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The Story of Us – The Kids

This is Part 3. Here’s Part 1 (Meeting) and Part 2 (Wedding) if you’re interested.

You all know how kids GET here 😉 …here’s the story of how the twins came to be. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll update the page with Logan’s story, but for now it’s just Burke and Maggie.

Burke and Maggie

I’ll start our story by telling you that Mike and I planned to be pregnant. I had been reading all of “THE” books and we were ready. One and a half months after we decided it was time, I was knocked up. THAT didn’t take long! My due date was March 15, 2005.

There’s TWO!

Eight weeks later, on August 12th, 2004, we were at my step-grandfather’s funeral – out of state – and I started to bleed. Fearing the worst, we headed to the nearest hospital. Mike and my sister, Sharon, came with me. After waiting for what seemed like hours with an IV in my arm, we finally got in for an ultrasound to see what was going on. Right before we went back to the ultrasound room, my Dad and Step-mother (Sue) and sister, Meghan, came in … they had been finishing up with the funeral things. Everyone else was waiting for word at my step-grandmother’s house.

During the ultrasound, I saw Mike hesitate about 30 seconds before the tech said “I see TWO in there!” WHAT?! Whooo boy. She gave us the picture and told us that we had to go out and surprise my family with the news.

We went back to my examining room and presented the picture to my Dad…who didn’t really know which end was up. Mike then said, “Want to know what you’re looking at? Okay…here’s the head and here’s the tail <pause> And here’s the other head and the other tail.” Silence. Dad and Sue both looked up at me…all I could do was hold up 2 fingers. 🙂

Talk about an emotional roller coaster day! It turns out that twins actually run in my family – both on my mom and my dad’s sides – so we shouldn’t have been so surprised…

(We never did find out why I was bleeding that day … my doctor figured I had some tears because I was growing too fast with two in there; but there was never any real explanation.)

Fast Forward 5 Months

One Month Before the Twins Arrived

On January 17th, 2005, I had one of my many OB visits and then I was supposed to go across the street to the hospital for my first non-stress test. I had about an hour to kill between the two appointments, so I hit McDonald’s for some quick food and a bathroom – both necessities for a pregnant lady!

While in the bathroom, I noticed that I was spotting … again. I hadn’t had any spotting at all since that day in August so I called my doctor and told them that I’d just left their office and that I was due at the hospital, but that I was bleeding. The nurse calmly stated that spotting is normal when they do an internal ultrasound. I calmly stated that I’d just had an external one. She told me to head over to the hospital early and she’d let them know I was coming. (I’m fairly certain I asked if I had time to eat something LOL!)

I headed to the hospital – unable to get in touch with Mike because he was at a seminar in a building with no reception! They did some tests and gave me some shots. I think Steroids for the kids’ lungs and some “Contraction-B-Gone.”

Mike finally got my message – but the hospital required that my phone be shut off. I’m pretty sure I mentioned that in my message, so he called the hospital, found out what was going on, and took off to come see me. When he got to me, the doctors decided that I needed to go to a hospital with a level 3 NICU – in case the babies decided to make an early appearance…they couldn’t stop the contractions. They were also worried because I wasn’t feeling said contractions.

My first ambulance ride! And let me tell you – it was super uncomfortable because I had to be on my side the entire ride to Boston. (About 1/2 hour ride…probably less in the ambulance, but it felt longer…)

Once in the new hospital, I was given Magnesium. NOT fun!! Instant migraine and it made me feel so hot, I thought my ears were on fire. I kept asking the nurses to turn the heat down … freezing everyone out – even Mike, Mr. t-shirt in a snow storm! I also know that I had a phone conversation with my friend Becca … but I was so out of it, I’m sure I just baffled her.

At this new hospital, I was somewhat ignored…I got the care I needed, and I was considered high-risk…but I was one of the lowest high-risk patients there. At my old hospital, I had constant attention because I was pretty much the ONLY high-risk patient there. Quite a difference.

I spent 2 nights there before they determined that my contractions had stopped, so I could go home. Mike had been with me the entire time, so we piled into his car and headed for home. While there, my friend Becca came over to drop off some food and to take Mike back to my car – which had been at the first hospital the entire time. They’d been gone for about 15 minutes when I had to call them and tell them to turn around and come back to get me – I had just lost my mucus plug. I’d been home for all of 2 hours.

Back to the Hospital

When I called my doctor, I had asked which hospital I should head back to – the 1st or the 2nd. I think they were a little annoyed that I had been released, so Dr. Doctor told me to come back to his hospital. Thank goodness – I was much more comfortable there!

The next seven days were a total blur. I couldn’t get out of bed for anything. Bed pan required and all. And I was in the Labor and Delivery room the whole time. I had to lie on my back with my feet elevated higher than my hips. I had monitors on my belly and an IV. Good times. The monitors would go off if they lost contact with one of the babies’ heartbeats. Didn’t anyone ever tell these people that babies MOVE?! I think I had the IV “replanted” about 4 different times since I was there for so long.

Mike would go into work only to split his cells every few days, but other than that, he was right by my side the entire time.

