Friday, October 30, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Meredith Haynes

Today my babies turn THREE!  So here's a throwback birth story.  Feels like yesterday.  :)

Name: Meredith Haynes

Where do you currently live (city/state)?  McKinney, TX
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 6 weeks!

Any issues during your pregnancy? Before this pregnancy I'd had two miscarriages and my OB believed one was due to a blood clot in my uterus. She had me take blood thinners (Lovenox injections) from the moment I had a positive pregnancy test. I gave myself a shot in my stomach every single day, which was completely awesome since I'm absolutely terrified of needles. When I was 32 weeks I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes so I had to test my blood sugar each day and watch my diet. I was a good patient for approximately one week but the Oreos were too good to pass up. In all seriousness, my levels were never high so I didn't worry much about it. Other than that, I was very fortunate. I never had bed rest (hospital or home), though I did slow down around 36 weeks. 

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant:  Michael and I wanted to vote in the presidential election but the babies would be exactly one week old and we didn't think we'd be up for standing in a long line with two newborns. We were able to vote early and when we walked in the room the entire group turned and stared at my enormous belly. Someone asked if I was going to "have that baby right here." They offered me a chair (I refused) and we finally got bumped to the front of the line. I'm not sure I've ever had that many people absolutely terrified of me. A tiny part of me wanted to make eye contact with someone and yell, "It's happening!!!" But alas, I kept my mouth shut, voted, and waddled off. I was pregnant for three more weeks.

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Quit worrying so much. I spent the majority of my pregnancy in fear. I worried about another miscarriage, tiny babies, and going into labor early. None of that happened. I rarely allowed myself to relax and enjoy the moment, which is so sad because I absolutely loved being pregnant. (I still miss it sometimes.)

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 38 weeks

Baby A's Information: Jude Sullivan
October 30, 2012
7:41 am
7 lbs 5 oz
20 in

Baby B's Information: Sloane Elisabeth
October 30, 2012
7:42 am
6 pounds 10 oz
20.25 in

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? 
C-Section.  In the prep room they hooked me up to an IV, put three heart monitors on my stomach and put the blood pressure cuff on my arm. Not long afterward the anesthesiologist came in and I told him how nervous I was about the epidural due to the large curve in my spine. He took a look and assured me my scoliosis wasn't going to be an issue. They had me sit up on the stretcher and then bend over as far as I could. This was the most uncomfortable part of the entire day. My stomach was so huge and I felt like I couldn't breathe. The actual epidural felt strange but didn't hurt. And then the shakes began. Michael held my hand until they said it was time and then they wheeled me into the operating room and told me he would join me in 20 minutes. The anesthesiologist and I joked around for a bit (I remember thinking I'd said some pretty funny stuff but I was so drugged at this point I'm sure I just embarrassed myself). 

My doctor came in and then the room became very crowded with people. Michael walked in wearing scrubs and carrying the camera. They put the sheet up, he knelt down by my side and it was time. Surgery started at 7:30 am. 10 minutes later my doctor said, "You're going to feel some pressure" and then it felt like someone was punching me in the stomach (although it didn't hurt at all). At 7:41, they delivered Jude Sullivan. I heard a loud cry and then they brought him around the curtain and I saw my son. He looked big and healthy and then my eyes welled with tears so he became blurry. They took him away and started performing initial tests. I felt more pressure and at 7:42, they delivered Sloane Elisabeth. I heard another loud cry and my tears continued. Michael squeezed my hand as they showed us our perfectly healthy daughter. 

Someone came over to us and said they were going to take Jude to the NICU to monitor him for a bit.  He wasn't "transitioning" as fast as they'd like so they wanted to keep a close eye on him. A lady knelt down beside me and told me it was not a big deal and very common with c-sections (especially boys). 

Any NICU time? If yes, for what reason and how long? Jude spent (wait for it) one whole hour in the NICU. They never touched him, they just monitored him. To this day I don't understand why they took him. Both babies scored high on their APGAR tests. So strange.

