Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Story of Twins

Everyone loves a story. Mommies especially love a birth story, or even better a birth story on multiples - so here is mine. (Beware it is REALLY long)

Getting pregnant was not the issue with my dear hubby and I, it was the staying pregnant part. We got preggo in the summer of 2001, only to lose it just as fast. September 11th came and we chose to try again. I made it 6 weeks this time before they found a problem, the pregnancy was eptopic and we would have to terminate. We chose methotrexate, but the pain did not cease and I ended up having laparoscopic surgery. During surgery, they found that the pregnancy had dissolved, but the source of my problems was endometriosis. They were able to burn the spots off of my uterus. Now apparently my fabulous obgyn told my family that I was super fertile after the surgery, but no one told me that. A month later - I was preggo again.

On Monday December 10th, I went in for my first ultrasound. I was only 5 weeks pregnant, but everyone wanted to make sure this one was in the right spot. My mother in law went with me and we got a great pic of what looked to me like a chicken leg. So early in pregnancy all we could see was the sack and that it was perfectly placed in my uterus. We were THRILLED to say the least. Finally after multiple losses, we knew this pregnancy was going to make it. On Friday morning I woke up to spotting. Immediately terrified I called the doctor and she ushered me in right away. They scheduled an ultrasound at another location because they were booked, but wanted to see what was going on as quickly as possible. I ended up at one of these procedure clinics that don't really have doctors, but just do ultrasounds and other screenings all day long. I didn't know anyone there, none of my friends or family could make it on such short notice. I sat freezing (swear they had the air on in December) in a place I was unfamiliar with waiting on news I knew would be devastating. The technician performing my ultrasound was super nice. She immediately started chatting about the weather, and my history, what I ate for breakfast. I was so glad she was occupying my mind which was freaking out. She continued this barade of questions about my pregnancies, what I wanted, had I ever had twins. And I answered each one; I'd been pregnant twice already, one eptopic, wanted a boy, twins run in my family, my grandfather was an identical twin, my uncles are twins, my husband's brother was a twin but one didn't make it. Then she stopped talking.
Stopped talking, for a full 15 minutes (okay maybe it was 5 but it seemed like eternity). I began to wonder what was going on, but being in an unfamiliar place I was scared to ask. Then it dawned on me, maybe she wasn't asking for the heck of it, maybe I was having...
"Why did you ask?" I said.
"Oh, you're having twins." She replied, "I'll show you in a minute, just let me finish."

