Friday, March 28, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Erika Lee

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Name: Erika Lee

Where do you currently live (city/state)? McKinney, TX
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 8 weeks

Any issues during your pregnancy? I had a super easy pregnancy with the twins, and was blessed with very few complications until the very end. Around 34 weeks at a normal baby-check visit, my blood pressure was unusually high. I was admitted to the hospital that afternoon and stayed for exactly 14 days until the babies were born. When I arrived, most of the nurses told me I would deliver in the next 24-48 hours, as soon as my blood pressure hit "that level."  Luckily it never did, just hovered around a high-ish mark and I had mild pre-eclampsia, swelling, etc. I had my laptop with me at the hospital and "worked" until the day I delivered. (I work from home anyway, so it was just normal to me! Haha!) What else was I supposed to do?! :)

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: 
Justin and I found out the genders of the babies early on in the pregnancy, and planned a gender reveal party for our families in Houston. We were going home for Thanksgiving, so it was the perfect time to get everyone together and make a huge announcement! We also planned to tell everyone the babies full names. I know some people prefer to keep their names a secret, and I think that is so cool, but we chose very meaningful names that we wanted to shout from the rooftops ha!

We had custom cupcakes made in Dallas, and took them with us on the 4 hour car ride down to Houston.  During our party, we gave the pink cupcake to my mom and the blue cupcake to Justin's mom. They screamed, we cried, ya know.. the whole shebang.

But the very, very best part was when we shared the names after everyone calmed down a bit.
My sister is Kayla Noel; she was born three days before Christmas. So, I always knew my first little girl would be Noelle. Just nobody else in my family did. It was so special to see the reaction I got when I announced our sweetpea - Noelle Anne.

Justin's dad is Robert, and Robert is a family name that goes generations back. Actually, he is a decendent of Robert E. Lee, cool huh?  My maiden name is O'Brien - I am Irish - and Justin loves golf. So, Keegan just fit. Robert "Keegan" Lee. His dad may or may not have shed a tear to know his grandson would share his name.

Once we shared the names, it truly felt real, and it felt real for our families. Which to me was so special.

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? I had major anxiety when I was pregnant - over the littlest things. I remember thinking, "Will so-and-so judge me because of the carseats I registered for?" "Will my parents and in-laws be able to figure out who was staying at what hotel without my help?" "Should I get Dr Brown's reuglar or wide mouth bottles?" I mean, absolutely ridiculous things. They caused me so much unnecessary stress though! I would tell myself... chill out. It's all gonna be just fine!

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 36 weeks and 6 days

Baby A's Information: Robert "Keegan" Lee
April 12, 2013
12:00 pm
4 pounds 15 oz
18 1/4 in

Baby B's Information: Noelle Anne Lee
April 12, 2013
12:02 pm
5 pounds 4 oz
19 in

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery?
C-SectionThey wheeled me down to Labor and Delivery at 10 o'clock on the dot, and I was put in a room to get monitored and start my IVs. Our families came in and visited with us and chatted, took pictures, all sorts of normal pre-baby stuff! It was a really sweet, surreal time preparing for delivery. The anesthesiologist came and talked to us. He mentioned that since my blood pressure had been so high due to pre-eclampsia, that I would likely feel light-headed after the epidural because that makes your blood pressure drop. I still felt really calm through the whole thing - I was ready to go.

They wheeled me into the delivery room by myself to get the epidural. It was a weird experience. There were tons of people in the room setting up the stations for the twins. The epidural didn't hurt at all. It literally felt like a shot. I instantly went numb and couldn't lift my legs. They laid me back on the table and the doc started asking me how I felt. The next few minutes were yucky. I was kind of nauseous, light-headed, etc. But as soon as I told them how I was feeling, they adjusted the meds and got me feeling stable. The anesthesiologist took an ice pack and moved it from my legs up to my face to see when I could feel the cold. I didn't feel it until it was on my forehead! He actually joked and said next time I do this to let them know I am "extra sensitive" to epidurals. What the heck?! Then he pulled out his iPhone and texted my doctor to let her know I was ready. (Technology is crazy, right??) Her reply to his text: "Let's do this!" A couple minutes later she came strolling in with another doctor from the practice to assist her because it was twins. By this time Justin was in the room standing right next to me and I could see him looking around soaking everything in.

