An entry from February 22, 2016
On September 14, 2015, our lives were forever changed when we welcomed our two sweet baby boys into the world. Pregnancy seemed like it was going to last forever, especially as we neared the end. On top of the already seemingly endless wait, these little blessings made me wait until the very last day possible to meet them. At 38 weeks and 1 day (my dr advised us that twins can only go to 38 weeks gestation for their own safety), my dr finally induced me.
Eager to get everything started, we arrived at the hospital nice and early for our 7am induction. I suspect I was already in slow labor because my contractions had been stronger and a little more consistent that weekend, but nothing felt strong enough to go to the hospital. I think the worst part about waiting to "know it's time" is that I had no idea how I would know since I've never done this before. Every time I'd ask my doctor, "yes, but what will it feel like? I have contractions pretty much off and on all day long. When is enough enough?" He would just say "when the pain is strong enough that you can't talk through it. You'll know." Well, no, I didn't know. Even after breaking my water for the induction, my contractions never felt like they described. They honestly just felt like my stomach was contracting in and out, which didn't hurt to me. The only thing that hurt was that sometimes during contractions or between them, it felt like the baby was trying to kick it's way out, but I'd been feeling that on and off for weeks at this point, so that didn't seem like what I was supposed to be looking for. At 7cm, I had to ask my nurse if that was what they meant about waiting for the "contractions to hurt". She just told me I was pretty far along to not have had my epidural yet, so I may as well have it. After that, things were definitely better because it no longer felt like baby A was kicking his way out, and I continued to progress until 6pm when they told me I could push.
Well, three hours later, we welcomed Mr. stubborn baby A into the world, and it became clear why he had so much trouble getting out. He wasn't breach, but he was trying to come out face up. Regardless of how long I pushed, he was perfect and I was in love. No sooner had I met my Baby A, then the nurses took him away and told me to begin pushing for Baby B. The dr had just said my darling Baby B would be born in just a couple minute, when I watched his facial expression drop as he shouted across the OR (they deliver twin babies in the OR just in case of an emergency) "C-Section, STAT". I looked at him like he was joking. Was I seriously about to have a C-section after 3 hours of pushing, and already bringing one baby into this world? He had to be kidding. Well, doctors don't joke about these things. He was serious. The minutes began to fly as I heard the doctor bark out orders to the nurses, and then I remember hearing "Heart rate's dropping. 110, 100, 90…" My healthy little Baby B was rapidly fading. The baby who I remembered had begun the first 36 weeks of my pregnancy as Baby A, had danced around on his brother's head in my belly during ultrasounds, was determined to come out first, always wiggling, kicking me in the ribs, and head butting me in my hip, where he eventually got stuck and was passed by his brother for the first position. My "Baby-A-turned-Baby-B", my bouncing ball of energy, the bigger baby of the two, the little porker who made me crave frozen yogurt every night, and would kick in delight as I devoured it. He was slipping away, and it was hitting me as they lifted me onto the operating table, and asked if I had feeling still. "Yes! Don't start, wait, wait!" I screamed as they pinched my belly and asked if I could feel it. "Dad. Out. Now. (they yelled at my husband as they began surgery) Knock her out, NOW" were the last words I can remember my dr saying before I opened my eyes to the nurse holding my screaming skinny baby boy, my Baby B. He was here, he was crying, and he was Okay. They took him away, he was gone.
Where's my husband, where's my other baby, what is taking so long? I kept wondering, but they had knocked me out so quickly, I couldn't move my mouth to get the words out. I felt like I couldn't breathe, like my lungs couldn't move either. The tears fell from my eyes, as I struggled to move my mouth somewhat, a little bit, just enough to get something out, even just one word, "Breathe. Can't, breathe." I mumbled. They gave me oxygen, and I felt my lungs expand a little finally. "Tim. Where's Tim." They assured me he was waiting and they had told him the baby and I were fine, and I would be back to see him soon. After 9 months of waiting, and a scary delivery, our little blessings had made it into the world safe and sound, and just like that, our lives would change forever.
