***This post is very long and includes a lot of little details mostly so I can always remember them!***
Let's talk about the craziest morning ever.
Monday morning I woke up in a lot of pain. Chris's alarm was going off but he kept snoozing it so we could cuddle, but I was shaking my legs vigorously to help with the pain. He just thought I had to pee ;) I wasn't sure if I was having real contractions so I started timing them on an app on my phone. They were regular but I was trying to pass them off as Braxton Hicks because I didn't believe I could actually be in labor at 35 weeks when it seemed like I was going to be pregnant forever. I told Chris that I was in a lot of pain but I wasn't too worried so I sent him off to work.
Things escalated quickly. My contractions were about 4 minutes apart and a minute long. I was aware of the 4-1-1 rule, but I just dismissed it. I had 4 minutes to wash the dishes then crumble in pain. Then 4 minutes to try and do my makeup. And 4 minutes to get dressed then crumble in pain again. The worst part was that it was all in my back and no position helped. It got to a point when I realized this could actually be happening. I told Chris to get home ASAP and I started finalizing everything in my hospital bag. He had to take a train all the way to get home, but it went by fast. Before I knew it he was changing out of his work clothes and we were on our way to the hospital. Thankfully it's only about a 5 minute drive away. I remember telling Chris that I was afraid they were going to send me home despite the awful pain I was in. We arrived at Labor & Delivery and were checked in fast because I pre-registered (an absolute must!). They wheeled me in to a delivery room and I changed into my gown all while I was begging Chris to rub my back through each contraction. My sweet nurse Marianne calmly asked me some questions, took my vitals, hooked up monitors, did an ultrasound to check their positions, had someone else come and check the ultrasound, then FINALLY checked my cervix. She calmly said, "you are complete" and promptly started calling everyone. Complete? Like fully dilated? Chris asked what that meant and she just turned to me and asked if I felt like I needed to push. What?! At that point things were really rolling. My nurse was paging everyone again and got the anesthesiologist in my room in the blink of an eye. I was worried it was too late for an epidural, but they said as long as I could stay still long enough they could do it. While I was getting the epidural and spinal block, people were in and out of my room getting everything ready. I was in so much pain I didn't care what they thought of me. After what felt like an electric shock in my leg, the numbing started to spread, but unfortunately didn't numb the feeling of back contractions. Next thing I knew my doctor was there and I was wheeled into the OR. I could not believe how fast she got there. She was literally in my room 10 minutes after she was called from her office.
I remember the OR being really bright with equipment everywhere. There were at least 10 people in the room including nurses from the NICU for the babies, nurses and doctors for me, and a med student that looked like he was a little lost. I couldn't believe everything was happening so fast! I was only in labor for 4 hours and was in the OR ready to push only an hour after getting to the hospital. I was excited and in pain at the same time. My husband was awesome in encouraging me to push and knew what to do even though we never took a birthing class. After a little pushing there was a little wiggling baby boy placed on my tummy. It was amazing!
He was taken over to be checked and cleaned and I couldn't take my eyes off him. My little boy was perfect. A couple minutes later it was time to push again. Chris would look down at me and count to 10, and I would start to laugh because he had the most handsome blue eyes and I was just so happy this was happening. After the first push or so my doctor said that this was going to take some really big pushes to get baby girl out fast or I was at high risk of getting a c-section. I pushed the best I could considering I couldn't feel anything. It was like telling your brain to just do it because you weren't really sure you were pushing or not. I had a least 5 people telling me to push, that I was doing amazing, and that she was almost here. It only took about 4 pushes and a tiny beautiful girl was placed on my chest. I feel in love all over again! They were born exactly 10 minutes apart and I only had to push for about 15 minutes total. I was SO blessed to have such a quick and easy delivery. Little baby boy entered the world at 10:47am weighing 5lbs 11oz and sweet baby girl arrived at 10:57am weighing 5lbs 1oz.
I got to do some skin to skin with baby boy as they worked on the afterbirth. Delivering the placentas isn't the best feeling in the world but I didn't care because I had my precious son with me. I'm positive Chris saw way way more than he wanted to! He was pretty freaked out when he saw my doctor elbow deep in my uterus. I just wish there was a mirror because I was very curious about how all this worked. Both babies did great on their Apgar tests and were allowed to spend in hour with us back in our room before going to the NICU for further checking. I got to hold them together on the way to the room...I never thought it was going to be 4 days until I got to see them together again. My doctor came to my room and just hung out with us for about 45 minutes. She said it was way better than going back to the office and doing clinic hours. We talked about names and she helped me breastfeed a little. They were some very surreal precious moments. My husband was beaming, I could tell he was one proud daddy. We decided on the name Boston for our little boy, but didn't have a middle name yet. We named our precious girl Lyla.
