Name: Briana June
Where do you currently live? Sacramento, CA
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 8 weeks. I wasn't even expecting to be pregnant, let alone with multiples, so when the nurse said, "It looks like twins" I started shaking and couldn't wrap my head around it.
Any issues during your pregnancy? At my 12-week ultrasound the tech told me she couldn't see a membrane separating the babies and that she was going to refer me to a perinatologist. At the time I had no idea what this meant, but after seeing the perinatologist, he confirmed there was no membrane and the type of twins I was pregnant with were monoamniotic/monochorionic, or "momo" twins. This happens to 1% of twins and they incredibly high risk with a 50% chance of survival. The fact that there is no membrane means the babies cords can become entangled and cut off blood flow to one or both twins. They told me there was nothing they could do until 24 weeks of pregnancy, which is the earliest point of viability for the babies if they had to be delivered early. I would become in-patient at the hospital and be monitored three times a day for an hour each time. I checked into the hospital at 24 weeks and lived there for three months, constantly monitoring the babies until my planned c-section, unless they detected any sign of stress in which case they would emergency deliver the babies. Luckily the babies did better than we ever expected and I made it to 35.3, which is a lot longer than that sort of pregnancy usually delivers. Two healthy babies and barely any twists in the cords. They are my miracle babies for sure!
Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: Aside from the memory of feeling them move around in my belly (which is the most amazing feeling ever) a memorable moment would have to be my baby shower. Even though I was living in the hospital and had to have it there, it was so lovely. My friends and family put together such a beautiful event and SO many people I love were able to come and be a part of it. It was such a nice treat and break from the monotony of everyday hospital living.
Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Number one would definitely be SLEEP! As cliche as it sounds, it's so true. I didn't understand how much I would miss being able to just take a nap when I wanted or go to bed when I was tired. Sleep deprivation takes on a whole new meaning when you have twins.
How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 35 weeks, 3 days
Baby A's Information: Everly Jade
May 15, 2013
4 lbs 5.5 oz
Baby B's Information: Emery Olivia
May 15, 2013
4 lbs 1.9 oz
Are your twins identical? Yes
Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? I had a planned c-section. Since both babies were sharing the same sack/placenta, there was no way I would have been able to have a natural delivery.
Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? Everly Jade spent five days in the NICU because of size. Emery Olivia spent eight days in the NICU because of size and one episode of sleep apnea. Both came home healthy but very tiny.
Did you have any complications after delivery? Luckily no complications aside from slightly high blood pressure, which I had to take medication for a couple weeks. Other than that I healed fairly quickly.
How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? Aside from the three months prior, I was in the hospital three days after the babies were born.
Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night? Unfortunately, because they were admitted to the NICU initially, that is where they had to stay until they were released to go home.
What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital?
My situation was obviously unique and because I was there for so long and eventually had my own room, I pretty much had everything I needed. One of the things I am glad I had after the c-section was a heating pad for my tummy, which helped a ton with the pain. I'm also glad I had a video camera for the delivery, as a lot of it is very foggy for me and I am glad I have that to look back on.
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: My favorite hospital moment was getting to finally do skin to skin with both my girls, after hours of not being able to get in the NICU and cuddle them. They placed my two teeny tiny baby girls in my gown against my chest and it was the most amazing feeling in the world. I would have sat there all night long if I could.
If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? The advice I got most from twin moms while I was pregnant was to keep them on a schedule, and now having two ten-month-olds, I would have to say that was the best advice. We have had them scheduled since day one, as far as feedings and bedtimes/naps, and it has been very helpful to have amidst the chaos of twins that you can't control.