February 3, 2019

The Arrival of Wrennox: The Birth story of Wren and Lennox

All the details of the birth of Wren and Lennox are below. Feel free to skip this post if the miracle of life makes you squeamish... I wrote down every detail I could remember in the days following their birth. Reading other real-life birth stories was SO helpful to me when preparing for both of my deliveries, and by putting my stories out there, I hope I am helping others too. This story may lack some eloquence, but the experience is one I will never forget and one I am so grateful for. 

Our doctor, we'll call her Dr. P. did not want me to stay pregnant any longer than 38 weeks, which is very normal for a twin pregnancy. We had a c-section reserved for 1/29/2018 (38wks + 2 days) in case we needed it. We spent the whole 3rd trimester in suspense, wondering how these babies would be born, especially when they started flipping around. 

Most of my pregnancy Baby A was vertex (head down) and Baby B was transverse (sideways). Our Dr. was concerned about baby B's position because she'd stayed there pretty much the whole time without showing us she could move and was concerned she wouldn't be able to rotate head down because of her cord or something. She had tried to deliver another set of twins in a similar position recently that ended up in a vaginal delivery of twin A and c-section for twin B, so she was very cautious with her recommendations. Luckily, Baby B did end up rotating around (still transverse) but sometimes she'd switch which side her head was on. 

Going into our last week, an induction was looking promising. The day before D-day, I was absolutely miserable. I was already having a hard time getting around due to my (self-diagnosed) SPD crotch and groin pain, but then I slipped getting out of the shower (luckily, I didn’t fall) and pulled the already pained area, so the pain was exacerbated. It was hard to walk, or move, or roll over. It HURT.

That night I could hardly sleep knowing that we would have our babies the next day, one way or another.


My alarm was set for 5:45 am. I woke up, showered, and got dressed. I didn’t eat or drink anything because even though the plan was to try an induction we were still treating it like we were going in for our scheduled c-section. We would finally know which course we would take after looking at the babies’ positions via ultrasound once we arrived at the hospital. We took some final pictures of my belly and made sure we had everything packed.

Then, Tyler and I went to wake up Hazel to say goodbye and have our last bittersweet moments as a family of 3. She woke up in a good mood and was excited about the babies too. We took a few more pictures with Hazel and then it was time to leave her at home with Mimi and Gaga.

We drove the short way to the hospital and made our way into labor and delivery. I was nervous and scared… and excited. We quickly checked in and were shown to our nice, big labor room. We arrived at 7:30am, just as the day shift was starting. A. & K. were our nurses. We got 2 because K. was finishing up her orientation to be a labor & delivery nurse.

The nurses hooked us up to the NST (non-stress test) monitor to start watching the babies’ heart rates and my contractions. I had been having irregular contractions for a while, but that morning I was having them 7-9 minutes apart. It was a good sign that I wouldn’t be trying to induce labor from a total stand still. They took my vitals (BP 134/90). They also set out the babies' first shirts, hats, and diapers which gave us a pretty surreal visual of what was about to happen!

Some time after 8:30am Dr. P. came in to do the ultrasound that would make the final decision between an induction or c-section. I was a little nervous because I had felt some big movements the night before and was worried Baby A may have flipped again. Luckily, she was vertex (head down) and Baby B was, of course, transverse like always (except she had flipped so her head was back on my left side).


At 9:10 they checked my cervix and I was 3cm dilated. A great place to start. They also gave me the first gel (postoglandin) to start the induction. Tyler ordered me food knowing I’d need energy for the day, but when it came, I had a hard time eating much of it. Part of a Danish, half a link sausage, and a couple bites of egg is all I could stomach.

It didn’t take long to feel the effects of the gel. I had a constant ache in my lower abdomen and my contractions started picking up in frequency and intensity.

At 9:36am, they placed my IV. The nurse had a bit of a hard time because it was a different kind than she normally used and my wrist and hand ended up being pretty bloody. It was also rather uncomfortably placed.

