Monday, April 11, 2016

Danielle from Sparkles and Lattes {The Mommylogues Series}

When I first came up with the idea for The Mommylogues Series, I really wanted to connect with new mom bloggers and read about experiences that were different from my own and with Danielle, I got both! This is one amazing birth story with two happy arrivals.

Hi, I am Danielle and I blog over at Sparkles and Lattes. I am a wife to an amazing husband, mommy to beautiful identical twin girls and a chiweenie. My life is full of chaos raising twins, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

When Whitney from Work It Mommy said she was starting The Mommylogues guest post series about everything mommy, I knew I had to share my story. My story is crazy, full of drama, but has a happy ending. So let's jump right in.

Immediately after getting married, we started trying to have a baby. After a few months, it wasn't working. So I started reading books on getting pregnant and fertility. I started using opks (ovulation predictor kits), tracking my cycles and taking prenatal vitamins. A few months later and still nothing was working. So we started seeing a fertility specialist and he determined (through ultrasound) that I had PCOS. My husband's sperm was also tested. I started taking metformin and the side effects were harsh. Plus it made my cycle way longer making me think I was pregnant when I wasn't.

After two months, nothing had changed, so we decided we (with the help of my fertility doctor) were going to try IUI (interuterine insemination). I was to call my doctor once I got my period to start clomid and start the whole process. I had an ultrasound around 8 days post ovulation and said to come back in a week or so when I would start my period.

Well it never came and I took a pregnancy test thinking it was the metformin again. But I was pregnant. How could this be? My doctor said it was a very slim to none chance of it. We had an ultrasound at 6 and 8 weeks and baby was looking great. So I was switched to see my midwife and at 10 weeks, she confirmed that I was pregnant, but pregnant with TWINS.
 

From there it was a whirlwind. We saw our new doctor (since my midwife couldn't deliver our twins) and a perinatologist (high risk doctor) through my pregnancy. We found out we were having identical girls when I was 18 weeks.

At 33 weeks, just a couple days after Christmas, I went into early labor. I tried to deny it because I started labor the day after Christmas, but ignored it until another two days later. I was in so much pain that I knew we had to go to the ER.

After arriving at labor and delivery, they got me hooked up to the monitors and checked me. I was a 4 to 4 1/2 cm. They did an ultrasound of the girls and baby A was head down and baby b was transverse. She was in my ribcage laying sideways. They monitored me over the course of an hour and with no change in the positioning. And at this point I was at a 9 to 9 1/2 cm. I felt every second of pain and every contraction (which were right on top of each other).

At this point, I felt like I needed to push, but they told me I couldn't and they recommended an emergency c-section because baby b was transverse and it would be hard to turn her if she didn't turn herself. You can't pull a preemie baby's legs to get them to turn. I could have birthed baby A vaginally, but would have most likely had baby B c-section. After many tears and hesitation on my part, I went in for a c-section. Emergency.

After I got my spinal, I was moved to the operating table and they started, my husband was brought in. He told me that he never wanted to look over the sheet if I ended up c-section, but when the time came, he wanted to look. And I am glad he did because he was able to capture the girls being born.

Baby A, Sutton, entered the world at 2:37 am on December 29, 2014. She was crying and beautiful as ever. Baby B, Avery, followed her seconds later at 2:37 am on December 29th. She cried a little, but had to be stimulated because she wasn't reacting very well to being outside the womb.

While both girls were being monitored and their umbilical cords being cut by my husband, I was being worked on. It was time to deliver my placenta, but it broke inside of me. Once they got my placenta out, they pulled my uterus out and started massaging it trying to get it to contract. They were massaging it for a long time and at one point mentioned a hysterectomy if it wouldn't contract soon.

I started to go in and out of consciousness. I was losing a bunch of blood, over 2 liters to be exact, and the anesthesiologist kept giving me shots in my shoulder and put another IV in my right hand (already had one in my left hand). I must have had at least 10 or more shots in my shoulder.


I closed my eyes and remember saying/thinking, I am going to die. I have never felt so scared in my life. I have never felt so weak in my life. I felt like I was slipping away. I was unconscious at one point and my anesthesiologist kept waking me up saying I needed to stay with him. I knew I was going to die and leave my husband with two brand new babies. Babies that would have to be in the NICU. All the while, my husband was watching. He watched me lose a lot of blood and his babies were about to be wheeled off to the NICU.  

The anesthesiologist told him he needed to go to the NICU with the babies. I remember hearing this and my husband asking if he should go or stay with me. The anesthesiologist told him to go.

They worked on me for a long time and were eventually able to get my uterus to contract before having to take it out. Thank you Jesus. I am so happy they saved it because we may want more children and I want that option. I am so grateful the doctors did everything they could to save me and my uterus.  

I had to have a blood transfusion due to the amount of blood loss. I will spare the photos that show the wall of bloody cloths they used on me since it is pretty graphic, but know there was 16 bloody cloths on a pocket wall.  

Once my husband was in the NICU with the girls, he was told that I was in recovery and they saved my uterus.

The delivery was over and it was time to enjoy our babies. My girls spent 26 and 27 days in the NICU. Everyday I would travel to the hospital, after I was discharged, twice a day to spend time with my girls. I didn't get to process my labor and delivery. I stayed strong for my girls and pushed through the physical and mental pain that I had experienced. 

