Well, like any newly pregnant person, you immediately make your first appointment with the OB. To my horror, they told me they don’t see patients until 8-10 weeks! WHAT?!?! What on earth am I supposed to do for the next 8 weeks? How do I know that I am eating the right things, or taking showers at the right temperature unless a doctor informs me?? It was a painfully long 8 weeks until the doctor wanted to see me, but the day did finally come. Of course, I drug my husband to my first appointment, which happened to be with a midwife. I was not going into this situation alone, it took two of us to tango and now it’s taking two of us to go to this first appointment!! And, lucky us we were able to get to see our little peanut for the first time on an office ultrasound, yippee (and my husband was finally glad he decided to let me drag him to my first appointment)!
So color us shocked when she put the wand down on my bloated belly, and said “Oh My!” Um, “Oh My!” What??? And the news that shook our little world “There are two in there!!” My thoughts were spinning, thinking; excuse me, could you rewind that?? There are two babies in my belly?? Holy, cow! And my husband was even more entertaining to watch, at first his face beaming with pride about his super swimmers, then the transformation happened quickly to “Look what I DID!” to “Crap, look what I did!”
That is the moment we stepped right up and boarded the roller coaster to being parents of multiples, and there was no way to get off this ride! I had a fairly typical twin pregnancy early on; had some morning sickness, skipped that lovely 2nd trimester that mother’s of singletons experience with added energy and libido, and had a belly that got much bigger than anyone I knew!
Thankfully, I had the girls on the Nest's Multiples Board to help me through this scary and amazing time. I don’t know what I would have done without all the support they have given me. On top of that, all the different experiences from women who have already had twins helped to keep me very educated about my pregnancy. Thanks to them, I spoke up when something didn’t feel right, and although I ended up visiting the Labor & Delivery floor many times for false alarms, I ended up there almost 32 weeks pregnant with pre-term labor. I was immediately whisked off to the big city hospital from my local community hospital, and there I stayed on hospital bed rest until the babies were ready to make their entrance.
It was a terrifying experience, but not an unexpected one. Many women that are pregnant with multiples end up on some kind of bed rest (and to those who didn’t and had 7lb babies, I am so very jealous!) and mine was just the most serious of the spectrum. On top of my preterm labor symptoms and being dilated 3cm at 32 weeks, I ended up with pre-eclampsia which cause terrible swelling and high blood pressure. But again, thanks to my involvement with my message board friends, I knew what I could expect. Even with all this stacked against me; I was still able to keep my babies in for another two weeks and delivered them via c-section at 34 weeks.
Although they were small (Josh was 4lb1oz and Brody was 3lb15oz), they were the greatest fighters. They were both breathing on hospital air from day one and just needed to feed and grow. Team Gillis was born and we couldn’t have been more thrilled!
Harder than having to spend almost 3 weeks in the hospital on bed rest and then another 5 days recovering from my c-section, was leaving my boys. I wouldn’t wish that heart-hurting experience on anyone, it was agonizing to leave them to someone’s care other than my own. But day by day they got stronger and stronger. The first to come home was my little guy Brody after two weeks. He weighed in at a measly 4lbs5oz and I was terrified to be responsible for such a small little creature. His big brother Josh came home an agonizing 5 weeks later due to apnea issues, and needed to be discharged on a sleep apnea monitor. Thankfully for us, he was rid of that monitor in a record setting 6 weeks and never had a single apnea episode at home. We truly think he just needed to be with his family for him to get well!
Those beginning days are long gone and now our “little guys” are over 5 months old! I cannot get over how fast time has flown by! And I cannot imagine what my life was like with these two bundles of joy! Being a mom to twins is such a gift and I am truly grateful. To be a caretaker of such a special bond is absolutely humbling and I am thrilled to be chosen for this life. It’s going to be an amazing roller coaster ride, with lots of ups and downs, and plenty of stomach dropping hills. But we’ll be squealing in delight the entire way :)
AmberJane - Team Gillis Blog