Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Alissa Wesley

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Alissa Wesley

Where do you currently live? Norman, Oklahoma

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 18 weeks!
Any issues during your pregnancy?
I didn't have any issues until week 35. I started to have some pretty bad swelling. My blood pressure was creeping up. It wasn't severe, but we kept a close watch on it. I just had a trace of protein in my urine. A week later we did a stress test and everything looked fine. I was told to take it easy and rest as much as possible. This was quite easy for me since I was very uncomfortable by this point of the pregnancy and spent a lot of my days and nights on the couch anyway. At almost 37 weeks, my midwife ordered a 24 hr urine sample, and it was after the results of it that she decided we would soon induce.

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: 
The week before we found out we were having twins, I was getting more comments on how much I was already showing, including a few “Are you sure there aren’t two in there?” comments. Yes, exactly what every expecting mom wants to hear. Haha! But I never thought twice about it because “Every woman shows differently,” right? Later that week, I helped a friend watch her two sisters’ 2-3 month old nieces who were born less than a month apart from each other. We joked all night while watching the two, “Could you IMAGINE if you had twins?". . . etc. When I got home, just for fun, I looked up the chances of having twins. According to google, your chances INCREASED if you were over 30, had done fertility treatments or drugs, or if twins ran in the family. I was 22, we were not trying to conceive, and there were no twins on either side of our family, even extended. Your chances also DECREASED if you were under the age of 25 and if you were of Hispanic or Asian decent. I was under 25 and my mother’s side is Filipino. So, that was enough information to “prove” I wasn’t having twins. Two days later, my husband and I went to our ultrasound. I laid back in the chair and the sonographer asked if it was our first ultrasound.  We replied “yes” to which she said nonchalantly, “There’s two.”  I replied, “Two what?” “Two babies.” TWO BABIES!! “No, your joking.” I REALLY thought she was joking. She traced the bodies on the screen and said, “There’s one baby, there’s two baby.” My husband and I just looked at each other.  Against all odds, we were having twins. It was the most memorable, exciting, insane, surreal, shocking, (fill in every emotion here) moment of our life to this day. Thank you Google, I’m glad you were wrong.

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? 
Keep the journal you don't feel like keeping, take the photos you don't feel like taking, and eat the healthy food you don't feel like eating. You won't regret it later on.

I had a plan to do all the above, and some days I did, but most days I thought to myself, "I will remember to write that down later" (I forgot, and someday you will want to look back), "I'm not spruced up enough to take a belly picture" (you don't have to publish them), and "I'd rather indulge in my cravings"  (ice cream was just too legit to quit!).

Sorry, I guess that's three things.

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born?
37 weeks exactly.

Baby A's Information:
Carson Reu
January 19th, 2013
3:25 am
6 lbs. 0 oz.
19 in

Baby B's Information: Grayson Fox
January 19th, 2013
3:33 am
6 lbs.10 oz.
19 in

Are your twins identical? Yes

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? 
Natural. At my 37 week appointment, my midwife decided to induce because I had protein in my urine, and there was also a little concerning weight difference between the boys at our last ultrasound. I called my husband and said “Today is the day!” He rushed to the hospital and they started me on pitocin at a level two and increased it by two every hour until I went into labor on my own. When the pitocin got to a 12, my water broke. Everything really kicked in then. I was in a birthing room and labored seven hours from when the water broke. I think I tried every position in the book to ease the pain. My husband, doula, mother, aunt and friend were all in there, along with the nurse. It was a room full but it helped distract me from the pain. I think I apologized a dozen times for any immodesty. Once I was complete and starting to push, I was wheeled into an operating room in case we needed an emergency cesarean. It was hospital protocol for twins. Moments later, in the very sterile, metal, brightly lit operating room, I brought Carson Reu to my chest. Immediately following, I was told to prepare for another hour of labor to deliver baby B. It was the highest “high” and lowest “low” moment for me. A beautiful baby boy on my chest, but another hour of labor!!! But to our surprise, with my midwife bearing down on my stomach to make sure baby B didn’t move back up, a few pushes, a gush of water (baby b’s water JUST broke) and only eight minutes later, my husband was laying Grayson Fox on the other side of my chest. The boys never left my side from the moment they were born. It was a far cry from the quiet home birth of a singleton that we had planned, but it was more perfect in every way and another example of why God’s plan is always better than our own.

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? None.

Did you have any complications after delivery? I lost a lot of blood. My hemoglobin level was at 13 the week before I delivered. It was a 6.6 after I delivered. Because I didn't have a history of anemia, they gave me the choice to do a blood transfusion, but I declined it. I just drank a lot of liquid chlorophyll, took my encapsulated placenta pills, and had incredibly sweet friends bring me some freshly juiced goodness. At my two week postpartum appointment, my hemoglobin was back up to 11. So, thankfully, it ended up being a minor complication.

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? 
3 days, 2 nights.

Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night? The twins remained in the room with us. OU Children's Hospital doesn't have a nursery. I loved it because they do all the measurments and tests in your birthing room right next to you so your babies never leave your side.  It did make for a very long night. We ended up calling my mom during the night to come back and help since we were running on 48 hrs of no sleep.

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 

1. My doula, Brandy. She helped my husband and I in so many ways! She supported me, physically and mentally during my labor and was full of birth affirmations that I could do it. I would recommend a doula, even if it is just for the lavender and peppermint foot massages!! Haha!
2. A stomach binder. Even if you don't have an incision, it helps tremendously with making you feel normal and not like your insides are going to fall out. You've carried two babies for so long, your stomach will feel like jello after birth, and the binder keeps it from "hanging out."
3. Soft, stretchy, tandem nursing friendly pajamas.
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital:
A few moments after I delivered both the boys and they were both laying on my chest, they wheeled us back into the birthing room from the operating room. On the way, the boys were making what sounded like little chirping noises to each other, back and forth. They were talking to each other. It was the sweetest sound ever. They never made that chirping sound again since that moment. My mother recorded a bit of it on her phone but you can barely hear it with the rest of the commotion that was going on.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be?
Nutrition is super important for your pregnant self and growing babies. I truly believe a lot of complications can be avoided with a great diet and also help you make it to full term, even if you are carrying multiples. By great diet, I mean lots of protein (and I mean A LOT), good fats, and water. So many people joke about eating whatever you want because you are feeding three, but the food you choose to eat will make a difference in how your pregnancy progresses.

CLICK HERE for a precious video from their gender reveal party and the twins' first few hours (Hunter Meek Videography)

Don't forget to send us your 20-week baby bump!  Email your name and the twins' birthday (or due date) to twintalkblog@gmail.com.  Please have your picture to us no later than noon on Tuesday! 

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  1. I thought this was one of the most beautiful birth stories I've ever read. Love it.