Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Anna

Name: Anna

Where do you currently live?  Bothell, WA

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins
20 weeks!

Any issues during your pregnancy? None at all, blessedly. Just some pretty nasty all day sickness for the entirety of my pregnancy and some painful aches from all that weight but ultimately, it was a healthy and normal pregnancy.

Memorable/funny moment when you were pregnant: 
I would have to say the moment we found out we were having not one but TWO babies was pretty memorable. During my 8-week appointment, I had a quick ultrasound but at that time, my midwife only saw one heartbeat -- to which I replied, "Thank God. I already feel like I'm ruining my sons life, I don't know what I would do if I was having twins." (God has quite the sense of humor, to which I am forever grateful. So glad I don't have the control and He does.) I was experiencing heavy mommy guilt even though I knew that giving my son a sibling was an awesome gift. I was so excited to be having our second baby but I was experiencing horrible all-day sickness and taking Diclegis just to keep food down. That combined with caring for our 17 month old son made for a rough first five months. 

Fast forward to our 20-week anatomy scan ultrasound. I was shocked and pleased to see I had gained 11 pounds after losing during my previous appointments. I still had NO IDEA that there was even the slightest chance that there was more than one baby -- even after the ultrasound started. My husband said he knew right away, as soon as that wand touched my belly and he saw the crazy mess of limbs going on up on the screen. I still didn't think anything abnormal was going on. I needed the tech to tell me. Twice.
"Have you had any other ultrasounds, Anna?"
*heart sinking with worry that something was wrong* "Just one at 8 weeks but it wasn't very clear."
"Well, there are two."
"Excuse me?"
"There are two babies!"
*enter total and complete brain function loss -- in my mind, I was thinking, what do you mean two babies? There's a little one in there? I got pregnant again? -- obviously, not my smartest moments....
The rest is a blur, with spurts of clarity, like when she asked if we wanted to know the sex.
"Well, I saw a penis..."
"Yes, they're identical so you're having two boys!"
*cue more shocked laughing/crying/shock/awe/panic

Looking back on it now, six months into having these two crazy babies earthside, I can laugh and be SO THANKFUL that God knew what He was doing. 

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your pregnant self? Well, I would've probably planted the seed that there were two babies, just so I wouldn't be so shell-shocked. :-)

How many weeks/days were you when your twins were born? 37 weeks 5 days

Baby A's Information: Cohen Tate
7 lbs 9 oz
19" long

Baby B's Information: Isaac Rhett
5 lbs 9 oz
18" long

Are your twins identical? Yes

Did you have a c-section or natural delivery? I had a scheduled c-section. This was incredibly hard to wrap my brain around at 20 weeks, when we had to shift our whole life plan (moving from midwives to a doctor, natural to cesarean, one baby to two, moving homes, buying a new car, etc etc etc). My doctor was and is phenomenal and through the second half of my pregnancy, provided me with encouragement and support. He never shut down my desire to deliver vaginally, saying that if I went into labor on my own and the babies were head down, I could go for it. But I never did go into labor and I'm at peace with how my babies were delivered. After the final months of painful joints and restless nights, it was nice to have a date to plan for and not have to go through the contractions and discomfort (understatement -- ha) of delivery.

Any NICU time?  If yes, for what reason and how long? None at all. Again, so incredibly thankful that my pregnancy and babies were so healthy.

Did you have any complications after delivery? I had a low platelet count heading into the final week of my pregnancy and even the morning of, it was fairly low. But we had the go-ahead for the spinal and went forward with the c-section. Afterwards, my doctor told me that I had lost more blood than was typical and while I didn't need a transfusion, it was something they wanted to keep an eye on. I wasn't even able to sit up fully during the first 24 hours, which was really challenging. But by the time I was discharged, I was past most of the pain and was feeling okay.

How long did you stay in the hospital? 
4 days

Did your twins stay with you or the hospital nursery at night? They stayed with us, as our hospital doesn't have a nursery. But we had our parents come in the evenings to hold the boys so we could sleep. We also had a few friends who worked the night shift at the hospital who would come and give us a break around midnight. That was awesome, too.

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

1) Camera.
2) Maternity sweats and nursing tanks -- it was so nice to have some clothes to feel "normal" in.
3) Snacks! It was so nice to have Greek yogurt to eat in the later hours or the early morning.

Describe one of your favorite moments while you were at the hospital: Having our 22 month old son, Liev, come in and meet the babies a few hours after they were born was my absolute favorite. Having our little band of brothers all together for the first time is something I will never forget. He was so gentle and loving towards them. I was so thankful to have three healthy and perfect little boys. It was a surreal and blessed moment.

If you had one piece of advice you could give an expecting mom of twins, what would it be? Try and enjoy the ride. It's a finite season and while there may be pain and discomfort, you're participating in a miracle and it is awesome to experience. (sidenote: I love being pregnant so this was easier for me even during the bad days but I recognize that not everyone feels that way. Still, staying positive and remembering in the hard moments that being pregnant is not forever helps tremendously.)

Anna's Instagram: aschauf21

Professional photos courtesy of Ashley DeLatour of One Thousand Words Photography.

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