Kelley Steiner Steiner Update

First post: Jun 3, 2022 Latest post: Jun 17, 2022
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Our story begins on Thursday, May 26th 2022. I got home from work and coaching and went to take a shower. Josh and I noticed that my feet were getting more swollen then they had been earlier in the week. I thought that it was because I had overdone it as it was only in my feet, ankles, and calves. I had had a busy week between finishing up the school year, going on field trips, having field day, and coaching every night until 6 or 7pm. If things didn’t get better after work Friday I would go in, but I had just been in for my 24 week appointment and had bloodwork done on the Friday prior to looking at everything and my B12 specifically. Therefore, we did our nightly routine and went to bed.

Friday morning around 2:30am I woke up and was unable to catch my breath and my heart was racing. I tried to just relax, drink water, reposition myself but nothing was working. By 3am I went to try to eat something to see if that would help. Josh woke up to go to work, but I told him what was going on. I tried to eat yogurt, but ended up throwing up. That was the final sign that I needed to go in at least to be checked. By 4am we were well on our way to the emergency room at Gundersen in LaCrosse. Within the next few hours I was told I would not be making it to work that day. They diagnosed me with severe pre-eclampsia first. More results would show that my kidneys and liver were shutting down. I was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome and we were told that we would have no more than 48 hours before the twins would need to be delivered for the well being of all three of our lives. More results would also show that I had pulmonary embolism with my left lung. They started me on a steroid to help the twins lung development hoping that it would be enough time to take action. Most of Friday was spent in a hospital bed throwing up and being told how sick I truly was, and as the day went on I could feel it. Friday evening they realized that they would do final tests in the morning, but more than likely with how the day progressed and that my liver, kidneys, and lung was rapidly getting worse and the medicine was not slowing it down at all, I would be having a c-section Saturday May 28th in the morning.

Saturday May 28th, at 8:11am Axel Ray Steiner was born. He was 13 inches and weighed 1lb 10 oz. At 8:12am Braxton Laverne Steiner was born. He was 12.5 inches and weighed 1lb 11oz. I was 26 weeks along. I was completely put under, but Josh was able to be brought back and see the boys before they headed off to the NICU. I was returned to my room around 9 to begin the waking up process.

The day progressed and based on how sick I was I couldn’t meet the boys until the next day. So it was a day of resting. On Sunday, I was able to get back to the NICU to meet both the boys, and start helping with care times.

We were told that both boys were very early, and under a brain bleed safety protocol for the first 7 days of life. Braxton also had some air around his heart because of his lungs being so underdeveloped, but they were not too worried. Axel’s lungs looked a little better, but not much. Other than that, they were critically stable and looked okay for their age.

Monday May 30th, we were down around 9-9:30 doing night time cares, and saying goodnight. We went back to our room down the hall where I was staying for recovery. Josh went down at about 10-10:30 to drop off some milk I had pumped. But he didn’t come back… it took him far longer than just dropping off milk. I knew something couldn’t be right. Then a nurse rushed in and asked if I was Braxton’s mom.

We turned the corner to nurses and doctors rushing in and out of Braxton’s room and calling orders. Josh and I stood in the back. We were told his lung had reputed, and was filling a pocket around his heart with air. They couldn’t get it to stop. After three chest tubes, lots of epi, and close to 10 minutes without oxygen or a heart beat… we asked them to stop.

Braxton Laverne went to be our sweet angel that night. We know that he is whole, healed, and in the arms of Jesus.

Axel is continuing to prove to be a strong little fighter. He has made it to 6 days out of the womb. His initial head ultrasound at day 4 showed no brain bleeds. His heart echo shows that for his gestational age his heart looks normal with all the parts, and that the openings they do see for his age are slowly closing. They are going to continue to monitor that, just to watch and be sure. He is on a jet ventilator so they cannot tell about a murmur or anything at this point. He has made it back to his birthweight and started to be fed milk through a tube rather than just his IV fluids and other measures. His lungs are starting to look a little cloudy, so they are running some cultures to see about a possible infection due to the breathing tube, as well as liquid in them. But slowly, each day they are making adjustments and progress.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out, helped us, and been praying since day 1. The prayers are not going unheard by our hearts, or by our Heavenly Father. We are so blessed and lucky to have such a team behind us during this difficult time. We cannot express our gratitude enough.

We will continue to update as we get more news and adjustments on Axel, as well as more information to come for Braxton. We know that we want to and will be celebrating his life forever and would love to include others in the celebration.

Josh and Kelley

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