Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Twins Update - Wednesday

First let me just say, that we are so grateful for all the love, prayers, and encouragement we have received from a host of family and friends. Every blog comment, text message, facebook note, and phone call have been meaningful to us. Thousands of other prayers have been lifted up for us by people we will never know. We are deeply grateful for these all, and our loving Father is hearing and answering your prayers.

I don’t quite know where to begin this story, but here goes. The second call I made after we knew God was calling us to NYC was to Dr. Donnie Crawford (our friend and Susan’s doctor in Clarksville), to see if we could indeed move at the first of October with Susan pregnant with twins. He did the math in his head and said yes we could. He said if we make it to November he’d be happy and prepared us for Susan to be on bedrest and other challenging realities.

Fast forward to this past week. Lillie has been sideways/horizontal the whole pregnancy. Tuesday of this week the ultrasound showed the same. By the next day at Susan’s doctor’s appointment she had turned head down. We were all excited. Susan’s doctor (Dr. Cha) has been a gift right out of heaven. We discovered that she was a Christian our first appointment. She attends a Presbyterian church on the UWS that was planted by Redeemer Church that is Pastored by Tim Keller, a favorite author of mine. So while we were pretty spoiled with Dr. Crawford in Clarksville, the Lord gave Susan the best doctor we could imagine up here. Dr Cha is amazing and her office is in the same building we live in. At Susan’s appointment on Wednesday, Dr. Cha told her that she thinks the babies will come on their own before December 1st which is when she planned to induce Susan. This caused things to hit home a little for Sus. Later that day she put the other baby bed together…yes that’s right, she wont let me touch stuff like that. You’ve got to remember when we got engaged, she had a toolbox and I didn’t. She also got the babies’ clothes organized with Hannah’s help.

Thursday will be a day that we will never forget. Susan had plans to spend most of the day in New Jersey going to a Target with Briggette Simpson. This was also going to allow Hannah to get the longest extended time alone with Jack that she had had yet. At target, Susan got an ironing board (ours broke on the move), a mattress for the baby bed (thanks Nay-Nay for that gift), and a microwave (because the one I picked up on the side of the street on 25th and toted all the way through the subway back up to 90th didn’t fit under the cabinet on top of the fridge). In addition to that, our two lamps from walmart came in the mail. Our little apartment was getting its final touches in preparation for a few weeks rest before the twins would arrive, or so we thought. Susan, totally in tune with the motherly instinct decides around 7 o’clock to pack her hospital bag. I’m thinking whatever, until we laid in bed that night. She began to have some contractions that made her stomach look like something out of the movie aliens or something close to that. I asked her (kind of jokingly/kind of not) if she wanted me to time them. We just kind of laughed it off and shortly went to bed. At 11:50pm Susan sat up in bed saying “uhh, my water just broke.” I knew she was serious as it seemed just like it happened with Jack. Inside I begin to freak out, mainly because if Susan responded the way she did to her water breaking this time the same way she did last time, she’d be crying and almost throwing up in a mater of 15 minutes. Fortunately, this was a little different and she really didn’t begin to feel the kind of pain at first that she did with Jack. She darted to the bathroom, and I started scurrying around trying to figure out what we needed to get together. I popped in Hannah’s and Jack’s room and told her that Sus’ water had just broke. She seemed pretty chill, but I’m sure she was just as shocked as the rest of us thinking she still had a few weeks of a semi-vacation in New York City. Semi-vacation over. Get in the phone booth and come out with your supper nanny uniform on Hannah…and that she has done! So Sus and I got everything together and head down and out to the corner to get a cab. We loaded the cab and headed to the hospital. After arriving at the hospital Susan was quickly checked and then put into a room. The first couple of hours went by very fast, Susan’s contractions grew stronger through the morning. Around 2:30am the doctor checked Susan and she was 4 centimeters and 80% effaced. Shortly after that she requested an epidural (little did she know, they don’t put as much in there as they do in Louisville cause they want you to feel a little to be able to push). She did feel good though and we kind of cat napped through the rest of the early morning. Around 6:30, I was getting concerned that they hadn’t checked her since 2:30. So the next hour I was a little nervous. Around 8:00 Dr. Cha came in! We were so excited that she was on call. She checked Susan and said, “she’s ready”. She went on to tell us that she had some logistics to work out because she had 4 patients that were delivering that day. After asking Susan how her pressure was, she decided to come back in 45 minutes to get the show on the road. While she was gone, someone came over the speaker calling Dr. Cha to room 3 and in the background we could hear a woman wailing. If was funny and freaky all at the same time. About 10 minutes later I stepped out in the hallway and heard a baby crying in room 3, so the call for Dr. Cha was legit. Not long after that, Dr. Cha comes in and it was game time. She was accompanied with two others a foreshadowing of what we would find in the OR. They deliver twins in the OR in case there are any emergencies. I got into my scrubs and they rolled Susan down to the OR. Dr. Cha came and got me and we stepped into a room filled with at least 10 medical personnel. In a matter a minutes I was sitting on a stool next to Susan, surrounded by people, and she was pushing. I could tell she felt a little more this time than with Jack, but she made immediate progress. Because there were two, it took the delivery team a few minutes to make sure they had the correct baby in the correct position. Indeed they did and in less than 10 minutes @ 9:21 Elliott David Wyatt was born. 5 seconds on mom’s chest and then they went to cleaning him up. Susan immediately began to say, “and he was the small one, oh no, he was the small one.” Unbeknownst to us, Lillie did a 180 when Elliott came out and now was feet down. Dr. Cha called for Dr. Silverstein who would make the 3rd doctor in the room. While he was on his way in, she told us that he was very experienced in delivering breach babies. We had already learned that New York is the only place in the nation that will allow a second twin to be delivered breach, yeah, that’s how safe it is. We had already decided that we would do whatever was safest for the baby and would go the c-section route rather than attempt a breach delivery. Dr. Silverstein came into the OR and he was “on”. It was like he had just come out of the tunnel at a football game. Dr. Cha immediately told him that we were not in favor of a breach delivery, so he took a few steps back, and in a matter a moments he had his sleeve rolled up and his elbow, forearm, and fist were being applied to Susan’s belly with great force in attempts to flip Lillie for a head first delivery. What I observe in the next minute was definitely in the top three most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. It hurt my stomach to watch what he was doing to Susan’s belly. There were three other people with their hands on Susan’s belly and Dr. Cha was on the receiving end. On what appeared to be the third big attempt, Dr. Cha exclaimed, “oh that is exactly where we want her, that’s it!” So in less than a minute, Dr. Silverstein walked into the room and with the direction of Dr. Cha and the help of the delivery team had flipped Lillie back into a head down position. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I don’t know how Susan did it. And just a couple of minutes later, Lillie Beth Wyatt was born @ 9:30 am. She too got about 5 seconds on mommy’s chest and then began to get cleaned up. A few short minutes later, they took Elliott and Lillie to the NICU. They have been in the NICU since Friday morning. Since the babies’ birth we have been sustained sweetly by God’s grace. The joy of the babies’ successful non-c-section delivery absorbed any initial fears we may have had with them being in the NICU. The babies were due December 16th, so I assumed that they’d spend some time up there, while it didn’t even enter Susan’s mind. We’ve had so much encouragment from Gallery Church folks here, so much prayer support from FBC in Clarksville and many friends and family from all over. We have been so grateful for all of the comments on facebook and our blogs along with texts and phone calls. If we haven’t returned your call, please know we are grateful for it!

