I really enjoy this blog, and it's been really fun to go back through all my posts every now and then, but Instagram has really taken over my journaling needs. It all comes down to convenience really. And who wants to read a novel with every picture anyway?? (Actually, I am that person...)
And then, big life changes--like additions to the family--make it necessary to actually pull this up and write a post so I can go into all the details I don't want to forget. So here I am after TWO years. Make sure you've got a second, because this is going to be long.
Jeff and I had debated for a long time about whether or not we wanted to add to our family because we felt very comfortable where we were with the three we had. I had prayed and gone to the temple for answers. The only definitive answer I ever got was the positive feeling that yes, we were supposed to add to our family...the 'when' was always left up to me. And because of that, it took a while to finally work up the courage to start trying. So when the time came back that we did decide to try, I prayed to my Heavenly Father--with demands. I told Him I didn't want to spend months and months trying to get pregnant, so instead, we were going to try once and if it didn't happen, I was taking it as a sign that we were done.
Insert a positive pregnancy test the next cycle, and at my first ultrasound at 13 weeks--TWINS.
The joke was definitely on me--I got the message: don't make demands and ultimatums with Heavenly Father. It was the exact month we decided to try just the once...and I dropped two eggs. Talk about timing.
All kidding aside, this was the biggest shock of my life. I have never EVER imagined having twins. Even when I was little, and played pretend, Barbies or otherwise, it was never to a mom of TWO babies. I'd like to think it was because I've always had a strong sense of sanity--and that just wasn't it. So when the ultrasound tech put the wand to my belly, and almost instantly asked me how I felt about twins, I legitimately thought she was just making small talk. Ha.
The pregnancy itself was actually quite uneventful (the swelling, nausea, fatigue, heartburn, restlessness, shortness of breath, stretch marks, lack of sleep, aches, pains, and general discomfort EVERYWHERE are pretty common and fairly uneventful symptoms of a pregnancy, but don't for a second think I was in pregnant bliss, as most of those things were intensified because I was pregnant with two). For a twin pregnancy though, it was a dream. My OB was so impressed with my progress every appointment. They were di/di twins (separate placentas, separate sacs) which is considered the least risk, and they grew without ANY complications.
That is until my 32 week appointment. That day, at the typical ultrasound I had before each appointment, we found out baby A had at some point turned from being head down to breech...like his brother. And despite all my begging and pleading...he refused to turn back around (which was not surprising considering their sizes).
And this is where my labor story starts.
I was pretty upset because I assumed (and according to everything I'd read) when both babies were breech that meant an automatic c-section. As it turns out though, my OB was willing and even offered to deliver them both breech! I was pretty shocked at that news, and didn't know what to expect, so my OB said he'd go ahead and schedule the c-section, but he'd support any delivery I wanted. After doing some research on the topic (which there isn't a lot of) I decided if I went into labor on my own I'd deliver them breech vaginally, but if I made it to my c-section date...well then I guess I'd do that. Reluctantly. From what I'd read, there were risks either way, but if I had to be induced the risk was greater for a breech delivery...hence my decision.
And every week came and went and there wasn't any change. Except my belly grew bigger.
And then my c-section date arrived. Tuesday March 5th, 7am. My number one goal from the beginning was to carry them to term (38 weeks for twins) so we could hopefully avoid any time in the NICU, and I had made it. At least I had that to be happy about. Our other kids had already been taken to Grandma and Grandpa's house the night before (and were staying there for the week!) and plans had been arranged for Granny and Opa to take them the next week for spring break. My sister had flown in over the weekend to take care of me in every way following the twins' birth. And I was trying my hardest to avoid thinking about what was actually going to happen to me. I felt ignorance was probably best...I mean, who wants to think about being cut open and having a major surgery? Anyway, we arrived at the hospital at 5am to start being prepped. At some point in triage, somewhere between getting an IV in my arm, having two heart rate monitors put on my belly, Jeff telling ALL the dad jokes, and being given a hellish drink to neutralize my stomach acid, my nurse asked if I'd like to have an ultrasound to check one last time to see if baby A had turned--which of course I agreed to. And when the ultrasound tech finally came in...she couldn't tell...but she was pretty sure...he was now head down? So then my OB was called in to confirm, and after an ETERNITY he finally walked in to perform another ultrasound...and a physical examination. And after ALL that--it wasn't baby A's round little head, but his round little bottom. Baby A was STILL breech. After all that whirlwind of excitement and letdowns, I was almost immediately walked into the OR for my scheduled c-section, where Jeff and I parted ways.
