Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Birth Story

I was hoping to wait until Sunday to have the babies, since I had a few things I wanted to do over the weekend, but the babies had other plans.  I’d been having false labor all week, and wondered if I’d recognize real labor when it finally came.  Saturday morning, I didn’t have to wonder anymore.

My water broke at 8 am.  I wasn’t sure at first, since I don’t normally wet my pants, I called Steve to come downstairs and get ready to go. I was making waffles for breakfast, since that was William’s favorite meal. Steven’s parents had recently left for the annual Firestorm Bike Ride, so we called his brother Kevin and his wife, Mary Jane to stay with William until Bill and Karen got back. I called Steve’s parents and Bill had been about to tell us we could watch the ride at the base of the canyon when I told him we were headed to the hospital.  It was show time. 

Contractions started not long after Kevin and Mary Jane arrived.  We had breakfast and then prepared for our new journey, making sure to have one last belly shot:

DSCN2901Still only 44 inches around, with a final weight gain of 41 lbs.  That’s 4 inches bigger and 11 lbs. heavier than I was with William.belly Front view

We also made sure to get one last family picture before we practically doubled in size.

Pre-enlargement family photo

Before I had these babies, I always wondered if the birth would be anything like William’s.  With him, my water broke at 8 am, and he was born 32 LONG hours later.  I was surprised when my water broke (again at 8 am, no less), since apparently it only happens like 10% of the time. And a Saturday birth again, no less.  This makes all three of our kids born on Saturdays. But that’s where the similarities end.

When I kept dilating, I figured it wouldn’t be anywhere near the same…I hoped I’d be lucky enough to make it to the hospital by the time I actually noticed contractions. Luckily I did…but just barely.

We called my parents on the way to the hospital, and had to tell them we wouldn’t make it to dinner the next day…they understood. We texted a few friends/family that the babies were coming, and checked into the hospital as contractions started coming fast and furious every minute or so. Ridiculously AWFUL back labor.  Felt like broken-my-tailbone-during-each-contraction back labor. We barely had time to get the epidural in place and functioning properly (side note: I actually refused a cervix check because I wanted needed more medicine in case they told me it was time, as we were expecting a possible breech extraction due to Baby B being transverse/oblique---ouch! without proper anesthesia) before I was checked and headed to the OR to deliver.

I had to deliver on one of those tiny little operating tables.  As soon as they lifted me on the table, the doctors could already see his little head without even checking me.  It was go time.  We had quite the party in that little room…funny enough, it was all girls except for the anesthesiologist, 2 pediatricians, my husband, and Baby A.  There were 2-3 OBs, 2-3 nurses for me, and at least one per baby, 1 anesthesiologist, and 2 pediatricians.  Somewhere in the vicinity of 10 people, not counting Steve, the babies, and me.  Standing room only, lol.

I was delivered by the on-call doc, since mine had gone out of town for the weekend. Figures that’s when I’d go into labor, right?  Luckily it was too fast to worry about anything. Less than 3 hours after my water broke, and after 2 minutes of pushing, at 11:02 am, we were greeted by Baby A. A tiny little boy who was less than happy to join the real world despite his quick entrance.

Baby Caleb

He weighed in at 5 lbs, 10 oz.  We named him Caleb Anderson Garff.  Caleb (nicknamed Cal, after the character in Steinbeck’s East of Eden, one of Steven’s favorite books) because Steve let me pick the names and Caleb was the name Steve liked best from my list. Anderson is Steven’s mom’s maiden name.  A nurse from LA actually recommended the name when she found out we were having a boy and I mentioned I liked last names as boy names and it stuck with me ever since.

Baby A

After Caleb was born, I had to be given a bit of Pitocin to encourage Baby B.  She was less sure about joining us, but decided to venture out head down so we had to wait a bit.  The OB had to use forceps to “encourage” her out faster due to a dip in heart rate, but she came out crying.  At 11:38, our baby girl joined the party in the OR. Caleb was excited to see her on this side of the womb.

Baby Lily

Lily Anne Garff weighed in at 6 lbs, 6 oz. We named her Lily, because she was a spring baby and Anne is after both my mom’s middle name (Ann) and my childhood best friend, Annalisa (who’s birthday is April 10…we almost made it).

2 more babies

When people tell us we have our hands full, they have NO IDEA. Literally, our arms are full of baby.

2 new babies

2 in the bed

Both babies were born healthy (no NICU!!!) but with a few minor issues that they had to be monitored for.  Caleb had a hard time breathing and was grunting. He was monitored in the nursery for a few hours with Steven before I got to see him again. Lily had blood sugar and was immediately returned to me for feeding.  Luckily, that did the trick.Double Babies


It’s easy to tell them apart (despite the obvious gender difference) due to their face shape.  Caleb has a short, square face.Caleb

Lily’s face is longer and more full.


And both of them have LOTS of brown hair.  In fact, they both have more hair than William does at 2 years old.

We had lots of visitors when in the hospital. Papa and Grandma Garff brought William to meet his new siblings.Mom and kidsGrandparents Garff

William brought his Easter babies some bunny toys…but got confused when he realized he didn’t get to keep them.twin bassinetBut left full of my dinner. Good thing I don’t like peas or pumpkin pie.

Sharing lunch

My parents came to visit with my younger brothers and sister. Since their 3 youngest grandchildren were in the hospital, it gave them the opportunity to see them all during the visit.

Kemp visit

Grandma Kemp

My brother Arthur nicknamed Lily, “Chewbacca” because she has a hairy back due to her early birth.  I hope for her sake neither the hair or the nickname stick.

Arthur and Chewie

2 at once

We also got visits from Mike and Catherine just in time for their first baths.

Caleb bath timeCatherine and Caleb

And Sunday night we had a surprise visit from Mike Cook and his friend Julie, Donovan and Cortney, AND my brother Daniel and his wife Karalee.  It was quite the party.

We went home Monday night with both babies.

Babies come home

Going Home outfits

Coming home

And have since survived the first week…but just barely.


Leslie said...

Oh they're so little and sweet! Although good size for twins, great job growing and birthing them April! Now comes the really hard part right? Raising them, at least for these first few months :)

thailiz said...

SO glad everything went okay, and how awesome that you didn't have to get them sectioned out! They're beautiful! Good luck with everything - I can't imagine two at one time. You'll be great.

Miss Emma-Saira Love said...

Such a beautiful story for you to share!!
I am currently 35 weeks with girl/boy twins and so loved seeing your new born photos and hearing how the birth panned out!!
Hope everything is going well for your lovely family!! xxx