Today we are chatting about my Twin Birth Story!
My angels were born on March 3rd, 2017 at 9:53 a.m. in Northern Italy…
My pregnancy was NOT like most! I spent most of my first and second trimester living in Paris, France finishing my study abroad year through my University in Hawaii. Believe me…I did NOT plan on being pregnant haha.
I was able to travel through six countries and continue my fitness regime up until my 7-month mark.
Around 30 weeks I was finally living with the love of my life in Italy and he made SURE I was resting and eating as much as humanly possible haha!
We were told that natural birth was possible if the boys were both heads down. At the 33 week mark we were on our way to the natural birth club but alas…Leonardo decided to do the last backflip (so like him) and mommy had to go with a c-section scheduled for 36 weeks.
In case you missed it…I am a gal from Chi-town. I speak English and I enjoy attempting Spanish when my Mexican family eggs me on or when I am drunk off of tequila. I do not speak a lick of Italian or German (both languages spoken in my new home) and 90% of people I talk to have no idea what I am saying.
Imagine giving birth in this situation.
Most of you are probably thinking “You had 8 months to learn a new language!” and for that you are CORRECT. I did learn a new language…FRENCH. French was mandatory to be taken at my University in Paris (makes sense) and that is what I was tested on and starting to become proficient in. Nobody speaks French in Italy.
Doctors spoke in German or Italian and Martin was there to translate for me. I had to fly from the Paris airport to the Verona, Italy airport EVERY two weeks to see my doctor. Twin pregnancies are very tricky and have to be constantly monitored. I began to understand a few words here or there…but as any mom will tell you…I wanted to know everything!
To further explain this…I will throw in a quick ultrasound story. Martin was next to me as our Italian doctor was checking on our babies and I hear ‘no respirare’. I look at Martin confused and he says ‘Not Breathing’.
Not breathing? Who is not breathing? The babies?! (Obviously this makes no sense now but I was pregnant and loopy). I freaked out. Color dropped from my face and I almost cried. Then it hit me…Martin meant to say ‘Stop breathing’ to ME so the doctor could hear the babies better. Lost in translations like this happened DAILY.
My c-section was scheduled for March 3rd when I was nearly 37 weeks pregnant. I was happy with this because most twin pregnancies are much earlier and our babies had healthy weights thus far.
We were to check in the afternoon before for all the pre-tests and necessary rest time prior to the surgery. I was oddly calm the day night before we had to check in…I had no feelings of stress or fear. It was odd.
My mother (God bless her) flew over 14 hours to be with her baby girl (hell ya I am the baby) and she really helped to ease my stress. She brought over SEVEN suitcases of baby clothes, toys, and things I had never even heard of yet.
A swaddling blanket? Baby mittens? Nursing pads? What is all this!?!
Next thing I knew, we were at the hospital. My stomach hurt…not inside…but outside. It felt like my skin was going to bust open and I was going to have an impromptu birth right then and there. My face hurt, my legs hurt…even my arms hurt from holding water. My already squinty eyes began to nearly close on me from the bloating!
I sent Martin and my mother home. Just a bunch of tests and sleep…why stare at me? I am weird like that.
I immediately laid down and rolled over….knowing damn well that the next meal to be rolled into my room would be full of some disgusting concoction that the meat and dairy fairy made special for the pregnant queens of Tyrol.
I was awoken by the cutest little nurse asking me to take a contraction test for the boys. Goo was squeezed all over my 46-inch belly and I couldn’t help but think that I will be holding my children in my arms in a few hours time.
Martin and my mother showed up and we found out that I would be going into surgery alone.
That is when fear hit. What?! Alone?!
I never imagined that this would happen to me. I imagined Martin next to me, translating everything and holding my hand while they sliced me open. SURELY the father of my children or even my mother could go into surgery? But alas…the answer was no. Too many doctors and nurses in the room to fit my loved ones.
Martin and my mother both kissed me as I was rolled into a room that was labeled in a foreign language. A male nurse looked at me and said something in German and I heard the other nurse say ‘Nur English’ and they both shook their heads. I knew it was bad news from then out.
I was stuck a few times with IVs and needles for reasons I do not even know. I was honestly in too much shock at that point to notice. A doctor came and spoke to me in broken English asking me if I knew about the large needles that were going to be stuck in my back to numb me for the c-section. I just smiled and nodded constantly…hoping it would just be over soon so I could hold my boys. I have this major problem where I smile and nod in situations where I should probably be screaming.
I was rolled even further into the final surgery room. It was cold and BRIGHT and smelled like it had been cleaned a thousand times over with hand sanitizer. I was told to sit up and prepare for the epidural. That. Shit. HURT. After the initial pain, I was stuck again and then probed a few times to see if the numbness had started. Slowly I laid down and that is when a circus show began. The most perfectly synchronized circus show I have ever witnessed.
10 doctors and nurses rushed in. A timer was set. Lights were all turned to my stomach.
A very large covering was placed high on my chest and I could see nothing but the ceiling and directly to the right or left of the sheet. So many noises that were foreign to me. So many words that were spoken that sounded like gibberish.
Finally, an angel walked into my room. The most wonderful, sweet, elderly woman was placed next to me and she held my hand. She was the anesthesiologist. She spoke English and talked me through the entire surgery, step by step and was even there to catch my vomit when nausea kicked in. I was safe. That was all I needed.
At 9:49 the doctors began to slice me wide open.
At 9:51 I was told that they were ‘going in’. I felt so much pressure on my stomach. It was almost like someone was bouncing on my stomach without feeling. So much pulling and tugging and pressure. At 9:53 I heard a scream and ‘Ale is here!’ and 35 seconds later, ‘Leo is here!’. They were born within the same exact minute.
I began to cry. I am a mother. Me…Danielle…the woman who ran around the world shouting that she will never have children. It was the happiest day of my life.
After the babies were cleaned up and my stomach was being man-handled back together, the boys were placed on my chest for about 3 minutes before taken away.
They were perfection.
It took about 30 minutes to get my ‘situation’ back in order and then I was rolled into a recovery room. I believe I had to lie there for another 45 minutes until the numbness wore off. It as hell for me! I just wanted to hold and kiss and obsess over my new angels.
As I was recovering, the boys were placed on Martin’s bare chest in another part of the hospital and the bonding had begun. They still prefer Martin’s chest over mine when it comes to nap time! My mother had snapped the very first photos of the boys and sat impatiently waiting for me to come out of recovery.
Once I was rolled out, my mother rushed towards me to make sure I was ok. We then went to meet the boys in my recovery bedroom where I stayed for 5 days (5 days of FREE recovery in Europe). The boys were given a co-sleeper bassinet that attached directly to my hospital bed. We cuddled, hugged, kissed and cried happy tears.
I became a mommy.