It all started on a Sunday shopping with my identical twin sisters. We were school shopping for them as they were about to enter 8th grade. As we were shopping, I kept making comments about how strange I felt. My body was already changing dramatically as my husband and I had been trying to conceive our second child for almost a year. I was advised by my doctor to cut back on running and on all of my workouts. In return, my body reacted and I gained about ten pounds due to my activity level changing. So….when I made comments about not feeling right, I chalked it up to my body changing from not exercising as much.
My sister Hannah (who is an identical twin) kept telling me that I was pregnant. I thought that there was no way this could be possible due to my husbands crazy work schedule over the summer. He was extremely busy and in return was not home much over the summer. This made our pregnancy journey even harder on both of us. With my son, Brody, I sneezed and became pregnant. So after months of being somewhat depressed and feeling like something was wrong with me, I decided to let go and put it in Gods hands. So after Hannah, who is 14 kept telling me all day that I was pregnant, I decided to myself to take a test and rule out what I knew couldn’t be true.
Well… Turns out I was pregnant. And I hadn’t even missed my period yet. I was still 3-4 days away from missing it. So I honestly have no idea what urged me to take the test. Maybe it was my semi-annoying sister Hannah (love you Hannah Faith 😘) drilling it in my head all day or maybe I was just in denial. So after months and months of planning a special way to tell Brett, I was shocked and not believing it myself. After months of tracking, countless ovulation tests and lots of frustration and tears I told him by showing him the positive test. So thank-you Hannah. 😊
I called right way the next day and scheduled my first prenatal appointment which was an agonizing three weeks away. Longest. Wait. Ever. Any momma knows that the first appointment takes FOREVER to get to. Well the three weeks passed and the day had arrived. Brody was with my mom so that Brett and I could go to the appointment and focus without chasing a rambunctious toddler. Brett dropped me off at the appointment and went to an appointment that he had for work. All with the promise that he’d be back in time and wouldn’t miss it. Well anyone who knows Brett knows that his intentions are always good…but he invests so much of his time into work. Which is one of the things I adore about him and get quite annoyed by. All in all – he takes care of his family and is beyond wonderful to us by providing such a great life for us.
So anyways I’m sitting in the appointment waiting on my doctor to come in. She comes in and goes over everything that they go over at the first prenatal appointment. After a couple concerning questions on my part, she decided to send me in for an early ultrasound. At this point I’m sending Brett some rather hateful, demanding text messages explaining to him what’s going on.
As I head into the ultrasound by myself, I’m getting all those nervous feelings you get right before you see your baby for the first time.
The ultrasound starts and the lady became extremely quiet. I laid there and immediately started thinking the worst…thinking how this was all too good to be true. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to over analyze certain things…especially pregnancy. After what seemed like an hour passing which was probably only 15 seconds…I chirped up and said, “everything ok?”. The lady then took a second and said, “well, I’m seeing TWO heartbeats.”
I’m not going to lie I started shaking and crying. I went from thinking something was wrong to TWINS. Shift in emotions and a lot to take in by myself and in a short period of time. She then told me that I had a blood clot on my placenta that could be causing some of the concerns that my doctor picked up on when I was explainig my symptoms to her before the ultrasound. After then speaking with my doctor and her explaining to me in further what all was going on with my twin pregnancy. I had little to no comfort and was extremely nervous and scared to death. My twins were mono/di. Which means they are identical, sharing one placenta with two sacs within one sac. Kinda confusing. But basically there was a small membrane separating each baby- which is good news! On a dangerous scale- it goes. Fraternal twins which are di/di- with seperate sacs and seperate placentas being most low risk. This can be explained as two sperm and two eggs meeting up and implanting. My twins were identical mono/di and in the middle on the dangerous scale. They were considered high risk just because it’s a multiple pregnancy (as most twins are) but the membrane seperating each baby was definitely in our favor. Then, there’s the most dangerous which are also identical twins sharing one placenta and one sac being called mono/mono. This is dangerous for the most obvious reasons. One sac with two babies can be dangerous because they are both occupying space intended for one baby.
