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The Guilt of a Not-So-Perfect Twin Delivery Day

The Guilt of a Not-So-Perfect Twin Delivery Day

Last updated on May 7th, 2024 at 08:15 am

Delivery day is definitely a day to “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” especially when you are birthing twins! This is the birth story of twin mom, Alissa, and how she never got her fairytale birth and instead found self-blame and guilt. Join in her journey and read all about the challenges she faced and how she overcame them in her personal birth story, The Guilt of a Not-So-Perfect Twin Delivery Day.

Delivery Day

I was lying on the table, saw and heard both boys come out crying, and waited anxiously for them to be brought to me for that cute lil pic everyone gets with their bundles and husband. I honestly didn’t expect the fairytale arrival due to having had a c-section, being in the OR, and having two. However, I wasn’t prepared for what did happen.

The boys came out, and I waited for what seemed like forever. I had no idea what was going on or what was taking so long. I finally asked what was happening. The NICU doctor came over and tried explaining. Something about O2 Saturation levels and a bunch of words I couldn’t comprehend at the time and can’t remember now. I remember lying there crying.

The guilt of a not-so-perfect twin delivery day

Once my doctor was done closing me up, I was finally able to hold both babies for what was maybe 20 seconds. Enough time to snap a few photos with my husband and me with the twins before they whisked them out of my arms due to their skin turning ashen due to lack of oxygen. They put both boys under oxygen hubs. I was then wheeled out and put in the recovery room, where we waited two hours. During this time, my husband and I both hand-expressed colostrum so we could help my body recognize it was time to start producing milk and so that we had some colostrum to give the boys.

twin pregnancy timeline week by week

If you just heard that second heartbeat for the first time, or you know it’s been two for a while, you need to read our twin pregnancy week by week timeline to help you learn what happens week by week with twins. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our expecting twins classes and twin parent coaching services.

I had major post-c-section sweating episodes and ended up getting sick while lying in the hospital bed. I am not sure if it was from all the anxiety and nervousness built up prior to and during the c-section or if it was from meds. It wasn’t until hours later and into the evening that I was able to go down to the NICU to see our boys. I finally felt like I wasn’t going to get sick again, so I wanted to go see my babies.

First NICU visit

Nothing prepares you for seeing your babies lying under an incubator with oxygen on and wires literally attached to them everywhere. When they would get their diaper changed, a heel prick (to test blood sugar levels), or their temperature taken under their armpit, they would cry this heart-wrenching cry. It almost sounded like a very sad, hurt baby animal. I wasn’t prepared for this, and I felt helpless. I wasn’t able to comfort them or pick them up and tell them it was okay. I had failed my sons. Every time we left the NICU to go back up to our room, I cried. I cried while in the NICU and while in our room. I felt like I should have been able to prevent this, and I felt like a horrible mother already.

Guilt and a not-so-perfect twin delivery day

Going Home, Alone

When my boys were in the NICU, I never thought I could feel so incredibly empty and numb in my entire life until we left the hospital on Father’s Day empty-handed. I hated knowing our boys were by themselves in the hospital, away from us. It was the first time in 9 months that I had been away from them.

We were able to bring my one son, Kian, home four days later, but my other son, Rowan, needed more time. I continued to feel heartbroken every single day I was away from Rowan. One day, he would be making progress. Then, the next day, he wouldn’t maintain his body temperature and take his feedings, or his O2 saturation dipped during a feed, so we’d be set back another few days.

delivery day bootcamp

It was literally the most heart-wrenching experience having my babies sent to the NICU, leaving them there every single night, and then going home without them. It never got any easier. I cried every day. Nothing could make me happy. I remember sitting in my closet upstairs and just crying on the floor. These were my darkest days.

Nothing prepares you for this. I didn’t see this coming at all. I was told 37+2 was perfect timing for twins, and their weights were great. I blamed myself for what happened and felt like I failed them. I never got that beautiful delivery experience. Didn’t get that post-delivery picture with the boys, or the hospital picture of them in their cute gowns and name tags, or skin-to-skin right after birth. I was separated from my babies, and they were separated from each other.


Finally, after 11 days in the NICU, we were able to bring Rowan home. I finally felt complete and whole again.

I am so thankful for all the love and support we received from family, friends, nurses, and doctors during that very difficult time. We were so fortunate our babies had amazing care while staying in the NICU. They truly were in the best hands. We met some amazing nurses and doctors during our time there.

reunited after a NICU stay

This Is What I Learned From All of This…

No matter how many days your babies are in the NICU, it is a very difficult and sometimes traumatic experience for the mom and dad. Then you add in all your post-delivery hormones, and it’s a recipe for darkness. Looking back now, I realize a few extra days in the womb wouldn’t have prevented this, and it was not my fault and was completely out of my control. They just needed some extra attention and a little help to get them ready for the outside world. It just took me some extra time to realize this.

I learned to lean on those around me and ask for help. My mom came into town to help watch my one son at home while my husband and I ran back and forth to the hospital to spend time with my other son. I learned that it is okay to cry. It’s important to feel and release your emotions, not bottle them up. The most important thing to remember is that you need to do your best to stay strong for your little ones fighting in the NICU. Know that they are in the best hands possible and are receiving the best care. I am so thankful for the NICU team and for ensuring my sons were healthy enough before coming home. The NICU nurses and doctors are true angels.

Are You a New Twin Parent?

Check out Natalie Diaz’s book:
What To Do When You’re Having Two
The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year

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In What to Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year, national twins guru and founder of Twiniversity (and twin mom herself!) Natalie Diaz provides a no-holds-barred resource about life with twins, from pregnancy and birth all the way through your duo’s first year of life.

Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two
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Advice for Twin Parents

Never forget that you are doing an amazing job and that you are the best parents for your babies. Give yourself some grace during the difficult times. You had two babies at once! You’re a rockstar! Also, remember it is okay to ask for help! Even if it’s for a couple of hours so you can close your eyes and sleep. Lean on those around you for support; this is not a sign of weakness! It takes a village, so let your village in!

twin delivery day

This was our journey and our story. Life isn’t always full of rainbows and butterflies. It doesn’t always go according to your plan, and that is ok. It’s what makes your story unique. We are so happy to have our boys home with us, safe and sound. My heart is so full. Our boys are little warriors.

Story written by Alissa Kauffman

The Guilt of a Not-So-Perfect Twin Delivery Day

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