The Birth of Seneca and Keenan
It was early Black Friday morning, Thanksgiving was over but the turkey bloat was still slowing everything down. Leftovers were abundant but at 3 AM, who has time for that? Caitlin had warned me after Turkey dinner to pack my bags, “in case I go into labor.” I packed them reluctantly, who would ever want to make a woman pregnant with twins upset, certainly not me! I heard some talking on a phone at 3 AM and recognize Caitlin’s voice while I laid in hibernation in our bedroom and it all registered… “Hi, I am calling to tell the midwives that my water just broke.” I immediately jumped up, got out of bed and knew it was go-time. I remembered back to Lincoln’s birth, the intensity of it, the joy and the emotions, it’s an incredible experience and I was thrilled that we were going to be having another awesome experience in the coming hours.
We left for the hospital and arrived at just after 3 AM. Our mid-wife was there and our OBGYN was ready, Sanderson’s labor/birth was only 3.5 hours and everyone was prepared for a quick labor with the twins as well. Caitlin did all her necessary paperwork, we got admitted into the hospital and were prepped for the coming of our twins. This was quite a foreign experience for us. Both Lincoln and Sanderson had previously been born at home. Lincoln was a water birth, Sanderson was a bathroom birth, delivered by my awesome sister. The hospital was a necessity for us this time around.
July 25th was the worst day of my entire life. Caitlin had been complaining of a raging headache throughout the day. Multiple times she noted a serious pain in her head that she and I both brushed off to a lack of caffeine. Since she was pregnant (we thought with one child) she had dramatically decreased her caffeine consumption. We both blamed the lack of caffeine on her headache. Her headache persisted throughout the day, so much so that she even went into a dark room to do administrative work for Garage Strength because the lights were bugging her. That night my brother was having a Wim Hof class at the gym and I convinced Caitlin to participate with the class to see if that would alleviate her headache.
I went home to play with Lincoln and Sanderson while Caitlin started the class. Within a few moments, the onset of an Intra-Cerebral Hemorrhage took place in her brain. She lost feeling in one side of her body and could barely put together any words for nearly 20 minutes. She had a grade 0 stroke while 20 weeks pregnant. Fortunately, Jason Coon and Jake Horst acted quickly and called me, Rachel Fatherly took care of Caitlin with my brother and then got Caitlin to the hospital within 1 hour. She was admitted, scanned and everything was confirmed regarding her stroke. While being admitted, she informed the nurses that she was 20 weeks pregnant to which everyone believed Caitlin had her dates wrong. Ironically, Caitlin had a scan scheduled in two days to make sure the baby was ok. That scan was bumped up two days due to her stroke and that is when the news broke.
She was pregnant with twins! Her dating wasn’t wrong, the number of babies in her belly was off. I had gone for a walk for coffee and came back. That morning we had just discussed that we would not be having more children. I was a little upset because I always wanted four children but I never would want to risk Caitlin’s health further. Eerily, one of the doctors was telling us a story about how she found out 20 weeks into the pregnancy that she too was pregnant with twins! This was BEFORE her scan. When I returned from my coffee break, I was dumbfounded. Now fast forward to Black Friday and the scene was set for labor.
The doctors wanted to make sure that not only were the babies well monitored during pregnancy but also that Caitlin was well monitored. Our excellent OBGYN had agreed to allow Caitlin to deliver vaginally as long as she did not forcefully push during labor, causing a valsalva maneuver. After her admission to the maternity ward, Caitlin’s labor stalled drastically. For nearly 16 hours there was minimal progression.
Having both previous pregnancies at home, Caitlin was not used to the monitoring nor did she ever use drugs to assist in her deliveries. Things were different this time around and she agreed to have pitocin administered at 8 pm on Friday. Over the next seven hours, they slowly upped her dosage to gradually increase contractions and to ensure she was not under a ton of stress during labor. I had decided to take a quick nap around 3:30 AM, knowing that I would wake up from any nurses or doctors in the room. Instead, I woke up to a baby crying at 4:10 AM!!!! Our nurse walked in and raised Caitlin’s gown to find Seneca’s head popping out of the birth canal. She pulled the baby out, I woke up to crying and looked at Caitlin. Both of us were dumbfounded. There was only three of us in the room, I put my scrubs on and by the time I had my shirt on, the entire floor of nurses was in the room. Our doctor stated, “Someone could have called me!” No one saw that coming.
Over the next forty minutes, they assisted Caitlin in the delivery of Keenan. It was known that he was a breech and would be delivered butt first. One of the nurses pushed his head externally during contractions while Dr. Cammarano maneuvered him through the canal backward. Cammarano also brought in another doctor to guide and teach this woman on a breech birth! This was impressive, he stayed calm and patient and was very communicative while educating the assisting doctor on what was going on. Keenan popped out butt first at 4:49 AM, white as a ghost, “Stunned” as Cammarano referred to breech babies. He cleared up and had excellent color soon after. Meanwhile, another doctor showed Caitlin and I the di/di placenta and the sac that the babies were living in over the past 9 months. For nearly two hours they let Caitlin and I have skin to skin contact with Seneca and Keenan before they measured and weighed them. We were blown away. Twins have entered our life and we could not be happier! Lincoln and Sanderson are so excited to be proud big brothers.
For Caitlin's version of the twins birth story: click here