Friday, November 21, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Katy McLaughlin

November is Prematurity Awareness Month.  You can read more about it here.   In observation of this, all twin birth stories in November will be about precious preemies.


If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!

Katy McLaughlin

Where do you currently live?  Tulsa, Oklahoma

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 4 weeks, 6 days

Any issues during your pregnancy? 
For the first 30ish weeks I had a wonderful pregnancy. I never got sick and was able to work up until I was admitted to the hospital. At that time it became increasingly difficult for me and my 5 foot stature to get (more like waddle) around. Then, around 32 weeks pregnant I noticed that my blood pressure had started to elevate and I developed a significant amount of swelling in my face, hands and feet. At 34 weeks 5 days I was admitted to the hospital with pre-eclampsia. My doctor also discovered that baby B had dropped of in weight and he wanted a more in depth ultrasound at the hospital. Once admitted, I was to remain at the hospital for monitoring until I delivered, whenever that may be... Luckily I didn't have to wait long, because three days later, it was time!

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: The moment we discovered we were having twins! I was diagnosed with PCOS and required fertility medications to get pregnant. I happen to work with my OB/GYN, so knowing him, plus the numerous amounts of doctor visits it took for me to finally conceive, I was quite lucky to receive frequent ultrasounds early on in my pregnancy. I scheduled my first ultrasound on September 30th, 2011 so that my husband and parents could both attend. While at work the day before, (September 29th, 2011) when I was 4 weeks 5 days pregnant, my doctor convinced me to come in early just to check things out! I couldn't contain my excitement so I agreed! That day I discovered we were in fact having a baby! I wanted my husband and parents to be there so badly that my doctor said just come back tomorrow for your scheduled appointment and we'll look again, we won't tell them you were here toady! September 30th, 2011, 4 weeks 6 days pregnant--with my parents and husband by my side--out of complete and utter dismay we discovered we would not be having one baby, but TWO! I will never forget the look that my doctor gave me at that very moment, my husband's sudden loss of color in his face, my mother jumping up and down clapping, or my dad saying, "your life is about to change forever!" It was one of the craziest/happiest/scariest moments of my life!
Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self?  Take it easy, put your feet up and relax. I was "go go go" the entire pregnancy thinking I would have plenty of time to relax during my 12 week maternity leave. WRONG.

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 
35 weeks, 1 day (considered "late preterm infants"):

Baby A's Information: 
Markie Grace
April 27, 2012
4lbs 7oz
17 3/4 in

Baby B's Information:  Audrie Aileen
April 27, 2012
3lbs 4oz
16 in

Are your twins identical?  Nope! They couldn't be more fraternal ;)

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery?  The entire pregnancy I was determined to deliver my twins vaginally. The plan was to begin induction with cytotec (a cervical ripening medication) around midnight on 4-26-12. Unfortunately due to my frequent contractions (a contraindication to the drug) we skipped it and went straight to Pitocin at 2am. Around 10am my cervix had only dilated to half a centimeter so my doctor broke my water hoping to speed the labor...Well, things didn't really go as planned. I continued to labor throughout the day. The extreme stress on my body from the labor in combination with my pre-eclampsia caused me to become very ill, then my cervix to stopped dilating at 7cm. A little after midnight on 4-27-12 the decision was made to deliver the babies by c-section. I did not object, I just wanted my girls out safe and sound. I remained disappointed for several months after my c-section that I was not able to deliver vaginally. Looking back, I know at that moment I made the right decision to proceed with the surgery. Two years later I have two happy, healthy girls, and my girls have one happy, healthy mommy!

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long?  Yes, because they were small for gestational age. Because of their low birth weights they remained in the NICU for 13 days. They did so wonderfully after birth, they only kept them for that long so that they could grow! Other than a feeding tube for a few days, no other medical interventions were required!

Did you have any complications after delivery? I personally did not have any complications post c-section. It wasn't near as bad as I had anticipated! By the 3rd or 4th day I was able to stop my prescription medication and take ibuprofen. I would have to say my tonsillectomy a few years prior was WAY worse!

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

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital?
I can't really think of "items" I was glad to have or wish I had at the hospital. I think the most important thing I was glad to have was support from my husband and parents. I was never left alone for one moment the entire week I stayed in the hospital. I couldn't have made it those three days on hospital bed rest without the entertainment and company they provided me. One thing I wish I would have was a birth photographer. My husband's number one job was to film/photograph the delivery of my babies. What did I end up with? A few random photos and video of the floor! It was such an overwhelming, nerve wracking moment for the poor guy he forgot what he was supposed to do! I see all these adorable photos people post from their births and I wish I would have those to look back on for my own delivery! If you have the luxury of hiring a photographer for your birth I would highly recommend it to take some stress off your husband!
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: I have two! First, my husband telling me he had never been more proud of me in our 8 years together than the moment I was lying on the operating room table delivering our baby girls. Second, the sound of not one, but TWO babies crying. Hands down the best moment ever. I have never felt more blessed in my life.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be?
Number 1: Brace yourself for the extreme amounts of emotional instability (in which you have absolutely no control over) that come for the first few weeks post birth. I still to this day am quite embarrassed of how I acted! Yes, I literally cried over spilt milk... on several occasions.

Number 2: Absolutely do NOT fret if your babies are admitted to the NICU. I personally am a nurse with 5 years of experience in pediatrics, and I learned more from those NICU nurses than I ever could have imagined. They were wonderful and I cherish each and every one of them. Although it was one of the most difficult moments of my life to drive away from the hospital without my children, I look back and appreciate the 2 weeks they spent in the NICU. I was able to go to the hospital each day to care for them, then come home and get a full nights rest. Thankfully I was able to almost completely recover from my c-section by the time the girls came home. The rest was MUCH needed since I had no idea what the coming months had in store for me at that time!

Katy's Blog: Oklahoma Sundays

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