Name: Shayna Sowards
Where do you currently live? Rochester, MI
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? A whopping 20 weeks! I know, right? We were planning our second home birth and were trying to do things as "naturally" as possible. (What does that even mean?) Our midwife assured us we didn't need countless ultrasounds because of the concern of the continuous exposure to the ultrasound waves. We had planned on going for one ultrasound (around 20 weeks) just for a gender reveal! Imagine our surprise when at said appointment we heard, "Um, guys, there's two babies in there!" I will never forget that moment as long as I live!
Any issues during your pregnancy? Up until 38 weeks I had a near perfect pregnancy. I had a lot of discomfort and sickness, but nothing of concern. Being the "Natural" people we are, we decided to wait for the babies to come on their own without interference. Around 39 weeks my body started to show signs of distress. I had some protein in my urine and my blood pressure was slightly elevated. This is when Goldie (my awesome midwife) started trying to naturally induce labor. I tried herbal calcium to bring down my blood pressure along with fresh juice to try and hydrate my body while eating garlic and other spicy food (along with countless other things) to try and induce labor. NOTHING worked! I went four weeks late with my first pregnancy and it seemed the twins didn't make much of a difference to my super human body! I defied the odds and made it through a full moon at 41 weeks! Seriously, shoot me. My babies were healthy and apparently extremely comfy, but at 41 weeks 5 days, my midwife said it was time to call it quits. There was still protein in my urine and my blood pressure was consistently rising. We (stupidly) waited two more days to go in, because my husband desperately wanted them to be born on his birthday! So at 42 weeks exactly, we drove to the hospital and confirmed that I did indeed have pre-eclampsia! (Duh.) We really waited too long. By the time we went in, it was getting out of control and my blood pressure was so high, I was stroke level. At that moment I was very thankful for medicine and technology that allowed my girls to be delivered safely, and help keep me alive!
Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: The most memorable moment besides finding out at 20 weeks that I was having twins, was when I was just around 40 weeks! My midwife was trying everything she knew how to induce labor since my body was showing signs of distress. I mean, whose body can take being 40 weeks pregnant with twins anyway? So she sent me to get Mediterranean take out. The garlic, the hummus, the parsley... You get the drift. So I'm walking up my porch steps in Michigan's February freeze (pretty darn close to the size of an orca whale) trying to guide my 2-year-old in the snow, and carrying a bag full of Mediterranean take out, when my oversized shoe (I had to wear my husband's slip on loafers because my tree trunks literally wouldn't fit into ANY of my shoes) caught on the step and rudely threw me face first into the snow. Not only did I pull my sweet toddler down with me, but I fell right into the take out I was carrying. So there I lay, my arm covered in hummus, my wet toddler crying, my husband panicking like it was Defcon 5... And all I could do was laugh! Thankfully I was able to twist my body so I fell on my hip and arm instead of my belly. Aside from aching for a few days, I was fine and so were the babies. And would you believe that still didn't kick start labor? Now that's pretty funny!
Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Don't be controlled by other people's opinions! You tried your best to do it naturally, but sometimes you need medical intervention to keep you and your babies safe. There is nothing wrong with that! I should've taken my very pregnant self in a lot sooner!
How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 42 weeks exactly
Baby A's Information: Temperance Grace
March 6, 2014
7 lbs 2 oz
Baby B's Information: Paisley Raine
March 6, 2014
8 lbs 4 oz
21 1/2 in
Are your twins identical? Yes
Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? I had an emergency c-section due to pre-eclampsia. The nurse in triage told us we would probably have to go home and schedule an appointment since it was their "busy" day. Little did she know how badly my health was in jeopardy. It didn't take long for the charts to show how severe my blood pressure was, and I was given a magnesium drip to try and bring my blood pressure down. When it became clear that wasn't working fast enough (within an hour) they rushed me into surgery to deliver the twins via Cesarian and relieve my stressed body.
Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? I bet you won't believe this with 7 and 8 pounders, but... NO! I was so thankful for healthy babies. The doctors couldn't believe their sizes for being twins!
Did you have any complications after delivery? I had to stay on the magnesium drip for 24 hours after delivery and was administered various meds to try and bring my blood pressure down... But after I was able to stand up on the second day, I was released to go home after only three days! With my pre-eclampsia so severe, that was a miracle!
How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? 3 days
Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night? The first night they stayed with us the whole night and we got zero sleep! So the next night we caved and sent them to the nursery around 1am until 7am so we could get some rest.
What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital?
Hair supplies for myself! You just have so many visitors!
I wish I would've remembered to bring more big headbands for the girls. You take a million pictures those first days in the hospital!
Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: The moment when we were left alone for the first time. Because they were born earlier in the evening, we had visitors until late that night. Those first alone moments, when the bustle is over, they've been sponged down, and you have a moment to just hold and stare at them, is the most precious time.
If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Be able to laugh at yourself! And trust your instincts! Don't let people dictate your decisions!