The Kieklak Twins {Birth Story}

On Monday, April 10th, I went in to the hospital for my nonstress test as usual. They continued to monitor me for preeclampsia, and check that the boys weren’t in distress. Everything looked great. The nurse did note that I was having some contractions, but that wasn’t abnormal for me during these tests.

I went home and went about my day, and Steve & I even went to watch some of the youth kids play baseball that evening. We went to bed like normal, fully expecting nothing to happen on the baby front until my next appointment on Thursday.

Then at 1:30, I got up to go to the bathroom and my water broke. We put our bags in the car (and I grabbed a protein bar, since I’m not a fan of just eating ice chips for hours) and headed to the hospital. We got there around 2:15, and by 2:45 they’d confirmed that my water had broken and moved me to a labor and delivery room. I was just dilated to 1, and even though I was having contractions, I couldn’t feel them at all, so they started me on pitocin.

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Steve & I decided to wait until morning to call our parents, and we spent the next few hours trying to get some sleep. My contractions got gradually stronger, and by 6:30 I was dilated to 1.5. I knew I was going to get an epidural because with twins there’s a heightened risk of needing an emergency C-section, so I got my epidural at 7:00. By 7:30 I was up to a 2.

By this point, my parents were on their way from Fayetteville, and Steve’s family was planing on coming to the hospital within a few hours. I was sure they’d arrive before the twins did, because I felt like I was progressing so slowly. We decided to try and sleep some more, and I think I got in an hour or two somewhere in there.

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My parents got into town around 11:00 and stopped to get Steve some breakfast. They checked me again and I was so surprised to hear that I had progressed all the way to a 7. The nurse could feel Baby A’s head, but she couldn’t tell if it was turned the right way or not. So they sent for my doctor, who did an ultrasound and confirmed that Baby A’s head was in the right position. It was 11:30 by that time, and I was now dilated to 8.

I had been texting my mom, so I knew that my parents were in the waiting room with Steve’s food, and by that time Steve’s family had also arrived. My mom came back to the room to see me (Steve had just enough time to eat) and she was there around 12:00 when the doctor said I was dilated to 9 and it was time to wheel me back to the operating room. Even though we were on track for a vaginal delivery, they always deliver twins in an operating room in case they need to do an emergency C-section.

So my mom left, they wheeled me down the hall, and Steve put on his ‘bunny suit’. They got everything set up for delivery, and my doctor checked Baby A’s position one last time. And he was breech. It had only taken him 20 minutes to flip around.

We switched gears and got set up for a C-section – good thing I had that epidural! Everything went pretty quickly from that point. Baby A was born on April 11th at 12:39 weighing 5 lbs 3 oz, 19 inches long, and Baby B followed a minute later weighing 5 lbs 9 oz, also 19 inches long.

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They held them up for us to see and then whisked them away to get cleaned up. Steve got to go see them while they were closing me up, and then they brought them over and put them on my chest for a few seconds.

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I started to feel a little faint, and the anesthesiologist had told me to let him know if I felt nauseous, so I told him I thought I might pass out. He assured me that I wouldn’t. This was true, at least from his perspective. The drugs he gave me weren’t going to make me pass out. A few minutes later I felt nauseous, so I let him know and he gave me something in my IV. But I was still feeling very faint. As they wheeled me back to the delivery room, I remember trying so hard to keep my eyes open. When we got back to the room, I saw that the clock read 1:10. Then I passed out.

It turns out I was hemorrhaging a lot of blood. The doctors and nurses didn’t realize it until right when we got back to the room. I slipped in and out of consciousness for the next hour and half, but my eyes weren’t open again until 2:10. I remember feeling them put the babies on my chest and feeling Steve’s hand on my forehead, but I really had no idea what was going on.

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Poor Steve basically just sat in the corner with a baby in each arm and watched about 15 people rush around to try and stop my bleeding. They had him feed them some formula, since they needed to eat and I was out. Those boys were a good distraction for him.

Our parents, who had known that I was going in for delivery at noon, were starting to go crazy in the waiting room since they hadn’t heard anything from us in hours. They did manage to flag down my doctor eventually, once they’d pretty much stopped the bleeding, and she let them know what was going on (in a very calm, toned-down way that didn’t convey how serious it had been).

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They ended up having to use what’s called a Bakri balloon to stop the bleeding, and then it took a few hours for the hospital to send up the blood that I needed for the transfusion, which made the doctors and nurses very upset. My blood pressure had dropped to 50/20 at one point, and I lost about half my blood. They gave me two units that day and two units the next morning.

Finally, around 4:00, they got the blood for the first transfusion, and around 5:00 our parents were able to come back and see the babies. It was exciting for everyone to get to see them, and then we were glad to be alone as a family of four for a few hours.

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Steve was great at the hospital. Because of the Bakri, I was stuck in bed for about 24 hours. Steve handed me babies and comforted them when they cried. He kept at it even after I could get up, because it was still hard for me to move around. And he changed literally all the diapers. I think in the whole 4-day stay I changed two diapers.

The boys were losing weight pretty quickly there for a few days, but we supplemented them with some high-calorie formula and it slowed down by the time we were discharged. When we left they were 4 lbs 13 oz and 5 lbs.

Most of the hospital stay after the birth was a bit of a blur. Between getting no sleep, replenishing my blood, and recovering from the C-section, it all just mushes together in my mind. We were so ready to go home when Friday rolled around.

Life since then has definitely been different, but much easier than it was at the hospital. You get a lot more sleep when people aren’t waking you up to take vitals of you/the babies, or give them baths, or any of the other things the nurses were doing. Don’t get me wrong, they were amazing, and it was nice to have that button to press when we needed anything, but we’re glad to be home.

Now we’re just getting used to our new normal & soaking up time with our adorable boys!

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Lisa Kieklak

Co-Founder at The Helpmates
Explorer & adventurer - mostly through scratches of ink on a page - I enjoy my husband, our twin boys, our boisterous German shepherd, and strive to live for the glory of God.

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