I Had Twins and it was Crazy! (and other embarrassing anecdotes)

Hello my poor, neglected blog! So where did we last leave off? Ah yes! More than a year ago now, when I was still pregnant with twins.

It was a hard pregnancy – or so I thought, until my 2 little boys came into the world and I realized that pregnancy was the easiest part. These days, when I see a woman bounding down the street with her round belly dressed in yoga gear, or with a bag of just-purchased baby clothes in hand, I think to myself, “Gal, you have no idea what’s coming to you.”

That said, my pregnancy included bed rest, hospital stays, and pre-term labour before the whole shebang kicked off at 37 weeks when I woke up from a nap, hemorrhaging.

Forty-eight hours after arriving at the hospital, which included induction, ruptured membranes (breaking of the water, not naturally), and labouring to 9cm, my little guys were hastily cut from my belly and arrived into this world (but not into my arms – I was frozen from the neck down) at 5:14 and 5:16pm on Sunday, January 19, 2014.

One day old

I was the last to see them, and the last to hold them, and even though I was pretty groggy from the meds, I was still ticked. When you give birth to twins, it always happens in the OR, with about 14 billion nurses, anesthesiologists, OBs and surgeons by your side, just in case.

So when Twin A was pulled from my belly my eyes got to behold his wrinkly, bloody butt for about a millisecond before he was cleaned and weighed. But when the nurses and midwives formed a semi-circle around the scale to “oohhh and ahhh” the precious little dude that I just gave birth to, I snapped a little. “Can you please get out of the way so I can see him?!”

I’m the kinda gal who has imagined giving birth over and over again, and it always makes me weepy. To think about groaning, crying, sweating, labouring – and then finally, something beautiful emerges! Isn’t that what life is?! While some are terrified of the thought of a natural birth, I was terrified of a c-section. I grew those boys in my belly. I nurtured them. I felt every kick, every hiccup. They kept me awake with their antics. Made me pee 5 times in a night. And then they were born, and I couldn’t see them or hold them.

I think that what made it so hard was that I hadn’t prepared myself for the fact that a c-section was a real possibility (something like 75% of twin births end in a c-section). Emotionally, physically…I had no idea what I would endure. And though I never pushed those boys out of my lady bits, I did labour to 8cm without an epidural, and I can say in all truthfulness that the pain of contractions (and believe me, they are painful!) didn’t hold a candle to the pain of a c-section recovery. Imagine getting stabbed with a knife every single time you move.

My first meltdown happened on Day 2, when I couldn’t put on my pants. I was in the bathroom in my hospital room, trying ever so hard to lean over and pull on my gosh-darn pants without falling on the floor and sobbing uncontrollably. I couldn’t. So I walked out of the bathroom pant-less in front on my husband, a nurse, a lactation consultant and a nurse-in-training trying not to burst into tears. I sat down on my bed and asked my husband Simon if he could put on my pants. And then I lost it.

“Are you crying because you can’t put your pants on?!” The lactation consultant asked me, in a tone that was just a bit too cheery. I gave her a look. Do NOT mess with me, woman. I tried to compose myself, and then I answered. “Yes.”

She responded with, “Well then! Let’s put on your pants!” And then followed up with, “Now take off your shirt!”

And thus began my postpartum journey of never wearing a shirt. Cuz you see, when you have to nurse two babies, there’s no time to think about lifting your shirt and unhooking your nursing bra clasps. Never mind the fact that newborns nurse around the clock!

Now normally, I don’t think my husband would have liked the fact that I was topless in front of other men. This only happened at breastfeeding clinics, and these men were the kind husbands, like mine, who accompanied their wives to said clinics for emotional support. But Simon is smart, and he realized about 4 days in that there ain’t nothing sexy about leaky boobs and cracked nipples getting gnawed on all day and all night. Nope. Nada. Nothin’.

I think that’s where I’ll end, because nap time is almost over and if I don’t click “publish” now this is never going to happen. Not for another 15 months at least.

Hope you’ve enjoyed!

One + One = Four

I awoke from an interesting dream on Thursday, September 12.

“Hey Simon, I just dreamt that we went to our ultrasound and it was twins!”

And then we started joking about what that would be like. “A double stroller, two of everything, a baby on each boob! Twins would be a crazy life!”

But it was just a dream.

That morning just happened to be the morning of our first ultrasound at 19 weeks. We walked into the dark room and told the technician that yes, we wanted a picture, and no, we didn’t want to know the gender.

I reclined on the bed and wiggled my pants past my hips as the tech started rubbing cold gel on my belly.

She turned on the machine and moved the wand back and forth, spreading the gel.

“Your baby is sleeping right here,” she said, showing us the image of our baby snuggled comfortably on my pelvis on my right side.

She moved the wand toward my belly button, “And your baby is very active over here,” she continued.

For a split second I was confused. Did the baby suddenly wake up and jump from one side of my belly to the other?

And then it dawned on me…

Simon shot out of his chair as we cried “WHAT?!” in unison. Surely they heard us in reception.

The technician continued speaking but I was barely listening. I draped my right hand over my forehead and tried to absorb this new information.

I know what’s going on. I’m still in my dream. I’m in my dream from this morning. This isn’t real. This is a dream.

The tech spoke again, “Your twins are fraternal. There are two sacs, and two sets of placenta.”

She went on and on, as I tried to make sense of what I was seeing on the screen. And I wasn’t waking up. As hard as I was squeezing Simon’s hand and he was squeezing mine, there was no rousing from this slumber.

This is real.

And then I thought back to the last 4 months…

The intense morning sickness that finally tapered off at 16 weeks, managed only by Diclectin.

The way my uterus underwent a growth spurt that even had my midwife saying, “You’re definitely measuring more than 17 weeks…”

And all the kicks and punches I felt and movements I could see all over my belly at just 18 weeks.

Despite the shock of learning that we were having twins, we cannot contain our joy! We’ll never forget the moment when the technician casually commented on the activity of Twin B. It was so special to learn that there are two in there.

Ultrasound Surprise

And even though we know we are in for quite the challenge, we are simply in awe that God would entrust us with two babies. That’s not something we could plan or even control (there are no twins in the family!), and that fact alone gives us the assurance that he will continue to be faithful.