Did you have any complications after delivery?  No complications, but the epidural's effects lasted all day. I felt so hazy and it was the most frustrating feeling in the world.  I wanted so badly to be present and remember every moment and instead I spent all of my energy trying to stay awake. I also tried to be "patient of the year" and kept delaying the time between pain meds. Not my brightest move but I blame it on lack of sleep. Take your meds, people.

How long did you (the parents) stay in the hospital? 5 days, 4 nights. You know how most people say they can't wait to go home? Not us. We LOVED it there. They basically kicked us out.

Did your twins stay with you or in the hospital nursery at night?  They stayed in the nursery. The nurses brought them to me every three hours to breastfeed. I remember thinking life was grand and "this isn't so bad." (This is foreshadowing. Just wait.)

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital?  
1. Playlist for your iPod dock or iPhone. We made a playlist of some of our favorite songs and it played throughout the day. It was nice to have some white noise and now I think of those precious days in the hospital every time I hear one of those songs. 
2. Low-rise pajama pants. That incision is no joke. 
3. (Wish I would have had) My Brestfriend Twin Nursing Pillow. Every single time I nursed (every three hours around the clock), Michael had to prop up three pillows on each side of me. Such a pain, especially in the middle of the night when you're not sure where or who you are. 

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital:  I will never forget when they brought Jude to us after he'd been in the NICU. It was the first time all four of us were together in the same room and I just had this overwhelming feeling of peace and gratitude. My little family of four was safe and healthy.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Michael and I went back and forth on whether or not the babies would remain in our room or go to the nursery during the night. In the end we opted for the nursery and LOVED it. HOWEVER. It made our first night home completely miserable. I'm not kidding, that may have been the worst night of my life. We were absolutely terrified, didn't know what we were doing, and thought we were going to hurt the babies approximately 18 different ways. I cried for six hours straight. Michael was a mess too. We discussed it later and decided if we could do it all over again we would've had the babies stay with us the last night in the hospital. A trial run with professional support/help standing by. I think that would've made the transition much smoother and would've given us the confidence to get through that first night without tears.

Meredith's Personal Blog: A Work In Progress 


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Twin Birth Story: Tiffany Kolba

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

Tiffany Kolba

Where do you currently live? Valparaiso, IN

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins21 weeks! (I had always assumed that someone pregnant with twins would find out earlier in the pregnancy, but our OB didn’t do a first trimester ultrasound unless there was a medical reason and at each appointment when they used the Doppler to listed to the heartbeat, they stopped as soon as they found the heartbeat and never searched to see if there was a second one!)

Any issues during your pregnancy? Thankfully I had a very smooth pregnancy with only a few minor complications. My blood test at 8 weeks indicated that I was anemic, so I started taking an iron supplement once a day in addition to my prenatal vitamin. But then my 28 week blood test indicated that I was so severely anemic that my OB said I was almost at the level of needing a blood transfusion! Luckily that wound up being unnecessary and my iron supplements were simply increased to twice a day. During the third trimester, I experienced numbness on a large section of the surface of my belly due to severe stretching of the skin, as well as edema on the lower part of my belly. I continued working up until 36 weeks, but then started my maternity leave early so that I could rest from home. Around that time, I developed my most irritating complication: SEVERE itching. It started on the palms of my hands and my feet, but spread over my entire body. I was scratching for HOURS each day and my daughter kept telling me “Mommy, no scratch!” The OB ran a liver function test and it came back normal, so she attributed the itching to extra hormones from being pregnant with twins. Thankfully the itching went away immediately after delivery.

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: I am a college math professor and when I was only 7 weeks pregnant, I fainted in the middle of class in front of all my students! Luckily I could tell I was about to faint and sat down in a chair before I passed out. When I came to, all the students were gone and my department chair was holding my right arm and the dean of engineering was holding my left arm! The students had called 911 and the paramedics were on their way, so I wound up having to tell my department chair and the dean of engineering that I was pregnant so that they wouldn’t make me take the ambulance to the hospital. I hadn’t even told my parents yet that I was pregnant!

