Monday, August 25, 2008

It all began long, long ago...
It all began long, long ago…with the birth of my grandfather and his identical twin brother. Donald and Ronald were very close and had that “special” bond that most twins do. As they grew they eventually joined the Marines together and in 1950 they received papers stating they would be going to fight in the Korean War. As fate would have it, my grandfather, Donald broke his ankle just before they were going to be leaving so he was honorably discharged. He watched as his other half boarded the plane to Korea, not knowing that would be the last time he would see his brother alive. On November 20th, 1956 Ronald was killed in action. His remains were left behind because the battle in the Chosen Reservoir was to hostile to stop and collect those who were killed. Many years later the majority of the bodies left in that battle were buried in the Hawaiian punchbowl and marked as “unknown” soldiers. The pain of losing his other half never lessened for my grandfather. With the advances in technology and science DNA matching became a possibility. My grandfather donated a blood sample for the military to possibly match with his twin (since they obviously had the exact same DNA). Numerous attempts to match them went on and on with no success. Then on May 7th, 2003 my grandfather received the official notification that they had indeed recovered his brothers remains. Here is the moment my grandfather signed to have his brother returned home to Minnesota.

Fast forward to October of 2006, my first child, Samuel was born. From day one Sam and my grandfather had a bond that nobody could understand but them. They are very attached to each other and have something very special. My grandfather swears that Sam is his brother, Ronald, and has come back to him in a special way. The resemblance between Sam and my grandfather and Ronald is uncanny.Fast forward again to October of 2007, we learned we were expecting triplets! At 6 weeks 1day we were told that we were having identical twins and a fraternal triplet. When we went back for out 8 week appointment we learned that one of the identical twins no longer had a heartbeat and would reabsorb on its own. We were sad to hear of the loss of one of the babies, but were hopeful and happy for the twins we still had. Our pregnancy was a typical “twin” pregnancy, with its ups and downs, bed rest and preterm contractions, hospital visits, and scares.

On May 7th, 2008, five years to the day that my grandfather received official notification of the recovery of his twin brother, I woke up feeling pretty normal. I was a little tired though because I didn't sleep very well the night before, but didn't think anything of it. Around 11:30 in the morning I decided I was going to take a quick shower. I sat down to use the bathroom first and when I stood up I had a clear fluid trickle run down. Honestly, I thought "maybe" it could be my water but deep down I didn't believe it. I told Scott that I possibly broke my water but not to get too excited because I wasn't completely sure. After my shower I laid down in bed for about a half hour and stood up to a soaked bottom. I called the clinic and they asked me to come in at 2 in the afternoon (which at this point was about an hour from then.)

I no sooner walked (ok wheeled) into the clinic and painful contractions began. They quickly put me on the monitor and it was clear things had changed. The babies looked wonderful on the monitor but I was VERY clearly having REAL contractions. They did a Ph test to check to see if it was truly my water and within 10 seconds she said "You need to go directly to the hospital. Have someone bring your overnight bag, put their car seats in the car and prepare yourself to have your babies in your arms today." None of this seemed real, it was all happening way too fast and my husband and I were in major denial and a serious state of shock.

We got to the hospital within minutes and walked in the door and they were there waiting for me. I got placed in my room and had a flood of nurses and doctors enter the room. One started an IV, one was getting the babies on the monitor, one was preparing me for surgery, and someone else put those lovely stockings on my legs. One doctor did a quick ultrasound to confirm their positions (both were transverse- they were laying sideways like they were in a bunk bed), the other doctor called anesthesia to find out what they wanted to do since I had eaten a small lunch. It was all so surreal and happened so fast.

I walked into the hospital at 4p.m. and was taken back to the operating room at 5p.m. I was given a spinal to numb my body from the chest downwards. I was told the incision started at 5:30 exactly. Three little minutes later (5:33) my little Zachary was born. His sister, Madeline came into the world one tiny minute later (5:34). Madeline was a champ; she cried and pinked up immediately. Zachary on the other hand was being lazy. He needed quite a bit of stimulation to get him breathing. But after a few hours he perked up and is doing as well as Madeline.
Zachary weighed 5 pounds 9 ounces and is 18 ½ inches long, Madeline was 5 pounds 6 ounces and is 19 inches long. They are both HUGE for 34 "weekers". Apparently the average 34 week baby weighs about 4 ½ pounds… so our little ones are not quite little. They both started nursing VERY well and we are soooooo excited and pleased with that. They had to be put under the bilirubin lights because they are both jaundiced (which is very common in premature babies). We were told they would be in the hospital for a minimum of two weeks, but nine days after they were born they came home. It was a joyous and difficult mother’s day for me. I was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, Mother’s Day. I was much like a wet noodle, I sobbed and sobbed and felt horrid just leaving my babies in the hospital without me. It was the most difficult day of my life.

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