Happy Birthday Reese & Rowan!

I always knew that there was a chance the twins would come early. Many of the twin families we'd met had delivered early and in fact, there was a point where I was utterly paranoid that the twins would arrive too early.

When I was admitted to the hospital for pre-term labor at 28 weeks, I was sure it would be downhill from there. Luckily the twins stayed put, the contractions never progressed and we were discharged 36 hours later. 

So on Sunday, November 5, at 33 weeks and 4 days, I was going about the day like it was any other. In fact, I was focused on supporting my sweet friend who was actually in labor. We joked about having our kids on the same day and I hoped for a smooth and safe arrival of her little one. 

Around 5pm, I had just put some bread in the oven when my water broke. I was in shock. It was not a trickle like they tell you in the classes. It was a full on gush like they show in the movies. Craig and I were kind of just laughing at the hilarity of the situation. Luckily we already had bags packed due to the scare at 28 weeks. I called the OB triage line and they said to head to the hospital since I was high risk with twins. Also, once your water breaks, you risk infection. I assumed that once we got to the hospital, they'd pump me full of antibiotics and I'd be on hospital bedrest for as long as possible to let the twins grow a little more. 

We were familiar with OB triage due to our last visit so that made things a little less scary. I was checked out, tests were run, and then they admitted me to labor and delivery. At this point, I thought I'd be hanging out in the hospital for several days. I wasn't in labor at all. 

About 15 minutes after arriving in the room, the on call OB came in looking quite sullen. She calmly informed me that I had severe preeclampsia and that I would be having an emergency c-section immediately. I was originally scheduled for a c-section at 38 weeks on December 6 so I was aware of what would happen with the c-section. However, I was wholly unprepared for 5 nurses to rush in and immediately get me prepped. I was extremely overwhelmed and scared. I remember clutching my chest because I felt like I couldn't breathe since I was trying to hold back the tears. 

I was wheeled down to the OR where I climbed up on the operating table to get the epidural. A sweet nurse helped hold my shoulders steady since I was shaking. Craig had to wait outside until everything was prepped. It was honestly way scarier than I anticipated. I've never had surgery before and this is major abdominal surgery. I was so uncomfortable and my upper body wouldn't stop shaking. Everyone was really reassuring but I was so out of it. 

Craig was brought in just as they started to make the incision. I was so scared that I would feel it. The whole thing happened really quickly. Reese was Baby A so she came out first - she was only 3lb 15oz. I think I heard her cry and they they brought her over to me and we got a moment to see her. I snuggled my face next to hers while the anesthesiologist took a photo for us. Rowan was Baby B and came out second a minute later - he was 4lb 8oz. I don't remember if he cried and we didn't get to see him. I just remember the anesthesiologist saying "here's your daughter, she's out, she looks great and here's your son, he looks great, everything is going really well....they are going to stitch you up now and you might feel some pressure..." 

I barely remember Craig sitting near my head. I thought I would be so emotional and cry when I saw them but I didn't. It was an out of body experience. When I think back on it, I don't feel like I "delivered" the twins. It's a little freaky. I just wanted the whole thing to be over with as fast as possible.

Once the surgery was over, Craig went with the twins to the NICU and I was wheeled into OB recovery. I was all alone with just a sweet nurse who kept checking on my pain and to see if the epidural had worn off. I remember going in and out of sleep. I think I was there for a few hours before they wheeled my whole bed into the NICU to see the twins. 

They placed each baby in my arms and it was so hard to see them. They both had CPAP masks on and were connected to so many wires. I don't remember crying but I do remember feeling like these were not my babies. It was really hard and it's really hard to think back and write about it. They were so tiny and fragile. There were SO many machines and everyone was looking at me and talking at me. It's definitely not how I envisioned meeting our sweet babies.

After that I was wheeled to the postpartum recovery room. I don't remember a lot of the next few hours because I was on magnesium sulfate for the preeclampsia. I was poked and prodded a lot. I remember having to have my blood drawn over and over again which was horrible because I didn't have many spots left. 

Craig was amazing. He took such good care of me and also made sure to check on the twins in the NICU as much as possible. I knew it was important to make sure we did skin-to-skin as soon as possible and I felt really anxious about getting down there to see them. But that wasn't possible until I could stand and get into a wheelchair which wasn't until about 36 hours later. The first attempt went really poorly and I almost passed out.  

As soon as I was off the magnesium sulfate and felt slightly more normal, I was able to climb into a wheelchair which felt like it took an eternity. Craig took me down to the NICU and I got to see and hold the twins for the first time. It was really really really hard. I kept trying to keep it together but just writing this is making me tear up. I still didn't feel like they were our babies. 

We stayed in the hospital for a few more days. I managed to walk myself down to the NICU a little faster with each trip. Then I would just sit next to their beds and hold them constantly feeling torn and wondering if I was giving each baby enough attention. 

While I would never wish for anyone to have babies in the NICU, we were grateful to have great nurses who took such good care of our preemies. Modern medicine is amazing. It's scary to think about my body rejecting the babies and what could have happened if we hadn't gone to the hospital when we did. 
Going home 2 weeks later! 

Now, over 10 weeks later, Reese and Rowan are thriving! They are over 9lbs each and becoming so much more aware and engaged. They finally feel like our babies (especially because Rowan looks just like baby Craig). 

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