Warning....LONG birth story....
I had written this up in my blog, then shared it on another site but forgot to post it here if anyone was interested. Instead of re-writing it, I just decided to c/p it, but you're welcome to read it on my blog instead. (I have pics there! Don't have them on photobucket just yet to post here)
Well, it's been 10days since the we were surprised, and I guess I really should get the story down. I'm not 100% on some of the times due to shock (once I see the video I'll have more info!), but I'm relatively close. I woke up the morning of June 27 feeling a bit "off". I can't really put my finger on it to describe it better than that, but something just felt different. I took my regular weekly belly pic to send to J&R, so that they could keep the progression. (they got a belly pic every Wed as we moved to the next week) I had to drop the oldest off at church for a youth group trip to ValleyFair lasting all day. His last words to me...ironically...were "NO BABIES TODAY!"
I attempted to finish my yogurt (I was supposed to eat/drink before our BPP/NST so that the babies would be more active and cooperative), drank my coffee and got to the hospital for the BPP just after 8am. Baby B was very cooperative and we had him done in quick order. Baby A, however, was not wanting to cooperate as much and took us MUCH longer to get everything done. In the meantime, the tech played around a bit, looked "unofficially" at some measurements, etc, and both boys still looked about the same size, etc. We FINALLY got the last done for Baby A, I went over to the Birthing Center for the NST, and was so thankful my prenatal appt wasn't until much later. Good Lord Baby A just did NOT want to be a cooperative little guy at all for anybody! He didn't want to stay on the monitor, and then when we got him back on it, he didn't want to move/kick/etc so that we could get a nice strip on him. They want a 20mins strip showing movement and good accels and decels on both babies and it took us almost an hour! Eventually we were able to get everything we needed, so off I went. I ran an errand trying to kill time before the prenatal appt at 11:40am, and then went to the clinic.
J&R were both there w/Shosh and anxisiously awaiting. I know I looked miserable and felt badly about that. They know it's not all sunshine and roses, but I do prefer to try and look "peppier" than what I was feeling. My ankle's and feet were swollen huge and both thought that I looked (belly-wise) completely different from the week before. We get called back, I step on the scale and am UPSET! Now, this is NOT something that I would normally share w/anyone, but can you believe that it actually read 192???? I was appalled by that! Espeically since it was a HUGE gain over the previous week, and I hadn't been eating much. I knew it was all fluid retention, but still....it was disconcerting to see. In we go for the appt, BP is good, pulse is good, babies sound good on the doppler, belly measuring at a whooping 47wks and we were exactly 36wks! J&R leave the room so that my Dr can do a manual cervical check.....I was 6cm dilated and 90-95% effaced! The look on her face was priceless, I must say. I wasn't expecting that much of a cervical change though. J&R came back in the room, my Dr called the OB that was shadowing us and said that she was wanting to send us to the Birthing Center for monitoring. If no significant change, I could leave after 23hrs. Now, I don't know about you, but I just can't imagine how much farther a woman can go at 6cm and either her water not break or a baby fall out. J&R were in shock and not sure what to do. I was pretty calm and still had the mindset that it wasn't going to happen so soon. I wanted to go at least 1 more week, and the 27th was NOT on my calendar for delivering a baby...let alone 2.
I sent J&R on their way, said there wouldn't be any babies anytime soon, go about their day, finish things up and they'd meet my Dr and I at the hospital around 5ish to reassess how things were looking. I went home, broke it to Big J that he was going to have to miss work that day, ran up to Wal*Mart to show him the bike our oldest daughter thought she wanted for her b-day (just in case I wasn't able to be there), then off to the hospital. Once I was there in the Birthing Center, I got my room "arranged" (I was told to come as if I were going to be staying) and things put away, got on the monitor and laid there for an hour. Around 3pm I was taken off the monitor and told I could walk, use the birthing ball to see if that might help Baby A move down some, or whatever I felt like doing. Man was it boring! They were monitoring me 20mins out of every hour and nothing was going on. I'd had a few mild Braxton Hicks contractions where there was just a mild, gentle pressure for a few seconds every 5-12mins, w/no real regularity. Nothing getting longer, stronger and closer together, darn it. I was sure at that point that I'd be going home in the morning.
