Finding out you are pregnant is a thought that most women dream about.
I also dreamed about that moment. Growing up I had lots of medical problems, it was bad enough that my family and I did not expect me to be able to conceive a child naturally. I had had several surgeries and had scar tissue that was expected to cause problems along with other female issues. I went to a fertility specialist in 2009 to see if I would be able to conceive a baby on my own. After a month of tests and blood work, they told me that I would most likely try for a year before being able to conceive and they were not sure if I would need fertility support or not. They knew I was dropping eggs but my ovulation period was not considered normal for a person of my age. They mentioned that when that time came, I may need assistance. So when Joel and I got married we figured it would be a while before kids would come along. We didn’t think surprises could happen to us but they did.
I found out I was pregnant in February 2012. I was a day late and I knew that something wasn’t right. So, I bought a pregnancy test. I took the test and got a positive. I didn’t believe it so I took another one, again positive. I began to get excited. I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy the next day. When I was at the doctor I began bleeding so my doctor said it was a miscarriage and that it was common with first pregnancies. She told me that it was just important to remember that I did get pregnant. I was so upset that I missed the rest of the day of work. She sent me home with lab orders to confirm that it was a complete miscarriage. I went to get blood work on that Friday, two days later, and again on Monday.
The whole weekend I had a hard time believing that I had lost the baby so I kept taking pregnancy tests. Each time it still showed positive. I didn’t understand why they kept showing up positive if I had lost the baby. On Tuesday after my second blood work screening, my doctor called to tell me that I was still pregnant. She wanted me to come in and do an ultrasound. I heard a baby’s heartbeat and saw a little peanut on the screen. 🙂 My doctor visited with me after the ultrasound and explained to me what she thought had happened at our first visit. She said that my blood work had doubled in two days time which is a sign of multiples. She suspected that we were originally pregnant with twins but had lost one of the babies. The ultrasound from that day confirmed that we had one baby.
…3 and a half weeks later…
Joel went with me this time to my appointment because we were having another ultrasound and he wanted to hear the baby’s heartbeat. I was ten weeks pregnant at this appointment. When the ultrasound tech scanned my belly we saw a line down the middle and what looked like two sacs. Joel and I both stopped the ultrasound tech and asked what was going on. She said, “Oh…that’s the other baby.” She was so calm about it like we already knew that. But she soon figured out that we did not know that. We both sat in shock as we looked at the screen. Sure enough, it was twins!
That day everything changed. We had to go to a specialist to help monitor the babies and make sure that they were developing properly. The specialist was also monitoring my progress to make sure I was handling my pregnancy the way I should. I felt really special because I saw the specialist once a month and my doctor once a month. I was regularly seeing my babies and watching them grow. They were progressing as individual babies should. The doctors were worried that they would be smaller because there was not enough room. But both babies were right on track.
At my four months check up we had our gender ultrasound. As they checked baby a, they told us she was a girl. Then they checked baby b and told us that she was a girl too. I argued with the ultrasound tech because I thought I saw something on baby b that would prove she was actually a he. The next week I had an ultrasound with my specialist. I had her go over the sexes again. Once again I was told that both babies were girls. At this point there was no denying it, we would have two princesses entering our lives. The doctors told us that they could be identical twins because they were both girls. But during that same appointment visit, they did a profile picture of both girls. By the profile pictures, we could see that their noses were different so they were not identical.
Everything continued to progress as usual until my seventh month. I had a doctors appointment for a regular checkup. I was complaining that I thought I was leaking fluid. My doctor did a cervical exam and realized I had dilated to 1 cm. I was in preterm labor at 29 weeks. I was hospitalized for the next three days. While in the hospital my doctor gave me a magnesium drip to stop the contractions and postpone the labor. They gave me two steroid injections to help develop the girls’ lungs in case of an early delivery. I was able to go home on medication and bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. About this time the girls started to grow at a fast rate. Which made having to lay down constantly really hard for me. I found myself needing more and more help to get out of bed and move around the house. I was beginning to feel miserable and was having a hard time staying positive about being pregnant. My husband tried his hardest to make me happy and comfortable but nothing seemed to help.
At my 34 week appointment, my doctor requested an NST (fetal nonstress test) at the hospital. It had been 5 weeks since bed rest has begun. When I went in for my test they discovered that I had begun to dilate again, this time to 3 cm. The medications were no longer working to prevent my labor. I was admitted immediately to labor and delivery. My doctor told me that I was to remain in the hospital on bed rest until I delivered my twins. We were all hoping to hang on a few more weeks so that the girls would be further along in development. Unfortunately, there was another plan for us.
That night my water broke.
I was just barely 34 weeks pregnant and in labor with the girls. I was excited and terrified all at the same time. Throughout the night my nurse monitored the girls progress and how far I was dilated. The next morning we were finally ready. My husband and I were taken to the operating room to have our girls. The plan was for a natural birth but we delivered in the operating room as a precaution. They had warned us of the possibility of baby b flipping positions at the last minute which could cause a c-section and other complications that could occur during delivery.
At 8:34 a.m., I gave birth to Bailey Nicole. She weighed 5 lbs 1 oz and was 27 3/4” long. The doctor put her on my chest quickly as the nurses cleaned her up before carrying her upstairs to the NICU. I only caught a quick glance at her but my husband took pictures for me to see. As soon as the nurses had taken her away, they put me on Pitocin to force my contractions further along. My doctor then broke my second water. I had a nurse holding my stomach keeping baby b in position to continue with a natural birth. At 8:54 a.m., I gave birth to Brooke Morgan. She weighed 5 lbs 2 oz and was 28” long. The nurses grabbed her immediately and took her out of the room. My husband followed them out to get her pictures. I was not able to see or hold her.
A few minutes later my husband returned showing me pictures of both girls. As we were looking through the pictures we received a phone call that he needed to go to the NICU for one of the babies. I remember feeling complete panic and wanted to get up and run upstairs with him. Little did I know, I was having my own complications. Having been on several types of medications for over a month, my uterus was having trouble shrinking back down to size, which was causing me to bleed excessively. My doctor and the nurses were trying to stop me from bleeding but were having trouble. I had begun to hemorrhage. After what seemed like forever, I was able to be moved to recovery.
This whole time I had been wondering if my babies were okay and why my husband or a nurse hadn’t returned to tell me what was happening with them. When I was in recovery my husband came in. He then informed me that the girls were fine and that they called to tell him to come up and see them, not that something was wrong with them. He had returned to the O.R. but they would not let him in telling him that there were some complications with me and no one could go in. He was relieved to see me when they let him in. Neither of us knew what exactly had happened to me in the O.R. at that time. My doctor had kept us in the dark to keep me from panicking. She told us later that day and let me know that I would have to have a blood transfusion to help me get back on my feet. All of the changes with the blood in my body caused me to become very anemic. It took me about a week to feel like myself again.
I stayed in the hospital for 4 days before being released to go home. My sweet girls had to stay in the NICU. Leaving without them was very painful. I cried for several hours the day I left. Being told that I was leaving without my babies made me feel as though I had lost them. After all of our struggles, they were being separated from me. The nurses at the hospital understood my struggle and gave some suggestions to help. They told us that I needed to leave and go home for an hour or two before coming back to see my girls. When I returned they told me to take one of the girls’ blankets home with me so that I could smell them. This would help with my milk coming in too. So that is what we did, and they were right, it helped me a lot.
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