Our lead pastor was in Georgia preaching at one of our partner churches so he couldn’t preach for me on Sunday. So I broke away for about an hour to preach in the morning and was so encouraged by the church family. I also broke away Sunday night and took a cab to Chelsea where we have our evening service. The guy that stopped for me was a generic cab/car service (not a yellow cab), so I just went for it. The conversation quickly turned to the LORD and it turns out this guy was a bi-vocational pastor from Newark. We really had a great time encouraging one another as his mother-in-law was in the hospital @ Mt. Sinai not doing well. He spoke confidently about the absolute sovereignty of God over all things. It was quite refreshing and we pastured one another as we drove through the city down to 18th street. When we arrived, he didn’t charge me. I quoted him 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and told him he was storing up treasure in heaven!

Since then, we’ve been visiting and watching the babies, praying with them, singing to them, and holding them when we’ve been able.

Elliott has made great improvement and has actually come off his IV. He’s been eating like a champ. Lillie on the other hand has had a tougher time. She most likely has had HMD, a premature lung disease that is caused by the lack of surfactant being produced. The day before yesterday, they tried to take her off her c-pap and on high flow for 2 hours but she could only make it for 30 minutes. Yesterday she made the two hours, and then either she’s made if four this morning or they are going to try for four…I can’t quite remember in this moment. 3 days ago, they tried to feed her 15 cc’s of breast milk through a tube and she didn’t take it. The next day they tried 5 cc’s and she took it. Yesterday they upped it to 10 cc’s and she’d done well with that too. This morning is the most comfortable that Susan and I have observed her in her breathing. So though its been tough pinning the doctors down with an exact diagnosis or anything concrete, we are encouraged as it is all a more organic process and we are seeing improvement.

It is often two steps forward and one back. Though Elliott came off the IV, he had to go back under the lights because his billyruben was high again. So a few specific things that you can pray for are:

• Lillie’s body would produce sufficient surfactant and her quality of breathing would improve.
• Lillie would continue to increase her feeding amounts.
• Both babies would be able to hold their temperature.
• Both babies would have no desats, brownings, or apnea(spikes in their heart rate or breathing. – they have to have 5 days with zero of those, before they can come home)
• Both babies health in general.

Jack and Hannah are doing great together! Hannah has totally stepped it up and we’re so proud of her and thankful to have her here! We’re having lots of fun! Jack is doing good and loving the playgrounds in central park a little more every day. If you have facebook, Hannah has posted a bunch of pictures of him on there.

