WRITTEN BY PHIL-
Tuesday I traveled to New york alone. Earlier in the day Stephanie had her routine examination with the OB GYN and all was on schedule for February 13. Cervix-2.75 (length not dilation). 2.50 and below is a warning sign things are close. A 4 day trip away should be fine.
All day Thursday Stephanie complained to me over IM from Austin of cramps. She’d drink water, lay on her left side, write. At 5:30pm, Stephanie calls my cell again complaining of cramps but this time something different. There was a mucus discharge with a strain of brown blood. "What should I do?" she asked. "Call the Doctor, Stephanie". "But I don’t want to disturb him, its probably nothing". "Would you rather disturb him at 5:30 or 11:30" i questioned. Stephanie called the Doctor and explained her situation. He instructed her to go to the hospital. We’re at 30 weeks and just took our first tour of the hospital a week ago. I drove. Stephanie calls a friend to drive her but she is unable and her husband is sick so Stephanie gathers her ID and health insurance card, feeds Linus and drives the 20 minute trip to the hospital which she has little idea where it is. The rush hour traffic turns her trip into an hour of cramping and phone calls to me and her family alerting them. At the hospital Stephanie is told she is preterm labor. I frantically attempt to find a flight to Austin and speak with the Doctor about the labor reducing drugs he is utilizing as well as the steroids to speed up the babies development if they continue to come early. The Doctor is trying to hold off the labor for 48 hours. All flights had left New york. The next flight was 7:40am which I reserve. At 10:30pm the Doctor reveals that the babies are not to be stopped. Stephanie is dilating. Alone she fills out forms. Alone she lays in a hospital room. By speaker phone we ask the questions and make the decisions required prior to child birth. I stay with her via phone through most of the prep at which time Stephanie is brought into delivery. On hold about an hour later my call is forward to the operating room where Stephanie is alert and composed. The first baby was born at 11:12pm on December 7 and the second at 11:13pm.
Lucas Beckett and Abigail Ruby.
10 weeks premature. Stephanie alone faced childbirth. She is a strong woman. I love her.
Although severely underweight (less than 3 elbs each) and in need of significant assistance, the babies are in capable hands. The last 3 days have been filled with joy, fears, exhaustion. The babies are seen daily by NICU Doctors, Respiratory Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Nutritionist and full time nurses overseeing breathing tubes, IVs, temperature controls, apnea alerts, feeding tubes. We have been allowed to lay our hands on the little ones with no stroking as their skin is too delicate. The excessive red blood cells cause Lucas to get beet red when we stand over him discussing his status. He is ornery. They say tomorrow we may be able to hold them.
Every 2 hours Stephanie is pumping in hopes to begin producing breast milk. She lays beside me now sleeping. She is an amazing woman.
This is Stephanie’s blog and most likely the only time I will ever write a post here. She’s been overwhelmed by the events of the last few days and agreed when I asked if I could present a factual description here. I leave the color and heartfelt emotions to her. I know she will post her experiences, feelings in time.