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Try not to worry! I spent so much time worrying about what if the twins came early and had to go to the NICU, but then I wound up making it all the way to 39 weeks. Feeling two precious babies moving inside you is an incredible gift and I wish I could tell my pregnant self to just relax and enjoy the experience.

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 39 weeks!

Baby A's Information:  Zakary Andrew

May 6, 2014
6:43 am
7 lbs, 7 oz
20 inches

Baby B's Information: 
Rosalie Sophia

May 6, 2014
6:44 am
7 lbs, 9 oz
20.5 inches

Are your twins identical? No (It’s amazing how many people ask me that question even after finding out that one is a boy and one is a girl!)

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? Up until my 38 week appointment I had been planning on a vaginal birth, but then opted at that time to schedule a c-section for the following week. Ever since the first ultrasound, Baby B was breeched and I was told that since Baby A was head down, I could still do a vaginal birth and that they would flip B once A was born. The office I went to actually had 4 OB’s that we would rotate between, so I asked each OB independently what the probability was of successfully flipping Baby B. The first OB said 97% chance, the second OB said 90% chance, and the last two simply said “more often than not.” So who knows what the actual percentage is! My 38 week appointment was back with the first OB who was the most optimistic about flipping Baby B, but at that appointment she informed me of a twin case she had the week before where the first twin had a smooth vaginal delivery, but she was having a difficult time flipping the second twin and then the second twin developed an umbilical cord prolapse and she had to do an emergency c-section since the baby’s oxygen supply was cut off. The OB also told me that my cervix showed no signs of going into labor anytime soon (this was my second pregnancy and my OB commented that since my first went past 40 weeks and was 9 lbs, 4 oz that my body was well prepared for carrying twins!). Hence, they would likely need to induce me at 39 weeks (the OB’s policy was not to let twin pregnancies go past 39 weeks), which in turn increases the probability of needing a c-section anyways. The OB told me it was completely my decision if I wanted to try a vaginal birth or just schedule a c-section. I really appreciated that she presented the pros and cons of both approaches and then let me make the decision. I really didn’t want to have to go through a recovery of both types of deliveries and I did not want to put the twins, especially Baby B, at extra risk, so I opted for the scheduled c-section and was very happy with the decision.

Any NICU time?  If yes, for what reason and how long? No
Did you have any complications after delivery? The only minor complication I had was bladder spasms after the catheter was removed 24 hours after surgery. The pain was some of the most intense pain I have ever experienced and was definitely much more severe than the pain from the c-section incision. A full bladder exacerbated the pain, so I had to force myself to go to the bathroom every hour even though it was still very difficult to get up and down at that point (note: with all the IV fluids, my bladder really was full again after only an hour!). Luckily the bladder spasms stopped after the second day. By the time I left the hospital I was only taking ibuprofen and even that I stopped a few days later.

How long did you stay in the hospital? 3 nights/4 days

Did your twins stay with you or the hospital nursery at night? The twins stayed in the nursery at night and were brought to my room to nurse every 3 hours. When my older daughter was born, she never left our side even once, but with the twins it was nice to get some rest at night. If they were in our room, I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop staring at them to make sure they were still breathing!

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 

1) My own nightgown. The hospital nightgowns had two holes in them to aid with nursing, but they were very awkward to nurse through and just left me very exposed! My own nightgown was super comfy, didn’t put any pressure on my incision, and had a v-shaped neck that easily facilitated nursing.
2) My own robe.
3) I *wish* I had brought regular pads. The hospital pads are HUGE and by the day I went home they were unnecessarily bulky.

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: Seeing Zak and Rosalie for the first time and hearing that I had 15 total pounds of babies!