At 12:10, our sweet Keegan entered the world screaming. I did not feel one single thing during my surgery. No pressure, pulling, tugging, nothing. Justin watched the entire thing! At 12:12, Noelle was born. She was also crying, but not as loudly as her brother. The next few minutes were kind of a blur. I remember Justin going over to be by the babies while they were getting weighed and cleaned up, and I also remember hearing lots of voices talking about Noelle and her breathing and coloring. While I was getting stitched up, one of the nurses came over to tell me they were taking Noelle to NICU to get checked out - so she and Justin left. I laid there for a little while longer, the doctors said bye, and I was wheeled to the recovery room. Kind of a weird moment, but I wasn't scared or nervous for some reason.

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? Noelle was a dusty rose color when she was born and was breathing quickly. She was whisked away to the NICU immediately; they originally thought she had fluid in her lungs. When her breathing didn't slow down in a few hours they realized she just needed a bit of support since her lungs just weren't quite where they needed to be. She spent 5 days in NICU, and 5 days in the Special Care Nursery. (This is a nursery for less-critical babies who still needed medical support in a hospital). The 5 days in Special Care were spent "Feeding & Growing" and she did great. The most challenging thing for me was that Keegan and I had been discharged on day 4 of her NICU stay, so trying to juggle breastfeeding, pumping, and a 30 minute drive to the hospital was really tough. I couldn't drive because of my c-section, so I had to rely on rides and make sure someone was also home with Keegan. Tough stuff.

Did you have any complications after delivery? After my c-section my uterus did not contract. I was in the post-partum area for almost seven hours (with Keegan) - so I was able to breastfeed right away. My nurses were just so amazing. There was a time when they thought they would have to bring me back into the operating room to see if they could contract my uterus - I lost a ton, ton of blood and they had transfusion blood ready for me. They finally were able to "manually massage" (yes, about as awful as that sounds) my uterus to get it to contract. Even though it was a horrible few hours, I wasn't scared or upset at all. Hard to explain, but having the nurses there and their help with nursing allowed me to focus on just one thing.

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? Friday - Tuesday

Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night?  Keegan stayed with us in our room, Noelle was in NICU. We would take Keegan to the hospital nursery for a few hours at a time while we went to NICU to see Noelle.

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 
I was at the hospital for 14 days before I delivered, and had not packed an "official" hospital bag. I had to rely on my husband to find everything I needed to bring to me!!  I was super glad to have hats, mittens and aden & anais swaddle blankets for the babies. Especially with Noelle in NICU - she could use these things even if I couldn't put her in the cute outfits I brought at first.  I wish I would have had more clothes for me, but I really didn't need much. It was nice to have my favorite shampoos and hand lotion. I remember my hands were so dry!

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital:  My favorite moment at the hospital happened every 4 hours on the dot when my sweet nurse would bring me my pain meds. Just kidding. Sort of. :) No, my very favorite moment was the very first night the twins were born. Our parents came to see us in our post-partum room, but since I only had Keegan with me, they made sure to take turns going upstairs to NICU so Noelle always had company. I felt so loved knowing they were there to celebrate us and the babies; no matter what the circumstance was.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Get them on a schedule as soon as possible. It gets easier, promise. And don't stress out about what you "should" be doing with the babies. I remember feeling bummed that I couldn't baby-wear them in a moby wrap all day long or take 500 million pictures of them in adorable outfits. Because those things take time, energy and logistics that were hard to wrap my head around so early! haha. Oh and while they are itty bitty, try to get out. Feed them, stick em in a carseat and go to dinner. They'll sleep the whole 2-3 hours until its time for them to eat again. Those were fun nights. :)

Erika's Etsy shop: Crochetiquette


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  1. Love the comment about the pain meds :) Gorgeous children!

  2. My twins are exactly one week older than yours- fun times! And amen to the pain meds ;)

  3. I loved reading about your birth story - and so fun you live in McKinney. That's where I am from. I live in Dallas now but I love my OB so so so much that I stuck with her and so delivered my twins at Baylor McKinney.

    1. Lexy! Erika and I are in a wonderful Moms of Multiplies group! Check it out- we'd love for you to join! Every third Thursday at 7:00pm - AMA MOM! (Allen/McKinney Area Moms of Multiples!)