I Couldn't See Or Hold My Twins For More Than 24 Hours After Birth

by April Gentile
Originally Published: 

I like to think that I am part type A and part type B, in the personality department. But really who am I kidding, I am mostly type A. The minute I decided to try to get pregnant, even my ovaries, were like “we are doing this!” On our first try, pregnant with not one, but two kids.

Finding out I was pregnant with twins, I prepped, prepped, and prepped some more. I knew the sex of both kids, boy and a girl. I had outfits, schedules, and beyond a normal amount of articles saved for how to parent two newborns. Their nursery was done when I was 6 months pregnant. The day the cribs were delivered, our new flat screen TV was delivered. As my husband set up the TV, I was impatient and couldn’t wait, so I put the cribs together myself.

That is just how I am, so of course when it came to delivery, I had a birth plan. I knew I had to have a C-section. Baby A, my darling stubborn-daughter was breech, so already a portion of my plan was set. I read so many example birth plans, and took what I liked and added it into my own. I thought about how “perfect” my birthing experience was going to go. I know I sound bonkers, and I promise you, all this anxiety is usually in my head. My friends usually think I am go with the flow, but I remember crying to my mom and saying, “I have planned basically every day up until they are born (this included the birth), but I have no idea what my life is going to be like once they are here in the world.”

But boy was I wrong, my birth plan did not go as expected at all. I was diagnosed with preeclampsia a week before I went into labor, and even that part of my story was bewildering. I went to the hospital three times, thinking I was in labor. Now here I am actually in labor, prepped for my C-section, my husband by my side, my meticulously packed bag waiting with my mom and family in the waiting room, and problem number one hit. Both my twins had to go to the NICU.

I watched so many videos of C-sections, so I thought, they will be bringing the babies to me any second now. But that second never came. I dreamt of that perfect moment I met them, but I never got it. Everything was okay, but both babies needed some breathing assistance. I have a new appreciation for nurses who tend to any patient in a hospital, but the nurses who sat by both my babies’ sides, and never left them for a second, I could never thank them enough.

Next, my blood pressure rose, so I was placed on Magnesium. After 24 hours of staying in recovery vomiting from the magnesium, I had yet to hold my babies or even see them. My husband brought me pictures on his phone every time he saw them in the NICU. It was heartbreaking, to have others seeing my babies that I had grew in my belly for 9 months. Not just my husband, but other family members were able to visit them, and each time someone would come see me and tell me something about my children, that I myself didn’t know, or experience myself broke my heart.

Finally, I was being admitted into a room, 24 hours after delivering my babies. Once in my room, I was going to be able to mother them, FINALLY! Wrong again, I had lost so much blood in surgery that after fainting twice, I had to have a blood transfusion. I had to sit there while the doctors talked about possible internal bleeding and maybe needing to go back into surgery. Hearing all these possibilities of what could be wrong, I only got more stuck in my mind, and felt so helpless.

When I did hold the babies, I needed some assistance because of how weak I was. My point to this lengthy, scary birth story is everyone is happy and healthy. After my blood transfusion, I was able to stand, hold the kids, and get discharged along with the babies. My birth story for my twins did not go as planned.

Plan A is to have your birth plan, and Plan B is to throw that plan away completely and accept that it may not go your way, but that is okay. I had everything down to the cutest robe and pajamas packed. Shampoo, conditioners, makeup, slippers, and I never even unzipped my maternity bag. That is okay though. The babies are now two years-old. They are happy, healthy, and they don’t love me any less. I am just as connected to them, as the next mother.

Not holding my children within the first 24 hours saved them and me. Everyone did what we had to do, and that’s what this really comes down to. If my husband and I ever decide to have another baby, rest assured I will have another birth plan scheduled down to every minute of how I want it to go, but I will also plan on throwing it out the window if I have to.

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