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Remember that each twin is an individual! I knew ahead of time that mine were fraternal twins and that one was a boy and one was a girl, but I was still surprised by how different they looked. Even if your twins are identical, they each often develop at their own pace. For example, my son was much quicker to smile and laugh, but my daughter was much quicker to gain head control and roll over. Try not to compare them too much or worry that one is slightly behind the other developmentally (I am still working on this one!); more than likely the other twin will catch up soon. It can also be easy to feel guilty about holding one twin longer than the other, but sometimes one baby is fussier than the other and needs more attention. Not everything has to be completely equal! I’m also very glad that prior to my twins’ arrival I had read a twin mom’s blog post about her twins being completely oblivious of one another. It is so true with my twins! I try laying them down next to each other, but they have no clue that the other one even exists! I had always thought that twins would want to snuggle with each other, but I am convinced that that is actually the minority case. Around 3 months, my twins started occasionally smiling at each other, which is just precious, and I am looking forward to them growing a closer bond as they continue to develop. Just don’t be surprised if at first your twins are oblivious of one another as well!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Andrea McGowan

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

Andrea McGowan

Where do you currently live? Austin, TX

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins6 weeks

Any issues during your pregnancy? I had a fairly easy pregnant up until 35 weeks. I gained 9 pounds of water weight week 35, got the stomach bug at 36 weeks and 1 days pregnant, then found out on 36 weeks and 4 days I had gained 10 more pounds of water weight and had developed Preeclampsia and the girls were coming out that day. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was supposed to be hosting my first Thanksgiving and my brother was going to propose to his now wife on Thanksgiving day. (Needless to say I missed the proposal but got an even better gift.)

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant:  Randomly I was pregnant at the same time as 2 of my other co-workers and we were all due within 3 days of one another but I was the only one pregnant with two babies. So when we would walk around the office building or go to grab lunch in the cafeteria we looked like a pregnant army walking around and when people would ask about our due dates they would look so confused as to why I was HUGE and my co workers weren't I would try to immediately inform them....I have TWO in here so stop judging. :)

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Honestly its easy to complain about the pregnancy part...gaining weight, low energy, nothing fits BUT I would say enjoy it because as far as having kids goes pregnancy is the easy part. You'll look back and think....I just thought I had it rough but now as twin mom you'll know what rough is.

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 36 1/2 weeks

Baby A's Information:  Sloan Marion

November 27, 2013
6 lbs 7 oz
3:22 pm

Baby B's Information: 
Riley Aileen

November 27, 2013
5 lbs 7 oz
3:23 pm

Are your twins identical? Fraternal

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? C-section, I always knew I would have a C-section my doctor felt it was the safest thing for all 3 of us. The C-section went great, the worst part was the magnesium they had to give me for the preeclampsia.

Any NICU time?  If yes, for what reason and how long? 6 days of NICU time, the girls were labeled "Growers and Feeders" they just needed a little temperature help and to learn to stay awake during feedings. It felt devastating at the time because the first night they got to stay with us in the room but by morning they were taken to the NICU and I felt like I had failed in some way after the hormone haze I know it was nothing I did or didn't do they just needed a little push in the right direction.

Did you have any complications after delivery? I did deal with some complications of my uterus not contracting properly and I had large softball size blood clots that would not pass, I had to take 2 rounds of very un-fun medicine to cause mini-contractions to help pass them and if those meds didn't work I ran the risk of having to have a surgery to remove the clots. LUCKILY the medicine worked and after about 7 weeks things were right where they should have been.

How long did you stay in the hospital? 6 days

Did your twins stay with you or the hospital nursery at night? One night with us and 5 in the NICU

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? I got this great wrap/girdle type thing from the nurse that honestly helped so much with my back and helping me keep from slumping over due to the c-section it just held everything in and made me feel more secure. I brought flips flops for the shower and was super happy about that and I wish I had brought my own pillow and pillowcase.

