The Twin’s Birth Story–BOGO Easter Special

The only day that I had hoped my babies would NOT arrive was Easter Sunday. Being married to a pastor, I’d hoped he’d be able to preach at church that Sunday morning. But God had other plans.

Around 2 o’clock on Easter Sunday morning, I woke up with some labor pains. Contractions were anywhere from 2 minutes to 10 minutes apart. I took a bath until they tapered off, then went back to bed. I woke up again at about 6:00 with the same irregular contractions and again with the same moderate intensity. Like any good laborer, I downloaded a contraction app on my phone and tried timing the contractions to see if they were getting more regular. No luck–2 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes.

My parents were helping us that weekend and encouraged me to go to the hospital. I didn’t want to create a false alarm 2 hours before Michael was to be preaching, but with each contraction intensifying and at my parent’s urging, I decided I’d go to the hospital 20 minutes away. Michael was already at church getting ready to preach. Our plan was for Michael to meet us at the hospital. If it didn’t appear to be real labor, he could hurry back to church in time to preach, if need be.

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When I arrived at the hospital, we registered. It was 8:30. As the contractions got more intense, I quickly realized how slow the world moved. None of the rushing you see on TV. The admitting staff and nurses strolled around as if they had all the time in the world. I was wheeled to the triage room, where I met Michael. They did an initial check-I was 6 cm dilated. It was 9:00. At this point, I knew there was no going back and was admitted. I began to ask for my epidural.

All the nurses sauntered around the delivery room getting things ready as I continued to beg for my epidural. My brain still sees the nurses movements and the slow-motion manner in which they moved.

“Yes, we’ll get you an epidural as soon as your blood work comes back.” And she repeated this 5 minutes later when I asked again. Then, again in 5 more minutes, after I requested the epidural again. The contractions were getting much more intense.

Somewhere in the midst of the slow-motion nurses, my husband leaned down and whispered this sweet nothing in my ear: “I hate to tell you this, but you’re not going to get your epidural.” These aren’t the words a laboring wife wants to hear. I bit back, “You don’t know that! Be quiet.”

At 9:35, the nurse once again promised my epidural, “Your blood work came back fine. Now we’re just waiting for the anesthesiologist. Then we’ll get your epidural, call your doctor who is 30 minutes away, get you comfortable and we can check your dilation again.”

Michael looked at the nurse intently and urgently said, “You need check her NOW. I think you are going to have babies soon.” The nurse obliged, though I don’t really think she believed much progress would have been made.

“You are 9. I’m calling the doctor.” And the fast-forward button was now pressed. Let’s just say there was much more scrambling than sauntering at this point.

“May I have my epidural?” I asked one last time. The nurse hemmed and hawed “…Well, if we give you an epidural now, then it would put the babies at risk, and…”
My mom claims that I snarkily replied, “So, that’s a ‘no’?”

At 9:45, they checked and I was given the instructions “You are 10– DO NOT PUSH.” With increasing pressure to push, I was given instructions not to. The only thing that kept the babies in utero was that the membranes were still intact. But I knew I couldn’t push because one baby was head down and the other breech. If I delivered one, the other could have been put in danger. The next 30 minutes were the hardest of my life.

And time stood still as I waited for the doctor to come from his church service to the hospital. He was still on his way. Many times I questioned the nurses about the status of his commute. I requested someone call the doctor and tell him to hurry. Then I asked, “PLEASE, CAN I PUSH? I have to push.” The nurse was told that there was no doctor and it was reiterated NOT TO PUSH.

Michael looked at the nurse and said, “We need a doctor and we need one NOW.”
“We are trying to get another OB GYN who would come in to deliver (It’s Easter, remember). You just cannot push.”  The nurse was running from station to station at this time, in and out the door. The pressure was intense.

