A Perfectly Cursed Birth Story

My absence for the bulk of last week was not intentional.  Well…sort of.  I guess it was all intentional in the end.

 baby girls

On Tuesday, January 15, I woke up knowing something was going to happen.  I made sure before I left that things were in order…kitchen under control, bag packed, dog medicated etc.  I didn’t know what was going to happen, I just had a feeling.  I had my twice weekly biophysical profile and one of the babies did not pass fully.  It wasn’t a big thing, really, that she didn’t pass on.  It was just that it required an additional test–a non-stress-test–that is administered in labor and delivery.

When I got up there, I was placed in triage and they attempted to place the monitors on my belly to get the babies.  The struggle to keep these kids on monitors was no secret to me and eventaully they had to lie me flat on my back.  For the record–lying flat on your back at 36 weeks pregnant–twins or otherwise–is pretty damn uncomfortable.  As they waited for the requisite 20 minutes on the monitors to pass, they took my blood pressure.  The damn thing spiked like crazy.  190-something over 90-something, 180-something over 90-something…it wouldn’t drop.  We eventually thought it was me laying on my back and tested that theory.  It went down.  Despite this, they had to monitor me further and started an IV as it was likely that they were going to have to give me blood pressure meds.

After the IV was started, the monitoring resumed and eventually we all passed the NST.  I got up to use the bathroom and when I came back they tested my blood pressure again–sitting this time–to make sure it stabalized.  Not so fast!  It spiked again.  The next 20 minutes or so were a whirlwind.  At one point they gave me blood pressure meds.  Then I was told that I was going to have a c-section that night…the girls were better off out than in.

Now, I had been reading about c-sections as it was an almost certainty the way the girls were positioned that I was having one.  But I hadn’t mentally come to terms with it yet.  In the flurry of activity between that moment and them wheeling me into the OR, I got EXTREMELY nervous.  I asked the anesthesiologist about a million questions, which he was nice enough to indulge me on…even the repeat ones.  In the OR, I made sure that they knew when I could feel something. I was terrified of feeling the whole thing.  Once they let The Mister in, in his classy scrubs, I felt autopilot take over.  As he held my hand, despite wanting to be in the moment, my mind checked me out.  I remember them showing me with a mirror as the babies came out.

Emma Anne was born at 10:10 pm, weighing 5 pounds 14 ounces at 18 inches long.

Eleanor Idalie was born at 10:11 pm, weighing 5 pounds 10 ounces at 19 inches long.

After all of this time, my girls were here…I was a mother.

I saw some of it.  They offered me some drug when they were out with the warning that I might forget the birth experience.  I declined it.  And then eventually I was stitched up, rolled onto a gurney and rolled into recovery.  Emma was moved to the special care nursery for some observation.  Eleanor was moved to NICU as she was breathing rapidly.  I was able to see them both before they left, but Eleanor was in an incubator type transport.

My blood pressures remained high.  I had to be placed on a 24 hour IV drip of magnesium sulfate to make sure I didn’t stroke out or have seizures.  They tried various blood pressure medications to bring it down to safe levels, finally suceeding somewhat.  But because of this, I wasn’t able to go to the postpartum unit.  I had to stay in labor and delivery for 24 hours.  This wouldn’t be horrible except labor and delivery nurses–who are great for labor and delivery–are not as skilled in mother baby care.  When Emma was brought to me around 2 am, I tried to get her to breastfeed but the whole thing was kind of a mess.  I was out of it. She was out of it.  The labor and delivery people were trying to be helpful, but usually only saw babies for an hour after they were born and nothing more.

Because I was on the magnesium and had a catheter in, I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed for 24 hours.  This means I couldn’t go see Ellie in the NICU.  I sent The Mister up several times to see her and he brought me back pictures and videos.  This girl was a fighter, that much was clear.  She was alert and active and ready to take on the world…once her breathing stabalized.

Emma was a fighter too, but she’s also a thinker.  I see her staring at me for what seems like hours at a time, trying to figure me out.  At this rate, she’ll probably figure me out before I figure me out.  Long before.  She’s also a bit fussy and that gives my mom a chance to tell me how I used to fuss at that age.

int the hospital

Two tiny babies.  Major changes.  I was so excited to see Brooklyn and the kitties when we got home, but I was really nervous that they’d flip out.  When we took the car seats out of the car, Brooklyn didn’t think anything.  When we took the bundled up babies out of the carseats, I think she thought they were just stuffed animals.  But when one of them made a noise, her head cocked to the side and was immediately intrigued.  Spencer came around and watched.  Lucy made an appearance.  Pretty soon, it was clear that Lucy and Brooklyn were going to watch me and make sure I was being a good mom.  Brooklyn will often lean over the edge of the pack and play to see if the babies are alright.  If one is crying, she investigates.  If I’m feeding one in the nursery, she’s in there with me.  Lucy is often walking over to sniff the babies and make sure they’re thriving.  Spencer…well, Spencer took a great nap with me yesterday and seems happy just to have me home.