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: Because of the preeclampsia I had to be put on magnesium for 24 hours after the c-section which meant I was not allowed to get out of bed or be alone with the girls without a nurse in the room. The day after the girls were born (Thanksgiving day) my husband had gone home to shower and Sloan had already been taken to the NICU early that morning and they informed me that after shift change they were taking Riley also. I was so devastated and asked if I could do some skin to skin time with Riley for a while before they took her, a really nice nurse offered to stay in my room and do her paperwork so that I could just hold one of my daughters. Riley and I ended up falling asleep for about an hour and it was such a sweet first mom moment for me.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? I feel like so many people tell twin moms this that it is cliche but TAKE HELP from anyone and everyone. Get a game plan in order for when the babies come home,ask family to come in shifts so that you can have help for longer rather than a bunch of help all at once. For me help saved my sanity and on a day when I didn't think I could keep going some kind of help would swoop in a grant me a small nap that brought me back from the dead.

Andrea's Instagram: @ABMCGOWAN

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Casey Warren

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

Casey Warren

Where do you currently live?  Lawrenceville, Georgia

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins8 weeks!

Any issues during your pregnancy? I had always looked forward to one day being pregnant, but for me it definitely was not the magical experience I had hoped for! I had every symptom in the book, minus the swelling of my feet(which I gladly would've taken over some of the others lol) I had constant nausea, headaches, backaches, dizziness, etc. I was a mess! Luckily they were all just normal symptoms of pregnancy though and I never had any major issues!

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: My most memorable moment was when we found out we were having twins! Our story started out as a sad one, we suffered two miscarriages the year before we had the twins. So when I found out I was pregnant I made sure to get an early appointment and ultrasound done to make sure everything was ok. We were finally called back to do the ultrasound and my heart was racing, all I wanted was a healthy baby! The next thing we know the ultrasound tech is asking me if twins run in my family and I replied, "yes, I am a twin. Waittt, why??" Because you have two babies in there she said, "you are having twins!" I was so surprised and so husband was definitely in shock for the first 10 minutes but he quickly snapped out of it and we just knew what a blessing it was after all the tragedy we had suffered the year before! We spent that whole day sharing the news with his family and mine and it was so much fun!!

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? I would tell myself to get out more, even if it was to just to go grocery shopping or to go see friends! You don't realize how much harder it is to go places when you have two little babies with you! I wish I would have enjoyed my time before babies a little more!

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? I was 38 weeks and 2 days

Baby A's Information:  Hallie Parker

January 1st, 2014 (New Years baby!!)
10:05 pm
6.9 lbs 

18 3/4 in

Baby B's Information: 
Jackson Ryan Waren

January 1st, 2014 (New Years baby!!)
10:26 pm
5.2 lbs 

18 in

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? I had a natural delivery and it could not have gone any better then it did! It was amazing and I am so thankful I was able to do it! Throughout my pregnancy Hallie remained face down and Jackson turned several times but ended up staying breech. And although I had my birth plan of a natural delivery I was informed by my doctor that most of the doctors in that practice were not comfortable with a breech delivery especially with twins. I cried I was so upset thinking I would end up having a c-section, but when the day came I completely lucked out and the one doctor whom I had not met prior to delivery came in and said lets do this thing, I'm ready if you are! She was amazing and I'll never forget her or the experience!!

Any NICU time?  If yes, for what reason and how long? Yes, although Jackson was much smaller it was Hallie who ended up having to go to the NICU. They came in to check their blood sugar levels and Hallie's tested very low twice so they took her to the NICU for a day and a half. Once her blood sugar level was stable we were able to go home!
Did you have any complications after delivery? I did have a perineal tear while delivering Hallie but other then needing to be stitched up everything went perfectly and there were no complications.

How long did you stay in the hospital? We stayed an extra day to be close to Hallie while she was in the NICU, so 3 days total.

Did your twins stay with you or the hospital nursery at night? They stayed with us in our room!

