National Twins Day and possibly TMI
Happy National Twins Day! Well actually it was yesterday and as usual I'm late to the party! I'm new at this blogging stuff but I am going to TRY to make it a more regular occurrence around here!
What better day than National Twin Day to write about my experience with raising twins! First, I should tell you that my little sisters, Katy and Kara, are twins. They were born when I was 23 so I had the unique opportunity to help my mom and stepdad take care of them when they were tiny. They are 17 now and I can't believe how they've grown up to become beautiful, smart, talented young women. I didn't have kids of my own when they were born but I love babies so when they were born I was there as much as my mom would allow me! I fed them, changed them, bathed them, and took care of all their basic needs so I felt I had it all under control when I had twins of my own! Boy was I wrong! I did have experience that some mothers don't have but it was still more difficult than I imagined!
About 3 years after my sisters were born I was trying to have my own child. I had never been "regular" when it came to my menstrual cycles so I suspected that I would need help to have kids of my own. After a year or so Chris and I met with a fertility specialist and we started all the testing! The doctor was an hour and 20 minutes from our town in southwest Oklahoma so all the driving, the testing, the pain, and the emotions were all a lot to handle! It was so worth it though when I became pregnant with Jordan in 2004. It was kind of a fluke thing that I became pregnant so quickly with very little help from the doctor and I will tell you more about his birth story another time, but to save space I will skip ahead to when the twins were born!
When Chris and I decided to have another baby we went back to the same doctor and started some medication since it wasn't happening as easily as last time. After the pills and timing my cycles didn't work we decided to try intrauterine insemination. If this didn't work the only thing left was IVF. We really didn't want to do that. I started on hormone shots and went through the procedure and thankfully it worked! In fact, it worked REALLY well! At the first ultrasound we discovered we were having twins! I was kind of shocked but thought I could handle it because I had helped so much with Katy and Kara!
My pregnancy was good up until about 14 weeks. We went to a high risk OB in Oklahoma City for an ultrasound to get cleared to see my regular OB here in our town. During that ultrasound we found out we were having a girl and a boy! While that was exciting and just what we wanted, the doctor discovered that my cervix was pretty soft. So I was really worried because it was very early to have complications already. I prayed that everything would be fine. I had an appointment with my OB/GYN here in town who wanted to feel what the other doctor was feeling. When I saw her face I knew it was serious. She told me I had to make it to 23 weeks in order for the doctors to perform any life saving measures on the babies if they had to be born. It was too early for bed rest but she told me to take it easy and pray. I took her advice and I made it to 23 weeks and went into labor the first time on St. Patrick's Day of 2010. I was sent by ambulance to OKC and spent a week in the hospital but they were able to stop my labor! After the week in the hospital, I was sent home on bed rest. I only got up to use the bathroom, get food, and go to the doctor for a shot every week. I lasted 5 weeks. At my regular weekly appointment, I told my doctor that I felt pressure and a heaviness so she checked me and sure enough I was dilating. We live in a small town and the ambulances were all out on calls so I had to fly by helicopter to the hospital in OKC and was scheduled for a C-section that evening at 28 weeks pregnant. I had a peace come over me while waiting on that helicopter and I knew God was with me and that no matter what happened, it was gonna be okay.
After I arrived at the hospital, I was prepped for surgery and Layla Joy was born at 8:55 pm weighing 2 pounds,13 ounces and Logan James was born at 8:56 pm weighing 3 pounds, 9 ounces. They were small and needed some help breathing but they were fighters! The rest of that night is a blur and I don't remember much after I got back to my room. I didn't get to hold or see the babies until the next day because they were taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I spent a few days in the hospital with them and then I was released to go home. Leaving my babies there was heart wrenching! I cried most of the ride home!
Two or 3 days later, Logan had a life threatening complication from an IV line that migrated to the sac of his heart which filled up with fluid and caused his heart to stop. I was in the car on the way to the hospital when the nurse called and said they were doing CPR and she didn't know what would happen! When we got there, the doctor had put a needle in his chest and removed the fluid allowing his heart to beat again! God answers prayers you guys!
After riding the NICU roller coaster of good days and bad days, doctors, kangaroo therapy, needles, tests, x-rays, and blood transfusions, Layla was released from the hospital 6 weeks after her birth. Logan stayed another week and a half because of some swelling in his tummy they were watching. We got that all straightened out and he got to come home on Father's Day in June of 2010. That was still a month before their actual due date, but they came home free of any wires or machines that some preemies have to have when they leave the hospital.
Those first weeks at home were a whilrwind of feedings, diapers, and sleepless nights! That is the same for any new mom! A few months after they came home, I got sick for about a week and Chris had to take care of them pretty much by himself. He got them sleeping in their beds in their nursery during that time and I am so thankful for that! He is a great dad and is able to do the hard stuff that this mama's heart just can't take! I would probably have all 3 of them still sleeping with us if it weren't for him!
It's amazing what you learn to do when you are outnumbered by babies. You have to think outside the box a little but you do what you have to do! I figured out how to feed them both when I was by myself, hold them and rock them both to sleep at the same time, and give them baths and dress them too! When I was at my mom's with Katy and Kara she was always there to help. With my own I was sometimes by myself while Chris was at work or doing something with Jordan! It was during these times that I realized I didn't have as much experience as I thought!
Wow this was a lot longer than I expected but I always get caught up in their birth story! It was a crazy, scary, wonderful time and I can't believe how far they've come since those days of being so little! So I typed all this to say, I love my TWINS (both sets) and I wouldn't change it for the world! They are a lot of hard work but so much fun!