Lucy + Isaiah: A Twin Birth Story

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Look at me, really keeping up with this blog! Last entry was Chloe's birth story, almost three years ago. But hey, we've been a bit busy over here and this blog is not at all on my priority list. I do love coming back and reading the birth stories of each of my kiddos (Aiden, Emerson and Chloe), so of course I have to document the twinsies!

Ok, we can start at the beginning. Adam and I found out we were pregnant with twins in July... surprise of a lifetime! Maybe I'll go back and document that fun chapter at some point, but for now I'll fast forward to their birth stories.

I was thankful for a "boring" pregnancy, as our MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor) called it. Babies always measured great and I had no complications (except lots of discomfort as we got to the end). I continued to see midwives at the OB office and my visits there were par for the course, and they were wonderful advocating on my behalf. I really wanted to have a vaginal delivery, but was at the mercy of the babies' positions and which doctor was on call when I went to deliver. I really appreciated that I felt heard by my whole care team, and also tried to be very open-handed during the whole pregnancy. Yes, I'd LOVE an easy peasy vaginal birth, but I also knew twins were a whole new ballgame and was open to whatever had to happen for the babies to arrive healthy. I know that I serve a God who cares about all the details and leaves nothing to chance, and was thankful to feel at peace about all the things during pregnancy. 

Dr. Nathan, our MFM, wanted me to deliver between 37-38 weeks, not going past the 38 week mark. He said the risk of stillbirth goes up at 38 weeks, and by 37 weeks their lungs are about 98% mature. His words were "You don't have much to gain, but you have a lot to lose by going any further." I've never been induced before and was really hoping the twins would show up beforehand, but was also very at peace with Dr. Nathan's recommendation for induction. It was bizarre having a literal eviction date. Except the annoyance of "maybe you'll get in, maybe you won't" with inductions.

Ok, fast forward to 36 weeks. I went in for my final MFM appointment on Monday, Feb 6 and Isaiah had flipped breech! The twins were transverse for a good bit of the pregnancy, but Lucy went head down around 30ish weeks, and Isaiah stayed kind of sideways/head down. And then, of course, turns breech one week before his eviction notice. Adam thought I was panicking, but I really wasn't. As "Baby B", I knew his starting position really didn't matter. Head down would be awesome, but I knew there was a chance he could flip anyway once Baby A (Lucy) was delivered. Still, I prayed and prayed he would flip back around so he would be in the best place when it was go time. Side note: We really liked Dr. Nathan. We always felt heard by him and he was also on board for a vaginal delivery. Seems silly to be appreciative of someone agreeing with our birth plan of having the babies come out the way nature intended, but I was also shocked at the things I heard with how many people immediately opt for a c-section or how many doctors won't even attempt vaginal deliveries with twins. Don't get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with a c-section, we definitely just felt like we were in the minority for wanting a vaginal birth. At our last appointment he said, "Alright, you've had 3 vaginal births - let's make it 5!".

The next day, Tuesday, February 7, was my OB appointment. And wouldn't you know it - Isaiah was back to head down! Thank you, Jesus. I was able to see Rachel for this appointment, which was just the kindness of God. She only works 1-2 days/month at that office and I missed her so much this pregnancy. (She delivered Emerson and Chloe.) She was so kind to still put up with all of my texts this time around. :) She said it was probably a good sign that Isaiah was flipping around so easily, because it may mean he'd be easy to flip if things got weird during delivery (ha! more on that later). Since I was being induced the next week(!), she went ahead and checked me. I was 3cm and 50% effaced, so I consumed all the dates, red raspberry leaf and evening primrose oil in hopes to get my cervix ready to roll for the induction. (Update, I was the exact same when I showed up for my induction, so that stuff seemed to do... nothing.) 

The two doctors at my practice who are comfortable trying to flip a breech Baby B or delivering a breech Baby B were on call Monday, February 13 and Tuesday, February 14. Again, God and His attention to detail! We tried to get scheduled for Monday, with the hopes that if the labor took awhile I'd have a 48 hour period to get one of those doctors. I got the call on Wednesday, February 8 that I was all set for Monday! (Although, there's no real confirmation. It all depends on how busy L&D is, whether or not they can fit you in. Fun times!) 