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 

1. My slippers (I had to walk back and forth all day to feed Hallie in the NICU and Jackson in the room)
2. My pillow
3. Comfy clothes!!! 

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: With out a doubt my favorite moment was in the delivery room. Seeing my husbands reaction when Hallie was born! He was just so in love and then when they brought her to me and laid her on my chest, it was a feeling that I could never possibly describe! And then as I held her they let me begin to push for Jackson and it was incredible to be bonding with one baby while still delivering the other!! It was a moment I will never forget!

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Relax while you can! Being a twin mom is hard work and there isn't a whole lot of down time! When family offers to help, let them! Get the rest while you can. Also make sure you give yourself plenty of time to have everything ready before they arrive because you definitely won't have the time once they're here!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Megan

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


Where do you currently live?  Fort Myers, FL

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins9 weeks 4 days

Any issues during your pregnancy? No real medical issues. Just a much more physically taxing pregnancy than with my first (singleton) pregnancy. At the end, I couldn't walk without such extreme round ligament pain that I felt like I was going to fall.

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant:  When I took a pregnancy test and saw two very pink lines, the first word that came to my mind - and it was almost audible - was TWINS. I had no idea why because I certainly never anticipated having twins. It was definitely not anything I longed for. It didn't run in our family. And twins were something that happened to other people... not me. I told two people about my thought - my husband and my best friend. I still have the text message I sent to my best friend the day after we found out I was pregnant that reads "I don't know why, but I was having crazy thoughts of having twins last night". She responded that it would be crazy and exciting! And one month later, when we went for our first ultrasound, I texted her a picture of Baby A and Baby B saying..... "No, this is not a joke!"

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Calm down. You are going to have an amazing support system, and you are going to love having twins. There will be some days that you are incredibly tired - but you will catch up on your sleep when you can. Oh, and your fear of the sound of constant crying babies is unnecessary because your babies will be mellow-natured, sweet as pie and so delicious that you won't be able to stop kissing their cheeks.

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 36 & 6 days

Baby A's Information:  Owen John

March 5, 2014
6lbs 1oz
19 inches

Baby B's Information: 
Madelyn Jane (Maddy)

March 5, 2014
5lbs 4oz
18 inches

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? Had a scheduled c-section for 38 weeks, but my water broke at 1:00 in the morning on 36 weeks and 6 days. Really wanted to have a natural delivery, but Maddy was not head down, and my doctor would only attempt natural if both babies were head down. We did one last final ultrasound in the hospital to make sure she didn't miraculously flip at the last minute. And she hadn't. So with that news, they scheduled me to be taken to the OR at 5:30am. A completely different experience to have a c-section versus a natural birth. The operating room is extremely bright, white and full of busy people. It seemed like there were about a dozen people buzzing around prepping instruments and stations. I had a mild panic attack right before the surgery. I had already gotten the spinal tap, and my husband wasn't allowed to join me just yet. I started crying. I don't know if it was my disappointment in having to have a c-section or just the "steril-ness" of the situation and how unnatural it felt, or maybe the combination of fears I had about being cut open, but I just couldn't stop crying. I had a wonderfully sweet nurse anesthetist who kept encouraging me and giving me calming, positive words. And then my husband walked in, and seeing his face and having him with me completly brought peace. In hindsight, I am so thankful to live in an era where a c-section is a possibility when necessary to keep babies (and mamas) safe. 

Having had both a natural delivery (with my first) and a c-section with the twins - I found the recovery from the c-section to be much easier! Just my experience, but hopefully it can encourage anyone who is terrified of a c-section (as I was). 

