you know i was scheduled for an induction monday morning. sleep was hard to come by sunday night & monday morning felt totally surreal. like i said before, it was an interesting feeling headed to the hospital to have 2 babies but to not have baby bags packed, carseats in the car, a nursery ready at home. not a SAD feeling, but a little unnatural.
(one last pic in "real" clothes)
(and all gowned up & ready to go!!)
we got to the hospital to get to our room, fill out paperwork, etc about 6:30. i had been really praying about my nurses for the day & God had so obviously picked them out for me! there were 2 (i was in training) & it turned out 1 of them lives just a few houses away from us on tahoe trail!! huge blessing #1 of the day was that my dear friend mimi came in for me (on a day she did not have to, did not get paid for, & had to get a baby-sitter for) to help deliver these girls. i cannot say how grateful i felt to look up & see her walking in my room!! huge blessing #2 of the day was that my photographer friend alison was able to come spend the day with us & capture all of the amazing images of these two parents meeting their long-awaited miracles for the first time. it was so fun to have her be part of the day & to capture these truly once-in-a-lifetime moments.
so, my little L&D room was pretty crowded with shane, ian & amy, my mom, alison, & 3 nurses but truly, it kept my mind off of the fact that i was fixing to have to get 2 babies out. you know my epidural with the twins did NOT work so i told dr. b straight up that WHATever we needed to do to make sure this one did, let's do it. he broke my water at 8-ish but we decided to not really get the pitocin going until my epidural was in & working, because we knew the pit + me dilated to a 4 = a ridiculously fast chain of events. i was really nervous about the epidural also because i have really low blood pressure & the epi can drop your BP as well so i talked that over with the anesthesiologist & he was A-MAZING. it did not really hurt at all & he amped it up so slowly i never had any BP issues--by this point probably blessing #100 of the day. i was never really in pain before the epi & i certainly wasn't after & i cannot explain how wonderful it felt to lay there in no pain! i think i got it around 10:30 & i know about that point i was still a 4 & bummed. heaven forbid i had to labor until after lunch or something :). well, once the epi was in they could crank up my pitocin & i kept telling them to turn it up-ha! somewhere a little after 11 i knew i was feeling pressure with each contraction but thought i was feeling the pressure in the wrong place, plus thought there was no way i had just gone through transition feeling totally fine. my one "training" nurse checked me & said i was a 9, to which i freaked out a little & then my other nurse checked & said no, she's a 10!! i immediately started crying (having JUST been having a good ole time) because i was a little, um, freaked out that it was actually time to go deliver TWO babies!! all i kept saying was to go call dr. b (he was back at his office) because that was another one of my fears...going so fast that he could not make it in time. when i saw his face as they were wheeling me to the O.R. it was THE most welcome sight!! he jokingly asked me, "what took you so long?" (referring to my labor) because i had had my boys by 10 & here we were at 11:30!
i have to say, wheeling into the O.R. is a little intimidating & my memory of my boys delivery is so fuzzy because all i remember is white-hot pain. i was completely coherent this time & remember every detail. they let shane & amy (baby mama :)) into the O.R. with me & ian waited right out in the hall so he could see in the O.R. window. i will also say that laying & pushing on an operating table is extremely uncomfortable. i remember cheering & counting & pushing through i think 2 contractions before baby A was out.
(baby A. beautiful caroline rose.)
SO fast. and then guess what happened?? same story, second verse (although the second verse was a whole lot better with a good epidural :))!! baby B flipped (a la cullen watwood) and had to be delivered breech!! as soon as dr. b said she had turned to breech i started freaking out a little. mostly i COULD NOT believe i was fixing to deliver another breech baby!! dr. b told me to not worry, he was a state wrestling champion in new york (true story & hilarious thought) & that he was going to get her out. i think she probably only took 1 contraction to get out because in that situation time is of the essence.
