Our twins surprised us at 33 weeks and 3 days when my water broke. We were ecstatic and nervous and ready to meet them! This is our birth story.
When we found out we were pregnant with twins, I looked up quite a few twin birth stories. I wanted to know what to expect, but like singleton births, each pregnancy is hugely different, and you never know what to expect with twins! They can come early, put you on bed rest, or decide to stay inside you forever. I decided to share our birth story of having twins delivered at 33 weeks, so other families could see what our experience was like.
Creating our Twin’s Birth Plan
As soon as we knew we were having twins, we made an appointment with our Maternal-Fetal doctor to figure out our best course of action. The European standard is to deliver twins at 37 weeks. After 37 weeks, the stillborn rate increased, and we agreed with our physician that our history dictated an earlier delivery versus waiting. So we scheduled a c-section for the day I reached 37 weeks gestation. I felt good about that date and expected to make it that far – ha! Little did I know what these babies had in store for me.
Being pregnant with twins is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was extremely uncomfortable the entire time and was beyond exhausted. With each of my pregnancies, I get Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction which is very painful. Luckily, it has always gone away as soon as I deliver our children, so while I’ve done physical therapy for it in the past, I chose to complete exercises at home and wait it out.
With the pain and size of my stomach, I struggled to sleep at night! Each day was exhausting, but I loved feeling each baby move inside me and knew the discomfort was temporary, so I just took it slowly every day and enjoyed each one that I was pregnant and able to keep our babies safe inside me. Doing all of that with a toddler running around was….. interesting. Having our twins born at 33 weeks was a massive help because I could not have fathomed going further with them.
On October 1st, at 33 weeks and 1 day pregnant, I noticed that I had slight bleeding and went into the hospital to get checked out. I had random contractions and was dilated 2 cm, but nothing seemed unusual, so they sent me home. I kept expecting (and honestly wanting) them to put me on bed rest… but nope! I was fine to keep going as I had been. I would have given anything to just lay in bed all day by this point.
What You Actually Need In
Your Hospital Bag
When it came to my hospital bag, I poured over blog posts, Instagram stories, and talked to my friends. No matter what I heard though, I kept thinking man that’s a lot of STUFF. When it comes to travel, I really love to pack light, and I didn’t want that to change when we had our baby. Sure, we would need more… but that didn’t mean…
Heading to the Hospital to Have Our Twins Born at 33 Weeks
Two nights later, I woke up at 2 am and couldn’t sleep. I moved out onto the couch and tried to watch some tv and get comfy, with zero success. Around 4:00, I finally decided to organize our guest room, something that had been on our to-do list for weeks. I should have known I was nesting! I spent a couple of hours sorting through items and cleaning, then at 6 am, I decided I was finally tired and crawled into our guest bed to sleep!
An hour later, I woke up to Lachlan making noise as he played in his room… and I noticed that the bottom half of my body was wet. Like, VERY wet. I stood up, and water started rolling down my legs. I looked at the bed, and there was a pink-tinged puddle where I had been. I instantly knew that was not good. (Luckily, all of our beds have waterproof mattress covers… so our mattress was saved!). I was about 90% positive my water had broken in my sleep.
Before I did anything else, I called my parents. Thankfully they arrived in town earlier that week, so I let them know that my water broke and they needed to come asap to take care of Lachlan. They were 15 minutes away when I called and still asleep, but they were at our house in ELEVEN minutes. Phew! Parents are magical.
After calling my parents, I went to get Lachlan out of his room. We snuggled on his floor for a minute until he was ready to leave and go find Dad.
Finally, I was able to get back to our bedroom, wake up my husband, and let him know that HEY – we need to get to the hospital! Now I was 100% positive that my water had broken! All this time, fluid was leaking down my leg and making a mess. I couldn’t stop it and didn’t really know what to do. What do you wear to the hospital when you can’t stop leaking and don’t have any pads around? No idea… I went in a maxi dress. I wouldn’t recommend it. I was just giddy and not really processing everything that was happening!
Jamie and I got ready, hugged Lachlan goodbye, grabbed our hospital bag, Editable Hospital Bag Checklist, and greeted my parents when they arrived before we were out the door. Jamie loaded the passenger seat up with 3 beach towels, and I climbed on top. Even though my water broke and I had strong contractions, I was convinced we weren’t having the babies quite yet. I figured we’d get a steroid to support their lungs, slow things down, and wait. Jamie laughed at me and said, “we’re having our babies today!!” And sure enough, once we got there, they examined me, and I was 6 cm dilated and definitely in labor. There was NO stopping these babies! We would head to the OR shortly, and I could not believe it.