Fast forward to Monday morning, February 13th - I had my final OB appointment at 8:15am. Rachel was hopeful that I could just walk over to L&D after that appointment, if they hadn't called me in yet. The babies looked great on the ultrasound, and Adam asked the sonographer if she could tell the midwife there was something " wrong" so they could go ahead and admit me. (Classic Adam.) She didn't, but the midwife Marilee, went to bat for us and called over to L&D to try to get us in. The charge nurse apparently wasn't very pleasant, but Marilee was able to get us in at noon! Adam and I had a great morning together: breakfast at Waffle House and then exploring the third floor of Macy's since the mall didn't open until 11am. Then we did some mall walking and made our way back to the hospital! Eeeek! (Another God note... since my delivery I've seen quite a few women on some local Facebook groups complaining that they were supposed to be induced on X date and they'd been sitting around for DAYS waiting to finally get a call. God is so kind. So involved in all the details.)

Final prego picture... in the Macy's bathroom!

It was so weird arriving to the hospital and not being in labor. At all. We parked the car and I turned around thinking, "The next time I see this car we'll have two babies in car seats." We got checked in at noon and sat in the waiting area until 12:57 when we got called back (another big shoutout to Adam for taking amazing notes during this labor and delivery!). Jude was our first nurse, and she was so great. I got all hooked up and then met with Olga, the midwife on call. She got me started on Pitocin around 2:30pm. She started me at a 2 and said they would increase it every 30 minutes or so until things really started happening. The max was 20 and then they'd have to re-evaluate. Olga said she was confident she'd see our babies before she left (at 7:30am the next morning). 

Speaking of going to bat for us, Olga and Dr. Webb tried to get permission for us to deliver in our labor and delivery room, but hospital policy is that twins have to be delivered in the OR regardless of how they're being delivered. Again, I was so thankful for a team that seemed to really respect our wishes and advocate for us.

Back to the induction... oof. I was still 3cm dilated and 50% effaced when I arrived, but assumed once they plugged in that Pitocin these babies would come flying out. (Throwback to Chloe's birth, which was about 5 hours total.) Well, that wasn't the case. At around 3:30pm, the Pitocin was at a 6 and I started feeling some tightening. Nothing painful or uncomfortable at all, but at least something was starting to happen. At 6:00pm, I was at 10 on the Pitocin, but contractions were still very mild. They decided not to increase the Pitocin for awhile since my contractions were consistently 2 minutes apart. (Of course I was like, "Crank that bad boy up! Let's get going!" Thankfully, I was not in charge.) I got out of the bed to stand up and sit on a yoga ball, and the contractions seemed to stop altogether. It was pretty annoying that I had to be stuck to the monitors the whole time - THREE monitors (one for contractions and one for each baby). Our nurse changed to Nic around 7:30pm. She was so wonderful and full of great insight. She had been a L&D nurse for 19 years, and specifically at Kennestone for 11 years. 

I was really starting to get discouraged in the evening. It felt like nothing was happening! Nic and Olga both kept reassuring me that I was doing great and the babies were handling the induction beautifully, but I had a really bad attitude (and I was hungry) and could not shake it. I kept having to boss my brain around, reminding myself how at peace I had felt about this induction and that God is in all the details. But that was quite the battle! In addition to the Pitocin, I tested positive for Group B Strep so had to be on antibiotics. I just hated sitting around getting pumped full of drugs. I really missed the kids and honestly just wanted to rip out my IV and go home. I also had this thought in the back of my mind that they were going to just send me home anyway because I wasn't making enough progress. (I'm not dramatic, AT ALL.) Of course, Adam was just the greatest and so patient and encouraging. 

At 9:00pm they increased the Pitocin to 14, and I moved back to the bed with my bad attitude for the next few hours. The contractions still weren't painful, but they were annoying enough that I couldn't sleep. Plus my head was SO itchy. I swear it was a side effect from the Group B Strep antibiotics, but Nic didn't seem to think so. It was so bizarre and finally passed, but being annoyed PLUS being itchy? Goodbye. I didn't feel like watching TV so I just sat there and complained for hours. Adam is the luckiest! (Random side note: Adam was getting coffee in the hall and ran into a friend of ours from church. His wife was also in labor! Their daughter was born about 3 hours before the twins.) 

