You never know what to expect with twins, other than the fact that you need two of everything. A multiple baby pregnancy is considered high risk and at a greater risk to deliver early, so along with my regular OB appointments, I also saw the high risk doctors every four weeks. At 16 weeks, my cervix was checked at every high risk appointment and every time I made it to another one was a celebration because they were still in utero. (As you read our story below, please insert complete exhaustion and hormone overload into everything.)
Since my first pregnancy ended in an unplanned C-section and Audrey decided to remain breech, we scheduled a C-section for 37 weeks. The twins however, decided to come at 35 weeks 5 days. My water broke Tuesday morning, but we didn’t go to the hospital until 10pm that evening because I wasn’t totally sure it was my water. I also didn’t feel any contractions until just before my C-section, even though I was apparently having them. Once we got to the hospital, my doctor sped up the prep for surgery and we had the babies by 2am Thursday. William was just over 6 pounds and Audrey was just over 5 pounds. Neither of them had to spend time in the NICU, praise the Lord, and since I was healing well and the twins were both breathing and eating on their own, we went home on Friday. I honestly couldn’t believe they were allowing us to leave the hospital with a baby weighing 4lbs 13oz, which is what Audrey dropped to. She was so tiny.
We had constant help for the first month and then after that, it was just us for most of the week. My husband and I would each take a baby at night for feeds so that one of us wasn’t completely exhausted. If one woke to eat, we would wake the other to eat too. William began eating 4 ounces at two weeks of age, whereas Audrey couldn’t eat more than 1.5 ounces. Her spitting up started in the hospital, but once we got home it seemed to get worse. She was spitting up what seemed like whole bottles and it wouldn’t be just when she burped. Many times it was before she finished the bottle or before we even sat her up to burp. She could have had a really great burp and still spat up everywhere. The consistency and sheer volume made us really worried. We knew it wasn’t a food sensitivity because she had even thrown up whole bottles of breast milk. Shortly after turning a month and having thrown up three bottles in a row, we decided to try a lactose sensitive formula. She took it fine and went to sleep.
Three hours later, she threw up and struggled to breath on her own.
It was the scariest moment in my life. She threw up, her eyes got really big and there was sheer terror in them. My husband had her turned over beating on her back as I was suctioning out her mouth. All the while, her brother was asleep in the bed next to her and our two-year-old was napping upstairs. We called 911 and by the time they arrived, she was breathing on her own again. Since her lungs sounded clear and she was breathing normally, they didn’t see a need to take her to the hospital, but said that we could if that would make us feel more comfortable. So I spent a few hours in the ER that evening getting her checked out. They couldn’t really tell us what happened or why she threw up, which was the most frustrating part. I just needed someone to tell me why she was spitting up so much. I knew deep down why, but I needed someone to give me a definitive answer. That evening, I slept on the couch holding her as upright as possible. The following day was our family Christmas gathering which was a great distraction and Audrey was doing well until the last bottle she took before we left. She had a really great burp in the middle, she finished up her bottle and then before I could burp her again, she lost it everywhere and I lost it emotionally in front of my husband’s family.
I was so embarrassed, exhausted, and frustrated that the tears just poured out of me.
Our pediatrician agreed with what we had been thinking, which is that her digestive system wasn’t fully developed yet and that was why she had been throwing up so much. We would have to feed her less more often until she could handle more, which she so desperately wanted to do. So now that that was clarified, we just had to deal with the regular newborn struggles and their constant congestion that we hadn’t been able to clear yet. We decided to take them to the chiropractor to help with some of their development. At about two months, we started to see a turn in Audrey and she was beginning to keep her food down more often, then we got hit with COVID. You can read about our experience here. Once we got through that, the twins ended up with diarrhea for three weeks but they had no fever and acted normal the whole time. Once all of that passed, I spent the time counting down until I could sleep train, which is a whole other post.
The twins are now five-months-old, and I am finally able to say that all they have is a little congestion from everything blooming. They are napping great most days, rolling over, trying to crawl, and keeping their food down. It’s as if a whole new world has opened up; I can finally breathe and actually have time during the day to spend time with my two-year-old. I’ve learned that while the twins may be five months, developmentally they are only four because of them being preemies. All I know is that they better have the best immune system after all they’ve been through.