Lucy’s Birth Story

Just seconds after Zach was born, the main MFM felt the belly & grabbed the on-hand ultrasound machine. He was expecting to see her feet down since her feet had been closer down on my left while her head was up on my right side. To everyone’s shock & surprise, Lucy, my transverse baby for 34w1d, decided to flip vertex {head down} once Zach was out. There was serious WTF faces on the doctors. They’d all been prepared for the secondary breech extraction {the MFM reaching up inside, grabbing her feet, breaking her water in the process & pulling her out just minutes after her brother}.

Lucy had other ideas though. I was still on pitocin {I think? maybe?} & having some contractions, so while in the OR, they had me push a few times to see if Lucy was really ready. They checked me too & realized she was still pretty high up. I also realized then as they’d cleaned me up from Zach’s birth that my epidural had started to wear off. About an hour went by, the MFM told the NICU team to go back to the NICU. Residents moved on to other patients. One of the MFM residents mentioned how she’d heard of twins born six hours apart. Our MFM said no way that would happen here. That she’d for sure be born before he went off the shift at 7a.

Respecting my ‘no C-section unless totally necessary’ wishes, the MFM & residents decided to give Lucy time to come down & out vertex on her own time. The words C-section were actually never said to us. I was put back in the hospital bed & wheeled back to my L&D room. One of the residents let Yvonne have a break {she’d been going non-stop with us for 9 hours}. I believe the pitocin levels were started over at this point back down at 2 & raised by 2 every 20 minutes. I was really feeling contractions like painful ones every four minutes. A new-to-me anesthesiologist came in & started going over everything. I clearly remember telling her I’d already had one baby that morning, knew the routine & that she needed to give me good drugs!

Once the epidural medicine kicked in, I {& Jason too} were able to nap from around 530-630a. Our families came in & out of the room, saying hi & tell me how they’d been hanging out with Zach in the NICU. Jason had my mom come hang out with me while he went to see Zach & eat a blueberry muffin. It was kinda weird, but while they were talking about Zach, I was listening but kinda zoned out. Like I was too busy focusing on the upcoming birth to hear too much about Z. I think I was also a little jealous or removed from the situation since I hadn’t really seen him.

A little before 7, the MFM & residents who’d been with us all night, checked me & decided Lucy was down far enough to break her water. This caused her to continue to move down, but my contractions were still fairly far apart. Since this had turned into a low-risk, normal vaginal birth, I was allowed to go through labor & delivery of Lucy in the L&D room instead of going back into the OR. The normal OB on call came in & said she’d be there to deliver her. So instead of teams of people, Lucy’s birth was much more intimate & sorta relaxed. I decided to see if my mom wanted to be in there with us {I’d wished I had someone holding my left hand when Z was born}. Mom came up & was once again my ice chip giver {even though we knew it was going to be a vaginal birth, they still wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything, just in case}.

It was around 10ish when the contractions started giving me the urge to push. I had a new nurse who was a bit more hands off {I honestly don’t even remember her name}. She was there when I’d push~ she’d have one foot, Jason the other & my mom up by my head. My feet were kinda numb so they pulled out stirrups for me to rest them in between pushes. Unlike my contractions with Zach which were not even minutes apart, my contractions with Lucy were a good four minutes apart. This was nice so that I could rest in between, but I also was ready for them to come so I could push her out. I have to say, pushing was easier this time around since I knew more what to do. The OB came in & out of the room a few times checking on my progress in between doing a C-section for someone else. I felt like the time was close maybe around 11 or 11:15a. The OB came in & they called the NICU team in.

One big push had Lucy crowning & we realized she was definitely a bigger baby. I pushed one last time & Lucy Elizabeth was born at 11:27a weighing 6 pounds & 20 inches long. Lucy was close to 2 pounds & 2 inches bigger than her almost 8 1/2 hours older brother.

