Ashton was almost 18 months when we decided it was time for another baby. We got pregnant the first month. We were totally shocked! We had planned on it taking a while. I immediately knew that we were having a boy. I knew it. We went in for our routine ultrasound when I was 6 weeks pregnant, and I was just praying that everything was ok. I wanted to see that heart beat. I was ready to see that little "peanut" on the screen and know that everything was ok. When the sonogram tech brought up the screen she sat and stared at it for a minute. She didn't say anything and it made us a little nervous.
Me: (pointing) "Is that the little beating heart?"
Her: (pointing) "Ok, see this?"
Her: "That's a little beating heart."
(I felt a huge relief come over my tense body! Thank you God!)
Her: "Ok, see this?"
Me: "Yes." (I'm thinking it's a kidney, liver, lung, femur, something like that...)
Her: "That is another beating heart."
Me: "What? What does that mean?" Surely not?
Dave and I sat there totally stunned. The thought never even occured to us. It took a second and finally dawned on us at the same time. We both started laughing. I mean laughing hysterically. I have no idea why. I, personally, could not stop for the rest of the sonogram. Tears of joy and SHOCK rolled down my face. Our due date was January 24th.
On a side note - I have dreamed of having children my whole life. I can remember my high school English teacher asking me what I wanted to be when I "grew up" and I said a Mom. That's all I cared about. I was going to have 4 boys and 1 girl and live in a house out in the country with my sweet and adoring husband. (Well, needless to say... I DID get the sweet and adoring husband part right, but that was about it!) NEVER in all of those years did I EVER picture myself with twins. And I did A LOT of pondering on this subject. Hmmm... kinda funny.
Anyways, we left the doctor's office that day just bursting with joy! It was so fun to go and tell everyone!
Since it was two babies, I really had this maternal feeling that is was twin boys. I just knew it! So at 16 weeks, I was shocked again.... to find out that we were having twin girls! God really liked keeping us on our toes that year! He was reminding us that he was in control... not us!
My pregnancy was 100% healthy. Our doctor was amazing. He was so much fun and he always told me that I was his favorite patient! He had a great sense of humor and always made us feel so comfortable with his wealth of knowledge! With numerous appointments, we quickly gained a close and personal relationship with our doctor!
My stomach got HUGE very quickly to say the least. I enjoyed every single second of it! What an amazing feeling to feel all those arms and legs moving around all at once. Many times they would get the hiccups at the same exact time and both sides of my stomach would be boppin' up and down. Ashton loved to kiss my growing belly! We felt so blessed already and we had not even got to meet our new little girls yet!
I went in to my doctor's office towards the end of December. I was measuring very large! The doctor said he thought it would be "safe" for me to have the babies anytime. He was thrilled that I had made it that far! We set up a date to be induced on January 10th because he was going to Africa and we did NOT want anyone else delivering.
January 10th came and I felt wonderful still. In fact, just the day before I had been out playing in the snow with Ashton. (He had just turned 2 years old) We were so anxious to meet these girls.
We sat around in the labor room discussing and taking votes on what we thought the girls would look like. We were told the entire pregnancy that they were fraternal, so I pictured one with strawberry blonde hair and one with brown hair. We wrote down what everyone thought and had a great time visiting with my Mom and Dad, my Grandma and Grandpa, and my Aunt and Uncle. Ashton was with Dave's parents until later that day.
The doctor induced me at 8:00 a.m. They upped my pitocin every 15 to 30 minutes. Nothing was happening. It was 10:30 and I finally asked a nurse if the doctor could come and break my water. He showed up around 11:oo and broke my water. Contractions started almost immediately. (I had already warned the nurse that with my son, I did not have to push. He was nearly born in the hallway on the way to the delivery room!) So around 12:10 when I told her that I felt like the babies were coming, she did not even check me. She walked out the door and immediately returned with 2 other nurses that wheeled me to the delivery room. She had already buzzed for the doctor.
They set me up in the delivery room very quickly. Now with twins, you have 2 of everyone in the delivery room. Looking around, there were at least 15 people standing around me. It was cold. They have all kinds of equipment just in case there are problems. Dave was right there rubbing my head and pushing my hair back. He was SO nervous. My mom was there with me as well. She was about to BURST with excitement. I felt the urge to push! It felt like trying to stop a freight train! I kept asking "Where is Dr. Shepherd?". They kept telling me that he was on his way! I am set up...stirrups and all. There is a total silence of everyone waiting for him to bust through those double doors. Finally he walks in and looks in my direction only to see a baby crowning! "Wait! Don't have these babies with out me!" he says. He then looks down at his beeper, laughs and reads it outloud, "Ha! 911! 911! 911! 911!". He thought that was so funny!
