Two years ago, at age 18, I was dating a man who was physically and psychologically abusive. I became pregnant. My decision to terminate the pregnancy was a difficult one, but ultimately I made my choice. I live in Virginia, where it’s mandatory to receive a certain number of hours of counselling prior to the procedure. When we went to Planned Parenthood to see how far along I was, it was apparent that in the time it would take to receive that counselling I would not be able to have a medical abortion, which was the least invasive option. Knowing this, my mom (pro-choice, thankfully) and I made our way to D.C. Upon arriving to PP, we were harassed and berated by some (not all) anti-choice nuts. A few were very respectfully protesting. Others were downright violent. Calling me a slut, saying I’m going to burn in hell, stuff like that. After all was said and done, one man followed my mother and I to our car and started beating on the windshield.
Through all of this, I was suffering from an addiction to self harm, being treated for bipolar disorder, and was being physically and psychologically abused by the man who got me pregnant. I was living out of a family friend’s pool house and feeding myself with food stamps (no income at all). All that said, there was no way in hell I was even close to being able to care for a child.
My Birth Story
As is obvious by now I had the twins. They were born yesterday at 1:13pm (Jackson) and 1:14pm (Morrison) at 30 weeks and 5 days. We’d been expecting them to be early because Jackson was having sizing problems, but we definitely weren’t expecting them that quickly.
Two days ago I did absolutely nothing. I basically rested in bed all day because I was exhausted. I would get up and do something small like get a snack or go to the bathroom and then I would lie right back down. The only thing I did all day that expended energy was pop out to the beach really fast to see where Jared and I were supposed to be getting married on Friday (today).
At around 3:00am I woke up again and got this idea in my head that I needed to get my ring off of my right ring finger so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it possibly getting cut off due to having a C-section in a few weeks. I tried everything possible (ice water, holding my hand over my head, the string technique, butter, lotion, olive oil, etc.) and nothing would work so I just decided to go back to bed and deal with it the next day. I lied back down and was messing around on Tumblr on my phone for about 10 minutes when I felt this huge gush. I went in the bathroom and there was an obnoxious amount of blood. I sat on the toilet and felt an even bigger gush (which ended up being one of the boys’ sacs breaking) and that’s when I started yelling for Jared. I did have bleeds at 17 and 27 weeks, but this felt different. I quickly threw on a pad and we drove like a bat out of hell to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital I almost got into an argument with the nurse because she was lecturing me about not following protocol. When I had called the hospital telling them that we were coming in due to a bleed and complete placenta previa they told me to go straight up to L&D, but when we got there I was supposedly supposed to go to triage first. It was a nightmare. Usually I do my best to be polite, but I was in such a panic that I just wanted to know what was going on. Once the nurses saw how much I was bleeding they started taking me a lot more seriously, though. By this time it was around 5:30am and I was at the hospital with Jared, my mom, and my stepdad waiting for the doctor to look at my blood test and tell me what the heck was going on.
That’s when the major contractions started kicking in. They hurriedly gave me a steroid shot to boost the boys’ lungs as much as possible and they got an ultrasound tech in to check on everything. It didn’t seem like Jackson had grown much, if at all, since his last ultrasound two weeks prior so it was decided that the boys needed to come out. It was horrible, though, because they couldn’t deliver them at my local hospital because it’s only a level 2 nursery and the two closest NICUs were full and diverting babies to other hospital. It felt like it took forever to just find out what was going on which ended up being an ambulance ride to a hospital almost 150 miles away.
In the meantime my mom and Jared had found a justice of the peace that would come to the hospital and marry Jared and me right then. It wasn’t that we saw anything wrong with having the boys without being married, but we’d both been so excited about the wedding on Friday that we decided to go with it. Needless to say we found out that we were the first couple that anyone could remember that had gotten married in a hospital bed before delivering their twins. Even though it wasn’t the wedding that I dreamed of, I’m so happy that this could happen between Jared and me.
Immediately after the ceremony the Med Trans team showed up to drive me to the hospital. They loaded me up in the ambulance and we hit the road. Partway there I felt another giant gush (the other sac breaking) and my contractions became almost unbearably painful. Because of the amount of blood that I was losing they decided that they couldn’t take me the full way to the hospital and they diverted me to one of the hospitals that was full. I’ve never seen so many doctors in one area getting everything prepped for an emergency C-section. It was probably only 30 minutes before I got to the hospital before I was in the operating room. They had to give me a general anesthetic so Jared wasn’t able to be in the room…which was full panic for me.
At 1:13pm Jackson was born at 2lbs4.5oz, 14”, and at 1:14pm Morrison was born at 3lb14oz, 17”. I was knocked out so I didn’t get to see them, but Jared did as soon as he got to the hospital. I woke up in the recovery room with my mom and stepdad by my side, but no Jared and no babies. They had me there for a while and then took me up to my PP room where I ended up getting to see the boys for about five minutes. They were so tiny, but so handsome. I only got to see them for a few minutes before they were sent out on transport to the originally hospital that I was supposed to go to before I was deviated. It’s so hard watching your sons be wheeled away from you, but I knew it was the best option for them.
My boys have been lucky. The only problems that they’ve encountered were low hemoglobin levels in Jackson which required him to have a blood transfusion last night and a small breathing/Jaundice problem in Morrison. Neither of the boys has had to have ventilators for air and have only had minor CPAP assistance. As for feeding Morrison is getting some IV fluids, but is mostly getting more solid liquids via a tube. Jackson isn’t quite there yet and is getting his fluids via an IV for now. I’m going to call the hospital in a few minutes and double check on them to make sure that everything’s alright. Best of all I’m probably going to be released from the hospital at around noon tomorrow and I get to see my little creatures!!! I’ll try to keep posting updates about the boys and myself and I’m super sorry if I haven’t responded to everyone right away…things have been crazy.