I remember taking a walk around our neighborhood on a strangely warm January day with my friend, Cortney and our little guys. While on our walk back I was telling her that I might need to take a pregnancy test. We hadn’t been trying for a baby but I just felt off. I had to wait another 2 weeks before I could take anything but it had been driving me nuts for a few days and I needed to talk to someone about it!! I like keeping these kinds of things a surprise to my family so I was trying to hide it the best I could from everyone else.
Once it came time to take a pregnancy test, I had Dustin pick some up on his way home. He bought the “wrong ones” as I call them (I prefer the digital tests) so he ran back out to grab the tests the give us a clear answer. With a surprise pregnancy, I did not want to be wondering any longer than I already had been! Dustin came home and I took the tests. I gave them to Dustin and paced around until the results came back…pregnant…and not pregnant? Yep, you read that correctly! One of the tests came back negative and we were even more confused than before. So, we decided to try again the next morning. After I took the tests I gave them to Dustin and tried to keep myself busy until the results popped up. I knew from the way he asked if I wanted to know that it was positive.
I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to keep this secret for long so we planned to tell my family that night when we celebrated Ashton’s birthday! He was supposed to open the card and read the instructions to open the small blue present on top…instead he read the card out loud! It said something about becoming an Uncle again haha! My parents were in the kitchen and stopped in their tracks. They were so excited and we soon after hopped on Facetime to tell other family members! Everyone was shocked but so thrilled!!
Fast forward to our first appointment and we were really excited to see our baby! By then I had mostly settled my nerves about having another baby so soon (Asher was only 10 months old at the time) and I just wanted to make sure everything looked good and hormone levels were where they needed to be. Dustin had a dream the night we found out that we were pregnant where we were pregnant with twins. I told him not to say that because I didn’t think I could handle carrying two babies and having three kids under two! Little did I know that at that appointment we would find out I was carrying TWO BABIES? WHAT?!?
To say that I felt extremely unprepared to be the Mom of three kids, let alone three kids under 2 years old, would be an understatement. I was so thankful that God gave us two healthy babies but I was emotionally not prepared to process that news. It took me a few weeks to process the double surprise but once I felt ready, we shared our news with the world! It was so special to share it with our church and then to share it publicly with our friends’ afar!
The next few months went by smoothly! We had the most amazing baby shower at church (with a PRICE IS RIGHT GAME, GUYS!) but that week I had an appointment and we found out that I was at risk for going into preterm labor because my cervix was shortening. At that point, my restriction was just for a week or two and I would be checked again at my next appointment. Unfortunately, things kept changing so I ended up being on restriction for the rest of my pregnancy. Also at those appointments we also noticed that one of the babies had fluid in his kidney. They would monitor that when I came in for ultrasounds as well from then on.
Mentally, that was really tough! I was stuck in my house with the exception of multiple specialist appointments but even when I was home, my body wouldn’t allow me to do much before I started having contractions and I had to stop. The hardest part for me though was seeing the last few weeks I had with Asher morph into much less than I had wanted it to be. I am blessed though that he enjoys snuggling on the couch so I made sure to cash those snuggles in quite a bit.
From the middle of July I thought that I was going to go into labor at any moment. Seriously, for WEEKS I would wake up and wonder all day if it was going to happen. My MFM was keeping a really close eye on me so I knew I was under great care but I never knew what to expect my body to be doing when I walked in the office. While all this is happening, these boys were in a position that would only allow me to give birth via C-Section. Baby A (Wren) was head down for most of the pregnancy but Baby B (Hunter) really enjoyed lying sideways and snuggling into my ribs…OUCH. After months and months of them being in those positions, I had finally given up hope of Baby B moving and we scheduled my C-Section. I think it was the next week that we walked into an appointment to find out that they were BOTH head down!! I prayed SO hard that they would stay in that position because while I was fine giving birth either way, I really wanted to try for a vaginal delivery since the recovery would allow a better transition at home with Asher.
As we approached my due date, we were able to schedule an induction instead of a C-Section since both boys were still head down. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy I developed PUPPS, which is basically an itchy rash that appears all over your stomach and spreads. There isn’t really a cause for it but the only way to get rid of it is delivery. It makes being largely pregnant much harder and took a huge toll on my sleep and daily life. I was very lucky to only deal with it for a few weeks but I still have scars from itching too much!
I had my last MFM appointment and a few hours later, on September 18th, I had my last OB appointment. Up until that point, I had only been checked for progress once earlier in my pregnancy but I was going to have one last check at this appointment before arriving at the hospital on Monday for my induction to meet my baby boys! I honestly wasn’t expecting much because everything had been pretty quiet and I hadn’t been having a ton of contractions. I had been taking it easy for so long but to our surprise, I was already at 4cm and 100% effaced! My Doctor told me to go home, sit on the couch, and keep my legs closed. Ha, ha! Our goal was to give these babies an extra few days, if possible, so they could keep growing. That night I did exactly what she told me to do. My Brother, Chase, stayed home with me in case I had to go to the hospital since everyone else was at church and we watched Game Shows until Dustin was home. If I was ever on Family Feud, I want him on my team.
