Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Welcome Benjamin and Zachary! (Birth Story)

We left the house last Monday morning for my scheduled induction at noon, April 14th.  We were so excited to see what came of these 3 little embryos.  

But, little did we know that the induction would last 48 hours, with 42 of those hours in active labor that stalled, sadly at 8 cms dilated.  My uterus wore out, which can happen with twins, and I just simply stopped contracting.  We started with Cervidil gel, which got my contractions coming on pretty strong, but only got me to a 3.  My water broke around 9am Tuesday am, and my doctor really broke it (just a trickle before then) at 1pm.  Then the contractions really picked up.  I had a bad experience with my epidural--mainly my body not loving the drugs and having several bad reactions.  I would drop my blood pressure, feel like I was passing out, and then need meds to bring it back up.  I got the shakes pretty horrendously, too.  As well as TERRIBLE itchy skin.  I have some scabs on my face and back from scratching.  I kept up a pretty positive attitude throughout, hitting a wall of emotion a couple of times, but then holding onto hope.  

A 4 am picture I took, thinking delivery was just around the corner.  Had a foley catheter placed recently before this (to continuously drain urine), which was a huge setback and bother in my mind.  Was trying to choose to have a happy heart :)
By early Wednesday am at 5:30, I had finally reached an 8.  I was so excited and had my mom come asap.  But I stayed at an 8 for the next 3 hours.  Then my contractions completely stopped. We tried shutting off the Pitocin and giving my body a break then restarting it slowly, which can sometimes work, but no such luck.  I was so sad and frustrated and super exhausted.  Andy and I had both gotten a total of 4-6 hrs of sleep over the past 2 days.  I finally made my peace--or God gave me peace--with getting a c-section, and my dear friend Lisa texted me all the way from Indonesia at just the right time when I was crying and emotional over what was happening.  She had a similar first labor experience and had a lot of wisdom and encouragement for me. We made the call around noon/1ish Wednesday to go ahead with surgery.

About to go into surgery!

One thing that was awesome was the boys' heartrates were steady and stable throughout this whole time.  They were comfy in there :) and had no issues with the long labor.  Getting their heartrates on the monitor for 2 days straight was one of the most annoying things about the stay.  They were moving around the whole time but you have to also be monitored the whole time.  I also had an internal contraction monitor in towards the end.  I made a comment that this was an extremely medicalized birth--I never imagined this for me!  Always pictured laboring naturally and having a midwife, etc.  Oh well, I can't regret anymore.  

To make a long story longer :)  I went to the OR around 2 pm to get prepped, and Andy joined me 15 minutes later.  Being numbed from shoulders to toes is a very very weird feeling.  I had already had those blood pressure/passing out bouts 4 times and was worried about it happening when I was on the table, but thankfully it didn't.  I was ready to meet my sweet boys.  My best friend and most favorite man in the world sat at my right side holding my hand and my new friend, Jerry the Certified Nurse Anesthetist (who we loved) sat at my right side and held that hand.  So sweet.  My doctor was always planning on delivering this special pair, so she was there to do the surgery, as well as another doctor at her side for help.  Everyone in the room was so positive and nice, it was a good environment.  

Benjamin Andrew Salsky made his debut into the world 
at 2:32 pm on Wednesday, April 16th!
His little head was in the birth canal for quite sometime, so it took a few yanks to get him out, but once he was out, he cried right away!  What a surreal experience.  He had (still has) a big head of dark brown hair, and Andy and I were in tears as soon as we heard his cry.  A moment I'll never forget.  Andy was whisked away to cut the cord (already cut at the table, but he trimmed it up) and see his weight etc.
Benjamin Andrew

Benjamin Andrew
He weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Zachary Ryan Salsky made his debut into the world 
at 2:34 pm on Wednesday, April 16th!
As soon as his brother was out, Zachary decided to take advantage of all the extra room and stretched his little body out like nobody's business.  That's why it took them 2 minutes for his exit.  I got a bruise on my tummy from them having to yank and pull.  Once he was out, he let out a wail, too, and we knew he was healthy.  So emotional.  His little head was covered with strawberry blonde hair!

Zachary Ryan
He weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Brothers for life.

First time to meet my babes. 
Sharing secrets already.

It took about 20 minutes to suture me up, so Andy was able to sit in the recovery room with just the boys to himself that time.  He bonded for life with them and fell deep in love.  He is such a good daddy.
New daddy in the recovery room.
I unfortunately began to have another reaction just as they finished suturing, and it took a good 30 minutes to stop the blood pressure from dropping and get my uncontrollable shakes to go away. It took 3 doses of Demerol (a muscle relaxant) to stop them, so then for the next hour I was high as a kite.  I couldn't really hold the boys, but my family came back one at a time, and everyone was able to meet them.  Benjamin had a low blood sugar, so he needed an ounce of formula, which somehow I managed to give him?  I can't remember much of that time!  Sad.
First family photo

Loving on Zachy

SO different!  Zachy on left, Benji on right.

We went up to post partum about 2 1/2 hrs later.  That first night was tough.  The pain and soreness from the surgery combined with the loopiness of meds and just 2 new babies in the family was a lot!  They slept in the nursery during the nights while we were in the hospital, which was helpful, but still you don't get much sleep!  But our overall experience was good. We had a few nurses that we didn't care for, but we loved everyone else.  

We left the hospital on Easter Sunday, April 20th.  Both boys recovered quickly from jaundice by going under the lights Saturday night and getting supplemented with formula to bulk up their weights.  I was emotional about that.  I've taken care of plenty of jaundiced babies and know it's relatively normal and common, but when it's your baby who is sick, it's hard to handle.  We were so thankful they only needed 12 hrs of phototherapy.

And so it begins!

We are absolutely in love with these miracles.  Life will take some getting used to.  My main role for the next month or so is to nurse and pump.  What a change in lifestyle!  One you can never fully prepare for--especially the change in sleep, but they are worth it.  

Pray for us as we adjust.  My mom is an angel and such a help.  Our friends are also angels in bringing meals, running to the store, etc.  

I'll post again and share the meanings and significances of their names and more about a day in the life.  Also, my pics are slow to load, so I'll post more. The boys get circumcised next week--pray for them and us!  

I'm also recovering ok, but slowly.  In addition to the surgery recovery, I was also pumped with liters upon liters of fluids, which are very slowly leaving my body.  I seriously look like the Michelin man and have only lost a few pounds of weight post delivery.  Not your typical scenario.  I'm pretty self-conscious about it, but I should be back to normal in 2-4 weeks, so everyone says.  I have to keep my feet propped.  I also realized that I just don't like drugs!  I can't take the Percocet for pain because I get so loopy.  So I'm just on ibuprofen.  The pain isn't too bad, though.  

Love you all!
Me and Zachy post feed.  


  1. Em - you are such a trooper. I know having a c-section after such a long labor is a bummer, but they are here and safe! So awesome that you got one that looks like you and one like Andy. They are SO precious. Learn to live fully in the joy moments, and cling to Jesus in the tough ones. And don't be afraid to ask for help. Love you, June

  2. Congratulations! What an amazing and incredible blessing! Make that TWO blessings!