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Our Birth Story – The Girls

Our Birth Story – The Girls

Friday, September 4th, was my last OBGYN appointment and NST test.  The girls passed with flying colors and my appointment showed no signs of labor any time soon.  I never was dilated or effaced and none of the contractions that showed up on the monitor were painful.  Both girls had switched to the breech position.  After speaking with the doctor and mentally preparing myself that the c-section was going to happen I felt ready.  The weekend went by really really slow.  It was a long weekend too with labor day, having Monday off.  We convinced Steve’s parents to come and help out so that my mom could come to the hospital with us.  They came on Sunday and it was so nice to know the boys were in good hands.

By Monday evening I was getting really nervous.  Steve helped me shower with some special soap I was asked to use before the surgery.  Then I headed to bed early.  Tuesday morning, we woke up to my alarm clock and started getting our stuff together for the hospital.  I jumped in the shower real quick for another scrub down of the special soap.  Then we left the house about 10 to 7 and headed to Mercy.

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Steve and I headed into the hospital to meet the girls

I was feeling excited to meet the girls.  We got to the hospital and checked into labor and delivery around 7:20.  My doctor had said to get there by 7:30.  But it took a while before we were brought back to the triage room.  My mom had to wait in the lobby until we were finally in a room and they began the surgery prep.  I got my blood taken for some baseline levels and had an IV put in.  Then we were strapped up to some monitors for the girls to watch them while we waited for the OR to open up.  My mom got to come up and the three of us waited around for a very long time.  There were a few times that they couldn’t find baby A on the heart rate monitor so the technician was aggressively pushing and holding on my belly to keep the monitor on her.  It was a little uncomfortable.  At one point Steve had to apply his “Dr” skills to hold one of the monitors in place.

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Dr Steven DeLuca monitoring babies

9 o’clock came and went and we were told that we were going to be swapping places with a couple that were already there since 6 am that had their surgery scheduled for 11.  I was ready to get it over with but her labs had already come back and they were yet to take my blood.  At one point Steve made a comment about them forgetting about us and my mom and I reminisced about a previous appointment where we were waiting in a room for over an hour and half and finally a nurse came in and said “Are you guys waiting on something?” to which we responded “Yes, the Dr.”.  We thought that’d be funny if they came in asking if we were waiting on something, “Yes, a scheduled c-section”.  We were all laughing uncontrollably and the poor babies fell off the monitor again.  But at least we were joking around and having fun.

Finally an OR freed up and they brought me back to the room to get prepped.  I met the anesthesiologist and told him my experience during my last c-section.  He listened to all of my suggestions and was very nice about wanting to make this a new experience for me.  I sat up on an OR prep table and my doctor, Dr. Erika Nichelson, came over and had me lean forward and held me while the epidural area was cleaned and the drugs started being delivered.  It was nice to have her familiar face and voice distracting me with stories of her 4.5 year old twins.  Once the epi was in, I was moved from the first OR table on wheels and moved onto the actual operating table.  I had asked that my arms not be strapped down and everyone was okay with that.  They began pushing the drugs in almost immediately and it took a very long time for my legs to feel numb.  Very similar to my last c-section.  Only this time they waited and ensured I was good before they began.  They added more drugs at one point and I remember feeling like I was going to vomit but I never did.  They waited about 20 minutes to make sure my legs felt very heavy, that I wasn’t able to feel any pricks on my skin, and that I wasn’t able to pick up my legs or wiggle my toes.  It made the world of difference.  After the drugs had started, they inserted the catheter.  A million times better than my last experience.  I could barely feel it and it was all done.

Once I was all numbed up, they brought in Steve.  This time around I asked for a gentle c-section.  This usually means that they lower the drape and hold up the baby so you can see them as they are delivered and checked to make sure they are okay.  Sometimes they even have a clear drape, but they didn’t.  So they left the drape basically laying on my chest but I couldn’t see anything they were doing… my belly was still too big.  They first checked to see the position of the girls and, sure enough, they were both still breech.  Then they started the surgery.  It smelled like burning hair when they first started, maybe they were using a laser?  Steve was sitting right next to my head watching the whole thing and letting me know how good I was doing.  I remember looking at the clock and feeling like it was a very long time from when they started cutting to when they started getting the babies out.  There was a lot of digging around (apparently I had a lot of scar tissue and they had to “search” for my uterus).  When they brought out the first baby. I looked at Steve who was staring at the team and he had tears in his eyes.  They announced that it was a baby girl and held her up for me to see.  Then her nursing team took her and cleaned her off and made sure she was breathing okay.  Then the doctors dug around for another good bit looking for baby B.  They announced they were going to cut her water and Steve said water shot up everywhere when they did.  Then they pulled out baby B and told us it was another girl and the team worked to get her to make her first cry. Because the curtain was low Steve could see the whole thing without having to stand up and peer over a curtain.  Which was so awesome to live it through his eyes and watch him react to the birth of his daughters.  He kept looking at me and looking over at the team and telling me how beautiful they were.