Then there appeared in the room a quiet 40ish woman who soon identified herself, “I’m Dr. Hannigan. I’m happy to help you by staying here with you until your doctor comes, but I want you in the SURG room.” I resisted because I didn’t want her to automatically perform a c-section, but she promised that just because we were in the operating room didn’t automatically mean she’d do a c-section. It just meant we’d be ready in case something went wrong.

I was wheeled to the surgery room. At least now there was a doctor. All was now in place for these babies. Except my doctor. They scrambled to get ready for the babies’ arrivals and FINALLY my doctor walked through the door in his plaid Easter sport coat.

“I have never in my life been so thrilled to see another man!” I exclaimed.

My doctor hurried to get suited up. Even though they told me not to push, I took his presence as license to finally yield to the pressure. On the next contraction, even though my doctor wasn’t fully suited up, I pushed. At 10:19, With a gush, Twin A, Anders Warren, flew out and was caught by two nurses. They held Anders up and I oohed over him, but my doctor stopped me from oohing further, “We still have another baby to get out, Maren.”

Dr. Wright asked the volunteer doctor to help find the legs of twin B. Via an ultrasound wand, she informed Dr. Wright where baby B’s legs were. And the doctor went in and pulled baby B by the legs out. Pretty effortlessly on the doctor’s part, very painfully on mine. He kept saying, “You have to relax, Maren.” But difficult to do when someone is up to their elbows inside of you feeling for a baby. And at 10:23, Merritt Paul, was born. Merritt had some bruising on his legs from the extraction, which cleared up in a couple days.

And once again, over the span of 4 minutes, my life was forever changed and blessed for the fourth and fifth time.

Anders Warren Boehm – 10:19 a.m.; 7lbs 5oz, 21 inches
Merritt Paul Boehm – 10:23 a.m.; 8 lbs 1 oz, 21 inches

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Last photo, thanks to Sunlight Photogaphy Thanks, Sara!

Passive Aggressive T-shirt Retaliation

The twins will be here in less than two and a half weeks and I don’t know that I’ll ever fully be ready.  However, ready or not, I have no choice and my life will take on a certain new type of craziness for an indefinite amount of time.  I’m trying my best to gear myself up for the craziness that is bound to ensue shortly, but I know I’ll never really be ready.

Being pregnant with twins, I’ve noticed that people, strangers and friends alike, take more liberties in what they feel is permissible to say to my large and bulbous condition.  The other day I was on my way to the hospital for a non-stress test.  Being ‘high risk’ because of the twins, the hospital has recently become my second home.  I was waiting for the elevator to go to the maternity floor for my testing and as a family approached, I heard the elderly mom lean to her adult daughter and exclaim, “Oh. W.O.W.” As if my big belly somehow also impedes my ability to hear.

I don’t take things too personally, but I do find it amazing that people think that because you’re pregnant they can ask all sorts of nosey questions and drop comments regarding your ever-growing size.  And when they find out that you’re pregnant with TWINS, they suddenly are magically granted license for an additional barrage of more nosey comments and inquiries.  “Wow!  You’re huge!”  “Do twins run in your family?”  “Were you taking fertility drugs?”  “Can I rub your belly?”  “You’re about to pop!”  So, as a way to make me feel better about life,  I had a little shirt made up to answer any questions before they’re asked in these final days of pregnancy.

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Maybe I should just make it my uniform during the remainder of my pregnancy.  You know, cover all my bases so I can avoid having to answer the same questions one more time.  And if you’ve asked or commented on one of the items addressed on my t-shirt, truly, no worries.  Just something fun for me to create because, heaven knows, the comments won’t stop after they come, either.  Maybe then, I’ll just need to order another t-shirt.

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Mom, Were They Sad?

On a recent trip to Ohio, we stopped at Walmart to purchase a few groceries before making our final stop at my in-laws.  Being pregnant and feeling 60 weeks pregnant, a stop to the bathroom was in order.  While I took care of business, Michael and the kids waited outside.