10:10am – They checked the monitor strip and said we could go walk around for a while. We headed out to go to the skywalk. Being on my feet was uncomfortable, so we sat outside the elevator (which was directly outside the L&D doors) for a bit. Then we went up to the skywalk, sat down for a while longer, and took in the view of the mountains on one side and downtown on the other side. We had to sit by the elevator again on the way back. We got back to the room by 11:00am. 

11:05am  – I got hooked back up to the monitors.

11:30am – They did another cervix check and I was close to 4cm. They applied the second gel. 
Contractions became much harder to deal with. Even when I wasn’t having contractions, I still had the constant pain, like severe period cramps. I was not having a good time and I was not in the right mental state to cope well. I had to stay in bed because of the monitor and we watched American Pickers on the history channel for a poor distraction.

By 12:18pm contractions were very painful and coming just a few minutes apart. 

This felt MUCH TOUGHER than Hazel's labor and delivery. Going into hers, I was feeling great, sleeping well (by comparison), and just had more of a plan that I felt ready to conquer. In contrast, this time I had already been exhausted for a couple months, sleeping terribly, in pain, having trouble moving, and really had no idea what was going to happen. Add in the constant cramping pain which means I didn't get any pain free breaks between contractions and I was over it pretty quickly. 

At 12:30pm they took me off the monitors again. I sat on a yoga ball a little while and Ty applied back pressure, but I soon decided to try the bathtub instead. We filled it pretty hot and it was great! It was a comfy, deep tub and really relieved some of my discomfort. We put on some classical music and I was able to “relax.” (aka try to go into the most meditative state in that condition and mentally block out the pain).

Tyler took the opportunity to go to the lobby and get coffee. He’d gone all morning without it (oh, the suffering! Ha! But he didn’t complain.) because the coffee maker on the floor was out of order. I stayed in the tub from about 1-2:00pm. After getting out, I went back to the ball until the nurse came in to hook me back to the monitors. My contractions were too close together to do another gel.

At 2:45pm – Dr. P. came back in to do my cervical check. I was at 5cm (I needed to be at least at 4cm to have the epidural placed), 80% effaced, and -1 station. 

It was my plan all along to get the epidural with this labor because my chances of emergency c-section seemed like a real possibility and I wanted the epidural placed so they could use that if we needed to switch to a c-section instead of needed to put me under general anesthesia (and be totally asleep) in that scenario. 

I said, let’s do the epidural and Dr. P. offered to break my water. I was hoping that would happen after the epidural, but she wanted to do it right away while she was there because she didn’t know when she’d get back. So that’s what we did.  

There was a gush when she broke Baby A’s sac. The first contraction afterwards was about the same as the ones before it, but then they became really intense and frequent. I kept losing more fluid every time I moved, and that seemed to increase the pain.

Luckily, Dr. W. the anesthesiologist, came in shortly and got the epidural process underway. I signed the form after he explained the process, then got into position sitting sideways on the bed cross legged, hunching around my belly, with Tyler supporting my shoulders and head. The only pain I felt was the tiny prick from the local anesthetic and then didn’t feel the rest of the procedure. (Epidural placed at 3:16pm)

I felt my left side going tingly, but not my right, and I was worried it wasn’t going to work properly. But they explained how it works in the spinal canal based on gravity and if I lay on my right side, it should work on the right side.

I was pleasantly surprised by the epidural. It was warm and tingly, and the pain was gone, but I wasn’t completely numb and could still move well. Now that the epidural was placed, they also placed a catheter.

At 4:19pm, I had another check: 7cm, 100% effaced, and 0 station. We were surprised at the progress!

4:30pm – Once everyone left the room we video called Hazel to check in. Then we tried to nap. I was able to doze nicely – occasionally pressing my dose button and/or switching sides to keep both sides pain free.

