I got hooked up with a local Moms of Twins group while I was pregnant with the girls. They held monthly meetings down at the hospital. I went a few times before I had the girls, watching in amazement as all these little people, some who looked exactly alike and some who didn't or weren't even the same sex, crawled all over their mamas while we snacked and chatted. Could I really do this?
With my first child, I waited tables and bartended until 3 days before I gave birth. With the twins, I only gained about 30 pounds, but I was terribly sick for nearly the entire pregnancy. I had high blood pressure starting at 27 weeks, I ended up on bedrest at 30 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital twice from my doctors office, I couldn't eat anything except ice pops in plastic wrappers for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy without throwing up. I was miserable.
One Friday afternoon around 4:30 I had this awful headache that would not go away. I had been warned about this being a side effect of HBP. I called my doctors office and asked how long I should wait after taking several Tylenol to see if the headache went away. It had already been 2 hours. I talked to the nurse, I was put on hold, I was told to come on to the hospital. I didn't want to go again. I didn't want to be 'observed'. I wanted to sleep and not hurt. I asked her if I could wait for my husband to come home, it would just be another hour or so. I swear I will go as soon as he gets home. I have a 4 year old, I can't just take myself and her to the hospital.
I called dear husband, I warned him we had to go. We arrived at the hospital around 6pm. I was poked, prodded, blood drawn, blood pressure taken, peed in the cup, monitored, IV ran, and fed. Husband rented a movie, my father-in-law took my oldest. We settled in. About 3am I woke up and had to use the restroom. As I was getting out of bed, I felt the warm gush of fluid run down my leg. I called the nurse. My water broke. I woke up husband. My doctor was called. My girls are fraternal and were in seperate sacs, but one of them was mercifully ready to be born.
The ultrasound technician came and did a quick scan. Both babies heads were down, all was well. The anesthesiologist came in and ran an epidural, just in case we had to do an emergency ceserean, and because having twins is tough. About 8:30 my doctor arrived. I was dilated to 6. At 9:15 the nurse checked again, we were ready to go. I was wheeled to the operating room as a precaution. I couldn't focus but I was trying to follow directions. There were so many people: each baby had 4 nurses, I had 4 nurses, the doctor, anesthesiologist, his assistant, and 3 emergency room nurses in case we had a problem.
The first baby, Child #2, came right along. I tried to crane my neck to watch the nurses. I tried to hear her cry and couldn't. I kept asking my husband if she was okay. The nurses kept asking me to pay attention, there was still one more. One nurse climbed up on a stepstool and started smashing my stomach, trying to pin down the baby still inside. Child #3 was being difficult, trying to turn around. The nurse shoved her in the right direction as hard as she could. I was thankful for the epidural. Unfortunately for this one, she was face up instead of face down. Babies don't fit well that way, and she ended up with a huge bruised forehead.
As soon as I saw her being taken to the warming bed to be cleaned up everything went black. I don't remember the next 3 days. What I do know is that I started having seizures. My blood pressure was too high. I was given all sorts of medicines to try to help. I couldn't have visitors, I couldn't have lights on, I couldn't have tv. The nurses told my husband it was serious. I needed to remain calm. My HBP was life-threatening. Truth is, I didn't have a clue where I was. A few times my husband brought the babies to me. I was delirious and swore he kept bringing me the same one. I wanted to know what happened to the other one. There are pictures and video dear husband took of the babies with me during those days that I don't remember him taking.
Once the fog cleared and the medicine kicked in things got much better. I was sore, but the babies were fine less the bruised forehead. We all went home a few days later. I was scared to death of them. So tiny. They needed to eat every 2 hours and it took an hour for me to feed them both. I didn't sleep more than 30 minutes at a time for the next 2 months. Everything I did was in a fog. Eventually it got better. They slept more, I slept more, they ate real food, I ventured out of the house with them. I went back to my Moms of Twins meetings. They held babies, brought food, offered encouragement. I would not have made it without them.
Yesterday, those tiny little babies turned 8 years old. When I brought them home I would never have imagined we would make it this far. I watched those women with older twins, triplets & quads and marveled at how big their children seemed, and I couldn't imagine that I would ever be the one with the toddlers offering advice on breastfeeding and starting table food. Or the one with Kindergartners offering advice on potty training. We fed, we napped, we potty trained, we played, we swam, we went to school- all the milestones I couldn't imagine. I look at them now and can't believe we did it. They are beautiful, smart little girls. They made it. And so did I.