Lucy Elizabeth

Thanks to Mom grabbing my DSLR, we have photos of the NICU team who cleaned Lucy up in the room, wrapped her up and put her in my arms. Pretty sure I fell in love at that moment & the exhaustion of the past 29 hours disappeared.

Lucy & her proud parents

I pushed out the placentas which had bizarrely fused together. They were individual but had attached so they all came out at the same time. It was rare enough that the OB asked if she could take my placentas around to show the residents {I said sure}. Also wild was that Lucy’s cord was almost twice as thick as Zach’s. That might be the reason for her being so much bigger {him being squashed super low & without his bag of water for two weeks could’ve factored into that too}.

I was stitched up {tiny tear from Z then 2nd degree one thanks to L’s noggin} & then in recovery for about an hour. I ordered & ate lunch {part of a garden burger, baked lays, & a smoothie}, drowned a ton of juice & water, & peed twice so that I could be done with that room. My L&D nurse wheeled me, accompanied by Jason to the NICU where I ‘met’ Zach. I think someone might have photos of this, but I don’t have them yet. I went back to my old 3rd floor room where Jason & I promptly slept for a couple hours as parents!

Zach’s Birth Story

Where do I even begin? I have a feeling this is going to be a long post. But I want to write down & try to remember all the details. I figure since we have two different babies, I need to tell their stories individually. I’m posting this exactly on Zach’s 1 week birthday. Lucy’s will post on her exact birthday too. {Warning this might be kinda graphic, but how do you tell a birth story any other way?!}

Our labor story began May 7th when Zach’s water broke, but I’m going to skip until Saturday night 5/19. To prepare my body for induction Sunday morning, a MFM resident checked my cervix Saturday night around 7 all prepared to insert a Foley balloon to dilate me. Instead she found my cervix was 2-3 cm dilated, very effaced & Zach was already in -1 station. My body had been getting ready on it’s own, so no balloon & she moved up my induction time from 830 to 630 Sunday morning.

I woke up {after a lovely Ambian induced sleep} around 6a. One of our favorite night nurses {Dennis} gave me my heartburn & synthroid meds & wished us a great day. I was wheel-chaired up to our new room where I ordered breakfast {around 8 I ate an omelet, English muffin, banana bread, grits & fruit}, had the babies monitors & my contraction monitor put in place, & got my IV hooked up.

Fueling up for the 'day'

Our nurse for 7a-7p Sunday was Julie & she was fabulous. She was all about encouraging us to have as natural labor as possible~we started the pitocin at 2 & I sat on a birthing ball from probably 830 until mid-afternoon {when Zach had gotten too low for us to be monitor well with me sitting straight up}. My pitocin levels were increased by 2 every half hour. My contraction monitor was showing mild-medium contractions but I wasn’t bothered by them. Jason & I watched NBA games & movies on TV like The Hangover & Old School.

My view at 4:16p

The MFM doctor & residents would come check me {I was around 4-5 cm late afternoon}, but Julie helped hold them off occasionally. Since I wasn’t super kicked into active labor & the babies & I were tolerating the pitocin so well, they decided to take me from the normal max of 30 to 36. The plan was that I’d stay at 36 for a little while. They also decided if I didn’t go into stronger labor with pitocin at 36, that they’d take me off it, let me eat something, then start me back on pitocin at level 2. Around 7p, the MFM chief resident on duty, checked me & decided Zach might have some forewater {a little water bag around his head}, so she went up & broke it.

Our nurse beginning at 7p was Yvonne. I’d barely said hi to her before my body decided to really respond to the meds. Next thing I knew, I was really feeling the contractions & they were coming pretty frequently. This time is all a blur to me. Jason kicked ass as I held his hand & gripped the sides of the bed. The doctors came back in & mentioned getting an epidural at some point. Jason & I had discussed that I wanted to hold off on it as long as possible. I soon realized ‘as long as possible’ was now {around 9p}. Yet, the anesthesiologists were in the middle of a C-section then something else. I was kinda freaking out even though Jason was doing a great job remembering birth class relaxation & massage techniques. It was 10ish when they arrived. Yvonne sat me up & gave me a pillow & herself to hold on to as three anesthesiologists put in the epidural {gotta love a teaching hospital}. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be {thank God I didn’t have any kick-my-ass contractions while they were working}; although Jason’s face watching told me it kinda was. By 1030p, I was taking a nap in between contractions.

