I was very high risk from the beginning of my pregnancy, spending quite a bit of time in and out of the hospital and receiving over 50 ultrasounds from start to finish. To say my doctor and I became close would be an understatement!
At 27 weeks I came home from a photoshoot and told my husband that something felt off. I had a lot of cramping and tightness, but I didn’t want to be dramatic and go to the hospital yet again. Thankfully my husband urged me to get in the car and head to the hospital at 9pm. Not long after we arrived it was confirmed that I was having contractions and was in preterm labor.
They administered a steroid shot for the babies’ lungs in preparation for them to be delivered far too early, and then began giving me shots and medications to try and slow down the contractions. When it didn’t work, they gave more, and more, and more. They were painful and had some crazy side affects, but they finally started working. My doctor told me if I would have arrived at the hospital any later, they likely would not have been able to stop the labor and our sweet babies would have come earth side at just 27 weeks along.
I was on hospital bedrest for a week before being released to go home to remain on complete bedrest while continuing on the medication. I continued to have contractions every 3-5 minutes for the next seven weeks (so fun) while laying in bed 24/7 bored out of my mind. (Funny how perspective changes with kids because now being ordered to be on bedrest sounds slightly amazing … oh the rest I could get! haha)
WHEN MY WATER BROKE
Being so high risk with my twins, part of the stipulation for me being allowed to continue my bed rest at home rather than in the hospital was that I would never be left alone – just incase. Between my parents, friends, and husband, I followed this rule very well. Of course the ONE time I was left alone is when everything happened.
My husband had a friend in town he hadn’t seen in awhile, so I urged him to drive the one hour to go see him for the night. “I’ll be fine! Nothing’s going to happen!” It was Friday, January 2nd which was a big milestone as it was the day I became 34 weeks along which was my doctor’s biggest goal for me after going in to preterm labor at 27 weeks.
I was laying on the couch making hair bows for the baby girl in my tummy when I got up to quickly boil some water to use in my nettipot because I was really sick at the time. That’s when my water broke right in the middle of my kitchen. (PS. I CANNOT imagine this happening in public because holy moly it’s not pretty haha!)
My doctor constantly told me during the pregnancy that if my water ever broke, I needed to get to the hospital immediately. While many first time pregnancies result in long labors, twins are a completely different story. I kept telling myself to stay calm. don’t freak out. get your hospital bag and drive to the hospital NOW. I first called my husband who had literally just arrived at his friend’s house; he immediately got so excited and said “I’M ON MY WAY!!!” I remember being confused as to why he was so excited and not freaking out like I was, but I didn’t have time to talk to him as I had to get to the hospital.
I then called my mom who lives about 20 minutes away to tell her I was going to drive myself to the hospital – to which she thought I was crazy. I didn’t understand the big deal as I actually felt great at the time. For the first time in seven weeks, I wasn’t having contractions as they completely stopped once my water broke. Of course now, being on this side of a birth, I understand why she said I could absolutely not drive myself to the hospital – those intense contractions can start up at any time and being behind the wheel isn’t the best place to be, for myself or anyone else on the road! Fortunately my sister in law who lives in our neighborhood (and had just had a baby a few weeks before) was home and was able to pick me up just a few minutes later.
When I arrived we learned that my girl had broken her water, but my boy’s was still intact. Most doctors/hospitals require all mamas expecting multiples to have an epidural placed due to the high risk nature of the birth and needing to have a backup should an emergency c-section take place. I honestly hated the epidural being placed almost more than anything else, and it didn’t even end up taking completely anyway! I labored with my family in the room and just looked to my nurse to talk me through everything since it was my first birth. I dreaded each time my doctor came in to check my cervix because, well, it hurts like crazy.
