Friday, June 20, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Rachel Riebe

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Name: Rachel Riebe

Where do you currently live?  Taylors Falls, Minnesota

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 9 weeks
Any issues during your pregnancy? Thankfully, my pregnancy was fairly routine. I know now how uncommon this is, so I don't take it for granted.

I did fail my first gestational diabetes test and almost had a heart attack that I wouldn't be able to eat pancakes anymore. (Luckily the 3 hour test came back negative.)

Then at 36 weeks, after our weekly check in, the ultrasound showed that the girls could potentially be growth restricted due to their size. My doctor recommended inducing. Something about this felt off, so I requested another ultrasound. The size results were completely different with the second ultrasound, and showed no need for early intervention. Moral of the story - trust your instincts. I know everyone says that, but as the mother, I believe you have a special knowledge of what's best for your babies.

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant:  At 17 weeks I was still exercising at my work's gym over lunch hour. After one particularly good work out, I decided a shower was in order. (In retrospect, it probably wasn't even that good - I was just a hot mess exercising and carrying twins.)

Anyway. I grabbed two towels from the gym rack and headed to the locker room. I proceeded to undress, and then tried to wrap myself in the towels. Except that at 17 weeks, my stomach was already TOO BIG TO COVER with an average sized towel.

I was already naked, and the idea of wrestling my spandex workout clothes back over my sweaty limbs seemed about as much fun as wrestling an alligator. So, I decided the only viable option was to cover as much of my front as I could and run like a madwoman to the shower before anyone saw my hind end flapping in the breeze.

I brought beach towels to all subsequent gym sessions.

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self?  Don't ever, ever watch youtube videos of vaginal twin births.

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 39 weeks, 1 day

Baby A's Information: Gabrielle Rose
July 16, 2013
10:03 pm
7 lbs 0 oz
20 inches

Baby B's Information: Lucia Grace
July 16, 2013
10:06 pm 6 lbs 1 oz
19 inches 

Are your twins identical?  Yes

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery?  Natural delivery (as natural as it can be when you're in the OR surrounded by two doctors and a virtual army of nurses.)

Since both babies were positioned with their heads down, I opted for an epidural and vaginal delivery. Baby A (Gabby) came out in two pushes, sunny side up. I held her right away. Delivery procedure for Baby B then started immediately so that the uterus didn't close. B's (Lucy's) water was broken, but she presented breech. My doctor attempted repositioning her (thank goodness for the epidural) but with no luck. She asked me for the biggest push of my life, which didn't feel like much, but was enough to get Lucy out, feet first and all.

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? I am so grateful to answer no to this question.
Did you have any complications after delivery? Other than a really bad gas attack four nights after delivery that made me think, no joke, that I was going into labor again, no. I think I almost lost my husband on that one.

It took a solid 10 weeks for the tearing and stitches to feel completely healed.

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital?  2 nights

Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night?  The twins stayed in the nursery at night. I knew how much sleep I needed! They were brought back in whenever it was time to nurse, so they were never gone more than three hours. But those three hours of piece meal sleep were still gold.

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 
Key to surviving the hospital stay:
1.) My pillow. Hospital pillows just don't cut it.
2.) Friend and family visits. Allowing people to come hang with us when we were rested and ready felt deliciously normal and celebratory.
3. Music. There are so many loud noises in a hospital. Having our favorite mixes of calming tunes going was a great way to stay relaxed. All the nurses commented that they loved checking in on our room because it was so calming.
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital:  There's nothing like looking down at those two little downy heads resting on your chest. I could have laid like that, arms full of tiny swaddled loves, forever.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be?  Don't put worry in places it doesn't belong. It's so easy to freak out about silly things - getting two cribs in one room, having enough diapers, finding matching car seat covers - but none of those things matter as much as you staying calm, relaxed, and positive during your pregnancy. Set goals for yourself and the babies, and then have the grace to accept your circumstances, whatever the outcome.
Rachel's Blog: Fellow Passengers


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