The Mister and I are working out schedules.  He gets three weeks off of work, but five days of that was taken up at the hospital.  He’s proving to be a great dad.  I try to not nag him as much as possible–it’s in my nature to be a perfectionist.  And he tries to make sure that I’m resting.  I did just have major surgery, after all.

It’s a long road ahead of us.  I have no misconceptions about how hard it is going to be.  But I also know that we can do it.  I’m working on checking my emotions and my hormones as much as possible.  I had one panic attack in the hospital that I think shook me pretty hard.  I was also under the misconception that my milk would come in right away and breastfeeding would be easy.  With two babies, several medical interventions and premature mouths, breastfeeding isn’t established and we have to supplement with formula–something I was NOT prepared for at all.  But I need to learn to appreciate what we have and what we can do.  It’s a good lesson for me…one in many that I’ve experienced in the past week alone.

on the go

Thank you all for your well wishes and love.  These girls have no idea the love they find themselves wrapped in from around the world.   They also have no idea how our trials and errors are going to be broadcast for the world to read…and hopefully enjoy.



36 comments for “A Perfectly Cursed Birth Story

  1. January 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I love them.

    You and the Mister are going to be the greatest parents ever. So excited to see this generation is capable of.

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you for the vote of confidence. I think these two alone could change the world, so I’m excited, too.

  2. Megg
    January 22, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I am severely, unapologetically anti-kid, and your kids made me go “Awwwwww”. They’re about the damn cutest things out there right now, I think. And, I know you’re going to be an awesome mom – you won’t be able to help but be a great mammoo to those kids. And, I’m almost certain that they’ll be awesome children to boot. Thank you for doing your part to save us from “Idiocracy” – as a kidless liberal, I appreciate it doubly.

    I’m also glad that your fur kids seem to be accepting of your skin kids. The cats likely won’t be so enthusiastic once Emma and Ellie are crawling/running around :)

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Speaking of Idiocracy type stuff…since yesterday was MLK day, I heard The Mister playing Emma the clip from Coming to America in the barbershop when they talk about how Dr. King wore his hair. So they’ll be educated, but they’ll also have a sense of humor.

      The cats will hate it when they start moving, but my hope is that they’ll be used to them enough by then that they won’t completely freak out. Like if I brought home crawling kids, I think the cats would murder me.

  3. serena
    January 22, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Those girls are so lucky to have you for their mom! They are beautiful! Your hopsital should have had lactation specialists available. A good friend of mine is one, if you would like to talk to her some time. There are some questions I may be able to answer as well. Lots and lots of water! If you feel you shpply may be lagging (it does take about 5 days or so to come in) you can take Fenugreek. Its a natural herb and is completely safe. You should also still be able to contact the lactation specialists at your hospital if you have concerns or questions.

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      We are going to meet with the lactation consultant again once my milk comes in more. I met with a really helpful one the last day at the hospital who helped me with the supplementation plan and when to pump and stuff. I guess it’s just all a process that I wasn’t quite prepared for. In fact, when we got home I had to wash bottles because I had no inkling that we’d need them that soon. First time mom stuff, huh? 😉

      I’ve been reading about the fenugreek, actually. I think if my milk doesn’t come in by Friday I’ll give it a shot. The lactation consultant said that with everything my body has been through it’ll probably take a few extra days. Right now my left breast feels heavier so I’m thinking it’s going to just take it’s time but happen. In the meantime, the colostrum I pump is getting to the girls in addition to the formula. They seem to like it better, which makes me feel special. 😉

  4. Ms TC
    January 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for making me tear up. GIDI IT ALL TO HELL. I feel like I’m your mother or something. Words cannot express the amount of happiness, joy, excitement, however-I-can-label-it — that I feel for you and The Mister over being blessed with these two bundles of joy. I know that you both will be amazing parents (actually, you already ARE amazing parents).

    Thank you for allowing me to barge in on all of you in the hospital and meet your daughters. I was so excited to be able to hold them and wonder at those amazing little bundles of new life.

    (And for the record, can a sister get a photo credit? :) At least I think that’s the photo I took. And if it isn’t — I’m still taking credit.)

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      1. Nice use of GIDI IT.
      2. You’re right, you do deserve photo credit. I should have thought of that.
      3. The day you came in, it actually helped to have someone to talk to and shit. 😉
      4. I got a chance to look at the photos from the shower and show my mom. She was happy to see them. She asked me how U was doing.

  5. January 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I have been thinking about you all week (I know – creepy internet stranger) and I just let out the hugest sigh of relief when I saw those two, beautiful, gorgeous girls.

    We’re rooting for your beautiful family! YAY PCL Babies! Gorgeous names.

