When you find out you’re having twins, it’s a moment of excitement then fear, and questions start to crowd your mind. What will the pregnancy be like? What are the possible complications? What will the labor and delivery be like?
I don’t have one of those “crazy” delivery stories. I didn’t push for 24 hours. I didn’t hemmorage. I didn’t have an emergent c-section. My delivery was fairly normal… And, I actually didn’t think that’s how my delivery would be.
Truthfully, I really didn’t know what to expect with anything. Every pregnancy is different and every delivery is different. I guess I didn’t fully understand or believe this, because I did a lot, and I mean a lot of reading. From day one, I jumped to conclusions because of some difficulties that we encountered and anticipated a c-section my entire pregnancy. I thought that’s what ends up happenening anyways when you’re having more than one baby. My doctor told me to keep an open mind, but I seriously had my doubts. Aren’t there are so many variables that have to be correct in order to do a vaginal delivery?From what I read, there are so many variables that have to be correct in order to do a vaginal delivery, and only 50% of twins are delivered vaginally.
To, my absolute surprise, both babies were head down at our last ultrasound. Everything looked right. I could do a vaginal delivery, that is if everything went okay on d-day…
*If you don’t want to read gory details about giving birth, I would stop reading here*
I had been having Braxton hicks since the second trimester. I had also been losing my mucus plug for months-I swear to god that thing has nine lives! The babies had “dropped”, at least as much as they could without completely falling out.
Now, we’re around a week before I was scheduled to be induced. I was 99% certain my mucus plug had completely came out-it looked like a ball of snot (Sorry, TMI). Then, it seemed like I sprung a leak. Even worse.
Wait, is that normal?
To add, my entire body was so swollen. My feet were so swollen that when I tried putting my flats on at work, they turned red, puffed, and spilled over the edges. Not-so-Cinderella!
Okay, this can’t be normal.
I ended up calling the doctor I became so concerned… I mean, I had cankles. ME. The person who did extra calf workouts in high school to try to fit normally into skinny jeans.
“You just need to sit down, and put your feet up.”- so says the on-call nurse.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It was Saturday, March 26th. We had been going on evenings walks for a week or so, since it was safe for the babies to make their grand entrance. Today, we decided to go on our longest walk with the hope of expediting the twins arrival!
Although I kept having contractions, they were only Braxton hicks, and nothing more was happening. I had already lost my mucus plug earlier that week. What could be left? Shouldn’t the babies be coming already? Seriously. Get these things out of me!!
*Little did I know, that all of these signs were, in fact, the beginning of true labor.*
Now, fast forward to Sunday, March 27th (Easter)…We woke up early to get ready for our Easter get together, and I was on my feet cooking all morning. The day continued, and I kept having those damn contractions, UGH.
I just need to sit.
My parents came over to have dinner with us late that afternoon, and the contractions seemed to get worse and worse. “Maybe I’m just dehydrated”, I said. Then, my mother pointed out how close they were. I had been timing them with an app on my phone. They were a few minutes apart, and lasted at least a minute at a time. “Maybe I did too much.” “Maybe I should just sit down.” I can’t sit still…
My parents leave, and all I wanted to do was go to bed. I started feeling sick. I hoped that the pain and feeling of sickness would go away, but it wouldn’t stop. It kept getting worse. I got to the point where I leaning over my bed, then I started pacing. I started crying-mostly out of fear, and partially out of pain. I finally gave in and called the hospital.
Go figure- I call the wrong after hours number, and I’m huffing and crying trying to explain that I think I’m in labor, but I’m not really too sure, just for them to tell me to call a different number.
Finally, I get ahold of a nurse. I explain that I’m having contractions, and they’re extremely close. She gives the phone to the doctor, who tells me to come in IMMEDIATELY.
I get checked in at 11:15 p.m. They strap monitors around me- One for Bailee, one for Grayson, and one for the contractions. Yup, the contractions are close, alright! Inbetween my fifteen trips to the bathroom (you DON’T want to know), they check my cervix, and tell me I’m 3 centimeters dilated. In other words, I’m staying! At this point, they ask my pain rating, and offer the epidural.
No. Absolutely not.
I took the “high road” aka walked around the hospital, instead. I made a few laps, stopping every so often to bend over with the contractions, and intermittently laughing about being unable to tie my shoes.
I get checked into my room, and the nurse talks about getting an epidural, again. My biggest fear was that my body has a high tolerance, and in the middle of delivery, I would feel every ounce of pain. Maybe I was being dramatic, but I’ve heard some horror stories, and I was not about to be that person. To be honest, I think she was trying to convince me, so that I would be completely prepped for a c-section, just in case the odds weren’t in my favor. She was truly reassuring, and said that the medication was on a drip, and if needed, the anesthesiologist could come back in and readminister it.
Okay, LET’S DO THIS.
It’s 12:51 a.m. I agreed to get the epidural, and it’s being administered. I’m sitting on the hospital bed, leaning over a tray table with Tyler in front of me. The anesthesiologist is chatting with Tyler.
