Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Birth Story

I realized that I really needed to write the twin's birth story down before I forget the details! Bear with me, it's long!

On Tuesday, June 11th I had my last OB appointment before my induction, originally scheduled for June 13. My blood pressure was borderline high so my OB decided that we would start the induction a day earlier, the next day. I also had a non-stress test which showed that both babies were still doing great. At that point I was about 1cm dilated but my cervix was very soft. The OB told me to prepare to be called at some point the next day by the maternity ward to come in to start the induction. It could be any time during the day. That evening T and I went out for dinner, thinking that it could very well be our last night as just a couple.

The next morning the hospital called me to come in for noon to start the induction. T was at work (at the same hospital that I was to deliver at) so my dad came to drive me to the hospital. Once I was there they hooked me up to the monitors and waited for the OB to come decide the next course of action. They weren't sure if they would put in a cervical ripening agent or just start Oxytocin. Several hours later I was told that I would be admitted and that we would be starting Oxytocin. The OB on call thought that I might labour quickly because my cervix was so soft. After hearing that things were going to get started, I began to feel quite nervous! I was going to meet my babies! Unfortunately an hour or so later they came to tell me that two other sets of twins needed to be delivered that evening and because I was the most stable and full-term (the others were 30 weeks and 36 weeks) that I would need to go home for the night. Darn! So off we went, anticipating another call the next morning to come back.

Thursday, June 13th, we waited all day for a call from the hospital. It didn't come until we had already gone to bed that night! Off we drove back to the hospital. My OB was on-call so came to see me shortly after I arrived. He apologized profusely but said that due to how busy the ward was, he didn't feel comfortable starting the induction that evening either! ARGH! Home we went again.

Friday, June 14th, we headed in again in the afternoon. An OB that I REALLY didn't want delivering the babies (he has an incredibly high c-section rate) was on-call so I expressed my concern about it to the nurse. She suggested that I ask to postpone the induction until the early morning so that my OB would be on-call by then and I could have him deliver the babies. That sounded like a good plan to me since I was already admitted and could get a few hours of sleep before we started. Unfortunately, once the OB caught wind of our plans he sent me home because they didn't want me taking up a bed! I expressed that I would rather start the induction than be sent home but they now said they were too busy! This was becoming a bit of a gong-show. I just wanted to get things started!

Finally the next morning they called and told me to come in and that they would NOT be sending me home this time (I was 38 weeks 4 days by this point). When I got there, the charge nurse asked why I had bothered to come in the night before if I was going to refuse to be induced. Um, what? I hadn't refused, it was my nurse's idea to wait the night so I could have my OB on-call. I explained what had happened and she apologized.

Finally at about 1pm my OB came in, broke Baby A's water and we started the Oxytocin! This was really happening! I was dilated to 2-3cm and 60% effaced at this point. It took about an hour for me to feel anything happening as far as contractions. At first they just felt like menstrual cramps and I was thinking "Hey, this isn't so bad!". Boy, was I wrong. By the early evening I was over-responding to the Oxytocin, so much that I was just having one continuous contraction. Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to die! I also had to be on my back in bed hooked up to monitors constantly so that REALLY didn't help matters. I think that if I could have moved around a bit more, I would have had a bit of an easier time coping with the pain. My lovely nurse tried to get me to use the Nitrous Oxide gas but I was in so much pain I couldn't get my breathing under control to be able to have it work. She then offered me morphine but I asked if I could just get my epidural since I needed to have one anyways (my OB wanted one placed in case I suddenly needed a c-section). They explained that I should be at least 4cm before they put one in so they would call the OB to come assess. An OB resident came by to check and luckily I was easily 4cm so they ordered the epidural. I was told that the anesthetist was in the middle of a surgery and it would be about an hour to get the epidural. NOOOOO! I really started to panic then because  I didn't think I could cope that long. Luckily another anesthetist was coming on to her shift and when she saw our last name on the list for epidurals she came right in (she knows T from work). Thank goodness! It was a real challenge for her to get the epidural in and for a while I was worried that it wouldn't work! Sitting in that position for so long while having contractions was tough but finally she got it in.

