October is a busy month in our family. Fall harvest is in full swing, we are taking cattle off of summer pasture, working all those cattle, weaning all the calves, and this year we added having twins to the list!
Delivery while under monitoring is almost like any other day, except at the end of the day there are babies to hold and see. In my case, it started the night before delivery. The doctors ordered monitoring the night before. This means I have the hockey puck shaped monitors strapped to my stomach THE WHOLE NIGHT and into the morning. I had been through this and knew from experience that sleep is rare when your twins refuse to sit still for the monitors. Yep, they take after their father.
After having packed the necessities for my scheduled c section, I had my “last meal”. In my case, a chicken salad sandwich and a Dunkin Donut, glazed chocolate of course. I figured why not get those babies to gain an extra ounce or two before delivery. I was definitely hoping that donut would go to them and not to me.
Protocol was to wheel me down, which I hate. I feel like an invalid. Now there is nothing wrong with a wheelchair at all, but when I’m a perfectly healthy pregnant woman and needing someone to push me along, I feel like a big fat faker. I didn’t need this chair! In one of my attempts to get up I cut my toe. Another attempt dropped my bag on the floor.
“Sit in the chair missy!” My sweet nurse Jerri, directed me.
Maybe it was nerves, perhaps worry about having a cesarean section. Whatever the case I was a nervous wreck. I asked for an Ambien (sleeping pill) before they wheeled me downstairs. They put an order in. I grabbed my pillow tight and Jerri wheeled me downstairs with Gavin following behind, who was ready to pass out for the night.
I was wide awake as could be. Room 6 loomed in front of me, ready for my last stay in labor and delivery. Jerri hugged me goodbye and I met my evening nurse. Gavin walked to the couch and set up his bed for the night. Despite not getting any sleep the night before, there was no way I could close my eyes, even with my satiny sleep mask. I put on the hospital gown and took the nightly medication, including the Ambien, and the nurse strapped my monitors on and the babies immediately rebelled. They started their nightly ritual of running from the monitors.
Gavin gradually fell asleep and I chatted with the nurse about my last night here. I detailed my journey and lamented the fact that the babies would never stay still. The nurse reminded me that this would be the last night I was pregnant with twins and I should enjoy it. I bit my lip.
My last night? My last night. It was. I couldn’t believe the day had finally come. I slipped on my sleep mask and the nurse went to attend her other patients. I laid in the bed listening to their heart beats and savoring the last moments of their many kicks and prods. My last night pregnant with my twins. It was scary and exciting all at once.
Morning eventually came and the day went on. They checked my IV and started fluids. They readied the gurney I would be wheeled to the operating room on. My nurse ran around getting things ready and answering my many questions. Gavin looked at me and said he needed food.
“Don’t bring that back here. I’ll smack you. I’m hungry enough as it is.” I said in a playful yet very serious tone. This NPO (nothing by mouth) crap is for the birds.
“You’re strapped to that bed. I don’t think I have to worry about you smacking me.” Gavin mocked me from a safe distance. I threw my satin mask at his retreating back.
My lovely mother came in ready and excited to see us off to surgery. We all joked and chatted and another friend of mine walked in. I met Emerald during my hospital stay where we were both patients on 4 Women’s. I jokingly refer to her as my “twin” sister, as we both were pregnant with twins. There were many hours of watching birthing shows, drinking hot chocolate, and bugging the nurses with our incessant chatting between Emerald and I. We compared notes on our pregnancies and what we missed about the “outside world”. We definitely became family as we supported each other through deliveries and whatever else life on the fourth floor threw at us. Emerald was there when I needed someone and I was there for her. It only made sense that my support group would include her.
We sat and debated about cesarean sections and how I would feel after. We made bets on who would come out first. Dr. C came in and we asked him who he thought would be first out. Then we decided that since Dr. C would be the one to decide which baby would come out first that we didn’t want to make a bet with him. He would have a bit of an advantage. Dr. C asked if I had any last minute concerns, I shook my head, completely confident in his abilities and ready to meet my boys. Dr C left to do another c section before attending mine. The nurse continued to bustle around and things began to get more serious.
The nurse got a call and heard that the OR was ready for us now. I started to get nervous and excited. Gavin scrubbed up. I put my hair up and reapplied my lip chap in a nervous habit.
This was it. 7 months of waiting for this day. I would meet our boys and all I could do was hope they were happy and healthy.
Gavin and I said a prayer together and they wheeled me off with Gavin next to me, cracking jokes about having gurney races.
15 people stood in the OR ready to get me drugged up. Gavin stayed close by as I squeezed his hand as they injected my epidural. I said silent prayers during each stage, hoping things would go well and my boys would be ok. Dr C and Dr K came in as I was prepped and ready to go. Dr K was my resident physician who checked with me daily and monitored my progress. I’m sure she was as excited as I was to see both of our first set of mono mono twins. They tested my epidural one last time and Dr C assured me things would go well. After they put the sheet up my anesthesiologist kept me informed of what was happening. Did he need to? Absolutely not, but he was very kind to let me know what was going on. I was nervous and drugged and couldn’t believe what was happening. The lights were bright and the monitors were beeping steadily. I introduced myself to all the staff and joked as much as I could to keep my emotions at bay. I have pretty bland jokes as defense mechanisms when I feel too emotional. They laughed at my bad jokes anyway. The moment came. They pulled the first baby out.
Beckett William Ezell was born at 11:32 am on October 17th, 2016 weighing 3 pounds and 15 ounces, measuring 16 inches long. He immediately started to cry as they moved him to the incubator to suction and assess him.
Foster Anthony Ezell was born shortly after at 11:34 am on October 17th, 2016 weighing 3 pounds 12 ounces, measuring 15 and 3/4 inches long. He also started to cry his little lungs out. They arrived in style for sure. Their little lungs were not as strong as Rowan’s when he was born so their cries sounded much quieter but were just as thrilling to hear.
Gavin followed over to the incubators to look at the babies. I had silent tears running down my face as I joked that there really were two babies in there. My boys were here. The rest became a bit of a blur as they increased my medication once more and started to finish the surgery. I was able to take a couple pictures of the umbilical cord via one of the nursing students in the room. He was kind enough to photograph the cord that caused my babies so many problems but also gave them their life blood.
I won’t share a picture on here because its a bloody looking rope and can make someone very squeamish, like it did my iron stomach husband. Suffice to say that it looked like someone twisted a bunch of rope and tied three or four knots at the very top to make one large knot, my babies has inches of wiggle room past the massive knot the size of my fist. I truly know that God watched over them and got them to their 32 week goal. Knots in their cord, they still survived. Braided cord, they still survived. I was the recipient of a miracle in so many ways, I couldn’t count them all.
My boys, Beckett and Foster were evidence of the greatest miracle I’ve ever been a part of.