What I Packed in My Hospital Bag

My hospital bag packing list started very long, then I asked some friends what they packed and it got shorter. THEN I asked you all on Instagram for your 3 must-haves and got lots of responses that made me remove even more items off my list, so I only brought the essentials. I had a planned c-section, so I knew I would be there for a few days, which is why I might have brought a couple more things than normal. 

Here is what I packed:

+ I used this bag for my hospital bag and it was perfect. 

+ Pajamas: I brought this pair and this pair. I was so glad to have two pairs since I was there for 4 nights. I loved the dark set and the floral print set, since it could hide any unwanted stains if they happened ;) The button up top was key and made breastfeeding so easy.

+ Slippers: I'm a slipper girl at home, so I knew I'd like them in the hospital too. If you don't normally wear slippers, you probably won't wear them there ;)

+ Nursing bra and a bralette: I didn't use the nursing bra (and honestly, I still don't like them to this day...I rarely wear them!) But I do love this bralette and these, too! I used the hospital's underwear and it worked great.

+ Shower / bathroom stuff: Kept this super minimal, which I'm glad for because I only showered once and I only washed my face and did a little makeup one time. I brought face wash, moisturizer, lotion, and my makeup bag, flip flops for showering (essential, in my opinion!), and my travel mirror. I was told to bring a towel, but I didn't end up bringing it and I was fine with the hospital's towel.

+ Headband: You know I love a headband, but I really loved it for the hospital! So many suggested this on Instagram, and I'm glad they did. When you've got a new baby, you spend a lot of time looking down at them, so having your hair back is so helpful. Also it's just a really quick way to feel put together without washing your hair! (PS. These are my favorite headbands-- they don't hurt your head at all!)

+ Hair stuff: hair brush, dry shampoo and a couple hair ties.

+ Long phone charger: number one recommendation from everyone was this! SO glad we had one.

+ Lip balm / chapstick: thank goodness I brought this because my lips have literally never been so dry!! I used vaseline.

+ Our own pillows (The BEST pillows!) and a favorite blanket: it's just so nice to have something that is yours to make you feel more cozy. I could never have slept with the hospital pillow. The hospital blankets are also really thin and not cozy, so having a plush blanket was really great.

+ Going home outfit: I wore a simple loose-fitting dress from Target and it was perfect!

+ Heating Pad: I think this was the most important thing I packed, since I had a c-section. I was so, so sore! I used this electric heating pad almost all day long. It really helped the pain and gave me some extra coziness and comfort.

Things I was recommended to bring but didn't use:

White noise machine, fan, eye mask, nursing bra, robe.

What I packed for the babies:

+ 2 gowns and hats (since they were little, a gown is all they fit into. We loved this brand!!)
+ 2 pacifiers
+ 2 swaddle blankets
+ I also made cute little signs with their names on them to tape to their bassinets, so everyone would know who was who. (The hospital signs only say "baby boy", so thought this would be helpful, and it was :)) 

They really have everything you need for baby at the hospital!

Hopefully this is helpful if you're close to having a baby! What were your must-haves?

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Our Twins' Newborn Photos

Only 3.5 months later and here I am, finally sharing the twin's newborn photos! We're so grateful for these precious pictures my friend Ashley took for us. I know I'll treasure them forever! I already had them made into a physical photo album. I look at these and I already can't believe how small they were! Babies don't keep, that's for sure. 

Dress: Nothing Fits But // Boys' Gowns & Hats : Caden Lane (colors white & stone)

Thanks for sharing in our joy, friends!

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Our Twins' Birth Story

Only 3.5 months after they were born, I'm finally sharing my birth story with the twins! Such an amazing, crazy day. We are so grateful for God's protection over all of us. One thing is for sure: I've never known a love like this. We're so glad they're here!!


The day before we had the babies, my mom and I went to get our hair blown out. It was such a fun last outing before their arrival! Here is my last "bump" picture with them in my belly :)

We woke up the morning of my c-section feeling excited and nervous, but I was so much more calm than I expected to be, especially with all my medical anxiety. I showered, got dressed in one of the only dresses that fit me at that point, and sat at the kitchen table with my travel mirror to do my makeup (I couldn't stand without pain at that point!) while listening to my Delivery Playlist I had created. When it was time to leave, I kissed Lincoln goodbye and looked around our perfectly clean home and remember thinking how different it would be when we returned as a family of 4. 

