The 2 Biggest Surprise of My Life. I Learned I Was Having Twins 3 Days Before Their Birth!!!
God touched our hearts so deep inside, our special blessing multiplied. ~Author Unknown— unknown
Early Pregnancy Baby 1 and Baby 2
Only 24 weeks
The Beginning of my Pregnancy
It's funny how the Lord plays tricks on us . As always I find the surprises He brings into my life are for my best interest and often the greatest blessings. When my husband and I decided to have our second baby I thought it might take us a while to get pregnant. Our first born was already 3 and we had the usual concerns of conceiving again after waiting for 3 years . You never know if you will have secondary infertility and age can be against you even though I was only 27.
I should mention why we waited so long to have another child. Our first daughter had colic and was very strong willed. I used to say she never read the books on being a baby like I had on child care.
She was 3 weeks early weighing in at a mighty 5 lbs. My dates were off by about 6 weeks also due to some spotting so when I went into labor I also went into panic mode.
She lost down to 4lb.3oz after going under the bili lights so I had to pump my breast milk for six weeks trying to get her fully breast fed. We did not have electric breast pumps at the time. I felt totally inadequate. I would tell my friends how easy my next pregnancy and baby would be after what we had previously been through. God does have a sense of humor!!!!
We were finally ready to try again.
I had been very active. Besides caring for our three year old daughter I worked three days a week as a Labor and Delivery nurse at the hospital. We were involved in our church and community and my husband and I road bikes 20 miles around Callaway Gardens with our daughter almost every Sunday afternoon. I also loved Jazzercise and wanted to keep exercising if and when I became pregnant.
After just 2 months I missed a period and knew I was pregnant. We were so excited. I even think I know when we conceived! Our love for our little 3 year old and the new baby grew daily as did my belly. Much faster than I expected or wanted!!!!!
Gifts For New Mom
Great light weight changing pad
Mother recommended Wraps
My Newborn Twins
I had the usual fatigue and nausea in the first trimester but noticed I my abdomen was growing quickly. I also felt movement around 6 to 8 weeks which is VERY unusual. Now I know my children are all unusual but in a very good way!!!. I was always tired and could take a 3 hour nap if allowed!
Soon even my husband could feel our new baby's movement and we could watch my tummy move and make weird gyrations way before the usual 16 weeks. My doctor did not believe I felt movement and passed off my size as missed dates.
The fatigue grew at an alarming rate until I could not miss a daily nap. The only problem was my little girl was ready to give up her naps. Mommy tried all the usual things to encourage a rest time. It became a matter of safety. I could not hold my eyes open after lunch any more.
By 6 months gestation it was time for our family to go on our summer trip to my In Laws beach house 8 hours away. My ankles decided to disappear on the trip and did not reappear until after my delivery despite lots of breaks and even splitting the trip up into two days.(I later found that swelling and water retention is a common complication of twin pregnancy).
My girth continued to grow at an alarming rate but my ob continued to attributed it to incorrect dates and set our due date for around Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day came and went!
I began to feel simultaneous hiccups in different parts of my body. It was at the this point I made the decision there was more than one baby and affectionately named them baby number 1 and 2. My husband did not care for my humor and insisted we were having a large baby boy. Thanksgiving came and went.
32 Week Twins
The Third Trimester.
As I grew bigger it was very difficult to get out of bed in the mornings. I would roll over like a post op patient and push myself off the bed with my right elbow.
You may be thinking why were the doctors not doing ultrasounds? An ultrasound was definitely an option but my doctor was old school and yet to put one in his office. He would send high risk patients to the hospital when deemed necessary. He never detected 2 heartbeats and he continued to believe my dates were off. I had a history of spotting after my first pregnancy and he decided I had mistaken some spotting for a period .The problem for me was that I knew when I conceived!!!!
Being a nurse I also was not sure I cared. The technology was very knew and there was still some debate on ultrasound safety so I did not choose to rock the boat or belly!!!
