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

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