I told you my sisters were identical for the fact that mine are too. Most people believe any twins are a genetic trait. This is false. Only fraternal twins are genetic because the woman releases two eggs during ovulation and in return two sperm match up. With identical twins, one egg is released by the mother and one sperm meet up- then there is a spontaneous split with identicals that has no reasoning. It’s just like I said spontaneous and no rhyme or reason. My twins and my sisters are identical twins with no genetic factor what so ever. So I told you that because my mom and I constantly hear how it runs in our family. And it doesn’t. Which is crazy and strange that it happened this way…but it did! I’ll tell you I had NO idea of the differences between fraternal and identical twins. So I take no offense when people make comments that “it’s a genetic trait.”
So…then there was telling Brett who was now sitting in the waiting room with a look I’ve seen a million times. It’s the “I’m sorry, I’m sorry but there’s nothing I will say to not make you be pissed at me look” At this point, I had forgotten all about him missing the appointment so I wasn’t even mad. I was scared, excited and nervous due to all the info I had just received. I had a blood clot which gave me a 50% miscarriage risk. I had just been told I was carrying these miracle babies who we had tried to hard to get. Not knowing we’d ever be blessed with a twin pregnancy. I. Was. Overwhelmed. When I got to Brett, I was smiling but deep down dying to spill all this info I had just been told. All I could do was hand him the ultrasound that was labeled “A” and “B”. He looked at the picture, studied it for a minute and said ” I know what those two letters mean, why is there two letters?” He also said a couple other words that I won’t share on here. 😊 He was shocked and the look on his face is something that I will never forget.
After the shock wore off- we called our parents and siblings with strict instructions for prayers and not to tell a soul due to the scary journey we were about to embark upon.
With the blood clot, I was advised to go on “pelvic rest” which almost is like bed rest early on. You’re not allowed to due anything and somewhat reliant on others. After two weeks, I was to go back to see if the blood clot had disolved or if it had grown in size. When I said earlier that the first wait for the prenatal appointment is the longest. I lied. This was the longest wait of my life. Everyday was a struggle to get through with overflow of emotions and uncertainty of what was to come. Honestly, every time I went to the bathroom I was preparing myself for the worst. I knew the odds weren’t exactly in my favor but I also knew God had blessed our family and could get us through this.
After two weeks, I went in for another ultrasound and was surprisingly at peace with what we were going to find out. I think you get to a point where you just can’t keep worrying yourself sick because it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be.
And thankfully we learned the blood clot had disolved completely and both babies had grown a significant amount from the last appointment 2 weeks prior. We. Were. Blessed. Blessed to go through this adventure and blessed that God had answered our prayers for these two little miracles. I was cleared back to almost normal activities. Exercise was still out of the picture as I was still high risk. But I was feeling the best I had in what seemed like a long time.
After what seemed like a rocky start to this twin pregnancy, the coming months proved to be smooth sailing. With identical twins a major milestone to overcome is escaping the window where TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome) can occur which is around 18-22 weeks. Typically there may be some indicators that your twins suffer from this. But it is not usually diagnosed until the 18-22 week period. TTTS is scary because it can be life threatening to the babies. Basically one twin will obtain more blood flow from the placenta then the other baby. This makes it extremely hard for the babies to receive nutrients and blood flow to grow adequately. It can also be dangerous to the baby receiving more blood to get too much and affecting the opposite twin be recieving too litte. It can be dangerous for both babies but luckily with advanced medical science there are now centers that do laser treatments that can help solve the peoblem between the two babies. Thank god we never showed any signs of TTTS and our babies were neck in neck with their growth. 2nd major milestone accomplished. ✔️
The third was getting to the 24 week viability mark which meant with a lot of medical intervention- babies could potentially survive outside the womb. Once we hit that and every week after, I felt more and more confident. I still had a long road to go and was desperate to make 37 weeks which was considered full term for me. My original due date was April 14. My goal date was March 24.