I asked my husband questions about what happened from day one, but I didn't get all the answers until weeks later. It was traumatic for him as well. 

I know I didn't deal with my traumatic birthing experience like I should have. I did ask the questions, but I tried to block it out. But as the months went by, it hurt me more and more. I cried anytime I thought about my experience. I tried to rationalize it. I said it was normal. But in all reality, it isn't normal and I almost died. I almost lost my life giving birth to the two best things that have ever happened to me. 

I didn't get postpartum depression, but what I had was the aftermath of a traumatic birth. I spent many days and nights crying over my experience. Every time I pass the hospital, I get anxious and upset because it brings back the memories. I never got the beautiful vaginal birthing experience that I hoped and dreamed about. I never got pictures with my girls right after birth (not even the ones beside my head after a c-section). I never got the skin to skin with my twins right after birth. I laid there helpless, losing a lot of blood, going in and out of consciousness and almost dying.

Over the last 15 months, I have learned ways to cope with my traumatic birth. First, please talk to someone, anyone about your thoughts and feelings. Whether it is a therapist, your partner/spouse, a friend or your mother. It feels good to talk about the experience. You will shed tears and hurt, but talking about it will get it out there. Ask the questions to anyone who was there during your birth trauma. Get your answers so you can be at peace in your mind.

Write about it. Without my blog and my personal journal, I wouldn't have been able to articulate my thoughts and feelings on the experience. Seek out other women who have had a birthing trauma. Read their stories and get some comfort that you are not alone. 

And drive by the hospital or visit the hospital in your own time. Since giving birth to my girls, I spent 27 days there visiting them in the NICU. And once they were out, I came back to donate their preemie and newborn clothes to the NICU when they grew out of them. We have had doctor appointments there. I have had three surgeries since they were born and every one of them has been at the hospital they were born at. I have walked those halls to get a sense of relief and closure. It helps. Each time it got easier and easier to be there.  

Join a moms group. Either local or online. I am part of a twin mom group on Facebook that is local, and I find that I can relate my experiences, get advice and help when I need it.

If you have any questions on birth trauma, twins or anything, head on over to my blog, Sparkles and Lattes, and send me a message.

xoxo, Danielle 


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26 comments:

  1. Oh, Danielle, I'm in tears reading this. I'm so sorry you went through such a traumatic experience. I'm sending you such big hugs right now!

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    1. Thank you so much. It was a hard time in my life, but I have two amazing blessings. I cry when I read this or think about the time.

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing Danielle! That is definitely a traumatic experience and I am so glad that you came through it and have your two beautiful baby girls to show for it! you are one strong woman!!!

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    1. Thank you. It was easier to share than go through, but I hope it helps other mommies out there that went through what I did or something similar.

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  3. Oh my goodness Danielle. That is so scary. I can only imagine everything going through your mind in those moments. And poor Rory. I'm sure he felt so helpless. That is a traumatic experience, but what little blessings you have. You are so lucky momma. Huge hugs and know I'm always here if you need anything. :)

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    1. Thank you Jess. It was scary. Scary for everyone involved, but I am a fighter and we made it through. But I have a really good story to tell from it now.

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  4. Oh my goodness, I am crying as I read this. I can't imagine how you must've felt, Danielle! I had no idea you had such a traumatic birth experience. Hugs!

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    1. It was really tough. I cry when I think about it or remember it, but I know that it was worth it. It does make me weary of another birth for fear of it happening again.

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  5. I relate so much to your story Danielle. I didn't have a PPD but after 26 hours of labor and an unwanted c-section and 5 days spent in the hospital, I struggled with our birthing experience. I will say I have learned that it was normal to feel all the feelings and I am so happy to say that both myself and my son were totally healthy and okay, just the c-section itself wasn't ideal.

    You have such amazing little miracles and I know you celebrate them daily. From one Mama to another, hugs!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie. It was a rough experience. I didn't want a c-section, but it saved my life and my girls lives. So I guess in the end it is better, but it still has a lasting impression on me.

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  6. What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you. My pleasure to share it with you all.

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  7. What a heart-wrenching story! So glad everyone is happy and healthy in the end! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Sarah. It was a crazy experience, but so thankful for the end result.

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  8. Oh Danielle, I'm so glad that the doctors were able to save you and your uterus, and I hope that one day you can find peace over the whole situation. I can't even fathom how scary it must have been for you to think that you may not live to hold your girls.

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    1. I am starting to find peace in the situation, but it is hard. It was a tough time and I still cry over it. I still look at my c-section scar and feel different about it. But at least my girls were safe when all was said and done.

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  9. Oh wow! What a traumatic birth story. I am so glad that everything turned out okay for all of you!

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    1. Thank you. It was a traumatic story with a happy ending.

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  10. wow, that took a turn I was not expecting. I am so glad that you came out the other side and that you are dealing with it and are trying to get the word out to other Mamas to help them!

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    1. Thank you. It definitely wasn't the birth that I pictured, but at least it has a happy ending!

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  11. Oh my goodness, what a traumatic and amazing birth story. Certainly had me tearing up.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. You are very welcome. So glad that you enjoyed it.

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  12. Wow, what an amazing and scary situation. Thankfully everything ended up ok and she has those sweet, precious girls to remind her of how beautiful life is. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You are very welcome. So glad that I could share it with you all.

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