In the first trimester of my pregnancy I had severe heartburn, extreme nausea (all the time), and lost about 20 pounds. When the doctor first listened to the baby's heartbeat, he had trouble getting a reading because we thought the baby was moving so much. First it'd be on one side and then the other.
At our first ultrasound we decided to find out the gender - I was sure I was having a girl! When I looked at the screen and saw two heads, I thought the technician was playing a joke on us! My husband was speechless at first and then we both started laughing... hysterically. When we called family and friends to tell them what we found out at the ultrasound, it was great fun to tell them, "Well, we're having BOYS!" We were in shock for a while (having never considered the remotest possibility of having twins) but were very happy about it.
I had a very good and healthy pregnancy and never went on bed rest. In April of 1999, the boys were born at 36 weeks, both very healthy and each weighing 5 1/2 pounds. At around 7 pm, my labor started at home with back pains. At about 10 pm, we called a nurse who instructed us to come in to the hospital. Since I wasn't feeling any contractions and my water hadn't broken, I was sure they'd send me home. They didn't.
Neither my husband nor I got much sleep during that night. The contractions were very slow, even with medication to help speed things up. At around 9 or 10 am the next morning they broke my water. I had decided ahead of time to get an epidural since I knew there was a greater chance of C-section with twins and more than anything I wanted to be conscious for the boys' delivery. In the early afternoon my contractions started increasing and I had the epidural.
I was soon moved to the surgery room (standard procedure for multiple births even for vaginal deliveries) and started pushing. Both boys were head down and everything looked good. There were about 10 people in the room - including some nurses from post-partum who wanted to witness a twin birth and had asked me if they could watch. This was a far cry from my sentimental imaginings of my first birth experience. I had pictured an intimate setting of my husband, myself, and the doctor and nurse in a nice, comfortable birthing room. But at this point I couldn't care less where I was or who was with me!
The doctor preformed an episiotomy and had put suction on Elijah's head to help bring him out. But after what seemed like a long period of time with his tugging on the baby and my pushing, he sat back and looked at me. He had a puzzled look on his face and told me that my labor had stopped progressing and the baby wasn't moving at all. (We think that my muscles were too tired from carrying the twins and the long labor.) He decided that we had to do a C-section. I was actually relieved. When they did the incision, Jesse was closer and even stuck his hand up as if to say "Me first!" But since Elijah was going to be born first naturally the doctor decided to bring him out first. Elijah was born at 3:35 pm. I heard his tiny cry and thought someone had brought in a kitten! Jesse was born 3 minutes later.
I'm glad I had planned ahead for the epidural because I'll never forget the first time I saw each of them. The nurse brought Elijah over to me. I said "Hi, baby" and he opened his eyes and looked right at me - he knew I was his mother! And then I looked over at my husband holding Jesse in his arms and saw tears in his eyes. We thank God everyday for them both and for the doctors and nurses who delivered them safely.
We still have some adjusting and learning to do as parents, but there are so many rewards of having children - especially twins. When we take them out in public sometimes we get comments from people, such as "Double Trouble," "Better you than me," "Boy, you have your hands full," and even once "That is how God punishes people for wanting to have children!" I think most people are trying to be funny, but I wish they were more careful about what they say in front of our kids. We make an effort to respond positively so Elijah and Jesse know what a gift they are to us and so that other people know we think being parents is a positive thing. There are a lot of people though who are encouraging and I hope I can be as encouraging to others.
Now, two years later, we are expecting that little girl I "knew" I was having in the first place! I hope to deliver her vaginally, but I know God is in control and am thankful that C-sections are so successful today. I look forward to her birth and addition to our family. If you are a parent or are expecting, I hope you take time to treasure the miracle of your child!