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Renee and Dan Kwallek, Lancaster

Renee and Dan Kwallek"It's twins!" was just the first surprise

With babies, things rarely go as planned. Renee Kwallek's pregnancy was about as unpredictable as they come—from fainting at 11 weeks to delivering at just over 36 weeks.

The first-trimester fainting spell led to a trip to the hospital with Renee's sister Paige, where they unintentionally found out Renee was having twins.

"Unfortunately Dan and I found out at separate times," says Renee, who admitted that she was a little disappointed that it happened that way. That's the nature of babies though, and any parent will tell you that the first thing you learn is to plan for things not to go quite as planned. She told her husband, who was out of town, the next morning. They both had the same reaction: smiling on the outside, slightly panicky on the inside.

The rest of Renee's pregnancy went really well, she says. Renee's doctor suggested that they go meet with a doctor in Dubuque in the event that she went into labor before 36 weeks and would have to deliver there instead of at Grant Regional Health Center as planned. They had to take a trip there anyway, as a white spot was found on one of the twin's hearts during an ultrasound. Thankfully, the spot eventually went away and was not a concern.

When Renee hit 36 weeks, she was clear to deliver at Grant Regional. Two days later, on Oct. 21, at 4:30 a.m., she went into labor.

"I did deliver both babies naturally," recalls Renee. "Which was what I was expecting. What I wasn't expecting was to deliver Calie breach at 1:23 p.m. and that Ariella would take quite a bit longer."

Renee laughs. "Turns out Calie was in a hurry to come into this world, and Ariella wanted to wait a little longer. Lucky for me, I barely felt the contractions I was having after delivering Calie, but then that also meant that Ariella was not even close to being ready to be born."

At around 7:30 p.m., Renee and her doctors made the decision to break her water.

It's very unlikely for twins to be born more than three hours apart. Calie and Ariella were born seven hours apart.

"I remember wanting to hurry up and get the second delivery over with, but then on the other hand, it was nice to get some rest before going through another set of contractions and delivery. I guess if my water would have broke sooner, on its own, I wouldn't have this story to tell!"

Overall, the experience was unexpected, but Renee and Dan were very happy to be so close to home and have the compassionate staff they did at Grant Regional Health Center. "I have total confidence and trust in them," says Renee. "I wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere else."

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