I still can't believe that my long wished for pregnancy is over and that I actually gave birth to beautiful twin boys. If I close my eyes it almost doesn't seem like my life. The entire experience in some ways seemed to go by in a flash and I want to make sure I remember the story, so I decided to write and share the twins birth story here. My hope is you will enjoy it but that it will also help other Moms who are pregnant and looking for positive twin birth stories. I know that in the last days of my pregnancy I couldn't read enough birth stories and loved that they gave me some idea of what to expect. This is going to be a bit long-winded, but I know when I was reading them I loved all the details so that's what I decided to do too.
I thought I'd start the story in the days leading up to delivery day. The boys were born very early Wednesday morning but this photo is from the Sunday before. I officially hit 36 weeks and was feeling every day of my twin pregnancy. I was swollen and basically in constant pain. I was spending most of my time on the couch, but no matter what I did I was hurting.
The Friday before my doctor scheduled an induction for the following Sunday at 37 weeks, which is considered full term for a twin pregnancy. They could have let me go to 38 weeks, but my doctor was worried about my swelling, pain and the fact that the twins had stopped gaining as much weight. There was also some discussion on whether induction or a scheduled c-section would be the healthiest delivery for both myself and the babes. Baby A was head down but Baby B was still breech. My doctor had experience delivering twins naturally that were positioned this way and had assured me during the entire pregnancy that we could try to avoid the surgery. In the last weeks of my pregnancy Baby B started gaining weight faster than Baby A, which made the delivery harder but my doctor still reassured me that she was still comfortable with trying. So after a lot of debate we decided to at least try for a natural delivery.
I made it through the weekend and started off the week with another non-stress test at the OB. The doctors monitored the babies and checked me for any labor progress. The test showed no signs of stress of the babes and I was still holding at 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced.
They sent me home and gave me another appointment for Thursday to check again. I went home and spent almost the entire day on the couch. I started getting even more pain in my back which made it hard to do anything.
Twins Birth Story
Tuesday I woke up very slow and the back pain from the previous day was more intense and would not let up. The Hubs was luckily working from home and helped me get situated on our comfy basement couches for the day. I was feeling so bad, I had no desire to do anything which isn't like me at all. I spent a lot of the morning texting family and friends about the back pain wondering how I was going to make it through the week feeling that way.
Around 4 in the afternoon I started wondering if something else was going on. I was noticing what I thought were maybe regular contractions instead of the Braxton Hicks I'd been getting for months. After about 30 minutes I text the Hubs that I needed some help. He came downstairs and got me water and helped me lay on my side. My thought was that if it was just more Braxton Hicks that would make them go away. By the time I got resettled the pain started getting sharper and more intense. I started shaking and could not stop and had some bleeding. I was not only having contractions but the constant intense back pain I'd been having all day. In hindsight, I suspect I'd been in some sort of back labor all day and didn't realize it.
I tried to time my contractions but with the back pain, it was hard to tell where the pain was coming from because it was constant. I decided to call the doctor and she told me to go to the hospital. I was shocked that it was happening so fast and for some reason decided to take a shower before we left! The Hubs made me a sandwich but I was too sick to eat it. By the time I got out of the shower I was positive it was real labor and the contractions were coming minutes apart. So we started moving a lot faster and scrambled to the car. We left the house and pulled into the hospital by 6. The entire situation escalated quickly!
When I got to the hospital they saw I was in a lot of pain and rushed me to a room where I threw up and was still shaking really badly. My heart rate and the babies heart rates were high, my blood pressure had skyrocketed and I had a fever. The doctor came to check me quickly and I was already 6 cm. I was in shock that everything was happening fast.
Because everyone's vitals were off the doctor suggested they move me to a delivery room quickly and give me a spinal in addition to the epidural to stop the shaking and get everyone's heart rates down. My plan all along was the get an epidural, so I was thrilled to have something that would make the pain stop sooner. With twin pregnancies, it's highly recommended you get an epidural so if you need an emergency c-section (which is more likely with two) you will not have to get general anesthesia.
The anesthesiologist arrived quickly and within minutes I was feeling so much better. The medicine helped me stop shaking and brought everyone's heart rate down... thank goodness! I thought that losing feeling in my legs and not being able to get out of bed would bother me, but it didn't at all. I was so grateful to not be in pain. I remember joking that this was the best I'd felt since August.
The situation got very real as the nurses started getting ready for the two babes.
At some point, our nurse came in to tell us that since I had a fever the babies would automatically have to be transferred to the NICU after birth. We'd been told all along to expect the babies would have to spend some time there so we were not shocked. It was upsetting, but it was also nice to know ahead of time that it was happening so I could mentally prepare for it.
Once everything settled back down we started the waiting game. Every few hours the doctor came back to check on me and each time I was closer to delivery. Just after midnight, they said I was almost 10 cm and they were going to get ready for pushing and the actual delivery.
All twins have to be delivered in an operating room so after midnight they moved us into a bright and sterile OR. It was kind of disappointing to not be able to stay in the cozy delivery room but I knew it was coming. The hairnets probably bothered me the most- haha!
The room filled up with at least 20 doctors and nurses including doctors and nurses for me, NICU teams for each baby and even some residents who had never seen twins delivered without a c-section. At that point, I realized how rare it was that I was attempting to deliver twins without the c-section and got a bit nervous.
Once everything was ready we started pushing. I pushed for about 30 minutes and finally, Baby A was born at 2 in the morning... a mere 10 hours after I asked the Hubs to help me on the couch.
I got to hold him immediately for a few minutes before they took him to the NICU team. He ended up needing some help with the CPAP and would have had to go to the NICU with or without the fever.
