Two weeks isn’t too long past the twins’ birth to tell the twins’ birth story. Right? You’d forgive me anyhow because if you’ve met the twins you understand the need to snuggle is real.
On April 1, the kids and I took a follow-up picture to compare to the initial “we are having twins” announcement.
Greg and I “went to bed” around 11 PM. We tossed and turned like kids waiting for Santa to deliver gifts, finally falling asleep about 20 minutes before our alarms to shower went off. I had Greg snap a belly picture and then we were off. Thankfully we had the truck in the garage because the car windows were iced over and we left about 9 minutes later than planned.
Our ride to Magee was fairly quick, but we were surprised at how many Big Burghers are on 28 at 4:45 in the morning. I tried not to think about Greg’s water bottle just inches away from me…I think keeping water from anyone is torture but understand why you can’t eat or drink before surgery. I posted some pictures of potential names on Facebook and the blog. Checking into the hospital, we were the only ones in the Birth Center’s registration room. We stole a final belly selfie before being escorted back to the OR prep room.
Things really changed between 2010 and 2015 in the Operating Room area. For starters, we went to triage to get prepped with Evan, but to have the twins we went to an “OR Bay” which we would later return to with the babies, keeping the same nurses (super comforting). My doctor wanted to get things going ASAP, so being the first on the schedule for the day, time in prep flew by.
Prep involved the usual…lots of questions repeated over and over, lab work, an IV (which meant a blown vein for me followed by another spot to try because my veins know when needles are near), bracelets to identify us and that the babies were ours, then one final ultrasound to confirm the twins were breech. I met the resident who would be doing my anesthetic as well as his attending and actually felt confident that third time would be the charm.
By 7, I was being whisked away from Greg (leaving him to dress in scrubs and pray) and off to the OR. It looked different, brighter and more open, than I remember from with Evan. My body would eventually lay open to the door (which I found odd, but later learned no one could see me from the window). I got to walk to the table and was met by many smiling faces. There were nurses everywhere, NICU ready just in case (I think 4 or 5 peds/nurses just for the babies!), and Dr. Kremser. This was really IT, time to meet the twins.
What I didn’t tell ANYONE, not even Greg, is that I was extremely scared…and not just that the anesthesia would be a bad experience or that I’d throw up.
First up was the anesthesia. I cried out of fear, but hugged a pillow and talked to a nurse about Arianna and Evan as she hugged me. I don’t even know where in my back they went because they did so good. I didn’t fall off the table (like I almost did with Ari) or require multiple stabs and searching for “the spot” (like with Evan).
They laid me back and told me to tell them if I got nauseated or needed to vomit — these were signs my blood pressure was dropping and I needed to not be stubborn and tell them immediately. It took about 4 seconds to feel nausea set in and 8 to throw up all through my hair. This is my norm…all three births involved vomit. What all three didn’t involve that this one did? A caring doctor who washed my face and rinsed my hair so I’d be ok for pictures. This resident went above and beyond to be sure I was just fine.
Before they started the procedure, Greg was brought to my side and held my hand. It was go time.
I don’t know all the details of the procedure, obviously, but I do know that Dr. K talked us through what he was doing and the anesthesiologist provided some details, too. Greg sang me Three Little Birds and I cried. I talked the whole time because even though I prayed for 9 months and had prayer warriors all over thinking of me, I was scared something was going to happen and I wouldn’t meet my babies. I mean…I got so healthy leading up to this pregnancy and what if it was all to leave Greg with four kids and a mortgage? I know. Horrible thoughts…but real. I was so scared.
Baby A was stuck in my ribs, so this one involved lots of tugging. At 7:31 AM on April 2, our 2nd daughter entered the world with screams and a clear desire to latch onto anything she could. Dr. Kremser asked if we wanted to know the sex and we immediately said yes. When Greg heard it was a girl, he fist pumped the air and almost jumped up. I cried happy tears and suddenly had peace that the babies and I were going to be just fine. They told us she had a head full of dark hair and I cried some more.
A minute later, at 7:32 AM on April 2, our third daughter was born. The doctor announced she had a nice, big round head and bottom (this explains a lot of her crowding A’s space). She had a full head of light hair. Both babies screamed to greet each other and Greg and I shared looks and a moment. We now had three little girls.
I begged the doctor and nurses to be sure no other babies were hiding and then as they put me back together, they asked if we had names. That’s when A became Ava Grace and B became Isla Joy…even before we saw them. What we didn’t know is we picked perfectly (Ava is classy but a diva, Isla is super mellow like Aruba). Ava weighed in at 6 pounds 11 ounces, 20.25 inches. Her little sister Isla 6 pounds 14 ounces, 21 inches. Both got a 9-9 on the APGAR scale.
My arms were unlatched from the “cross hold” – this was something new – and I had the option to hold the girls. I left that up to Greg because I started shaking and didn’t want to hurt the babies. We hugged, kissed, and cried tears of joy before Greg was walked out.
I was left to get cleaned up and listen to the girls cry for me. They kept telling me Ava was hungry – and boy was she ever. As they wheeled me out to recovery, she even turned toward me and showed me her rooting instinct. I knew this was the start of a beautiful journey…and I was right.