If you are new to my blog, then you might not know that I just gave birth to two of the sweetest identical twin girls. I’ve posted a bunch about it on Instagram, and I have had a lot of requests to share the girls’ birth story.
So if you’re interested, keep on reading… if not, I’ll see you for my next post.
It all started on Thursday, January 12th. If you remember this Instagram post, I had been been feeling so uncomfortable that whole week.
I had terrible rib and back pain and I was just so ready to be done.
I thought the issue was that the girls were wedged in my ribs, which was true… to a certain extent.
That Thursday morning at about 5:00 a.m. I woke up from a dream that this girl had gone into labor and her whole family left for the hospital leaving her behind… she had to take a motorcycle to get to the hospital.
Clearly my dream self knew what was happening before I was even conscious of it.
As soon as I woke up I felt the same rib pain/back pain, but it was so much more intense. I lay there breathing through the pain until it passed and then I rolled over (which is no easy feat when you are pregnant with twins by the way) and tried to go back to sleep.
About fifteen minutes later, just as I was drifting off again, I suddenly felt the same exact pain.
And then it hit me… I was having a contraction! But I wanted to be sure because I didn’t want to go in just to have them send me home again.
I lay in bed for two hours timing the contractions and sure enough they were about fifteen minutes apart consistently.
So we sent Kit off with my sister and brother in law and headed to the hospital.
Honestly, I was convinced that it was a false alarm because up until that point there had been absolutely no signs that they were coming anytime soon. I had even just had an ultrasound and my cervix was showing no signs of being “ready.”
But when they checked me after I got admitted, I was already 2 cm dilated.
Being that I was only 33 weeks, the doctor decided to admit me to see if they could stop the contractions. The plan was to stop them and then put me on bed rest until things settled down.
But about an hour after I was admitted, I had already progressed to 5 cm even though I had been given magnesium sulfate to stop my contractions.
Thankfully they had given me a steroid shot (to help the babies lungs develop rapidly) right after I got there and we were later able to squeeze another one in. The Dr. told me that if I hadn’t come in when I did, that would not have been a possibility so I was really thankful I listened to my gut and came in even though my head was telling me it was a false alarm.
At this point it was clear the girls were coming whether we were ready for them or not.
And suddenly my room turned into a flurry of activity.
I wanted to try for a vaginal birth because Ella was lowest and head down. However, Rosie was transverse and folded in half so the plan was to have the Dr. turn her once Ella was delivered.
They gave me my epidural and then we had a visit from what felt like every staff member in the hospital.
We met with a nurse who specifically cares for the well being of NICU moms, we met with the hospital Chaplain, we met with the NICU Dr. and we met with a NICU nurse who laid out what we should expect once the girls were born.
Basically, all of those visits communicated to me that it was a big deal that the girls’ were coming as early as they were and the hospital was trying to prepare me for something that I couldn’t even really grasp yet.
At this point, I started crying because it really hit me that they were coming… and that I couldn’t protect them anymore. That whatever happened now was completely out of my control.
Unfortunately, the epidural actually slowed things way down so we just sat there for the next twelve hours: me munching on my ice (trying not to think about the worst case scenarios), David munching on his Chipotle (God love him) and giving me back rubs when I needed them.
I tried to nap, but I kept throwing up because of heartburn and then I ended up getting a horrible migraine so I just couldn’t relax enough to fall asleep.
But finally, around 11:30 p.m. my nurse (who was the dearest, most encouraging, motherly type of nurse) checked me again and I was 9 cm!
They wheeled me into the operating room and David suited up (they wanted us in the OR, just in case Rosie didn’t cooperate and I ended up needing a C-section).
I started to get really nervous and scared at this point and I couldn’t shop shaking. I was nervous about the girls and scared that I might need a C-section.
But it was happening no matter how I felt.
The Dr. and about ten other people started filing in (I had been warned about the amount of people at a twin birth!) and we started pushing… and boy were the girls ready!
Five pushes and fifteen minutes later Ella made an appearance.
Hearing her cry was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt! I turned to David and I asked “is she breathing?!” because we were told that they would have to have breathing assistance immediately after delivery.
But Ella was breathing completely on her own! I was so shocked and happy that I didn’t really know how to feel, but they gave her to me and I started crying because I didn’t think I was going to get to have that moment with her.
But then all of a sudden I felt another contraction (it had been about 10 minutes at this point).
I quickly told the Dr. I was ready to push again and it was funny because no one took Ella from me!
I had to turn to the nurse next to me and say, “um… do you mind taking her?”.
The Dr. reached up to start turning Rosie head down and then she pulled back in surprise and said “oh! I feel her head! And it’s already half way down the birth canal!”
Our feisty little Rosie had just fallen down on her own. I personally think she didn’t want to be left behind.
Three pushes and ten minutes later Rosie was born.
Her cry brought the same wave of relief. Both girls were breathing on their own! And they were both quite big for their age.
Holding her and then holding both of them right after they were delivered felt like such a miracle. I’m still in such grateful disbelief that I was able to have those moments with them.
But as I get to know the girls, I’m realizing they are both such strong little fighters.
They are currently in residence at the NICU and will be for another couple of weeks. But true to their first appearance, they’ve been shocking everyone with how well they’re doing. We’ve received great reports on both girls and they continue to grow and develop.
Having them stay at the hospital while I’m at home with Kit has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. Much harder than I realized it would be. I’ve struggled to process and come to terms with all of the many emotions I have felt over the last couple of weeks.
In fact, sometimes I still have to stop a moment and just absorb the fact that they are even here and that I’m not pregnant anymore.
But we find so much strength in knowing that they are doing so well.
In just a few short weeks we’ll be able to bring them home and we’ll finally be the family of five that I’ve been anticipating since we found out we were having twins.
I can’t wait!
Oh! And in case you were wondering about their names:
They are both named after my favorite literary character of all time… Samwise Gamgee (from the Lord of the Rings).
How you may ask? Elanor and Rose were two of his daughters.
Does that make me a nerd? Probably… but I don’t really care. 🙂
Until next time,
**The four professional photos were taken by Christina Rambo