I felt the urge to start pushing around 1130p. Yvonne & Jason were my coaches & cheer leaders~ counting as I pushed {on my cue} & holding my legs. My mom would come in & out of the room too {she was officially my ice chip giver & cold washcloth holder}.

Yvonne & Jason all ready to go into the OR

It was probably 2a Monday morning when the MFM & residents decided I was close enough to move into the OR. Jason got dressed in a ‘bunny suit’ & I was soon wheeled one door down. A vaginal twin birth including a secondary breech extraction is a pretty rare thing. So I was prepared for the bright lights & lots of people on hand ~ anesthesiologist behind my head, two NICU teams of three per baby over my left shoulder, the head MFM & three main residents were down there & a bunch of young doctor/residents & nurses were looking on. They set up Jason on my left close to my shoulder. I labored & pushed through a few more contractions on the hospital bed until they said they could see Zach’s blond haired head. Then I was moved onto an OR table with these crazy hockey pad-like stirrups. Like three pushes later, Zachary Layne was born at 2:59a Monday morning. I saw the back of his head, two feet & heard the sweetest cry before he was whisked off to the NICU.

My parents & aunt had actually been camped out in my antepartum hospital room all day. My 3rd floor nurses had been watching my monitors on their computer & as soon as they saw Zach come off the monitors, they told my family who rushed up to the L&D floor. They actually saw him just minutes after he was born & have video of him being wheeled into the NICU {I don’t  have copies of the photos yet}.

Now it was Lucy’s turn…

The Husband

I don’t brag much here on the husband, or maybe not even talk about him enough. But he deserves it.

Through infertility, he was a wonderful support. Going with me to doctor’s appts, doing his share of tests & procedures, & even pouring me a shot before I had to give myself an injection.

My pregnancy meant in some ways he had to & also chose to step up more. He grocery shopped (& stuck to the list!), made meals, took over Moekitty duties, & some household cleaning. And he put together almost all the babes items.

Then May 7th happened & he had no choice but to take over household, cat & Suz support. And he was awesome y’all. Jason came up to the hospital every day but one for two weeks straight, sleeping on an uncomfortable chair or couch whenever family wasn’t available. He was great about stopping by random stores & ordering things I needed online.

And just when I thought he couldn’t be more great, he was there with me through 30+ hours of labor. And by with me, I mean WITH ME. Letting me almost rip off his hand & rubbing my shoulders & neck through contractions. When the time came to push, he was holding my legs, counting in my ear, & running back & forth between NICU to see Zach & back to me. And with Lucy’s birth, he was again by my side, this time with a full view while holding my legs & encouraging me over & over.

We’ve been both exhausted, but he’s continued to be awesome this week. You think you love someone, then you see them as a Dad & your heart fills & grows almost to the point of bursting with love & pride. He’s driven me back & forth between home & the hospital, held babies, changed diapers & clothes, & been awesome breastfeeding support. The husband’s also taken charge of post-pumping parts cleaning duties. I let him sleep after the midnight pump until before the 9a pump & he’s washed almost every other time.

J & Z Sat morning then J & L in the afternoon

I can’t wait to see what the future brings for us. He’s already a great Daddy for our NICU babies ~ so excited to see him in action at home! {bragging complete ~ for now!}

The Babies Are Here

Super quick update & I promise to write all about it later, but we wanted to introduce you to Zachary Layne & Lucy Elizabeth. And hopefully this explains my MIA status on the blog. I didn’t take any photos Sunday or Monday, so what’s below are from my cell Tuesday. My husband {@real_jayb} & I are trying to tweet photos when we can.

