Sunday, March 20, 2011

Presley and Kourtney Swain's Birth Story

I decided to make this website so that family and friends, and later on Presley and Kourtney, can come to visit and see my little 25 week miracles, Presley and Kourtney. I guess I should start at the very beginning...

I went into the hospital on February 7, 2011 since I started having contractions. I had started dilating but only a fingertip. My OBGYN was worried since I was only 23 weeks 3 days so he sent me to California Pacific Medical Center where my pregnancy specialists were. They transported me by ambulance and by the time I got to the hospital I was dilated to 4cm and had a bulging bag in my cervix (Presley's bag). It was not good news. Dr. Arvon, one of the specialists, told us we would lose them both and that there was nothing that she could do and that she was really sorry. She explained to us that if you are not 24 weeks along they do not resuscitate babies or try to save them at all. I pleaded with her and continually asked her if 4 days really made such a huge difference of life and death. She explained that it was the strict cutoff and that yes, it did make a huge difference. She then brought in the neonatologist that came in with tears in her eyes and told us she begged Dr. Arvon and the nurses not to make her come into our room and tell us that our babies were not going to make it and that we were going to miss the cutoff by 4 days. Travis and I both agree that that was the single most horrible day of our lives. We cried and cried and Dr. Arvon told us it was just a waiting game. We called and texted family and friends and everybody prayed for us. Nobody will ever know how much Travis and I appreciated the amount of support and prayers that we received. We were on several prayer lists at churches and even prayer chain emails. It meant the world to us.

2 days later on February 9, 2011, I woke up in the middle of the night with a gush of fluid. The nurse came in and said it was my water that broke as she had put some of the fluid in a test tube and added something to it to check and see if it was amniotic fluid. She said that it was and everybody was running around like crazy saying this is it and they moved me to a delivery table. I called Mom (Mimi) and told her that this was it and that there was nothing anyone could do and to please call Dad (Grandpa) and Della (Grandma) and tell them because I just didn't think I could choke out the words again since I could barely talk to her to where she could understand me with all the crying. Dr. Sorem came in and did a cervical check and also collected some of the fluid and placed in on a slide to confirm that it was amniotic fluid. She came back minutes later and said that it wasn't my water breaking but that labor would progress soon. So I just laid there and waited. I called Mom (Mimi) and Dad (Grandpa) and Della (Grandma) back and told them the news. They were so happy!

The next day, February 10th, 2011, Dr. Arvon came in with a plan. She had read that this medicine, called Indocin, would decrease the amniotic fluid around the babies and would, hopefully, make Presley's sac recede back in which of course would be great since it was at risk for infection. She also had me lay in Trendelenberg position, which is laying upside down on my head basically. It was hell but I was willing to do anything and everything. I ate like that, I bathed like that, and I slept like that. The medicine did work but it was only suggested that I use it for 7 days since if it decreased the twins' fluid too much it wouldn't be good for them.

February 11, 2011 was a special day. I was now 24 weeks and everything changed. I received steroid shots for the twins' lungs to mature and also started receiving magnesium sulfate, which is this awful stuff that gives you heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and makes you hot and sweaty, but apparently does wonders for the babies brains and helps prevent/reduce brain bleeds after birth. The Drs and everyone else were now going to do everything in their power to save Presley and Kourtney. We weren't completely relieved as the neonatologist always stressed that only 40% of babies make it if born at 24 weeks.

February 18th, 2011. I was 25 weeks! Everybody was high fiving me throughout the day even though I had contractions that started around noon. They gave me every medicine they could to stop them which worked...until I woke up at 3:18am. I started bleeding heavily and Dr. Dwire was called in who told me I was 10 cm dilated. I was then wheeled into the operating room and 2 teams of 4 neonatologists were there waiting for Presley and Kourtney. It was a madhouse. There were so many people in there. I got an epidural and started pushing. They had a lead on Presley's head and were tracking Kourtney's heartbeat on my stomach externally. They all of a sudden lost Presley's heartbeat and then they couldn't find Kourtney's after just a few pushes. Dr. Dwire called a c-section and said she wanted to be cutting in 1 minute. I was freaking out. They didn't have time to switch my epidural into a spinal block because it takes 15-20 minutes to do that so I was put under.

Presley and Kourtney were born at 3:18 am on February 18, 2011. Presley Taylor weighed 1.5lbs and  was 11.75 inches and Kourtney Madison weighed 1.4lbs and was 12.6 inches. Presley was blue and had no heartbeat for 2 minutes and Kourtney cried when she was born.

Here are some videos and pictures Daddy took of our girls a couple of hours after they were born:

Presley opening her eyes for the first time
Kourtney opening her eyes for the first time and yawning

Presley a couple hours old.



Kourtney a couple of hours old


The neonatologist told us that they would know more about their condition in a couple of hours and then know even more in a couple of days as there is always a "honeymoon" where the baby does great before really going downhill. The girls were baptized 5 days after they were born and that is also the first time I got to touch both of them. It was a great day.


  1. I came over to your blog from Mi Todo's recommendation! And I'm already so glad I did; what miracles you truly have!!! My husband and I just had our first baby in February and named her Presley Rose -- so right away I felt a connection to your story as you, too, have a Presley :) Can't wait to keep reading! xo


  2. Just stopping by from Texas Bloggers and decided to start from the beginning. Your little ones are truly a miracle ans so precious! Welcome to the group!