The birth of my daughters seems like eons ago, yet I vividly remember that day like it was yesterday. As I sit here pondering about my unexpected delivery, their NICU stay, and my post partum re-admittance to the hospital, I am still in disbelief and am honored that I was able to experience pregnancy, delivery, and becoming a mommy. Here is part one of their birth story that will forever be cherished.
Monday, June 1, 2015– I had eagerly waited for this day for numerous reasons. Firstly, I was 34 weeks 1 day pregnant which according to my doctors was outstanding for having a high risk pregnancy with twins. Every Sunday my mom would call me and we would celebrate another week in the books. I wondered how much longer I could go though because I was having an extreme amount of pelvic pressure due to Baby A being head down in my birthing canal and having contractions. I knew it was just a matter of time. Secondly, I had made it to June which was my long term goal all along. I knew that if my babies were to come now they would more than likely be able to breathe on their own without assistance. Lastly, this was going to be the day that we tentatively scheduled my c-section. I was hoping to make it 38 weeks which just happened to be my 30th birthday. I had always wanted two kids by the time I was thirty and that dream was going to finally come true. All I can say is God works in mysterious ways and His timing truly is perfect.
A couple of times I was admitted into L&D.
Ever since I was 30 weeks pregnant Eric and I had our bags packed, video camera charged, car seats installed, and birthing photographer on speed dial in case at one of my appointments we were told we would be meeting our girls that day. Throughout my pregnancy we had multiple appointments a week with Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) and my OB. The further I progressed in my pregnancy the more appointments we had. At my OB appointment the nurse informed me that my blood pressure was high which was surprising. My entire pregnancy my blood pressure was normal and/or low which was remarkable for carrying multiples. My doctor examined me and then had the nurse recheck my blood pressure. She gave me orders to go to the hospital and check-in on the 7th floor where Labor & Delivery was located. I didn’t think twice about it because it seemed like I was becoming a frequent flyer there in the last few weeks. I had been admitted overnight a few times due to the girls’ heart rates decelerating, failed non-stress tests, and a scare of what I thought was amniotic fluid leaking. I knew the routine. I would be hooked up to multiple monitors to check for contractions and to monitor the girls’ heart rates, get hooked up to an IV, have my blood drawn, get “checked” (ouch!), and have an ultrasound to show the girls’ activity and growth.
When Eric and I left the OB office it was lunch time so I told him we had to eat before going to the hospital because once I get admitted I wouldn’t be allowed to eat. We had narrowed it down between Five Guys and Chipotle. I chose Chipotle. I had a delicious burrito fajita bowl with chicken, guacamole, chips, and water. I was nice and full when we left. We checked into L &D and within minutes everything that I had assumed was going to happen did. I was transported down to MFM to have my ultrasound where they did measurements of the girls. They informed me of their weights and went to discuss the findings with the doctor. I got into the wheelchair awaiting transportation back to my room and expressed my concern about Baby B (Bella) not growing as fast as her sister to Eric. We came to the assumption that everything would be fine because hopefully I could make it a few more weeks and she could catch up. The ultrasound tech entered the exam room and told us that the high risk doctor was calling my OB because I had to deliver the babies that day due to Bella having Intra Uterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). She barely grew from the last appointment and her placenta was dying off. This news took me by complete surprise! A rush of emotions consumed me as my heart sank into my chest. I was in denial. I told the tech that I wanted to speak with my OB. I was hoping to keep them in as long as possible. I knew they were going to be tiny and, quite frankly, I was scared. I was hoping to have a scheduled c-section and be more prepared mentally for what was to come. Eric excitedly exclaimed, “We’re going to meet our girls today!” Just the night before I was celebrating my grandma’s 75th birthday with my family as they felt my baby bump and were guessing when they would be born. Not even 24 hours later I was going to give birth. The day I had awaited for countless years was upon us.
Our view from my room on the 7th floor. God was watching over us.
