Nicole's Birth of Twins
This birth story was used by permission from Nicole's blog. Please follow her here:
We made the decision to add one more. Merry Christmas to us! We found out right after Christmas we were expecting. I went in for my first appointment by myself. I would come to find out I was 6 weeks 6 days. Usually MC goes to all the baby stuff with me but he couldn't get away from work. Of all the baby appointments to miss...
My OB was giving me an ultrasound and saw our darling little baby! (Really just looked like a lima bean with a heart beat). I made a joke, something like "that's good, only one in there." With that comment my doctor poked a round a little more and tucked in the back corner was another one! This one, significantly smaller, looked more like a garden pea with a heartbeat. I was in shock. I remember looking at the screen and laughing, a nervous laugh I'm sure. I couldn't believe it.
There was something not right with our twins though, they we obviously not the same size (measuring 4 days apart). My Doctor began to prep me for what I later learned was a Vanishing Twin and scheduled another ultrasound for two weeks later. Some little girls grow up hoping someday they get to have twins. I love being a mom and love my babies but I was never one of those little girls.
The next two weeks were some of the longest weeks of my life. All I could think about were those two heartbeats. I was a mess of emotions. I wasn't sure what I should hope for or pray for. One baby would clearly be easier than two but the idea of wishing one gone felt all wrong. That's when you pray that what's meant to be will be. Those prayers don't help time pass though.
Finally the day of our 2nd appointment came. You bet MC was there. We both had mentally geared up to only see one baby. I was 8 weeks 6 days and an emotional mess, already sporting a small baby bump! The Doctor came in and began the ultrasound. My how our baby had grown! We were now looking at what resembled a gummy bear. The question on everyone's mind--were there still two? We were shocked! Our second baby had grown so much! But it was still smaller than the first baby--about 4 days smaller. We began to emotionally prep for twins and scheduled an appointment with a Perinatologist (specialize in at-risk pregnancies) in two weeks to see why our babies were not measuring the same.
That weekend, we broke the news to our immediate family. What a relief it was to be able to talk about things.
Our appointment with Perinatology finally came. I was 10 weeks 6 days. My mom met us there. She is an NICU nurse and has been since before I was born. A Mom with her expertise is priceless. How glad we were to have her with us.
Our fingers were crossed, how was the smaller baby doing? Both babies had grown so much! They had little arms and legs and seemed to float around. We learned we have monochorionic-diamniotic Identical Twins. This means they share a placenta and each have their own amniotic sacs. Both babies had strong heartbeats but once again, they were not the same size. The smaller baby, now officially Baby A, was still behind Baby B by about 6 days. We would continue to follow the growth of our babies very closely.
The Twins Arrive--My Story
My delivery went very smoothly-just what we had hoped. The epidural was perfect and, with a little help from pitocin, they were soon able to wheel me into the room for delivery.
Davis cried immediately. His cry was the sound of a miracle. The sound of nine months of tender mercies and answers to prayers. He was our twin that was supposed to vanish. I was overcome with emotion but could only revel in it for a moment before it was time to deliver Mason. It took him 40 seconds to cry. Forty seconds that seemed like forever. Hearing my babies cry was wonderful! I had done it! I had carried twins to 35 weeks 3 days and delivered them smoothly! Now it was up to my boys and their wonderful medical team to take over.
After having 6 and 7 pound babies, I thought the twins would seem so small. They didn't. In fact, they seemed so big. Mostly because I couldn't imagine how I carried BOTH of them! Their IVs, nasal cannulas, cords and monitors didn't bother me either. I knew the medical equipment and nurses and doctors were doing more for them at that moment than I could.
Having my mom, a Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse for over 30 years, right there by my side was priceless. How I leaned on her knowledge, experience and reassurance.
Recovery was easier than with my other deliveries. Yet another tender mercy. Surprisingly, the most painful thing was my rib cage healing and 'shrinking' back to normal. I must have had more internal bruises than I thought. I felt more like a car accident survivor than a postpartum mommy.
I was up and about soon after delivery and it's a good thing because I began making trips to the NICU right away. My new mission: bring my babies home.
Accomplishing that meant pumping milk and making many trips to the NICU daily to visit my boys. They were there less than two weeks but it was physically taxing on the whole family. My Handsome Hubby and I were stretched thin and the older siblings felt displaced. Thankfully we brought Mason home after 8 days and Davis home after 10.
Though leaving the hospital without my boys was so very difficult and not having my family together unsettling, I was glad for their time in the NICU. It was very beneficial.
The NICU helped me to recover more quickly. I got a good 6 hours of sleep a night and was forced to be very active. Lots of walking and activity was good for me.
The NICU taught me how to confidently care for my tiny boys. I learned the importance of monitoring every milliliter of milk and watching for good oxygen saturation. They may have been preemies, but they were still my babies that I could change, cuddle, hold and feed--cords and all.
The NICU put my boys on a feeding schedule (2-5-8-11) and they have continued to stay on a schedule since the day we brought them home.
Now that they are home, The hardest part of handling the twins, has been handling the older two kids as they learn to handle the twins. They are displaced and seem more moody and violent than normal. We try to make sure they know how much we love them too.
Regardless of the challenges that lie ahead, we are glad to have everyone home and healthy. We look at these two boys and are in complete awe. How ever did we get so lucky? Why were we blessed with so many countless miracles?
I wished away the first half of 2010 one day at a time. Now I pray to hold on to each day. Let me never forget these sweet faces, their tiny features, the noises they make or the way they smell. I wish to cherish each moment of each day.
Nicole is also on Facebook:
Tags: Birth, birth stories, birth stories on demand, birth stories with pictures, twins, breech, positive birth stories, epidural, NICU, multiples, twin birth stories,