In labor, I had to wait around for about an hour to get my C-VID test results (they gave me the test mid-contraction, and that’s a discomfort I’ll never forget)! But finally, we were taken to the OR and delivered our babies!
Many mothers are scared of receiving a C-Section, which I understand because surgery is definitely scary. However, I have absolutely loved both of my c-sections. They were necessary and, for us, much safer than vaginal birth. They will always be two of the most joyful, peaceful, and happy days of my life. (Lachlan’s birth being the other one) Hands down! I recognize that is not the case for every birth, but I believe it’s worth noting. If you are nervous about a c-section, know that they can be a wonderful birth option and are capable of being full of joy and happiness.
Finding Out the Twin’s Genders When Born at 33 Weeks
Way before we knew we were having twins, we decided we wouldn’t learn the sex of our baby during this pregnancy. And once we knew there were twins in there, we thought it’d be even more fun to leave it a mystery. I am so happy we did because it was extra special. I loved dreaming about it and thinking of all the possibilities. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand not knowing the sex of my friend’s babies. But for some reason, not knowing ours was no problem. I would absolutely do it again!
I was convinced that Baby A was a girl and Baby B was a boy. Baby A acted so much like Hope did in the womb, and Baby B was exactly like Lachlan… so when they removed Baby A and announced it’s a…. BOY! I thought to myself, “Ha! We’re going to have two boys!” So when Baby B came out, they showed them to Jamie, and he said, “It’s a girl!” I was utterly shocked. (But THRILLED. We have a GIRL. I still cannot believe it)!
We were able to see each baby for about 30 seconds before they were taken away from us. Orion just needed a little bit of oxygen support, and Isla was stubborn and not breathing on her own, so they needed to intubate her immediately and give her lungs a little extra help. This was scary but common for premature babies, so I knew they were in good hands. Jamie went with our babies to the NICU, and I went to recovery, where I waited by myself and recovered from the c-section. I was extremely sad to be away from my babies during their first few hours on Earth, but I also knew they were exactly where they needed to be. It was very different from our birth with Lachlan when we could keep him by our side for the first 48 hours.
Eventually, we were able to go visit each baby in the NICU. There weren’t any twin rooms available, so they were kept in separate rooms. It made visiting even more challenging but provided us one-on-one time with each baby and to be entirely focused on them when we were in their room.
Leaving our babies at the hospital when we went home was hard. But – we’ve done harder.
Having a one-year-old at home and two newborns in the NICU was stressful, to say the least. Especially during Covid since nobody else could visit the babies. But Jamie works at the hospital, so he was able to visit in between surgeries, and with the help of family at home, I was able to spend two nights in the NICU to nest with them.
To leave the NICU, each baby must complete a checklist of events, including breathing independently, sleeping in an open crib (not an incubator), and eating from a bottle (not a feeding tube). The more time we could spend with them, doing skin-to-skin, helping them eat, and just getting to know them, the better it was for their continued success. While it was hard to leave Lachlan every day to spend time with Orion and Isla at the hospital, we knew that our short-term focus needed to get the twins stronger! And we spent a lot of time Faceetiming so our three little ones could get to know each other.
After 7 days in the NICU we were finally able to get our babies in one room and hold them at the same time.
Baby A Comes Home After Being Born at 33 Weeks 3 Days
And three days later, Orion was able to graduate and come home with us. When they told me he could go home, I burst into tears. Yes, I was excited. But really, I couldn’t fathom how we would be able to care for all our children when they had such vastly different needs in multiple locations. Luckily, more family came into town, and they were able to help us during the transition. I was also so grateful for the fantastic NICU nurses. You have to rely on them so much, and that’s one of the ways we made it through. We knew we couldn’t be everywhere with everyone, so we had to stay present and trust that our support systems were doing their jobs with the rest of our family! And even though they weren’t in their twin nursery yet, they were one step closer to being in there together.
And I could sign into the hospital’s account to view our sweet baby girl from home!
Baby B Comes Home After Being Born at 33 Weeks 3 Days
After 17 days in the NICU, Isla graduated and was able to join her brothers at home. It was amazing not to be divided up between all three children and to adjust to a routine at home.
Now that the babies are four months old, we enjoy our hectic, busy days. We may not get a ton of sleep or have the cleanest house or the quietest house, but we do have a lot of love. (And toddler tantrums).
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My water broke in my sleep at 33w3d pregnant. We went to the hospital and discovered I was in labor. Our twins were delivered via c-section within an hour at 33 weeks and 3 days and went directly to the NICU. At birth, our daughter Isla needed to be intubated and our son Orion needed extra oxygen. Both went on to do well in the NICU and progress nicely. After 10 days they were put in the same room. On day 14 Orion came home with us and on day 17 Isla came home with us!