Once the girls were out the surgeons spent a long time cleaning me up, removing the scar tissue from the previous section, and then sewing me up.  While they were doing that Steve got to hold baby B right up next to my face.  She really was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Her sister had a little bit of trouble breathing and the nursing team just wanted to make sure that she didn’t have liquid in her lungs.  Pretty soon Steve was rotating which girl he got to hold and show me.  They were both gorgeous.

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Steve in the OR holding both girls

It was great that I was distracted with how pretty the girls were because when I focused on the surgeons and what they were doing I felt nauseous.  The surgeons were taking a lot longer than I had thought it would take to stitch me back up.  I heard them talking about blood clots and saying things like “it’s coming out of no where”.  I was told later that I did lose a lot of blood.  However, the doctors were calm and collected and I didn’t feel like I was going to die on the table like I got from my first c-section experience.  It was only brought up one time about a blood transfusion and it was more of an after thought like it was something they were going to keep and eye on me and make sure my iron levels improved.   If I ever get pregnant again it was advised that I don’t try to labor on my own because of all the scar tissue.  Apparently it would’ve been fine for this pregnancy but for any future goes it wasn’t recommended.  So no more VBAC hopes for me.  That’s okay though, after these girls were born my initial thought was my family is now complete.

In recover back at the triage area, my mom was there waiting for us.  Both girls came back a little later and the nursing team asked me instantly if I wanted to try breastfeeding.  So I had them both in a double feeding position and skin to skin instantly following surgery.  They both took to the breast instantly and did a great first time feeding.

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double feeding success right after birth

I didn’t have the feeling I had after the boys c-section where I didn’t want to hold them for fear of dropping them.  This time I felt surprisingly strong.  I was happy having them both close.  I also didn’t have the “fat suit” feeling I had with the boys.  I was definitely swollen from the liquids in the IV, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as my first c-section.  We stayed a long time in the triage room before we were brought into a room back in recovery.

 

GirlesTogether

best friends already

The only weird side effect I had was my face felt really itchy to the point of being uncomfortably itchy.  Overall though, my second c-section experience was so much more enjoyable than my first.  I wouldn’t want to go through that every day, but knowing that it didn’t have to be rushed and scary and impersonal should be reassuring for other moms who have no other birthing choice.

The next couple days at the hospital were a blur.  The girls have been little angels.  Having Steve’s parents in town was amazing and allowed my mom to come to the hospital and help Steve and I out.  Unfortunately she had to leave when visiting hours were over at 8:30 pm.  Evenings weren’t so bad, we managed a few hours of sleep here and there.  The biggest thing being the interruptions from the hospital staff taking vitals on the girls and me and checking my incision.

It took us until the second day to announce the girls names.  We had said we liked Emily and Olivia from our “date night” where we went out brainstorming names.  But I wanted to see the girls before we finalized anything.  And their middle names depended on who was who.  We wanted baby B to have the middle name Ivy, “IV”, for roman numeral four.  We thought that was nerdy and fun for our fourth child.  I’d always wanted one of my kids to have Seacat as a middle name, and especially wanted it to be one of my daughters since it was my maiden name, but I wasn’t sure it would sound good with both names.  Steve instantly told me he thought baby A looked like an Emily.  I think it could’ve gone either way, so I agreed and baby A became Emily Seacat DeLuca.  That left Olivia as baby B, and she looks like an Olivia.  I love the way Olivia Ivy DeLuca sounds.  So they were named!

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snuggling with mommy

I mentioned how beautiful the girls are, and as their mother, I’m partial.  But it is such a cool feeling to have a daughter.   It’s funny because Steve’s dad mentioned how to him most babies look the same.  Unless they are dressed in blue or pink it’s hard to tell if they’re girls or boys but with these girls it is very obvious they are girls.  I had said the same thing to my mom and Steve earlier.  They are gentle, their features are beautiful; they ooze femininity.

