Name: Colleen Burton
Where do you currently live? La Porte, IN
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? About 8 weeks! We did a routine ultrasound to find out our due date. This was our second pregnancy (so no big deal, we’ll just see ONE blob and they’ll estimate the due date...) and my husband had finals so he wasn’t with me. I will never forget the ultrasound tech saying, “You know there are two don’t you...?” No! I did not know there were TWO!! When I called my husband and told him we were going to need a bigger car he guessed it was twins right away! Twins do not run in our families...
Any issues during your pregnancy? Shortened cervix length, modified bed rest (could work from home and be up and about at home, but no grocery shopping or extended walking), blood pressure medication (Procardia) for contractions (around 27 weeks until 34 weeks).
Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: Sadly, my first memory is how sick I was. So, so, so nauseous and sick....I could not do much at all for many weeks, and I got more and more sick as the day went on. By 5 pm I was usually throwing up (sorry) after attempting to look at dinner and then in bed for the night. Zofran was my life saver and saved me from dehydration and hospitalization. My husband was also my lifesaver for taking care of me and our 3-year-old daughter while I was out of commission for 10+ weeks.
Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Research techniques and tips to care for twins once they are here. Trust your doctor and your medical team (but trust your instincts as well). Don’t feel bad if you end up in the hospital for false labor – happened to us twice!
How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 37 weeks, 3 days
Baby A's Information: Truley Elise
November 19, 2012
6 lbs 11oz
20 1/4 inches
Baby B's Information: Charley Veda
November 19, 2012
5 lbs 11oz
Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? Natural. That was the goal all along and both babies were in perfect positions to follow through. I'd been having two non-stress tests a week at this point and they usually ended up doing ultrasounds because Baby A was a bit “non-reactive.” On this particular day the ultrasound tech and my doctor decided it was go time due to Baby A, my shortened cervix, and the placentas nearing expiration. I checked into Labor and Delivery immediately and they broke my water around 4pm. I got my epidural shortly after – when I was around 4cm dilated. My husband, 3-year-old daughter, parents, and mother-in-law were there and we were having a Birthday party! About 7:45pm I was fully dilated and ready to have our babies! We delivered in the operating room just in case there were any issues. Every twin parent says this, but you simply cannot believe all the people in the room – 2 sets of everyone to care for each baby plus your medical team equals about 10 people in the room! The one thing I will forever remember is the super crazy intense shakes I had the entire time! My teeth were chattering and everything. I know the epidural can cause this, but I didn’t have that with my first daughter’s delivery (with epidural) so I’m attributing it to sheer nervousness. It wasn’t until that point did I doubt I could actually push two babies out, one after another....and believe me a vaginal birth plus a c-section was the last thing I wanted. I pushed a few times and Truley was here!! They immediately placed her on my chest and - oh the warmth!! – Instant love, and tears, so amazing!! Then, all of a sudden, my doctor says, “Push!” Well I couldn’t really do that with a one-minute-old baby on my chest so I quickly handed Truley off to a nurse and Charley was delivered two minutes after Truley. Charley was much smaller it seemed, but just as gorgeous and amazing – And from that moment on (and until the day I die) I was immediately scanning the room for Truley--trying to keep my eyes on both of my girls at once.
Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? At 7am the first morning after the twins were born, Charley started choking on phlegm and turned bluish (low oxygen). A teaching nurse and student just happened to be in the room when it happened! It was the scariest thing ever and the oxygen in our room was not available (the hook up was there but no oxygen!). Luckily it was only a very short episode and Charley regained normal breathing on her own BUT they whisked her off to the special care nursery for monitoring for the next 24 hours!! She was completely fine, but we did find out she had reflux (via a sleep study they did with wires and tubes down her throat and taped to her face – poor, poor baby!). She was put on a sleep apnea monitor once we left the hospital because she had a low oxygen episode (she was attached to it for the next 30 days or so....it is a monitor about the size of a car battery that we had to keep her attached to via probes 24/7 everywhere we went: Doctor, visiting friends, grocery store (yeah right, like I was going grocery shopping with twins and a 3-year-old...) Thankfully we were not dealing with anything more serious, I really feel for the parents of babies in the NICU, especially for extended times.
How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? 3 days – we were discharged on Thanksgiving! How fitting!
Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night? Monday night they were both with us all night. Tuesday night Charley was in the special care nursery and Truley went to the nurses’ station and they brought her to me to nurse. Then I would go to the special care nursery and nurse Charley (or vice versa). Wednesday night we kept them with us but the nurses took Truley for a bit as she was wanting to be held and not sleep!
What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital?
1. I wish I would have had bigger clothes/T-shirts (I did not bounce back from the twin pregnancy as well as I did my first pregnancy...)
2. Slippers were a necessity, especially since I was walking from my room to the special care nursery so much
3. Camera – duh
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: I want to say the moment Charley re-joined us in our room after having spent 24 hours in the special care nursery. That WAS a wonderful moment, but the FAVORITE moment that keeps popping into my head is when Charley was in the special care nursery. Everyone who came to visit was bummed both the twins weren’t in the room with us (believe me, so were we) but they all wanted to go to the special care nursery and see Charley....they only allow one person other than the parent in the special care nursery so it wasn’t really feasible for everyone to see Charley. We decided to just point out where she was in the special care nursery from the outside window...the nurse with Charley insisted we unhook her (which takes like 10 minutes to do...) and hold her to the window for everyone to see....by the time we got her to the window there were no less than 15 of our family and friends peeking in the window and snapping pictures of Charley! It was totally a paparazzi moment and brought me to tears!
If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? It gets easier! Every day gets a little bit easier. You will become the best multi-tasker around! Also, the book, Ready or Not Here We Come!: The Real Experts’ Guide to the First Year With Twins by Elizabeth Lyons is amazing! It’s the perfect mix of practical advice and humor that you will NEED during the first weeks and months with your two newborns.
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