Author: Lala
•Thursday, July 07, 2011
A year ago today (Thursday), we heard our babies' cries for the very first time. It was not the happiest moment as deliveries normally are. I was in the operating room very sick because of high blood pressure due to severe preeclampsia. After being on bed rest at home for more than five weeks, I was admitted to Inova Fairfax Prenatal Risk unit after developing preeclampsia at 28 weeks and 5 days on June 28, 2010 at about 4a.m. and was told that they could take  my babies out anytime - if my blood pressure got so high that I started to vomit and see spots, they would operate. I felt like I was a time bomb. With only two hours of sleep, soda , cheerios and eventually water to complete my diet, excruciating pain on every step to the bathroom and just plain pain all over me - part of me wished to get over it soon but part of me keep hoping that I could make one more day longer for my babies. I was able to keep our babies inside for nine more days.

On July 7th last year after my more than an hour of  unsuccessful morning routine of monitoring our babies' heartrates (they could not get a could reading of them at the same time)  I started vomiting after asking for a break. The nurses swarmed me and they called my OB who, luckily, was at the hospital operating that morning. I started getting dizzy and saw spots which were the go signals to operate. The resident doctor talked to Carl and he drove to Inova Fairfax hospital from work with a 45 minute notice till the operation. I remember the comfort that enveloped me when Carl pronounced in the priesthood blessing he gave me that I would give birth to healthy babies and that I would have a good recovery. I remember myself praying non-stop as they wheeled me to the operating room begging for Christ's comfort and hands to guide the doctors. I remember when the doctors gave me the epidural and that it did not hurt as I expected. It was hard to know what was real and what was not. One thing that was sure was that Carl held my hand when they cut me. My mom, worried sick, waited outside while the doctors worked on taking my babies out thru the emergency c-section.

It was not long before I heard a baby cry, which I thought was somebody else's until they told me to look at my baby's face as they put her in front of me.  It was baby A - Mikelle. I looked around but I could not see anything. Everything was a blur. Then I heard another baby cried - baby B was out - It was Rianne. Once again all I said was "I can't see!". Mikelle was taken out at 3:54 in the afternoon and Rianne followed seconds later. (That did not make Mikelle older for any reason as many people assume).They were 10 weeks early and both weighed 2.5 lbs. Things that followed later that were unlear to me. Carl told me that there were two incubators with several nurses and a doctor waiting for each of our babies. They took care of our tiny babies as soon as they came out. They put the tubes and the monitors on and wheeled them to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The doctors said that they were healthy and beautiful. In fact, I was way more sick than they were. The doctor tried to keep my blood pressure in control as they quickly took care of the chocolate cyst in my left ovary that erupted during the operation. I was at risk of seizure at some point. With the excellent doctors (thank you so much Dr. Karen Maser), prayers and love from all of you, I survived and recovered well.

It was Saturday afternoon, three days after I gave birth, when I first saw and held my babies (I was not allowed to see my babies who were just two levels down until they figured out what medications to give me). They were so tiny and the tubes and beeping monitors were a bit scary. They looked so fragile and it was almost scary to touch them. My hand was trembling when I put it inside the isolette door to reach for our babies' head and Carl held my hand to keep it steady. My heart sank and I cried when I saw them that day. I felt guilty for not being able to keep them inside me long enough that they had to be there and go through what they had. I was sad that I could not hold them whenever I wanted to, nor feed and do other stuff that mothers were supposed to do. I cried when I came home empty handed and woke up without a bump nor babies in our home. We visited them almost everyday. I held them whenever I could, sang to them and eventually changed their diapers, clothed and bathed them. After almost 10 weeks, they both came home with Rianne 5 days before Mikelle did, each weighing  close to 5 lbs. Our NICU experience was not  fun at all but it definitely was worth it (we enjoyed the freedom and time to go out, have some couple time, and recover, though). I know that my babies would not have survived without the medical help it provided. We thank God for our precious miracles everyday. It surely is challenging at times taking care of them but they are all worth it - all the sleepless nights and stressful days are all worth it. They give more joy and meaning into our lives. We can't imagine a life without them.

Here's their first year:

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On July 8, 2011 at 3:20 AM , Jessica said...

It's so cute when they are playing with each other, and pushing each other over. They will be best buddies all their lives!

On July 8, 2011 at 7:41 AM , Rebecca Reid said...

What an adorable video! How far they have come in the past year. (obviously.). What big girls they are now. And I second Jessica's comment: they are going to just love having each other.

On July 8, 2011 at 8:37 AM , Melinda said...

So glad this story has a happy ending. You have beautiful girls. And, they are lucky to have a Mom (and Dad) that would sacrifice so much for them and love them so much. Happy Birthday Rianne and Mikelle!

On July 8, 2011 at 5:15 PM , Ellen Sorenson said...

We are so grateful for your beautiful family. Give everyone a big hug from us. Mom and Dad S.

On July 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM , Susannah said...

Happy Day!! I'm glad your sweet girls are here and happy and ONE YEAR OLD!!

On July 17, 2011 at 9:33 PM , Jared-n-Krystal said...

Happy birthday!! That was an awesome video you put together. What wonderful times your family has enjoyed/endured ;)