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Grandma and Grandpa DeLuca

Recover has been…. challenging.  I don’t remember it being this tough with the boys.  I didn’t get out of bed immediately like I was hoping that I would’ve because they left the catheter in until Wednesday morning.  From when it came out a timer started… I had 6 hours to pee or else they were going to put in another catheter.  Since the catheter was the worst experience of my first c-section I went into panic mode.  Steve’s parents came by after they dropped the boys off at school and we told everyone the girls names.  Then I was on the toilet trying to pee.  I was worried that the more I drank the worse it would be thinking my bladder could only hold so much and I had already downed a lot of liquid trying to pee.  I asked one of the nurses the best approach and, despite some language barriers, she finally confirmed that I should go crazy with drinking the liquids.  At noon I still hadn’t peed so they gave me until 1 pm.  I finally peed. It was painful, but at least I did it before having to have another catheter.  Crisis averted!

On Wednesday, my mom and I were walking around the hospital when the photographer that takes photos in the hospital stopped us.  She said she’d take pictures and the packages started at $30.  No obligation.  So I said sure, why not.  She came by the room and we got some great photos of the girls.  I’m thrilled with how they turned out.  It was only $150 for all the digital photos so I went ahead and purchased them.  We still plan on having another photo session this coming week with another photographer in the area.

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Hospital photoshoot – 1 day old

Our next freak out was of course with the girls.  We knew they were going to lose weight but they were feeding so well.  Regardless Steve and I weren’t worried about it until some of the doctors told us how they couldn’t lose more than 10% of their total body weight or they would’ve be able to go home.  So of course Steve and I freak out and are cluster feeding the girls all night long with little sleep.  Early Friday morning Steve wakes up and says to me “Where is the other baby?!?” all panicked.  And I said, Steve, they are both there.  To which Steve replies “no, the third baby”.  He was standing out of bed and looking at me, it’s not like he was talking in his sleep.  To which I calmly told him that we only had twins and that he was just having a dream.  He went back to bed.  I texted my mom shortly after that and asked that she come to the hospital early so she could help us out.  She got there right when they let in visitors at 8 am and Steve was able to rest a bit.

Skin to skin

Skin to skin

Shortly after my mom came the baby’s physician came in to check on the girls.  They had lost 10% (Emily) and 11% (Olivia).  They hadn’t reweighed them from the night before though and Steve and I felt we did a good job plumping the girls up over the evening.  My milk had definitely came in.  The doctor didn’t seem concerned.  She said it’d be okay for both girls to go home, especially since she noticed some colostrum spit up and knew we were old hats at breastfeeding twins (I went 15 months with the boys!).

So we were free to go!  I haven’t seen Steve move so fast.  He sprung out of what appeared to be a deep sleep and started helping us get all of our stuff together.  Of course we brought way too much stuff that we didn’t use or need half of it.  Steve pulled the car around and my mom and I went down with a woman who wheel chaired me down to valet.

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snuggling before heading home from the hospital

 

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Olivia enjoying some grandma time

 

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Emily taking in the hospital sights

 

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3 generations of ladies

 

 

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On our wheelchair ride to the car

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All smiles as we proudly show off the girls to onlookers

We got the girls strapped into the Audi and my mom squeezed between their two seats, and we were on our way home with our daughters!

Birth Stats

  • Birth date: Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
  • Gestational Age when born: 37 weeks, 6 days
  • Original Due Date (40 weeks): September 23rd
  • Type of Twins: Di/Di
  • Time in NICU: NONE!
  • Schedule c-section, both babies were in the breech position.  Originally hoped for a VBAC.  No bedrest beforehand.  Healthy pregnancy, no signs of pre-eclampsia.
  • Chinese Zodiac symbol: Goats
  • Zodiac Sign: Virgo
  • Baby A
    • Emily Seacat DeLuca

    • birth weight: 6 lbs 11 ozs.
    • birth height: 49 cm; 19.3 inches
    • head size: 35
    • time of birth: 11:48 am
    • APGAR score: 9 and 9 (9 after 1 minute, 9 after 5 minutes)
    • going home weight: 6 lbs
  • Baby B
    • Olivia Ivy DeLuca

    • birth weight: 6 lbs
    • birth height: 49.5 cm; 19.5 inches
    • head size: 32
    • time of birth: 11:49 am
    • APGAR score: 8 and 9
    • going home weight: 5 lbs 7 oz