As I sit down to write this, it’s hard to believe that it has been almost two weeks since our little ones made their way into the world. I can, on the other hand, believe that it’s taken me this long to write our twin birth story. It has been a much different experience than I thought it would be, and I have struggled to put into words what happened because the whole thing is still pretty traumatic for me to look back on.
If you have been following our twin pregnancy updates and all the pregnancy posts I have done, then you will already know that I was willing to do pretty much anything to get a natural labor/delivery and it is something that I wanted with all of my being. I wrote this piece on a woman’s right to choose her labor and delivery path, and I really believed that I was going to be able to get the beautiful, natural delivery that I so desired for our twins.
These babies had other plans…
Twin Birth Story
Nearing 38 weeks of my pregnancy, we decided to get a membrane sweep done to try to kick-start labor. I knew that my OB wanted me to deliver at or near 38 weeks and I really wanted to go into labor as naturally as possible. The membrane sweep was done on Friday and we waited around all weekend for something to start happening. But, the babies were not ready to come out yet.
On Monday, our OB decided that he wanted to induce that next morning and we were to be at the hospital at 2:45am to start our induction. I was slightly panicked at the thought because I was hardly agreeable to an I.V., much less a very invasive and medical induction of Pitocin.
By the time we got there and they started monitoring the babies and me, my body had started contracting on its own! The answer to my first prayer right there.
My OB had come in to check on me at around 6 AM and I was dilated to a 6 and about 90% effaced. He did another membrane sweep to get things moving a little more but no Pitocin for me! Yay! I was going to be able to do this on my own, I could just feel it. However, the staff there had other things in mind…
I could tell from the minute we walked in that I was the patient that no one really wanted. I had 5 doctors come in to introduce themselves and let me know they were going to be there for the pushing. I was known as the “breech twin mom” and was apparently a very high risk and unheard of situation.
They all questioned why I wanted to attempt a vaginal twin breech delivery, why I did not want an epidural in case something went wrong, and why I would put myself through all of the pain when I didn’t have to. It was to the point that I was almost ready to cave and just get the dumb epidural because they were freaking me out so much about it.
Obviously, this wasn’t the most supportive of atmospheres, but I had my wonderful husband there who was such an amazing birth partner.
I could not have gone through this without him.
Then, our new nurse walked in at shift change. It was the sweetest nurse ever who we had taken our birthing classes from when I was pregnant with my first daughter. She was a HUGE advocate for natural birth and labor and really fought hard for me to have all the things that I wanted. She got me unhooked from the heart monitors and everything and I was free to move around and just let my body labor on its own.
I was progressing just fine. My husband and I were laughing and joking in-between contractions, I was breathing through them, and this labor seemed to be one of the easiest one’s yet! The babies were looking great every time we did monitor them and everything was going smoothly.
When I hit transition, I knew that the babies would not be far behind. My contractions were about a minute or less apart and they lasted for what seemed like forever.
My OB came in and checked me at around 11:45 AM and I was at 9.5 cm and fully effaced. When he checked me, my water broke for little Annabelle. I was excited for a moment because that usually meant my babies were on the way within 30 minutes. The look on my OB’s face quickly took away that excitement.
Our little Annabelle had decided she was no longer coming butt first. She had kicked one foot out of my cervix and was dancing her way into the world.
The atmosphere in the room changed from relaxed and ready to push to an emergency situation. This was the only breech position my OB would not try to deliver because he had no idea where her other leg and foot were or what position her cord was in. My dreams of a natural deliver were over and the safety of our babies was now the thing on everyone’s mind.
I was going to have a c-section. To some, that may not seem like a big deal at all. To me, even writing this and saying the words now brings back the same terrible anxiety and panic that I felt in those moments at the hospital.
I had to sign all of the forms that I had refused to sign earlier for the c-section and they took me out of the room. I was, of course, scared out of my mind for what was about to happen and even more so since my husband could not be there with me.
My OB is seriously one of the best doctor’s out there and I knew that the babies would be okay. He had his team ready to go by the time we got into that room, which allowed him enough time to call for a spinal so that I could be awake to see my little boy and girl be born.
I was contracting every 30 seconds still, so having three nurses hold me down while my spinal got injected was probably the most painful thing EVER. I threw up all over them, so I guess that sort of made us all even.
When I was finally numb, they let my husband back in and I have never been more happy to see him in my life. The look on his face was so worried, but all I could do was be thankful he was there to hold my hand.
Our little Annabelle came out first, wide-eyed and so little, at 5 pounds 15 ounces and 17.5 inches long. Really, she was a great size for twins but to me she looked so tiny. Then, they pulled out Oliver who was screaming and so mad that they took him out of his warm, cozy space. He was 6 pounds 10 ounces and 18.75 inches long. I saw both of their sweet faces for a second over the curtain.
I was shaking so bad from all the medications I had pumping through me that when my husband brought Oliver to me I could hardly hold him without help. But I did, and I held onto him with every bit of strength I could muster because I was determined not to lose that moment. I didn’t know until then that Annabelle was struggling to breath. They had her bagged and were whisking her away to the NICU. I told my husband to go with her (he was torn leaving me). Oliver was taken to the recovery area while I was being put back together. The whole procedure from start to finish only took about 20-30 minutes I think. They were born at 12:26 and 12:28 PM.
I was thankful that I got the chance to labor on my own because the contractions allowed the babies some extra time preparing for their somewhat traumatic birth.
After it was over, I was so out of it that I hardly knew what was going on. Worst feeling ever. Oliver was next to me in his little bassinet because I was still shaking so much. My best friend had made it there right as they were taking Annabelle to the NICU so for the 10 minutes Oliver was without mommy and daddy, she was there, which I am so unbelievably thankful for. Two hours later, I was finally reunited with my sweet Annabelle.
We spent the next two days in the hospital fighting to get Annabelle’s sugar levels stable and making me mobile enough to go home, which I was so longing to do. Our girl’s came to visit us and meet their new brother and sister. Seeing them was the boost that I so desperately needed!
We finally got to go home 48 hours after their delivery.
Through all of the panic and fear of my delivery experience, I can only thank God for his protection and for two beautiful little ones.
I’ll be sharing all about our difficult road to recovery and how this particular delivery and recovery has affected me in an upcoming post. It is an entirely different story in itself.
Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. Your sweet words when the twins were born meant so much!