Any NICU time?  If yes, for what reason and how long? Nope!
Did you have any complications after delivery? Two things: First, I started to get a very bad headache from the spinal tap. The options to relieve it were to try staying in the laying down position as much as possible and load up on caffeine or go back to the Operating Room to get a spinal patch. I did not want to be back in the OR at all, so I chose the first route, and the headache subsided within 24 hours. Plus - lots of yummy cinnamon lattes for me :). The second and by far the most terrible part of my recovery was that I had a reaction to something - probably one of the pain meds - which made me break out in unbearably itchy hives all over my body! It would keep me up for hours at night itching. I went back to see my OB one week after delivery and he couldn't believe how bad the hives were. He put me on a steroid and they started to clear up within a few days - completely gone within 10 days. I still don't know exactly which medication made me have a reaction.
How long did you stay in the hospital? 4 days

Did your twins stay with you or the hospital nursery at night? With us

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? 

1. My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow 
2. Loose, comfortable pajama pants that had a really stretchy waistline that didn't bother my incision 
3. Nursing tanks

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: I loved the alone time that Brandon (my husband) and I got with the babies in the hospital. Every morning he would wake up and drive to a cafe next to the hospital and bring back breakfast sandwiches and a cinnamon dulce latte. It was like a little breakfast date every day. And holding our two precious babies at the same time and watching them snuggle each other felt heavenly. Seriously - like we had two little angels with us.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? You are incredibly blessed. Take every day one at a time, and let everyone help you. Don't be hard on yourself with anything - your life and pace will change when they come, and you won't be able to do things as quickly or probably even half of what you did before. And that is okay! In time it will all slowly get back to feeling normal.

Megan's Blog:

Megan's Instagram: meganaduke

Monday, October 26, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Ashley Coffey

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

Ashley Coffey

Where do you currently live? Turlock, CA

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins6 weeks

Any issues during your pregnancy? I have a genetic mutation that causes blood clotting issues. From the beginning of my pregnancy I had to do a daily shot of Lovenox, a blood thinner. God bless my husband, who who administer the shot, ever evening. They were not the least bit fun, but absolutely worth it. I also had to take Progesterone twice a day in my first trimester, because of our previous miscarriages. 

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: I had two miscarriages before finding out I was pregnant the third time. We went in for our first ultrasound at 6 weeks to make sure there was a viable pregnancy. My husband and I were terrified and excited at the same time. The ultrasound tech performing our scan knew our story and just moments after beginning, her face broke in to a huge smile as she declared, "I see two sacs!" My husband and I both held our breath, not 100% certain what that meant. She then switched to internal ultrasound and the tech declared, "I see two sacs and TWO heartbeats!" We were shocked, we were elated, we were completely overwhelmed. After hearing our sweet babies heartbeats for the very first time the ultrasound tech asked, "Do twins run in your family? Were you using fertility medication?" I responded no, to both questions. She took a moment and said quietly, "I really believe these are the babies you lost, coming back to you and just the right time." I had goosebumps--we knew without a doubt these babies were such a gift.

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Sleep as often as you can, rest even when you feel like you don't have the time and ENJOY! This is such a special season of your life. Cherish these moments together as a trio, because you'll never be this close to your babies again.

And most importantly, be flexible. Nothing may go according to plan, but don't sweat the small stuff, heck, don't sweat the big stuff. 

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 35 weeks, 5 days

Baby A's Information:  Jack Bryan Coffey

March 15, 2014
2:38 pm
5 lbs 4 oz and 18 inches long

Baby B's Information: 
Hunter Doc Coffey

March 15, 2014 
2:39 pm
5 lbs 8 oz and 19.5 inches long

Are your twins identical? Yes? No? Jury's still out.  (Update: Thanks to DNA testing, they found out that Jack & Hunter are identical!) 

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? It was 2 am when my water broke. I was 35 days, 5 weeks and I FREAKED out. I was ready for my boys to be here but for some reason, it became so real in that moment, as I thought, "Today is their birthday. I'm going to hold my boys today." 

I woke my husband and we got ready to head to the hospital. I called the doctor to let him know we were coming and he said he'd have everything ready to go. Baby A was breech and Baby B was transverse {and had been for 6 weeks} so I knew I'd have to have a c-section. We arrived, were checked in and everyone was ready to rock and roll when I mentioned to my doctor that my husband had given my my Lovenox shot {blood thinner} at 11 pm the night before.

