I woke up that morning and remember feeling somewhat excited, somewhat scared, and a little on edge with nerves. The last morning I would be pregnant with Parker and Jolie in my (huge, mind you..) belly. I didn’t sleep at all the night before- partly because I was terribly uncomfortable, partly because I could in no way breathe like a normal human being- my throat burned with dryness and I wanted nothing but a gallon of water to drink- but my doctor’s voice rang in my head “nothing to eat or drink after midnight“. But, if I’m being honest here, I couldn’t sleep because I knew that this time tomorrow, my whole world would have changed. I would be a mommy.
Finally it was time to ‘wake-up’. Finally. I curled my hair, put on makeup, and finished putting my hospital bag together. After going through the checklist of necessities for mom, dad, and babies- we stopped to take one last picture.
37 Weeks, 1 Day
We arrived at my OB office at 9:30am before directing me over to labor and delivery. The plan was that she would be sending me with ‘complaints’ of labor pains all night and requiring a non-scheduled c-section that afternoon. (It all has something to do with insurance coverage and scheduling a c-section prior to 39 weeks- even though I am carrying twins! A lot of stuff I didn’t understand)
I trust Dr. Walsh and she has tons of experience- so we went along with her plan. She ‘checked’ me and came to realize I was actually in labor. “I am??” Yep, 3 cm dilated.
I had been having lots of contractions over the past week- but still being on Procardia to control pre-term labor, they were less than alarming and had almost became normal to me.
So, we went over to L&D with actual complaints of labor, and they brought me straight back to what would be my recovery room and hooked me up with plans for a c-section at 1pm. At this point it was about 11am. Jordan’s parents were with us for support, and we patiently waited our turn for an OR while watching Everybody Loves Raymond and Law and Order: SVU.
Tons of people came in and out informing me their part in the surgery to come- respiratory therapist (for the girls), NICU nurses, my nurses, anesthesiologists, and finally- Dr. Walsh.
It was time- time to go!
At that moment I became terribly scared. I remember Dr. Walsh grabbing me- one hand on my face and the other interlocking my hand- ensuring me that everything is going to be just fine. She could clearly tell the look on my face and tears in my eyes were induced by pure fear.
I was wheeled in the operating room all alone- Jordan was in his ‘bunny suit’ sitting outside the OR waiting until after my epidural had been placed before being allowed in with me to hold my hand. I say alone- there were about 15 people in the room with me. 4 nurses (2 per baby), 2 respiratory therapists, 2 anesthesiologists, 2 NICU nurses (1 for each baby), Dr. Walsh, and another doctor to assist was there, too.
The anesthesiologists proceeded to explain the practice of placing the epidural (for the third time) and in what felt like seconds it was over.
Me: “That’s it?”
Walsh: “What do you mean, ‘that’s it‘??”
Me: “That was easy. Hardly hurt at all.”
Anesthesiologist #1: “If only all our patients were like you”
On the table I went- legs and upper body completely numb. The nurse gave me a warm blanket and a tube of hot air to hold- I assume this was to prevent the ‘shakes’ everyone talked about that comes along with the epidural. I never got those. Instead- my blood pressure crashed.
Each time I woke up feeling like I was going to hurl (I never did.) finally pulling off the warm blanket. All I wanted was to be cold. I was sweating, for crying out loud. Finally I was stabilized and felt normal- well, as much as I could feel normal, but still be in a fog.
So- surgery began. The only feeling I remember was the feeling as if an elephant was sitting on my chest. SO much pressure- but Jordan ensured me all was just fine. I don’t know what I would have done without him right there in my ear- whispering encouragements and repeating over and over his love for me and how proud he was of me. (There is nothing like hearing those things from the love of your life. Nothing.)
Finally I hear cries. Baby Jolie was out and did she have some screaming lungs on her. I could see the warming station she was placed on and I was so concerned because I just wanted to hear something from someone- anything. How she was? Was she okay? How much did she weigh? How is her color?
2 minutes later Parker was out, screaming like her sister.. with her cord wrapped around her neck twice. Nothing of concern as Walsh easily slipped it from around her neck, but it would have been a problem if I would have tried to labor these girls rather than do a c-section. Blessing number one.
Finally I hear that both girls were healthy. Their one minute APGAR
scores were a 9 for both (ten is best). Meaning they were breathing just fine with a good strong cry, with great color, good heart rates and strong reflexes. Blessing number 2.
