Newborn · twins

Birth Story: Ellie Louise & Max Everette

I’ve had a personal blog with my best friend for years now, but I feel like this post from that blog is crucial to this blog as well. Plus, these 2 turn 10 months old tomorrow {I have no idea how that is possible}, so I figured now was as good a time as any to re-share their birth story. Also, these pictures have turned me into a hot mess over here.

***

We welcomed Ellie Louise & Max Everette to the world on Tuesday, November 3rd.  Their birthday was somewhat unexpected, faster than anticipated, and one of the best days of my entire life.  We are completely smitten with these two sweet faces, and are loving life as a family of five.

I wanted to document their birth story before I forget any of the important details, and I’m so glad that our friend Jenny was there to capture their birthday and our first moments as a family of five!  Enjoy some of my favorite pictures of the day…

The c-section was scheduled for Friday, November 6th – I’d be 38w1d pregnant.  The doctors said they wouldn’t let me go past 38weeks, but I wanted Dr. Placide to deliver them, so we scheduled for Friday when he was on call.

I kept hoping & praying & expecting to go into labor before then.  I kept hearing a mix of “it’ll definitely be Friday” {booooooo} and “I think you’ll go into labor before then!” {I love you!} from other folks.  I’m pretty sure Monday night was when I finally started to believe that I would go all the way to Friday…

Tuesday morning {November 3rd – 37w5d pregnant} I got up and started getting myself & Harper ready for the day.  Cameron was already on paternity leave so we had planned to have a date morning while Harper was at preschool.  We were going to Duck Donuts & then Starbucks to eat, drink & enjoy some time together before we were outnumbered by our children.

This may be too much information, but this is a birth story after all, so I guess birth details are somewhat expected.  While I was getting ready, I noticed that I was leaking at times and I thought maybe my water had broken – but I wasn’t 100% sure because it was so different than when it broke with Harper.  I finally told Cameron what was going on {it’s pretty embarrassing if it’s NOT your water and you’re just peeing yourself, plus I didn’t want to worry him if I didn’t need to…} and he said we should finish packing our bags and take them with us when we went to drop Harper off.

I was clearly in denial that I was actually in labor because I still believed that we’d pick Harper up from school & that I’d be back at the house at some point before actually being admitted to the hospital.  Maybe being sent home while in labor with Harper {but not far enough along} was stuck in my head?!

We packed our bags, took Harper to school, & I talked to her teacher {who has twins} and Ms. Betts and told them what was going on.  They both said we should call the doctor, but I told Cam I definitely wanted donuts first.  I clearly was also flashing back to my no-food-allowed 28 hour labor + recovery time from the c-section with Harper.  That was a brutal 40ish hours without actual food {cherry popsicles don’t count} and I was not looking to do that again.

After we got our donuts I called the doctor & told them what was going on and they said I should definitely come in to be checked.  We went straight there and as I checked in I felt my water DEFINITELY break.  Sure enough, we were told that Ellie’s water had broken, I was in labor {though not really feeling the contractions} and that we needed to go straight to labor & delivery.  There’s a dramatic doctor story there that some of you have heard, but I don’t feel the need to put it on the interwebs.

At this point, my hormones totally took control and I legit lost it.  We had told Harper we’d pick her up from school, but I finally realized that I was in real labor – which meant I was going to have twins TODAY & I was not, in fact, going to see Harper again before they were born.  My mom was on her way to Cary from Wake Forest, but didn’t have a carseat & didn’t have time to get one and get to preschool before school was over.  So I {not so calmly} insisted that Cameron drop me off at Rex and go pick Harper up.

I then called our friend Laura, who had planned to come pray with us before the scheduled c-section, and told her that not only was it go-time, but that if it was convenient, I needed her there stat because Cameron was going to get Harper and I was a hot mess.  I’ll never forget hearing her heels click-clacking out of a {very important, Cameron later told me} meeting to answer my call & her saying “I’ll be right there” without hesitation.  Sure enough, as I’m laying in triage giving the nurses my info & being hooked up to measure 3 heartbeats, etc etc – in walks my sweet friend.  Needless to say, I have never been so happy to see her.  And I started crying.  again.

