The Birth of James and Luke

Posted by  | Monday, March 30, 2009  at 12:00 AM  
Well, for those of you wondering where I’ve been the past couple of months I recently gave birth to twins. Life has been full, fun, crazy, exciting, and blessed with two preemies and a toddler in our house. I love that this week we are sharing birth stories on Prayer of Hannah. And, while I might have originally said this birth story was as different from Lydia’s as it could possibly be, that’s not entirely true. . . so let me jump right in. . .

To say I was excited when I found out I was pregnant would be an understatement. But then when I learned we were having twins – WOW! I couldn’t wait!! I had dreamed of being a twin when I grew up and always thought I would love to raise twins; a few months before I got pregnant I was exercising and praying and felt impressed to pray for twins – so it was so neat to see the way God brought this to fruition. Their birth, though, was a little different than planned . . .here’s the story of James and Luke’s birth.

For those who don’t know me well, you need to know that friends tease me about my health and nutrition passion and, along with that, goes my intense desire for natural childbirth. (Here’s the story of my 2 ½ year old daughter’s natural birth.)

I vividly remember the evening just a few days after we found out we were having twins (and had not yet told friends it was multiples) that we had several families over and the conversation turned to labor and delivery. One of the girls was pregnant with her first and we were talking about natural deliveries, medicated deliveries, and c-sections. I remember being totally overwhelmed with the thought of having to birth twins and went back to Lydia’s room to rock her and prayed about all of this. God impressed so deeply on my heart that HE had put these babies in my womb, and HE would help me birth them. I hoped that meant naturally, but, even as I clung to this promise throughout the pregnancy I knew that He had never promised to do it my way.

Fast forward to January 24th of this year. .. .I was 32 weeks, 3 days pregnant without a hint of a problem. I felt great, was walking 3 miles everyday, and had friends over the night before cooking and entertaining. I was even planning to fly to America just four days later, alone, with my toddler to give birth in the states!! (Josh was coming later; I was just flying earlier because of the pregnancy and flying regulations.) I woke up around 8:00 a.m. that morning and felt mildly uncomfortable in my still half-asleep state. I tossed and turned a little and remember Josh saying, “It’s Saturday, why don’t you go back to sleep?” To which I replied, “I think I’m having a contraction.” My lower abdomen was tightening and I figured it was just Braxton-Hicks (but that’s what I thought with Lydia too – when will I learn?). A minute or so later he sat up and said, “Well, I’m wide awake now!”

I decided not to go walking - I mean we were going to the park that day to play, have a picnic lunch, and decide on baby names. I took a long, hot shower, shaved my legs, and felt fine. Then, when I got out, it hit! One contraction on top of each other, with diarrhea (this is what tipped me off that I was going into labor because it was the same with Lydia). Lydia had woken up and wanted me to hold her - too cute - and, while she was standing in front of me sayng, "Mommy hold" I lost my mucous plug. I asked Josh to come and said I needed him to take Lydia and bring me my cell phone. I called an American nurse here to ask if there was preemie care where we live (did I think I could keep the babies inside if she said no?!). She said to call my doctor because he could give me a drug to stop the contractions. Josh called our doctor and we headed to the hospital.

We arrived at 9:45 a.m. and I was already dilated to 8 cm. Since they were breech the hospital doctor wanted to prep me for a c/s but I refused. I was taken upstairs to labor and delivery and I could feel the contractions change and I had the urge to push - I knew I was now fully dilated. But, I didn't feel a peace to work with the contractions and push those babies out without my doctor there. And that's interesting since I'd prayed throughout my pregnancy that I would be like the women in Exodus 1 - "vigorous" in labor and be able to give birth before the doctors could intervene. (I look back now and have to laugh at this scene because here I am on a bed in the OR hallway because the medical staff at the hospital didn’t know what to do with this foreigner who was refusing a c/s – and they didn’t know how to help me birth breech twins! We were all just hanging out waiting for my doctor to arrive.)

My doctor did arrive and said on the way he'd been thinking about it and he had decided he would give me the opportunity to birth them naturally. I was SO thankful. (Until this moment, he had said he wasn’t comfortable with me birthing breech twins; hence why I was returning to the states because I’d found a perinatologist with experience in twins and breech vaginal delivery.)

