On the day you were born:

This is a long one.

Tuesday August 2nd… We had finally reached the last day it would just be the two of us. Come the 3rd we would be checking into the hospital and wouldn’t be leaving without babies! But even with the huge realization of our shifting existence, we had a fairly normal and uneventful day.  Or so I thought… Until clearly things shifted. We had spent days trying to encourage labor with long walks and had multiple trips to L&D for contractions, pre- eclampsia scares and the like. But this day seemed normal.

Looking back I should have realized I was in the early stages of labor from around 6am but because I had experienced so many false alarms and had been expected to deliver for weeks or even months – I was completely oblivious. It amazes me that I was so easily able to ignore real labor symptoms. Assessing the day I now realize I was having all the usual early labor signs – including the complete loss of my mucus plug while shopping at target and the normal flushing of bodily fluids.

I also had an intense urge to clean brought on by a huge burst of energy. This occupied most of my morning, which I spent in the basement shredding bags of documents that had collected over my entire time on bedrest. I filed bills and organized the basement; a space I spend very little time in but felt needed to be clean. I had to frequently hobble up and down the stairs to use the bathroom and must have spent 3 solid hours cleaning. By the time I was finished my body was exhausted but had I stopped to pay attention I would have noticed my contractions had intensified.

It’s funny looking back on the day and realizing how odd my behavior was. We took an early morning trip to target for some random items, which I couldn’t live without. Including a soap dispenser and curtain rings??? Really? Because life with twins would be unbearable without a way to dispense soap and hang curtains? I did however get an amazing iced caramel macchiato out of the deal. I remember needing to stop and literally breathe through painful contractions quite frequently as we cruised the isles tossing other random items in our cart. I would reach for J with urgency and we would stand together until they passed. I recall a really intense one as we were leaving that lasted the entire walk from the check out to the car. These contractions would continue to intensify as the day went on and eventually peak around 11-1pm.

My mom stopped over – also knowing it would be the last day to see me pregnant and we casually watched TV and chatted. I lay on the couch and noticed the contractions getting more painful but figured “I’ve been here before and they will pass”.  Thinking we will meet our babies tomorrow! My mom left around 10:30 and within minutes the contractions become noticeable more painful. So much so that sitting was no longer an option. I would spend the next few hours trying to get comfortable and unfortunately failing miserably.

My first attempt at comfort was a hot shower – which helped but only minimally. Following this was about an hour of pacing from the bedroom, living room and bathroom. I would stop during a contraction and moan and cry… We started tracking the contractions at some point during that hour stretch and realized they were about 3-6 minutes apart and last around 1 minute. But still I wasn’t convinced, as we’d been here before.

We made it to about midnight at which point it was clear I was no longer handling things too well. My moaning had turned into loud swearing and desperate pleas for the pain to cease. J and I discussed calling the doctor but I couldn’t make any decisions as I was either experiencing the peak of a contraction or recovering from the pain. I recall at some point J left me to call the doctor who could hear me screaming in the background and decided it was time to come in.

So as I continued to roam the home screaming J calmly began getting things together and eventually worked to get me ready. Which was quite the task as I was beyond uncooperative. Then we couldn’t find the car keys… But eventually we were on our way and all I remember is what torture it was to be trapped in the car unable to really move and yelling as the contractions came on. I remember we hit a red light a few blocks from home and I almost lost it. Screaming that we needed to either move fast or pull over so I could get out. J stayed surprisingly calm and once we hit the freeway things got a little better.

We arrived at the hospital and we parked in the guest lot and decided to walk in… Bad idea but by the time I realized this it was too late. So we took the long walk from the car to the ER entrance and eventually made it to L&D. By this point I was feeling the contractions one on top of the other and barely had time to catch my breath between them.

We got to a room and I was hooked up to monitors, which took a while because I was beyond uncooperative. Next thing I remember was them having to come in and place an IV and get some blood work. First they blew my vein placing the IV and there was blood all over and shortly after I was again asked to sit still for a blood draw. I decided screaming was a better idea as the waves of nausea were unbearable.

My doctor arrived sometime in the middle of all the blood drawing and it was confirmed that baby B was in too much distress to progress with a vaginal delivery. Her heart rate, which normally sat around 150, was in the low 200’s. So I was quickly brought to the OR and they began getting me prepped for a c-section. We were checked in around 1:30 am and the girls were there around an hour later.

Once my spinal was placed J was brought in and she stayed with me until the girls arrived. Then she went with them until they were cleared from the special care nursery and we were reunited in the recovery room. I had lost a lot of blood and was still feeling quite ill but was able to hold my babies for the first time. We stayed together until I was able to go with them to a high-risk private recovery room where we stayed for 24 hours.

The girls delivery followed suit with my pregnancy and was nothing like I expected. It was abrupt and unplanned. But everyone arrived safely and we are so fortunate for that.

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