Being pregnant with and giving birth to twins didn’t leave much time or energy to blog about the experience. I find my memories getting fainter and fainter, here it is, as best as I remember it:
God was so good to me through this pregnancy. I made it to 37 weeks, 1 day, which is exactly what the doctors wanted. As far as mono-di pregnancies go, this one was textbook. Every appointment, every sonogram was a good report. More often than not, I’d hear, ‘Everything looks perfect.’
Perfect. Who would have thought?
The home stretch during the last trimester wasn’t without incident, though. I fell on the ice in my driveway and had to spend a night in the hospital for monitoring. They couldn’t control my gestational diabetes through diet or pills, so I had to take insulin shots daily. The last few weeks, instead of one daily shot of lovenox, I had to take 2 shots of heparin; that was for my auto-immune blood-clotting issues.
Small matters compared to having healthy babies.
I worked until 34 1/2 weeks, and that was probably a week too long. I waddled my way through the hallways, getting open stares at my belly from the little kids as I walked by. I couldn’t stand for more than a few minutes at a time; I was out of breath when I was teaching. Dropping something on the floor was almost enough to bring me to tears – how in the world was ever going to reach that???
Going to the store and standing on line was out of the question. Sleep was anything but restful. Trying to roll from side to side was a feat of strength; when I paused on my back to take a break, I felt like a Mack truck had parked on my belly.
I had a few weeks off from work before I gave birth, just as I had hoped. My mom and I were busy shopping and nesting. My dad was gracious enough to do some construction on the babies’ room and kitchen. It wasn’t the restful start to my leave that I envisioned,, but it was all worth it for Babies A and B.
This is what I was looking like by the end.
My doctor and I had a few conversations about the birthing plan. Baby A was head down, and Baby B, who had been transverse (horizontal), was now breech. Rather than risk complications with a breech natural birth, I opted for a c-section. It was a no-brainer for me. I just wanted those babies out as quickly as possible.
We talked about a date. Between 36-37 weeks was ideal. Too early and the babies might not be fully developed, especially their lungs; too late, and there was the risk of ‘fetal demise.’ I almost questioned her as to what that meant, but then that scary phrase took shape in my mind: I could lose the babies if we waited too long.
We landed on April 2 as a first choice. Turns out, lots of people wanted April 2. And April 3. And March 30 and 31. But April 1 was wide open – for obvious reasons. My doctor didn’t feel comfortable waiting until the next week, so April 1 it was, as much as I internally protested. April Fool’s? Really? I had to remind myself that timing was everything. A less-than-desirable due date was clearly the least of my concerns. However, we were put on a ‘waiting list’ for April 2, if someone ended up going early.
All was pretty uneventful until Friday, March 27. I was 36 weeks, 2 days, by that point, and I went in for my sonogram (by this point, I was going in 2x a week ). Well, at this sono, they couldn’t get a good measurement of Baby A’s head because his position was so low. According to the measurement, it looked like he hadn’t grown in two weeks. The knot in my stomach grew, and all I could think was, ‘Well, here it is. This is it. This is where it goes bad. Only a matter of time.’
My doctors weren’t overly concerned. Everything else looked ‘perfect;’ they were certain that the discrepancy was just because they couldn’t get a good read.
Well, that wasn’t good enough for me. The fears and anxieties that I had managed to keep at bay for most of the pregnancy came on in full force, and I just didn’t have the mental strength to fight it. That phrase, ‘fetal demise,’ was deafening in my brain.
All I could think was, ‘What if we got this far and screw it up this last week?’ I had worked desperately hard to take care of myself, to take care of the babies all pregnancy long. Prayed my guts out. Taken every precaution. Followed every old wives’ tale. What if, this last week, we do something wrong, make a bad decision? What if something was wrong and we wait too long? What if we get to 36 weeks, and then we lose them? I was still a week away from April 2 (yes, we got April 2). Maybe we should just go ahead and take them early.
The doctors still felt we should wait til April 2. My husband felt like we shouldn’t cower to fear and just trust God and the doctors. Me, I wasn’t so convinced. What if….?
Ultimately, it came down to the reality that God had gotten us through to this point, I needed to trust Him down to those last few days and hours, right to the very end.
I suffered through the weekend, vacillating between faith and fear. Against all better judgment, I googled ‘fetal demise,’ and that always makes you feel better, right? There were women who insisted that anything over 36 weeks was risky.
More often than not, fearful images larger-than-life tormented me all weekend long. I was counting every kick and movement but still wasn’t convinced. Was that Baby A or B moving? Were they still okay?
My next sonogram on Monday seemed light years away. I just needed assurance that everything was okay. I went in Monday – and it was. The sono showed the same thing: couldn’t get a good read on Baby A, but the babies were fine – heartbeats were strong, blood flow was strong. So, dragging my heels the entire way, we decided to wait it out.
Now, we were down to days… even hours. The babies’ room was done. The clothes were washed and put away. The furniture was built and set up. My husband and I went on our last pre-children dinner date. We were ready.
This was my Facebook post the night before I went to the hospital:
“It’s been counting down months, then weeks, then days…and finally, we are down to hours (16, by the way). Tomorrow at noon, we finally get to welcome Baby A and Baby B to the world! I don’t really have the words to express how excited and how thankful I am to have reached this point. Completely overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness to us through this pregnancy. I am so in love with these babies already, and I am SO READY to finally meet them face to face! Can’t wait! Just 16 more hours.”
Just one more sleep….
To Be Continued in Part 2