This week we have Keriann from @keriann_indie_jude sharing her story of the birth of her boy/girl twins, Indie & Jude. I cannot thank her enough for sharing this journey and being so open and honest.
Considering I am quite open on my Instagram there is one thing I haven’t shared but have been asked a lot about, and that is ‘my birth story’. I have always been fascinated by birth stories and TV programmes such as one born every minute thinking how incredible women are and how would my birth go if I was ever lucky enough to be pregnant.
Our first round of IVF was tough and I ended up with OHSS (ovary hyper stimulation syndrome) and all our embryos had to be frozen so I could give my body a break, as there was a risk of being hospitalised and putting my body in severe danger.
Three months later we did a frozen transfer and I became pregnant with Indie and Jude (to cut a long story short). So my pregnancy was high risk immediately and I was put on aspirin at 12 weeks to help prevent pre-eclampsia, as my mum had it carrying me.
By around 28 weeks I had started to swell massively. I had around 4 hospital admissions and had a few interesting stays, with one doctor telling me the spots in my vision were due to needing my eyes tested, which is ridiculous, I was put onto blood pressure tablets and the dosage was raised quite a few times. I had the normal protein in my urine too and high blood pressure, I had a fair few trips to triage too.
At 32 weeks I had my check up scan and the normal twin tests and a meeting with my specialist, but my blood pressure was taken by the machine and the lady said it was perfect, which shocked me but that’s what was passed on (if it was done manually I think they would of been delivered that day). I said the swelling was really bad but in a nut shell she said “buckle up that’s pregnancy love” and gave me an appointment with her in 2 weeks to be “safe” and booked my c-section for the 5th July 2018, as the twins remained breach and transverse the entire time, which was very painful on my ribs with two heads on one side.
That day came and I finished my final client and my mum came to take me to my appointment, as I couldn’t do much by now, my full body was swollen including my hands and my face and around my eyes, I looked totally different.
I even told her to wait in the car but she didn’t as mums know best she joined me and we went straight in to see the consultant. The first thing she said was how are you? My answer ‘ I’ve had enough’ I am not a quitter I may add I am very determined!
She asked me to immediately sit on the bed and she did my reflexes on my knee and from here it took a turn and becomes blurred quickly, in fact writing this brings tears to my eyes because everything that came next I felt I watched from outside of my body and remained so calm. Anything they did to me I just breathed through and didn’t ask any questions if it meant my babies were okay.
As far as I was concerned do what you want to me to the point when she did my first steroid she thought I was about to faint as I was so quiet, a call was made and she took me straight through to the delivery suite through the nurses entrance and within seconds two doctors and a few midwives came in. My mum sat down and I said don’t worry I can sit in my clothes for checking the heart rates I can just pull my top up, I was quickly told it wouldn’t be this kind of observations I was stripped, gowned and given a steroid Injection (I should have another in 12 hours to mature their lungs), scanned in the room and told I had to immediately go onto full pre pre-eclampsia protocol which is not very nice and they were very kind explaining they were sorry this was the case. So I still hadn’t told James and didn’t get the time to as I was put onto all sorts of machines, catheterised and not allowed food or drink only 0.65 ml of water every hour, I had to have my urine tested every 15 minutes, blood pressure taken, my temperature and given double cannulas. I was assigned a midwife to stay at my side 24/7.
Next came magnesium, now this is not fun! It is administered through your cannula and the doctor has to do this and watch, for the full 5 minutes it feels like your body has gone on fire from the inside out and spreads they give you fans and cold flannels and keep you as calm as possible, this was to stop me having a seizure which is why I was taken in so quickly from the reflex check, it also was continued on a lower dosage in my cannula for the next few days.
The plan was to have the twins the next morning so we could stabilise me and prepare the twins lungs with another steroid injection, James was finally called in and my mum left and would return the next morning early ready for delivery.
This didn’t happen…..
At around 4am doctors and midwives were fussing over the babies readings, she said to me she would be back in 5 and that don’t worry it will probably sort itself out…..she came back in, put her hand on my knee and said “Keriann we need to get these babies out now, do not panic but we will need to pull the emergency buzzer and a lot of people will come in” my god did they!
So this happened and people came from all over the hospital and within minutes I was in theatre and before I knew it had my spinal block which I hardly remember I just know it didn’t hurt and I did everything in my power to relax considering it was pure mayhem around me. So they had started before James walked in, there was no time to waste, he came in and I was so out of it I didn’t realise he had joined me.
