Birth Story By Trish Print
Birth Stories - Multiple Births Stories
Monday, 17 November 2008 10:02
     My husband and I went into the doctors office to see if I REALLY was pregnant. And, just like I knew it would, the test came back positive. We really had some thinking to do. After a few days, we made an appointment with my OB and went in to see. She did the physical exam and said that I was around 14 weeks pregnant. I told her there was no way!! I kept very careful track of my cycles and I knew that I could be no more than 6-8 weeks along. She did an estimate on when I was due and told me that I would be delivering the baby around April 7, 1996. If you remember, that year Easter fell on April 7th. So I asked her how my cycle could have screwed up in order for me to be 14 weeks along. She then asked us if there was a history of twins in each of our families. Of course, there are 4 sets on my side and 3 on my husbands. She then pulled out the device that would let us listen for the heartbeat of twins if I was indeed carrying two. We only heard one.

      She made an appointment for us to go get a sonogram done to see if there were two children. We went to the medical building and I did all of the usual waiting and sweating that I'm sure every mother to be goes through. I finally got into the room that had the sonogram machine and waited (with FULL bladder) for the procedure to begin. The nurse came in and prepped me and she was very good about explaining everything except if I was to be expecting one or two babies. After she did all of her measuring and other stuff, she turned the monitor to me and said, "This is your baby." She moved the sonogram wand a little bit and said, "This is your other baby." I really was going to have twins.

      She and the doctor couldn't determine the sexes of the babies or if they were even in the same sacs. When my OB found the information out, she scheduled me for a second sonogram at the same place for the nest month. We again went down there and found out nothing new. When I went for my third visit with my OB, she told me she wanted to send me to a high-risk specialist who knew what problems to look for in the wombs of multiples. So, we made and appointment with Dr. Adam's office for Dec. 22,1995.

      We arrived there around 10:15 a.m. My appointment was for 11:00. The nurse called my name and I went into a room with so many computers I thought I was at Bill Gates' office. After the nurse prepped me for the ultrasound the doctor came in. Dr. Adam was not what I was expecting her to be. She was a woman of about 35 and very blunt with the way she told her patients about their babies. My husband and I had heard that in the case of multiples, one baby tends to be smaller than the other. I asked her about this and she said that usually it was true. But this was to be an exaggeration in our case.

      She told us that Baby A looked happy and healthy but that Baby B was very small for her gestation age. Too small, almost. Of course, I broke into tears when I heard her tell us that there was a chance that one or both babies may not survive. She told us that Baby A seemed to be taking vital nutrients and blood supply from Baby B's umbilical cord in some way. She pointed out a small hair-like thread that connected the two cords. But she did give us some hopeful news -- if I could last until 33 weeks, there was an 80 percent chance of both babies surviving. At the time I was only 24 weeks along.

      She told me that I was to quit my full time job (because of the stress I was putting on my body) and that I was to go on full bedrest. This meant only getting out of bed or off the couch for something to eat/drink or for going to the bathroom. We were then told that I was to come back every Tuesday and Friday for ultrasounds and that a home nurse would be coming to my house on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and weekends to monitor the babies. When I went in to the office on Fridays I was to get a steroid shot just in case we had to deliver them early.

      All of this went well until January 23,1996, which was a doctors office day. We went into the room and we were told that I was going to be admitted into the hospital of 24 hour monitoring because Baby B's heart had started to pump her blood out of her system and hardly any was being pumped into her. We went home and packed my things and went to the hospital. I was admitted and told that I would be monitored and have blood drawn every three hours to keep up on the status of the babies. This, too, went okay until midnight on my first night there. The nurse came in and put the fetal monitor on me and drew some blood. I figured (by the way the last 2 monitorings went) that I would be unhooked from the monitor within an hour. I was wrong. At 2:30 in the afternoon, Dr. Adam came in and told me that the monitor would stay on me until 7a.m. the following morning because she didn't like the readings she had seen. I was told that at 7a.m. I would be celebrating my babies birthdays.

      My husband and I had already picked out names for our children. If we were to have boys, they would be named Dustin Willis and Hunter Lee. If we were to have girls, they were to be named Ashlyn Nicole and Brittni Mahri. We informed all of the family what was to happen and we prayed for the best result. I was only 29 weeks along. That night, I finally had to take a sleeping pill to get any rest. And, at 7, the nurse came in to inform us of all the paperwork that needed to be signed and what was going to happen once I went into the delivery room. We knew that the chances of both surviving were very slim. But I believed that I would rather have at least one angel on Earth than to have two in heaven. So, on with the delivery!!

      I was wheeled in and given an epidural. They laid me down and put a gas mask over my face and started the procedure. The only thing I could think about was how was I to manage with the loss of one or both of my children. That's when my knight in shining armor came in and held my hand and told me that everything was going to be allright. They held my daughter up for me to see as someone shouted, "8:03 a.m." They told me that that was Baby A. Ashlyn Nicole. But where was my Baby B?? I never saw her because she had been taken away wrapped up in a blanket. Luckily, my husband caught it all on video and I finally got to see why someone had shouted,"8:04 a.m." That was my Brittni Mahri. They took my husband to see the girls while the doctor finished on me.

      I was in the recovery room when the nurse told me they were going to bring my daughters in to let me see them. They wheeled in the first isolette that held Ashlyn. She was so tiny that I had to ask how much she weighed. I was informed that she was 2lbs 12oz. I cried and asked if she was going to be allright and my husband gripped my hand, looked into my eyes and told me that they would be fine if I kept myself strong and lent them all the fighting power I had. They took her away for the rest of the family to see and brought in Brittni. She was even smaller that Ashlyn. She weighed only 1lb 15oz. I kept my chin up and told her that if she wanted to get out of isolation, she had to fight hard and strong.

      And that's exactly what happened. My husband and I didn't get to hold them until they were a week old, but it was an experience that nobody could put a price tag on. They finally came home after about 2 months. That was the second best day of our lives. The first was when we were told that they would BOTH come home. We have had very little problems with them since their birth and they have grown into great, happy, healthy toddlers. We are looking forward to spending many happy moments and experiences with them.