Right in front of the restrooms were the “Have You Seen Me” posters with missing children’s faces.  While I was busy, my boys had many questions to ask Michael about why the pictures were displayed.  Michael did his best to answer their questions.

I returned from the restroom and we started on our way to shop for groceries.  Not far from the restroom, Thatcher turned back to me and asked, “Mom, were they sad?”

Confused, I probed for more details.  “Thatcher, was who sad?”

“The parents of the children on the missing children board. Were they sad when their children got lost in Walmart?”

Needless to stay, he didn’t wander too far from the cart.

My New Method of Naming Children

My eyes are currently crossed as I go through the baby name book. Once you look at the same letter for thousands of names, the actual letter starts to look funny. So, I’ve changed my approach to naming these children.  I have decided to let them name themselves.  As I read the names in the baby book, if one of them kicks, I’m writing it down.

So far, I’ve got…
Mustafa
Dweezil
Bucko
Maynard
Barend (Junior High Version Bare End)
Buffalo
Buford
Bumpus
Delete
Demin
Diet
Dieter
Dijon
Einar (Junior High Version Einer Weiner)
Fabulous
Faddis (means deals in beans)
Faddy
For (Though, For and Five may stand a chance, I doubt anyone would take them serious if their names were For and Five.)
Five
Huckleberry
Hyman
Like
Love
Gorky
Hackman
Lahahana
Lechoslaw
Lemon

So, maybe I’m not truly using the baby kick method, however, these are all legitimate names I’ve come across in the book I purchased today. It’s most definitely easier to come up with the names which I WON’T be naming my children than with the ones that I WILL. And my apologies to any parents reading this who have named their child(ren) one of these names–to each his own.

I’ll keep you posted what I (or they) actually decide.  Now, back to the M’s–until they start to look funny. And, if you’re interested in my naming rules, it’s pretty much the same as before and can be found here.

Excuse Me. How Many?

Twenty three days ago, my life changed.

Michael and I both love being parents.  We adore the stage of life where we are currently.  If Michael would have his way, we’d have 12 kids.  BUT I’ve about hit my crazy limit.  Well actually, it’s a well known fact that I’ve been crazy for years, but kids just up the ante when it comes to my crazy levels.  So, we discussed our stopping number.  My number was 4.  Michael wanted 5.

In August, we found out we were expecting again.  I was quick to assure Michael that this was it.  No more pregnancies.  Last kid.  I’d reached my limit.  And somewhere in the pleasant debate of a conversation, he mentioned that he’d pray for twins.

So, twenty three days ago, I went in for my ultrasound and awkwardly waddled onto the ultrasound table with my pregnant belly, dreading having to sit on the strip of crinkly tissue paper that I stick to EVERY TIME.  I laid down on the table and the ultrasound tech squirted my belly with the warm oozy goop.  Impatiently, I waited for those magical words that every mother longs to hear.  “It’s a GIRL!”  or “It’s a BOY!”

Instead, I heard the new definition of  ‘Crazy‘–”You have twins!”  Surprise!

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My tears started simultaneously with Michael’s laughter and we continued on that way for what seemed like forever.  In the midst of the shock, I think I uttered something to the ultrasound tech along the lines of, “Are you kidding?”  But, the pictures on the screen validated the truth behind her words.
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“Michael, Did you pray for this?  Did you?”  I stammered.  He assured me that he wasn’t seriously praying for twins, though I’m still questioning that one.  And here we find ourselves 23 days later.  Honestly, I’m still trying to grasp the supposed simple truth that in just a few short months, our family will grow by 2 little boys and our lives will be changed, once again, for the better.

My friend said it best– “God has a way of undoing our ‘no-nevers’.”  It’s true.  Though the thought of twins is undoubtedly overwhelming, I know that many others have blazed the twin-raising trail and have lived to tell about it.  I take comfort in the fact that God knew each of my children’s names before one of them came to be.  And I can surely rest in the knowledge that He planned BOTH of these two boys to be part of our family long ago.

Bring on the crazies.

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