… and so it continues. After five days of bed rest, five LONG days, the boys were DONE. The preceding week of bed rest brought on much fear, excitement, anxiety and more than anything… an overwhelming sense of the unknown. I was able to remain unbelievably calm, thanks to the prayers sent my way.
It was Friday, May 21st, 2010. Long before the boys were expected… which was August 29th. My doctor, Dr. Carr, came to see me before she headed out for the weekend and said that she was excited to see me Monday, pregnant. I had told her that I had felt a little funny that morning, almost a little nauseous, but we both wrote it off as effects from all the medication I was on to stop my contractions. I was being monitored at least three times a day at this point, so when my morning round of bungees around my belly came I was curious to see what it would read. Sure enough, I was having pretty significant contractions. They immediately upped my dosage of some drug and the contractions stopped again and I felt so good that I took a nap and sent Caleb home so that he could feel free to get some work done.
About an hour later my mom came to spend the afternoon with me and my contractions were back, and this time hardER. I had a feeling it was it when the topic of our conversation switched from what we were going to have for lunch to what are we going to name these babies! My labor was progressing quickly at this point and there was not much that the doctors could do to stop it anymore. I still was convinced that things were going to be ok so I took my time to call Caleb to get him back up to Duluth.
Then the feelings of panic started to set in… an extreme tension fell over the nursing staff in the next hours. I knew the boys were coming for real this time… no stopping them! I frantically tried reaching Caleb, but couldn’t because he was out of service, working. I was quickly wheeled into a labor/delivery room on the other side of the birthing floor. (Funny thing… the birthing rooms have a lake view, but not the post-birth/bedrest rooms?! Really, during birth you are going enjoy the view… NOT!) At this point my labor was really picking up and my back labor was excruciating. Caleb was now on his way, but not soon enough. He had left the house around 5:15 pm and I was just starring… watching the clock. My mom was now my stand in coach. And not by her choice. She did the best she could, but man… it was rough. I wanted a big, burly hand to squeeze during contractions, but instead I had a mother with the most petite hands possible, sweetly kissing me on the forehead… a lot! Ha! My contractions continued to become more intense and I saw new nurses (NICU nurses) bustle in and out of the room preparing for the boys. At this point I was ready for a vaginal labor… and so was the staff. And I was begging, pleading with my nurse to let me lay on my side because my back was KILLING me, but I couldn’t… I had to lay flat on my back, still, so that they could keep monitoring the boys.
I continued to progress and now they decided to wheel me into the delivery/operating room. It is protocol to have twins delivered in an operating room regardless of vaginal vs. c-section… for safety. Thank God! As I was being wheeled down the hall, I looked my dad in the eyes and said… “If you can’t get mom to hold it together, I am going to need YOU in there!” I was so heartbroken that Caleb was still an hour away at this point. I made it into the delivery/operating room where I finally got the burly hand I had been searching for… in a wonderful female nurse that helped me from passing out and kept me lying still as the contractions started to thrash my body. I was watching the clock at this point and I knew that there was no way Caleb was going to make it… They decided to do one last ultrasound before I began to push. The doctor immediately yelled… “Baby B just went transverse! Emergency c-section!!” My mom was kicked out due to me having to go under and having to have emergency surgery. I was lost without her. There were 14 people total assembled to take care of me, Baby A, and Baby B. I took my last glance at the clock around 6:30 pm and at 6:42 pm Baby A was born and at 6:44 pm Baby B was born.
The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room with a very sweet male nurse that was trying to talk me out of anesthesia. The first thing out of my mouth… “Are my babies alive?” (I was quite relieved when I found out that I was going to be completely sedated during the birth because I was so scared to deliver still babies. The whole time I was laboring the thought of having babies that would never cry was haunting me.) The nurse went and checked for me and came back with a little slip of paper with the boys’ weights and heights on it. He said that the boys were just fine and ready to meet me. I saw Caleb and some of our family as I was rolled into the hall and right into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I met the boys… we named them Luke Joas (baby a) and Max David (baby b) and our long journey in the NICU began.
I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness when I think about all we have witnessed, survived, seen and experienced over the last 365 days with our boys. The journey God has taken us on is not what is “typical” but it has been perfect. My love for my boys wouldn’t be the same and my appreciation for life and the God who gave it to me wouldn’t be comparable if not for the past year.
A letter to my boys…
Dear Luke Joas and Max David,
Today you are a year old. Today marks a huge accomplishment in your and momma and daddy’s lives. A year ago today you came into this world with lots of excitement but also with lots of fear surrounding you. God gave you a strong spirit and you both have fought for every ounce of weight and breath of life. Amazingly enough, despite your start in this world you both are flourishing and already becoming two delightfully, enjoyable, healthy little toddlers. You light the room up with your smiles and giggles and you bring more joy to your momma’s life than you will ever know. You are more important to me than anything else and I promise to do the most I can to raise you the best I can. As Psalm 139:13 says… For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb… I have seen this verse become reality with my own eyes. Long before you ever hit your due date you both possessed many of the same traits you have today… Max with your fervor for life and exuberant personality. And Luke, with your sweet spirit and laidback demeanor. The God who made you, loves you. Never forget that! Happy birthday, sweet boys. Can’t wait to celebrate many, many more!
I love you both.