A few minutes later it was time to deliver Baby B. He was still breech so I had to push and the doctor had to basically reach in and grab his feet to get him out. It took a bit longer than expected and by the time he came out, we didn't hear that classic baby scream. Baby B was born at 2:05 AM. They clamped his cord immediately and took him to the NICU team without bringing him to me. The Hubs rushed over and everyone literally held their breath. I wasn't sure what was happening but I remember asking a dozen times if he was ok. Finally, they told me he was and I started crying. Baby B got some help with the CPAP too and would also have had to go to the NICU anyway.
I then had to deliver the placenta and get a few stitches for minor tearing.
Once the doctor was done they finally brought Baby B over for me to hold. I thanked God that he was OK!
In no time I had two babies on my chest and we got our first official family photo.
I was so happy that I was able to deliver them without a c-section! Everyone in the room kept telling me how special it was that I was able to do it. I kind of felt like a rockstar Mama for a moment.
Sadly I only had a few minutes with the babes before the NICU team took them away from me. All along the plan was that if this happened the Hubs would leave me and go with the babies. He left and within 30 minutes he sent me photos of my babes.
I was surprisingly ok with everything because I knew the babies were getting the best care possible. Through my work with the March of Dimes, I had toured the NICU before and knew what a wonderful place it was and how much they could help.
I think it also helped to have several hours to mentally prepare myself for them having to go.
Once the doctors were done in the OR the nurses rolled me back into the labor and delivery room where my MIL came to wait with me. I got a snack and waited for the medicine to wear off. Once I could move my legs they wheeled me to the Mother and Baby unit where we got our room for the next few days.
Time passed quickly and eventually the Hubs came downstairs from the NICU to get me to go up and see the babies. It was hard to see them with monitors but I was surprisingly calm about it. We were able to spend a little time with them before they sent us back downstairs to rest. I never saw a clock but must have been past 5 AM at this point.
The doctors in the NICU did their rounds around 7 AM so the Hubs and I went back upstairs to talk to them around then. They gave us an update on both babies. Since I had the fever both babies had to have a round of antibiotics to treat any possible infections. Baby B also needed a heart scan for an irregular heartbeat. The doctors were pretty confident that they'd both be released within a few days. The worst-case scenario was keeping them a week if they showed any signs of infection.
We stayed with the babies for a while before going back downstairs to shower. The hardest part of being in the NICU for us was not having the babies with you and having to constantly go back and forth between our room to pump/ rest and the NICU.
Luckily Baby B's test came back clear of infection. They checked his heart and although there was a murmur there were no structural problems. We were shocked and thrilled when they released him to us by that evening.
Baby A's test came back that he did have a possible infection so they wanted to keep him longer. The next morning though they ran the test again and he was clear! We ended up getting Baby A back the following afternoon.
Having babies in the NICU was awful but what happened to us was the best case scenario and we got them back so quickly. I saw so many babies and parents in there that were in much worse case than us, so I really am at peace with the entire experience.
It felt beyond amazing to finally have Baby A and Baby B together with us. After FINALLY seeing their faces together we named Baby A (right) Jackson Thomas and Baby B Hunter John. The poor babes went without names for almost 2 days because I wanted to see them together before we picked the names.
The next few days were honestly a blur so I'm going to hit the highlights of the remainder of our stay.
The babies were both pretty yellow and they checked them for jaundice. Jackson's levels were too high so they sent a bilirubin blanket to our room. The rules at the hospital had just changed and to use it we had to stay at the hospital so we ended up not getting released for several extra days.
I also ended up with high blood pressure after delivery. I've never had high blood pressure, even during pregnancy, so it was a bit shocking. I also had the worst leg swelling ever. My legs looked like balloons. My doctors also insisted on me staying for monitoring for a few extra days.
I wanted to go home badly, so I was pretty bummed not to get released on time, but we made the best of our time at the hospital grilling the nurses for baby care information and taking them up on their offers to watch them for a few hours at night so we could sleep.
Eventually, on Sunday we got the all clear to go home! We bundled up Jackson and Hunter in their outfits that were way too big for them.
I hadn't wanted to buy them premie clothes because I felt like I was jinxing us if I did... but even at 5 pounds, 6 ounces and 5 pounds, 11 ounces they were swimming in their newborn outfits.
It took FOREVER to get two babies and myself loaded up but eventually, we were off! (Notice my legs... this was when they were about HALF the size that they were! The swelling was awful.)
After spending much of the week with the nurses we were sad to leave, but happy to be going home! The nurses, staff and doctors took such good care of our entire family and I could not thank them enough.
Everything got real when we put them in the car and had this crazy... "are these ours?" moment!
We arrived home and got to work taking care of the sweetest babies ever.
While there were some hiccups along the way, I feel like this was a pretty postive twin birth story. I'd heard so many horrible twin birth stories, that mine felt pretty tame and I still feel lucky I didn't have to have a c section. Despite the babies having to go the NICU, their time there was so short that it merely felt like a bump in the road on our way to being together as a family.
I'm so happy these two are mine!
Have you missed any Hunter and Jackson news? Catch up here...
- Welcome Hunter John and Jackson Thomas
- Hunter and Jackson's First Week at Home
- Week 2
- Week 3
- Hunter & Jackson's Newborn Photo Shoot
If you missed any of the pregnancy journey you can catch up here...
- Our Greatest Adventure
- Twin Gender Reveal Party
- The First Trimester
- Twin Pregnancy Weeks 14-18
- Twin Pregnancy Weeks 19-22
- Twin Pregnancy Weeks 23-27
- Twin Pregnancy Weeks 28-31
- Twin Pregnancy Weeks 32-34
- Twin Pregnancy Weeks 35+
- Second Trimester Pregnancy Essentials
- Pittsburgh Family Baby Shower
- Aviation Themed Baby Shower in Asheville
- Luau Couples Baby Shower