Eventually they had to take the twins away so Chris went with them to help with their first bath. I was alone with the nurse for awhile while she finished up a bunch of paperwork. Then I moved upstairs to the maternity ward. I was alone for awhile...it was hard going from the hustle and bustle of delivering two precious babies to being all alone, but I was happy Chris could be with the twins. I finally got to go down to the NICU and feed Boston. He was doing great and didn't have to be admitted, but Lyla did have to be admitted due to low blood sugar and would need an IV. It was really hard leaving her behind and getting to keep Boston with us. The rest of the evening was a blur. I remember telling our families the happy news and falling asleep watching Tarzan then being woken up all hours of the night to feed Boston, get my vitals checked, take some pills, or have my uterus what I like to call "kneaded".
Six in the morning came too fast. I met my new nurses, spoke with the twin's pediatrician, and got checked by my delivery team and anesthesiologist. The rest of the day was back and forth between the NICU and my room. Boston wasn't allowed to go back in the NICU so we were constantly juggling the twins between the 3 floors. Thankfully the nursery could take care of Boston so that Chris and I could visit Lyla together. When we would visit Lyla her nurse would have us do her "cares" which consisted of taking her temperature, changing her diaper, and feeding her. They were slowing weaning her off her IV based on her blood sugar levels which needed to be above 45. Our poor thing had to stay a second night in the NICU. Chris and I had a special congratulatory dinner from the hospital that evening. I was happy he finally got some real food since he was living off the crackers, Lorna Doones, and oatmeal stashed in the refreshments room.
Tuesday night was rough. I stayed with Lyla in the NICU until about 2am when I came upstairs to feed Boston and sleep. At this point I was pushing a wheelchair for support instead of having to ride in one. I ended up only sleeping 1 hour that night. While I was sleeping I was again awakened by people drawing blood, giving me more pills, pushing on my uterus, and checking my vitals. When Chris woke up we went to the NICU to be with Lyla. I fell asleep in the chair while waiting for Lyla to be ready to feed. I had a pounding headache that was making any conversation hard. After going back upstairs we met again with the pediatrician about Boston's circumcision. It was done fast and we were told he was a total champ. My anesthesiologist stopped by again to check up on how I was feeling. I told him that yesterday I had a dull headache, but today it was much more severe. He told me to lay flat and in under a minute the headache was much better. At that point he explained to me that I had a spinal headache and he strongly, and I mean strongly, recommended I get a blood patch. I told him we would think about it, but not long after I said yes please and it was done. Basically I had spinal fluid leak out from the epidural and spinal block which changed the the fluid pressure around the spinal cord and brain resulting in a terrible no good headache. He took blood from my arm and inserted it into where my anesthetic was injected. It was like getting another epidural, but without the actual numbing. The blood would clot and seal the hole where the leak was. I had to lay flat for an hour after so I finally got a little more sleep. Lunch woke me up and I finally had an appetite. I had a turkey and provolone sandwich that was so good I still think about it. Chris came back after being in the NICU and told me the hard news that Lyla wouldn't be able to come home with us today.
I started to gently cry and then sob after Chris showed me a present he bought for her in the gift shop after hearing the news. He bought some little bows and glue for her hair. It was the saddest and most tender moment from our stay in the hospital. It broke my heart. Lyla's blood sugars were stable now, but she lost too much weight and needed further monitoring. Our little girl was down to 4lbs 10oz. We visited her again and just relished in how perfect and small she was. All over the NICU they had the Dr. Seuss quote, "A person's a person, no matter how small." I wanted to cry every time I read it.
We were supposed to be discharged by 11 that morning, but the blood patch pushed our discharge to that afternoon. Then my doctor was no where to be found. She finally came in around 4 to approve my discharge. I had been stressed trying to figure out how that night was going to work with going back and forth from home to the NICU to feed my babies. A hospital hotel stay was mentioned several times, but we thought it would be too expensive until we asked how much it was and to our surprise it was free. (I really don't think it was free. I think they didn't charge us because of our special circumstance.) Instantly I knew that's what we should do. We got to stay in our room, but we had no nursing or nursery services. It was actually kind of nice not having people constantly checking up on us. Although it was weird hearing this whole hospital world outside our door that we were no longer apart of. It kind of makes you feel out of place, however we were so grateful that the night would go much smoother.
Thursday morning I went down to be with Lyla and was overjoyed to hear that she would likely come home with us that day. I got to be there for her rounds where all the staff meet together and discuss Lyla's progress. It was at that point where they said she could be discharged that day. I wanted to cry! I went upstairs to watch Boston as Chris loaded the car and then he went and got Lyla. It was the best feeling taking them home and seeing the two of them together for the first time since Monday. They slept side by side for hours. We are in total awe and love being a family. A lovely lady from our church brought us dinner and we just hung out the rest of the evening, soaking in every moment. The hospital stay was long, yet brief at the same time. Giving birth to twins was such an incredible experience I wish I could live over and over again. I am so thankful that I have the chance to be a mom and even more thankful to my Heavenly Father to know that my family is forever.