Some of you may know what happened but sadly, I haven’t been able to get a hold of some of my dearest friends. I don’t have a phone. I tried to use it on Wednesday to get a hold of people but it wasn’t working with me. Then in all the chaos, it vanished and with it went all my contact information. If you’ve been trying to get a hold of me, I don’t have a phone so I have not received texts or voicemails and unless Scott has your phone number, I can’t get in touch with you. Please email me with your contact info!!!
This past Wednesday, Scott and I had plans to celebrate our third wedding anniversary. Instead, we found ourselves driving to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. From the minute the nurse told us that we were having triplets, our biggest concern has been pre-term labor. Despite all precautions, the human body is not designed to accommodate more than 2 babies at a time. At 26 weeks, I was already past the size of a woman carrying one full-term baby. We entered the hospital with mild symptoms but were confident along with doctors that we would be sent home, we just wanted to be safe. Unfortunately, tests indicated that my water might have broken. They began me on heavy medication that stalls and delays labor and we began talking about me being hospitalized and on complete, absolute bedrest for as many weeks as we could delay their delivery.
Scott and I have countdown timer applications on our phones. I have a countdown to 28 weeks gestation where premature babies have a great rate of survival with few complications. Scott’s countdown is to 33 weeks, our goal for our triplet pregnancy where our babies would spend only a little amount of time in the NICU. We were hit pretty hard with the prospect that 33 weeks would now be a very big stretch and we had to switch our focus to 28 weeks which was still 13 days away. The nurse monitored me while I waited for the medication to slow and diminish the mild contractions I was having. Instead, despite upping the medication and trying an additional second drug, I rapidly switched into advanced labor to the shock of all, including the doctors. It was the most chaotic and scary moment I have ever experienced as alarms went off, people started yelling and I was being raced down the hall into the operating room. One of the last things I saw before the door swung close and I was put under was the scared face of Scott putting on scrubs in the hall. I would be told later that he wasn’t even allowed into the room. I was put completely under and I have no memory of what followed.
On Wednesday, July 28th 2010, a little after noon, our three daughters were delivered by emergency C-Section. They were born 3 and half months early at 26 weeks and 1 day gestation. Allison “Astro” Sunaoka weighing 1 lb 12 oz. Rory “Gizmo” Sunaoka weighing ~ 2 lb 4 oz. Casey “Slugger” Sunaoka weighing ~ 2 lb 4 oz. Allie and Casey were rushed to the NICU. Scott and I are heartbroken to share that a few hours after birth, our little Rory “Gizmo” had passed away.
About a month and a half ago, we learned through ultrasounds and echocardiograms that Rory had a serious heart defect that was terminal. The past 6 weeks have been an emotional journey as each week and each scan brought new questions with unhappy answers. We have been struggling with how to share this news publicly as we know so many have shared in this pregnancy and excitement. Our girls are beyond cherished and loved by all, and our family has expanded in the last 6 months to include so many thrilled “aunties” and “uncles.” There were so many questions that we had to deal with. Our future changed from week to week. We were even looking to possibly giving birth in San Diego and uprooting our lives for a year. We didn’t know if we wanted a baby shower, or even how to register for baby items. I would break down in tears when it came down to deciding quantity. At night, we mainly talked about how we might want to spend Rory’s time after birth with her. Above all, we did not want to give up hope of miraculous hearing and every week and every doctor visit, we just kept praying that this was the week that would bring us good news. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time far quicker than we could ever have imagined and nothing…nothing could have prepared us for saying hello and goodbye to our daughter in less than a day.
We had hoped to get as far as long as possible to give Rory the best chance at birth, and to give us the most time with her. Being born at 26 weeks erased a lot of our options and plans, and it is still hard for us to face. The hospital staff were aware of the situation and made her as comfortable as possible. Rory did get to spend a lot of quality time being held by daddy and close family and friends before she returned home to be with her other “Daddy.” Such a short time with us, but we cherished every moment and I’m thankful for every second I had to be her mom. It was a blessing and an honor.
We are recovering and there’s a lot to deal with as we were not very prepared at this early a stage. We know you love our families and we ask that most communication be through email or texts or fb (so modern huh) and not through phone calls. We don’t have much time to spend on the phone although we want to keep everyone updated. Please don’t feel that you can’t ask us about Rory. We certainly want to celebrate her life. I’ll be posting soon about Rory for those who never got to meet or know her. I’m so proud of her and I want everyone to know how amazing she is.
We have two little babies in the NICU who also still need our attention and a lot of prayer. At this stage, their lungs, immune system, brain, and digestive system are still underdeveloped and they are kept isolated to mimic still being in the womb. Allie, our petite little 1 lb 12 oz firecracker, was moved off a breathing tube and to a less invasive breathing assistance called a C-PAP. Today, they will do an echo on her heart to see if she has any heart problems related to her identical sister’s heart problem. Casey, last to arrive at 2 lb 4 oz, is having more difficulty. She’s not been able to move off the breathing tube and is having a rougher time managing her oxygen levels. She had a lot of swelling but it has gone down a lot in the last day. We’ve been warned that with micro-preemies, there will be a lot of steps forward and just as many steps back. We’re praying for those steps forward. These girls may have been born in Honolulu, but I am pretty sure I see some Big Island in them=)
-Slugger is able to move onto a C-PAP today
-No apnea spells for Astro
-Today’s fetal echocardiograms show perfect hearts for both girls
-Astro to be able to move to a PIC-line
*we still refer to them by Scott’s crazy nicknames, it’s a habit I can’t kick unfortunately