This post features Andrea from Dallas, Texas. Andrea is a college student studying elementary education. She wanted to share her story because, “it’s not something could find a whole lot of information on nor did I know something like this even happened.” Thank you so much for sharing your story Andrea!
What was your pregnancy like?
I had a fairly easy pregnancy until birth. I never had any morning sickness or fatigue.
Did you have any pregnancy complications?
At 20 weeks my Baby B was two weeks behind in growth. Then at 24 weeks she was three weeks behind in growth. I was told by the maternal fetal medicine specialist (MFM) that she would most likely pass away and I could choose to carry her and deliver her with her twin or to remove her when she passed. A few days later I was admitted to hospital bed rest for severe preeclampsia and developed HELLP syndrome a few days later. I never had any of the classic preeclampsia symptoms.
What was your L&D experience like?
When my blood pressure reached 190/130, I was rushed down to labor and delivery. The room was bombarded with doctors and nurses as I was started on magnesium. The doctors told me they would do chest compressions on the babies for 20 minutes and then I could hold them if and when they passed. I was told “Baby A has a 50% chance, Baby B is very small.” I was wheeled into a large operating room labeled “extreme prematurity”. My C-section itself was a decent experience. I do not remember receiving an IV, or my spinal block or any of the in-betweens. There was a large team of neonatologists and NICU nurses for each baby and a group of my own doctors and nurses. Everything was a bit of a blur and then a nurse told me to look to my side and I saw them wheel both babies out of the room alive. I was taken down to labor and delivery with the magnesium drip continuing. At 3 AM, the nurses wheeled me in the bed to visit the babies although I was so comatose, I do not remember even seeing them.
Tell us about your babies – how far along were they and how much did they weigh?
My twins were born at 24+6. Ava (twin A) was 1 pound 6.6 oz and Isla (Twin B) was 15.9 oz.
How did the pandemic impact your L&D and NICU experience?
A positive has been added layers of protection implemented within the NICU- providing extra protection for my tiny babies. It has been hard with only parents allowed to see the babies. One of my twins was at a children's hospital for 45 days and only one parent could be there at a time which made it quite difficult and frustrating. My family won’t be able to meet the babies until they are at least 4 months old and out of the NICU which would not have been the case pre-covid.
What did others do that was helpful for you during this time?
The best thing anyone could do for me was simply understanding that my time was stretched very thin and not expecting me to drop time from my babies for them. My friends and family have supported me from afar and have not made me feel guilty for being absent and I have really appreciated that.