At my 34 week appointment, I walked in feeling terrible. I was completely irritable and had a terrible headache and was having some small issues with my vision. After taking my blood pressure, my doctor noticed that my blood pressure was high for me. I ran phenomenal blood pressure, even during pregnancy. But, this was an indicator to her that I could be in the early stages of Pre-Eclampsia due to the symptoms I had during that day. She sent me to labor and delivery to run tests and be observed. This ended up turning into a 8 day hospital stay. All my tests came back elevated and my blood pressure continued to creep up. After the symptoms of pre-eclampsia continued to rise, my doctor decided at 35 weeks the twins would be born. Pre-eclampsia can be life threatening to the mother and cause stress on the baby or babies. It can also pose a threat to the babies life. If you’re unaware of what Pre-E is, here is a link that better explains it. It’s a scary thing. Delivery is the only way to cure Pre-E if you have it. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/preeclampsia/basics/definition/con-20031644
As I was in the hospital, I learned that my cousin who is 5 months older than me had unexpectedly passed away. This was the straw that broke the camels back. Of all the times for something so tragic to happen- it happened now. With me strapped to a hospital bed completely on bed rest with no hopes of leaving the hospital anytime soon. I wanted to be home with my family and my cousins who I grew up extremely close with. To say a flood of emotions got the best of me is an understatement. This was honestly the most helpless I’d ever felt in my life. I knew I was where I needed to be but torn and extremely upset to not be with everyone. I couldn’t quit thinking about all the memories of Jeffrey, my cousin. All the memories from our childhood.
My aunt Carla (Jeffrey’s mom) called me and talked to me for quite awhile. I was at a loss of words and felt terrible and quiet for the first time ever in my life. She told me that she believed in her heart that the lord took Jeffrey and was replenishing this earth with my twin boys. What an amazingly strong woman with a beautiful perspective on life in one of the darkest times in her life. I had no words, just a flood of tears.
I can honestly say this whole time period was the hardest thing I’ve faced thus far in my life. It seemed like it was one thing after another and I’ll be honest I’m a control freak. I am a planner and organized to the extreme and I couldn’t control any of it. The death of my cousin OR how my body was reacting to my pregnancy. I couldn’t even properly care for my toddler, Brody and missed him more than words could explain. I was feeling a little sorry for myself. But, I had to buck up, get out of my emotions because it was delivery day. I had to be strong for these babies.
So the day was here- the babies were coming- ready or not. I was scared, nervous and feeling a little bit like a failure that I could not carry these babies to my goal date. I dreaded and hated the fact that they were most likely going to the NICU. It was something I had prepared myself for but desperately wanted to avoid.
The babies came- 3:53 p.m. on March 10, 2015 Chase Michael weighing in at 5 lbs 7oz and being 18 inches long. Brother Peyton Robert was next at 3:55 p.m. at 18 3/4 inches long. Both came out screaming and making their presence known. Emotions were high as I lay there in the operating table. My first birth with Brody was traumatic for me. I had to be put under due to my body rejecting all the drugs. So I was praying that I wouldn’t have to repeat that experience.
Once my doctor opened me back up during the c-section, she learned of major scar tissue built up from my first section. My uterus and bladder had fused together from the scar tissue resulting in her having to seperate them. I also was being told I lost an extremely large amount of blood that would most likely result in me getting a blood transfusion. This was very scary. My babies were here but I felt like shit, for lack of better words.
All in all it was a long road to recovery but my babies were soaring. We hadn’t entered the NICU even though Peyton became a little too close for comfort. But, he avoided it and we all went home together. The second I was told they would be born at 35 weeks, we just expected them to be in NICU. Everyone did. But they were troopers and completely shocked us and all the doctors and nurses!
And after delivery my body had started to replenish itself and I avoided the transfusion. Thank goodness.
They are now a week shy of a month old and are such well natured babies. They are almost too easy for twins. We have a lot to be thankful for with our new family of FIVE! 😊