I went to bed as normal and got up to use the bathroom around 1-2am. Dustin randomly busted in the bathroom asking if I was okay…I told him yes, I just had to use the bathroom because I’m a million weeks pregnant haha Around 6am I got up again because…well…twin pregnancy, but when I got back in bed I felt a contraction, and then another. I started to time them because it was new to consistently feel them. I was uncomfortable but it wasn’t extremely painful. I just wanted to try and go back to sleep because I figured they would eventually go away. About 15 minutes later there was a huge shift in the pain level of the contraction. It only took one for me to know that I needed to wake Dustin up. I had tears in my eyes and was having to breathe through each contraction. He got my Mom on the phone and jumped in the shower. All hands were officially on deck and we were going to the Hospital!
My Mom rushed to get ready to meet us at the Hospital while my Dad came over to hangout with Asher. By 7am we were in the car and by 7:20 we had arrived at the Hospital! I remember telling Dustin in the car that this labor was going to be quick. My body was working really hard to get itself ready for these babies to arrive and I was FEELING it. When we arrived at the Hospital I waited for a nurse to come into my Triage room and call my Doctor. It felt like forever but it was probably 5-7 minutes. The babies were hooked up to the monitors and sounded great and when they checked to see how far along I was, I was already at 8cm!
From that moment on, it honestly gets a little fuzzy because things happened so quickly. They admitted me and rushed me up to a room on the labor and delivery floor. My Mom met Dustin and me up in the delivery room. I knew I had to deliver in an operating room because that’s standard procedure with twins. I also needed an epidural placed in case I needed an emergency C-section but before they could place it, they had to wait for my test results to come back so they could administer the correct amount of medicine. They also gave me steroids to help with the babies’ lung development although I’m not sure there was much time for it to help. At one point I thought a baby was coming out. In the middle of a contraction I tried to communicate that something was happening. Nurses rushed over to see if it was a head but it happened to just be my water bulging…not exactly the best mental picture but it wasn’t a head so that was good!
As soon as my epidural was in, it was time to wheel in me in the OR so I could deliver! Dustin had to stay back and get dressed while they took me into the room and I honestly thought he might miss the first baby! He made it just as I started to push. Whew! They broke my water and just a few pushes later Wren was born at 8:47am weighing 6lbs 1oz. They took him over to the warming bed and started to check on the position of the second baby. He was still head down so I pushed once to bring him down (he was high in my belly still) and then the next push they broke my water and he came right out! Hunter was born at 8:52am weighing 6lbs 5oz. The birth process went so fast that medical staff was still arriving in the room as I was delivering the last baby. We had at least 20 people in the OR since I had a team and each baby had their personal NICU team.
The boys looked great so they handed them back to me and rolled me down the hall to the room I just was. As I rounded the corner I saw my Mom outside the room and as soon as she saw the babies there were immediate tears! It was such a sweet moment.
From then on it was a flood of visitors that were excited to meet our new little men! With being early we had to work really hard to keep their sugar and body temperatures up so they could pass their final test. It took hours of skin-to-skin and strict feeding times but they eventually passed and we celebrated in the middle of the night with their first bath! After staying for a few days we brought our little guys home! Asher was thrilled and a little confused when the babies stayed at our house but since then, he has grown to have a special kind of love for his little brothers. Wren and Hunter have brought another level of joy into our lives.
When picking names for the boys it felt like a task that was almost impossible. We had a hard time finding one name for Asher but this time around we had to find two full names!! That meant 6 NAMES total. While I had a list of about 20 different names and tried to match them together I finally landed on two full names that felt right. While I built a few other options, there was a connection to these names that never left our hearts.
Wren Alexander Cove Nichols:
Alexander-Defender of Men
Our wish for Wren was that he would become someone who uses his worship as his weapon; that he would fight for himself and for others. Also that his worship and heart would become a safe place for those in need of a place to rest.
Hunter Avery Boden:
Hunter- To Hunt
Boden- Shelter/One Who Brings News
Our wish for Hunter was that he would never stop hunting for truth or searching for wisdom; that he would share that wisdom with others and create a safe space for people to come when they are searching.
Both boys have a middle name meaning “shelter” for the wishes listed above but also because we wanted them to be a safe place for each other. There is no one else that will understand their bond and brotherhood like they will and we hope they will cherish their friendship forever.
Being a Mom of three under two has not been easy. There are moments where I have tears in my eyes and I wonder what God is doing but then peace floods over my mind in those times and I know that He gave them to us and He is going to provide for them. Watching God provide food, clothes, vehicles, literally everything we needed has been not only a huge blessing, but also a testimony.
The past few months have been exciting and exhausting! Right after the boys turned a month old Hunter started to have some eating issues. He was spitting up everything and within 48 hours it got to the point where I was wearing a towel to feed him. After a trip to the ER and an ultrasound we were told that he had Pyloric Stenosis, which basically is a condition that blocks food from entering the small intestine. It is a simple fix but required surgery. Within an hour of hearing that news Hunter was back in surgery. We got the call that it had gone well and we could see him. Thankfully since then he has not had any eating issues and both babies are growing wonderfully and on the normal baby charts!
If you have prayed for us, given to us, or supported us in any other way Dustin and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I cannot think of a time where we have felt more loved and supported by those around us. ❤ I can’t wait to see what these guys are doing in 6 months and what silly things they get themselves into! If you made it to the end, thank you! This was a small novel but so much went on, it was impossible to cut too much of it out.
Until next time,