Friday, March 14, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Amber Massey

Every Friday we will be featuring a Twin Birth Story! We're each going to share our own and then we'd love to share yours! If you'd like to contribute, email us at and we'll get you started!

Name: Amber Massey

Where do you currently live (city/state)?  Argyle, Texas

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 6 weeks and 2 days! We did a single round of Clomid (50mg) and went in for the follow-up sonogram after I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks. SO excited and pretty shocked when the sonographer nonchalantly said, "Well... how do you feel about twins?"

Any issues during your pregnancy? At 24 weeks my OB proactively placed me on 'home bound' status (no longer working, no driving, and minimal housework- off my feet as much as possible). At my 26 week appointment we discovered pretty severe funneling and shortened cervical length, even though two weeks before everything was perfectly fine and I had a 'cervix of steel' according to my OB. I was put to bed (at home) and within five days the funneling had resolved itself and my cervix 'grew' 2 inches. I stayed in bed for the remainder of my pregnancy... and will probably be the only person to ever admit that I loved (like, a little too much...) bed rest! 

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant:  There were so many. If I could go back and re-live my twin pregnancy I would do so in a heartbeat. My most memorable moment was lying awake at 3:30 am (every morning) and feeling my babies move. It was at 3:30 am one morning when I felt Jolie (who was really low and wedged in my pelvis) get the hiccups. In. My. Butt. It was the strangest and most remarkable thing to feel. She had the hiccups every morning from that day forward. 

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Go to sleep. I miss sleep! As a new mom then and a mother of toddlers now, I don't sleep enough. I was once up multiple times a night with newborns, and now I stay up late to get things done and have "me" time. I've learned to run off as much as 7 hours and as little as 3... a lifestyle I think most mothers become accustomed to. 

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 37 weeks, 1 day  

Baby A's Information: Jolie Grace
December 6th, 2012
4 pounds, 8 ounces
18 inches long

Baby B's Information: Parker Jane
December 6th, 2012
5 pounds 13 1/2 ounces
18 inches long

Are your twins identical? No.

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery?
C-Section- I remember that day tons of people came in and out informing me their part in the surgery to come - respiratory therapist (for the girls), NICU nurses, my nurses, anesthesiologists, and my OB, Dr. Walsh. I was wheeled in the operating room all alone- Jordan was in his 'bunny suit' sitting outside the OR waiting until after my epidural had been placed before being allowed in with me to hold my hand. I say alone- there were about 14 people in the room with me. four nurses (two per baby), two respiratory therapists, two anesthesiologists, two NICU nurses (one for each baby), Dr. Walsh, and another doctor to assist was there, too.  After the spinal block was in place, on the table I went- legs and upper body completely numb. The nurse gave me a warm blanket and a tube of hot air to hold- I assume this was to prevent the 'shakes' everyone talked about that comes along with the epidural. I never got those. Instead- my blood pressure crashed. Three times. Each time I woke up feeling like I was going to hurl (I never did). Finally I was stabilized and felt normal- well, as much as I could feel normal, but still be in a fog. Surgery began. The only feeling I remember was the feeling as if an elephant was sitting on my chest. SO much pressure- but Jordan ensured me all was just fine. I don't know what I would have done without him right there in my ear- whispering encouragements and repeating over and over his love for me and how proud he was of me. (There is nothing like hearing those things from the love of your life. Nothing.) Finally I heard cries. Baby Jolie was out.  I could see the warming station she was placed on and I was so concerned because I just wanted to hear something from someone- anything. How she was? Was she okay? How much did she weigh? How is her color? Two minutes later Parker was out, screaming like her sister.. with her cord wrapped around her neck twice. Nothing of concern as Dr.Walsh easily slipped it from around her neck, but it would have been a problem if I would have tried to labor these girls rather than do a C-section. Finally I heard that both girls were healthy. It was time to meet my girls. Miss Parker Jane was first and then Jordan brought me my beautiful Jolie Grace. Both Jordan and I were in tears. All we could do was cry.

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? Nope! There was concern that Jolie would be sent due to her size, but our little Jolie is such a fighter. She beat a NICU stay due to low birth weight by 49 grams.  She kept up with her (bigger) sister and rocked it through feedings and acted like a 'normal' baby. There were 3 sets of twins born that day. Ours were the smallest of all- and the only set that did not have a stay in the NICU.

Did you have any complications after delivery?  During the following days post-c-section, I was in pretty bad shape. The epidural made me so nauseated on the first night and then came the pain. Bed rest for 3+ months did me no good at all for recovery. I had lost a lot of muscle mass and strength and the c-section pain brought me to tears on multiple occasions- ok, it brought me to tears always. The second day was the worst day- and finally day three I started feeling like a normal person again.

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? 5 days

Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night?  The first night we elected to have them in the room with us. I couldn't sleep a wink- I was up checking on them every 10 minutes. On the second night and remainder of our stay we sent them out at 10 pm after their final feeding with me before bed and allowed the nursery to bottle feed them for one feeding and then returned them to me at 3am. Those five hours were amazing!

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 
1.Cardigan. I decided to bring my sweater cardigan on a whim as we were walking out the door and I am SO glad I did! It was perfect for keeping me cozy while in my room and kept me comfortable and not-so-self conscious with my post-delivery body while walking the halls.
2.Burts Bee's Hydrating Lip Balm. Hospital air is DRY. I was thankful to have this on my side table to moisten my lips during those (multiple) midnight feedings.
3.Maternity Leggings. After birth I still had a belly that measured like I was five months pregnant. The under the belly panel on my favorite (Gap) maternity leggings was perfect for comfort not to mention good for the c-section incision.

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital:  The very first night. I was exhausted and hadn't slept in over 24 hours but there was no time for sleep at that point. I was doing skin to skin with my sweet baby B (Parker) and I could see my amazing husband and now father to my two daughters doing the same with our tiny baby A (Jolie). It was in this moment that I realized I couldn't imagine my life being any different and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. A mommy.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be?  Follow the directions of your medical team. If it weren't for my amazing team of doctors and nurses I wouldn't have been prepared for the journey of carrying twins. They laid out each detail and recommendation as well as advised me to be mindful that this was no ordinary pregnancy. When My OB put me on bed rest I was SERIOUS about the entire thing and became "the most compliant patient" according to her. 

Amber's Personal Blog: 3 Ladies & Their Gent

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  1. Love reading labor stories - especially for twins!

  2. That's amazing they were the smallest of three sets of twins that day and were the healthiest! I bet you were one proud mama! Congrats!

  3. it sounds a lot like my experience just a few weeks ago! I love this blog! I'm eager for more topics too! Especially sleep questions relating to twins. How do you get them into the same room together without their cries waking each other up. Can you "Cry It Out" with twins? etc etc!!

  4. I love reading your story again! It made me go back and read the one I wrote for my sweet lovey born on December 17, 2012. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your sweet story. My twins were born at 36 weeks and everyone was so amazed that I lasted that long. I too recall all of the people in the OR before we got started and all I wanted was my husband. It seemed like forever before they let him come in.

    Baby A was a girl and she weighed 7.7lbs and Baby B was a boy weighing 7.14lbs. It was a whole lost of babies! Baby B was in the NICU a few hours for breathing difficulties and he could not pass his hearing test until after we went home but all ended up being ok. I ended up having Bell's Palsy the day after I came home from the hospital. Not a fun experience. They think my immune system was just so weak and like you, I had not been sleeping for weeks. My babies are 2 1/2 now and it was all so worth it!