Picking up where I left off… I had just discovered that I was dilated 1-2cm and fully effaced. There was no chance of truly stopping these babies from coming.
Today was Christmas – but it wouldn’t be the happy day that we planned. I was immediately put on a Magnesium Sulfate to help control the contractions and pending labor. I like to refer to that medicine as water from the River Hell, delivered in a drip bag by the Devil himself. It was just awful, and it wasn’t helping at all. So, they added Indomethacin. In time, this would be the drug that helped to slow the contractions. In addition to the Mag and Indocin, I was given my first round of steroids to help boost the boys lungs.
By 6:00PM Christmas evening, the contractions had slowed enough that I was finally able to drift off to sleep. At 10PM, I woke again in horrible pain. The nurse called for the doctor, who quickly checked me… I was now dilated 3-4 cm, and they called for another U/S.
During that ultrasound, I remember the drs arguing over which baby was A and which was B. Apparently, they were flipping places – which was odd because Konner always stayed on top, Kyle on the bottom. When the gave me the weights, I confirmed that Konner was now on the bottom. I was in shock, but what happened next, sealed his fate… Konner fell single footling breech. His foot was now in the birth canal, but his membranes were still intact.
I was immediately rushed to the operating room – the time was midnight – December 26th. I remember thinking for a brief moment how glad I was that my sons wouldn’t die on Christmas… How selfish of me.
They kept me in a trendelenburg swing while in the OR, hoping to delay their arrival, and buy some time for better staff to arrive. By 3AM I had dialated to 7cm. Everyone kept telling me to take the pain medicine, so that I wouldn’t hurt anymore… But I knew the truth, had I have taken it, and pushed the boys out – there was no chance for their survival… As it was, a vaginal delivery would very likely be their end.
The plan was made on a prayer… When I had to push, I would deliver Konner, who by this time had fallen double footling breech and was kicking a nerve in the birth canal – frantically, trying to free himself. After Konner I was to stop pushing, they would see if I could stop contracting, and try to keep Kyle in. If he cooperated, he would have a chance at life.
I felt the uncontrollable urge to push, and was in horrid pain. At 3:46Am Konner William Knoernschild was born. He was 12 inches long, and weighed 1lb 5oz. He survived 13 minutes. As I lay there praying to God, I realized no one was talking – I started begging for someone to tell me what was going on. My husband, who had left to stand by the Neonatologist and see the baby, returned to my side – tears in his eyes. It was at that moment that I realized that Konner was gone…
It was also the moment I realized Kyle was still inside of me, and I wasn’t contracting. I quickly asked the Doctor what was going on – he told me that I was closing up… but there was a problem. The problem was something that had never been noticed on the many U/S along the way… The problem was that the placentas had fused. I managed to close down to 3cm. We knew that this would give Kyle a very limited time to develop, to have a chance at survival.
It was about this time that I asked for Konner. I remember someone telling me that I shouldn’t – but I wanted to hold my son. He was so beautiful, and so perfect. I wept holding his tiny body in my arms… I would later get to hold him again in our hospital room.
I had a hard time after Konner’s birth. I ended up needing a transfusion due to all of the blood loss. And two days later, Kyle’s membranes ruptured. Fortunately, we had the second shot by this time… But he still wasn’t ready to come. On the 4th day after Konner’s birth, we met again with the Perinatologist. She told us that if he was born today, he had a 5-20% chance of survival (after his birth the adjusted that to a less than 5% chance).
That evening, Kyle started to show signs of distress – and I started contracting again. I was rushed into the operating room, and against the recommendation of several doctors – I had a c-section (vertical).
Kyle was born that evening at 6:23PM, it was December 30th. He weighed 1lb 1oz, and measured 11.5 inches. To everyone’s surprise, his apgars were 4, 7, & 8. It was obvious to us that the boys were fraternal. Konner looked more like Daddy, Kyle was all nearly all Mommy.
As soon as Kyle was born, they ran a culture on me – when it was discovered that I had staph infection, they only gave Kyle 3 days to live. He proved them wrong.
Sure he had his problems, but he survived… And loves every minute of living!