My husband and I got married in June 2010, he had 2 boys from a previous marriage but we knew we wanted to have a child together as well. I had always wanted a big family and was elated to find out we would welcome a sweet baby girl to our family in August 2012. Emmalyn was a wonderful baby – she barely cried and really made parenting pretty easy. I struggled through the first few weeks and in hindsight know that I likely was suffering from a bout of postpartum depression. When Emma was 2, Mike and I decided we were ready to add another child to the mix, one we agreed would be our last.
I got pregnant within a few months of trying and I remember joking with my mom and husband before our first ultrasound that I thought I was having twins. I had gained nearly 10lbs of solid fluid in my hands within a week of the positive pregnancy test and could barely get my wedding rings off. To be clear, I did not REALLY expect to be having twins. When we went to our ultrasound the doctor, who had delivered my first child several years before, looked at us with wide eyes and congratulated us on the two tiny heartbeats that she was seeing. I was shocked and kept saying “really!?” while my husband was silent for a good minute before he began to laugh. We were thrilled and scared and every emotion in between.
The majority of the pregnancy was easy. I never suffered from morning sickness, food aversions and at 30 weeks pregnant I had only put on about 20lbs. At 32 weeks I decided to stop working. I was having a lot of swelling in my legs and my blood pressure was slowly rising, which caused me to start having dizzy spells on a daily basis. I spent the next 3 weeks at home with thoughts of getting my house organized and finishing last minute projects before the babies came. That was a joke! I quickly became miserable – putting on over 25 extra pounds of fluid. I had pitting edema in my extremities and could no longer fit into any shoes except my fuzzy bunny slippers – it was a good thing I had little desire to leave my house!
On February 11th I was having contractions all day – some of them hurt, some of them didn’t but they were not in any way consistent and I was sure they were Braxton hicks. I spent the day in my pajamas but with some coaxing of my aunt I went with her to get a milkshake and a pedicure. That night around 9:45pm I was on the couch watching an episode of “New Girl” with Mike when I heard and felt a loud POP! I stood up and felt something dripping but it was not the huge gush I was expecting so I went to the bathroom and walked around the house trying to see if the leaking would continue…maybe one of the babies kicked me really hard and that’s what I heard – maybe I am not leaking amniotic fluid?! However, within a few minutes contractions came hard and fast and I knew without a doubt we needed to get to the hospital. I could hardly stand up and definitely could not talk through them.
We got to the hospital at 10:30pm and I was taken back to a room. The nurses were doing their best to get me hooked up to monitors quickly and once they did they realized my contractions really were back to back. I was checked and was already at 9cm dilated. I begged for an epidural or pain medication but was told it was too late. Throughout the pregnancy, Coraleigh had been breech and sure enough she still was. I was being wheeled to the OR for a Csection and kept being told not to push – easier said than done! It all happened so quickly.. within minutes I had a spinal block and the pain finally began to ease. Minutes later, Arabelle and Coraleigh were born at 11:33 and 11:34pm. At 35 weeks they were each 5lbs 5oz, breathing on their own and perfectly healthy. Neither girl needed any NICU time and within 3 days we were home.
Life with twins (and a toddler) has been hectic and disorganized and wonderful. We had a ton of help from family getting through the first few weeks of having the girls home. I noticed that each night once the sun had gone down and everyone had gone home I would cry..a lot. I talked to my doctor and was put on Zoloft to help with the depression. The first time around with Emmalyn I suffered in silence, but I knew that I could not be effective for my kids if I was having such a hard time. I felt so blessed to have been given all my little girls but I still struggled. 2 weeks later all felt right with the world. I enjoyed every second I got to spend with my girls – with company or alone. We have gotten into a routine and the chaos has slowly subsided. Emmalyn is a fantastic big sister to “her” babies and I couldn’t imagine life without any of them!