“In January 2012 my husband and I found out we were expecting our third. We had two other kids, Asher was 2 ½ and Evie was just barely 1. We were excited, three was going to be awesome; our two bedroom house was going to feel a little smaller, but nothing we couldn’t handle, our blue impala had room for a third car seat. When we told our son he immediately asked if there were two babies, we said no. He continued to tell me that there were two babies in my tummy. Silly toddlers!” – Melody
We called up the midwife who had delivered our daughter at home and set up a first appointment at 13 weeks. Everything looked great, I had pretty severe morning sickness… but we had done this twice before and I was sick both times, it was expected. My uterus was right at the pubic arch, measuring pretty much right on. At 17 weeks we had another appointment, I was measuring right at the navel. Something we would have expected closer to 20 weeks. I had measured a few weeks behind with my other two pregnancies. We noted the difference, joked about twins, and figured it was due to this being my 3rd pregnancy and my previous babies were decent sized… maybe he was just big.
At 22 weeks I had another appointment. I now measured 27 weeks. This was not right. They found a good heart beat and could feel a little peanut in the transverse position and space above him. My midwife felt like she could feel “something else”. I made an appointment with an OB to have an ultrasound. In my heart I knew there were two of them.
The OB laughed off the increased size. I wasn’t nearly big enough for twins. We endured a lecture for having our daughter born at home. Finally around 20 minutes into the appointment he decided to check the heartbeat. The instant he put the Doppler on my stomach my husband and I looked at each other. There were two heartbeats. Even our untrained ears could hear that. The OB mumbled something and told us to walk over to the ultrasound room because he wanted to check, but that sounded like twins.
They put the wand on my stomach and there was a mass of legs and arms and TWO heads! It was twins. I cried even though I wasn’t nearly as shocked as I should have been. It was determined that they were most likely monochorionic diamniotic twins. Meaning they shared an outer membrane and placenta and had separate inner sacs. They were monitored for size differences as mo-di twins are known for getting TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) which if not treated can be quite dangerous. They always measured beautifully, within an ounce of each other via ultrasound.
We struggled with what the right decision was for our family. Do we have them in the hospital? Do we have them at home? What doctor do we trust? What if they are premature? The list of unknowns ballooned. Then at 26 weeks my cervix shortened and started to funnel. I was pulled out of my job and placed on modified bedrest. The first weeks I was super cautious, but a recheck of my cervix two weeks later showed no change. I started to do more. Cervix held. My doctor didn’t want me to go back to work so I was home. We finally decided that it would be healthiest for the babies and me to give birth at home. We were at peace with this decision. I was comfortable. I could never imagine these boys being born in a hospital. Every time I tried to envision that it just felt off and wrong.
At 35 weeks we had our last ultrasound. The boys were both 5#15oz, baby A was head down and baby B was frank breech. I wanted to make it to 36 weeks to feel safe delivering them at home. So I laid low. Thursday was 35 weeks and 5 days. I started having regular strong contractions. This was not allowed! I called my mother in law and she took my children out for the night. They had a blast. I sat in my chair and relaxed. I still had contractions the next day. I called my mom and she played with the big kids. I sat in my chair and relaxed.
Saturday the 8th I was woken at 4:30 am to strong contractions 5 minutes apart. Then they spaced out all the way to 30 minutes apart. I cleaned the house, did laundry, tucked my big kids in for a nap and sat down. As I was folding clothes right around noon contractions got closer together. They weren’t super long or strong, but they were real contractions. I called my midwife when I had three in less than 15 minutes. She was eating lunch but would come check on us when she was done. At two a midwife assistant showed up, then my sister, another midwife assistant, my mom, my midwife. When my midwife arrived she wanted to do a cervical exam to verify position of baby A just in case we had a late flip. I was 6-7 cm and fully effaced. Baby A was presenting head down. I had been telling myself I was 2 cm the entire exam (who wants to be disappointed? Shoot low!) and when she said 6-7 cm I was shocked. I called in the rest of the troops. A second midwife arrived, a friend of mine to watch the kids, my photographer and her three week old baby. Around 5 pm my mom ran out with our oldest son to get some sandwiches for everyone.
I got in the labor tub and was feeling fantastic. Then I didn’t feel so hot. Then I felt way too hot. Then I announced loudly that I was going to poop. I remember someone saying “No, you are going to have a baby.” Minutes later my Baby A, Knox Aaron, was born at 5:29pm into his daddy’s hands. He was 6# 8oz and 20” long. My mom and Asher got back as he was laid on my stomach. Asher asked where the other baby was. Minutes later I had a contraction, I knew that second baby was coming out NOW. A contraction later his legs and bum were born, the contraction ended. I heard my midwife ask for a timer to start. Asher said “mommy is pooping out a baby” quite loudly. I felt the panic rise in me. I touched my baby B’s legs and torso. I prayed for a contraction. I begged for a contraction. And I had a contraction. Four minutes between legs and head, Arie Nathan was born at 5:39 pm. He was a tiny 5# and 18” long.
17 minutes later a giant placenta was delivered. Arie had 1/3 and Knox had 2/3 of the placenta. I snuggled my babies. They nursed a tiny bit. And they mewed. Beautiful little noises. Two hours after the birth I started to feel weak. We moved upstairs and realized I was losing too much blood. After removing some clots, I felt weaker and weaker. Finally I told them I wanted them to call an ambulance. The paramedics arrived and I told them they shouldn’t sit me up. The did anyway and I passed out. They started an IV and we took a short (very bumpy) ride to the hospital. In the ER they started Pitocin, I got a shot of Methergine, more fluids, while they waited for the doctor to come do an exam and order blood. Finally around midnight (we called an ambulance around 9 pm) I was admitted and they started my first blood transfusion. My family brought the babies (who had been being snuggled at our house) to us and we spent our first night snuggling babies and being attached to tubes.
The next day around 2 pm I felt immensely better and we went home. I curled up in my own bed with my two beautiful babies and we cuddled for real. Despite the unwelcome hiccup caused by the hemorrhage, our babies were born gently and safely. And now they are here. They are four months old and thriving on mama’s milk and lots and lots of love.
Photo’s by Melissa Myers of Myer’s Photography