J&R got there just after 5pm, my Dr got there shortly after them, we chatted and my Dr decided to check me again. She also brought in another OB who just happened to be on-call for c-sections, but apparently did not believe my Dr at how I was progressing. Well, she decided to check me too. Pardon the TMI, but w/her hand "all up in there", she commented that "W/this contraction, she's easily a stretchy 7cm." I asked her "What contraction?" She said "You don't feel that?" Nope, wasn't feeling a thing...of course there WAS a hand digging around in there. She looked at my Dr, then at me and said I wasn't going anywhere, we were having some babies that day! ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! NOT what I had planned for the day. At this point, it was about 5:50pm. I texted the oldest and asked how far they were from church (they were due back around 6pm) and said that the babies were coming. He didn't believe me at all. I said nope, not kidding, they are coming sometime that evening, so he needed to call Daddy when he was at church to get picked up and brought to the hospital. He finally believed that it was NOT a joke! The 2 of them made it to the hospital by 6:30pm, I was ready to finally eat some of my dinner, when the on-call OB tells me NO! She won't let me eat or even drink my iced tea because of the chance of needing a c-section. Stupid surgery! (only because I was REALLY hungry at that point!!!) She kept telling me that I had a "less than 30% chance" of delivering Baby B vaginally, so the odds of me needing a c-section were way up there and they didn't want to have to worry about me aspirating on vomit due to a meal. By that point, I was focusing on her comment about the "less than 30%" chance. Sorry, not happening. Both babies are coming out the same way and that's all there is to it. I've delivered 6 babies vaginally w/out drugs, and by golly I'm not "ruining my record" by having the very last baby to ever leave my body via c-section!! I know it must sound vain for me to say that, and I truly don't mean it to. I believe that however it takes for baby to come out safely and healthy is what is best, but in all honesty, the thought of a c-section scares the crap out of me. I really didn't want to vocalize how terrified I was at the mere thought of it, and especially not w/my IP's RIGHT there. They had enough to worry about that I just didn't want to add more to it.
My Dr came back in around 7:45pm I guess...give or take several minutes...and checked me again. I was 9cm!!! Ok, this time "I" was the one w/the shocked look on my face. Well, the on-call OB too. (BTW, she TOTALLY reminded me of Kathy Bates, and w/her at my side in the OR, in a "Misery" sort of way too!) I hadn't been feeling any "real" contractions, and the funny thing was that I guess they were starting to be more regular, but I was only barely noticing every 3rd to 4th one. I was calling my doula every so often to see how much longer until she was there...she was waiting for someone to get home as she was watching a toddler, so needed someone to watch him) Meanwhile, they set the OR up, J&R and my oldest "gowned" up in their scrubs, Big J watched Shosh in my room, and off I was wheeled to the OR. They putzed around the OR rearranging things, chatting, hooking up my IV (which was way more distressing for ME) etc until my doula, Patti, got there. She got there around 8pm, everyone introduced themselves and chatted a few mins, adjusted the mirrors, ME, broke the bed down and finally, at 8:15pm....my Dr broke the 1st amniotic bag. Nice clear fluid, looked normal, now everyone is just staring at me. Nothing like being put on the spot to "preform", and nothing happens. I finally started getting some stronger contractions around 9pm, I think, but didn't have to start concentrating on them until sometime between 9:15 and 9:30pm. In between, we were talking about chickens, goats, fishing, beehives, camping/cabins and all sorts of "odd" things. It was a riot! The oldest was snapping away taking pics, J&R were looking nervous still, but not too bad. "Kathy Bates" is whispering in my ear to push w/the next contraction, but in my head, I was telling her I couldn't as my body wasn't ready just yet. I was afraid to say it out loud to her, because, well, she really reminded me of Misery!! Not that she'd break my legs or anything, but you know how it is when there is an irrational thought in your head...you just can't let it go sometimes. FINALLY my body said "PUSH!" and I did. I won't really know until I see the video what time I started, but I think I pushed for maybe 10-15mins to get Baby A out? It was funny a few times, because I'm used to having my feet flat on the bed, sitting almost completely upright. The nurses kept grabbing my legs and holding them for me, which I do NOT like and feel like I don't have control over my body. Well, them doing this caused a leg cramp in my left leg and I just couldn't stop concentrating on the cramp. They were amazed that the leg cramp was causing me more "distress" than labor and pushing. Well, darn it, how was I supposed to concentrate on pushing w/a stinking leg cramp?
Baby A, now known as Lev, was born at 9:45pm and was just a tiny peanut of a thing! He weighed in at 4lbs 6.8oz and 17 1/2" long. He's just beautiful!! He really does look like a little doll too. He's very light...blonde hair but darker eyes. He had a nice, lusty cry and was so incredibly alert!! I don't think he missed a thing in that OR. I held him after he was cleaned up a bit and wrapped warmly (it really was pretty darn cold in the OR, but I hadn't noticed it just yet) and he and I chatted a bit. I then got to hand him over to J for the 1st time. I just always love that feeling! Getting to see a parent hold their child for the 1st time is just such an incredible thing to witness. During this time, the OB shadowing us was holding Baby B's head in place and was using the U/S to make sure of his position, and "Kathy Bates" was holding his body, so that he didn't flip on us. I of course was straining to look at the U/S monitor because they just fascinate me.