He found it really hard seeing me shake from the spinal block but I stayed quite calm. I had a horrific egg collection during IVF, when I say horrific I was screaming into gas and air clawing the nurses hand but I refused to move and knock my eggs, but I can’t ever express the pain. I found the c section fine I was numb mentally and physically I didn’t feel bothered by it, a midwife told me that my mum had broken speed limits to get to me but she missed me by minutes and was listening at the wall praying to hear one of her grandchildren cry and she tells me she did and eventually watched the teams run the twins to NICU.
Jude was born first, 4 minutes before Indie who did get a little bit stuck, they didn’t get to show me the twins. My dream was to see James holding them both next to me showing me our babies but they were too sick it didn’t even get mentioned. I should of been put under but the risk of a seizure was too high, Jude was really poorly and needed a lot of resuscitation and suffered a punctured lung, which to this day haunts me, perhaps James more as he was watching but he managed to cut Indies cord, take her picture and hold her hand.
The twins were taken to NICU with James and I was taken to recovery where I asked their weight and anything about them really as it was like I hadn’t had them, I then went back into the room attached to theatre and back onto 24 hour watch and continued treatment. I had the best midwife through all of this, Elise, and she had to hand express into syringes which she took to the NICU for when they were off CPAP.
They were taken to the high dependency unit, my friend was in there and he says he saw the chaos of them arriving at these hours caused the NICU.
They were born at 5.18 & 5.22 am and late that night with everything attached to me I went to meet them. I was so sick that day, I kept being told I should of seen them but I couldn’t function which still today breaks my heart, they made me feel I didn’t want to see them, I actually struggled with this a few months after when I think the shock had settled. My lovely fellow twin mum in NICU reminds me she saw me wheeled down that day and even told me I was too sick to be down there, she made me feel so much better bless her and I hardly remember going, in fact I took myself off of morphine the next morning and went back and it was Incredible, I bonded instantly and I cried my eyes out with happiness.
I started my recovery to become stronger for the twins, I had a lot of swelling to loose, in fact two days later I was in NICU doctors I thought I had never met saw me and couldn’t believe how different I looked as my full body and face and around my eyes was so swollen.
After 3 nights James went back to work as we wanted to save his time off for at home as you don’t get to enjoy your babies in there. Let’s just say I had an almighty breakdown, I cried my eyes out on the ward without my babies, hearing everyone else with there’s, I was still in pain, my milk came in and I had SEVERE sweats which I blamed on the air con but it was my swelling going..lol.
That night I walked down to NICU at 3am to be in my safe place, near my babies but I hardly held Jude as he was too weak so we left him to recover as much as possible. But at this time he did a poo all over himself and they asked if I would hold him and he slept on my chest so tiny and full of wires and I just cried, he made me feel like I was safe, loved and James was with me, he has always done this and always known when I need him.
So after this I had a few nights of staying home once I was discharged and safe and these nights were horrific, the second I walked out I cried and felt leaving them was so painful. The first night I called to check and Jude was put back into vapourtherm which means back onto antibiotics and at this stage you have no idea how long they will be in as they don’t let on. I was a state so James helped keep me calm in the morning he got me a special bag from next for my breast milk so I was distracted ( I still have it) and if I could I would of sprinted into the hospital it made me so eager to get in every day. I have a very special group of friends Alex, Lili, Faye, Lindz and Becky who pulled me and we pulled each other through this time and my god we needed it, now they are truly special friends and a bond that can never break as we get it.
I managed to exclusively express through the NG tube and thought nothing of it other than I couldn’t do anything else for them but actually the nurses said it was amazing the amount I was producing which made me feel so proud, I would keep squares of material down my top and swap with the twins so I could smell them and express the maximum possible.
So daily you have the doctors do the rounds and you never know what they will do, change and you never get your hopes up, you have no idea how long your children will be in at this point for all you know it’s forever which is how it feels. It can be putting them back on and off breathing machines etc and things change very quickly with babies which Jude proved. The day they said I could dress Indie was the best day ever as I felt we were closer to moving to the rooms towards the exit (nicu mums you know this is huge!).
So from here they were moved out of incubators into cots, I got to put my twins together and it was heaven, twins belong together. Then it was trying to get them to take bottles for a full 24 hours which is testing and hard not to get frustrated. Then they could come home once they had passed the car seat test and I was still having my checks which I totally forgot and most the time didn’t listen and stay on my ward to be checked as I wanted to spend every second with the twins. Obviously this is in a nutshell what I liked to call big brother and the real world doesn’t exist, you live every second praying and hanging on the nurses and doctors words for help, hope and direction and they are truly incredible and luckily my hospital have a amazing miracle babies group who continue to raise money for this incredible unit.
Regardless they are my miracles and I would do it all again in a heart beat 💗💙
Keriann shares more of her story on Instagram and would be happy to chat or answer any questions. To see more follow @keriann_indie_jude.