My sweet baby girls the day they came home from the hospital.
In my blog post yesterday, I was feeling emotional about my daughters moving out, moving on and becoming adults. It also really got me thinking about the day they were born and what a strange, miraculous and terrifying journey it was.
My oldest girls are twins. That in and of itself doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Lots of people have twins or in this day and age triplets or other multiples, in fact, my youngest daughter has baby-sat for two different sets of twins and I work with someone who has triplets! My story has a bit of a twist however. You see, I didn’t know I was having twins. Again, lots of people have had twins without knowing there were two babies but that has become pretty uncommon in the modern age of obstetrics where ultra sounds are a routine part of prenatal care.
I never had one single ultra sound when I was pregnant with my twins. My doctor didn’t think it was necessary because my pregnancy was moving along just fine. All of my prenatal check-ups were normal. My measurements were normal, there was always one strong, regular fetal heartbeat without even an echo of another heartbeat! Everything was NORMAL, so my doctor didn’t see the need for any ultra sounds. The only hiccup before I gave birth was a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, which to this day I wonder if it had more to do with there being two babies instead of one.
My story changes when I went into labor two months early. On that sunny June morning, I woke up, sat up in bed and wet the bed!! At least that’s what I thought had happened with me being a ‘first calf heifer’ as my dad would say, I didn’t know my water had just broken! When I couldn’t quit ‘peeing’ however I knew something was wrong. I got my husband up and told him what happened and that’s when our adventure began.
We rushed to the hospital and I just knew this wasn’t good. I mean I was two months early! A baby that wasn’t due until August was coming now! When we got to the hospital they weren’t entirely sure what to do with me. I hadn’t made the preliminary plans for labor and delivery with the hospital, heck, I hadn’t even made it to my Lamaze classes!
The decision was made to stop my labor and bring in the doctors and decide what to do from there. My water had broken so there really weren’t a lot of good options. The hospital just happened to have a doctor working there at the time who specialized in high-risk pregnancies, so he was brought in to consult. It was decided to take me off the medication and see if labor proceeded on its own, which it did with a vengeance! I was then taken for an ultra sound because the doctor wanted to know exactly how far along I was and what was going on in there. When the technician, who happened to be a man, started the ultra sound, he proceeded to inform me that I was having a contraction! NO SHIT SHERLOCK! I could tell I was having a contraction! Even though this was my first baby I knew that searing pain in my abdomen wasn’t just really bad gas! The comedy continued though when he really started to study the monitor and said “huh”, long pause, “how many babies are you expecting, it looks like there’s a whole litter in there”. A LITTER!! What, was he saying I was having puppies or kittens! How many babies did this moron think were in there? Clearly, we needed a second opinion and if I could have gotten my hands on that guy in that moment, I would have given him a contraction in a very, sensitive area! I was disgusted with this guy and that’s when he told us we were having twins!
Shocked doesn’t even begin to cover what I was feeling at the moment. While my husband was dancing a jig and would have done cartwheels in delight if he could have, I was not amused! Immediately my head was flooded with what-ifs, we don’t haves and how can we’s! I was terrified to say the least! The moment of disbelief didn’t just stop at us. No one in our families believed us when we broke the news to them! Everyone thought we were lying! About six hours later they wheeled me in to an operating room unsure whether I would be having a c-section or natural delivery and after much debate and pleading on the part of my anesthesiologist (who thank God was a woman) they agreed to give me a little bit of the good stuff and let me try delivering naturally.
In the end I avoided a cesaerean and we had two reasonably healthy baby girls. They spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit which gave me time to heal and rest up for the sleep deprived marathon that was in my future. Those two little girls were by far the biggest shock of my life and the very best surprise I’ve ever received!
My babies very first photos in the NICU.