So. On December 2, 2013, our babies were born at 1:18 and 1:20 pm. It was completely unexpected and not gonna lie, overwhelming.
Charles Joseph was born at 1:18 pm weighing 5 pounds, 2 ounces and 19 inches long.
Mary Catherine Theresa was born at 1:20 pm weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 19 inches long.
After a pretty uneventful Thanksgiving where we had a nice dinner with friends in town, and took Maggie to see Frozen (which she loved), I headed to the hospital for my usual Monday non-stress test and 36 week OB appointment. To give you a clue as to how much I expected to be giving birth that day, let me tell you that the contents of my purse were my wallet, phone, a bag of cough drops and a magazine.
After “passing” the non-stress test with both babies looking great and having not one single contraction on the monitor, I headed to the OB office. Dr I. walked in and we were chatting about adjusting my insulin levels for the remaining two weeks until my scheduled c-section on 12/16. Then she asked me if I wanted an exam to check my cervix. I hesitated, wondering if I really wanted or needed to know. But then I said, sure, why not.
She checked me and said, “Oh. Oh wow.” Wow?
“You seem to be between 6-7 cm dialated and I am pretty sure I can feel the baby’s butt. Maybe 90% effaced.”
Wow is right. “What in the holy hell?” is I think a rough approximation of what I said. I actually asked her if she was joking, and she said, “I would not joke with you about this while my hand is in your cervix.” Fair enough.
Off I waddled for an ultrasound. Both babies looking great, both still breech. I started feeling some cramping and what I assumed were contractions. Since I was breech for both, they wanted me to head to the hospital for monitoring to see if labor was progressing or if I was even in active labor at all.
I hadn’t had any painful contractions, no bleeding, no water breaking, nothing except some lower back pain and a little bit of cramping that went away when I laid down.
The doctor says…”You should call your husband. More than likely, these babies will be born today.”
I resist the urge to throw up in my mouth, call Atticus and tell him that he needs to leave work, get Maggie and come to the hospital ASAP. Oh yeah, and bring some socks and a toothbrush because we’re going to be here a while.
On the wheelchair ride over to the hospital with a very kind nurse, I started having contractions I needed to breath through. Uh-oh. If I wasn’t in active labor before, I am now. I get there and they hook me up to the monitor. I am contracting like crazy and my blood pressure is going up (gee I wonder why!).
While I’m waiting for Atticus to arrive, they check me again and I’m at 7 cm and labor is continuing to progress. They are prepping for the c-section, which will happen as soon as Atticus arrives. I am terrified. I was supposed to have two more weeks to get ready for this. It wasn’t supposed to be on a random Monday when I’m 36 weeks, 2 days. Except of course, these babies are in charge, not me, and it would seem they were ready to make their debut.
I walked into the OR and basically burst into tears at the sight of it all. As the doctor administered the spinal, I was shaking like a leaf and basically in tears. It wasn’t until the spinal started to take effect that I felt more calm and eventually relaxed somewhat as they brought Atticus in and started the surgery.
I arrived at the OB at 8:45 on Monday morning for an appointment, and by 1:20 pm I had both my babies!
Both babies were born healthy, and I heard their perfect little cries which filled my heart with joy and happiness. They are considered “late pre-term” because they were born just shy of 37 weeks, but aren’t really “preemies” either.
Everyone came through surgery really well and the babies are so wonderful. Their little personalities are already starting to emerge, and they both remind me of Maggie as an infant in different ways.
Charlie has stork bites like Maggie did, but he is very mellow and very alert. He loves to look around and take everything in.
Charlie is named for his grandfather (Atticus’ dad) and my paternal grandfather. And St. Joseph.
Mary Cate looks so much like Maggie did as a newborn, it’s crazy! The only difference? Her full head of dark hair. I love it!
Mary Cate is named for Our lady, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Therese. Also, we realized after choosing her name that both of Atticus’ grandmothers were named Mary, and one of them was Mary Katherine.
We are all home now, and I have a lot of thoughts to share about that, and about life as a family of five (so crazy to type that!), however baby snuggles and the 9 pm feeding await.
We are so very blessed and so thankful for all of the many prayers you have offered for us these last months!