Last year was probably the most eventful and fulfilling year of my life thus far. From finding out I was having twins in January to having a house fire in February to actually having my babies in July, it was a sheer whirlwind of excitement, fear and joy. The scariest moment of my life was not being awoken to a fire in my house, I’ll give you that clue.
On July 26 of last year I had an ultrasound scheduled and an appointment with my maternal fetal specialist. Because my boys are identical that means they share a placenta, I had ultrasounds AT LEAST every two weeks for almost my whole pregnancy. I had already been considered high risk due to some auto-immune issues. I say issues because I have no clear-cut answer as to what I have. It’s not necessarily lupus so it’s being called an auto-immune connective tissue disorder. Anyways, on July 26th I had an appointment. That morning I had a sneaking feeling I would not be home. My babies technical due date wasn’t until the end of August. I was told that there actual due date would be at least three weeks early. As I was getting ready that morning my husband, Kyle, told me that I was being silly but I ignored him and got my hospital and the babies’ diaper bag ready. I even called my mother to tell her that I did not think that I would be coming home that evening, so she picked me up just in case and I loaded my bags in the back. I was on Procardia for a couple of weeks to stop my contractions and I was starting to have quite a bit of pain. So, I really thought I was getting close. I went to my high-definition ultrasound first and everything looked fine. Baby A was head down and Baby B was breech. From there I went to my doctor’s office. I waited there for quite a while. This was not unusual. He treated every patient like they were his only patient, so it was always a huge wait in his office. I grew to accept this because he was good, damn good. Finally, the receptionist came to talk to me in the waiting room and told me that the doctor was running behind. I started to cry in the waiting room. I was huge, uncomfortable and in pain and I just wanted to see my damn doctor. To make a long story short my hissy fit got me back to see the doctor. While I was back there he checked to see if I was dilated. Sure enough I was 3 cm. I was not going home that evening. He sent me right over to labor and delivery to induce me. This was still not the scariest moment of my life.
I made it to labor and delivery around 3:00 p.m. They started me on pitocin. Nothing really out of the ordinary during the induction process. Before leaving my doctor’s office he asked me if I wanted a c-section or a vaginal delivery. I told him I wanted what was best for the babies. He told me that there was no reason I could not have a vaginal delivery and it would be a better recovery. I trust(ed) him and chose that method. During the induction nothing out of the ordinary happened. I will tell you that I had no intentions of not having an epidural. I’m not one of those mother’s that said oh I wanted to feel the pain. Eff that. However, my doctor told me he would not deliver the babies vaginally if I did not have an epidural, so that would have been off the table anyways. By somewhere around 5:00 a.m. I was finally 10 cm dilated and I started to push in the room. This still was not the scariest moment of my life. After about an hour Baby A was in the canal and ready to go. They moved me to the delivery room. At 6:51 a.m. my sweet baby boy Noah emerged. He came out with the same cranky face he wears every day. My doctor then broke my water for Baby B. I started pushing again (exhausted at this point). While I was pushing I could tell something was not right. My doctor yelled at me and said, “Push as hard as you can, and then if you think you are pushing as hard as you can, push harder.” He is usually cool, calm and collected and I could tell something was not right. Then I heard someone say his heart rate is dropping. He did not let me have a moment between pushes. He just kept telling me to push. And I did. I don’t know where I got the strength but without being told I knew it was a matter of life or death. At the time I had no idea what was going on. Baby B came out at 7:05 a.m. not screaming or crying. I had a prolapsed umbilical cord. For some reason, I knew he was going to be okay. But I could see the look on my husband’s face. I will never, ever forget that look as they hooked Baby B, my sweet Gabriel, up to the oxygen and started pumping his lungs. This was still not the most scariest moment of my life.
I’m not sure how long they worked on Gabriel before he started to have life in his limbs, seemed like forever. But soon enough he was crying like his brother. At this point I was still being worked on. I had to deliver the placenta and the doctor was stitching me up. My epidural wore off and I felt EVERYTHING. So, everything ran together. They handed me Noah and took Gabriel off to the NICU. It was bittersweet being wheeled into my room with only one baby. But this still was not the scariest moment of my life.
At this point you are probably like, shut up and tell me the scariest moment already. After three days in the hospital, that moment that they told me I was being discharged, that was by far the scariest moment of my life. Me, a first time mom, being given two babies to go home with, that was the scariest moment of my whole life. What do I do with them? How do I know when to feed them? What if they cry? I did not know what I was doing. I never had any younger brothers or sisters. I had never babysat a minute my whole life. Now I am responsible for two little humans. My husband was in such a hurry that he was packing up the hospital room like a madman, taking stuff out to the car and rushing me. I started hysterically crying. I don’t know why he told the nurse, but he did. She came in and asked what was wrong. I was honest. I told her I was scared to go home. I think she was taken aback at my honesty. She was so sweet and so sincere. She told me I would be fine and gave me words of encouragement. She even walked me all the way out to the car and sat with me for a few minutes. After loading up the babies she gave me a hug and told me everything would be alright. Driving away from the hospital, I was still terrified looking at the two tiny babies that were only 5 lbs in their giant car seats.
My husband only had a week off of work to help me. In the first couple weeks of bringing my babies home I was on my own to care for these tiny bubs. In all honesty, that was the biggest catalyst for me overcoming my fear and figuring out how in the hell to be a mother. I do not regret that at all. But it was still the scariest time of my life.