When I returned to my room I received a phone call from my OB and she agreed with the high risk doctor. Luckily, my OB was on call that night and would be performing the delivery. Moments later, the anesthesiologist entered the room asking a list of questions. One of his first questions was when was the last time I ate and what did I have. I proceeded to tell him that I had eaten about an hour ago and had Chipotle. Due to this I had to wait at least eight hours with nothing to drink or eat before my surgery could be performed. I also had to wait on twin boys that were going to be delivered right before my twin girls. 🙂 In a way, I was glad I had time to let it sink in that I was going to be a mommy sooner than I imagined.
The nursing staff was great and relieved a lot of my fears by talking me through every step of the way. Ironically, my nurse happened to be my birthing instructor. Even though I was in the hospital room for hours, it seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Before I knew it Eric and I were saying a prayer and then I nervously got into a wheelchair to head down for surgery as he gave me a kiss goodbye. The fear of the unknown was enough to make me teary-eyed. As I entered the operating room, I saw familiar faces, which was reassuring. Since I work at the hospital I was delivering at I knew almost the entire staff. They didn’t mess around and before I knew it I was sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning forward getting my spinal. I can honestly say that my biggest fear was getting that spinal because I’ve heard some horror stories about them. In my opinion a bee sting hurts worse than that poke. It didn’t take me long to realize why they rushed to get me into the correct position on the table. My legs quickly became numb extending all the way up to my chest. I was given a catheter which I obviously didn’t feel, and the room quickly became crowded with countless residents, respiratory therapists, nurses, and a NICU team for each girl. I could smell my own skin burning as they cut down the layers to get to my uterus. I felt a lot of pressure. I began feeling nauseous and immediately regretted my decision of eating Chipotle hours earlier. I started burping it up and was given medication to help with the nausea a few times.
I couldn’t have asked for a better nurse anesthetist. Having one of the best views in the room, he was able to inform me of what was happening. I felt more pressure and tugging and glanced at the clock when they said Baby A (Brooklyn) was born at 9:03pm. I was waiting for that bourning cry and could tell by the commotion in the room that something wasn’t right. I never heard her cry. I was told that she took in a big gulp of amniotic fluid while they were pulling her out. Exactly two minutes later at 9:05pm Baby B (Bella) was born and I could hear her cry. It was music to my ears. I heard my doctor chuckle and say how feisty this twin was. Bella had grabbed onto her gown and wouldn’t let go. 🙂 After much encouragement, Eric trimmed both of the girls’ umbilical cords and Bella was handed to him. The nurse anesthetist described what each twin looked like saying they had a lot of hair and were tiny. My birthing photographer showed me pictures of moments she captured on her camera since I couldn’t see anything. I thought it would help prepare me for how little Bella was. It didn’t. She was SO tiny. I reached out and touched her little hand for just a few seconds before they rushed both girls to the NICU. Eric and I began to sob. I had tears of joy and concern as I worried about my girls. I never even got to see my first born, Brooklyn. I began to shake uncontrollably and itch due to the drugs as they sutured me back up. Eric went to the NICU with the birthing photographer to see our girls. I wanted him there with them. I went to recovery and a couple hours later Eric showed me pictures and videos that he took of our little miracles.
Bella (her hand is always on her face)
First picture of them together.
Eric sharing the news with our family.
5lbs. 2oz. 16 1/2 inches long
Meaning of name:
Water. Eric proposed to me underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC and asked the night of the proposal that if we ever had a girl her name be Brooklyn. June means Young and was the month I was born.
3lbs. 5oz. 16 inches long
Meaning of name: Derived from Isabella which means God’s Promise. Bella also means beautiful. Jean means Gift from God. Jean is also in memory of Eva Jean Witten, Grandma Hurless’ sister.
The girls’ birth story was nothing how I imagined nor had planned. To this day I still cannot eat Chipotle. (Give me time though because it’s one of my favorite fast food places. 🙂 ) Whenever I drive by one I can’t help but smile remembering the events that took place on that special day. I’m realizing that sometimes the best things in life aren’t planned. Eric and I were just so thankful that our girls made it safe and sound. Despite all of the unknowns I couldn’t believe that I was a mommy and was eager to see my girls in person.