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Mindy and Bailey Joseph & Bradley Dakota
Twins, premature at 32 weeks, one vaginal birth, one emergency C-Section

My husband and I hadn't actually been trying to conceive, but we hadn't been very careful either. My son was only two. With my first pregnancy my breasts were so sore at the beginning. That is what led me to buy a pregnancy test.

July 9, 2000
My husband and I went to buy a pregnancy test. The cashier told me that the test would be positive, and that I would be having twins. I laughed at her. As I later found out, the laugh was on me. The test came back positive. My husband and I were both happy and couldn't wait to spread the news. We were hoping for a little girl.

After my first son was born, my grandpa (a preacher) had told me that the Lord had showed him that I would have twins. I just blew it off; I figured that he was just joking around. By the end of my second month, none of my clothes would fit me. I just chalked it off to being because this was my second pregnancy. My first prenatal visit was when I was 13 weeks along. I asked the Doctor then if it was possible that I could be carrying twins. He told me no, that I was measuring as a single pregnancy should. That was on September 6. My first ultrasound was scheduled for November 16.

November 16, 2000
My husband (Shawn), son (Shawn Michael), my mother (Cindy), and my sister (Rushelle) went with me. My sister had picked on me all this time about twins. Here I am sitting on the exam table and the technician is performing the ultrasound, and I said, "See, Rushelle, there is only one baby in there." The technician didn't say a word. A few minutes later she says, "Moving on to baby B." I said, "You're just saying that because of what I said earlier." She didn't crack a smile and proceeded to show me each baby. I just about fell off of the examining table. We were all shocked, but overjoyed. TWINS, I just couldn't believe it! She said that she could only tell the sex of one baby, and it was a boy. That was fine with me, after all I am going to have two babies. I had to see the doctor after the ultrasound, and he proceeded to tell me that I would have to start coming in every two weeks, and pretty soon every week. This was, of course, the beginning of a battery of tests.

My Grandma was so happy when she found out, she threw her hands in the air and shouted, "Praise the Lord!"

Everything went fine until December 9, 2000. I had worked that day and my grandma was in the hospital. That evening when I got home, I decided to wrap some presents before I got too big to bend over to do it. I started having these pains like I was ovulating or trying to start my period. They gradually got worse, so we called the doctor. He wanted me to meet him at the hospital right away. My Mom met us there and took Shawn Michael with her. When I got in there they hooked me up to a fetal monitor, and took a urine sample. The fetal monitor was picking up some contractions. The nurse came in after quite awhile, and informed my husband and me that I had a severe urinary tract infection, and that was what was causing the contractions. She said both heart beats sounded really good. The doctor sent me home on Macrobid for the infection. Before we got half way home I started having really bad pains under my breasts. I could hardly walk. The babies were kicking and tossing about. It felt like they were playing kick ball in my stomach. My husband called the doctor, and he said I was having a reaction, and if I didn't get better in an hour to come in. I started vomiting, and I guess that got it out of my system, because I fell asleep.

My second ultrasound was scheduled for January 4, 2001. This time Shawn, Shawn Michael, my mother, and grandma went with me. They said that both babies weighed about 3 1/2 lbs. Baby A is the farthest down, and both babies were head first. The technician was pretty sure that both babies were boys. I am measured at 40 this week, the same as a woman with a single baby at full term. No wonder I couldn't move. The doctors said they wanted me to go to at least 34 weeks. She said she didn't think I would have a problem going 34 weeks because my cervix was really long.

January 16, 2001
I didn't get up until 2:00 p.m. I felt awful. I started vomiting not long after I got up. I spent my time either at the toilet or on the couch. My husband had to leave for work at 8:30. My sister was with me though. At about 9:00 I felt this wet stuff come out of me. At first I wasn't sure what it was, then it dawned on me. My water had just broken. I yelled for my sister, and she came running. After she called the doctor, my husband, got my son dressed, and helped me change we were on our way to the hospital. I had rolled a towel up to put under me to protect my sister's seat, and when we got to the hospital it was soaked.