(baby B. precious london grace.)
baby A was born at 11:44 & baby B at 11:46. by this time we were at about blessing #500 but that was that dr. b made it & was there because again, there are only a few docs in waco that will deliver a breech withOUT a c-section & dr. b is one of them. baby B was out in TWO minutes & i have to think that would have been a needless c-section for something that took only 120 seconds. blessing #501 was that (sorry TMI) i had no rips, tears, etc & so my healing has been incredible & is really letting me jump into my "real life" now.
they immediately let ian in as well as alison the photographer. shane was right by my face talking to me & i was making the nurses reassure me that the babies were okay. there is nothing, NOTHING like hearing the first cries from a newborn. they are beautiful & primal & were complete music to my ears. ian & amy were going back & forth between their new daughters & ian kept telling me how beautiful they were. the girls were a bit smaller than we expected--baby A weighing in at 5 lbs, 13 oz & baby B at 6 lbs, 3 oz but that was blessing maybe #600 of the day in that you can run into trouble when baby B is breech AND bigger than baby A so i feel like their sizes aided in their perfect delivery & in my much easier recovery. perfect health is what we were after & in perfect health they were!!
we were back in our hospital room before we knew it & i loved that ian & amy & the girls were in there too for first baths & first glimpses. amy's parents came in as well & what joy to watch them become grandparents before my very eyes!!
i think my most emotional moment of the day was watching ian, amy & the new parents gaze adoringly at the babies laying together in their little warmer. i looked up at shane & started crying & said, "we made a FAMILY!" (& i know that God obviously created this family but just to be the earthly vessel that helped make this family hit me in the face with emotion at that moment!). i also told shane i felt so foolish for wishing for only 1 baby when we chose to do this because it was so perfectly obvious that BOTH of these girls were always meant to be here & to be a part of this family & the thought if only having 1 of them felt utterly incomplete.
(my utter privilege)
not too long after it was time to go to our postpartum rooms. they wheeled me in a wheelchair & i actually had to be carrying the babies per hospital protocol. while i wished their mama & daddy could have carried them, there is something about the feeling of one newborn in each arm that i remember so clearly with my own boys that feels SO complete & good. it was my privilege to give them a little ride to their room :). the hospital gave us 2 postpartum rooms, one for me & one for ian, amy & the girls. we were right next door to each other which was perfect for plenty of visiting & baby admiring!! i slept SO well in the hospital & perfectly enjoyed NOT having to get up every 3 hours to nurse a newborn :).
(my partner in crime/life/baby carrying. could not have done it without him.)
the hospital was less emotional than i thought it would be. i loved having the babies right there to see & hold as i pleased & it felt so perfectly right to have them be where they belonged, with their adoring parents. my kiddos came up on tuesday to meet the babies & we got to have about an hour with the watwood 5 & the babies.
(the C's-cullen & caroline-& the L's-liam & london!)
sophie & cullen held babies & admired everyone the whole time; after about 2 minutes, liam was not too interested :).
(soph right in her element)
we all stayed 2 nights & headed home on wednesday. i did cry when i told them all good-bye but lucky for me they live in round rock & i anticipate plenty of visits in the future!! i walked out of the maternity unit (no wheelchair for me!) with a nurse who was pushing a cart full of my flowers & belongings & that was maybe the hardest part. even though NO, not ONE part of me wanted to take those girls home (which was a good thing because that would have been illegal), it is still unnatural to walk out of a maternity ward with no baby(ies) in hand. i did feel a little empty, but my eyes were dry by the time i made it down to the car.
i have already typed SO much & i could type 20 more paragraphs & never capture the emotion of the entire experience. the actual labor & delivery went better than i EVER could have hoped or prayed for. the experience of seeing a family be completed before my very eyes will always be on the list of the very coolest things i have ever witnessed in my lifetime. i pray these images will forever be sealed in my mind. i think the incredible experience i had was just the exclamation point in my mind that this whole thing was (as i always said when i was pregnant) "God's, God's, God's." only He could have scripted their entry into the world as perfectly as it went & i have spent the whole week praising Him for His provision in even the smallest of details. my heart is SO full--fuller than it's ever been. seeing pictures of these beautiful girls on facebook & getting texts from their mama & daddy saying they are "perfect"--uncontainable joy. what a journey. what a blessing. oh, how He loves us...