Sunday, May 11, 2014

Andrea's Twinkie Journey

In honor of Mother’s Day, I asked if I could share a story of one of the mothers I admire most in my life.


Eight months ago two of my greatest friends knocked on my front door. Andrea had taken a pregnancy test two weeks before and had her first OB appointment that day. She had miscarried three times in the previous two years and when she showed up at my door unexpectedly that day, with our friend Evka, I thought for sure I was going to be making a pot of tea and we’d be sobbing at my dining room table grieving the loss of another baby. Instead, she handed me the sonogram photo and said, “There’s not one, there’s TWO!”

Insert a few swear words and jumping up and down. My cousin Seany was in town and I am convinced three grown women screaming in my living room, scarred him for life.

Twin Announcement & the Sweetest 3 Year Old Ever!
She was considered high-risk from day one, based on her history, but even more so now that she was carrying two babies. We celebrated for weeks, carrying-on at every Donut Friday, imagining all the possibilities.  Would they be girls, boys, or one of each? Would they be identical? What will the nursery look like? How much weight will you gain? Will you dress them the same or different? Can you fit three car seats in your car?

Donut Friday’s quickly came to an end in December when she was put on, what I like to call, 100%-relaxed bed rest. It wasn’t full bed rest, but she was supposed to spend more time resting than moving. Driving and housework were off the table and carrying her 3 year old toddler, Maddie, was a thing of the past.

Her 16 week ultrasound was scheduled for Christmas Eve and she asked if I could drive her. I was excited just to hear their heartbeats, but I was even more excited when she told me, there was a possibility of finding out their genders (as long as they cooperated).  That morning I woke up, went through the pile of blank cards I kept in my office desk drawer and wrote, “You’re having…” and left enough room to write the gender of two babies. The plan was to seal the card and on Christmas morning she and her husband, Josh, would open it. Talk about the ultimate Christmas surprise, right?

We informed Dr. P of our plan as soon as he walked in the room. He was on board and while he pointed out the “Baby Back Ribs” on the sonogram screen, he happened to make the comment, “Look! This one has its legs crossed. Now boys don’t cross their legs, do they?” Immediately, Andrea and I made eye contact. I may or may not have nudged Dr. P and told him to “hush!” - I didn’t want him giving her ANY hints and already we were convinced one of the babies was a girl.

He printed the photos, put them in a manila envelope and I then handed him the card. I had my back to Andrea (Thank God!), because when I watched him write, TWIN BOYS, my reaction would have given it away. I was in shock.  In all the scenarios we had played out in our minds (including her and Josh), no one really imagined two boys. We thought for sure at least one of them was going to be a girl. Everyone laughs looking back on it now. How could two boys never have been a possibility?

The Christmas Card
Christmas morning was a shock to them as well. In fact, Maddie cried. She wanted sisters, not brothers. Won’t that be a funny story for the boys when they are older?

While getting used to the idea of two boys and visualizing a nursery with trucks instead of dolls, Andrea was soon put on strict bed rest. This meant lying flat, except for personal hygiene and potty breaks. As she likes to say, "I have too much energy/OCD/ADD/Anxiety" - we thought for sure she was going to lose her mind.

Immediately, her Mother-in-Law and I went into baby shower planning mode, in hopes that a shower at 26 weeks would give her something to look forward too. Not to mention, her mama and sister had plans of coming to town to celebrate as well.

Three days before her shower she had another scheduled Dr’s appointment. She called me the night before and asked if I would be able to take her. Her husband was in the process of selling their brand new Honda Civic (because no, it didn’t fit three car seats); her mother in law had a Dr’s appointment of her own, and I of course, loved any excuse to go along and hear the boy’s heartbeats. Andrea and I sat in the patient room for nearly 45 minutes, goofing around, until Dr. P walked in. He listened to their heartbeats and checked her cervix. What came next, neither of us were prepared for. He said, “Your cervix is not supporting this pregnancy. You need to go to St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver…now. You will be on hospital bed rest for the remainder of this pregnancy.” Unfortunately, the hospital her OB worked for does not care for preemies born before 34 weeks.

That day, Andrea was 26 weeks, 1 day pregnant.

Dr. P told her to get dressed and asked if I could take her to Denver, which was 1 hour away. I asked if we could stop at her house to get a toothbrush, some clothes and share the news with her husband. He replied, “No, you are going right now. No stops, just get her there!” She broke down crying and I was near panic mode. All I could think of was, “She is going to have these boys in my passenger seat.” She called every important person in her life on the way to Denver to tell them the dreaded news, while I focused getting us to the hospital as quickly as possible. I held her hand most of the way and tried reminding her that she was way stronger than these two boys and this “prison sentence”, as she called it, would be temporary.

Being wheeled to her "prison sentence"

My heart was broken for her. Not for long though. Once we saw her hospy room and realized it was nicer than both of our houses, we looked at each other and said, “Maybe this won’t be so bad.” We called ourselves Hillbillies at the Ritz. Perhaps we were trying to make the best of a shitty situation, but it helped.

