A Beautiful Beginning: Ari James and Ezra Robert’s Birth Story.

This story began over a year ago when I started having very vivid dreams of twin boys. Then their Auntie Ali visited me in a dream and told me I wasn’t projecting it, twins were about to be my reality.  A few months later, there they were, clear as day on the ultrasound. Two little frogs nearly on top of each other. The pregnancy was as hard as I thought it would be from the beginning. Puking around the clock from 5wks till it slowed down by 25wks. All the textbook pregnancy symptoms, but of course double because that’s how carrying twins worked. Double all the joys from the start. I was a very unpleasant mother to be around. Though, I had zero complications and was even able to travel to a few countries in Europe and to Florida to shoot while 6mths. I was very diligent with my protein intake so the boys were always measuring well ahead of schedule. At my 35 week check up, I was measuring a solid 45 weeks. FORTY FIVE. That day with tears welled in my eyes, I told Dr B I was having a very hard time physically and I was so uncomfortable in every.single.way. that I couldn’t imagine carrying another few wks or more. He assured me I was doing fantastic and I could do it just like I’ve done it so well through the rest of the months. I wanted to punch him. He meant well and I don’t really know what I wanted him to say, but I was done.

The days prior I had received 4-5 feathers and another very startling message from my sister.  So she was either telling me, “Relax will ya? I got this under control.” or “Prepare yourself, you’re about to have your prayers answered.” That evening I prayed through my sister again to help me get through the rest of the pregnancy. Since we knew the boys were nearing 6lbs, they told me I was good to go anytime labor started. So we started our inducing techniques. Just before bed, if in my house, you may have heard a joyous, “YAHTZI!” come from the bathroom. The ole plug was out. YES. Finally, my light at the end of the tunnel was visible. I expected days or maybe even a week before any action. Except once in bed I started cramping. A couple hours later I knew it was labor and I was already 2-3min apart. By 330am, I woke up Adam and with great annoyance  gently reminded him that he never installed the car seats like I asked him to do 45 times prior and he needed to pack his hospital bag like I asked him to do 45 times prior, and get the camera ready like I asked him to do 45 times prior. I took a long hot shower that felt absolutely fantastic, fixed my hair and ironed the dress I bought for labor and delivery. Whiiiich I wore for less than 20minutes. By 6am I woke up Rachel (who was staying with us that week) and tried to get out the words, “Yep. I’m having the babies today. Maybe in the car, if we don’t leave soon. We will be in touch.” But in that time I had to breathe through 3 contractions and barely got the words out without moaning. I was certain that the way I was feeling, I was a solid 6-7cm. Adam took my last belly shots, I grabbed some food and we left.

The 30min drive to bNorth was really neat. Thankfully it was New Year’s Eve and not many people were out in Wednesday morning rush hour.

I told triage I was 2 min apart. From the looks on their faces, they didn’t believe me. I told them I was very progressed. They didn’t believe me. After I stopped multiple times to breathe, they pushed me on to triage. Triage, again, saw no urgency and took their time. I made sure my favorite L&D nurse was in the building (It was Kate’s first shift back after over a week of vaca! The babies knew they had to wait for her!) and went to the bathroom to put on my dress and pee in a cup. Later, I failed the drug test for opiates in my urine. NOTE: Do NOT take a heartburn pill while laboring. You will give a false positive for opiates and they will not release you and your babies in a timely fashion because clearly you will all be in the throws of withdraw! UGH.

The triage nurse said she would just wait for Bowen to check me since he was in the building already. “Ok!” Contraction. Contraction. Contraction. They laughed at me because I was busy alerting my family and a couple close friends that I was in labor so I couldn’t be thaaaat far. Contraction. Contraction. Found out Kelly still had the flu and couldn’t shoot the birth! BUMMER. Poor Adam was on double duty and thankfully Kate can handle a camera too! Dr Bowen reached in. “OK. Wow. You really were ready for this to be over. You have a bulging bag and you’re 8+cm and +1 station. We need to get you to a rm quickly!” In the room, Kate’s pretty face greeted me with a few other nurses and the anesthesiologist who I promptly told to “BEAT IT, DUDE, I don’t need your goods.”

