My husband, Darrell, and I have been married for 4 years and our twins Devin and Dane are 3 years old. I am originally from Texas and Darrell is from Kansas and we’ve been in Oregon since 2007.
How we found out: In the Spring of 2008, we decided that we’d begin trying to start a family. We went to a pre-conception appointment to get some information and pre-natal vitamins. The midwife suggested that we wait a couple months after getting off birth control pills before we started trying – but we were eager so we asked if there were any consequences to not waiting and she said no. I cut out coffee, Darrell cut out soy and started drinking orange juice. We were prepared and apparently created the perfect storm! It was early in the morning, and Darrell was still asleep when I woke him up to show him the positive pregnancy test.
The pregnancy didn’t seem real until we went to our first doctor appointment. The doctor went through all the normal checks, and then preformed an ultrasound. Looking at the screen, his first question was, “Did you guys conceive spontaneously?” We were not sure what he meant, and I said, “No, I knew when I was ovulating.” He replied, “Not what I mean, did you guys use fertility drugs?” Still confused, we replied, “No.”
He looked at the monitor a bit more. At this point the nurse asked Darrell if he wanted to go to the other side of the exam table to get a better look at the monitor. As Darrell moved to the other side of the table to get a better look, the doctor asked me to look at the monitor and tell him what I saw. I looked for a second and then pointed to a white bubble on the screen and said, “Is that it?” (I mean, who can really read those things anyway?)
The doctor chuckled and said, “Yeah, that’s THEM!” It took a second for it to sink in and I bet at the same time, Darrell and I both said, “What? Are you sure?” He said, yeah there they are, you’re having twins! The next 20 minutes were a bit of a blur. We were both weak-in-the-knees and the only thing that Darrell could say was, “WOW, oh Wow!” We giddily called both our parents to report the big news.
Pregnancy/Delivery story: After the first 10 week appointment everything went well for about the next month or so, until I left for a work trip to Long Beach, CA. At about 15 weeks pregnant, I worked a pretty mild trade show for 2 days and was having dinner with a friend the last evening when I noticed some spotting. I talked myself into the fact that spotting is common and everything was okay until it got worse. I decided that I was not going to the doctor or the hospital without Darrell so I headed to the airport and got on the first flight home. Ironically I sat next to a Doctor on the flight home, but I could not bring myself to tell him what was going on. At this point, I had pretty much convinced myself that I was loosing one of the twins. Darrell picked me up from the airport and we went straight to the ER where they performed an ultrasound and saw both (!) beating hearts.
We were planning a trip to Scotland that following week for Darrell’s 30th Birthday so we had to cancel and I started taking it easy. Then at 24 weeks I started feeling pressure and some twinges (<– that’s the technical term, by the way) so I went in and was put on modified bed rest due to a shortening cervix. The cervix progressively shortened and I was eventually put on strict bed rest.
I attempted to work from the laptop in bed but it was hard to stay horizontal. Thank God for Fall TV and the DVR. I think I might have been a little blue but for the most part it was exactly what I needed…I slept A LOT. My mom and mother-in-law rotated through from Texas and Boise respectively to help out since going up and down stairs was prohibited and Darrell was working.
At 30 weeks, my in-laws arrived that evening and my mom was due to fly out in the morning when my water broke at 3am. I woke up in disbelieve thinking I had wet the bed. We woke up my mom and she got us to the hospital where they put me on a Magnesium drip and I got steroid shots to help the boy’s lungs.
During the entire pregnancy, Baby A (Devin) had been head down and Baby B (Dane) had been breached. The doctor had warned that this mostly likely meant a C-section – which I was terrified of. As the ultra-sound tech was doing one of the final checks we discovered that Dane had flipped and I didn’t even know it! I guess this meant they were both ready to enter this world. Devin, still to this day our mischievous one, had broken his water and Dane’s was still intact.
On October 18th I labored throughout the day, with the contractions getting closer and closer. Then the nurse arrived and said that it was just the beginning! Not what I wanted to hear. I went ahead and got the epidural, just in case they had to preform an emergency C-section. I was in and out of it throughout the night and then at 6:00am on the 19th I was taken back to the operating room with Devin being delivered at 6:59am and Dane at 7:10am since they had to break his water.
The doctor held each one up for us to see before they were taken back to the NICU. Darrell went back to see them and I was taken back an hour later after the epidural had worn off enough. It was such an emotional time, seeing your little babies hooked up to all these machines. They stayed in the NICU for 5 weeks and we brought them home on Monday, November 24th. Life has not been the same since! They turned three this past October and are huge – you’d never know that they were preemies.
We’ve only had a couple of hiccups along the way. Dane had a hemangioma birth mark that burst and had to be taken off and Devin had a hernia that had to be taken care of. So, they’ve each been through a general surgery AND Darrell and I have a few grey hairs to show for it BUT we know it’s just the beginning of raising BOYS! I chronicled the first two years on our blog.
Occupation: Before becoming a mom, I worked in a couple of hotels and a Destination Marketing Organization as a sales manager. For the most part I enjoyed what I did but really loved being creative more that making sales calls. In the fall of 2009 I decided to stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and try making a living doing what I loved. I went back to school and got my Master Certificate in Internet Marketing and started my company, C*Squared Associates, specializing in small business graphic and web design. Two years later, my best friend and I started another venture, Cherry Jean, specializing in personal design projects. And because I must be a little bit crazy, I manage the administrative side of a business that we have with my in-laws, Summit Mining & Equipment Inc. The boys go to preschool in the morning and then spend the afternoons with me. Most days I feel like I get to have the best of both worlds and other days I stress about how to get it all done. And, then there’s the mom guilt about not spending enough time with them and not soaking up every second of them growing up. At the end of the day I usually realize that you can’t have it all, you just make the best of what you have. And what we have is pretty darn great.
Favorite aspect of being a twin mom: Feeling like we won the lottery. I mean the chances are so small that you will have multiples. And we did. Why us? I don’t know… We’re so crazy maybe God knew we’d get bored with one. Or probably the real reason, we’re so competitive that God knew we’d need two to keep those diaper changes and night time feedings fair! It has definitely brought Darrell and I closer – we have to be a team or we’re out numbered. And the other favorite thing is watching the twins and their bond. Never knowing anything without the other – when one’s gone the other one asking with concern where his brother is.
Advice for new moms: Figure out what you need to be happy and do it. It will make you a better mom and that is the best gift that you can give your children. If that means staying home with them or if that means working – own it and don’t feel guilty. The mom guilt that we put on ourselves can be brutal and you don’t deserve it. Being a mom is the hardest job we’ll ever have and we all do the best that we can and that is enough. It will never feel like enough, but just know that it is. Be present, make memories and have fun!