If you haven’t read Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 of Our Infertility Story, or Our Pregnancy Story…well, you may want to do that before you move on!
All righty. On to Our Birth Story!
It was Friday, August 12, I was 33 weeks and 4 days along, and I went in for a routine (well, routine for me!) doctor’s appointment. They wanted to do another test to monitor the babies’ heart rates, and I also had to turn in my 24-hour urine sample for them to test to make sure I wasn’t preeclamptic. It just so happened that Jerrod had taken off work to go in with me, as I hadn’t been feeling so great that week, and he was a little concerned for me to go by myself.
After the heart rate monitoring, with everything looking great, we sat and waited for the results of the urine test. My regular doc wasn’t in, so we were seeing his partner.
In a few minutes, the doctor came in, stated everything was looking good, and that he thought we were about a week or 10 days out from a delivery. “We’re not there yet,” were his exact words.
Perfect! The nursery was almost done, I would pack my hospital bag, wrap up some household projects, and get to see the two sweetest faces in the world soon!
Just after he gave us that news, he asked us to hold on for a moment, and stepped back out.
Jerrod, listening through the door, with big eyes turned around and looked at me and said, “You’re having these babies today!”
I laughed. “I am not, he just said a week or 10 days!”
“Something’s changed, I’m telling you. You’re going to the hospital today!”
The doctor came back in and said, “Well, we’re there.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Apparently the nurse had read the test results wrong. My proteins were in the thousands, when they should have been under 500. Oh boy.
“Don’t stop at McDonald’s, don’t go anywhere other than the hospital. Go right to Labor & Delivery – they are waiting on you!”
It was all very much like a dream.
Within an hour, I was checked into the hospital, in a bed and hooked up to more machines and monitors than I could count. Well, that escalated quickly.
A little while later, the anesthesiologist came in to tell me that “we may have a problem.” (Just the words every woman about to give birth to twins wants to hear, right?) Turns out that my blood wasn’t coagulating properly, so I couldn’t have an epidural without there being a risk of paralyzing me. Yeah, fun, right?! We already knew I was going to have a cesarean due to the breach position of Baby A, and doing that with no epidural was just not possible. So…they had to totally knock me out for the delivery.
I must admit, I was pretty sad about that. I guess every woman has a specific birth experience charted out in her head. I already knew that mine wasn’t going to include hours of labor and finally birthing a baby that was laid on my chest immediately. I was okay with that. But I HAD imagined that Jerrod would at least be IN the room with me, that one baby after another would be wrapped up and brought to my face for me to see. None of that happened.
First of all, I had to send everyone out of the room and have THAT conversation with Jerrod. You know the one. “If anything happens to me…here’s what I want…here’s what I don’t want…” Yeah. The conversation that leaves both of you crying and both of you swearing that everything will be okay. But you know, general anesthesia. You never know what will happen.
Shortly after that, my very own doctor (who I was VERY happy to see) arrived and walked me down to the operating room. I looked back to see my very disappointed husband standing there watching me. We waved at each other, and then I was ushered into a VERY busy operating room. Medical personnel were flying around, and as I was helped onto the table and laid down, I felt like the activity level heightened even more. They were asking me questions…how do you feel? Are you cold? Do you get claustrophobic? Are you uncomfortable? Do you have any questions?
Before I knew it, my doctor was standing over me, telling me he would be done in about 8 minutes, and that I would see my girls soon. Then the mask was placed over my mouth, and that was all she wrote.
I will forever be thankful for the anesthesiologist, who took Jerrod’s phone and took the photos of the girls as they emerged from my womb. Without him, we would have had no photos of their first moments on earth!
The REALLY fun part happened next. The doctor had explained to me that when I woke up, I would have a button that I could push if I was in pain, and it would administer medication to me, just like that. Sounds great, right?
Except, somewhere along the line, the doctor changed my pain meds to something different that didn’t include the button. And apparently, those orders got hung up in the system somewhere.
When I woke up, I ultimately woke up from a cesarean WITHOUT ANY PAIN MEDS. And boy, did I need them. I had never felt such pain in my life. Yet I was pretty confused as to where I was at the same time. I kept looking for that button I was promised, but it was nowhere to be found!
Jerrod was there bending over me, asking me what I needed. It didn’t take long for me to get across that I was in an extreme amount of pain, and before I knew it, he was explaining that fact pretty harshly to the nurse at the other side of my bed. I went for about 5 minutes with no pain meds – which seems like a short amount of time, but I promise, it felt like an eternity. I was never so grateful for drugs!
Due to that lovely little mixup, the serious level of my surgery, and the fact that the girls had been taken straight to the NICU when they were born, I wasn’t able to see them until after lunch the following day – almost 24 hours. That in itself almost killed me! Thankfully, Jerrod was able to see them about 9:00 p.m. on the day they were born, so he brought me pictures. I couldn’t believe they were actually here and in one piece!
The next day, after lunch, he loaded me up in a wheelchair and took me down to the NICU to see our babies.
They were little. But little as full-term babies would be concerned. Baby G was 6 pounds even, and Baby M was 5 pounds 15 ounces. BIG for twins! Especially for 5 foot 4 inch me to carry for 33 weeks and 4 days! You could hardly see their sweet little faces for all the tubes they were hooked to. But they were calm and comfortable and even looked like they had a bit of meat on their bones. Thankful does not even begin to describe it.
I was in the hospital for 4 days total, and then began the hardest 2 weeks and 2 days of my life.
I had to LEAVE my sweet babies in the NICU for 2 weeks. (Baby G was actually there for 2 weeks and 2 days.)
We got into a routine. Every morning, Jerrod would go to work, and my parents would come to the house. My dad would work on finishing the nursery, and my mom would take me to the hospital to see the girls. We would stay for about 2 hours, and then she would bring me home and put me back to bed. When J came home from work, we would go back to the hospital for a couple more hours, and then come home and go to bed.
For two weeks we repeated this schedule. At the end of the two weeks, it got even harder – because, although I was thrilled to take Baby M home…I had to leave baby G in the NICU by herself.
Well, by herself with all the nurses and doctors…who were wonderful! But she was now without her sister.
For two days we toted Baby M back to the NICU with us to visit her sister. One of us would stay in the family room with her, while the other would go in and visit Baby G. Then we would switch. I’m SO glad we only did that for two days. My sadness level was at an all-time high, for sure. And poor Jerrod was stuck with a VERY emotional wife!
But finally, two weeks and two days after they were born, our little family was all home together, just as it was always meant to be.
Even now, many things are different with preemies than with full-term babies, and even more differences with twins than with just one baby. But day by day, we’re getting there! The girls are happy and healthy, which is all we could ever ask for and more. Every step we took brought us to this point, and, looking back, although it was excruciating at times, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
(One Month Old)
(Two Months Old)
(Three Months Old)
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!