One of the nurses I had told me her story of deciding to have a 4th child and ending up with 4, 5, and 6! Wow. She was awesome. She was the one who felt sorry for me and snuck me into the shower on day 7 or so. She also surprised me was a comfier bed when I got out of the shower.

I remember waking up every morning with Tom Petty’s “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” song stuck in my head. And it’d be going on in my head all day.

It’s Time!

The morning of January 23rd, at 33 weeks and 3 days, I knew something was going to happen. “My song” had switched from Tom Petty to the Black Eyed Peas. “Let’s Get it Started” was now stuck in my head.

And boy did it start. I had been getting the “Contraction-B-Gone” shots regularly around the clock, but those weren’t controlling things any more, so they were talking about giving me another dose of Magnesium. When I heard this, I broke down crying to Mike. I was torn between keeping the babies safe and the awful, terrible reaction I had had with the shot before. Mike told the nurse why I was so upset so she called Dr. Doctor who overrode the on-call doctor’s decision, and who came to the hospital in – yep, you guessed it – a blizzard. It was a really good thing we were already at the hospital because I’m not sure we would have been able to drive in all that snow!! (Thank God Dr. Doctor was able to though!)

I was rolled into the OR for my “emergency” C-Section.  Mike kept cracking jokes – as is his way when he’s nervous. And I remember the anesthesiologist and nurses commenting that we were one of the calmest, smiliest couples – laughing and joking – that they’d ever seen.

I remember Mike saying “Geez, Nancy! You really don’t feel that??” As he could see Dr. doctor’s hands moving under my skin…

Maggie entered the world weighing 4lbs 9oz, measuring 17 inches long, at 5:57pm. And she literally squeaked when she arrived.

When Burke was pulled out, I heard “Five fifty…let’s say Eight!” It happened so fast that not even a minute had passed. He was 4lbs 8oz, and 17.5 inches long.

When Mike was sure I was okay, he followed the kids to the NICU. They were both on oxygen for a little while, but not long at all. And they ended up putting a feeding tube down Burke’s nose, but after he pulled it out for the 3rd time, they gave up on that.

.

I was wheeled into the recovery room – ironically watching the Pats win the AFC championship – while Mike got to hang out with the kids in the NICU. I had to recover a bit more before I was allowed to see them. My motivation to walk to the bathroom and get my catheter out was that I’d be able to go to the NICU.

The doctors told us that the kids would have to stay in the NICU for the duration…up to their actual due date! We figured they’d be there for a few months, but they surprised everyone and ended up breaking out 2.5 weeks later.

Mike and I learned a ton of things from the NICU nurses…including if you offhandedly mention you’re not comfortable with one of the nurses to another one, said nurse will be moved to another area without ever knowing you said anything!

Mike told me later that he was so scared of what might happen to Burke (baby B)…that he might have to go to the level 3 NICU in another hospital while Maggie stayed in the hospital we delivered at. And all sorts of other things. Thank goodness such things never occurred to me 🙂

The hospital has a mom’s room available if your kids are in the NICU; once you’re discharged from the hospital, you’re allowed to come and go as you please. You have a bed and you have full access to room service for the duration. (I think I ate a Chicken Pot Pie at least twice a day LOL!)

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Since I wasn’t allowed to drive for a bit, I’d spend every other night at the hospital. Mike would come visit,  take me home, and then head to work for a bit. The following day, we’d go visit and I’d stay at the hospital until Mike came to visit the next day.

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We all left for home on February 8th.

The Zimmer Zoo 2005

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8 Responses

  1. Nancy, what a story! It’s incredibly hard to go through all of this, but to be moved between hospitals and then having to worry about one of your babies being moved to another NICU… wow. I’m glad to see that your little zoo animals are donig so well now. :o) I love your pictures.
    Thanks for posting about this today and for reminding all of us to fight for preemies.

  2. What a story! My twins were born january 23 rd also, but 2009. They were also about the same weight and length. It’s amazing how resilient babies are isn’t it?

  3. Our experience sounds very similar to yours! So how far along were you when they were born?

  4. Oooh! Good question MommyAmy. I was 33 weeks and 3 days along. I’ll update the post to include that. Thanks 🙂

  5. Wow! What an amazing story you have! Thank you for sharing it!

  6. I love your twin story so much! Your family is beautiful! My girls were born in 2003 and I was blessed to carry them 38 1/2 weeks…needless to say, I was a house! LOL
    I look forward to following your blog.
    ~Kandi

  7. It was so great to hear your story! I have twins that were born in Boston as well! We almost ended up having them in New York when I lost my mucous plug while visiting friends on Long Island. I was 27 weeks and scared! They ended up stabilizing me, and two weeks later we left for Boston…where I speant another 5 weeks in the hospital…and they were born at 34 weeks. I could sympathize with so much of your story! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Nancy!

    It was great to read your story and see photos! It brought back memories for me! I had a somewhat similar experience but not as dramatic as your’s. It’s funny, I didn’t have a bad reaction to the magnesium shot. I’m so sorry it was so bad for you. The important thing is that your babies were healthy in the end!

    Every story is unique!

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