Thursday, August 25, 2011

Birth Story

I am going to tell you an incredible story. If you've heard it second hand you probably don't believe it, but I want to convince you that it's true. So here goes...

When I was pregnant with my twin girls, my husband and I went to my 35 week appointment to see how I, and they, were doing. I had been diagnosed with preeclempsia the week prior, so I was being closely monitored to make sure I was safe and so were our girls. They watched my contractions (I had been having them sporadically for a few weeks, but nothing consistent and never painful. The contractions just felt like all my stomach muscles were flexing at one time without my consent and so strongly they often took my breath away). They also checked my blood pressure, protein levels...etc. Towards the end of my appointment, when I was in the exam room, I asked the doctor if she would be checking how far dilated and effaced I was. (Both of these determine how far into labor you are). The doctor had told me at my last appointment, 2 weeks prior, that at this appointment she would be checking these things. She replied with, "Oh yeah, we do need to do that, go ahead and get ready and I will come back to check you." I got undressed, but had to go to the bathroom REALLY bad. I had been holding it during the appointment and couldn't wait much longer. I told Brandon, if my doctor doesn't get back here in 3 minutes, I am going to run to the restroom real quick. Well, the doctor returned before my time limit for her was up. Praise God she did.

She came into the room and examined me. As she did, she sort of giggled and said, "You are dilated to a nine. You need to go to the hospital right away." At those words I almost started crying. I looked at Brandon and thought, "What happened to all the other centimeters?" (At 10 centimeters you have the baby, typically you head to the hospital at 3-4 centimeters). Brandon then asked her if we could stop by the house to pick up our hospital bags and she said to head straight there, she would meet us at the hospital and directed me to not sneeze on the way there.

We walked into the lobby of the doctor's office where Brandon's mom, Sheri, was waiting for us. (She was our chauffeur. Due to Brandon's injury to his Achilles tendon two weeks prior and my being extremely pregnant, she had driven us to our appointment). Brandon says to her, "We have to go to the hospital. We're going to have the twins today." She looked at him in disbelief and tells him to stop joking. We were both smiling and again I wasn't in pain. (On the way to the appointment we had joked about the possibility of going into labor today. Plus B and I like to surprise/play pranks on our family. So, she had reason to doubt the sincerity in our news.) Brandon then explains that I am dilated to a nine and that the doctor was going to meet us at the hospital. Sheri then starts to hyperventilate as we lead her into the parking lot. On our way to the hospital Brandon calls my mom, my sister, his dad and his sister while I gave Sheri driving directions.

When we arrived at the hospital they admitted us and then lead us up to our birthing suite/room. I changed into the hospital gown and they began to hook me up to IV's and various monitors. The nurse began to ask various easy questions like how old I was, how many weeks pregnant I was, when were the girls due...etc. Because I had terrible pregnancy brain, Brandon had to answer the questions for me as I kept giving the wrong answers or I took too long to figure out the answer. (Like, how old I was. I actually answered some of the questions that were supposed to be about me with answers that were about Brandon). She was dumbfounded that I wasn't in any pain. She kept jokingly asking me as well as the other nurses if I was sure I was dilated to a nine as Brandon and I were conversing and cracking jokes like normal.

The nurse then asked if I wanted an epidural. I took a long time to answer and she told me that no one was forcing me to get one. Well, I knew that, but because I wasn't in any pain I felt like it was a waste of time and money. But, my doctor and I had agreed I would get one because I would be prepped and ready in case there were complications when I was delivering the twins. So, I decided to go ahead and get one to make sure I was safe and so were the girls.

As soon as I got the epidural, I felt really sleepy, so I took a nap while Brandon and my sister played games on their phones together. After a couple hours, they wheeled me into the operating room to deliver the girls.

Once in the operating room, I was transferred from the bed from the birthing suite to a table. They hooked me up to the contraction monitor and began to prep me for delivery. The doctor then told me when to push, as I couldn't feel my contractions, and when she did I just focused all my energy into pushing. I didn't cry out from pain (there wasn't any) and I didn't cry out from flexing my muscles as much as I could. I didn't want to waste my energy on it. I just pushed as long and as hard as I could each time she told me to. In between pushing we talked, I rested and conserved energy for the next pushing.

Audrey was positioned first and as I pushed I could feel her getting stuck at a certain point. I continually prayed and asked the Lord to give me the strength and ability to bring Audrey into this world. Eventually I was getting exhausted and the doctor used the vacuum on her to get her out. Once she was out, I only had to push twice for Grace. She actually was positioned feet first and tried to put her arm out. The doctor had to push her arm back in to pull her by her feet out.

