After finally experiencing the momentous occasion of the birth of my twins, the next big event that I had been anxiously waiting for was to go back home. At 122 days in the hospital, I only had four more days to go until my discharge papers were signed making my entire hospital stay a whopping 126 days! April 25th could not come soon enough and unfortunately, those four little days recovering from surgery were going to be harder than expected. Immediately after the c-section, I was taken to the recovery room where we got to spend our "golden hour" with the twins and get some good skin to skin contact before they got whisked away to be fully cleaned up and checked out. My epidural was still going strong so I was feeling really good snuggled up with the kids and just taking in the fact that I had successfully accomplished the biggest challenge in my entire life. Then once the twins left, the anesthesiologist started to transition me from my epidural to regular pain medications since we were only going to be in the recovery room for about two hours. The nurses mentioned that during surgery, there was one complication that occurred which was now under control. I had lost a large amount of blood when the two placentas were removed. This occurred because my uterus was not able to work normally since I had been so inactive these past several months. My uterine muscles were atrophied along with all of the rest of my muscles. My doctor had anticipated this outcome so they put in a Bakri balloon to put pressure on the bleeding so that I would not need a transfusion. This life saving device came with a price because once the epidural was turned off, the strongest of medications did absolutely nothing to control the pain from everything I just went through. They gave me Percocet, Dilaudid, Morphine, and Oxycontin to name a few, but nothing could touch this level of pain. After five long hours, they ended up turning back on my epidural which provided the only relief. While this whole ordeal was going on, I sent Brett out with the twins to spend time with our families who were worried about us since I had not been released from the recovery room. Brett soon returned with the twins once I was stable and after a total of seven hours in recovery, I was sent back to my original room in labor and delivery to be closely observed. I did not get to see my family at all since we got back to our room at 2:00am. After two difficult days recovering, we then made the transition to our postpartum room on the other side of the maternity ward where we would spend our last two nights at the hospital.
After all of the months isolated from the real world, April 25th was at last here and the final packing began. Before we officially left, I decided to take a walk around the hospital one last time. Ironically on this day, the hospital started a new program where all of the moms on bed rest would meet twice a month on their gurneys to discuss their thoughts and feelings with the hospital social worker. Apparently, this program was in the works for awhile and my Facebook group helped make these face-to-face meetings more of a priority. I popped into the meeting briefly to say goodbye to everyone and assure them that every single second spent lying in bed was so unbelievably worth it. Once my babies were in my arms, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat regardless of how difficult or long this endeavor had been. It was nice seeing everyone and being able to leave them with hope that bed rest can lead to a very successful outcome in their own pregnancies.
The last and most important things we had to pack up were of course the twins in their brand new car seats which I got to see in person for the very first time. A huge wave of emotion began to hit me as the room started to look empty with all of our things loaded up on carts to take down to the car. Tears began to fall as a wheelchair was rolled in, signaling that my stay was in fact over. It was very surreal to know that my new life was finally about to begin as I sat down in the wheelchair with Ethan on my lap in his car seat. We started to move and Brett walked next to me carrying Ella in her car seat as we both cried tears of joy. Then after 126 days of confinement, my wheelchair was pushed out into the fresh air and I got to see the gorgeous blue sky for the first time since December. I could see the clouds and the sun and human life happening outside of the hospital walls. I then realized just how much this entire experience completely changed my life and the way I view the world. I had given up four months of my life in order to give my kids the chance to live. A very small price to pay for two beautiful, healthy babies who will get to know that life is extremely precious once they have been told the story of how they came into this world.
*The song "I'm Going Home" is from the 1975 Broadway musical The Rocky Horror Show which then became the famous midnight cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank-N-Furter sings this soulful ballad once he finds out that he is being taken back to his home planet but desires to stay on Earth instead. In my case, there was no way I was desiring to stay at that hospital one more minute, and seeing our car pulled up outside ready to take us all back together was so glorious. The entire car ride home both Brett and I continued to cry that at last we were free to be a family. Brett had made the lonely drive back and forth down Pacific Coast Highway so many times coming to visit me. Now, his wish came true that this final drive back home included not only me, but the twins as well. We all made it through this incredible journey with an enormous appreciation for all of the amazing blessings in our life. Don't dream it...be it!