I was enjoying my "rest", but it was time to get the show on the road again. Baby B's bag was still intact, so my Dr decided to break that too. Who knew what an experience THAT would be. Holy BUCKETS was there a TON of fluid!!!!! There was easily 2-3 TIMES the amt as what surrounded Lev. It just gushed, and by the looks of the bag it went into, it looked like there was easily 2-3 GALLONS (at least 2gal for sure) and on top of that, it apparently was a crystal clear as water. I'm not sure what that means, but both OB's and my Dr commented on it. They said that it was so clear, you could have read a book through it. Well, my water was broken w/him at 10:02pm and w/in a minute it hurt like hell! Out of all my labors, I can say THIS one was the most intense and painful. I was cockeyed on the bed and they all kept asking me if I wanted them to help me sit upright. I said no, I was like that for a reason...I was trying to get away from the pain, but it wasn't working. LOL! I almost immediately had the urge to push and did what my body told me to do. At 10:06pm, we welcomed "little" brother, Asher into the world. He was a BIG boy, especially compared to his "big" brother. Asher weighed in at a whooping 6lbs 12.9oz and was 19 1/2" long. It took him a bit longer to start crying and sounded like he had swallowed some fluid, so was a bit "grunty", but both boys had APGARS of 9/9, so we were all thrilled. Asher is darker w/his hair, but looks like blue eyes so far. They brought him over to me, we chatted a bit and then I got to hand him over to R for the 1st time. I love that my oldest is able to get pics of these 1st moments!
Normally about this time, I'm still having a few contractions so that I can push out the placenta, but was surprised that it came out all on it's own. What was more surprising was that both placenta's were indeed fused together! It's odd because at our Nuchal scan, it was said that they were "conjoined, fused placenta's", but at our 20wks anatomy scan and each scan after where it was looked at, showed that they were clearly seperate! Even the U/S for the BPP that morning, I'd been having a severe pain and asked the tech to take a peek at it to make sure it looked alright and wasn't detatching from the uterine wall. It still looked seperate THAT morning! Odd. Everything my body needed to do after that it did, bleeding was minimal, no tearing or abrasions at all (w/Asher's super fast appearance, we weren't sure), I could BREATHE again, finally, and the pain I'd been having was GONE! (felt like someone had been stabbing me w/a steak knife near the top of my uterus) I was moved back into my room, Big J and Shosh did great while we were busy, and I was finally able to eat my dinner! I wanted to rub it into "Kathy Bate's" face that I beat her "less than 30% chance" too, but I didn't. I had my doubts and fears that I could handle a natural, drug-free vaginal twin delivery (which is why I so desperately wanted Patti there w/me!), but feel incredible that I WAS able to do it. I listened to my body and followed what it was telling me to do. It also makes a huge difference that my Dr believe's in me, advocates strongly for me, and that the support I have in the room w/me (from the parents or my husband, to my son, my doula and my Dr) support me the way that they do and believe so strongly in me. While there honestly isn't much for anyone to do as far as "helping" me through labor, it's the verbalization of support, the physical nearness of them, the trust and faith they have in me, and knowing that if I needed it, they are able to advocate, stand up for me and by my voice if needed.
Around 1:45am, I got a text asking if I was awake, and in came J&R and the twins. (they FINALLY got Shosh down to sleep! She had just been so excited) They looked tired but so happy. The boys are just gorgeous and they asked me to hold them for a bit. I think it's better to hold Lev 1st w/him being so light, and then Asher. You can definately feel that 2lbs 6oz difference between them, but I'd be afraid if I held Lev 2nd, I might toss him! You get used to the heavier weight, then holding something so much lighter is almost like holding a doll. There were a few issues w/Asher intially, low blood sugar, but he was just fine and Lev was doing wonderfully. We got some nice family pics which seems to be a "must do" for us, so our kids get a chance to see/hold the baby/ies and have that memory. All of the labor/birth pics my son does on disposable cameras, so not sure that I will get around to trying to upload those...they are pretty graphic anyway. The rest of the pics are on J&R's camera and I have a few. While I have been given permission to share Lev and Asher w/other's, I do still want to respect the privacy of J&R, so I will not be sharing their family pics. You'll just have to take my word that they are beautiful pics and the 5 of them make an incredible family.