Once the girls were born, they rushed them to the NICU (because they were born 5 weeks early, they were quite premature). I was wheeled back to the birthing suite to recuperate and gain my strength.

The reason this story is so incredible is because I was able to give birth to not just one, but two babies with no pain! Before I was pregnant, when Brandon and I were trying to conceive I had read a book called Supernatural Childbirth by Terry Mize. Because of the book, I began to pray and ask God for no pain during childbirth. The whole time I was pregnant I asked God for no pain during childbirth. I didn't tell anyone because they wouldn't believe it was possible and would try to convince me to do otherwise. The only person who knew I was asking for this was Brandon and even he was skeptical.

I love that God answered my prayer for something crazy, out of the ordinary and radical. I love that through my story, He is glorified. He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. When I think about what He did for me, I am prompted to ask, to believe for incredible things. Even while I prayed and asked God for it, I wasn't 100% sure He would answer my prayer, but I am so thankful He did!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Provided For

I fed the girls this morning at 5:30am and when I went back to bed to catch some rest, I laid there for awhile thinking about how God has provided for us.

I remember when we found out we were pregnant with twins and how immediately everyone else freaked out. I had an immediate confidence that God would help us, equip us and provide for us. People constantly, my entire pregnancy would say, "Oh wow, can you handle it?", "You're going to be so tired", "They are going to be so much work", and on and on the negative exclamations would come. I had to continually guard my thoughts, my heart from receiving their attitudes.

Yes, twins are more work than 1 baby. Yes we are tired, but aren't all first time parents? Yes at times I have felt like its been more than we could handle, but now two months later we are still handling it and the Lord has helped us even when I felt like He wasn't helping us. Here are some ways He has provided for us:

  • Our girls were accepted into the state insurance program.
    I was trying to figure out my hospital charges and what my insurance had covered, so I called the hospital to get some answers. I knew that all the girls bills were paid for, but the representative at the hospital mentioned to me how much we would've been charged if they weren't on state insurance - Audrey's charges alone would've been over $18,000!
  • Our girls (and I) are on the WIC program.
    This allows me so much freedom as I am able to use formula to supplement their feedings which allows me greater ability to take them places. (Nursing two babies at once cannot be done just anywhere, you have to be very clever and plan for how to do it).
  • All the diapers and wipes we've used for them thus far have been given to us by family, friends and friends of friends.
    Changing at least 7-8 diapers a day per girl - this has saved us tons!
  • All the clothes they've worn thus far have been provided by family, friends and friends of friends.
    At home they've worn little boys clothes a couple times, who cares? They are clothed and that's what matters. (If you are reading this and feel bad that they've worn boys clothes, please don't feel bad for them. They don't know they are wearing boys clothes and I always dress them in girls clothes when we leave the house. Although this doesn't stop people from guessing the wrong gender. No biggie.)
  • All their furniture, blankets, bibs, burp cloths, diaper bags, socks...etc. have been provided by family, friends and friends of friends.
  • During the first month of their life, my mom, B's mom, our immediate family and some extended all pitched in to make sure there was someone staying/living with us at all times to help us get rest, eat, keep up on laundry, household chores, take showers...etc.
    I couldn't have gotten through the first month without that support. My physical well being and mental sanity needed their help and I am so thankful they were willing and able to jump into this season with us.
As you can see, we are extremely blessed. The Lord knew we were going to have twins, He planned it. He also planned how we were provided for. So, when I get concerned, or worried or anxious about tomorrow, I can just look at my past and see - Yes, God has been good. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 1

There are so many things stirring in my spirit right now. Due to financial cutbacks, I will not be returning to work from my maternity leave. It's funny how such news hits you. It's as if the Lord was preparing me. I feel bittersweet. A chapter of my life is officially over (as if having the twins wasn't enough, ha!).

 I also feel exhilarated at what lays in front of me.

An open door.

There are things the Lord has been prompting me to step into, but I have been holding off on them. It's as if I am standing in a doorway with the door open to a cliff. I know I must go through this door, but I have been clinging to the doorway with white knuckles scared to make the leap.

One of the things I must leap into is this blog. I have been apprehensive about the fact that someone is actually going to read it! Read my thoughts! What should I share, where should I start?

I love the song New Day by I know it was written in honor of Barack Obama becoming President, but the emotion behind the song, the joy at something new happening resonates within me. Joy at something anticipated, thought about, dreamt about actually happening. What does the Lord have for me? How is He going to order my steps? How will He bring to pass the dreams I have in my heart? What will my life look like?

So, I live with baited breath, confident in my Maker, the Author of my life. This is what living by faith really is.