My husband, mom and I got to the hospital and were greeted by our doula, Carrie. She's such a calming presence, so it was nice to see her and have her take us where we needed to go! She also supported me during our pregnancy and gave us so much valuable information along the way. Once we got checked in, I was taken to my room where I walked in to find two bassinets labeled with "A" and "B" all ready for the babies, I put on the hospital gown, then my pre-op nurses came in to give me the run down and get me hooked up to monitor the babies' heartbeats. I met the anesthesiologist, my OB came in to say hello, and then things started happening really fast! The nurse got my IV started (I was so nervous for this because for another surgery I had, it took a few times for them to get it in and it hurt really bad, but this was a breeze!), my husband said a prayer for us and then I walked to the operating room with the medical team. McCann stayed back to get gowned up and had to wait for the doctor's go-ahead before he could join me (which I didn't love, but know this is standard!) 

Just a little nervous above ;) My doctor is encouraging me here that it's all going to be great and I'm going to meet my boys in under an hour!! I kept asking him if he felt good about it and he kept telling me he thinks surgery is fun and it's a good day for two birthdays, so that made me feel confident!

It's go time:

I walked into the very bright operating room where I sat on the table and waited for the anesthesiologist. At this point I was pretty nervous, so my body was shaking as if I was cold. Thankfully, I loved two of the nurses that were with me, because they are who supported me through the entire c-section. I got my Delivery Playlist going on my phone and tried to just focus on the words of the worship songs. It was time for the spinal, so they had me hunch over and told me to stay really still. I was so worried about this part, and my OB knew this, so he came to hold my hand and was so encouraging to me, which was so kind. They did the numbing shot first which is really all I felt (like a bad bee sting), because by the time I got the actual spinal shot, I was numb. Almost immediately my legs started tingling (so weird!), so they had me lay back and then things really started going!! All of a sudden it felt like there were 20 people in the room, all moving quickly to do their specific jobs.

(Side note: One of my worst fears of the c-section was that I would throw up on the operating table, so I told my anesthesiologist this and they did everything they could to prevent it. Whatever they did worked, because I never felt sick! The only weird thing that happened as far as medication went was that I got a horrible taste in my mouth from the antibiotics they put through the IV. It only lasted about 3 minutes, thank goodness!)

My doctor did a lot of testing to make sure I was really numb which I appreciated, then McCann came in all gowned up, and before he even sat down, they made the incision. I couldn't believe how fast it all went! I didn't want to see anything going on down there, so they put a drape up between my head and belly. Since I have some medical fear, I also didn't want to hear much of what was going on over there, so I asked the nurses to talk to me about normal things through the surgery. They were so kind and really helped me stay calm! Chatting with them and listening to my music was so helpful. And I'm happy to report that the c-section went better than I thought (though I will say recovery was harder than I thought...).

Within 5 minutes and a bit of jostling, our first baby boy was born! There was a "window" in the drape they had between my head and belly, so the doctor held him up for us to see right away. This moment will be burned in my memory forever. I couldn't believe I was looking at OUR VERY OWN BABY! I just kept saying "oh my gosh! He's here!" while we were staring at him and listening to his perfect newborn cry. Welcome to the world, baby Brooks Warner Beel. Weighing 6lbs, 19-1/2" long.

After about 30 seconds, they brought him over to the warmer and made sure he was all good, then wrapped him up and brought him over to us. I got to give him kisses and it was truly so special.

Meanwhile, the doctors were now working on getting our Baby B out. While Brooks was head down in my pelvis (for 20 weeks, might I add!), this baby was positioned up quite high across my body, right under my ribs. It was pretty obvious they were having some trouble getting Baby B out, as my body felt like it was literally being thrown from one side of the table to the other for a very long time (though it turned out to only be 2 minutes!) The amount of jostling and tugging in this time was a lot. It was very uncomfortable and I started getting a little nervous about it, quite frankly. Finally, our second son was born! Welcome to the world, baby Sawyer Joseph Beel. Weighing 6lbs 10oz, 20-1/4" long.