One week before Christmas I was wearing flip flops for lack of any other fitting shoe. I could only walk about a quarter of a block. My knees had swollen so much it was difficult to bend them.
Sleeping was another problem. Trying to get comfortable on my back or side took a lot of effort. Luckily I was so exhausted I usually fell asleep quickly when i first went to bed. It was later in the night during multiple trips to the bathroom that I struggled to get comfortable again.
Twin Movement 32 to 35 weeks Gestation
A Favorite Twin Stroller
A stroller for everyday twin use and running
It's funny how we regret things when we look back. I am not that old but we did not have iphones to snap a quick photo. Now I wish I had taken monthly shots of my expanding belly!
I had a VERY active 3 year old and when you are pregnant with twins and caring for your child, husband, home and working part time there is little time left to take pictures or even worry about for that matter.
My dad joined in on the big baby boy theory.
The Big Day Arrives
I was 2 days from delivery when I found out I was definitely carrying twins and just a few days from Christmas, 5 to be exact.
One Sunday morning I could not get out of bed for church. My husband decided at that moment we were going in Monday for answers . The baby was late and I was HUGE.
My doctor was out of town so we saw his associate. I knew them all from work which was reassuring. He made the decision to do an ultrasound.
Jim and I went to the appointment for our ultrasound. The doctor did the exam. He showed us the 2 heartbeats and 2 babies but my scarred husband argued with him that we were just looking at the backside of one baby’s heart. He was in total denial!!! The doctor said " I will leave you guys alone for a while"! My stubborn husband was in so much denial that he made me promise not to breath a word about twins to anyone until after delivery. He was sure there was a mistake and he did not want to have to retract the news.
Things began to become very clear to me such as why I never had a feeling about the sex of the baby, why I felt movement so early and why I had gotten so big so fast.
I was so ready for the twins to be born. Jim and I were not sleeping and I was exhausted. Someone told me about taking Castor oil to start labor.In utter desperation I gave it a try but unfortunately all it did was put me through a night of misery and stomach cramps. I would not recommend this to your worst enemy!!!
Three days later Jenny was asking me to get up and fix her some breakfast. I rolled my then huge tummy off the bed and felt a gush of fluid. I sighed in relief and asked Jenny to call Daddy. She ran to the phone and told my husband that mommy broke water on the bed.!!!!
We took Jenny to our friends home and headed for the hospital. It was three days before Christmas and I was soooo ready for the twins to arrive. I had no idea what to expect. Was I having identical or fraternal girls, boys or one of each.
When we arrived at the hospital my coworker told me I no longer qualified for the birthing room because I was now considered High Risk.
I donned my stylish hospital gown and prepared for labor but labor never came. My doctor decided after hours of waiting to start a pitocin drip.This is risky for any mother but especially for a mother of twins but he felt comfortable giving it a try. The drip did not start labor either. We walked the halls , anything to to get this thing going. Around 5:30 am the next day he decided to do a cesarean section. I was so tired I begged him to let me sleep a few hours. I had no fever and the twins were not in any distress. He adamantly refused telling me he was concerned for three lives and my membranes had ruptured more than 24 hours before, well almost 24.
At 6:00 AM the next morning I was prepped for a c section. I can remember the anesthesiologist saying to his watching student that he often did epidurals with the patient sitting up when they were large like me. I am not a big person and was so humiliated. My husband was not allowed in the OR a rule that was soon changed.I kept repeating Jesus in my head to calm my anxiousness. Elizabeth was born first at 6:30 and Michael five minutes later.
The twins and I spent the next two days recuperating from our cesarean section. Christmas morning, two days after their birthday,Jim packed up Jenny’s gifts and dressed her in an adorable red dress. He brought her to the hospital to be with us and the receptionist said she was too young to enter the hospital, even though we had already gotten the OK from out pediatrician.
