Friday, October 10, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Christine

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Where do you currently live?
Pflugerville, TX

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 6 weeks.  I actually found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks at a completely unrelated doctor's appointment. It was quite a surprise!

Any issues during your pregnancy?
I had morning sickness all day long, every day of my pregnancy. I was on zofran the entire time. I had very painful sciatic pains in the beginning, but those quickly were overpowered by pelvic issues. I also had a lot of trouble breathing beginning around 20 weeks.

I was put on bed rest at 25 weeks due to Diastatis Pubis Symphysis. Basically it’s a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis because of a misalignment of the pelvis. This left me with mild discomfort in the beginning to excruciating pain by 30 weeks along. I had extreme pain when I walked, went up steps, got dressed, and getting in and out of the car or bed was the absolute worst. The pain continued to get worse and within 4 weeks of bed rest I was leaving the house in a wheelchair, which was maybe once a week.

In addition to the above, it turns out I cracked my pelvis while pregnant also. The kids were 8-months-old and my pelvis was still aching, especially after I started running again (and quickly stopped). I called my orthopedic again, they'd taken an X-Ray at 6 weeks (to check on my SPD) and didn't see anything, and this time they took an MRI. There it was plain as day, a 1 inch crack. The doctor said she thinks my pelvis was under too much pressure with the babies and SPD that is just couldn't take it and cracked. It took almost 14 months for my pelvis to heal almost completely, but I still have weekly issues with it.

Around 32 weeks we went in for an appointment and found out the babies growth had dropped quite a bit. They were now measuring below average, rather than above average, as they had been consistently growing. Here started our weekly appointments. At 34 weeks I completely swelled up. I hadn’t had any swelling the entire pregnancy and in a week I went from ankles to cankles; my legs, arms, and back were also swollen. At 35 weeks my blood pressure shot through the roof! I was actually sent to the hospital to have it monitored and they wanted me to do a 24 hour test to measure my output of protein. My induction was scheduled within 12 hours of getting the results back from that test. My levels were pretty severe.

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: 
Does pregnancy brain count? I left my office at 5 pm and went downstairs to my car, but I couldn't find my keys anywhere. I practically tore apart my purse looking for them. I went back up to my desk to see if they fell out, were on my desk, or maybe fell onto the floor. Nothing. Back to the car I went to see if I left them on the front seat. I looked in the window and noticed the doors were unlocked so I climbed right in to look for them. There were my keys - hanging from the ignition. I had left my car running - in the parking lot - for 9 hours! This was by far the longest time I left my car running, but not the only time. On multiple occasions my husband came home to my car running in the garage. I don't know why I kept doing that.
Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self?  Hang in there - this is all temporary - and it’s so worth it!! I know it's difficult now, you're uncomfortable now, you are in pain now, but it will be SO worth it. The relief you will feel and the comfort knowing you brought two babies into the world and the love you feel for them right away will overpower any issues you had during pregnancy!

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born?
35 Weeks 6 Days

Baby A's Information: 
Caden Reese
January 13, 2013
11:28 am4lbs 10oz

Baby B's Information:  Tenley Janice
January 13, 2013
11:38 am
4lbs 6oz

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? I was induced and required to have an epidural because of my pelvis issues. Without the epi, I wouldn’t have been able to open my legs. The epi didn’t take to begin with. One leg went numb, but it didn’t soften or take away any of the contractions. The anesthesiologist said he would come back in 30 minutes to allow it time to take effect. My contractions were getting worse and worse and I had to breathe through them. About an hour or so later my OB checked me and I was at 10cm. They rushed me to the operating room and they quickly had to give me a higher amount for the epidural because I needed it to push, but couldn’t open my legs yet. It finally took and they were able to move me to the table. After about 30 minutes of pushing both babies were born within 10 minutes of each other after 2 hours and 52 minutes of active labor (when she first broke my water).

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long?  None! Thank the Lord!

Did you have any complications after delivery? Of course it took a lot of time to heal from all the issues I had mentioned previously, well over a year for my pelvis, but I didn’t have many complications after their birth. I was monitored weekly after the babies were born to check my high blood pressure that didn't disappear with the birth of the babies. I was on medication for a month or so before it finally leveled out and I was taken off of it. I had a pretty bad case of diastatis recti and it took about 9 months for them to look normal again, but there is still a small separation today. In the beginning I could actually feel my own intestines or organs through the gap in my stomach.

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital?  3 nights

Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night? 
They were required to stay at the nursery. The doctor wouldn't let me watch them over night because my blood pressure was still extremely high and they said they needed me to rest and to get some full nights of sleep.

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital?  
1. My own clothes - I brought my maternity yoga pants and a few nursing tank tops to wear after my first shower. It allowed me to relax a bit and feel less like I was in a hospital. I was much more comfortable.
2. My phone/Camera - I was able to get on Facebook and to write my blog before I forgot smaller details. I was also able to talk to family and friends that were blowing up my phone with congratulations, questions, and well wishes, as well as take pictures.
3. Husband– Does he count? Haha. Really, he changed all diapers and clothes because I wasn’t able to get out of bed until day three. He also got me drinks and food and helped me with anything I needed.

I will also add: Bring lots of snacks! I have never been more hungry, so much more than even while I was pregnant.

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: Seeing both of my babies for the first time. My heart just melted and I just loved them so much. I was terrified the entire pregnancy that something would happen and with all the complications I had and they had toward the end, it was a huge relief to know they were both here and healthy! I also LOVED watching my husband with the babies. I could just see the love he had for them and my heart grew just watching him and knowing that the two of us made those two little babies and that they were ours! I will never forget that feeling!

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be?
Put those babies on a schedule!! The hospital told me to feed them every three hours, around the clock. They needed to gain weight and I was told to wake them up to make sure they ate because at 4 weeks premature they would sleep when they should be eating. Around 6 weeks we were allowed to let them sleep if they wanted to. At that point, I would wake whichever baby was still sleeping to make sure they fed at the same time. Waking them up, changing diapers, and feeding to the end of my pumping session took about an hour, and then we had two more to sleep or hold them before we started all over. They were always on the same schedule and it made everything so easy.  I wasn’t up 24/7 going back and forth between two babies! Because of this schedule both babies were sleeping through the night by 12 weeks.

Take care of yourself after the babies are born. It always amazes me when people say they don’t have time for a shower - ew! Every single morning I would feed the babies and then take a shower, wash my hair, and do a quick soak in the tub. I always at a minimum did my hair and every once in awhile put on some make up, even if it was just a light layer. I wanted to feel put together and clean, feel better about myself, and not be that frumpy, mom of twins! I would lay the babies on the floor on a blanket where I could see them from my shower and my dog would always run into the room whenever the babies would cry or squeak. I also carried the baby monitor around with me and left it on the counter of the bathroom.

Christine's Blog:  The Twinning Life





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