a {double} birth story.

Today is October 5, 2014- one year ago today was a pretty great day!I haven't yet posted the birth story from the twins, so I thought today would be a lovely day for that.

The pregnancy went along pretty uneventfully, which I am very grateful for! I began my weekly NSTs at 32 weeks, and we were on target for avoiding bed rest altogether. At my 36 week checkup, I was 36 weeks and 3 days. The nurses that I had had at NSTs up until that point had all been pretty reserved or quiet, but for whatever reason the nurse that I had on this day was loud and talkative, so I decided to take advantage! We were chatting, and she was very surprised to learn that I had driven myself to the appointment. I told her that I really didn't want to drive home (it was really uncomfortable to drive at this point!) and I told her about the contractions that I was having every night from 7ish-midnight about every 10-15 minutes. They always quit, so I never came in for them. She told me that if I could get them going again to definitely come in. She even called down to Labor and Delivery to find out how many ladies they had in labor at the moment... only 7 people there total, and only 3 in active labor. There are 30+ birthing rooms, so she was sure that if I showed up having any kind of contractions, they were likely to keep me. She told me to go get something to eat, either walk or rest depending on what I wanted to do, and come back if I could get them 15 minutes apart for 2 hours.

I grabbed a smoothie, and met up with my mom at the Legacy Center track. We power walked for a little over an hour, and I was having contractions like clockwork every 15 minutes. Yes! This went on for 2 hours, and then completely stopped. Kristopher and I went to dinner with my parents up in Salt Lake, and I hadn't had a contraction in over an hour and a half. By then my sister had my kids asleep at my mom's house, and it was about 8 PM. I couldn't decide if we should really go in or not (because I obviously wasn't in labor) but finally Kristopher convinced me that we should, since we were already practically to the hospital. 

I felt soooooo dumb walking calmly in to Labor and Delivery! The girl at the desk looked me over and said "What's going on?" and I was like.... uhhhhh... well, 3 hours ago I had contractions for 2 hours. HA! To her credit, she didn't laugh at me, and got us set up in a room for observation. Where I had 0 contractions. In an hour. She checked me and I was at a 4+, just like I had been early in the day at the NST. She said that we could either go home, or trying walking for an hour to see if that did anything. I was so torn! By now it was about 9:00, and Kristopher said that we are already here, so we might as well... so we did MORE power walking up down and all around Labor and Delivery. After 45 minutes of walking, they monitored me again, and I only managed to have 1 or 2 contractions. I had contractions the whole time I was walking, but they would quit as soon as I quit. The nurse checked me again, and I was still at a 4+... not quite far enough to keep me and obviously not in labor. She said I could stay another 45 minutes with monitoring since I wasn't monitored while walking, just to see. In that 45 minutes, I had only 2 contractions- one excruciating and one mildly excrutiating. When the nurse checked me again, I was a 5! I'm pretty sure that those two contractions plus a little help with stretching from the nurse made the difference. After that, I started having contractions regularly on my own and made it to a 6 all by myself within the next hour. I will always wonder if it was the nurse stretching me or those two contractions that put me in to labor, and if we HAD gone home, how long it would have taken to decide to come back. I would have felt so dumb going back after just 2 contractions, so I think it's really for the best that we stayed!

The nurse spoke with the on call doctor, and said that they would be breaking my water soon. With my older two kids, as soon as they broke my water things moved really quickly, so we decided that we better call my mom and Meg to let them know what was going on. My mom wasn't planning on coming but I told her that she should. I wanted company! Meg came to take pictures, and she brought McKay. Mom came, and brought games and a bunch of stuff we had left behind in Kristopher's car which was at her house. A little after they arrived, the doctor showed up and checked me. He said that Baby A (Hugh) wasn't engaged enough for him to feel comfortable with breaking my water, so we need to wait. We ended up getting an epidural, pitocin, and sat at a 6 all night long- clear until 7am! Mom, McKay and Meg all took naps in the car and lobby, and it made for a pretty rough night for all of them. Finally at 7am I was checked again, and they decided to break my water (7am). About 8 minutes after they broke my water, I asked the nurse to check me again (she thought I was crazy). We asked how long they expected it to take from here, and she said that my doctor had just started a c-section, so it would be at least an hour, and I'd be longer than that. Once I insisted that she check me htough, she found that I was 8+, heading for 9. She was surprised, of course, since I had been at a 6 all night long! The immediately started prepping us for moving to the OR and got us over there. We decided then, as we were waiting to be wheeled to the OR on the final names for sure.Such a hard decision to get just right!