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you! Not creepy at all…very reassuring that there’s enough love in this world for two more.

  6. January 22, 2013 at 10:19 am

    So unbelievably excited for you, and thrilled to read your story! I always wonder how pets will react. That sounds odd, but you never have ANY idea — my mother had to get rid of her cat once I was born because it simply didn’t understand the crib was not for him, but rather me.

    I look forward to seeing these beautiful babies’ lives on the good ole’ Interweb, haha. Completely in love with their names!

    Okay, I need to stop gushing. I’m ridiculously overcome with excitement for you and The Mister!!! =) YAY! Hope you heal quickly, lady.

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      I was worried about the cats in the cribs, but we set things up ahead of time to get them used to things and we put a gate in front of the nursery door so they wouldn’t get trapped in there without us knowing. I’m sure we’ll see them in there once or twice, but so far so good. And for the next week or so the girls are sleeping in our bedroom, too. It’s all a process.

      These kids will probably hate that their lives from conception were all over the web. Oh well. Too bad!

  7. A
    January 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

    They are gorgeous and they are awesome. Congrats! I am thrilled for all of you!

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you!

  8. Erin
    January 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Congratulations Kim & The Mister! Your daughters are beautiful! I love their names and can’t wait to read about your trials and tribulations. Congrats again!!

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you!

  9. January 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

    They are adorable! I am so happy for you! I love that Brooklyn is with you always. So sweet. Best of luck adjusting to it all – I’m sure you’ll do great and get some good blogging material out of it!

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks. I’m sure the girls will love having their lives documented for all to see. 😉

  10. Jennifer
    January 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve been following your story for a very long time and I could not be happier for you and The Mister! Congratulations for realizing a dream come true and NEVER giving up. You two are amazing people and I just know you’ll be the best parents. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Thank you so much. That really means a lot!

  11. cat
    January 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    aww, i love y’all! welcome to the c-section club. :) don’t worry about supplementing, just keep pumping, and things will straighten themselves out. my friend @typeamom breastfed her twins, if you need the advices. and if you need a shoulder or an ear, i’m right here. welcome to the world, babies! <3

    • kim
      January 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks. I think I handled it as well as I could. Funny thing is, that I’ve had surgery before and never been nervous about it. I was a wreck about this. Go figure.

      I might just take you up on that offer soon enough. :)

  12. January 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I have rarely seen newborns – twins or not – look that freaking adorably perfect. Well done lady.

    • kim
      January 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you! It helps that they were c-section babies and didn’t have to cram themselves into too tight of a spot. 😉

  13. Anna
    January 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Congratulations! They are indeed precious! Breast feeding is hard at first, and I think I remember it hurting for the first few seconds of every feeding for a while, but it was only really bad for a couple weeks. Also, if you have staples, don’t be afraid of getting them out– plucking my eyebrows hurt more:) Hurray for you 4! XOXO Anna

    • kim
      January 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you! The staples were easy to come out and actually helped with some of the irritation. Now I’m just dealing with the remnants of their poor shaving job. Ugh. And the muscle pain from healing there. But the shaving job…yeah.

      • Anna
        January 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm

        So funny you should mention it—- when they were getting me ready the nurses were talking all about me- similar to talking to me, but without the talking to me part– someone in the hall says “Do we need to shave her?” answered with an emphatic “Oh, yeah!” lol. Hair is funny. Not when its growing back though! the more you move the better your muscles will feel and heal! Also, G is 4 1/2 and I am really only just regaining the feeling around the incision. Yay for numb tummy!

  14. January 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Congratulations! You’re going to be the best Momma.

    Sorry I’ve not been commenting on your posts. I do read, but I’m just lurking lately.

    • kim
      January 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Awww…thank you. :)

      Lurk away, friend.

  15. Lisa
    January 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Congrats on becoming a Mommy! You’re gonna be fantastic. (and The Mister is gonna be a fantastic Daddy!)

    BOO! to the Magnesium IV. Those suck so much balls. I hated having mine. Were you able to drink anything or have ice chips to keep your mouth from going dry?

    Those girls are gonna be awesome! They’re gonna be badass just like their mom. I can’t wait to see more pictures.

    • kim
      January 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      I lived on ice chips. They gave me some juice and jello around noon the next day. But honestly, I was just thirsty as all hell.

  16. tillie
    February 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    LOVE…I’m so glad everyone is happy and healthy! So freaking excited for you <3

    • kim
      February 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Thank you, friend!

  17. February 9, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Congrats! I’m glad to hear both the pregnancy and the birth went well and now you have the girls home with you! I hope you’ve things have been going well these past few weeks too!!

    • kim
      February 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Thank you! There’s definitely a learning curve but we’re all thriving…on little sleep for some of us. 😉

  18. March 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Beautiful. The babies, the story, all of it. So happy for you guys! And I can’t believe our girls are basically the same age!

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