Once the epidural was in place I was able to relax a bit. It worked a lot better on the right side than the left which was annoying but at least it was something. I rested and listened to some music for awhile. The epidural took away most of the pain but I could still feel crazy amounts of pressure. Such a weird feeling. By about midnight I was 10cm dilated with a tiny lip of my cervix left. At that point I paged my midwife to come. I could have called her earlier but I was doing fine with just the support of the nurse and the OB but I wanted the midwife there for the pushing and delivery. She arrived around 1am and I started to push. Unfortunately the epidural made it very hard to feel the muscles I needed to use to push. It was very frustrating because although Twin A's head was super low, I wasn't making any progress. I started to get worried that I would end up needing forceps, vacuum or even a c-section after all. I was also very uncomfortable after laying in the same position for so long. Finally my midwife decided to try me laying on my side to push, even though that made it harder to monitor the babies. We just needed to try something! That seemed to do the trick and for the next several hours I alternated sides to push.

When things were getting close, they needed to transfer me to the operating room to deliver. Moving from my bed to the OR table was awful! I was feeling the contractions way more and having to lay flat on my back with my legs in stirrups was so uncomfortable! At one point there were 13 people in the OR including us. My OB, OB resident, midwife, nurse, charge nurse, 3 OR nurses, pediatrician, pediatric nurse and anesthetist. All cheering me on as I pushed! Once I got to the OR I started to get a bit panicked as I realized that I might be there for awhile and my throat was so tight and dry (all I'd been allowed was ice chips since the induction started and I hadn't had any in awhile). Luckily the anesthetist was able to sneak me a few ice chips which made me feel a lot better.

I pushed and pushed and at 5:18am, my midwife delivered Tyler. I had asked that no one announce the gender so that T and I could look and find out ourselves. My midwife put him right on my chest and I lifted his little leg and saw the boy parts! We had a son! Such a surreal experience. I had my eyes closed for most of the pushing him out and then all of a sudden I opened them and a baby was on my chest! Makes me emotional thinking about it!

My OB needed to deliver Baby B so my midwife stepped out of the way and he took over. He did a quick ultrasound and it was determined that Twin B was breech! Yikes! She must have flipped at the last minute  once her brother was out! My OB had always told me that he was comfortable delivering the second twin breech but that not all OB's at the hospital were. At that point I was SO thankful that my OB was on-call! They asked me if I wanted to keep Tyler on my chest while I pushed Baby B out but I said no, that I needed to concentrate. T and a nurse took Tyler from me to go get assessed by the pediatrician.

My OB then looked me straight in the eyes and told me that I needed to concentrate and listen carefully to him. I don't remember much about pushing Claire out but all of a sudden, at 5:28am, there she was on my chest. She was a bit of a blue color and wasn't crying right away so the nurse grabbed her and took her straight to the pediatrician. Within seconds she was wailing so I knew she was OK. I couldn't believe that I had a son and a daughter!

My OB delivered the placentas and gave me a few stitches (I had only a small tear!) while T and I held our babies. Tyler was 6lbs 8oz and Claire was 6lbs 4oz. It was strange because all of the ultrasounds had measured Baby A as the smaller baby but it was the opposite! Shows you how inaccurate they can be!

Soon after I was able to be wheeled back to my room. I was on cloud 9 and so full of adrenalin! It felt like I could do the whole thing over again! My midwife then came and told me it was time to get them breastfeeding. Latching my babies on for the first time was amazing. Breastfeeding is so important to me (it is a huge part of my job as a public health nurse) and now I was FINALLY going to breastfeed my babies! Claire latched right away and went to town and Tyler did really well too. We got some great pictures.

We hung out as a little family for a bit and then decided it was time to call the grandparents! I called my parents first but wouldn't tell them the genders, they had to come find out! I also called my brother and sister-in-law and then T called his parents. Everyone was on their way to see them! Lots of tears once they arrived to meet their grandchildren/niece/nephew. They are so loved!

We spent the day cuddling with our babies and just soaking in the moments as a family. When it was time for their first baths, Tyler LOVED his but Claire screamed the whole time! The first night was tough, not really any sleep but even just laying awake staring at our babies was amazing.

The next day we were told we could go home but had to wait for the OB to come assess me and for me to get some blood work for my high blood pressure. Finally around 4pm we were cleared to go! Loading them in their carseats and leaving the hospital I could hardly believe that it was happening! After so long we had babies!

So there it is...the story of how we finally became a family. It has been a crazy and amazing 7 weeks since they were born. We are exhausted but so incredibly thankful for this amazing blessing. Claire and Tyler, we love you both so much!