"What? No…this wasn’t the plan!"
We found out we were having twins at our first ultrasound appointment when I was 9 weeks pregnant. I couldn’t see the monitor and the small one turned towards me on the exam table wasn’t working. I asked the doctor “Is this monitor supposed to be working too?” and she said, “Well, you got the ‘two’ part right” and then turned the big screen to me. There were two little peanuts on the screen. My husband laughed a laugh I’d never heard before and haven’t heard since. It was a complete surprise—no twins run in the family, and I don’t think we’d ever considered the possibility. It was our first pregnancy, we wanted two kids, so now we’d just do it all at once (gulp).
I was determined to have the perfect pregnancy. I’m a runner and was going to keep running and working out as long as possible. I would dutifully gain the extra weight needed for twins—milkshakes and cupcakes became my first and second trimester best friends. We went to the OB’s office once a month, and then every two weeks, for an ultrasound since it was twins—something I appreciated greatly since most women only get a couple of ultrasounds per pregnancy. It was amazing to watch them grow! We learned fairly early on from a specialist that they were identical girls—identical girls!! We wouldn’t know for sure until they were born, but we started planning for two girls.
The pregnancy progressed perfectly. My health was great, I felt great, and I didn’t have any pregnancy side effects until the third trimester. The girls grew ahead of schedule which was great news for twins—the bigger, the better. We were on track for a 37 week delivery which is full term for twins—either on my own or induced.
My water broke at 12:15 a.m. at 33 weeks and 6 days. What? No…this wasn’t the plan! Everything was perfect, we had 3 more weeks to go! I was sleeping in the upstairs guest room (hello pregnancy snoring) and had to figure out how to get downstairs to wake up my husband. I was remarkably calm, made it downstairs, convinced my husband I wasn’t making it up, and we started packing the car. I grabbed my hospital bag, put phone and iPad chargers in there and was ready to go (side note—my toothbrush/toothpaste, the iPad, and chargers were the only things I used out of that bag during my hospital stay! So much for all I read about what I needed to take to the hospital with me!).
Once at the hospital, my doctor and midwife decided that we’d just wait to see what my body wanted to do. It was 1 a.m. and they wanted to wait until noon to decide. I was barely dilated and only having mild but regular contractions. Ugh! So we slept a little, watched TV, I ate a lot of banana popsicles. They finally decided to induce labor—cue the Pitocin and epidural. More waiting, and waiting and waiting. Finally at 6 p.m. I was fully dilated and taken to the operating room (in case an emergency C-section was needed). The girls had been head down through the whole pregnancy so no C-section was expected. Lucy arrived 30 minutes later at 4 lbs 13 oz. And then my body decided to take a break. Everything stopped—contractions, the cramps … everything. It was actually a nice break. Contractions returned at 7 p.m. and 34 minutes later Maggie came into the world at 4 lbs 11 oz. They were both taken straight to NICU for breathing treatments, light treatment for jaundice, and to learn to suck/swallow so they could eat. It was surreal to go through the birth process and then not even get to hold my girls—and then to go home a few days later without them.
They got stronger each day, and our experience with the birthing center and NICU was amazing. Lucy came home 9 days later and Maggie the next day. Not the planned perfect pregnancy but we got two perfect (indeed identical) girls in the end. They’re 14 weeks old today and both over 16 lbs!
Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!