After 5 years together we decided to try for, "One more."
"This could take time," I warned him, "Maybe 8, 9, 10 months even."
Four weeks later we were pregnant.
Twelve weeks after that we found out it was twins.
That was the general consensus.
I don't think this is technically a birth story, but just a story of the wildest thing that has ever happened to me, or Bart, or even the big boys.
So we found out we were expecting twins. All those visions of peacefully snuggling one baby, tenderly nursing one baby, it was almost an audible pop as if a pin had literally burst my bubble.
I cried on the exam table. The kind of crying that involves a lot of snot and absolutely no shame.
I was so good at one baby! I couldn't wait to show Bart, and let him experience something I had loved so much myself (these are his first biological children.) But now we were in uncharted territory and if there is anything this control freak is not good at it's uncharted territory; the fear of the unknown.
So we set out with no clue what to expect. I read every single book I could find on twin pregnancies and the first year at home with twins. Did you know that only fraternal twins are "passed down," genetically? Identical twins are sort of a genetic fluke. (Sam and Jack are identical.) While I have several twins on my side of the family, apparently that actually had nothing to do with it. I fully believe we had twins because Bart waited so long. Ha.
As the months went on we had specialists visits every two weeks to closely monitor their development. Identical twins have their own sacs but share the same placenta so there is a crossover of nutrients. We were watching to be sure one twin didn't get more than the other.
During those numerous visits and ultrasounds we had the unique opportunity to really get to know the babies before they ever saw the light of day.
Undoubtedly Jack (Baby A) was wiggling, squirming, or kicking Sam (Baby B) every time. Once they were face to face and Jack's lips were moving 90 miles an hour; talking his brother's ear off I took it. His hands were found in questionable places a couple times and he was overall the feistier of the two.
Sam, meanwhile, stayed curled up in the fetal position throwing off kinda "get me outta here" vibes. Never once in all those ultrasounds did we see his face.
That's how they came to be named how they are. When we fiiiiiiiinally decided on names (that's a story for a different time) we decided that Jack sounded like the feistier baby and Sam sounded more like the chill baby.
So we had two named babies with very clear personalities and we were moving right along. Based on my research identical twins had been safely carried up to 38 weeks so when I checked in for my 35 week appointment and they said, call your doctor and deliver in the next few days, needless to say, that wasn't a part of my timeline.
Apparently whether or not this one or that one from the twin mom groups carried their identical twins to 38 weeks the American Acedemy of Obstetrics recommends no longer than 36 weeks and my doctors thought the benefits of 2 more weeks inside did not outweigh the risks. So there we were.
Jackson, despite my stretching and praying and bribing, was breech from about 20 weeks on and wasn't budging, so on the trip home from Little Rock I called and arranged my c-section. I would be delivering at 36 + 4 and my life long fear of having a c-section was about to be realized.
A lot of things swirled around my brain in those next few days. With twins I knew the likelihood of a NICU baby, an extended hospital stay, complications, etc. Add in a healthy dose of fear from the surgery and there you have it. I was so ready to see my babies. I was SO ready to sleep on my stomach again and be able to roll over unassisted etc. But I was also so scared.
The night before I went to bed but I'm not sure if I ever even went to sleep.
In less than 12 hours though I had two healthy babies nursing at once. I survived the c-section and kicked myself for letting fear get the better of me since no, it wasn't ideal, but it also wasn't that bad.
As far as the actual delivery goes the thing I remember most is the deep breath I was able to take after they removed Jack, I said, "Dr. Jones I can breathe again." With 11 pounds of baby in there I didn't even realize how cramped I had been.
Jack came out pretty easily but Sam decided on second thought maybe he didn't want to get outta there so quickly. Bart swears Dr. Jones was up to his elbow reaching for him. After an additional cut they were finally able to get him out.
One of my biggest fears aside from the physical part of the c-section was that how would I bond if I am going through this trauma. If I don't actually physically deliver the babies how will it be the same? Well, all I can say about that is when you hear your baby's cry for the first time I guess it doesn't;t matter how they got here because it's just as emotional. I cried too. And not the ugly no shame snot cry but tears of joy and relief. They were both out and healthy.
And as a cherry on the cake they were going to be in my room waiting on me. We didn't have to be separated for more than a matter of minutes.
We were all three wheeled in almost simultaneously. My carefully crafted plan called letting one baby latch and nurse, and then the other separately until I got the hang of it. Jack latched on and did good for a few minutes before falling asleep so Bart took him and handed me Sam. Sam latched like a champ too. Then Jack decided he wanted back on and next thing I know we were off tandem nursing. It was a very tender yet totally bad ass feeling.
Briley and Jonah met them first. Bart has the sweetest video of them coming in to the room and checking out their new baby brothers. And honestly out of everything that has been one of my favorite parts of this whole experience, getting to see them love these babies so much. They are every bit as smitten as me and Bart.
Over the next 24 hours the babies met their aunts and uncles and may as well be aunts and uncles and grand parents. We had a ton of visitors and well wishers. We realized there was no delay in the no sleep thing, that is was literally happening immediately but that was ok, they were pretty cute.
We went home that Sunday afternoon with our Sam and Jack. It felt so good to jump right into life with them. We haven't slept much since then but we haven't looked back either.