Zach, as we call him, was born Monday 5/21 at 2:59am via vag delivery. He weighed 4 lbs 3 oz (1900 kg) & was 18 inches long. I just got a quick view of his feet & head & heard the sweetest cry before he was whisked from the OR to the NICU.

The secondary breech extraction we were all expecting didn’t happen as Miss Lucy had her own idea. As soon as Zachary was out, she flipped head down. And had no desire to leave her now roomier inside home. Eight & a half hours after her ‘big’ brother, I pushed Lucy out at 11:27a. She was 6 lbs even & 20 inches long! I was able to hold her for a minute in the room before she too went to the NICU.

They’re in the NICU side by side & doing well. I was discharged from hospital Wednesday evening & we spent all day today by their beds loving on them.

I’ve been typing up a birth story when I can. Its a long one that might end up as a couple posts!

Thirty Four Weeks

So as this is posting, I’m having labor induced & today will hopefully be the babies’ birthday. Jason took these photos of me Saturday afternoon.

{hospital bracelet, Kohls maternity gown}

How far along? 34w1d by my calculations, but the hospital considers the week switch on Sundays instead of Saturdays so they call me 34w this morning.

Maternity clothes? Yes, although all I’ve been wearing for past week is comfy maternity gowns. Since all are also nursing friendly, I think I’ll be in those & chill maternity bottoms for a while. {Big thanks to Seraphine for sending me this pretty nursing/maternity gown this week! & yes, my boobs are getting pre-babies huge!}

{33w6d in Seraphine gown, Target nursing bra}

Weight Gain? I was up 45 pounds as of Thursday two week ago’s doctor’s appointment. I’d guess I’ve gained some weight in the hospital & the belly does look bigger. I’m okay not knowing exact weight now though. 🙂

Stretch Marks? Yes, on both sides & I don’t care.

Sleep? Ambien works. The nights I’ve gone without it in the hospital, I’ve tossed & turned vs sleeping through the night.

Movement? Saturday the babies were so active ~ Zach had hiccups doing the morning monitoring & Lucy was kicking away all morning then again through the night monitoring. So  yes, lots of movement even though they’re running out of room.

Genders? Baby A, Zach, is a boy & C, Lucy, is a girl.

What I Miss? Right now, my house, my cat, normal clothes. But I’ll see all of that soon.

Food cravings? Not a ton. Luckily I have had a lot of choices here in the hospital. My SIL did venture out to Trader Joe’s to get me Greek yogurt & hummus. So maybe that was this past week’s craving. Also cupcakes.

the Carolina blue icing was unfortunate though 🙂

The hospital ones aren’t quite Gigi’s but they’ve satisfied that craving {my friends B & K brought a Whole Foods cupcake when they came to visit Friday too}. Oh & the first food I order from the hospital menu post-babies is a big cold turkey sub!!

Food aversion? None really. I’m not always an Asian food fan, but as you can see from this photo, I’ve enjoyed General Tso’s chicken three times this week. Maybe the spicy food old wives tale works?!

{Sat dinner: Tortilla soup, General Tso’s chicken}

Labor signs? We learned Saturday night that Z is in -1 station super head down & that my cervix is thin/soft/effaced & between 2-3 cm dilated. It’s on y’all!

Belly button in or out? I might have to take a photo of the ‘after’ belly button. It’s so close to being out that I think I can say it’s out.

What I’m Looking Forward to? Babies! Today or tomorrow!

Symptoms? This week has been fairly symptom free {besides the near constant leaking fluid when I move, of course}. No swelling. The hospital meds have kept me heartburn free. Just a few contractions that I actually noticed.

Weekly Wisdom? Enjoy time with family. Be grateful for all the help offered &/or given. Focus on babies & your health first. Stressing does nothing to help.

Milestones? Making it to 34 weeks! Baby Center says 34w old babies usually weigh 4.75 pounds {the weight of a cantaloupe}, close to 18 inches long, & are getting fat layers to make them rounder. We’ll see what L & Z actually are really soon.