After laboring for about seven hours, my doctor came in and let me know it was time to wheel me back to the operating room (as most all twin mamas have to deliver in the operating room for safety reasons). I honestly never thought much of the birth up until that point, and it all hit me at once. I remember grabbing my husband’s hand as they were wheeling me back and telling him I was scared …
It felt odd (and scary) being in a big operating room with the bright lights and surgical tools everywhere. The room was filled with so many medical professionals due to the three doctors and nurse required for me and the two NICU teams for each of my twins. It was a packed room. We did one last ultrasound to find that both babies were head down – something I hoped so hard for during my pregnancy because the last thing I wanted was to deliver one vaginally and then end up with a c-section for the other one ….
My girl was Baby A and was our first priority to bring earth-side. My sweet nurse coached me through my breathing and pushing while my husband held my hand — and literally looked like he was going to pass out at any moment. After what felt like three days of pushing, Lynley Kate came in to this world and the first thing I asked was “is it really a girl?!” as I just wasn’t 100% confident the whole pregnancy. They let me quickly see her before rushing her off to the NICU.
I. Was. Exhausted. My doctor told me I had one minute to recover before I needed to start pushing again to get my boy out. He went to check to make sure he was still head down, and, unfortunately, my boy had moved his hand above his head and refused to move. My doctor looked at me and told me he was going to have to manually try to move him, and my first thought went to my mom always telling me the story of my brother’s birth when the doctor had to do the same thing and how severe the pain was. I took deep breaths and just kept telling myself it was all going to be worth it. By this point (to no one’s realization), my epidural was completely gone.
After several failed attempts of moving him, my doctor calmly told the nurses to call the other on-call doctor as we would have to begin an emergency c-section as my boy’s condition was worsening. I felt very out of it as I had lost a lot of blood by this point. There was a lot of commotion to get everything set up and ready to go, but this was why I was delivering in an operating room. This was why I had an epidural preemptively placed.
As I mentioned, my epidural never fully took and had completely worn off by this point. I remember my doctor telling me I’d feel pressure as he started to cut on my stomach, but that was it – just pressure. … because that epidural was in place. However, I felt everything. Yes, everything. I started to go into shock, and the next few minutes are fuzzy as it felt like I was outside my body looking down. I remember a LOT of yelling in the operating room as the doctors were trying to locate the equipment to put me under while not risking my baby boy’s life by letting him stay in me any longer. I remember the anesthesiologist firmly telling my husband to get out of the room immediately as I’m sure they were worried that he’d end up fainting or going into shock himself watching everything unfold. Hearing the seriousness and assertiveness in my normally-calm doctor created even more panic in me.
The last thing I remember is counting backwards from 100 while thinking about how neither my husband nor I would see my baby boy enter this world.
As I woke up in the recovery room, the pain was so severe; it felt like I had been trampled by a horse. Why was the pain so severe? Why? Why?????? Turns out, after having my abdomen and uterus cut wide open, I was waking up with zero pain medication in my system as the morphine drip was on another floor and, due to it being 4am, they were having trouble getting it to me. (I still don’t completely understand that part of it…). I was also freezing due to the blood loss, so they had wrapped me in those foil-like blankets. I kept begging for water as my throat was so dry from the intubation tube they had to use during the c-section. That being said, I was very confused as to where I was or what the heck just happened to me whenever I was waking up!
Forty Five minutes after waking up, I finally was administered morphine, and the pain diminished. My husband let me know that he had seen our boy but that he wasn’t in the greatest condition. I was worried about him, but also pumped full of so much morphine that I also felt like I was flying on a unicorn. It was a very odd mix of emotions!
FINALLY SEEING OUR BABIES
Once I was given the okay, the nurses wheeled my hospital bed up to the NICU to let me get a glimpse of my sweet boy who I had still yet to see. It was surreal seeing them both hooked up to so many machines, but, again, the morphine still had me in unicorn land.
My recovery was tough since I was healing from both a vaginal and cesarean delivery, but motherhood makes you so dang strong, yes? I was in a lot of pain that first month, but all my mind could think about was my sweet babies. We had a lot of scares, especially with my boy, but after two weeks in the NICU, they were both home!
All photos in this post were taken by Mustard Seed Photography