Wesley and Brannan's Birth Story By Joy Print
Birth Stories - Multiple Births Stories
Monday, 24 November 2008 08:39
      As I was growing up my greatest ambition was to become a mother of a large family. When I was young and immature I actually remember wanting twelve children. As I matured my ideal family became smaller. Four would be perfect! I started my period very late and with out medical help I only have cycles twice a year. When I was 22 years old, my family physician told me I had Stein-Leventhal Disorder (AKA: Polycystic ovaries). I did no ovulate and having children with out medical help would be nearly impossible. I was not married or even dating so it was no big deal. I actually began to think I would not get married if I could not have children. Why bother!

      Well at 25 I found the right man. He had agreed that if infertility failed we would adopt. Well soon enough I would be pregnant. Unfortunately I never figured it out until I was 18 weeks. (If you don't have cycles how can you miss them?) I set my doctors appointment for 4 weeks later. (That was his first available appointment and I had no idea how far along I was.) The morning of my appointment I passed the bloody show. I had realized I was much further along than I originally figured so I had chalked up the mild non rhythmic contractions that I had been feeling for days as Braxton Hicks Contractions. I called my doctor who assumed that I was in my first trimester and was having a miscarriage. He told me to lay down and put my feet up until my appointment 6 hours later. Upon examination I was dilated to 4 and my membranes were bulging. My Physician was a GP so he sent me to the emergency room to see what an OB/Gyn could do for me. 6 hours later my daughter Icia Anna was born alive weighing 1lb 4oz at only 22 weeks gestation. The neonatoligist recommended no heroic intervention. (The year was 1988 and artificial surfactants were not available yet.) We reluctantly agreed and our daughter died three hours later. We had no counsel and were not aware of our rights so we saw her only once and never ever held her. We did choose to have her buried although she was still considered a pathology specimen. This was the best decision we made for ourselves.

      Well being so close to having a baby yet being denied after 6 months we started the infertility route. First we went to Clomid for over a year. Then we tried Pergonal twice and it didn't work. We were about to give up when my Ob/GYN told us about one more newer drug that was made for people with my hormonal imbalance. We tried Metrodin after 6 days on the drug my esridiol level was elevated but ultrasound only showed one mature egg and one slightly immature. My Physcian like to see 4 mature. He told me not to get my hopes up. Two weeks later my pregnancy was confirmed!

      This was only the beginning of my labor of love. At six weeks vaginal ultrasound confirmed twins. My doctor joked that it would be several months before he could get another sound nights sleep. A patient with a history of preterm delivery and fetal demise pregnant with twins! He would earn every cent of his fees. He decided to treat me as having an incompetent cervix and around week twelve to put in a cerclage (purse string like stitch around the neck of the cervix to prevent premature dilation. He also put me on progesterone suppositories so that a low progesterone level would not cause miscarriage. Seven weeks later 10 days after the withdrawal of the progesterone I bleed! We were panicked. Ultrasound showed that the babies were still alive and five days later while still in the hospital the cerclage was preformed. I was 15 weeks.

      At 19 weeks, my fears were realized preterm labor started. After Magnesium Sulfate stopped to contrations, terbutaline sulfate in tablet form was the first line of action. I did not tolerate it well my heart raced and I had the jitters. I was back in labor just 24 hours after leaving the hospital. After another round of Mag, I was started on the terbutaline pump. A pump that injected smaller continuous doses of terbutaline subcutaneously. I tolerated this well and was sent home on strict bed rest. My poor husband! We had no family to help so we were on our own. At 26 weeks hypertension set in. I was past 22 week so I was feeling somewhat relieved but they were still too young to be healthy.

      At 29 weeks, Labor started again. Another round of Mag sulfate that would last 6 weeks! If you have never experienced Mag, I can assure you that it is a nightmare. A strong smooth muscle that not only relaxes your uterus but your eyes, GI Tract and makes you feel awful. My vessles weakened and began to burst every time they changed my IV site. Finally at 34 weeks, after a amniocentesis showed the babies lungs to be mature, my twin boys were delivered C- section. There were 22 people in the delivery room. There was a party attitude since my doctor closed his practice for the afternoon to allow many of his nurses to attend. Dad forgot to take many pictures he was too wrapped up in the moment. My Labor of love gave me two beautiful boys: Wesley Rudolph 4lb and 16 3/4 in long and Brannan Ray 5lb.8oz an 18 1/4 in long.

     Wesley was as healthy as an ox. Brannan was born with a beta Strep pneumonia that caused his lung to collapse. A chest tube was inserted and massive antibiotics were started. After three weeks, Wesley weighed enough to come home and Brannan was well enough to come home. They both came home on the same day, My birthday. They are now six years old and half way through kindergarten. They are the apples of my eye.

      I would do it all over again if I could but my heart went bad (Postpartum Cardiomyopathy) which nearly claimed my life when the boys were 9 months old. I did claim the life of their baby brother, Arick Charles, who was conceived while using birth control. After going through so much to bring the twins into the world and been staunchly Pro life, I was forced with an unthinkable choice. After 19 weeks gestation, they had to take our fourth child to save my life. He never had a chance. I would have died far too early for him to survive. We buried him next to his sister. My health has rebounded and I am enjoying seeing the twins grow up. I cherish every day with them.