Jim kindly asked the elderly women if she really wanted to tell a toddler she could not go see her mommy on Christmas morning. She sent him right up. We had an awesome time and they left several hours later leaving me exhausted. I so missed having my hubby with me but preferred him with my daughter.
After 5 days we were ready to be released . The only problem was I had gained 60 pounds, with the twins and I had gained two more after they were born weighing in at 102lb. The doctors decided to let me go home any way. I was elated.
We went home and proceeded to start our new and unexpected life with our 3 little ones. As I tried to get rid of my excess weight I nursed the twins, cried, woke up with night sweats and spent a large part of my day in the bathroom. I lost 40 lb.of pure water weight In one week. The doctors believe I was carrying lots and lots of water weight.
My friends were in awe to see me dwindle before their eyes. We had lots of family to help with the Christmas holidays.
My mom blessed me with a diaper service and a housekeeper every other week. I remember the days before she came I was beginning to lose it and she would leave me feeling like a princess totally back in control. We became close friends from the start.
We all adjusted very quickly to our new life. Jim fell in love with the twins and so did Jenny. She was the biggest reason I made it through those early months. I feel like having waited till she was over three had given her time to prepare for another family member and she was so ready to be a big sister. To this day my children still love to tell stories of the funny things Jenny did from playing dress up with them to putting on shows for us. The twins adored their big sister and did anything to please her.
Today some twenty years later Jenny, Mike and Liz all have great, kind personalities and I have to attribute quite a bit of it to their all pulling together and making out lives both quite interesting and amazingly wonderful.
Being a mother of Twins
Our Fraternal Twins on My Daughter's Wedding Day
Advice to Moms
If I had to give one piece of advice to a mother of multiples it would be if you have older children be sure people recognize them and not just your twins or multiples. Give them positive strokes for all they do to help you. Jenny and I had each other one on one for almost 4 years and she was a great and helpful big sister but it is difficult to find quality time with her especially if your spouse is working late or traveling. I know it is not easy but it will go a long way to help with your older child's self esteem, love and trust needs not to mention their developmental needs, I would often hire a babysitter while the twins were napping so I could take Jenny swimming. Have a fun date with your toddler one on one even if it means getting a babysitter. It is really worth it in the long run.
During pregnancy I would have liked to keep up more exercise but my doctor was against it. I think the biking was very good for me and I also did mild jazzercise
I also took a nap every day. I would say that may have been a huge factor to my carrying the twins to term. Moms are often put on bedrest and told to rest on their left side. For me I had no choice. In the afternoon my body would just shut down like a 1 year old needing rest!!!!.
I also did not put my twins on the same schedule thinking I would rather have one on one time with each of them. This also helps with breast feeding. It became exhausting so I learned they should be on a very similar schedule. They slept in the same crib for months which helped them sleep well.
I was not afraid to let them cry as I had been with my first. I think most of that was pure survival.
Spend lots of family time together. Especially after dinner and before bedtime. We used to all rock on our back porch and read books to them.
I often got sitters so I could take Jenny to the pool in the afternoons which she loved.
Don't sweat the small stuff. They will survive missing baths and even an occasional nap.
I learned quickly to feed the twins from the same bowl with the same spoon. They shared everything anyway.
Try to take some time for yourself and finally don't compare your children. Michael walked several months after Elizabeth but he was walking by college!!!!!. Children are all different. You will drive yourself crazy COMPARING.
5 week old Twins In vitro
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It is ironic as I look at the poll several months later. My family has a strong family history of twins. My grandfather was one. I remember my older sister asking me if I wanted twins and I admittedly said no.I always thought it would be hard to give one on one attention if I had more than one at a time. But to this day I must say I adore having had twins and could not imagine life without them. By the way for you pregnant moms and new moms of twins the first months are active but by two having a built in playmate for your children is pretty sweet. Yes this surprise from God was a BLESSING!
Great cups no leaks