Where do you currently live? Wake Forest, North Carolina
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 6 weeks
Any issues during your pregnancy? At 28 weeks 6 days, I went in for a check up to learn that I had a very short cervix and was already 70% effaced as well as 1.5 cm dilated. This was all after I was told the entire pregnancy how thick my cervix was and how great I was doing (I was still teaching full time up until this day), etc. I was immediately sent to labor and delivery and was admitted to the hospital for bed rest for the next week. This hospital only took babies that were 30 weeks or older. They considered sending me to a different hospital, but they felt I was stable enough at this point to stay to see if I could make it another week and 1 day. I had steroid shots for the babies lungs over the next 2 days. I wasn't having a lot of contractions, just "irritability" of the uterus. After a week in the hospital, my doctor sent me home to strict bed rest. She wanted me laying horizontal about 23 hours a day. I was only to get up to go to the restroom and take a super quick shower. After another week on bed rest, I was having some pressure. My husband came home from work and we went to my doctor. The doctor said I was only 2 cm dilated (only 0.5 cm progress in a week), so she was sure I wouldn't be having the babies tonight. Little did she know....I would be discharged from the hospital at 5:45 pm and readmitted the same night at 6:27 pm after my water broke in the car as we were leaving a restaurant for a pick-up dinner.
Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: Our gender reveal party and finding out we were having one boy and one girl! It was one of the best surprises of our life. We both were sure we were having two boys. When my husband cut the cake and the first layer we saw was pink, I said, "There is at least one girl" and he proceeded to say, "That's at least one wedding I have to pay for." Haha! When we saw the second layer was blue, I said "yes" and we both threw up our hands thanking God! Then he said, "I don't have to have any more kids." He had said all along he only wanted the twins. I had said if it was two of the same gender I'd like to try for a third. He felt such a sense of relief when we hit the jackpot and got a baby girl and a baby boy! He says two is plenty. I'm not so sure about that!
Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? I would have told my pregnant self to relax and enjoy being pregnant and our final months as a family of two. I was in such a hurry to get everything done: the nursery finished, lesson plans done for my sub, etc. that my pregnancy just flew by. I would have liked to have worried less and spent more time with my hubby just enjoying each other instead of always trying to get something done.
How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 31 weeks to the day.
Baby A's Information: Levi Perry
April 23rd, 2013
4 lbs, 7 oz
Baby B's Information: Bailey Reese
April 23rd, 2013
4 lbs, 4 oz
Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? I had a c-section. I knew from the very beginning that this would be the case. My doctors office preferred c-sections for their twin mamas. I was too scared to try and deliver one vaginally and the other baby flip and have to end up having an c-section anyway. Turns out, Bailey was breech, so I would have had to have a c-section regardless.
After being discharged from labor and delivery triage at 5:45 pm the night of their birthday, my husband and I went to Char-Grill. It is a restaurant where you park, go up and order and then wait for your food. I waited in the car as my husband picked up our food. We were leaving the Char-Grill when my water broke....in the car. Of course, there was traffic everywhere as it was about 6:00, so he cut off a few cars to get us the 5 minutes back to the hospital. The same Dr. that discharged me less than 45 minutes prior was shocked to see me back. They got me prepped, I said goodbye to our families and after waiting for an operating room to open up, my Dr. wheeled me back. They were about to give me the epidural when the anesthesiologist got called out for an emergency. So, there I was sitting on the table with tons of people in the room (scared to death), just waiting. My doctor was awesome and he got out his iPAD and proceeded to waste time by showing me all of his family pictures. Meanwhile, my poor husband was stuck waiting in the change out room. When it was finally my turn, I started freaking out. I was crying and I asked my Dr. if I could change my mind and deliver them naturally. He told me it was much too late for that. I then reminded my Dr. for the millionth time that I wanted him to deliver my little boy first (I wanted my little girl to have a big brother). They finally brought John in and not long after that I heard Levi cry. They did a drive by and showed him to me very quickly as they took him to check on him. A minute later, Bailey was born. I don't remember her crying, but I know she did because I wasn't freaking out from not hearing her cry. The neonatologist came out and told me Levi was a rock star and breathing all on his own! He told me Bailey needed a little help, but was doing good. John then brought me each baby (that looked like a little burrito all wrapped up) for me to kiss before they wheeled them off to the NICU. I vividly remember my Dr. had country music (our favorite) playing during delivery. It was Kenny Chesney.
Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? Yes, they stayed in the NICU for exactly 1 month. They were discharged on May 23, 2013. As one doctor explained to us, the twins were born way too early. So, they were born immature, but not sick. They needed to gain weight (they wanted them to get to at least 5 lbs), be able to drink from a bottle, suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time, hold their own body temperature, etc. before they would be discharged. They gave us a timetable of about 4-6 weeks. Bailey had the cpap for about 12 hours after birth, but other than that, they both were breathing fine. Our main issue was feeding. They were tube feed through their noses for quite a while and we had to really work on nursing and bottle feeding before they could go home. This was the longest month of my life. They don't allow you to stay over night, so after our 4 day hospital stay, I went there every day to visit. I pumped every 2-3 hours, held the twins when they allowed (at feedings/changes), ate, and did it all over again every day for a month. We decided after about a week or two not to allow visitors. It was too much to have to worry about everyone's schedules and their germs and we wanted all of our focus on the babies. This worked best for our family. I cried every night I had to leave them and would always call once in the early morning hours to check on them. Our nurses were fabulous, but I wanted my babies home so bad I couldn't stand it.
Did you have any complications after delivery? I did not have any complications, but the c-section recovery was awful. People talk about how easy theirs were or how little pain they had. I didn't have that experience. I was in so much pain the entire time I was in the hospital. I took pain meds, but didn't take the full amount because I didn't know how the meds would affect me and I didn't want to be drugged up when I went to see my babies in the NICU. It took a good month before I wasn't in tremendous pain. Obviously, I have a low pain tolerance.
How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? We stayed for 4 nights.
Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night? They were in the NICU.
What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 1. My camera: I took a ton of pictures and video. I didn't want to miss anything, so I took my iPhone and nice camera every time we went to the NICU. The doctors would always joke with me, because I would stroll down to the NICU behind my wheelchair (since they made me walk a ton) and I would have my two cameras sitting in the wheelchair.
2. My iPad. I was able to send email updates to my friends and family during all of the late night pump sessions. Since we decided on no visitors, this helped me keep everyone updated and allowed me to send lots of pictures!
3. My husband. I would not have made it without him. He helped clean pump parts, took my milk down to the twins, helped me shower, etc. I would have fallen apart without him by my side.
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: I have 3 favorite moments: my husband bringing the babies in one by one and letting me kiss them as they finished my c-section, holding Levi for the first time (the night he was born), and holding Bailey for the first time (when she was 3 days old).
If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Get everything done EARLY! I was so thankful I'd already had all of my baby showers. I had yet to make my last big Babies R Us run before bed rest, so I had my mom and sister take care of that for me. Everything was done when I had the twins except to wash all of their clothes, blankets, etc. I was able to do these things while the babies were in the NICU.
Big news!! A lot has changed since Jodi completed the twin birth story survey! Bailey and Levi are welcoming little sister Berkleigh in February 2015! Congratulations, Jodi!