He went and washed up and I went to delivery room. However, when my doctor checked me his entire demeanor changed and Josh and I could sense the worry in his eyes. Our doctor is an amazing, strong believer and, looking back, I can see how the Lord was directing us both through this decision. He said he really recommended a c/s and, I just didn't have a peace to do this naturally without his support - especially since just a few minutes earlier he was okay with me trying for a natural delivery. I looked to Josh and he looked to the doctor and said okay. Since the first baby was so low, they couldn't let me sit up for an epidural so I had to take general anesthesia (until this point I didn't even have an IV in my arm!). They put the mask on my face and I was out. Josh said they were born within 2 minutes - which makes me thankful that James and Luke still didn't get exposed to much if any anesthesia.

When my doctor opened me up he found that my placenta was tearing and had already developed a hematoma. As I had been having very painful contractions I would say, "Jesus help me" and my doctor took those words, as well as finding this placental tear before it caused oxygen deprivation to the babies or hemorrhaging to me and preached to all the doctors and nurses in our room. (I had prayed everyday that the Lord would be glorified in their birth and, although I wouldn't have planned it this way, this was how He chose to be glorified!!)

James was born first (3 lb, 15 oz.), and then Luke (3 lb, 13 oz). They received one surfactant lung treatment since there had not had time to give steroids to me to boost their lungs before their birth. They had extra oxygen to breath for the first 24 hours (their heads were under an oxygen bubble) and the next day they were breathing just fine on their own. So many times as I went into the NICU to nurse I heard the nurses talking about these miracle babies and how God had shown me favor. Everyone talked about how strong and healthy they were to have been born so early. I was able to share with them about Jesus as well as them hearing me pray for and sing to my babies each day.

Fortunately, the hospital was totally supportive of my desire to exclusively breastfeed. I began pumping the afternoon they were born and got colustrum from the beginning. Within 48 hours of their birth my milk had fully come in. They had IV fluids the first day (I couldn't even get out of bed to go see them for the first seven hours - I was in pain and every time I tried to get up I almost passed out and had to lay back down). But I didn't want to take pain meds because I wanted to nurse and didn't want it in my milk. (I did finally take one dose so I could get up and go see my babies!!) By the next morning (after their birth) I was able to begin nursing them and the following day they came off all IV fluids and just had my milk.

Since they were eating well, learning to control their own body heat, bilirubin levels were getting better, and they could breathe fine on their own, they were released to "room-in" with me after five days. The next day we were able to take our little miracles home! They were tiny, precious, miracle babies and I fell in love with them more every time I held, nursed, cuddled, changed, sang to, prayed over, talked to, and just took care of them. I'm continuing to cherish every moment of these days, yet look forward to one day seeing them grow up into men of God who serve Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength!

Though I must say that a c/s is every bit as miserable as anything I’d ever read (it’s the recovery that is so tough – I mean, I was running again just a week after Lydia had been born) I know without a doubt that the Lord wanted these babies to be born where we live overseas and not in the states. His Hand was all over everything in those first days and I knew our babies were going to be just fine by His peace he surrounded us with. (Our boys were even born on their grandfather’s birthday – just one way God was telling us He was in control of everything happening.) Having had time now to process the events, I can honestly say I’d rather have a c/s and bring my babies home with me when I left the hospital rather than a natural birth and leave my babies in the NICU for several weeks – which I’m sure would’ve happened in the states.

The Lord gave me this verse throughout the whole experience –

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." - Proverbs 16:9

May all the praise, honor, and glory alone go to Jesus Christ – who knit these miracle boys in my womb and brought them into this world to glorify His Holy Name!


Terra Jones said...

Those boys are beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

CajunQueen said...

Praise the Lord for your strong healthly boys! I pray you are feeling more healthy everyday after your C/S. Thank you for sharing as you are an inspiration! Your verse from Proverbs will help guide me too.

Book a Day said...

Beautiful story! The Lord gave you the desire of your heart: healthy twins! Wow! I'm so glad you were humble. That's the message I took away with me from your birth story. Be humble! And TRUST GOD!

The Eckerts said...

Krista, thanks so much for sharing that amazing story. How awesome our God is.

noahandlylasmommi said...

They are adorable.

Sarah-Anne said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so thankful to read of the ways you sought God so fervently, and I appreciate you sharing of the peace that you have with the birth of your sons. Even if some of the details didn't go as you had desired, just as the verse you shared said, the BIG picture was exactly as you had prayed, and God was glorified through the birth of your sons. It is so magnificent, to read of how good God is, and how the ways He plans them turn out so much better than what our minds and hearts sometimes desire. Thank you for reminding me to seek God with all of my heart, so that, always, He is glorified.

Christy said...

Beautiful story...thanks for sharing your little miracles with us ;)

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