Daddy cutting Jolie’s cord
Daddy cutting Parker’s cord.
Time for the moment of truth- the girls’ weights. Jolie was first weighing in at 2049 grams. I was informed that the cut off for required NICU due to weight was 2000 grams. Blessing number 3.
Finally it was time to meet my girls.
Meeting Miss Parker Jane. Both Jordan and I were in tears. All I/we could do was cry.
Finally getting to ‘hold’ my sweet babies. (Parker on the right, Jolie on the left)
Of the hundreds of pictures we took that day and during our stay at the hospital and even now since we have been home, this is my most favorite picture. Jordan was crying through a prayer- so thankful everyone was okay.
I cannot believe how alert these babies were!
As Dr. Walsh was closing me back up I hear her say ‘there is no way you could have labored these girls. Your hips did not spread at all (like a normal pregnant woman’s would) and your pelvis is tiny- it looks like a funnel run over by a car..‘ Blessing number 4.
Jordan took the girls back to my recovery room while they finished with me in the OR. Here he is with my mini-me. Parker is almost a spitting image of myself when I was a baby. I plan to do a post on the similarities of the girls with pictures of me and Jordan. Jolie is Jordan’s mini-me.
4 people make up this new family
(almost) 3 hours of waiting
2 very proud parents
1 glorious God to make all this happen
Night number one. I was SO exhausted, but couldn’t bring myself to sleep a wink.
Our little Jolie is such a fighter. At just four and a half pounds at birth, she kept up with her (bigger) sister and rocked it through feedings and acting like a ‘normal’ baby.
There were 3 sets of twins born on that day. Ours were the smallest of all- and the only set that did not make a stay in the NICU. Blessing number 5.
Daddy and his Jolie Polie
During the next couple days, I was in pretty bad shape. The epidural made me so sick on Thursday night (like- throw up sick..) and then came the pain. Bed rest for 3+ months did me no good at all for recovery. I had lost so much muscle mass and strength that the c-section pain brought me to tears on multiple occasions- ok, it brought me to tears always. Friday was the worst day- and finally Saturday I started feeling like a normal person again.
Even though I was in terrible pain post-op, I still wouldn’t go back and change a thing. I prayed and thought long and hard about having a c-section. Both girls were in the correct head-down position to be able to labor through, but Jordan and I made the decision to go ahead with the surgery simply because of Jolie’s small size. Walsh had a small concern for her ability to go through labor without causing too much stress on her- and I would ultimately end up in the OR anyway. As you can see- there were multiple factors that called for a c-section delivery that we had no clue of (Parker’s cord and my very small birth canal). Dr. Walsh walked out of the OR and kissed me on the forehead before she left- thanking me for making that decision to go with a c-section.
Jordan was (and still is!) a rockstar of a husband through all of it. Caring for me, never leaving my side for one minute- helping me move around when needed, ordering my food, getting me ice chips, and doing everything for the girls. I didn’t change a diaper until we got home from the hospital 5 days later.
..and watching his love for these girls.. like something I’ll never forget.
We have twins!!
Along with the usual feet stamping, we requested for the girls footprints be stamped in their Daddy’s Bible.
Finally it was time to go home. Neither one of us were ready for it.
My precious little miracles.
Jolie Polie fitting so snuggly in her carseat. It was SO cold on the day we left, so we made sure to bundle them up well.
Parker still so tiny at just 5 and a half pounds fit a little better than her sister, but had to work to make her fit snug, too.
We had an AMAZING experience during our stay- every single nurse and doctor made it so pleasant and were very helpful. Blessing number 6.
I actually cried on the way home because it was time to leave. So much build-up to this day- Delivery Day- and then it came and went so quickly. It took a good cry (at 4am) out of the both of us to finally be okay with the fact that we were home and without all those wonderful people.
So- there you have it. My day was quite a blur- but I do remember all the key parts and will never forget. I couldn’t stop admiring my two precious daughters. I couldn’t believe that they were mine- and that I carried them for 37 weeks (and still can’t!). There was a couple times I didn’t know if I would make it that far- but I did. I couldn’t stop (and continue to) thanking God for these incredible, healthy, sweet baby girls that turned our family from 2 to 4.
And most of all- even in pain, sickness, and wee hours of the morning- I couldn’t stop smiling.
They are mine. They are ours. They are His.
Blessing number 7.