Friday, July 11, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Kim Gipson

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Name: Kim Gipson

Where do you currently live? Katy, Texas 


How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins6 weeks
Any issues during your pregnancy? Overall, I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy until the day of delivery. However, we weren't entirely convinced that we'd be bringing home twins until I was around 11 weeks pregnant. Having conceived twins through IVF, we found out very early only that we were expecting two babies. Since I was initially being seen at a fertility clinic, I had weekly appointments to track the babies' progress. At my 7 week appointment, things did not look good for baby B who had a very slow heartbeat and was measuring half the size of baby A (who was on track). The doctor was concerned that it was going to be a case of vanishing twin and so we prepared our hearts for that outcome. From that point on through my 10 week appointment, baby B continued to measure significantly behind the babies' gestational age and maintained a slow to very low end of normal heart rate. We went to every appointment expecting to hear that little baby B had stopped growing…but we had a fighter! By the grace of God, our 11 week ultrasound showed that baby B had a great heart rate AND had grown significantly. The doctor measured baby B SIX times because we were all in disbelief. For the remainder of the pregnancy, baby B continued to be much smaller than baby A (and as a result, I was monitored more frequently by an MFM), but she always looked healthy otherwise!

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant:  Two nights prior to the birth of my twins, I was totally craving biscuits from Popeyes Chicken…and what pregnant mama of twins shouldn't get the exact food she wants? So off to Popeyes I went only to find the line was ridiculously long (it was actually election night and apparently everyone in my town wanted to eat fried chicken while they waited to hear the if Obama was being reelected or Mitt Romney was going to win). I placed my order and about 2 minutes into my wait, a woman came up to me and said "hey, how many babies are are you having?" to which I replied "oh, two!" and then the woman yelled LOUDLY to her friend sitting toward the back of Popeyes "see? I told you she was having twins. ain't nobody with one baby got a belly that big." As someone who hates to be the center of attention, I definitely didn't like the moment that I could feel every single person in there looking at me! Oh, and to top it off, I got home to discover they forgot to put the biscuits in our bag!

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self?  During the pregnancy, I worried a LOT about the "what ifs" …what if they came way too early and had to spend a significant amount of time in the NICU? What if one had to stay in the NICU while the other got to go home? Who would watch our older son if the babies came unexpectedly early? My mind wandered to all of these overwhelming questions! Looking back, I would tell myself to relax a bit. Everything worked out fine and we had so many friends and family members ready and willing to help us with whatever we needed when they were born.

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 36 weeks 3 days

Baby A's Information: Matthew Oliver (but goes by Oliver)

6 lbs. 8 oz.  
8:34 p.m.

Baby B's Information: Zoe Diane

4 lbs. 11 oz.
8:47 p.m.

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery?  Unfortunately, I had the dreaded "double whammy" and delivered baby A naturally and baby B by emergency c-section shortly after. I can laugh about it now, but it certainly didn't seem funny at the time. The babies were born at 36w3d…that morning I went in for my weekly, routine ultrasound where we discovered that Zoe's (baby B) amniotic fluid had dropped to less than half of what Oliver (baby A) had and was dangerously low. This may have been brought on by the flu I had the week before and the fact that I couldn't keep any food or water down for days. In any case, my doctor felt the babies needed to be delivered that afternoon so I was sent over to the hospital about an hour later to get an induction started. The induction was started right around 2:30 p.m. and I was ready to push by 8 p.m. Both babies were head down and I was wheeled to to OR to get things started. I was honestly in really good spirits! Having delivered my older son naturally, I just felt like I knew what to expect and with both babies being head down, I didn't think I had anything to worry about. I started pushing around 8:15 p.m. and Oliver arrived at 8:34 p.m. I barely saw him before I had to start pushing for Zoe. Her water hadn't broken yet so my OB did that right away and immediately, Zoe's heart rate started dropping. During that time, she also flipped sideways and my OB wasn't able to perform a breach extraction because she could only get a hold of her fragile little arm (which she obviously couldn't be pulled out by). Due to the fast dropping heart rate and not having enough time to work on turning her, the staff in the OR all decided that a c-section needed to happen ASAP. The icing on the cake was that I still had a significant amount of feeling in my stomach and pelvis, and with no time to increase the medicine going through my epidural, I had to be put to sleep and my husband was sent out of the room…so neither of us got to see the birth of our baby girl.

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? No NICU time for Oliver. 24 hours for Zoe due to a small amount of difficulty breathing and hospital policy of babies under 5 lbs. needing to be sent to the NICU temporarily.

Did you have any complications after delivery? Not aside from the discomfort associated with delivering vaginally and by c-section within 14 minutes.

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital?  3 nights. Twins were born on a Thursday night and we were home by Sunday afternoon.

Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night? In the hospital nursery

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

I didn't bring very much to the hospital simply because I knew what to expect having had one baby less than 2 years before the twins were born. What I AM happy I had was: 
1) my own pillow… I slept so much more comfortably with my pillow from home than I would have with the paper thin pillows our hospital provides 
2) Hair dryer and make up… I am totally the type of girl that can go to the grocery store in sweats and no make up, but being able to take a shower the day after delivery, fix my hair quickly and put a little make up on made me feel so refreshed (and it doesn't hurt to feel picture ready when your friends and family stop by for visits). 
3) iPad…my entire family lives out of state and it was so hard not having any of them there to see the babies right away. It helped that we could FaceTime with everyone and show them live shots of them!
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: I don't think I can pick just one! The top moments would be when we got to see the babies next to each other for the first time after Zoe was released from the NICU and when our 22 month old came to see his new brother and sister for the first time. Oh…and would I be a terrible mom if I said the second night at the hospital when we sent the babies back to the nursery for the night and I got a full 8 hours of sleep ;) There's NO shame in sending your babies away for the night to let your body recover. You'll have as many sleepless nights as you could possibly imagine once you get home!

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be?  I know I'm probably in the minority here, but I made the decision to formula feed the babies from day 1. I made that decision based off of my own experience with exclusively breastfeeding my first baby for 8 months. Getting started with breastfeeding was so incredibly difficult for me. While we eventually got to the point where it felt like second nature for both him and me, it took a lot of work to get to that point. All that to say, while I 100% believe that breast milk is best and extremely beneficial, I also felt that it wasn't MORE important than a sane mommy. With absolutely no family members living near us and a 22 month old to take care of in addition to the twins, I was afraid I would lose my mind if I was trying to breastfeed and pump for two babies. So my advice is, don't make your decision based off of what you think you SHOULD do, rather make it off of what feels right for your family! I have two, healthy and thriving 16 month olds now who are hitting milestones right on time and have been WAY less sick than my exclusively breastfed first son :)

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  1. Precious babies and family! Small world - I live in Katy too :)

  2. Yay love this and love your sweet (not so) little family! You have definitely been an inspiration to me as a fellow twin mom, that's for sure!

  3. Wow, your babies are gorgeous! All of them! I can't believe they forgot your biscuits!!! ARGH :) Also, I totally respect your reasons for formula feeding! You probably would have went insane otherwise… :)

  4. Beautiful family!! I was only able to breast feed for the first couple of weeks because of my post partum. I felt like I was losing my mind and in the end, my sanity was so much more important. I now have 2 almost 19 months old who are healthy and have hit all of their milestones early.

  5. Thanks for sharing your story! I agree on the breastfeeding - do what is best for you and your family not what you think others think is best. Gorgeous family!