April 24, 2020

The Birth of My Twins

It’s so hard to believe that my twins just celebrated their SEVENTEENTH birthday.  Time flies by so flippin’ fast, doesn’t it?!  In some ways, it feels like they were born just yesterday.  And I can’t help but go back to that period of my life that felt so much like an out of body experience.  I’ve already shared my infertility story with you, so now I’ll share the even crazier story of the birth of my twins.

Surprisingly, my pregnancy went all the way to 36.5 weeks when my water finally broke.  After a LONG night of contractions, I was finally ready to push.  It took 2.5 hours of pushing before my daughter came into the world (yes, I delivered my twins vaginally!)  My son was breech, but since he was the second twin, they just yanked him out by his feet, which was super fun with my epidural having worn off completely by then.  We were absolutely shocked at the size of them – my daughter was 6.5 pounds, and my son was 7.5 pounds!  I’m only 5’2, so you can imagine how surprising this was!

I so badly wanted to snuggle my big babies, but I still had to deliver all the placenta, which was when everything went to complete and total crap.  Some of the placenta just would not come out, so the doctor and nurses were trying everything to help me deliver it.  My poor husband watched in horror as they stuck tool after tool inside me trying to scrape it all out.  I ended up hemorrhaging and losing over half my blood supply, which resulted in the need for two blood transfusions in a very short amount of time.  I looked like Rocky Balboa after a big fight with my swollen eyes and lips, but I was ecstatic to FINALLY meet my babies three hours later.

The doctors felt pretty confident that they’d removed all the placenta and sent a very anemic me home with the twins two days later.  Unfortunately, we found out two weeks later that they did not, in fact, get all the placenta.  I became very ill with a high fever and was told that I likely had a breast infection since I was trying to nurse.  They said that if my fever got any higher than 102 to go to the emergency room.  Luckily, my mom was in town, because when I woke up that next morning, my temperature was 103, so my mom and I headed to the ER while my husband stayed home with the babies.

An ultrasound confirmed that indeed there was retained placenta, so they performed a DNC, which caused me to hemorrhage once again.  Another blood transfusion was administered, but they could not get the bleeding to stop.  Next they tried an embolization, where they went through an artery in my groin to try to cauterize the area.  I was then sent to the women’s hospital to recover.  Unfortunately, though, things just got worse from there,.

My temperature continued to rise, and the nurses were freaking out.  They tried putting me on a bed of ice and placing cooling blankets on me, but nothing seemed to help.  I was in and out of consciousness and hallucinating as my fever reached a scary 105.  Lots of blood work was taken as I switched between extreme sweats and wicked chills.  By the morning, it had been decided that I needed to move to intensive care since I required way more than this section of the hospital could provide for me.

The blood work finally came back, indicating that I had a deadly blood infection, and that emergency exploratory surgery was necessary to figure out exactly what was happening.  The doctor told me that I would possibly need a hysterectomy, which made me flat out hysterical.  After ALL the challenges we faced to get pregnant, I couldn’t believe they were going to strip me of ever being able to even try again.  And we had several embryos left over from our IVF that we’d planned to use again in the future!  However, when they told me that death was the alternative, I quickly realized that I needed to accept this if I was going to be a mother to my two babies.

My mom and husband decided to switch places, since my husband felt like he should be with me at the hospital.  Sadly, the surgery showed gangrene consuming my entire uterus, and they ended up having to remove everything except my ovaries (thank God, so that I didn’t go straight into menopause at the ripe old age of 31).  Since it was a blood infection, they couldn’t stitch me back up in case it became infected again.  So the skin just had to reconnect on its own.  I was left with a 6 inch vertical open wound that was about 2 inches wide.  You can probably imagine the pain from this type of wound, which is why they put me back into intensive care for several days on a boatload of morphine.  I couldn’t even see my babies because visitors are very limited there.

Once I was a little more stable, they moved me to a regular room, where I spent my first Mother’s Day.  My husband was able to bring the babies up to see me, and we had a bittersweet little reunion (not exactly how I’d pictured my first Mother’s Day).  I wanted to go home with them so badly that my heart hurt.

After about a week, they finally released me to go home, however, I wasn’t allowed to lift the babies.  They could only be placed in my arms while I was sitting down.  It was hard not to be jealous of everyone else getting to walk around carrying MY babies.  I couldn’t even shower by myself because my husband had to help wash my hair, my back, and my legs.  I also had to have a home healthcare nurse come to our house every day for six weeks to change my bandages.  It was all so surreal.

As time went on, I chose to focus on the fact that I had two healthy babies.  There had been such a long period of time where I didn’t think I’d ever even have one baby, let alone two.  Plus, I had always pictured myself having a boy and a girl, and I had gotten both in one fell swoop!  I felt so extremely blessed that I suppressed a lot of the grief I inevitably had over losing the ability to have more children.

