· By Tiny Hearts Education
Meeting Lola and Saylor
My first pregnancy was a breezy one. I was pretty well, had no complications and our son Kingston was born at 38+3 via scheduled c section. The day was calm, and we settled into life with a newborn with minimal issues.
A couple of months before Kingston's second birthday, I found out I was pregnant again. We were so excited for Kingston to have a sibling; I went and did bloods and organised a dating scan to be done before I went to see my private OB.
I was seven weeks, and two days when I went for my dating scan, my husband and I were in complete shock to find that we were expecting not one but TWO babies!
Twins had never entered our minds, we had no family history, and I had no telltale symptoms.
I was relieved that I was having DCDA (2 sacs, 2 placentas), which made them the lowest risk type of twins to carry. I was reasonably problem-free until around 30 weeks when I started swelling in my legs and feet, but blood pressure and proteins were fine.
On a Monday morning at 33 weeks pregnant, I was halfway on my drive to work (no idea why I thought it was still a good idea to work at 33 weeks with twins!) when my husband called me.
He told me his Dr had called and he needed to urgently get to an ED department for emergency surgery.
The doctors had completed a CT scan the Friday before due to stomach pain Lee was having. Unfortunately, it had shown some concerning results.
Lee had a laparotomy done (cut longways down his stomach) and they did a small bowel resection due to a growth which was causing intussusception. We couldn't believe it; we were in the middle of a full kitchen renovation, and I was 33 weeks pregnant with twins. I had to get my mum to come and stay with me because, by this point, I was so swollen and really struggling with my pregnancy.
The day after Lee's surgery, I sat at his bedside all day. At 8 pm I decided it was finally time to go home so I left his ward and headed to my car, only I couldn't really make it to my car, my legs were so heavy and swollen and I felt so out of breath. I decided to take myself straight to my maternity ward (at a different hospital) to be checked out.
On arrival, they did my blood pressure and tested my urine. My urine showed 3+ protein - so within minutes, I was having urgent bloods done. My OB was at my bedside, and thankfully the bloods came back okay! So it was decided I was to be admitted for close monitoring.
The following Tuesday, I saw an Obstetric Physician for another opinion (while still admitted) she advised I was to get steroid shots and an iron infusion. She left my room to advise my OB and staff.
Suddenly Twin A went crazy. She was kicking so hard it nearly had me in tears, I was in a lot of discomfort. I stood up to relieve the pain and walked around. I tried going to the bathroom and then hopped back in bed.
I was still in a lot of pain, so I buzzed the nurses and explained I was feeling pretty uncomfortable, so they popped the CTG monitors on and called my OB.
He was there instantly and explained I was getting back-to-back contractions and examined me; I was in labour. The babies needed to be born now.
Within what felt like seconds the nurses had undressed me, and my OB himself was pushing my hospital bed down the corridors while I made panicked calls to my husband, who had thankfully just been discharged from hospital himself.
Just as I was going into theatre, my husband walked through also, which was so amazing as I really needed a familiar face amongst all the madness.
At 1857 Saylor Jean (Twin A) was born, and at 1859 Lola Mae (Twin B) arrived. They both let out cries, and I was so relieved.
After a minute or two, the pediatrician came over to us and explained due to their early arrival, they needed to be transferred to the Perth Children's Hospital to be cared for in the NICU.
Lee headed upstairs with them to the nursery while they were prepped and waited for NETS WA (Neonatal Emergency Transport WA) while I was stitched up in theatre and went to recovery.
After around an hour later, I was transferred back to the ward, the twins were still in the nursery being prepped for travel, so Lee popped into my room to check on me.
Suddenly I had a massive wave of nausea come over me like I was being squeezed too tightly.
My midwife started taking and retaking my blood pressure, calling out to another midwife in the room until they eventually pressed the "Code Blue" button on the wall. The midwife said to my husband and I "It's going to get very busy in here very quickly, just take a seat and don't panic."
She wasn't joking. Within a minute, there were about 15 people in my room. Someone was scribing every instruction and medication; meanwhile, I was being pumped with IV blood pressure medication and put on a magnesium sulphate drip.
My head was pounding like nothing I had ever felt before, and I was having problems with my vision. The lights in the room felt blinding, and everything was out of focus.
I spent the next 48 hours on 'one to one care' (basically ICU care while still on the maternity ward). I still had not yet seen my babies. I expressed colostrum for them, and my husband drove it to the Children's hospital, but I was deemed too high risk to travel to see them.
They were doing well, only on CPAP, Lola on High Flow and Saylor on Room Air.
Thursday afternoon, the twins transfer back to my hospital was cancelled, and my husband was told the growth they had removed from his stomach had come back as being cancer.
It was a devastating day; the first day I cried.
I could not believe the mess our family was in.
My husband had cancer, at home, we had no kitchen, and our toddler was in the care of grandparents, our twins were in the NICU across the city from their mum, and I wasn't able to be there to do skin to skin and bond with them like I should have been.
Thankfully we had amazing care, fantastic support from family and friends, incredible midwives who listened to me cry about the situation, gave me a caring hug and even my OB had a sit down with me
and wanted to know about it all, and worked with the pediatrician to make sure my twins got transferred back to me the next day.
Friday afternoon, THEY ARRIVED!
My beautiful girls were back, they had to stay in the SCN, but the midwives moved me to a room directly opposite, so I was as close as possible to them.
My first hold of them was magical, they were tiny compared to their big brother, but I just felt so at ease with them.
They were dreams, smashed every goal and 15 days after their early arrival, we all were discharged from hospital on the same day and haven't looked back since!
Three under 3 is crazy, but we love it so much.
After three and a half months and many tests, Lee was officially cancer-free, and those crazy times are all behind us!