This week we feature mother of twins Brandi Khoury who shares her twin story of struggling to get pregnant, having a successful twin birth, and then being surprised by postpartum preeclampsia. Make sure you talk to your doctor about what to expect with your twin pregnancy.
My husband (also Joe) and I weren’t sure we wanted to have children when we married. I was divorced with four children (all born in about 4 1/2 years) and having children would change absolutely everything in our lives.
The decision was not easy, especially for Joe, but once made he committed to being the best father and stepfather he could.
Despite getting pregnant so easily in my 20’s, I was now pushing 40 and it was not happening.
The bitterness was twofold…first the disappointment of the negative test, then the resentment that it had been so easy to have children with someone who never really appreciated being a father.
And now I was struggling to conceive when all my husband wanted was to have children of his own.
File this under “Everything Happens for a Reason”…the painful struggle to get pregnant was eclipsed by the overwhelming joy of that positive pregnancy test.
Because we were getting medical “assistance” to conceive, we found out at six weeks that we were expecting twins.
As the doctor explained the ultrasound, I (being no stranger to sonograms) knew what those two black bubbles were in the screen. I waited for the doctor’s news to sink into Joe.
The hard, involuntary squeeze of my hand and the happy tears running down his grinning face. A kiss for me, and a rib-cracking hug for the doctor.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
It’s a day we’ll never forget.
Two glitches during an otherwise wonderful pregnancy:
- Passing blood clots at eight weeks, positive I was miscarrying.
- Cramping at 20 weeks that turned out to be an irritated fibroid, not early labor.
Both were frightening moments that made us appreciate our good luck all the more.
Because I’d had four previous c-sections, there was a split consensus between my (many) doctors about when to plan the delivery.
Half said they felt the pressure of a twin pregnancy was too much for the scar on my uterus to bear. The other half saw no reason to be concerned.
In the debate between delivering at 36 or 38 weeks, I suggested 37 as the happy medium, but my doctor felt comfortable enough to let me progress to 38 weeks.
The delivery was flawless, and our precious baby boy and baby girl were delivered in perfect health.
The small army of doctors and nurses present to attend them at birth congratulated us and left the operating room before my OB was done suturing my c-section incision.
(NOTE: Still expecting? Get weekly updates on your twin pregnancy here.)
In my prayers for a healthy pregnancy and delivery for my babies, I guess I forgot to pray for a healthy recovery for myself.
The night before discharge, my blood pressure spiked and my body was swollen.
Diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia, I was sent back to the labor and delivery ward to be reinserted with an IV, catheter, blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter for 24 hours of IV magnesium to avoid seizures. When the nurse apologizes for what she’s about to put you through, you know it will be bad!
I endured twenty-four hours of agony, during which I tandem nursed for the first time despite the blurred vision and multiple tubes and wires in the way.
My twins were ready to go home days before they were comfortable discharging me. After one week, on Thanksgiving Day, we were sent home with our little turkeys. At 4.5 and 5.5 lbs they looked more like Cornish hens!