I have been meaning to sit down and write (sum up!) my pregnancy and birth experience with Maeva and the twins (Bailey and Ariella).
Bailey and Ari turn two on Sunday March 10th… so what better time than now to take a trip down memory lane and share a little of my second pregnancy!
Summer 2016 was a busy one for our family – we moved into a new house, I moved my Pilates Studio to the new house, we did a bunch of renovations, and I got pregnant for a second time. We had always said it would be amazing if we could have our two children about two years apart. I grew up as an only child and always wanted two kids — and to have them grow up close in age, Matt grew up with a brother six years younger making him an only child for the first chunk of his childhood.
We were thrilled to find out I was pregnant August 2016. I knew really early I was pregnant – I was feeling fairly nauseous, my period was late and I was craving random things. Taking a pregnancy test was just a formality in my mind – so much so that I picked up two sets of pj’s from the store to announce to Matt he’d be a dad again. I chose a pink little sister pj and a blue little brother pj… I showed both to Matt but assured him I was only having one baby… that I bought two because I didn’t know the sex of the baby at this point. Little did I/we know this was foreshadowing what was to come! We were excited and chose to start telling close friends and family right away – thinking I was going to start to show much earlier the second time around!
When I was nine weeks pregnant, I was still very nauseous but apart from that I was feeling normal. I started to have some moderate bleeding. I didn’t experience this at all with Maeva so I was immediately concerned. I called my Doctors office and they told me to proceed to the nearest emergency. Matt was working from home that day (luckily) so he was able to take me. The whole 30 minute car ride we were preparing ourselves and each other for the worst. We waited about an hour and a half in emergency before finally seeing a doctor (again – lucky me, one of the doctors working in the ER that day had been a client of mine!). She called me in and did an ultrasound immediately. Her first comment:
“Oh!” but it was more of a question… “I see two?”
My immediate response: “What do you mean two?!”
After that we waited for an official ultrasound to double check… we were now sure that our lives were about to change more than we had ever imagined.
The following weeks were a blur of nausea, mixed with fatigue mixed with so many different emotions. I was told early on in this twin pregnancy that one of the side effects of twins was I would feel double the hormones – true/false? I had no idea but it made me feel more sane throughout the pregnancy haha!.
The next months weren’t overly eventful (besides the slight panic of what was to come!), nausea stayed with me most of the pregnancy, my body didn’t feel like my own – I couldn’t eat enough to satisfy the little monkeys! My belly was often a strange shape… you could even make out where the babies were positioned!
To say I wasn’t comfortable was an understatement! I wasn’t able to workout – my doctor wanted me to keep all the calories for my girls, my job involved enough movement… and to be honest I didn’t have the energy for it anyway!
Fast forward to March 9th. I was at 33 weeks and 4 days – I had an uneventful day, nothing out of the ordinary. We put Maeva to bed and were trying to watch something on TV… I say trying because I thought my Crohn’s was acting up (giving me really bad cramps… which wasn’t unusual!). Finally I thought maybe I should call the hospital to see if there was any reason to believe this could be the babies. After taking a bath, laying on my left side and actually timing these ‘abdominal cramps’ I realized that I was having contractions! Oops – but the lesson is Crohn’s is painful… FYI.
Off to the hospital around 11pm – still thinking this is nothing. I even called my mom in Saskatoon and told her there was no need for her to get on a plane yet (she knew differently and planned to come out the following day). The doctor came in to see me, gave me meds to slow the contractions, a shot to help the girls lungs develop quicker.. and at 5am Matt and I woke up to my water breaking (why did no one ever fully explain that it can be a huge GUSH?!).
Ambulance called (the hospital I was at only takes babies as of 34 weeks– I was 2 days shy!) and transferred me downtown (about 45 minutes) to St Luc (coincidentally the hospital Maeva was born at… we even got the same room!!). Everything happened so fast, I dilated really quickly so they had no choice but to deliver the girls via c section at 12:15pm on Friday March 10th, 2017. They were each a healthy 4.5lbs – which was a nice surprise – a decent size for premature twins!
The girls stayed a total of 17 days in the hospital. They were each transferred to different hospitals for various health concerns.
First Bailey was transferred because her lung had a whole that wouldn’t close – she spent 3 days away from her sister but finally healed on her own.
Once back together Ari was quickly developing a red mark on her face. She was transferred for her remaining 7 days in hospital to a hospital that had the resources to perform all the tests required to find out the cause of her red mark. She was diagnosed with PHACE syndrome. Its an acronym – and a scary one at that. She was lucky with only the H for Hemangioma. She is still being followed for her Hemangioma by the Vascular Dermatology team, the other tests have all been cleared – we feel very fortunate this is the case for our girl.
After their 17 days in hospital (*only 7 days together with Matt and I running around to see each of our 3 girls in 3 different locations) we were finally able to bring our babies home!
Two years have flown by and our girls are getting bigger, stronger and more adventurous by the minute!!! We feel so unbelievably lucky to have had these girls choose us to be their family – our life is crazy, difficult, exhausting and so full of love and laughter that I wouldn’t change a thing!
Whoever wrote this quote hit the nail on the head.
“Its double the giggles & double the grins, its double the trouble if you’re blessed with twins.”
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