All around, my pregnancy was textbook ‘perfect’ from start to finish. I found out I was pregnant in July 2013 when my husband asked what kind of ice cream I wanted and I responded with “Rocky Road”, which I NEVER crave. I was about 5 weeks along when the nausea hit, with vengeance. By 6 weeks I had to go to an Urgent Care and beg for nausea mediation, I hadn’t eaten in three days and when I did manage to eat it didn’t stay for very long. I knew something was up because my first pregnancy was nothing like this, but I’d heard that no two pregnancies are alike so I let it go. I casually joked with my husband and family that it might be twins because I was so ill. Of course, we all brushed it off because WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? (Twins run in both of our families, you tell me.)
Finally, it was time for my first ultrasound, somewhere around 7.5 weeks. I asked Pierre to record the first heartbeat. Instead we recorded something much more exciting. Low and behold, twins. As soon as the image appeared so did two distinct black sacks on the screen. I gasped and said, “IT’S TWO!” to which the doctor was in complete shock because I saw it before she did. I KNEW it. I had been dreaming I was pregnant with twins for weeks. So after the shock and the tears and more shock, we were sent home with the first ultrasound picture of our two little babies, with very strong heartbeats, I might add. And all the excitement caught on video.
Fast-forward 30 weeks I was exhausted. My body had stretched to it’s limits and I was in constant pain. I thought I would have given birth by then but my body was showing zero signs of going into labor. My induction date couldn’t come sooner. Unfortunately, the hospital was full and they pushed my induction date 3 times! Finally, Friday February 28th , we were admitted to Labor & Delivery at 11pm. By the time I was settled and given Cervidil to start the induction process, it was 2am. I wasn’t dilated at all so I could use all the help I could get. 12 hours later it was time to remove the Cervidil and see if I had progressed at all. I had made it to 4cm, which was very encouraging. I had been having pretty steady and uncomfortable contractions for hours. We waited an hour to see if I needed Pitocin but turns out the Cervidil sent my body into labor.
The doctor decided to break my water on baby A around 5:30pm. After that I was in a lot of pain. I asked for the epidural around 7:30pm and finally was able to get some rest. At 1:30am Sunday morning I was finally at 10cm. I didn’t exactly feel like I had to push so the doctors wanted to wait until I had that feeling to get started. There was no use is getting exhausted too soon, I had two babies to push out, after all. Within 10 minutes I had to push. It was like a movie, doctors and nurses running down to the operating room and setting up, getting me together and rolling me down the hall to the OR, Pierre stepping into a surgical jumpsuit.
I started pushing and 20 minutes later; Olivia Jolie was born at 2:05am. I knew what was coming next, they’d talked to me about this for weeks but nothing really prepares you. Olivia was whisked away, I didn’t even get to hold her, and the ultrasound probe was on my belly. We had to see what position baby B had flipped to. He was transverse the entire pregnancy so he could go either way. Of course he flipped breech. The doctors immediately tried to flip baby, internally and externally. Keep in mind I had JUST delivered one baby. I was in excruciating pain, the epidural had long worn off, about and hour before, and I was shaking uncontrollably. Three doctors tried to flip baby with no luck. Next up on the agenda was to try and find the feet to deliver him breech. But like a bad episode of Grey’s Anatomy they couldn’t find the feet because he was curled up so tight and they couldn’t make them out on the ultrasound either.
Then the scary part: his heart rate dropped, big time. They needed to get him out immediately. I had been silently hoping for a c-section because I thought the pain I was experiencing might kill me. The bad news was that my epidural had worn off so long ago that there was no time to try and re-administer it, and the catheter had been removed, too. General anesthesia it was. I fell fast asleep but not before they tried cutting me THREE times while I was still awake. Ouch.
I woke up a few hours later in even more pain than I thought I’d be in but my babies were finally here. Pierre Alexander was born at 2:20am but wasn’t breathing. I’m so thankful for the doctors and nurses who brought him back to me, God is so good. Pierre was with the babies the whole time and held them close until I woke up. He even did skin-to-skin with them when I couldn’t.
We got into a routine at the hospital, tandem nursing, diaper changes, naps, helping me get up and walk around. I never knew the pain and discomfort that would come with a c–section. We went home a few days later and were so glad to be there. The days passed and I diligently took my pain medication because if I was even a minute late taking it I was almost in tears and couldn’t move from the pain. I didn’t say much because I just thought that’s what a c-section recovery felt like. By the following Friday I was all out of pain meds and in more pain than I had felt all week. That evening I spiked a fever of 103. I called my doctor and they wanted me back at the hospital right away.
We loaded the twins up and back to the hospital we went. After a few hours I was admitted and started on a serious round of antibiotics and painkillers. This was a very hard time for me. Not only was I recovering from two types of births but I was also dealing with the guilt of having to leave Eva, who was two at the time, yet again to be at the hospital, and trying to jump into being a mom to these two newborns. Several tests and scary days later it was concluded that I had endometritis, a uterine infection common in women who have had c-sections, and, in my case, two types of deliveries with a whole mess in between the two.
Five days later, we were finally home again. The twins were only 11 days old but it felt like months had passed. Those (almost) two weeks felt like the longest days of my life. There were multiple times I truly thought I wasn’t’ going to survive. I couldn’t stop the tremors that would wash over me when someone asked me to re-live the delivery. I couldn’t process what had happened to me and give all of myself to take care of my babies and give Eva the love and attention she craved. But my body wasn’t recovering just yet, it needed time to heal and it was very hard trying not to overdo it when I had so many little ones counting on me.
Almost 10 weeks later (when I typed this birth story), I was doing so much better. The twins were thriving; Eva and I were back to our old BFF days, we settled into a nice routine. My body had recovered to the point where I felt well enough to start exercising again. I learned to face the challenges that came with having a toddler and infant twins head-on and to be nice to myself when our days didn’t go exactly as planned. I was so unsure of how I would be able to manage this new life but God has been faithful once again. I could not care for these three the way that I do without Him and for that, as well as their health and my own, I am grateful.