She spent the next six weeks on bed rest. And she rocked it. Her mom and sister came to town, as originally planned for the shower, and we celebrated in her hospital room. They brought her magazines, nail polish, games and movies. Her mother in law brought canvases and made her hospital room feel like home. Her husband stayed over several nights a week and snuggled her pregnant belly. Her sweet Maddie visited often and brought stuffed animals and balloons to make her mama smile. Friends visited nearly every day and brought food along to feed her cravings. She made friends with almost all of her nurses and had hilarious stories from the beach-whale-society, AKA water therapy.

Twinkie Baby Shower  

After that visit with Dr. P, we were for certain she was going to have March babies, but due to her amazing doctors and nurses, she successfully kept the boys in and was released from the hospital at 33 weeks and 2 days, to finish out the remainder of her pregnancy at home. AT HOME, I said!

The growth of her belly black tank :)

At her 34 week mark she was “bed-rest free”. Like most women, the first thing she did was go to TARGET in her BRAND NEW HONDA PILOT (which does fit three car seats), for a Starbucks and a little retail therapy. Could you imagine going six weeks without going to Target? Maybe I’d save more money if I did. In fact, I know I would.

Afterwards, she decided to take the most amazingly appropriate maternity photo. I begged her almost every day of her entire pregnancy to take a few maternity shots. I mean, come on, she is a photographer! I sent her every gorgeous, glowing shot of pregnant women that I saw on Pinterest and said, "You are going to regret this if you don't have a photo of these boys in your belly with Maddie." Who needs the long flowing white dress and a silhouette of a glowing mama when you can have a photo like this? Funny&Classic.

The most fitting maternity photo, compliments of her hubby, Josh :)

By 35 weeks she was officially done. Her body hurt and she was uncomfortable. Can you blame her? She was carrying two nearly 5lb babies inside of her. So she came to my house and sat with Mr. B and me for almost two hours. Her words, “I came here the day I found out they were twins, so maybe that means my water will break at your house.” I asked her to sit on the floor instead of my couch. #truestory

After two hours of waiting, she decided to head home. My house didn’t have the special powers she was anticipating. Before she left, Mr. B got to feel a baby kick for the very first time and I kissed her belly and told the boys to hang tight for a few more days.

The following day, at 35 weeks 2 days, she went in for one of her bi-weekly appointments and immediately text me – “Did you leave town yet?” Knowing that I had been around for most of the key details of this pregnancy, she had strict orders (from me) to make sure I would be in town for the boys debut.  

Mr. B and I had the camper packed, ready to leave for a weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park. I replied and said, “No I am working, we aren’t leaving until late this afternoon. Are you in labor?” In her overly calm reply, she said, “Yep! Dr. P just sent me to Labor and Delivery.”

I immediately became a frantic mess. It was almost surreal - she was in my living room the night before begging for her water to break and now she really was in labor. I ran downstairs to shower so I could be on alert when she got the go-ahead to be taken to the OR for delivery.  While brushing my teeth, I could barely hold back the tears. My friend, who was desperate for a second baby and never gave up hope, was going to give birth to her SECOND and THIRD child in just a few short hours. I will never forget texting her mother-in-law, in my frantic state and her telling me, "Calm down, you are not the one in labor."

Andrea brought her boys into this world at 12:36PM and 12:38PM on Friday May 9th, 2014.

Introducing Jax Thomas // 4lbs 9oz
Introducing Jett Lucas // 5lbs 1oz
[Birth Photography compliments of Maren Miller]
I couldn't be more grateful that I was in town and able to join her father-in-law and Maddie in the waiting room.  I had the opportunity to sit with Andrea in recovery and witness her and her husband meet the boys together for the very first time. It was such a special moment.



Andrea, I am beyond proud of you. I am so thankful you had such an amazing support system with you through this season of your life. You’ve taught me so much about patience and grace. I think it is safe to say this pregnancy was not ideal. Stressful is more like it. But you handled it better than I would and most people I know.  I couldn’t be happier for you and your new family of five. FIVE! Oh my gosh!

Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey. I thought seeing twin babies on an ultrasound photo eight months ago was exciting, but to later be a part of their gender reveal, and ending with watching you meet them for the first time. It’s been such a full circle and joyful experience.  Although, I threaten that I will never get pregnant after witnessing everything you’ve had to endure, once I met your precious gentlemen on Friday, I look forward to the day when I’m a mom. You're already a huge inspiration to me.


Today, on this Mother’s Day, we celebrate the birth of Andrea’s twin boys and all the Mothers out there. The ones struggling with infertility. The ones about to become new mothers. The ones that already have little ones. The ones that have grown ones. The ones who have adopted littles. And the ones who are suffering the loss of their children. You are all special in your own way. You bring life to this world and you all deserve to be celebrated each and every day.

Happy Mother’s Day to my own Mama Bear and Mother-In-Law, I love you both very much.


Thank you for letting me share your story, A. You can read more about her journey at “The Life and Times of Andrea Rosenbohm”. Starting with her announcement, and ending with their birth story.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story and friendship. I'm so happy you have found this family to love and be loved by.

    ReplyDelete

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