The Birth Story

Picking up where I left off… I had just discovered that I was dilated 1-2cm and fully effaced. There was no chance of truly stopping these babies from coming.

Today was Christmas – but it wouldn’t be the happy day that we planned. I was immediately put on a Magnesium Sulfate to help control the contractions and pending labor. I like to refer to that medicine as water from the River Hell, delivered in a drip bag by the Devil himself. It was just awful, and it wasn’t helping at all. So, they added Indomethacin. In time, this would be the drug that helped to slow the contractions. In addition to the Mag and Indocin, I was given my first round of steroids to help boost the boys lungs.

By 6:00PM Christmas evening, the contractions had slowed enough that I was finally able to drift off to sleep. At 10PM, I woke again in horrible pain. The nurse called for the doctor, who quickly checked me… I was now dilated 3-4 cm, and they called for another U/S.

During that ultrasound, I remember the drs arguing over which baby was A and which was B. Apparently, they were flipping places – which was odd because Konner always stayed on top, Kyle on the bottom. When the gave me the weights, I confirmed that Konner was now on the bottom. I was in shock, but what happened next, sealed his fate… Konner fell single footling breech. His foot was now in the birth canal, but his membranes were still intact.

I was immediately rushed to the operating room – the time was midnight – December 26th. I remember thinking for a brief moment how glad I was that my sons wouldn’t die on Christmas… How selfish of me.

They kept me in a trendelenburg swing while in the OR, hoping to delay their arrival, and buy some time for better staff to arrive. By 3AM I had dialated to 7cm. Everyone kept telling me to take the pain medicine, so that I wouldn’t hurt anymore… But I knew the truth, had I have taken it, and pushed the boys out – there was no chance for their survival… As it was, a vaginal delivery would very likely be their end.

The plan was made on a prayer… When I had to push, I would deliver Konner, who by this time had fallen double footling breech and was kicking a nerve in the birth canal – frantically, trying to free himself. After Konner I was to stop pushing, they would see if I could stop contracting, and try to keep Kyle in. If he cooperated, he would have a chance at life.

I felt the uncontrollable urge to push, and was in horrid pain. At 3:46Am Konner William Knoernschild was born. He was 12 inches long, and weighed 1lb 5oz. He survived 13 minutes. As I lay there praying to God, I realized no one was talking – I started begging for someone to tell me what was going on. My husband, who had left to stand by the Neonatologist and see the baby, returned to my side – tears in his eyes. It was at that moment that I realized that Konner was gone…

It was also the moment I realized Kyle was still inside of me, and I wasn’t contracting. I quickly asked the Doctor what was going on – he told me that I was closing up… but there was a problem. The problem was something that had never been noticed on the many U/S along the way… The problem was that the placentas had fused. I managed to close down to 3cm. We knew that this would give Kyle a very limited time to develop, to have a chance at survival.

It was about this time that I asked for Konner. I remember someone telling me that I shouldn’t – but I wanted to hold my son. He was so beautiful, and so perfect. I wept holding his tiny body in my arms… I would later get to hold him again in our hospital room.

I had a hard time after Konner’s birth. I ended up needing a transfusion due to all of the blood loss. And two days later, Kyle’s membranes ruptured. Fortunately, we had the second shot by this time… But he still wasn’t ready to come. On the 4th day after Konner’s birth, we met again with the Perinatologist. She told us that if he was born today, he had a 5-20% chance of survival (after his birth the adjusted that to a less than 5% chance).

That evening, Kyle started to show signs of distress – and I started contracting again. I was rushed into the operating room, and against the recommendation of several doctors – I had a c-section (vertical).

Kyle was born that evening at 6:23PM, it was December 30th. He weighed 1lb 1oz, and measured 11.5 inches. To everyone’s surprise, his apgars were 4, 7, & 8. It was obvious to us that the boys were fraternal. Konner looked more like Daddy, Kyle was all nearly all Mommy.

As soon as Kyle was born, they ran a culture on me – when it was discovered that I had staph infection, they only gave Kyle 3 days to live. He proved them wrong.

Sure he had his problems, but he survived… And loves every minute of living!

Conception & Pregnancy

It was the perfect fairy tale… Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, girl gets pregnant. We found out in August that I was 4 weeks pregnant, how thrilled we were. Our perfect life was continuing it’s perfect path.