I woke up a little, feeling contractions in my right groin, so I hit my dose button and rolled to my right side. Almost immediately afterwards, K. came in to check my cervix again, and she was surprised to find that I was 10cm dilated! (5:24pm) She had been hoping to start moving me to the operating room (it is standard to deliver twins in the OR because risk of complications are higher and they want to be as ready as possible) at 9cm, so things happened QUICK once I was at 10cm.

Tyler was already dressed in his scrubs. We were on our way to the OR at 5:35, and by the time we got there Dr. P. was in the hall with us. Her PA was assisting as well.

They warned Tyler that everything covered in a blue cloth was sterile and should not be touched. The doors opened and it was an overwhelming room with giant, bright lights, and tables covered in blue all over the place! They rolled my bed up next to the one already in the room and I was able to shuffle over to it.

Everyone was getting set up and seemed to be bumbling a little bit. At some point, Dr. Perrin asked, “Okay, are you familiar with everyone in the room?” I looked around and realized how many people were there!Tyler counted 12 people and I certainly didn’t know who all of them were. They all did a quick introduction: each baby had a pediatrician and nurses, Dr. W., Dr. P., and her PA, and then a student intern in the corner (and maybe others? I don’t remember).

After getting my legs in the stirrups, they reminded me about how to push and told me I should start on the next contraction. Except since I had just dosed myself, I couldn’t feel them at all. Luckily, I was hooked up to the monitors so I was watching to see when the next one came. I missed the 1st one and Dr. P. paused anyway because she realized all the supplies for Baby B weren’t set up. After they got those ready they told me to push with the next contraction.

I was worried I wouldn’t be good at it since I couldn’t feel anything, but I remembered the best advice I received with my last birth “Curl around your baby” and with the first push (5:47pm) Dr. P said, “Woah! There’s a head!” It wasn’t out yet, but it was encouraging that I was moving her. After only a few more pushes Baby A was born and on my chest. They waited 45 seconds before clamping the chord and Ty got to cut it. She was all gooey and covered in vernix. I snuggled her for that 45 seconds, but then they took her to the warmer (and bumped her head on the overhead light as they were moving her) so they could check on Baby B’s position.

The PA had the ultrasound on Baby B and both her and Dr. P. were pushing on my stomach to manipulate her and guide her down head first. Once she was head down, Dr. P. broke her sac of waters, which I think helped hold her in position.

I had stopped contracting, so they told me to just wait until they started again because my body was taking a break. However, that plan did not last long because Baby B’s heart rate was dropping below 100 and they wanted her out ASAP. They put on an oxygen mask AND oxygen tubes in my nose (not both necessary – bumbling a little bit, like I said before) to get more oxygen to Baby B. They told me to push without the contraction and basically had me push for 10 seconds, take a deep breath and keep pushing. Suddenly, the PA was at my side all dressed in white instead of blue, which we assume was her c-section gear – ready to go at any second. But after a few pushes Baby B was out and on my chest. They waited the same 45 seconds before clamping her cord for Tyler to cut too.

This part is a bit of a blur, but I think Baby B was on my chest for a bit longer, but they did take her to clean her up and get her measurements at some point. Tyler was floating between me and the babies.

Baby A: Born at 5:52pm – 7lb 1 oz

Baby B: Born at 5:59pm – 6lb

Two full sized babies were in there!!

Dr. P delivered my placentas and then I started GUSHING blood. She said it was like a faucet. They didn’t have the premixed Pitocin bag for my IV (bumbling again) to help my uterus contract. They gave me Cytotek to help stop the bleeding as quick as possible and Tyler said the anesthesiologist just guesstimated some Pitocin into my IV.   

I was pretty distracted by my babies so I wasn’t really worried for myself, and it all happened really quickly anyway. I ended up losing 1000 cc’s of blood. I was cold and shaky and my teeth were chattering afterwards. After the bleeding stopped Dr. P stitched up my 1st degree tear, and I got both babies on my chest again.

Dr. P asked how I was feeling and I said, “Great!” which caused everyone to laugh and she said, “Why can’t all new moms be like you?!” 