We were still waiting to hear whether Meg would be allowed in the OR up to this point, but finally we heard the anesthesiologist said no. Meg, McKay and mom hung back at the delivery room to wait for us while we went.When we were wheeled in to the OR, my doctor was just finishing (quickly!) with his c-section and joined us in our OR. Things in the OR were BUSY. There were tons of people, as expected, and Kristopher was right by my side as we were small talking with the nurses. Once the two other doctors from the practice arrived it was go time. Hugh was delivered in just 2 pushes, head down, and he started screaming right off the bat. He came out looking just like Evan! This was probably the first time that I had a baby that I knew they were one of mine. With Abby I had a distant "I guess that is my baby?" feeling. With Evan, I thought, "OK, he looks a bit like Abby... he must be one of my babies." With Hugh it was "Hey! You're one of mine!" They whisked him away to another OR next door to be checked out, since there wasn't enough room for two baby stations in the OR. Kristopher went with him, and I was so glad that he was such a screamer! It was so nice to be able to hear him the whole time he was gone.

The babies were born 15 minutes apart, so for about 10 minutes, we had to wait as my cervix re-dilated from an 8 to a 10 again for Molly to be born. She was lodged up in my ribs, and they were hopeful that once Hugh was born she would take all of the extra room and flip head down for delivery. After a lot of tugging, pulling and pushing, it was clear that she just would not budge. This was just not surprising to me at that point, because she had been IMPOSSIBLE to keep on the heart rate monitor the whole time I was in labor. Any time I moved an inch she'd be off the monitor and they'd have to find her again... easily a 20 minute process every time! Finally the doctors decided that since she wasn't flipping head down, the best best would be to try to flip her breech. If that didn't work right away, they would have to do a c-section. After some effort they got her to flip, and we began delivering her. Unfortunately, her arms were stuck up above her head, so she wasn't able to come out. I was looking straight at a clock in front of me, so I was very aware how much time was passing. For 4 minutes she hung in plain sight all the way up to her armpits, half in and half out. It was easily the scariest 4 minutes of my life. I knew that at that point she needed to be delivered, as a c-section was not an option with her being delivered as far as she was. Finally finally the doctor was able to ease one arm down and then coax out her shoulders one by one, and then her head. They put her in the warmer just behind my left shoulder. She didn't cry at all, which was also very scary. She had SO SO much hair! I knew that she would since we saw it on the ultrasound, but it was pretty remarkable how much she had, and how little Hugh had. I quit worrying about telling their baby pictures apart when I saw that! At this point, Hugh was all ready to go, and they had him bundled up and handed him to me. Kristopher went over to the warmer and gave me updates as they went. Her APGAR score was very very low, so they kept tabs on her for a while before they wrapped her up and handed her to me.

I got to hold both babies as they wheeled me back in to the delivery room. Meg's face when they pushed me back in the room was probably my favorite. It really was so surprising for quite a while that there actually were TWO babies after all! We visited and held the babies and took a few pictures, and then Molly was checked again. She wasn't doing well, so they took her to the NICU for observation. She ended up having low blood sugars, so they kept her in the NICU for the duration of our hospital stay. If I had one regret about the way that the delivery went, it would be that the babies were separated the whole time. I wanted so badly to have them together! It was really challenging and exhausting trying to establish nursing with both babies in two totally separate locations in the hospital. I was so happy to get the first picture of them back together after Molly was discharged! We got our first taste of twin scheduling those first days, but especially at discharge. Hugh wasn't allowed in the NICU at all (he is a sibling under the age of 3), and Hugh couldn't be discharged without me being discharged as well, so it was important that Molly be discharged first, followed by me, followed by Hugh. It takes a lot of coordination to get all the right doctors in all the right places at the right times to make that happen! We finally got all packed up and headed out to the lobby. I got my first taste of "Do you have twins?!" right there in the lobby before we even had the car pulled up!

All in all I really couldn't have asked for anything better. I would have loved to have had them together at the hospital, but both babies got the care they needed, and we were all able to leave together. I couldn't ask for happier, more easy going babies and it really has been the sweetest time having both of the here with us. They frequently sleep in the same positions and interact with each other, and it is the cutest. Love these sweet babes of mine!

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