(The following photos, with exception to the first photo in the hospital, are courtesy of Shannon Crall Photography)
A journal entry from July 8, 2015
I really wanted to write about this because I think it's a topic that isn't talked about enough. Infertility. I know, we have posted a lot of pictures lately about our future little men, but that isn't the story I want to focus on, or at least not that part of the story. It's the road we took to get here that has made this time in our lives so special to us, and one we could never take for granted. Yes, we are having twins, yes we are excited, yes I may be posting more pictures than you feel like seeing about our pregnancy, but it wasn't an easy journey getting here, and that's the part people never talk about. Infertility is widely misunderstood, but it is considered a struggle to conceive, or in some cases, it refers to a complete inability to do so. While I know this topic may be taboo, it shouldn't be. Infertility isn't rare!! So why do we act like it is, or feel ashamed when faced with it? Maybe if more of us were to talk about it, those of us struggling with it would feel less alone, and be given hope at a time when we need it most.
When a couple decides they're ready to start a family, they think, okay easy enough, lose the protection, stop being careful, then voila! Baby's coming! Which, true, some people are blessed with that situation, and trust me, I think that's wonderful for them. However, those of us who get blindsided by months or years of trying for a baby, know it is a completely gut-wrenching and emotionally draining roller coaster that you really can't prepare for. Makes you wonder why you spent days agonizing over a "late period" back in the day, or regretting the $$$ you spent on plan B, cause let's face it, that is NOT cheap, or even the cash you've spent on BC (pre-Obama that is).
But we are blessed to be living in a time where there are so many other options. If we can't get pregnant naturally on our own, there's medical intervention, there's adoption, there's surrogacy. I was raised Catholic and I know there are people who say medical intervention is unnatural, and if you can't get pregnant naturally, it is a sign from God. Well, I think that is just ridiculous (excuse my language) BS. God blessed us with great minds that have found ways to scientifically improve our fertility, and chances of becoming pregnant. So why not try if we want to? I don't think there's a person in the world that God would say was not created for a reason or a purpose. I know that I could always adopt, and let me just say, that as an adopted child, I think it is the most selfless act a mother can give her child: to carry a child for 9 months only to give that child up for adoption in hopes of a better future for them for whatever reason.
We tried for about a year before we got pregnant. I know, there are many couples who struggle for much longer, and I feel extremely blessed that we were able to get pregnant within a year. However, anyone who struggles with infertility knows that whether you've been trying for a couple months, or many years, it hurts regardless, and every month of disappointment feels like a lifetime wasted. It isn't easy. You wonder why you're struggling with something that is supposed to be so natural to us as creatures of Earth. And hope seems to be the only thing getting you through each month's disappointing results; hope that something will give, hope that something will change, hope that this time is different. You have to hold onto that hope, because it will be what gets you through in the end. And have faith that even if you don't get pregnant yourself, that doesn't mean you won't become a mother or a father. Faith is knowing that your desire to be a parent will ultimately land you that dream job, placing you as just that, no matter the road you have to take to get there.
When we finally got pregnant, it wasn't totally natural, but to us, it was still perfect. I found out I had not been ovulating, and had to take Clomid, which didn't work, then Femara, our dream medicine! But after two cycles, and one total wash, we were blessed with not one, but two amazing gifts from God, and we will be eternally grateful for these little miracles. We never planned on twins, and while the idea seemed scary at first, I wouldn't have it any other way! So, to the strangers with the comments about how I'm "in for it" with my twin boys (which the comments would be a story themselves, one I promise to post about another day), they can keep those to themselves, because I am in love with these little boys and whatever crazy chaos they may bring my way, it will be our chaos, and I cannot wait for every second of it!
So for now, I am loving every kick to the bladder, every day I feel nauseous or dizzy, and every pound I gain, because I know how worth it this is to us. And in a month or two, I promise to appreciate every spit up stained top, every sleepless night, and every giggle, gurgle, and smile, because I know this is something I was born for, and the struggle we faced to get here, was all worth it in the end… or I guess it's really a new beginning.