Then I was pregnant with my first child I just went along with whatever. I didn’t want to breastfeed. It just wasn’t for me. I was all for epidurals. I wasn’t necessarily happy with my experience the first time around. This time I wanted something different. I was older and had more knowledge and since I am a nurse I had seen some beautiful non medicated births, that was what I strived for. I wanted more say in what happened and most importantly I wanted a happy, healthy pregnancy. This time I had a birth plan made out, I wanted the all-natural, unmedicated birth. I wanted delayed cord clamping, kangaroo care, and delayed baths. I had this plan all worked out and I could picture how this perfect birth was going to go. I knew a twin pregnancy would be somewhat more challenging but I had no idea.
Things, however, didn’t go as I had planned. As a matter of fact, NOTHING that I planned or had in my birth plan happened. For the few months, I lived off of graham crackers and ginger ale because I had such horrible morning sickness, that was all that I could keep down. I had ER trips for IV’s for dehydration. I had to carry extra clothes with me to work and wear bladder control pads because for some reason I couldn’t control my bladder well.
My doctor diagnosed something called Pregnancy Induced Asthma. I coughed like someone who had smoked 3 packs per day. I couldn’t breathe, I puked constantly and I peed myself more often than I’d like to admit. And we were only 2 months in at that point.
Mentally I was also struggling. I was already feeling angry at my body because the pregnancy was so hard on me. I was trying to remain positive and grateful that my babies were healthy. But let’s be real, that’s easier to say and harder to follow through with.
May 21st, I had reached the 24-week mark. I knew that my twin pregnancy was high risk but I wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen. One day at work someone had given me a baby swing that she no longer needed. I remember trying to get it to my car. I had to stop multiple times to take a break. I finally made it back to my office and something was off. Call me crazy, but I just felt in my heart that something was wrong. I left work a little early and headed home. I wasn’t even halfway home and I started feeling a lot of pressure and cramping.
Andy came home from work early and we headed to the hospital, which was an hour and a half from our house. They checked me and said that I was in labor. The rest was a blur.
They immediately started magnesium in an IV to stop labor. The doctor told us that if they could not successfully stop labor then I would be transferred to a different hospital in town. Their NICU wasn’t equipped for micro-preemies. He also told us that if they were born now, the boys had a 50% chance of survival and if they did survive they would be facing several disabilities. I appreciated the honesty, I am not the kind of person to want things sugar-coated but man…
That knocked the wind out of me. I questioned God. “How could you let this happen? Not again.” We had just had a miscarriage the following October and I was so angry with him that he would let this happen again. After about 30 seconds of being angry at God, I prayed. I begged. I pleaded.
My labor was stopped that night. I stayed at the hospital for a few days and then was sent home after a few days of no new signs of labor. I was allowed to return to work with some stipulations. I was told it was likely for me to go into labor again. Their goal was for me to make it to 28 weeks.
They were right. I went into labor again, a few more times to be exact. Everytime I would get magnesium and put on medication every 4 hours around the clock to prevent labor. I was taken off work and put on modified bed rest at home, which meant that I could do some things but I had to take it easy. That didn’t work long and then I ended up on strict bed rest at home and then eventually strict bed rest at the hospital.
This was hard for me, I am a go-getter. My house stays clean, I am always busy, whether it would be housework, an organization project or whatever else I could find to do. Now I had to ask someone to get me a glass of water. I couldn’t take a shower by myself. Andy had to help me bathe while I sat on a shower chair. I physically couldn’t do it, the doctor said it was too much stress on my body. That killed me mentally. Even though I knew that all of this was temporary, it knocked me down so hard.
Andy was still working during the day. Brayden was still in school and had basically moved in with my parents. I was at the hospital all day by myself. Well over an hour from home. My husband didn’t want to leave my side but financially that wasn’t an option for us. It was hard. I felt so lonely, I missed Brayden. I cried. A lot.
One day I had pretty much cried all day. My doctor came in that night and asked me if I needed to go home. Of course, I said yes. That worked for 2 days, I went back into labor and back to the hospital. This time I was there until I delivered.
My doctor knew all of my wishes for delivering naturally. She was 100% on board with it and said that she would do whatever she could for that to happen. I was still holding on to that, I knew that the boys would immediately go to the NICU. MY thoughts were, at least I will be having them naturally. I can at least do that for them.
July 17th was my 32-week mark, my doctor came in and said that my labs had gone up drastically. My blood pressure was rising and if I were still pregnant on the 19th then they would take them. “I’m sorry Kendall, but you’re going to have a c-section. It’s just not safe any other way.”
July 19th came and they prepped me and took me back for my epidural. I was told Andy could join me once they had it in. The epidural didn’t work. They couldn’t get it in. As a teen I had spine surgery and due to the scar tissue. It couldn’t happen. So many things were going through my mind at that moment. I wanted Andy, he wasn’t allowed in and had to go wait in the NICU. I was scared for my babies. As they were giving me the anesthetic I was crying and pleading with God to keep my babies safe.
I felt like such a failure and I still struggle with these thoughts now. We just wanted a happy, healthy pregnancy and that is opposite of what we had. I still have days when I feel like a failure. Elijah and Isaac are more than likely our last babies. Every single day I think about how that pregnancy didn’t go as planned.
I grieve for not having a normal pregnancy.
I grieve because I wasn’t allowed to hold and kiss my new babies without permission.
I grieve because I felt like my babies wouldn’t know who I was because we didn’t have that bonding.
I knock myself down and question all of this every day.
Our babies are one year old now. The past year has been full of so many blessings, but I will admit. I am not the same person that I was a couple of years ago. The whole pregnancy and NICU process broke me mentally. I will not leave them with anyone, I can’t let myself trust anyone. I am more protective than any mama bear ever would be. I have to have full control of them and the situation that they are in at all times or I have severe anxiety.
These are all things that I am working on daily. It is hard, the whole process is harder than I ever imagined. Just because my babies are happy and healthy now and it’s been a year doesn’t mean we just automatically move on from it all.
If you’re a twin mom or pregnant with twins just know that you are not alone. It is so hard, but there is so much support out there if you search for it. If you need to talk, call a friend, communicate with your spouse.
Click here to check out my Twin Pregnancy Part 1 which includes how we found out, told our parents and a little fun fact about how my blog got it’s name.