If for some reason you believe you had a better day than Kristen and I did yesterday, well, you’re misinformed. On December 9, 2015, we welcomed our three baby boys. Let me fill you in on how we got here.
In my previous post Tuesday night, we had visited Dr. Won and everything was going well. Kristen had her steroid shot – Betamethizone – and we were due to go back to the doctor’s office for Steroid shot #2 24-hours later. Betamethizone is one of those drugs that will prevent sleep, so Kristen decided for her comfort, and mine, she’d stay downstairs on the couch and try and get some sleep. At least she had the TV she could watch if she couldn’t sleep, or she could use her iPad without disturbing me. It was a winner idea for me, because I would get a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
Boy was that wrong.
I went to bed around 10:30 and Kristen went down to relax. I was asleep quickly. At about 11:45pm, I heard a periodic noise that sounded like a TV, or maybe a neighbor talking. Then it suddenly hit me out of the blue that may be Kristen yelling for me. I ran from the bed to the bedroom door, and yelled to her if she as yelling for me. She screamed, “Yes!!! My water broke!”
I scrambled downstairs and she was kind of stuck near the toilet. If she tried to go too far, more water gushed out. Her phone was in another room. It turns out she was yelling for 10 times or so, slamming cabinet doors and doing anything to get my attention.
I won’t get into the details of the next few minutes, but we went into overdrive and raced, and eventually we ended in the car – me hyperventilating because I was running so fast and was so chaotic, and Kristen tremendously concerned. We left Finley and Sophie downstairs, and figured an accident was going to happen with them.
Luckily in Danville, 12am means no traffic on the road. We called Dr. Won as we were leaving, and a couple miles later we had her on the phone. She instructed we go to the hospital and Kristen thought Dr. Won would only call in orders. She wasn’t coming in that night.
John Muir Hospital Walnut Creek
We arrived in about 20 minutes and immediately went to the third floor to get admitted. They were there waiting for us and we got the paperwork out of the way quickly. We went into the room they had waiting and started the admitting procedures. Our nurse said that Dr. Won WAS on her way in and she’d see us soon. Kristen really wasn’t having painful contractions at this point.
Dr. Won arrived within a half hour and said she was going to put Kristen on some antibiotics to help keep infection away. That was her chief concern at this point. She also wanted us to get past the next Betazmethisone shot later that day, and then we’d see where things were. She did an ultrasound and said both A and B’s water had broke, but she wasn’t panicked, so she went on her way. She said there’d be no issue with me going home to collect some things so we’d be comfortable the next few days before the babies arrived. I left about 1:45am.
I arrived back at the hospital at 3:15am, and you would have thought I was moving in. Two suitcases, two pillows, a suit for me, nice shoes and my backpack filled with gadgets, power plugs, etc. I was pretty exhausted, so I told Kristen it’s time to get to sleep. BUT….she said she was now getting contractions and they were more painful than any she had before. Still, it didn’t look like she was in a lot of pain.
Our nurse overheard us and assessed the pain, and said she was going to go call Dr. Won. A few minutes later she reappeared and said Dr. Won asked her to do a cervix exam. Yada, yada, yada, Kristen’s cervix was ~4cm dilated, and the nurse said, “Dr. Won is going to come in. You’re having these babies tonight!”
The nurse immediately began prepping everything for the babies, and Kristen and I looked at each other with amazement and shock. They were coming TONIGHT!
Since it was coming up to 3:30am, they had to call a large number of people in, including three separate teams – one for each baby. I had to wear my Walter White suit, as I called it, and then they told me to standby while they took Kristen away. I called all sorts of family and woke people up – even on the East Coast and my mother in Costa Rica.
At about 4:20am they came to get me. Everything was ready. They told me that when Baby A was ready, I would go with him and cut his umbilical cord, and then do the same for B & C. Then I would go to the NICU with them while they finished Kristen’s surgery.
I was the last person to arrive for this party, and there were about 20 people in this smallish operating room about 20 feet away from our room. I remember saying somewhat out loud, “Oh my God, thank you everybody for helping us.” Kristen had a big sheet near her face so she couldn’t see what was going on, and everyone was waiting for these babies’ arrival
I sat down and talked with Kristen, but it wasn’t clear what would happen and when. They had previously said the C-section would take about an hour. So I settled in. I could see Kristen moving around a bit as she was being shaken. I watched the anisthesiologist do his thing, and we could hear the doctor’s, nurses, neonatologists and others waiting. Then there was an audible gasp as Baby A came out. They gave it to one of the neonatologists, Dr. Bennett, and she showed him to me briefly while he was whisked away to another room. Kristen couldn’t see him and I wasn’t sure if I should go or stay. I figured I should stay until they told me to go.
About this time, Kristen started to shake pretty uncontrollably, almost like she was shivering cold. The anesthesiologist got her some blankets on her arms to make her more comfortable, but that didn’t seem to work.
Then came Baby B, and came a cry. I went from excitement to sheer happiness. That is a cry I will never, ever forget. I absolutely lost it and cried uncontrollably myself in the operating room. One of the nurses came over to give me a hug. Then Baby C came out and he cried too. 3/4 of the Mazza boys shared a good cry in the delivery room.
They came and took me to see Baby A, and I got to cut the cord while Dr. Bennett snapped some photos. I really was in a daze and was really trying to take it all in as fast as it was happening.
After I cut the cord, I went to Baby B, but he wasn’t ready, so then it was on to Baby C. One of the other neonatologists, Dr. Sandhu, explained what was going on and reassured me they were all looking good. I just started snapping pictures.
The nurses then took Baby A to the NICU, but I stayed back with the other boys. I figured I’d go with one of them and see how the rest of the surgery was going. It now hit me that taking the babies was the easy part. Putting Kristen back together again was the hard part.
The nurses were ready to take Baby B to the NICU, and I thought I’d go with him. They first showed him to Kristen while she was still under surgery. I tried to get a good picture over the curtain, but this is all I could get. I still think it’s a darn good picture.
Next, it’s on to the NICU! I’ll have more in my next post. I’m too exhausted right now.