The first thing they did was hook me up to a fetal monitor. Then, they came in and used this swab on me to check to see if it was my water. Sure enough, Baby A's water had broken. They said I was only 32 weeks; I wasn't due until March 8th. The doctor decided to try and stop my labor long enough to give me two steroid injections to help strengthen the babies' lungs. I could get it twice, and it had to be twelve hours apart. I hadn't felt any contractions, but they said I was having some. I was dilated at one centimeter and effaced at 75%. They took me to my room, and started IV fluids immediately. I was dehydrated. They then gave me the steroid and a shot to stop my labor. The nurse came in and explained everything to me. She said I would have to deliver in the surgery room in case of an emergency. She also said that I would not be allowed to hold either baby, and would barely get a glimpse. By this time I was so scared for my babies' health that I didn't know how to act or what to think.

January 17, 2001
They checked me again at 8:00 AM and I was still at one centimeter, and effaced at 75%. So they decided not to give me the magnesium sulfate. They gave me the second steroid shot at 10:00. They said that either the convulsions of my stomach when I was vomiting or dehydration caused my water to break. By 2:00 PM I was feeling the contractions. They came in and did an ultrasound to find out the babies' positions, and both were still head down. At 5:00 PM I was only dilated at two centimeters. My grandparents arrived around this time.

At 7:00 PM, they came in and gave me an epidural. At 8:00, I had finally reached five centimeters. The epidural was only taking the edge off of the contractions. At 8:25, I told my mother that I was bleeding and that she had better go get the doctor. The nurse and doctor beat her back to my room. The doctor checked me, and I was fully dilated. They rushed me down to the surgery room. I started crying. This was so different than my first birth. I was so scared. My husband and Mom had to scrub up, and put scrubs on. At 8:41 P.M. Bailey Joseph was born with both of us screaming. They held him up for a second, and then off they took him. He weighed in at 3 pounds 15 ounces and was 16 inches long. His apgar score was eight, then nine. Now it was Baby B's turn. The doctor broke my water, and I had to push a few times. Then she told me to stop. She called for an ultrasound, and discovered that Baby B had turned sideways. She tried to turn him around, but his heart rate started dropping. She immediately told everybody to get everything ready to do an emergency C-Section. I was really scared then. At 9:15 P.M. Bradley Dakota was born weighing in at 3 pounds, 13 ounces and 16 in. long. Bradley's apgar score was seven and then eight. He didn't immediately cry, which really scared me. It wasn't long before he was crying too, though. It wasn't as strong of a cry as Bailey, but it was a cry. I only got a glimpse of him, and then he was rushed off. I was taken to recovery. I remember my body felt like it was burning. They finally took me back to my room, and brought me a picture of the boys. I just wanted to cry. That night I slept, but not good. The neonatologist told us that as long as neither baby needed a ventilator or nutrients from IV's that they would not have to be transferred.

January 19, 2001
The neonatologist came in and told us that Bradley would need to be ventilated (he was only on the vent that one night). I was devastated. They did, however, decide to transfer both boys so that they would be together. I didn't get to hold either baby until they were three days old. They both had mild cases of jaundice. Bailey experienced four episodes of Brady's. They were fed via a feeding tube the first week. We found out at this time that our boys were identical twins. They spent a total of two and a half weeks in the NICU at Children's Hospital, and were released.

My incision became infected and it felt like I had just had the C-Section all over again. It took close to two weeks to heal back up. The babies were readmitted a month later for RSV and stayed a total of nine days. Then, again in March for Bronchiolitis and stayed a total of six days. The staff was excellent, and took very good care of my boys all three times that they were in Children's Hospital. They are both doing great now, and neither one of them has had any setbacks. They are developing at a normal rate, and we haven't had to go by their due date to estimate when they should be doing things.

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