has truly blown us all away!  Just so you know, I’m about to get REALLLLY REAL here with the birth story….so if you are squeamish or can’t handle a little TMI, then don’t read any further! Readers beware! : )

Brooke and Bailey’s Birth Story, Part 1

Monday June 25, 2012


Sunday night/Monday morning was quite restless. I hadn’t been feeling great, but I thought it was all just normal 3rd trimester pregnancy woes. I woke up early on Monday – about 4:30am – and moved from the bed to the couch in the living room. I tried to doze a little, took a warm bath to ease my discomfort, and talked to Chris as he got ready for work. None of my “symptoms” were too severe…general discomfort, aching back, and some nausea (though I never threw up).


When Chris left at 7am for work I called my Mom close to tears because I didn’t feel well and wanted her advice (though I honestly thought I was just being dramatic and nothing was wrong). I had a doctor’s appointment already scheduled for 8:30am Monday morning and my Mom urged me to call and ask if I could go in sooner. I did and they said if I felt like I needed it I could come in by 8. So I went ahead and got ready and headed up to the clinic a little early.


Upon being checked out my blood pressure was high, but they re-did it and it was much better. The entire pregnancy I’d had somewhat high-ish blood pressure (the high end of the “normal” range), so this didn’t cause too much alarm for anyone. When I did the NST the girls looked fabulous – however, I was having constant contractions. These weren’t “labor” contractions – they’re described as “uterine distress.” The difference is that “labor” contractions are contractions of the entire uterus. Uterine distress (aka: uterine irritability) is more like several minor contractions of various areas of the uterus, but not “complete” contractions. However, they were non-stop and growing in intensity. The doctor still wasn’t too alarmed, but she did come see me because uterine distress can lead to preterm labor so she wanted to put a stop to the contestant contracting. Apparently, fluid had been shown to be a very reliable way to ease uterine distress.  They had me drink several big glasses of water and kept me hooked up to the machines, but there was no change in my contractions, so they decided to send me to the hospital for an IV of saline solution. The doctors’ last words were, “You’ll probably be there about 3-4 hours. Nothing to worry about, but you’ll need to make sure you stay very hydrated and take it easy so we can control the uterine distress.”


I called my Mom and told her the news and she immediately started looking at airline tickets to come from Austin to Tucson (mother’s intuition!!!!), I thought she was nuts. I called Chris, knowing he had a short day at work on Monday, and told him I was being admitted so I could get some fluids. He was already on his way home so I told him to go ahead and shower/change and he could meet me at the hospital when he was done.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, I was hooked up to an IV for fluids and I had blood drawn for some routine tests. No big deal.


Chris arrives and we continue hanging out at the hospital, watching TV. Per doctors’ orders, I receive one full bag of fluids and by 1:00pm I’m hooked to bag #2. I had been starving so the nurse gave me a disgusting hospital sandwich around 11:30am. Starving as I was, I devoured it, but by 1:45pm I was ready for “real” food and sent Chris out to get us some “outside” food. At this point I’m thinking we’ll be released by 2:30-3pm, but I just didn’t want to wait any longer to eat. I was very much looking forward to a Wendy’s grilled chicken salad. : )


Nurse:  *walks into room* – Where’s hubby?

Me:  He went to go get some lunch

Nurse: At the cafeteria?

Me:  No… a fast food place.

Nurse:  Will he be back soon?

Me:  He should be……why???

Nurse: *nervous giggle* (there’s a pause as she turns away from me, busying herself with something; after a couple minutes she turns, sits on the side of the bed and says):  Well…..remember how I drew that blood from you this morning? It turns out that some of your levels are extremely abnormal. In fact, they’re so abnormal that I’ve talked to the attending OB, and she wants to go ahead and deliver your babies today.

The rest was a bit of a blur.


The doctor came in and told me that I’d been diagnosed with something called HELLP Syndrome. Long story short – the babies were totally fine, but I was in critical condition and in danger of having liver failure or worse. The doctor was so concerned with my numbers that by the time she came to see me, she said she did NOT want to wait the 8 hours typically recommended after eating before performing surgery and that, in fact, I would probably have the babies by 3:00pm.

I had called Chris immediately after talking to the nurse at 2:00pm, but rather than have him come straight back to the hospital I had him go by our house and pick up the hospital bag (thank goodness it was already packed/prepared). I called my Mom and told her she was right….the babies arrival was imminent. From there, I sat and waited.


Chris and I waited and waited. This was probably the worst/hardest part because it was so scary. Even though I was in “critical” condition I was stable and both babies were doing well. Others at the hospital weren’t quite as lucky. As a result, we kept getting “bumped” in line for C-section surgery so that others who were in greater distress could go first (generally, these were people with fetal distress as opposed to maternal distress). We kept getting told, “It will be anytime now. They’re finishing up this surgery and you’ll be going back in about 30 minutes.” Of course, this happened several times over the course of the next few hours. Honestly, though, I didn’t mind too much because it gave me a chance to really wrap my mind around the fact that this WAS happening…and that it was happening TODAY! Also during this time, my Mom hopped a flight to Arizona and was en-route while we waited.


It’s go-time, for real. We’d already spoken with the OB on duty (the woman performing the surgery), as well as the anesthesiologist. (who would be performing a spinal block). At 8:15pm, they came for us and started to wheel me back to the OR.


Continue with Part 2 here!