At 12:30am (Happy Valentine's Day!) Olga asked if she could break Lucy's water. Um, yes please. And downnnnn came the river! So. Much. Fluid. It kept coming and coming, and I felt like I was sitting in a lake. Olga also checked me and I was 4cm. I didn't think I'd made much progress, so that wasn't surprising. Luckily, breaking her water sped things up. Contractions started getting uncomfortable around 1:00am and by 2:00am I was in full on eyes-closed-"ooommm-ing" mode. I got the epidural at 3:00am (with the same anesthesiologist who did Chloe's - which was the best! Another sweet gift from God.) and then hung out on the bed with the peanut ball. I was finally in a better mood because I knew things were happening! (God's patience blows me away. Truly. Daily. I am so undeserving.) When I got the epidural, the doctor asked how dilated I was. Nic said "We're going to say a 6." She checked me after I got the epidural and wouldn't you know it - I was at 6cm. 

At 4:30am they turned off the Pitocin because my body was contracting too much. Nic thought it may be because I was dehydrated, which made sense because I had barely drank any water to avoid having to make too many trips to the bathroom with my 27 cords. I started chugging water and the contractions chilled out and my body finally got the memo and labor progressed without anymore Pitocin. Hooray! Nic said she guessed the babies would be here between 6:00-7:00am.

Nic came in around 5:00am asking if I felt "pushy", because my contractions looked like I was ready to push. I said nope and had no interest in pushing until necessary. About 5:45am I told Adam to go get Nic because my lady parts felt weird. (Full disclosure, it felt like a head was just sitting in my vagina.) Nic checked me and immediately felt Lucy's head. I was at a +3 station... it was time to head to the OR!

Nic called Olga and Adam put on his scrubs. Nic said "This is the part where you meet all my friends!" She wasn't kidding, that OR was packed! Olga, Dr. Webb, Nic, anesthesiologist, a team for each baby, more nurses for me. It was a party. I was wheeled into the OR and everyone took a couple minutes to get everything set. It was surreal seeing TWO warming beds for the babies! (Fun and obvious fact about an operating table, it's not meant to be used to push out a baby. They were able to rig it so I was at a bit of an incline, because I was like "Uh, I can't push laying flat on my back.")

It was go time! I pushed three times through one contraction and out came Lucy at 6:05am! (Shoutout to Nic for accurately guessing their arrival time.) Olga put her on my belly and I was able to get some snuggles and kisses, and Adam was able to cut the cord. She was still covered in vernix caseosa (or as Adam called it, white gross stuff), but was the cutest little peanut. I remember looking at her and thinking, "You don't look like any of the kids!" In the weeks since, we think she favors Aiden. Then the nurses took her to the warming table and I looked down to see Dr. Webb shoulder deep in my uterus. (Literally. He was wearing one of those long cow insemination gloves.) I knew something was up, because - well, THAT was happening. But also because Olga had delivered Lucy and I knew Dr. Webb was only in there for backup if something weird happened with Isaiah. Well, something weird happened with Isaiah. He flipped transverse after Lucy came out. (Olga said Lucy used him as a spring board.) It was a stressful few minutes as Dr. Webb tried to flip him by doing who knows what inside me while simultaneously using his other arm to try to turn him from the outside. Adam said he overheard him with his arm up there saying "That's not what I'm supposed to be feeling." He was in the zone. Nurses were asking him questions and he didn't even respond to anyone. I'm grateful for his experience, confidence and diligence in those moments! I'm not really sure what happened next, but he said "push!" Adam said he looked down and saw Dr. Webb holding Isaiah's feet in one hand, with the other hand still up inside me and looked like he was trying to start a lawn mower.

