The day started with a much-needed reminder in the form of a very timely Bible version. Each morning, I receive an emailed verse of the day. My Bible verse for the day our twins were to be born was Isaiah 61:7. I cannot make this stuff up!!
My wonderful mother-in-law came to stay with us the night before, which was great since we had to leave the house very early on the 13th. Having Grandma Jane stay behind with a snoozing Graham was a big help - just as she's been throughout Julie's pregnancy. We are also fortunate to have the Schaffelds, our very kind church friends, offer to take Graham to Vacation Bible School, which started on the 13th and will keep Graham's mind occupied while we're at the hospital.
After arriving at the hospital, Julie was examined and tagged. A lot.
It was determined that both babies were head down, which was very surprising to Julie given all of their movement over the last few days. But that was a good sign and meant Julie would try to deliver the babies. A pitocin drip was started to ramp up her contractions.
Around 8:00 am, Julie's doctor paid a visit and immediately broke Baby A's (Harris) water. About 40 minutes later, I excused myself (!!!) from the room while Julie received her epidural. At that point, we were told it would only be a matter of time before things started happening.
That matter of time turned into a couple of hours. Julie actually caught a few Zs all while her wonderful nurses paid frequent visits to check on her and the babies. Just when it seemed the lull would never end, the doctor came back in and, after another quick check, ordered the delivery team to assemble. Within minutes, the room was filled with no less than 10 nurses and technicians. Julie was put into position and THREE minutes later, Harris and Ellen were born. That was VERY different than what we experienced with their older brother!
Harris arrived first and starting crying immediately. Ellen was right behind and she was just as loud! The sight and sound of her almost knocked me to my knees but I (somewhat) composed myself when I noticed how causally Julie was chatting with the doctor as chaos whirled around us. Her condition after delivering these babies was great...also VERY different than what she experienced on the day Graham was born. I told you she was amazing.
As the team examined and cleaned the babies, we had plenty of opportunities for pictures and attempting to hold them at the same time. Special thanks to Dr. Heaton for keeping me focused on the task at hand!!
The babies were then given an opportunity to eat. Ellen displayed uncanny instincts and fed very well. Harris, eh...not so much. Eventually, they were both taken to the NICU. Ellen needs to gain some weight (fat) in order to regulate her body temperature on her own. Harris began to grunt a little - a sign to the nurses that his lungs weren't quite fully developed. Julie wasn't allowed to eat since the night before so a cheeseburger from the cafeteria was a sight for sore eyes!
Julie was moved to another room to spend the remainder of our hospital stay. Fortunately, visiting hours aren't restricted at our room or the NICU. We spent the rest of the afternoon welcoming visitors and making trips to see Harris and Ellen.
My parents were the first on the scene and sat patiently in a nearby waiting room. When I went to greet them and escort them back to see Julie, I had to laugh at the sight of them posted up next to a very prominent artifact from Wilcox County.
An encased Gees Bend Quilt and accompanying placard. Wonders will never cease!
Mom, Dad and I paid a visit to Ellen and Harris after checking on Julie.
Shortly after returning to Julie's room, Julie's parents came by with the man himself - Grahambo!! I'm not sure what he thought of his mommy in the bed and I think it always blows his mind a little to see all of his grandparents in the same room.
Julie, her parents, Graham and I visited the twins next. Graham was required to wear a mask, which he wasn't digging. For the most part, he seemed interested in the babies but also unsure what to make of them. He spent the most time in Ellen's room and stated that she was "teeny tiny".
We returned to Julie's room, where Graham had a chance to open his big brother gift from Ellen and Harris. More new trains - they know the way to his heart!
Soon, Aunt Sarah Harper arrived bearing the same gift she brought us when Graham was born: delicious cupcakes from Edgar's Bakery!!
She was eager to see her new niece and nephew!
Next up, Aunt Jessica and Uncle Clay stopped by with much-needed sandwiches from Newk's. In addition to this kindness, they brought some very nice gifts for our family. They'll be welcoming a new cousin for Graham, Ellen and Harris later this year - can't wait to get them all together!
We wrapped up our day by enjoying some alone time with our new babies. What a sight to see Julie holding them! It was an awesome way to conclude such a amazing day.
There are a lot more pictures where these came from. We'll be sharing more soon! Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts - keep them coming!