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September 5, 2011 / sharoncopy

Third time in labor…

After you’ve had a boy and a girl, there isn’t a lot to excite the relatives, so we were pretty thrilled to let our families know that we were expecting twins! I had always hoped to have twins  – Mom and Aunt Esther are mirror-image twins (one right handed, one left handed, identical) and I just thought they were cool. Anyway, from the very start I was measuring “big” and so at 21 weeks I finally had an ultrasound and it confirmed what we told our two toddlers: “God’s giving us TWO babies!”

I told my mom and sister, but we decided to announce it to the rest of the world using Doublemint gum. Announcements were sent out and also read in Dennis’s company staff meeting, that said, “Double your pleasure, double your fun, the Bratchers are having twins, everyone!”  My aunt, the twin, taped hers to her refrigerator with the plan to chew it when she got the announcement of their safe arrival, which she did.

It was Feb 18 and I was 4 days overdue, and talking with my grandmother from about 7:30-8:00 pm and then said goodbye because I needed to use the restroom. As soon as I got into the bathroom, I felt contractions coming, and coming, and coming. I sat there a really long time, glad that David and Julie were behaving themselves, playing happily in the hallway. Once I realized that these were indeed serious contractions, I asked 3 1/2 year old David to go to our bedroom and bring the phone, which I knew had a really long cord. From there I called the midwife and then called Dennis, who was about 20 minutes the other side of the hospital, having his first lesson in Dutch. (This becomes significant after both twins marry Dutch-Canadian wives!) I was about to call the ambulance service, but the midwife said that she lived nearby and would pick me up. I called my friends Yonhee and Colin who were to babysit and called the ladies next door to come over until Yonhee and Colin got there. Eventually I got up and put David and Julie to bed, grabbed my suitcase and headed downstairs in between contractions, which were about 3 minutes apart already.

The neighbor ladies came in, Yonhee and Colin came in, and then the midwife named Laura arrived. I waddled to the car and off we went. When I’m in labor I feel perfectly fine between contractions (thank you Lord!) and so I was cracking jokes all the way down Lincoln Drive as she drove us there. We arrived at 9:15 pm and Dennis had just arrived and we went to the labor room because someone else was garnering all the staff attention in the examining room by having a breach birth right then and there. Laura went to change quickly and Dee, who had delivered Julie and become my friend, came into the room alone. I said, “Dee, I feel ready to push,” and she and Dennis got me onto the labor room table. She called to another floor and said she needed a nurse NOW. Pow! Before she could even put on gloves, there was a push that could no longer be held back, and someone said, “it’s a boy!” I was barely cognizant that it had happened. I rested for three minutes while Dee quickly dealt with the baby-who-would-become-Brian and handed him to the nurse who had rushed in. Another push and Pow! Someone said, “it’s another boy!” I(soon-to-be-named-Timothy.) It was 9:25 pm.

At this point all I heard was “the cord’s around his neck” so I started shouting, “Make him breathe! Make him breathe! Make him breathe!” Dennis then said, “he’s crying, already, he’s breathing!” Ok, time to calm down.  🙂 I said, “thank you Lord, thank you Lord, thank you Lord!” not only because they were both okay, but because it was such a quick and awesome labor experience.

Number 4 labor got even more dramatic….


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