I can't even begin to describe the last 2 weeks, other than with the words, "knee deep in babies." I think that's pretty much the most accurate wording that I can come up with. But what a wonderful "knee deep in babies" it's been. 2 weeks... 2 full weeks with these sweet girls of ours, and my heart has so much love for them... and it keeps growing daily.
October 4th will forever be a date to doubly celebrate... two of the sweetest babies that the Lord could give us, joined our family that day. After weeks of "holding" them in for as long as I could... 37 weeks came, and the doctors recommended that we evict. I probably could have held them a few more days... but, at the same time, they were ready... and we were certainly excited to meet them.
In the morning before I made my way to the hospital for a pitocin induction, I was able to enjoy a nice protein packed breakfast with my family. We put Charlotte on the bus for school, and finalized everything we needed in our "go bag". Aunt Courtney (who was "on call" to watch the others) was out for an interview that morning (she got the job!)... so a sweet, new friend stepped in and helped watch Marley and Finn for a little bit, before Aunt Courtney could take over "motherly duties". I was admitted into Madigan Army Medical Center at 9:40 am, that Tuesday... and while I was filling out paperwork, the hubby dropped off the littles. Man, why is it always so tough saying goodbye to your other kids before a huge life event? It wasn't long (about 15 minutes) before I was brought from Triage to my Labor and Delivery room. There, I was greeted by Rhena, my L & D nurse, who would take care of me for the remainder of her shift (which was over at 7 pm). She, was a twin mom to two girls as well, so the pressure was on that I would deliver my two girls before her shift was up. The hubby came strolling in around 10:15... and by the time he settled in, my IV line was already put in (as a precautionary). From around 10:30-12 pm, doctors made their way in, so that everyone who was working that day, had met me. One doctor, Dr. E, came in and "checked" me... I was still 3 cm, no progress since I had last been checked a few weeks ago. She also did an ultrasound to see the position that the girls were in. Baby A, was still head down, and Baby B was back to being transverse. I discussed delivery options with one doctor, Dr. C, who came in and announced that I was a perfect candidate for a vaginal delivery as long as everyone's heart rates remained stable and that none of the babies decided to flip or change position. He stated that he felt confident in delivering Baby B breech if we needed... but still had to prepare me for the possibility of a c-section. He also reminded me that because twins is a complicated birth, I wouldn't be able to deliver in the room... but rather would have to be rolled into the OR (just in case). The anesthetists came in as well to just remind me that they were there for me, in case I needed some drugs or an epidural in order to get through this birth. All in all, I had a huge team on my side.
My pitocin drip started at 12:00 pm on the dot.... and they were super pleased to see that my contractions came on quickly, and remained steady throughout the next 3 hours. I was able to breath through all of them, and sat on the edge of my bed to try and get Baby A down a little bit lower. At 3 o'clock, Dr. E came back in, and decided to check me again. This time I was still 3 cm dilated, but Baby A had gone from a -3, to a -1... the perfect position to "break my water" if I wanted her to. I agreed. I knew that after my water broke, the contractions would come on quickly, and REAL strong... the same way it did with my previous pregnancies. I prepared myself mentally, that everything was about to "get real"... Out came the little hook, and POP seconds later a waterfall came out of me. It was the first time I had ever experienced a true "gush" of water... every time my water broke in past pregnancies, it trickled out. All it took was 5 minutes... and my contractions became VERY strong. 10 minutes later, and I had to focus on breathing through each one... 15 minutes later... my contractions piggybacked each other so quickly that I barely had time to rest in between. Minutes later, I looked at my hubby who looked at me knowingly what I was going to ask of him... and out he went to find my nurse and order the anesthetists to come in and do what they do best.
Moments later, at 3:30...in came my dream team... 3 doctors... 1 resident and 2 students. They sat me up in bed, and started to prepare my back for a partial epidural. I decided to go for only a semi... so that I could still feel my legs and all the pressure so that I would know when I was ready to push. It took them over 30 minutes to get my epidural in place.... of course they had to let the student take a turn... two turns to be exact, before the resident stepped in, took over and completed the task. In those 30 minutes, Rhena helped me breath through the WORST possible pain I had ever experienced, while applying counter pressure on my shoulders, while the epidural was being placed. She helped remind me to relax my jaw through my breathing, as well as my shoulders... and to breathe deeply in between my contractions (which was only 30 seconds in between each contraction at that time). Towards the end of the 30 minutes that it took for them to get the epidural in, I felt immense pressure. I looked up at Rhena, and she just "knew"... knew that as soon as I was done and rolled over onto my back, that she would "check" me and see how far along I was.
