One of the many families of multiples who have passed through the Kansas City ObGyn office is the family of Renee and Ben Laster, who delivered their babies on the morning of July 4, 2016. We followed up mom Renee to find out how the babies and family are doing.
KCO: Which physician delivered your babies?
Renee Laster: Dr. Heit delivered our twins, but Dr. Arroyo is my regular doctor. Since our girls were born the morning of July 4th, my husband's tee time was cancelled, Dr. Heit came straight from the golf course, and Dr. Arroyo was golfing too far away to make it to their birth in time. Two little girls cancelled two golf games that day - the first of many for their dad!
KCO: How was your experience?
Renee: Our experience with the Kansas City ObGyn doctors was top notch! Dr. Arroyo was extremely positive and supportive throughout my entire pregnancy while providing the most sound medical advice. My favorite thing about Dr. Arroyo is how calm he is. Babies come with a lot of hoopla, but Dr. Arroyo can shut all of that out. Dr. Heit provided wonderful delivery and labor advice during what was a very overwhelming day. I had not planned on delivering my twins via C-section, but our “Baby B” was breech. I had spent most of my pregnancy planning (ha!) on a vaginal birth. If I chose to deliver vaginally I ran the risk of laboring for who knows how long for “Baby A,” and then having a C-section for “Baby B” if they were unable to flip her. I was so overwhelmed with needing to make a timely decision in triage that I was crying. My husband was helping me weigh our risks, but it was ultimately my choice (smart man). When Dr. Heit said to me, “If you were my daughter, I would advise you not to take the risk of a vaginal birth and go with a C-section.” That was all he had to say, my mind was made up - C-section it was! Dr. Heit told me after the C-section that “Baby B” would have been nearly impossible to flip and that I'd made the right decision. I reminded him that it was his expert advice that had lead me to that good decision. Dr. Arroyo kept me and my babies healthy for nine months and Dr. Heit finished the job with a smooth and healthy delivery.
KCO: Did anyone else who helped deliver your babies stand out to you?
Renee: My anesthesiologist stands out to me! I wish I remembered her name - obviously her drugs worked very well. I was hormonal and overwhelmed. She talked me through every little thing in the delivery room and kept the encouragement coming. She flippin' rocked.
KCO: Was there anything else unique about your pregnancy or delivery besides having multiples? Any special concerns that Kansas City ObGyn helped you manage that you are comfortable talking about publicly?
Renee: Medically speaking we didn't have anything specifically unique or special about our pregnancy. Our twins were World Series babies though! Although twin pregnancies are considered high-risk, I had a very healthy pregnancy with no major concerns or hiccups. Kansas City ObGyn provided me with expert care from the shocking twin news through postpartum care.
KCO: Tell us about the babies!
Renee: Our twins girls were born on July 4th, 2016. Their names are Penelope “Penny” Ann (Baby A) and Zoey Girard (Baby B). Our girls are spontaneous fraternal twins. Twins run in my mom’s family. Our twins are our first children. We had been married for three years when we found out I was pregnant. The first surprise was the pregnancy… and then it was twins... and then it was TWO girls! Our girls are alike as much as they are different. I remind everyone they are simply siblings who share a birthday. Penny is very inquisitive and studies objects and things. She is more reserved and takes a little longer than her sister to warm up to people she doesn’t know. Zoey is very social and likes to act goofy. She already likes to tease people and laugh at their expense. Watching their relationship develop has been our greatest joy in the past year, but most of that has taken place in the past couple of months.
KCO: How is the family doing?
Renee: Our twins are thriving and healthy! My husband and I are very happy and very content. We feel very fulfilled right now, simply put. Moments can be overwhelming, but it’s short-lived and fleeting. We keep our sense of humor - it is the only way to survive twins. You can’t take yourself too seriously or you’ll never survive.
KCO: What’s it like being a mom of twins? How has your family adapted?
Renee: We only know twin life. Our life has a lot more structure, scheduling and organization now, but we still leave time for some chaos and fun. Twins require a lot of teamwork and communication. Our saying is, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” My husband and I both work full-time, so we have our village and we use our village. What good is a support system if you don’t use it? People mean it when they say, “Let me know how I can help,” or, “How can I help?” We usually respond with, “Thank you. Start washing those bottles and here's the dry cleaning that needs to be dropped off.” We've gotten really good at thinking strategically and delegating or hiring out tasks. We don’t try to do it all ourselves.