My doctor looked concerned and went to consult with the anesthesiologist. He returned and delivered the bad news--I'd have to wait until 1:30 pm to deliver to reduce my risk of bleeding. It was 4 was going to be a long day. I labored until 11 am when the nurse came in and told me my c-section had been pushed to 2:30 pm. I felt so defeated, I was in full blown labor, no drugs, just watching the clock. I couldn't get out of bed, becasue they didn't want me progressing any faster than I already was. Torture.

Finally the time arrive and I was taken back to the OR and the boys were born one minute apart, healthy, breathing perfectly! It was an amazing moment!

Any NICU time?  If yes, for what reason and how long? Neither of the boys had to spend any time in the NICU, we were shocked, frankly. So was the hospital staff!
Did you have any complications after delivery? My blood pressure was a little high toward the end of my pregnancy, at 32 weeks they tested my urine for protein but all was well, so there were no further concerns. Fast forward...

After the babies were born, they were taken to the nursery for a bath while I was in recovery. We were supposed to meet up in my room an hour after they were born. For some reason there was a hold up and the babies were still being bathed when I arrived in postpartum.

Suddenly, my blood pressure spiked {171/101} and I was immediately treated for Preeclampsia. All the while, all I wanted was to hold my babies for the first time. I had seen Jack after he was born, but then both boys were whisked away, I hadn't even really been able to see Hunter. I was so upset--so was my husband. He kept going down to the nursery to find out what was going on, all the while, nurses were running in and out of my room, trying to get my blood pressure under control before I had a seizure or a stroke.

The medications weren't working and they even brought a crash cart to my room. It was frighting, but all I could think about was holding my boys. Eventually, they were able to get my blood pressure under control but I had to be on Magnesium Sulfate for 24 hours post-delivery which was AWFUL and I had to be checked every hour. It wasn't until five and a half hours post-delivery that I finally got to hold my babies. And sadly, I don't remember that moment becasue of the drugs. It's heartbreaking, but in the end the Magnesium Sulfate could have saved my life, so it was worth it.

Apparently, in some cases, women can develop Preeclampsia post delivery. Usually delivery is the "cure" for Preeclampsia, but in my case, it had the opposite effect.  

How long did you stay in the hospital? 2 days/2 nights

Did your twins stay with you or the hospital nursery at night? No, because of the medication, they weren't able to stay with me.

What are three things you are so glad you had (or wish you would have had) at the hospital? I spent so much time researching and packing so I'd be sure to have just exactly what I would need. In the end, I don't think I opened my bag other than to retrieve my going home out fit. However, I was grateful for:

1. My husband and my sister--be sure to have a support team who isn't afraid to ask questions and stand up for you and the babies. They both played an important role in making sure we were all cared for, especially when things got chaotic.

2. Ear plugs and an eye mask--It didn't occur to me to bring ear plugs, but I was exhausted and the machines in my room were so loud and my husband snores. By the second day all I wanted was a tiny bit of sleep. The nurse brought me ear plugs and an eye mask and I was able to take an much needed nap.

3. My own pillow-such a life saver!

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: My husband had to be on a conference call our last morning at the hospital. For the first time, I was alone with the babies. Just moments after he left, they both started crying. It was overwhelming and I was a little panicked, but we figured it out, just the three of us. Everyone got what they needed and I had my first moment of, "I am their mom and I can do this!" It was such a special moment.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Do everything you feel you need to do to prepare for your babies. Read as many books as you want, research, practice swaddling, wash and fold clothes, eat well, sleep often and then, when the babies arrive, just be their mom. Stop reading, stop researching, trust your instincts. You will know what's ultimately best for your kiddos. Ask questions, ask for help and opinions, and then decide for what's right for your family.

Ashley's Instagram: AshesCoffey