I loved reading twin birth stories when I was pregnant. They got me excited for my day, and seeing as it was my first delivery and didn’t know what to expect, reading them made me feel more prepared. I won’t go into crazy, gory detail here, but I do want to document the experience for my own benefit as well as for any other twin moms-to-be on bed rest reading birth stories left and right (like I did) preparing for their big day!
A little background…
I’ll admit, many twin birth stories I read scared me. From day one, my doctor warned us that there is a higher chance for pre-term labor with twins, and the chance of having a c-section is also higher. I guess all of this was enough news for the first ultrasound because they waited until the second appointment to tell us that our twins are identical (mono-di); which makes the pregnancy even more high risk due to twin to twin transfusion (since they’re sharing nutrients, one can get more than the other posing problems for both babies).
Charlie and I knew this was a situation where we had to fully trust God, and ask Him to take our (many) worries away. We tried to stay optimistic throughout the pregnancy and fortunately left each doctors appointment and ultrasound (every other week) with good news: “babies look great, you look great, keep doing what you’re doing!” It wasn’t until week 27 that I received not so good news: my body wasn’t handling the weight of the babies well and I was showing signs of pre-term labor. That following weekend I had strange pains that kept getting stronger so we were told to go to the hospital to get everything checked out. They monitored me for a while and thankfully we were sent home, but with modified bed-rest instructions.
Every week after that Charlie and I would celebrate making it another week, each one felt like a milestone. We thank God every day that I was able to carry the girls all the way to our goal: 38 weeks.
Morning of their birth- one last pic of that massive belly!
December 22, 2014
I had a scheduled c-section for 38 weeks and 1 day with a doctor that was not my regular (it was the week of Christmas so I knew there was a chance my doctor would be traveling) but we met this doc several times and really liked her. It was a huge bonus that she’s also a mother of twins! Faith was Baby A and head down but June was breech, so a c-section was our only option. I know some doctors will attempt a regular delivery in this scenario, but it’s very risky for identicals. Plus I knew there was a risk to labor one baby and end up with a c-section for the other, so I was fine with a c-section knowing it was the safest option for our babies.
While waiting in our triage room for my surgery, I kept getting pushed later and later. It was an extremely busy day and there were several emergency c-sections popping up, so I waited (without food or water-did I mention I was 38 weeks pregnant?) for what seemed like forever. Our doctor kept checking in and said the good news is that our babies are doing great, so we get to wait. Lovely-more time for us to get even more nervous!
While waiting, I was having contractions. I had been having contractions for about 2 months so I didn’t think much of them. My surgery was scheduled for 1pm and at about 1:30pm, my contractions started getting closer and more intense. I was in labor! How often does that happen while waiting for your scheduled c-section? These girls were officially ready, and punctual apparently! I was telling Charlie to go get something to eat while we were waiting, I was so afraid he wouldn’t have a chance to eat with everything that was about to happen. Suddenly our nurse was instructing him to put on his scrubs, and quick! An operating room opened up and my doctor squeezed me in before we could get bumped again and labor progressed.
It’s go time!
Everything happened so quickly after that. I, of course, was pretty scared being wheeled in and was very scared once I saw all of the people in the room. There are twice as many people for twins than singleton c-sections, plus the NICU teams – one for each baby. I remember shaking getting the epidural, holding on to the nurse, and closing my eyes as hard as possible. It didn’t hurt, my nerves just set in big time. Once I was ready to go, Charlie came in and he had the same face I probably had when I entered the room.
Minutes later, I asked my doctor, who was talking to me along the way, to let me know when they’ve started and she said, “oh we’ve started. Dad, get your camera ready”. Right after that I felt a ton of pressure and they held Faith up for Charlie to see. He stood up from his chair and was laughing while I cried/laughed, just watching his expression. One minute later, June was born. I was expecting to not hear her cry because one of the nurses told me not to freak out if she didn’t; apparently it’s common with breech babies. I kept asking Charlie if she was crying because their cries sounded the same. Sure enough, that car alarm sound that I was hearing (and hear often at 2am now and days) was both babies crying! Soon after, I saw a bunch of doctors, the NICU teams, leave the room without the babies, which was a very good sign! Both of the girls checked out great, APGAR scores of 8 and 9. They also passed all of their other tests with flying colors! Two perfect little girls weighing in at 5lb 13oz and 5lb 9oz!
Charlie got up from his chair to go see the girls while they were getting cleaned up, and I just remember listening to him on the other side of the room, talking to our girls for the first time as tears ran down my face. He brought Faith over to me and then one of the nurses brought June over – I couldn’t take my eyes off of them as Charlie held them both.
Our first family photo
Soon after the surgery, I was being wheeled back to the triage room with a baby in each arm, while everyone we passed congratulated us. We spent a good bit of time in our triage room for the first time as a family of 4 before our immediate families came in. I also was able to nurse them right after they were born and they did great! Charlie and I just kept saying to each other over and over “we have two babies”. I don’t think that will ever sink in.
First time holding them!
Introducing them to our families!
The pain set in, big time, soon after I was in my actual room. My entire family was in the room and all I could do was cry, I was in so much pain. Charlie and his dad were chasing nurses down the hall to do something for me. It actually took a day or two to get everything under control. Thankfully my doctor switched up my meds and I had a great nurse who staggered everything for me so I was never in between doses and in extreme pain. From then on, the recovery went much better, though to be honest, my memory of the entire week is very foggy. Who am I kidding, the entire first month is a complete blur!
Finally settling into our room
Grammy and Paw Paw (my mom and dad)
Aunt Annie and Aunt Katie (Charlie’s sisters)
MiMi (Charlie’s Mom)
My surgery was on the Monday before Christmas and we left Friday, the day after Christmas. We could have come home Christmas Day, but since I had a slow recovery and I wanted to ensure I had breastfeeding down, we were able to stay another day. Apparently a 4 night stay is pretty common with twin deliveries, and I’m glad we did it. I felt 10 times better having an extra day. We actually had a nice, relaxing, first Christmas together as a family of 4.
So there you have it…details of the best day of my life! Thank you again to so many of you who have reached out to us and have been praying for our family! We appreciate it so much!
In case you haven’t seen enough pics of our little angels, here are a few more of their first weeks 🙂 They look so tiny compared to now!
Ready for their first doctors appointment
MiMi and PopPop (Charlie’s parents) with Junebug
First day home- trying out their crib for size
Playing dress up with our Christmas babies
Heading out for their 2 week doctor visit
Trying to stay awake for one of the many middle of the night feedings