Our girls are here! After 37 weeks and 1 day, they made their appearance in to the world on June 9th, around 12:30 a.m.
It all started at 36 weeks, when my doctor told me he wanted to move up my delivery date from 38 weeks (considered full-term for twins) to 37 weeks because of concerns that I might be developing preeclampsia. Since I’ve seen friends go through complications with birth because of preeclampsia, we readily agreed.
Knowing you are going to give birth on a certain day is a bit intimidating. Of course we could have ended up going in to labor naturally, but given I was only one centimeter dilated and neither baby was engaged, we didn’t think that would be the case. So we spent the week finalizing last minute details and going out to eat on our last night as non-parents.
On June 8th, we were at South Miami Hospital by 5 a.m. The halls were quiet and we had this sense of calm settle down on our shoulders. I jokingly referred to it as the calm before the storm.
Because I had been clear that I did not want a C-section unless medically necessary, my doctor coordinated with the hospital to induce. So by about 6:30 I was hooked up to Pitocin. By 12:30 I started the epidural, and my nurses were amazing. They were checking in on me, keeping me distracted and being my cheerleaders. My husband stayed by my side the entire time, except when he went to eat (smart man knew better than to bring food around when all I was allowed were ice chips.)
Both my doctor and his partner made a point of checking in throughout the day. As we progressed throughout the day, he noted that I wasn’t dilating and neither baby was dropping. To avoid any complications, he kept monitoring, and finally around 10ish p.m. he decided to break the water on one of the babies. At this point, my parents had flown in from North Carolina, hung out and ran out to go grab dinner.
People, let me tell you this. Having your water broken is not fun. It’s uncomfortable. I tried to distract myself by watching the Golden State game – it didn’t work. I asked my doctor what kind of timeline we were looking at, and it was up to 12 hours. At that point, if I wasn’t dilated, they would have to go in to a C-section.
When he left, I turned to my husband and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” The nurse tried to encourage me to give it time, to not make an emotional decision. This was really awesome, in retrospect because my hospital is known for having one of the highest C-section rates in Miami, yet not one person encouraged me to go that route. I knew El Hombre was quietly hoping I would elect for the c-section because I had been in back labor for 4-5 hours and I was becoming progressively more uncomfortable and hungry. And at that point I just wanted to hold my babies in my arms.
The nurse stepped out to give us time to talk. I thought it over and between the discomfort, pain and hunger – even if I did start to dilate, there was no energy left to push. So my doctor came back to the hospital and within an hour I was in OR.
As they replaced my epidural with a spinal, I started questioning my doctor on his personal life. Because I needed distraction. Someone fired up his playlist in the meantime and 90s rock started floating in through the OR. As I started to go numb, I started asking for El Hombre and then he appeared in his scrubs. In what seemed like minutes later, I was told, “You are going to feel a lot of pressure” and then I felt a pop and heard crying. Minutes later I felt a second pop and heard more crying. My doctor peered over the drape to congratulate me, and as I heard the crying of our girls, I started to tear up. Then I realized that all the physical pressure of carrying these babies inside of me was gone and I just felt this deep need to breathe.
In that moment I felt like a cup that was once half full and now overflowing. El Hombre left my side to cut the cords, and I asked if I could hold the babies. Someone brought them to El Hombre and I, and snapped a picture. As I took them in, I almost couldn’t comprehend that moment because of all the emotion that was coursing through my body. The cup runneth over.
El Hombre left with the babies to go to the nursery – and to show them to my parents who rushed back once they heard we were going in to OR. The next thing I know, I was in post-op with El Hombre. And I got sick because I always get sick from narcotic painkillers. They gave me something for the nausea and the next thing I know, I was being wheeled in to a room.
I woke up hours later with my girls swaddled up in bassinets beside me. They brought me clear fluids for breakfast, which I devoured. All I could do was stare at how tiny and perfect they looked. After staring at them for the past 37 weeks on ultrasounds, they were finally here! And it was clear, even in their freshly born, groggy state, that they are two, distinctly different little girls – both in personality and looks. Since that moment, we have fallen more and more in love with these little girls. It’s going to be an awesome, wild ride.