My goal had been to try for a VBAC if I actually went into labor on my own & at least baby A {Ellie} was head down.  Both things happened – and both babies were actually head down – but since Ellie’s water had broken and I wasn’t in active labor, the doctors were hesitant about how a VBAC would go.  They said it would definitely be a long labor and may end up in a c-section for one or both of the babies anyway.  Plus they were concerned about too long of a labor for her since she had no fluid at this point.  Having had a long labor & then a c-section with Harper, once I really thought about all of this, I knew going with the c-section was the right decision for me, my body & my babies.

Then came the talk of c-section timing because of the dang donut I had eaten at 9:30am {still totally worth it, FYI}.  At first they said I had to wait 8 hours, but then my amazing doctor came in, saw contractions on the monitor, asked if I was feeling them {“a little??”} and came back to tell me we were rolling to the OR at 3pm {it was 2:20pm at the time}.  We quickly texted our families, the nurses got me prepped, Laura prayed over us {such a huge, calming blessing to me in that moment}, and we rolled out of triage.

It was so bizarre to not only be awake {which I was for Harper’s birth} but so aware of what was going on because I hadn’t been through so many hours of labor / had so much mediation pumped into me.  They pushed me past the room I had labored in with Harper, Cameron kissed me goodbye & went to put on his scrubs, they got me in the OR, spinal in place, and ready to go!

Cameron came back in & I had rarely been happier to see him. He sat down by my head and it was go time.  Our anesthesiologist, Keith, was AWESOME and kept updating us as to what was happening behind the curtain.  At 3:33pm Keith said “here comes your baby girl” and Ellie Lou came screaming into the world.  Naturally, I started bawling.  They brought her around the curtain for us to see and I could not believe the amount of dark hair on her head!!

2 minutes later, Max Everette joined her – also screaming his way into the world.  We got to see him briefly before they whisked them off to the adjoining room to be cleaned off and checked.

Soon after, the nurses called Cameron back to see our babies!  One of my favorite memories with Harper’s birth / in my life is of Cameron walking out of that room bringing our baby girl to me for the first time.  Yet again this moment is forever in my memory, but this time he came out holding TWO babies – which is probably when it really hit me that we were actually going to be taking two newborns home with us.

{side note: This picture still completely stops me in my tracks even 10 months later..}

Seeing two babies being born {separately} is one thing, but seeing him holding two at the same time completely rocked my world.

He brought them over to me & a nurse helped him take turns laying each baby on me so that I could kiss them & talk to them & snuggle with them.  Such sweet, sweet moments.

Cameron then followed them to the nursery while I got put back together {thanks, Dr Anya!} and went to recovery.  As soon as I got to recovery they called the nursery to bring the babies in and I got to do skin-to-skin time while eating ice chips {wahoo!!} for the next wonderful hour.

We were then wheeled to our room, Jenny came in {to take these awesome pictures – thank you, thank you, thank you, friend!!!}, I got to breastfeed the babies for the first time, and then it was time for them to meet their big sister!

Our families {Harper, all the grandparents & Aunt Kayla – we missed Aunt Hallie who was traveling for work.} were all at the hospital at this point and we had such a sweet time with all of them getting to meet Ellie & Max.

I spent most of the time snuggling Harper in my bed.  And by snuggling I mean doing stickers, coloring, eating my slushies, and occasionally holding babies.  At first she only wanted to hold Ellie, but Max grew on her once his hat was off.

I am so thankful that we got so much time to hang out with Harper and let her meet the babies, time with just our families, and that Jenny was there to capture it all so that I got to just relax and enjoy the moment.  And still get to remember it with pictures later.

We asked the grandparents & Aunt Kayla to hold both babies at the same time for photo ops like this:

And we actually got group shots this time, too.  Wahoo!

Once our families left, we enjoyed a calm first evening with our newborn twins.  Aka I didn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop snuggling them.  But hey, your babies’ first day of life only happens once, right?  Totally worth the lack of sleep {says the mama of 2 newborns…}.

We love you so much, Ellie Lou & Max Everette!  We are so blessed to be your parents.

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