This is where everything is a blur. I didn't black out, but so much happened and it happened so fast. I walked into a room with no less than 15 doctors/nurses/students all standing around in a very bright, very white, very sterilized room with all sorts of medical equipment I couldn't even begin to identify, Queen playing in the background. I was given a spinal and was immediately helped to a lying down position with my arms out away from my body, and a drape put up right in front of my face. My anesthesiologist (the sweetest grandma-type ever) kept checking my numbness until all of a sudden Jeff was by my side and all the nurses told him to look over the drape to see our babies being born. I felt a lot of tugging and pressure, heard the doctors and nurses giving updates, Jeff was squealing with excitement, and then baby cries. It wasn't until I looked at pictures later that I got a better idea of what was really happening with me. At that point, I hadn't even seen either of my babies, but I started feeling nauseous and hot and breathless. Everyone around me was so excited, especially Jeff. Soon I had two nurses on either side, holding up my babies so I could see them and take some pictures. I put on a happy face and then told Jeff to go with the babies into the recovery room. I honestly don't remember actually looking at my new babies or studying their faces or anything. As soon as they left I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on my breathing, willing myself to calm down, and very quietly told my anesthesiologist it felt like someone was sitting on my chest. She told me I was fine, that I was getting plenty of oxygen, and so I just kept my eyes closed, and tried to reassure myself...as I silently (or not so silently) freaked out. I basically just kept repeating very matter-of-fact that I couldn't breathe...and that I was hot...and that I felt sick. I felt weak. I wanted to pass out. And then I threw up and felt much better! I still don't know if it was just a reaction to the drugs, or if I was in a state of shock, or both. I do know I had to get two blood transfusions the next day because my hemoglobin was 'low,' whatever that means.
Once they finished gluing me together, which wasn't long after my 'episode,' they moved me into the OR recovery room where I finally got to meet my darling Calvin and Colten for real. We were able to have skin-to-skin contact and I tandem nursed them for the first time. Everyone was so impressed by their birth weights and their Apgar scores (9!) and their instant latches. Absolutely no NICU time needed for my perfect little guys! And while I'm super grateful for modern technology and for the ability to have a safe delivery...I would never opt for a c-section if given the choice (10 out of 10 would not recommend). Ugh, it was the worst! We left the hospital two days after my c-section, and I couldn't wait to get home. Recovery was hard for me, but considering all the side effects that could have happened, but didn't, I guess I did okay. I also have to say my recovery was made infinitely easier by my families' willingness to take our older three for almost a full two weeks. It allowed Jeff and I to ease into having two little newborns at home. I also had Jeff, my sister, and tons of family and visitors to check up on me and make sure I was taken care of.
And that's that, I guess. Having them here has been a whole new learning experience, and I'm definitely glad I had them last (at least I know mostly what I'm doing!) Jeff and I still can't believe there are two of them, it seems unreal. The other kids are in total and complete love with their baby brothers, and are CONSTANTLY asking to hold them. They are the best helpers and will do anything and everything if it has anything to do with Calvin or Colten. It's pretty darn adorable. Our family is pretty darn adorable, and it's now complete.
Baby A- Calvin, born at 7:58am, 7lbs10oz, 20in
Baby B- Colten, born at 7:59am, 6lbs14oz, 19.5in