A handful of minutes later I was feeling good pressure and walked down to the OR where it was mandatory for me to deliver out of precaution. They made me change out of my nice pretty dress and put on a really flattering gown and hairnet. I labored next to the operating table that I swear was as wide as my right thigh. I was still ridiculously calm and waiting for it to really start hurting. Was waiting for labor land to start. It never did. With Nico’s labor I was unable to talk by 7cm and there I was standing in the OR laughing and texting between contractions. What the? The birth I prayed about for the last 9mths was playing out perfectly. I had told myself over and over, “Nori was breech, Nico was posterior, these babies will be head down and anterior. Quick easy birth.” It was my mantra. And I couldn’t believe it was really happening just like that. I guess that’s what happens when you have such a badass angel looking over. And with the Bowen/Kate team, the OR had half the staff it should and was super calm. Thank the Lord for them. Truly.

With some “Oh God, this hurrrrts!” yells, I thought I was crowning Ari. But I wasn’t. It was his dang intact bag o water bulging out. That, THAT, was painful. What seemed like an eternity later (but supposedly only another set of contractions), his head came through the ring of fire and he was born in his sac. An old wives tale that a child born in the caul brings much luck and the child is destined for greatness. Truthfully, I was so unbelievably uncomfortable on that tiny freaking table and after I was certain Ari just split me end to end, I wasn’t quite in the mood to cuddle with him. I got out a, “hey little dude!” and the pressure started back up. 16 minutes later out comes Ezra, bursting his sac while crowning. Kate was thrilled to be able to ring out her scrubs with that gush.

Just like that, the twins were finally here. Those amazing but long agonizing months of pain prepared me so well for this L&D. Ari James 5.9# and Ezra Robert 5.10#, both 18.5″ were here. The sweet boys I prayed over, day after day were here and well. No longer prying up my entire rib cage. No longer causing my body to hate me in general. They were in my arms. We are blessed. And somehow I was a mother of four.

And you know what? I didn’t even call them aHoles during the whole labor. Not even once. That’s what was most impressive.

Love, Melanie.

Renae - February 2, 2015 - 3:42 am

congratulations on your two precious bundles! I love the pictures of your older 2 kids meeting the twins…such a special moment. They all are beautiful!

Kristan - January 30, 2015 - 12:10 am

YOU ARE AMAZING!! Gorgeous family, Mel :) Congrats!

Dianna - January 29, 2015 - 7:35 pm

You are a rockstar! What an awesome story! They are too cute. Thank you for sharing.

Ari & Ezra. » LOFT 3 PHOTOGRAPHY - January 29, 2015 - 5:31 pm

[…] you wanted to read their birth story or watch the slideshow, click HERE to go to our birth photography […]

Nicki - January 29, 2015 - 11:42 am

I love you so much friend. You are incredible. And Adam is such a good husband. I am blessed for knowing you both and hearing the incredible story of these two. Xo

Shannon - January 29, 2015 - 3:58 am

I just love everything about this. You are so beautiful, your family is a beautiful blessing and I’m so thankful you share with all of us. You are an amazing woman, Mel! Hugs!

Daley - January 29, 2015 - 3:08 am

Will never tire of hearing your story. So much beauty in the music for your beautiful babies my heart aches. I thank God He keeps Ali by our sides all the time. love.

Luci - January 28, 2015 - 9:03 pm

of course i am sobbing… you already know that.
but i hope you know how proud i am of you mel. you are so strong. your family is such a gift to mine and i treasure our friendship! i can’t wait to see those boys again! love you.

JennyBZ - January 28, 2015 - 7:04 pm

Omg so many tears. I’m obsessed with this post. Loved reading all about it and could watch that slideshow over and over (and maybe I did). I’m so happy those sweet boys are finally home! Can’t wait to see them (and you!) again! Big love, friend, big big love! xx

Aunt Net - January 28, 2015 - 5:37 pm

omg I still had tears thinking about all the signs Ali sent! I luv how close u guys r that u can receive the gift of her luv still! These boys r amazing, and after the crazy beginning, we have to believe they r destined for greatness! What they survived is a miracle by itself. Thnx for this incredibly touching story of luv n labor. Your words made us feel your anxiety and relief after u finally gave birth! I luv that Nori is no longer upset that she only has brothers n no sisters! She n Nico r so proud and luv on them so sweetly. We look forward to watching the boys grow and experiencing a twins life like we have never seen! God bless all of u n thnx for sharing n allowing us all to b a part of their lives! Luv u all! Uncle Roger n Aunt Net

Stephanie Lyell - January 28, 2015 - 2:55 pm

So beautiful Melanie. I loved the music you chose to go along with it as well, it helped tell this beautiful story. My heart is filled with joy for you Adam, Nori and Nico welcoming these little angels into your home and family. Congratulations friend :)

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