Isaiah made his debut at 6:12am and they put him on my belly. He was completely gray with his eyes wide open and just looked lifeless. As quickly as they put him on my belly, they grabbed him and took him to the warming table and cut his umbilical cord on the way over. I just kept asking "Is he ok? Is he ok?" I'll never forget how limp his body looked as they rushed him over to the table. He honestly looked dead. It was terrifying. Olga kept saying "He's fine, he's just stunned." but we could feel panic in the room for what felt like a million years (probably ten seconds). They had to give him CPR and put a mask on him, and called in a NICU nurse who came running in. Then we heard them say "We have a heartrate" and Adam saw his pulse on the screen. It felt like the whole room exhaled and we could tell the nurses were no longer concerned (even though Adam and I were!). They kept reassuring us he was fine and he was getting more pink. I remember looking over at Lucy, just laying on her warming table with one nurse, while Isaiah's warming table had about 7 people crammed around it. Once he was a bit more stable, they invited brought Adam over to see his son. I finally exhaled when I heard his little whimper. I think those few moments shortened my life by 10 years. He ended up breaking his clavicle, but Praise God it didn't seem to cause him any pain and healed on it's own in about two weeks.

A quick recap in Adam's words: I was so torn, standing right in the middle of the triangle, trying to be 3 places at once - loving on my new baby girl, comforting Lizzie and telling her it will all be ok and Isaiah will be ok, and trying to see/find out what is happening with him. Finally a nurse brought me over and told me he was fine, and his stats are all good. She said that they were a little worried that he might have broken some bones since he was manhandled and pulled out, but things are looking normal.  

I will say, I always felt confident he was going to be ok. My friend, Katie, at The HOPE Center told me something when I was in my early second trimester. There had been a lot of sad baby news around us: Kay's twin grandson passed away at 6 weeks old after his mama fought and fought for him and his brother during pregnancy, Laura's niece had a stillborn daughter two days before her scheduled c-section, Suzy was dealing with scary stuff with her twin pregnancy - just a lot. I'm usually good at separating myself from that kind of stuff, but it was really starting to weigh on me. I still couldn't feel the twins moving at that point in the pregnancy, which heightened my anxiousness. Katie, who was one of our ultrasound techs, came to me one morning at work when I was feeling especially anxious. (I was actually going to ask her to scan the babies for reassurance, but was fighting myself on that. I didn't want to look for quick reassurance every time I felt panicky. I wanted to rely on and trust in God and His goodness.) She said, "I never do this and this is awkward, but I felt God wanted me to tell you that your babies are going to be a-ok. And I'm sorry if that's not even on your mind and now I just freaked you out, but He told me to tell you." GUYS. The kindness of God. There are no words. Fast forward to the delivery room, and that moment came rushing back. I kept staring at the team working on Isaiah and reminding myself of God's promise, that my babies were going to be a-ok.

Once Isaiah got the jump start he needed, he was great! I was able to have both of my babies on me before we even left the OR. Two babies. The whole pregnancy the thought of twins felt so surreal. I would tell people it would probably feel real once they were actually here. But then they arrived and I had my son and daughter on my chest and I still couldn't believe it!

Dr. Webb was amazing. I'm so thankful he (and his years and years of experience) were there to deliver Isaiah. He came to our room after delivery and told us we made the right choice delivering vaginally and that he could tell Isaiah would be fine. He also said, "I assumed by his name that you're believers, so I said a prayer for him while he was on the table." Amazing. He came to visit us again before we were discharged and told me I was a great pusher. Haha. 

After delivery, the hospital stay was pretty chill! My mom's neighbor is a Mother/Baby nurse and was able to reserve us the "best" room, which was so sweet. I was so glad the big girls got to come meet them in the hospital! Because of COVID, they couldn't do that with Chloe. (Chloe didn't come to the hospital because she had a stomach bug. Goodness gracious. Let's just say by the end of the week, I felt like the twins' delivery was the least eventful part of our week.) They were born Tuesday morning and we were home by Wednesday evening. 

And here we are, almost 7 weeks later with our Valentine's babies and we have all survived! Two babies is a LOT, but we are so thankful that they're here and they're healthy... and that we have the greatest support system of all time to help out!

Praise God who is in all the details and leaves nothing to chance!

Lucy Elizabeth
February 14, 2023
20 inches

Isaiah David
February 14, 2023
5lbs 15oz
19.75 inches

The Baker Twins! Pinch me.

Our first moments together!

Together for the first time outside the womb!

Big sissies!

You know what's better than a new baby on your chest? TWO new babies on your chest!

Chloe meeting the babies after getting home from her own trip from the hospital. Ay caramba.

We've been overwhelmed by our incredible support system. Grandma & Grandpa, Nonna & Papa - and so many other family and friends who have loved on us in so many ways!

Thank you, God. For all the things.