*Apparently, this anesthesiologist was also the anesthesiologist Tyler had for his surgery years ago. YEAH, perfect time to talk and laugh!*
He inserts the numbing agent, and starts giving the epidural. My legs slowly start to go numb. It takes a while for the full effect. I couldn’t lift or move my legs, so that meant no walking to the bathroom, and I would need a catheter. OW.
The nurses came about every hour to empty my bladder, check my cervix, and since the babies kept moving, they would reposition the monitors, as well. Halfway through the night, the doctor comes in. I was so exhausted, I had fallen back asleep…is it time?!
Unfortunately, he tells me my labor has stalled. He said my contractions slowed down, and he could break Baby A’s (Grayson’s) sac, which should get the contractions going again.
Okay, just do it.
He breaks the sac, and the bed floods with fluid. Of course this came with it’s own issue-The doctor then became worried that Grayson’s heart rate was dropping, and we were both at a risk for infection. Grayson needed to get out ASAP. The contractions started again, and they were stronger than before. I started to feel intense pressure.
At this point, I have no concept of time. What felt like hours later, the nurses come in to check on me again. I tell them how I feel like I have to use the restroom. BAD. The nurse asks if I wanted my cervix checked again… Well, duh, of course I do! But, I didn’t want to say that out loud. I wasn’t sure if it was really happening, and I thought I might be overreacting, because it was my first time giving birth.
The nurse checks me. She says that I’m 10 cm, and she can feel Grayson’s head! Oh my god. My heart starts to race. She goes and tells the doctor.
*Per the hospital’s policy, if you’re having multiples and plan to do a vaginal delivery, you’re required to deliver in the operating room. This allows the doctors to perform an emergent c-section, in case something were to go wrong. Now, there are only two operating rooms, and one room has to remain open at all times for emergencies.*
These policies are relayed to me and Tyler, and we’re told that one of the operating rooms is in use. I’ll have to wait for it to be cleared, and cleaned.
I’m told I could try pushing in my suite to get started. Tyler is told to hold on to one leg, while a nurse is holding onto the other. I’m being coached through by a nurse who’s down at the end of the bed. She tells me that I’m going to take a big breath, and curl my body forward, then “bear down” and slowly release my breath. I try. The nurse counts to ten, and I relax. We do this a few times. The pressure gets worse and worse. I had to stop pushing. Grayson was coming.
I get wheeled into the operating room. My doctor, two respiratory therapists, an anesthesiologist, multiple nurses for each baby, and a neonatologist were all in the room. I’m transferred to an operating table, with my limbs hanging off. My nurse grabs one leg, Tyler grabs the other. I’m set up and ready to start.
The doctor tells me when it’s time to push. I push while the nurse counts to ten. I relax. I do this again. Grayson’s head comes out, with his eyes wide open. It was a complete feeling of release. The rest was easy. A few more pushes, and he was out. 8:17 a.m.
Tyler, with tears in his eyes, sputters “he’s blue. Is that normal?” I couldn’t help but laugh as I exclaimed, “yes”. Tyler cuts the umbilical cord, and Grayson, all bright eyed, is handed off to nurses.
The nurses were amazed at how alert he was. They were giggling, taking pictures of him, saying “oh my god. Look at those eyes!”
But, I wasn’t done. I couldn’t see what they were talking about, and had to lay back down, because Baby B (Bailee) was still left.
At this point, I was beyond exhausted. My body completely fatigued after pushing Grayson through. How can I do this?! “I can’t”, I thought.
The doctor broke Bailee’s sac. Here we go again. Water floods. It’s time to start pushing again. It’s like we were back to square one.
Bailee wasn’t coming out. She was practically up in my ribs. The doctor helps. He reaches in to grab her, maneuvering her down. He’s starts pushing down, and forces me to tear a little. I keep pushing. 34 minutes. He pulls her out, and she’s “sunny-side up”. 8:51 a.m.
Both babies were checked and cleaned, and both were laid on my chest. In that moment, I was absolute terrified, exhausted and amazed all at the same time. Despite having a nurse press on my stomach to help my uterus contract and to push out two placentas, and despite being dead-tired, this was by far the most breath taking and wonderful moment of my life. I gave birth to twins.
• Six. That’s the number of weeks the babies stayed in after my stay in the hospital for pre-term labor.
•Twenty-nine. That’s the number of times I had doctor’s visits, not including at
maternal fetal medicine.
•Five. That’s the number of times I was admitted into the hospital for monitoring.
•Six. The number of nights I spent sleeping in a hospital bed.
•Zero. The most important number. The number of days the twins stayed in the NICU!!
After all the complications, I went almost all the way. Two days before my induction date, the twins made their arrival. 60% of twins are born prematurely. Having twins, well, it’s complicated. It may have been a complicated journey for us, but I would live every second of it all over again, any day!
Did you miss how we found out about us having twins? Read the story here. Pregnant with twins and worried about preterm labor? Read our success story here. And, in case you missed it, here are some must-haves for babies!