Oh, you're having twins! What? I was in shock. I was expecting news about losing another baby, not gaining another baby. Apparently I was having this ultrasound on the 5week5 day mark. This was the first time they could see the heart beats and inside that sack I called a chicken leg, were two heart beats. After giving me pictures, the tech told me she had to take my results to the radiologist and wait until she came back, reminding me not to use my phone. DON'T USE THE PHONE - Oh I didn't even know how to keep this kind of news to myself. But I did. I sat patiently and waited for 30 minutes while everyone looked at my ultrasound. After coming back she explained that I had Monochorionic-Diamniotic twins and the reason it took so long was that she was looking for the membrane that was dividing the sacs of our twins. Needless to say when I got out of that place, lots of squeals of joy ensued and the journey of my pregnancy began.
It was a couple of months before we found out we were having boys, and again we were thrilled. We picked out names within a week of finding out. John picking his favorite, and I picked mine. Things progressed fairly well with monthly ultrasounds and the goal of making it to July even though my due date was August 13th. In June I started having preterm labor, eventually I ended up on bed rest which for a non-stop person like me was oh so thrilling. The twins were in perfect position for birth - baby A was head down, straight, and feet up under my right rib cage. Baby b was head down, with his head on my left side, bent at his waist with his feet also in my right rib cage. By Friday, July 5th I was miserable. Having all these feet in one set of ribs hurt, and made it hard to sit comfortably or eat. I was so ready to have them. We went to the doctor for yet another ultrasound that would measure the boys and see where we were. We were told I was having giants. That both boys were already over six pounds. I was officially at 36 weeks, could come off bed rest and if they got too much bigger, we'd look at induction.
Well that was it for me - time to get those babies out!!! My wonderful hubby and I spent that July 4th weekend walking. We walked the mall, we walked some stairs, we walked everywhere. I felt so free finally being able to do things. (although I was finally cleared to drive, it hurt too much to operate the car). I started working on every known wives tale (except castor oil) to induce the labor. Not that any of it worked. By Tuesday morning I was exhausted and there was no end in sight. Wednesday would be my birthday and I did not want to spend it in the hospital, so I decided to take a few days off. Tuesday morning I laid down on the couch for a nap around 10am (you know get all the sleep now kind of thing). I was laying there basking in the silence when I heard a small pop.
There's no way I thought. That couldn't have been my water. But what else could it be. I got up and went to the bathroom, no gushing. Just dripping, that didn't end. I called a friend who happened to be a nurse and who was working with my husband at the time. She confirmed that it was probably my water. Well - I didn't believe it. I wasn't having contractions and who hears their water pop but doesn't see the gush. I got on the phone with my hubby who was quickly preparing to make the 45 minute trip home and get me, just so we could make another 45 minute trip to the hospital. I casually got into the shower and rinsed. I didn't use soap, but if I really was going into labor, I wanted to be freshly showered. As soon as I got out, my mother in law called to say she would be taking me to the hospital. She had happened to take the day off work and was a lot closer than Dear Hubby. Moments later she was there and we were off.
As soon as I got in the car, she asked how far apart my contractions were, I said I wasn't having any. Well 12 minutes later, I was having fabulous contractions 5 minutes apart. By the time we got near the hospital they were 2 minutes apart. The next little bit is really a blur. I remember being in a lot of pain, putting off the epidural only to have these awful drugs that made me loopy. Turns out the reason my water never gushed was Baby A's head was holding it back. At my first check I was already 8 cms and they were able to touch his head already. Everything continues to be a blur, although at some point I got the epidural and at 5pm they took me to the surgery room.
I was not sure what was going on. In all my preterm labor trips to the hospital, no one ever told me I would deliver in the surgery room. The doctor quickly explained that although the goal was for me to deliver vaginally, if anything happened they needed to be ready. I started out pushing on the bed they wheeled me in on. I was told they would move me to the next bed when I was really close, and the third bed was if surgery was needed. I pushed for over an hour, all the time thinking I was never going to make it to the next bed. Around 6:30 I got to move. At this point I was ready. At 6:48pm T1 was born. I saw a glimpse of him as the doctor lifted him up. He was white as a sheet and his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. We had no idea he had been in distress. My quiet child was immediately whisked away to the NICU without me getting to see him again.
But with twins there is no time to dwell, it was T2's turn. Only T2 wasn't moving. His water hadn't broke, he wouldn't drop and I was back to having contractions 5 minutes apart. Of course as in any hospital it was now shift change. So one son born, another on the way and now the room is twice as full of nurses as there were before T1 was born weighing 5lbs3oz. Barb, a nurse I'd met on a previous hospital visit, came in and took over. I was so happy to have her there. There is a 20 minute time limit on twins and 15 minutes after T1  was born, the doctor decided to break the water and suck T2 down. It worked. At 7:05pm T2 was born weighing 5lbs1oz and screaming. There was nothing wrong with him other than mad about being out. I was able to hold him almost immediately.
T1 had to endure a blood transfusion, and we didn't get to hold him for 2 days, but he only spent a week in NICU. T2 was able to come home after three days in the regular nursery.


  1. Oh wow, what a great story. It seems like you held it together so well! And holy moly did that labor kick in fast!

    I know what you mean about showering - I showered at 3:00ish in the a.m. after having been in labor for 7 hours and even blow dried my hair. You know you're not going to be showing your best side - something has to feel good and sexy! :)

    Good job Momma!

  2. I've got my twins after 36 weeks of pregnancy too. At first it was also a shocking news, just the way you describe it (with all those questions). Yet, in my case it was because of blood test showed the possibility of having a Down Syndrome fetus.

    I've got only 5 days of bed rest and almost 12 hours in the delivery room. It's too bad that I blog about my kids in Indonesian language (just a few blog posts), but you can see their baby pictures


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