But this time they didn't hold him up for us to see. He was whisked away to the warmer and while the nurses were so sweet keeping me calm by saying they're just checking on him, I knew something was wrong when I heard a nurse over by the baby say "Did NICU get our page for a team in the operating room?" My husband saw the team of nurses working on Sawyer. We still hadn't heard a cry, even a couple minutes after he was born. My husband said it was the scariest minutes of his life watching them try to get him to breath and cry. FINALLY, he started breathing and then was hooked up to a CPAP machine to help get the fluid out of his lungs. Praise the Lord! Thankfully, I did get to see him before we left the operating room, but it was so sad to only have one baby come back to our room with us, as Sawyer went to the NICU. I am SO GRATEFUL I decided to have a c-section! Because of how stuck he was in there, it most likely would have ended in a c-section for Sawyer anyways, then I would have had to heal from both types of delivery. That was truly my greatest fear, so I am so glad the Lord gave me peace about my delivery method and protected us from that.

After the babies were out, the anesthesiology nurses told me they had to leave for another surgery, to which I immediately started panicking. They were holding my hands through the whole surgery, and since now my husband was over by the babies, I would have been alone if they left, so I told them I really needed them (at least one!) to stay with me. They both ended up staying, which was so appreciated. (Side note: THIS is exactly why doulas should be let in the OR! Ours wasn't allowed to come in with us at the hospital I delivered at. We tried everything to get her in, but it was a hard no. Such a disappointment, because when things got crazy with Sawyer, it would have been very calming to have her there.) Anyways, the c-section took probably another 20-25 minutes to stitch me back up, then I was able to see Sawyer (all hooked up to machines and an IV) before we left the OR with Brooks to go back to recovery. Sawyer headed to the NICU and we got to visit him a couple hours later, on my way from Recovery to Maternity.

My mom was waiting for us in our recovery room, so when we wheeled up to the room and I saw her there, I was SO excited to show her baby Brooks! It was really special. I only wish Sawyer was with us, too. When we got settled in the room, I started eating ice chips right away (I was so hungry!). I remember being so, so tired all of a sudden, but we still managed to get Brooks to breastfeed a little right away. These first moments were really sweet! After a bit, I graduated from ice chips to water, then was able to have some crackers. One of my greatest fears was throwing up, and I'm proud to say, I never did! The patch they gave me to wear for nausea behind my ear must have really worked, along with the zofran in the IV during surgery. 

When they deemed me ready to move to the Maternity unit, we stopped by the NICU to see Sawyer. He was so adorable and precious, all hooked up to his CPAP and everything. I just wanted to hold him so badly, but I knew he needed to stay there to get help. My husband ended up going to stay with him for the majority of that afternoon, so I was really glad someone was with him. My mom came up to the Maternity unit with me and we got settled with Brooks. Since she was a maternity nurse, she helped me (even more than my actual nurses- ha!) with everything, including breastfeeding. I was so glad to have her there with us! 

After 24 hours of being in the NICU, Sawyer got to join us in our room and we were SO thankful to all be together. I know his stay could have been much longer, so we were beyond grateful that it was so short and he did so well! Oddly enough, after that first day they were born, the rest of my hospital stay (4 nights total) was a complete blur. I can't even remember really being there. After the 4 nights, we headed home. Nothing could prepare us for how crazy those first few weeks would be, even with my mom there to help us. It was such a huge adjustment at first, mostly with all the feedings, especially because they were under birth weight and we were triple feeding them. But we got the hang of things, slowly but surely, and everything gets better and sweeter! 

This was taken at 2am on the night after they were born. SO exhausted! But it was the first time I got to hold Sawyer :)

Finally got to hold both babies at once!

This was their first twin picture :)

Our first picture at home:

I certainly can't imagine my life without our two precious babes. We are just smitten with them!! After everything it took to get them here, I feel like I'm living my dream life right now. I am just.so.grateful!


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