He walked over said "Oh my, we have some red hair on this baby! And she has got a perfect little grapefruit head!" Within a few minutes, he was holding our baby girl up so that we could see her! She was screaming her head off! We were trying to eww and aww over her, but they swept her away. The nurse was using the sonogram machine to make sure that the 2nd baby was still head down. What a relief to know that she was! Dr. Shepherd broke her bag of water and said "Here comes our second redhead!". She came out very quickly. Too quickly! She didn't cry. She just wimpered and the next thing we knew they had tubes shoved down her nose and throat and machines were beeping like crazy! I was panicked. Dave was worried, but was "trying" not to look worried. I kept asking Dave what was wrong. Was she ok? I could see several people standing around her and neither Dave or Mom could see what was going on. Amazingly enough, Dr. Shepherd was so calm and caring and reassured us that everything was ok. For some reason, that was enough for me. Within 5 to 10 minutes, they told us that Mariya would be just fine and she was doing better. I held Taelyn and was absolutely amazed at how perfect she was. I will never forget how she stopped crying immediately when they handed her to me. She stared directly into my eyes and did not look away for what seemed like hours. I was wheeled out of the delivery room with only Taelyn. Even though I knew Mariya was ok, it was a feeling that made my stomach churn.
Mariya had taken in amniotic fluid because she came out so quickly. They kept her for awhile and I finally got to hold her almost 4 hours later. She was completely 100% healthy after a little rough start. Her two minute APGAR was only 2! I am so glad we did not know at the time.
Taelyn was born at 1:28 p.m. weighing 5 lbs. 9 ozs.
Mariya was born at 1:31 p.m. weighing 5 lbs. 14 ozs.
Ashton came in and met Taelyn first. A few minutes later, he met Mariya. He really could care less. He was just a little guy and he wanted his mommy!!!! We laid in the bed for a little while and watched cartoons and I hugged on his sweet little toddler self! He all of a sudden seemed HUGE! Wow....we were just calling him a "baby" yesterday! =)
When they brought Mariya in and handed her to me, I immediately wanted to hold Taelyn as well. Laying them together on my chest for the first time was something that I will never be able to explain. Saying that it was "simply amazing" is a major understatement. I realized then how much they looked alike! A nervous feeling came over me. Oh my gosh, how will I remember who ate? Who I changed? What if I forget who is who and I forever mix up their names? Thank the Lord for those hospital bracelets! The doctor came in and mentioned that he thought they looked an awful lot alike. He told us that he was going to send the placenta away for testing. (It eventually came back that they were in fact identical twins.)
The hospital stay was so great. I was up walking around and feeling almost completely normal 3 hours after they were born. Our babies were angels!
The girls were born and within 24 hours there were 2 other sets of twins and a set of triplets born in the same hospital. They were dubbed "The Magnificent Nine". We were put up on the 8th floor with the other families because there was so much media hype and they wanted to "up our security". The next morning we were being photographed with the other parents and babies. Our photo with "The Magnificent Nine" appeared in 72 newspapers nationwide and their photograph appeared on CNN News Channel and Regis and Kelly! Nothing like making your world-wide debut the morning after you've birthed twins!!! We were all treated like celebrities and we enjoyed visiting and getting to know each other.
We had family members visiting around the clock. We loved it! We had Ashton up there at the hospital quite a bit too. We were so used to being with him 24/7! We missed him so much when he wasn't with us! Ashton immediately took to the babies. He would come in the room and love on them in his little boyish, clumsy ways! He was already such an awesome big brother. We thought there would be some jealousy and there was NONE...from day one!
Two days later, we returned home as a family of 5. Just days before we were a family of 3! God blessed us in every way possible. What an amazing journey God had in store for us!
These pics are not the best quality and did not scan up well. It was before our digital camera days! =)
This is the only preggo pic I can find that's not packed away. It's got the crease through it which stinks. This was 4 days before I delivered the girls.
"The Magnificent Nine"
All 5 of us...ready to go home from the hospital!
Home from the hospital all snuggled in their cradle.