Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Ashley Ardoin

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

Ashley Ardoin

Where do you currently live?  Walker, Louisiana

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins14 weeks

Any issues during your pregnancy?  
At 20 weeks I began getting really sick, I was vomiting pretty bad and this wasn't normal for me. I hadn't experienced nausea since I was 13 weeks along. I thought it was nothing and decided to take a rest. When I woke up, that's when it began. I was running 102 fever and just felt really sick to my stomach. My mother and I agreed I should go straight to the hospital and we made our way to the nearest ER, which later on would prove to be a bad decision. They admitted me to labor & delivery immediately to run tests and monitor the babies. It came out that I had very high counts of white blood cells, and was extremely dehydrated. I was told it was a UTI and was kept in the hospital for three days on IV antibiotics and fluids, then sent home on prescription antibiotics. 

About two weeks later I was getting ready for bed, and out of nowhere I started having tremendous amounts of pain and pressure. After about two hours on my hands and knees trying to relieve some pain, it was midnight and I had had enough. My mom drove straight over, helped me into the car, and we went to my hospital this time. When I got there I was a mess. Hysterical. I didn't know what was wrong with me and all I could think of were my babies. They did a catheter on me to get a "clean catch" of urine. Then someone came in to do blood work. Then they sent me over to do an ultrasound of my kidneys and bladder, due to the fact I was in the hospital just two weeks prior with similar symptoms. Turns out my left kidney had stopped functioning completely and while most people's white blood cell count is around 10,000, mine were in the 100,000s! On top of all that, I had four kidney stones that all measured above 5mm. Too big to pass. 

The next day I was sent into surgery to have a stint placed in my kidney and to have the stones lasered and removed. It took four hours in recovery after the surgery to maintain my pain, because I had woken up too early during the procedure and felt all the tools being pulled out of me. The stint was the worst part of the whole process. My bladder and kidney would both have spasms daily, and to be honest it was more painful than the stones themselves. I quickly got better and started to feel like myself again, which I was very happy about. 

At 28 weeks I was not only put on bed rest due to high blood pressure that I battled all pregnancy, but I was told I had gestational diabetes. I learned to control my sugar levels with diet, and tried as best I could to stay in bed. My boyfriend would make me breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If it weren't for him, the nursery would not have gotten done, and without the help of his mom and my mom, the house would have been a wreck!

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: I found out I was pregnant very early on, and I couldn't wait to tell my family. My boyfriend and I went over to my parents house for "dinner." I told my mom, dad, brother, niece, and nephew I needed a picture of my family for a project at work. They all gathered into a little huddle and prepared to take the picture. Instead of saying, "Say cheese!" I said, "Say Ashley's pregnant!" And I proceeded to snap a picture. The results are pretty comical!

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self?  STAY IN BED. On bed rest I would get so bored, and nesting and bed rest just don't mix!

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 34 weeks, 5 days

Baby A's Information:  
Charley Jane Stewart 

January 21, 2014
6:12 am 
5 lbs 
16.5 in

Baby B's Information:  Harper Ann Stewart 

January 21, 2014
6:13 am
5 lbs 9 oz
17.3 in

Are your twins identical? Fraternal

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery?  I had a c-section, after staying the night in labor & delivery. I had gone to a routine doctors visit and after explaining all the pains I had been having they decided to check me. I was between 2 and 3 cm dilated and my cervix was just falling away. They thought with some meds and monitoring I would be going home the following day. Turns out my babies had other plans. By the next morning, I was 4 cm and baby A's water bag was bulging. I was immediately rushed to the OR. I had thirty minutes to call the ones I wanted to be there. And although I wasn't nervous at all, my poor boyfriend looked like he had seen a ghost. He was the only one in the room with me besides the operating team, and I'm so grateful for how well he handled it and how he held my hand through it all.

Any NICU time?  If yes, for what reason and how long?  When Harper (baby B) came out, she wasn't crying. I was so scared and worried because Charley came out screaming. Turns out Harper had fluid in her lungs and had to be put on oxygen. Charley also went to NICU for feedings. Harper was breathing on her own after about three days, but wouldn't latch to a bottle. Charley stayed about 2 weeks in the
NICU before she figured out how to master the whole feeding thing. She came home first. A few days after, it's like Harper had a light switch go off. She went from no bottle feedings, to taking every feeding from a bottle in just a couple days. Having both my babies together at home with us was incredible. I couldn't have been happier!

Did you have any complications after delivery? The only thing was I pushed myself too hard. I was so upset I couldn't hold my babies and insisted I was well enough to make it over to the
NICU to see them. I stayed in the NICU for 4 hours or more, and hadn't taken my medicine. When I made it back to my room I was in severe pain, screaming at the top of my lungs. The foley cathadar that was placed during surgery had caused inflammation and I wasn't able to urinate. I had over 800 cc's of fluid in my bladder. Not comfortable at all! Other than that I had a fairly easy recovery!

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? I stayed for 5 days

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 
My night gowns, and my makeup!

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital:  Holding my babies for the first time, and seeing them finally put into the same room together in the NICU, I balled like a baby that day.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be?  Accept any form of help you can get! When people ask to hold one, say yes! Give your arms a break! Allow yourself the appropriate amount of time to heal after delivery! Also, don't worry, they will sleep eventually. And lastly, it just keeps getting better!

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