Susan is feeling really good. Much better than she did after having Jack. We’ve been taking cabs the last few days but are transitioning to the bus as it is much cheaper and Susan can now handle the 6 short blocks to the bust station. We walk up Columbus 6 blocks, catch the bus and it takes us 1.5 blocks from the front door of the hospital.

The social worker recommended that he come see the twins, so that was special too. I think Susan has already mentioned him brining the twins a little toy each. Jack’s Gran and Gramps (my parents) are coming up today. They are flying into Philly and taking Amtrak into the city, and saving $400 taking that route as opposed to flying right into the city. Susan’s mom is expected to come on the 20th and will be here through Thanksgiving. We are so glad that our families are able to come this way and are grateful for their sacrifice in doing so.

It has not set in yet that we are a family of five. Though it feels very natural to have the twins here. The most challenging days will set it, when Elliott comes home most likely before Lillie and we have to figure out a feeding schedule that meets both of the babies needs while they are in two places. You can pray for that as well.

Again, we are so grateful for all the encouragement and support! Thanks for sharing in our joy!


Anonymous said...

Freddy T. Thanks for the play by play description of bringing these precious babies into the world. Technology is wonderful in that families can stay more in touch and absorb what is going on. I know there are many trying days ahead, but God and prayer will get us all through these days. I know your Mom and Dad being there will be great support for you, Susan and Jack (and Hannah). God has blessed us all with these beautiful children of yours and Susan's and I know there is lots of joy ahead for all of us. Take good care of my "four" babies and much love to all of you. Great Gran

Lori said...

Freddy T. thank you so much for sharing y'alls birth story with us. I love to hear what happened. I'm thinking about you guys often. I'll be praying for Elliot & Lillie. Being a family of five will definitely feel completely natural to y'all soon. How exciting!!! I wish we could come see them and y'all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update! I've checked the blog over and over today looking for an update on the babies. Sounds like Lillie may be on the up swing. We continue to pray for all of you and I'm so glad your parents will be there today. Enjoyed seeing you guys on web-cam the other night. That was so neat!
Love to all of you - Donna

Sunny said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I know the NICU rollercoaster is a hard one. One day you get glowing reports and the next day things look bleak. Just hang in there and take LOTS of pictures. Also-tell Susan to sleep as much as possible. Believe it or not, the real work comes when they come home :)

Leigh Ellen Malone said...

Susan and Freddy T., thanks so much the updates. I check the blog every night to see how your growing family is doing. I know that God will continue to bless the two of you and your children. Lillie and Elliot will continue to be in our prayers. I can't wait for all the "cousins" to meet!!!

pam said...

Freddy T. Thank you for logging the story of Yours & Susan's big adventure and the delivery of Elliott and Lillie. I copied and pasted the prayer specifics and will focus on that tonight. So glad your parents are there. And Susan's for Thanksgiving. I too check daily the blog for updates and pictures and comments and am in prayer daily for your family. Yes, get as much rest rest rest now, as possible, dear Susan, as it does become more hectic when they are home and you are there all day and not out as much. What an awesome blessing for not having to have a c section and the amazing talents of the doctors within minutes were able to deliver Lillie. Walking the blocks to the bus station is great exercise and good for you Susan. Take care of yourself. Is it real cold up there yet? I hope you can take the microwave back, Freddy T. Take care of yourselves and so glad to hear about Hannah being Super Nanny and such a great servant. Jack sounds like he is adjusting wonderfully and will be blessed by his grandparents visiting. Love and miss yall, pam

Freddy T. Wyatt said...

I was wondering if folks would get the microwave thing....I literally picked it up on the side of the street. People in NYC dispose of things on the sidewalk all the time because they don't want to take it with them when they I didn't pay a penny for was in a pile of trash...ha!

Michael Christy Marion said...

Hey Freddy T! I came across your blog in a round-a-bout way and have been so encouraged by your move into the city and now the birth of these beautiful babies. I've not met Susan before, but what a woman! Grace and blessings to all 5(!) of you in the days to come.
Christy Brown Norton

Anonymous said...

Freddy T., I had that thought cross my mind, but then shook it away. LOL, WOW! Well just sit it out on your sidewalk and perhaps someone else will benefit from it. I am an airhead a lot of times! I feel blessed to be praying for your family daily. Have a nice day, pam

allison and kyle said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking the time for all the details! Kyle and I will be praying for the specific prayer requests for the twins. God bless you bunches!!

Stephanie said...

Hi Freddy T.
It's has been quite some time since we have seen each other. My maiden name is Smith. I still keep in touch with Diana from time to time. I saw her post on facebook about the babies and was so suprised. I congratulate you on your beautiful family and offer my many prayers for your newest arrivals Elliott & Lillie. As a mother of a teenage girl I try and remember to just take it "one day at a time"! I have enjoyed reading through your blogs and in a way being able to catch up with you. Please offer my congratulations to Susan as well & I look forward to the day of seeing you again and meeting your family. Take care!

The Fitzgerald's said...

Wow! you guys are troopers! You are a real inspiration!! Truely!!!