One of the nurses took Tyler’s phone when we first got into the OR and was taking pictures the whole time. We got some VERY GRAPHIC ones, but you can see my face and I am pretty much smiling while pushing, just like last time.

Once they were done, the epidural was taken out, I moved back onto the other bed with the babies and we got rolled back to our labor room. (6:27pm) As we went by the nurses station, there was a lot of cheering for us. I appreciate any time I can be so run down and still feel like a Rockstar. Thanks, nurses! Thanks, endorphins!

Back in the room, I got both babies to latch on for their first tandem nursing session! Tyler got to hold his girls for the first time! We told our parents (Tyler’s parents had gotten into town and they were all out to dinner with Hazel at a Greek restaurant) that they could come by in about 45 minutes. They came and Hazel was very excited to meet her baby sisters. She wasn’t as timid as I had expected. She sat on my bed and wanted to hold them. She held both at the same time for some pictures and she was trying to give them butterfly kisses on the tops of their heads.

After our family left, they got ready to move us to our postpartum room. I was still incredibly weak and shaky and couldn’t walk myself to bathroom. The nurses left to find me a “portable toilet” – so glamorous! And after they went into the hall we heard a big commotion. Someone was coming in and her baby was literally coming out. They may have delivered her in the hall? I don’t quite remember, but everyone was okay. This did delay my toilet and our move by a lot though.

As we were in the recovery room after our family left, we chose names for the babies. We knew the two names we were going to use, we just didn’t know which baby would get which name. Tyler was holding Baby B (the smaller one), while A was snuggled on my chest. Tyler asked his baby, “Are you Little Lennox?” I said, “That alliterates nicely…” I was looking for anything to help us choose the names, because I didn’t want it to be a long ordeal like last time. I wanted it to come quickly and naturally. The way A was snuggled on my chest gave her some serious baby cleavage. I called Tyler over to look, and he said, “My grandma was known for being quite busty.” The other name we picked out was Wren Betty, the Betty was an homage to his grandma. Little Lennox and Busty Betty.

Lennox’s middle name is Eberly, which is my Grandma’s maiden name.

That night we didn’t sleep much because the girls took turns fussing and eating and pooping. Also, my groin/crotch pain made it hard for me to move around (this pain lasted for approximately 2 more weeks, which was so rough!).

The next morning, Cindy and Keith came back to snuggle their new grandbabies, and we shared their names with them.  After Cindy and Keith left my parents came back by with Hazel. It was a good thing they didn’t all come at once again, because our new room was tiny. Hazel was again, excited! The nurse told Hazel that she could help with their first bath, so we got her pumped up for that. The twins also “gave her” a Big Sister bracelet to wear. She was great and so sweet to the babies and has been a wonderful helper and big sister ever since.

All of us were healthy and I was recovering fine, so we pushed to be discharged after the girls’ 24 hr. check. Lennox failed her hearing test in one ear, but instead of waiting another 4 hrs to be rechecked, we opted to come back to recheck at a later date. We left the hospital around 9pm on 1/30/18. It felt great to be home, and we recognized how INCREDIBLY lucky we were to get to take our babies home with us right away and not have to spend any time in the NICU.

The babies were so sweet and tiny, and I snuggled them on my chest as much as possible. Nursing went relatively well, but I opted to mostly nurse one at a time, because tandem was very hard to position when they were so tiny. We gave them about 1 oz of formula on the day before my milk came in because they had already lost over 10% of their birth weight at their pediatrician visit, but once my milk was established we didn’t need to use it anymore. I spent a LOT of time nursing babies. 

Now we are a family of FIVE, and the first few months felt surprisingly easy. But around the 3-4 month mark, the sleep deprivation really caught up with us and things got HARD. I’m finally typing this up as the girls approach their first birthday, and life is still a roller coaster, but I am happy to say that we’re currently on an upswing. We love Wren and Lennox so much, and they bring challenges that only multiples can bring, but also some incredible moments that we wouldn’t trade for anything. 


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