A week and a half later, I started spotting – in a panic, my husband and I rushed to the Emergency room. After 6 hours of miscellaneous tests and waiting – the dr finally ordered an ultrasound. It was 1:00 AM when we first saw that flash of light – or lights I should say across the screen. It was twins! We were informed that everything looked good, and I should go home, rest and follow up with my OB in the morning. There was no shock or disbelief that some parents experience… To us, it was just another way of showing how perfect our life was to us. Not one, but two.

We found out the following day that I was suffering from a Subchorionic Hemorrhage. I was ordered to two weeks of full bedrest, and pelvic rest until week 13. Eventually the spotting stopped, and in follow up ultrasounds, we found that the hemorrhage had disapated.

(10w 5d)

I noticed that I my stomach was growing quite large very early in the pregnancy… This was a good thing, right? With no previous pregnancy to compare this to, I had no idea the danger that was looming. By eating healthy, and following a proper diet for twins – my growing waistline, in addition to their early and increased activity was leading to a dangerous combination for my body… It led to Pre-term labor, as defined by an Irritable Uterus.


At 17.7 weeks, my braxton hicks led me to the emergency room – contracting 3-5 minutes apart. I was immediatly given a shot of Terbutaline to help control my contractions, which it did. I was sent home on full bedrest with a prescription of “terb” 2.5mg every 4-6 hours. I was also put on home uterine monitoring. This was just following Thanksgiving, 2003.

With Terbutaline in tow, my contractions minimized to 0-3 during sessions. I always found that a little extra water would bring them back into control. Full bedrest was eventually lifted to modified bedrest. I was so glad to have a couple hours of movement time! You joints get so stiff just laying all of the time. I was allowed to take short trips to the store with my husband, if the store had “Granny Carts” for me to ride in :)

We found out the first week of December that we were having boys… I can’t tell you how excited we were! My mother threw a nice baby shower for me in Springfield, about 3 hours from were we lived. I had the okay to take the short drive – I was 20 weeks at the time, and did just great. I rested the entire trip in a reclined position. It was just so wonderful to get to see my family again. I was so tired after the shower, but I was doing just fine. During both monitor sessions, I only had 1 contraction – right in line with my normal pattern.

At our 22 week ultrasound – one week before Christmas, the perinatologist said that everything looked great and released care back to my OB. The boys were at or above the growth curve, and I was doing much better by then – with no increase in contractions. I was just getting big – REALLY big! I measured 36cm upright, and 39cm laying down at just 22 weeks!!! It was too tiring for me to climb the stairs anymore, so Karl was setting up the bedroom with a minifridge, microwave and TV just before christmas.

(22w 6d)

At 23 weeks I went in for my weekly OB visit, it was December 23rd. I had my complete exam, still everything looked great – I was closed and my cervix measured 4.5cm, and my uterus measured 39cm upright. Although I was having more braxton hicks, my contractions had stayed to a minimum. The OB gave me the okay to make a return trip to Springfield the following day.

The morning of our trip (December 24th), I was in the nursery where I had my monitor equipment set up. Preparing for a monitoring session, I started feeling faint and dizzy. I called for my husband as I laid on the floor. I assumed since I hadn’t eaten yet that I was just having a problem with my blood sugar. And sure enough, he got me a huge glass of water and some crackers, and I was fine in about 20 minutes. I took it easy for the rest of the day, and we didn’t leave for my parents until 3PM.

After arriving at our destination, I quickly set up for my monitoring session. I was a little uncomfortable during the drive, but I assumed it was because of being cramped – well, I marked 4 contractions that hour. I quickly drank a large glass of water and laid down until dinner. I went to bed shortly after I ate.

At 3:00 AM I woke up in horrible pain, and quickly put on my monitor. I phoned the nurse as soon as I was done, and was told that I had 6 contractions – only it felt like more to me. She suggested that I monitor again and have some water. 20 minutes into the next session, I had 4 very hard contractions… I quickly took the belt off, woke my husband, and we headed to the hospital, 15 minutes away.

When I arrived, it was too late to stop anything… I was dialated 1-2cm and fully effaced. I was only 23 weeks and 2 days pregnant, and terrified! I was going to have these babies well before they were due.