In fact, I don’t think I even realized just how bitter I still feel about all that until my kids got into high school.  Knowing that we will soon be empty nesters has brought up a lot of those emotions.  A part of me loves our family of four just like we are, while another part of me wishes I had another little one still here when the twins go off to college.  Regardless of the heartache and everything that occurred, I am beyond grateful to be alive and to be a mother.  It’s truly been the greatest accomplishment of my life.

 

 

  1. Christine says:

    Oh my, what a scary ordeal. So sorry that you had to experience that. I admire that you and your husband seem to face life’s challenges with a positive attitude and sense of humor. My husband and I are approaching 43 years of marriage and I think the fact that we are able to laugh at ourselves, each other, and all life throws at us is why we are still together.

  2. Karen says:

    Thanks for sharing. I went through years of infertility and later found out in addition to endometriosis, a fibroid cyst and several chocolate cysts, that I alsowas born with a septate uterus. Found an amazing doctor who removed the septum. Tried for 2 more years with infertility meds and eventually gave up. 2 years later my daughter was born and 3 years later my son was born (I was 37 and 40 years old!). Feel blessed every day 🙏🏼

  3. Connie says:

    Wow Jen, how scary! I have three kids. There are 7 years between my middle and youngest. I’m 57 and my youngest is 28. I STILL wish I could have had 1 more. It’s a mother’s heart. But you are going to love empty nest!

    • Jennifer says:

      I sure hope you’re right about the empty nest stage. I feel like I’ll be a basket-case. 🙁

      • Becky says:

        You will be at first but once you get use to it you will enjoy it. Your kids never really leave you, they just live somewhere else. We have 3 children and 9 grandchildren. I had to have a hysterectomy at 30. I was also sad about it. Much love to you.

        • Jennifer says:

          I know it will be an adjustment for sure & I definitely look forward to grandbabies someday! I’m sorry to hear that you, too, had to go through the hysterectomy ordeal.

  4. Jo says:

    I’m so sorry you had to go through such a nightmare! But like you said, you were blessed with two beautiful healthy babies! I’m happy things worked out for all of y’all! 🙂❤️

  5. Janice S. says:

    Wow! What an experience! That had to be terrifying for you and your husband and parents! I’m so sorry you had such a traumatic postpartum experience. I can’t imagine the fear and sadness you were going through. Thank God you recovered and have had 17 wonderful years with your kids! My youngest of 4 in in her 2nd year of college and the Empty Nest is a real feeling, but somehow we moms get through it!! Thanks for sharing such a personal and emotional experience! Xoxo

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you & yes, it was very traumatic, to say the least. And thanks for the words of encouragement about the empty nest phase. Totally dreading it!

  6. Joanne Vanderzee says:

    Hi Jen, omg I can’t believe what you had to go through. Reading your story broke my heart for all that you and your husband had to endure going through this. I have a son & daughter, 18 and 23. The only bad thing I experienced was pnd with my daughter and it makes me empathise more with people who have had a traumatic time. Xxx

    • Jennifer says:

      It was very surreal for sure, but I am so grateful that it all worked out in the end. I definitely don’t take it for granted!

  7. Christina says:

    Oh my Sweet God‼️ That was truly a test no one should have to go through. Your kids are so blessed to have you as their Mom💕🌺🥰

  8. Lynn says:

    Jen, I am so sorry for everything you went through. It sounded incredibly scary. I’m sure you were just glad to be alive! Still, it’s got to be hard to not be sad for the things that you have lost. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for reading it & for your sweet words of support. It totally made me see how/why so many women have died during childbirth.

  9. Mary says:

    I’m crying reading this…and I’m so very grateful that you survived to raise your children. You are an awesome Mother and I can also see that you are a friend to your children which is not always easy to do. I have 9 of my own and I thank God every day for the experiences I have been through with them as I’m sure you do to. Thanks for sharing your story and God bless.

  10. Colleen says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m still trying to wrap my brain around your story. You made it and you are one strong mom! You deserve more presents their birthdays 🙌🏻 It really is a miracle you survived. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read the post. I am very grateful to be able to even tell the tale – a miracle for sure!

  11. A Big Dose of Jeff says:

    I love you and all that you do and have gone through for our family ♥️♥️♥️

  12. Malinalli says:

    Dear Jenny,
    As I said the first time, it is a truly blessing that you have these beautiful twins and that you’re well after all that unfortunate comeback after giving birth, as no one was prepare for the hardest part of all!! But now you’ve shown so much gratitude by living each day to its fullest whether is next to your twins, husband and family, you share that everyday with all of us that watch your post on Instagram or else even the VShow at Mckenzie back then.
    I’m so lucky to know you and see your great example of living.
    Thank you for sharing your story❤️

    • Jennifer says:

      You are seriously the sweetest! Thank you so much for your kind words & for always being so supportive! I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!

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