Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lucy and Ellory's birth story.

The twins have arrived and it's two GIRLS! We are so excited and thankful to have three beautiful daughters. Seeing their sweet faces and holding them has been so special. We love them so much already!

I am grateful to have had a healthy pregnancy without big complications. I'm so glad that they were healthy and that I did not have to go on bed rest. Early on in the pregnancy, they thought Lucy might have had a possible heart gap, but after another ultrasound where they examined the hearts, they said she was fine. Ellory had velamentous cord insertion, which is where the cord is attached to the membranes instead of the placenta, so they said we would have to watch her growth throughout the pregnancy and also that we would have to have a c-section, because labor is very dangerous with that and can cause rupturing, which would get dangerous for her quickly. Thankfully, her growth was always as it should be and it didn't cause a problem during her arrival either.

Back pain was my worst pregnancy symptom, but I made it to 33 weeks feeling pretty good. During week 34, I started to have contractions. I had a lot of contractions through the night, and we went to the hospital on Tuesday, February 14. They monitored me all day, and I was definitely having contractions, but not terribly painful ones and I was not dilated at all and they said my cervix was nice and long. They ended up sending me home with medication to try to stop the contractions. It didn't work very well, and I continued to have contractions off and on. I had a regularly scheduled appointment on Friday, February 17 and they said I was 1-2cm dilated, but said that was okay because 3cm is considered active labor and I wasn't having consistent contractions. I had contractions close and consistent throughout the night on Saturday, and we went to the hospital again Sunday, February 19. The contractions tapered off while we were there, and they said I was still 1-2cm dilated and sent us home, just saying to come back if anything changed or got really strong/close.

Thankfully, the contractions really died down and I only felt a few random contractions a day the next week. They had set the c-section date for Monday, March 6, at 37 weeks. I was feeling pretty good and was starting to get convinced that I would actually make it to the 6th. But, things usually happen when you least expect it, and on Thursday, February 23, my water broke! It was so different than with Norah. I had just taken a little nap and was going to sit down to read my chapter for Bible study at 3pm before Norah woke up, and as I sat down I felt a little gush, and pretty quickly my underwear was all wet and even a spot on my pants. I walked around for a few minutes, wondering if it was real, but I continued to slowly leak, and after 20 minutes I called Kley to come home and we packed up and headed to the hospital! We brought Norah with us because Brad was in meetings and Jana was in Omaha, so thankfully it was pretty uneventful and I wasn't in pain.

When we got to the hospital, they checked me and ran some tests, and my water had definitely broken, but I was not having contractions. They said it was too far for me to drive with Kley to Sioux Falls, so I would have to ride in the ambulance. Orange City only does c-sections for twins after 36 weeks, but we had already planned to go to Sioux Falls to be close to the NICU in case we needed it. A big snowstorm was also coming, and we thankfully made it just as it was getting bad. Kley followed the ambulance in our car. They talked about the helicopter, but they didn't want to fly it with the weather. Norah got upset when she saw me going into the ambulance, but Kley said she calmed down after a few minutes and Kley dropped her off to play with Sophie until Jana got back. I'm glad we had brought Norah with us because it was special to have a few moments together before I left as just the three of us, and to give her goodbye hugs as the last time as our only baby!

The ambulance ride was pretty uneventful, thankfully. I did start to feel some contractions as we got closer, but they weren't too painful. Once we got there, at about 7:30, they took me to a triage room, and they came and checked me in and started doing things to get ready for the c-section, and had the doctor and the anesthesiologist come talk to me. They started to bring me down around 8:30, and it was quite the experience! Kley had to stay back to get his scrub outfit on, and they wheeled me down to the brightest, whitest, most sterile, stark room I've ever seen. I just sat on the table for a little bit while everyone around me was getting ready, and then they started! They gave me the numbing shot in the back, and it took effect very quickly (like within 10 seconds). They laid me down and put the curtain up, and I don't know what else really happened because I couldn't see. I remember one of the anesthesiologists was very encouraging and kept telling me it would be okay and told me about his own twins. I remember asking when Kley could come in, and I also remember crying and shaking through basically the entire procedure. Kley said they had already started cutting me when he came in. I felt lots of pressure and pulling, but no pain. I was shaking a lot, especially my arms, and I felt like someone was sitting on top of me and I had to gasp for breath (which they said was all normal). They say nausea is quite common, but I only felt nauseous for about a minute after the girls were both out and then it passed.

The doctor asked me before if I wanted her to announce the genders or Kley, and I said I wanted Kley to do it. I remember the doctor asking for dad to take a look, and Kley said it was a girl, and quickly after asked him to look again and he announced we had another girl! We had guessed it was one of each, but were thrilled with two girls!

Lucy Jo was born at 9:09pm and was 18 inches and 5 pounds 7 ounces. The doctors asked if she had a name and I heard Kley tell them it was Lucy. Ellory Joy was born at 9:11pm and was 18.5 inches and 5 pounds 10 ounces. I didn't hear the doctor ask, so when they brought the girls over, I asked what he named her, and he said he wanted to name her Ellory and asked what I thought, and I said yes. We knew we were going to use the name Lucy, but we had two other girl names, and I told Kley before that if it was two girls, he could pick which one he wanted and I would be fine with either one.

Kley went to take pictures of the girls, and a few minutes later they brought them over to me to see them. I remember kissing both of their cheeks, but didn't really get to touch them because my arms were shaking so much. Kley went with the girls, and it felt like forever laying on the table alone, waiting for them to be finished. Afterwards I had to go to recovery for two hours before they would let me go see them, which felt like a very long time too. Kley came to see me twice, but I kept telling him it was okay to be with the girls, and he called our other siblings who couldn't be there to tell them the news. Near the end of the time, my parents and Kayla arrived, and we talked to them for a few minutes before heading up to see the girls.

Around midnight, we got to go see them, but they were still checking things out, so we only got to stay for a few minutes, and we didn't get to come back down to hold/feed them until about 4am. It was so special to hold them for the first time! I know parenting is so worth it, but it also felt overwhelming to know that twins were coming, so it was reassuring to be able to see their sweet faces and hold them.

My parents and Kayla were there that night (they made it through the snow storm!), and so was Elizabeth. Brett, Brad, Jana, Zack, and Karlie made it the next day. Norah wasn't able to meet them because they went right to the NICU, and they weren't allowing young kids in because of flu season, but she couldn't wait to hold them!

Lucy and Ellory, we are so glad you are here. You are already a tremendous blessing. We love you and love being your parents!




Happy mom and dad!


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