The twins have finally made their arrival and it still amazes me that we actually came home with two babies instead of one. I do love a great deal. While I’m still recovering and we’re adjusting to the new normal that is our family of seven, it’s been a relief to find some peace and joy with what was a pretty difficult pregnancy and childbirth.
I joke that there was a buy one, get one free sale going on at the hospital. However, there were definitely added “costs” involved with having twins. The pregnancy was really rough; it made my other ones seem easy in comparison. The first trimester hit me with such extreme fatigue that I should have known there was something different going on this time. Then, my second trimester (the relatively comfortable portion of pregnancy) seemed to get cut down from several months to a couple of weeks. I was sporting a huge, cumbersome belly before hitting the halfway point.
The last couple of months have been very difficult. It was absolutely impossible to find a comfortable position, at any time of the day or night. I was forced to sleep on the couch surrounded by a mountain of pillows. Even taking a short walk felt like running a marathon. Fortunately, my doctor wrote me out of work and my claim for disability was approved, so I could suffer in the “comfort” of my home and not have to worry about other responsibilities. Then, the itching started. My doctor believes it was an allergic reaction to all of the hormones. Whatever the cause, I had something similar to hives all over my arms and legs for the last couple of weeks of the pregnancy.
I was fortunate to have uncomplicated, routine births with my three previous pregnancies. At some point during the last month or so of this pregnancy, I learned that one of the babies had flipped and was no longer positioned correctly. Twin pregnancies are monitored with regular sonograms. I went back week after week, hoping that the baby had flipped back. I even tried special “spinning baby” exercises. It never happened, so my doctor scheduled me for a c-section. I was devastated and terrified.
I spent the end of my last pregnancy miserably uncomfortable and pretty depressed about having to undergo a c-section. I read up on what to expect and talked to a few friends who had to undergo the procedure. It didn’t make me feel any better, but at least I was somewhat prepared. I’d like to say that my concerns were unwarranted, but my experience was pretty horrible. It was scary, unnatural, and traumatic. For one thing, I was horribly nauseous and gagging uncontrollably during most of the procedure. It felt like I was left out in a way – while everyone else was enjoying the babies, I got a quick look and was left to have my numb body sewn back together under bright lights, on the cold metal table.
Unfortunately, the completion of the c-section procedure was not the end of my troubles. Ever since that fateful sonogram when we learned that our “one last baby” was actually two babies, I have worried about going into labor too early and having little ones who needed special care in the NICU. I dreaded being discharged from the hospital and not going home with my babies. While normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, most twins are born well before that time. Most doctors will advise you to not go beyond 38 weeks with twins because, at that point, risks increase with no added benefits to the babies. Having kept the little ones growing until 38 weeks and one day, I was thankful for the high probability that they would be born perfectly healthy. Little did I know that we were still destined to spend some time visiting our twins in the NICU.
I was wheeled back to the recovery, anxious for my opportunity to finally snuggle with the little ones. Imagine my surprise to see Mr. Smith with only one baby. The first-born had been taken to the nursery due to breathing difficulties. I was able to hold the second-born for a few precious minutes, but then a nurse said that this baby looked a little blue and had to go to the nursery as well. A few hours later they were transferred up to NICU. I spent the first day and night being taken by wheelchair to visit the twins and try to feed them about every 90 minutes (they were on completely different schedules but each one needed to eat every three hours). It was upsetting and tiring, but they were mainly just there for monitoring, with teeny, tiny nasal cannulas. There were far more urgent issues in the NICU, which helped to keep things in perspective. The following afternoon, Baby A was released to stay in my room and Baby B finally joined us on the second day of my hospital stay. We were all discharged together.
But enough about the negatives, I’m more than ready to move on and enjoy these sweet little blessings who complete our family. Introducing (since we already have a Trey on this blog) twin brothers who will be referred to here as Quade and Quince, at least for the time being. They were born one minute apart and each weighed a little over seven pounds.
While I certainly wish my last pregnancy and childbirth had been more enjoyable (as much as a woman can be said to “enjoy” those things), perhaps it was just the added cost for our “double blessing.” I can live with that price, because these little lovebugs are just wonderful.
Life has already become a lot crazier, but in a good way. Goofball and Tornado adore their new brothers and can even be a little too eager at times to help out with them. Trey was unsure at first, but now either imitates the sounds they make and laughs, or gives them gentle kisses on their head. As for the c-section recovery, it’s been bearable. The great thing is that I’m finally starting to feel like myself again, ready to start moving forward with our plans for this big family. But first, I’m going to snuggle with my sweet twin boys for a little bit.