A little after 4:00, Rhena checked me, and she barely had to even check... she looked up at me, and said, "You're complete"... I looked at her with shock. I had dilated from 3 cm- complete in 30 minutes. As I sit here and type this out, I'm shaking my head at it all still. I can't believe it was THAT quick. She ran out of the room seconds after telling me, and in came the OBGYN's. They reminded me that I needed to deliver in the OR, and that I couldn't push yet... even though I wanted to SO badly. Rhena came back with scrubs for my hubby and a cap for me. We had to prep like I was going in for a c-section... even though I so desperately wanted to just push the girls out right then and there.
They wheeled my bed into the OR moments later, where I was greeted by approx. a team of 14 other doctor/nurses. Since it's a teaching hospital, there were eyes everywhere... and on top of it all, twin deliveries, especially vaginal, are so few and far in between.
Everything was all set up and at 4:15 pm I moved over onto the OR table, where I would have to push. I didn't have much support for my back, so there was a nurse back there holding me up... My dear hubby held my one leg up, and Rhena held the other. After about 5 contractions worth of pushing, Dr. E stepped in to deliver Baby A at 4:33 pm... our sweet Josephine Lane. The moment she came out, she cried... and after some delayed cord clamping, her Daddy was ready to cut her umbilical cord... and she calmed down immediately as she laid on me and made eye contact with me. It was the first time I laid eyes on her little cleft lip... and all I could think about was how beautiful she was... how she was created in my womb with her little perfectly imperfect lip...
They took her off of me to clean her up... and I was back to business with trying to get the second one out. Since Baby B was still transverse, Dr. C stepped in next to do his magic to get her to come out head first... or through breech extraction if need be. He decided to try and manipulate her a bit by pushing around on my tummy, and feeling around on the outside. He said, "Karen, we can do this..." and I nodded... and just a few seconds later, his entire hand/arm was up into my lady business, and he felt around trying to guide her sack, so that she'd come down head first. I thought the pain I had felt earlier during my epidural was the worst pain... I was wrong. The pain I had felt in that moment, was the WORST pain I had ever felt... EVER. But it did the trick... Dr. C guided Baby B downward. I still needed to get her into position... and my pushes weren't doing the trick. So, Rhena decided to step in, and asked the Dr. if she could play tug of war with me during my contractions with a towel. After what felt like 10 minutes of tug of war during contractions, she was in 0 station, and Dr. C decided to break my water. After about 15 minutes of intense pushes, Baby B came out at 5:24 pm... our sweet Mable Oaks. As they cleaned her off on me, I delivered both placentas at the same time... and they quickly stitched up my 1 tiny tear.
Josephine Lane weighed in at 6 lbs. 10 oz
Mable Oaks weighed in at 5 lbs. 9 oz.
After about 30 minutes, they wheeled us back into the L & D room...
We gawked at the girls for about 1 hour in our room, before we were then ushered to my recovery room/the room that we'd be for the next 24-36 hours. They asked me if I wanted to ride in the wheelchair... but I opted to walk there down the halls. It was a good bit of walking... and as we walked, they greeted us into the Mother Suite by playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star " twice... once for each girl.
The next day was a crazy blur, as we barely slept a wink that night... we were too busy tending to two of the most precious little babies we've ever laid eyes on. Their brother and sisters came in the late afternoon to visit... and fell in love with them immediately as well.
These sweet babies, are complete dream babies. Sleeping... eating... pooping... repeat. They're still in the sleepy state of life, which is the perfect way to slowly acclimate from 3 to 5 kids.
We keep telling ourselves that there's no way we have 2 more kids... there hasn't been an increase in sound, at all. But, sure enough, we have grown by 2... and our hearts are doubly filled with more love than we knew we had left in us. They have completely captivated us... our dear Josey and May.