The days leading up to our scheduled C-Section on February 27, 2014 were full of emotions for our little family. We spent our time finishing last minute details around the house and giving our dogs a little extra love. Despite everyone’s advice to “rest while you can!” my pregnancy insomnia and general discomfort resulted in sleepless nights in my recliner where binge-watching episodes of Scandal kept my anxiety at bay.
We really couldn’t believe that we had made it to a scheduled C-Section. For months we had waited for the doctors to give us bad news, as they had with Sawyer and Tristan. The bad news never came. We were having our daughters on the scheduled date we picked three months ago.
On February 26, we were anxious, excited and in total disbelief the whole day. Trae was working, but got off early. Our parents drove into Austin, and we all had an early, casual dinner together at our house: Lupe tortilla fajitas—our family favorite. I spent the day relaxing in comfy clothes and watching my favorite TV show, Scandal.
Everything had been done: our bags were packed and ready, and our camera batteries were charged. We went over the next days timeline with our family, and all we had to do was relax, “get some rest” (yea, right!), not drink or eat anything after midnight (for me), and report to Seton hospital at 5:30 a.m.
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We took some last obligatory belly photos posed in front of our weekly chalkboard, celebrating our final pregnancy accomplishment: FULL TERM. Trae and I got ready for bed, cried tears of joy as we prayed for the events that were ahead of us and thanked Sawyer, Tristan and God for helping us get to this day. Trae went to sleep in our bed, and I went to relax in our recliner. A short four hours (and three Scandal episodes) later, I took my last pregnant shower, Trae loaded our bags, and we left in the cold dark morning to go to the hospital to have our babies!
We arrived at Seton promptly at our 5:30 a.m. check in time. What an AMAZING feeling it was, walking in, hand-in-hand and excited to be at the hospital! Everything was perfect: We were showered, and even my hair was clean and curled. Our doctor would be there to deliver our babies, and our good friend Katie was scheduled to be our nurse anesthetist for our surgery.
We met our nurses, and I was hooked up to the monitors. Each girl had a nurse, and I had a separate nurse that would take care of me pre- and post-surgery. As I sat in my hospital bed, feeling the girls kick in my belly for the last times, I started getting nervous for the operation ahead. The next thing we knew, Trae was putting on his scrubs, and we were being wheeled back into surgery.
Trae was told to wait outside the operating room while I was administered anesthesia. I was walked into the large, cold and bright Operating Room where I saw eight nurses, two infant beds, three Doctors, a surgical table and many silver surgical tools neatly laid out. I immediately started shaking—I was nervous! My nurse and Katie knew our history and had done a great job of filling in the staff with our story, so that everyone was aware to be vigilant in giving us every piece of information regarding what was happening.
See, Trae and I understood that while this day was perfect in so many ways, it would likely bring up PTSD moments from Sawyer and Tristan’s delivery. One way we could try to alleviate this was to be as comfortable in the situation as possible, which for us means giving us too much information. Everyone knew this and completely participated in our wishes; we never had to ask what something was, when something was happening, or what options we had—it was all offered to us as information in advance, something we were so happy with.
Anesthesia took no time. Before I knew it, Trae was holding my outstretched hand and looking at me with his smiling eyes, assuring me that all was going to be ok. Some rough tugging, pulling, poking and prodding was all I felt.
At 8:00 a.m. on the dot, Dr. Reue said, “OK, here she is. Happy birthday, Lyla! Whoa, she is LONG!” It felt like forever until she cried, but Katie continually reassured us (without us having to ask) that she was OK, and they were just suctioning her out. Trae took pictures continually of her as she let out her first big cry. I had dreamed about that exact moment of hearing my healthy baby cry, and it was better than I could have ever imagined! Trae and I squeezed each other’s hands, and tears rolled down our cheeks as we listened to Lyla’s sweet cry. She was dried off and brought over to us to meet her until we heard: “Here is Baby B: Baby Nixon! Happy Birthday, Nixon—8:01 a.m.”
As soon as Dr. Reue announced her arrival, the room was filled with Nixon’s huge cries. We were all shocked to hear how little she was, when her cry easily drowned out her sister’s!
Both girls were weighed, given their perfect APGAR scores, quickly wiped and wrapped by the nurses, and given to Trae and me to love on and for me to begin to breastfeeding them. Once swaddled, the girls stopped crying. They were looking around the room and at us. It was an amazing feeling to finally be holding our healthy daughters. Once we were able to hold them together as a family, Trae and I began telling Lyla and Nixon about their big brothers.
After Nixon was born, it took about 30 minutes for Dr. Reue and his staff to finish my surgery. Prior to closing, Dr. Reue explained that one of the two cerclage bands placed around my cervix (my TAC) had eroded through my uterus due to how large it had gotten during pregnancy due to my full term pregnancy. He had to remove it. I was so thankful that my surgeon had placed two mersiline cerclage bands in case we had twins again (which we did) because without the second band doing its job, there is a good chance we wouldn’t have made it as far into the pregnancy as we did. Those cerclages saved my daughters lives.
We were wheeled back into our hospital room where our family joined us quickly to meet the girls. They learned their names for the first time, and then we had a few hours alone, just the four of us to recover from surgery and relax as a family.
We were transferred to our postpartum room and asked where we wanted them to assess the girls. We didn’t want the girls to leave our side unless completely necessary. Call it PTSD, but we worked so hard to have our little girls that we didn’t want them to go anywhere without us, unless it was necessary. Aside from two assessments that had to be done in the nursery, our girls didn’t leave our sides for the next four days that we were in the hospital. We loved every minute of it!
After four days in the hospital, both girls passed all their tests, allowing us all to leave to go home together. We dressed the girls in their special onesies with their full names and pictures of both pink and blue birds that reminded us of their brothers always looking over their sisters as they carried their brothers’ name as their middle name forever.
We felt so blessed and happy to leave with our girls on that cold day in March. It felt surreal to put them in our car seats, and to pull away from the hospital that brought us our third and fourth children. We were heading home to start our life.
Our dogs love their little sisters. We gently introduced them to them. Any worries we had in the back of our mind drifted away very quickly as both dogs smelled the girls, sat by their side and gently kissed their heads.
We have learned so much about parenting, and we’re continuing to learn a lot every day. Our little girls are great teachers to their naive parents.
Despite our lack of general parental information and learn-as-we-go mentality, I can confidently say that while we have no idea what we’re doing sometimes, we never forget how lucky we are to have Lyla and Nixon home with us, happy, healthy and hungry!
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!