15th August 2015 – One of the longest, and most exciting days of my life!
An Early Start
1.30 am Off to the loo AGAIN. No one told me about this, it’s all I seem to do – every blooming hour. Hang on, I’m not weeing, I’m sitting here with what seems like wee pouring out. No…. I’m only 34 weeks (34+5 to be exact), we are still in August – I can’t have an August baby, I’m a teacher! AND I’d planned on having a c-section – I had only signed the papers a few days ago. My waters have broken!
In a whimpered voice, I called my husband from the en-suite, phoned the Labour ward from the loo of all places and was told to come in. I remember feeling a little disappointed as they weren’t due to arrive for another couple of weeks but hoped everything would be ok. I felt reasonably calm on the drive to the hospital as no contractions yet – they were yet to come!
2:30am I had been carrying these two babies round for the last 34 weeks, but it was all becoming a little too real – yes I was pregnant, yes I was about to have two babies, TWO – heck!! I got admitted into Day Assessment Unit. AND then we waited, And waited … And waited…
4:45am The Doctor finally came round and examined me – 5 cm dilated and I’m actually, most definitely in Labour. I had the steroid injection to help with the babies lungs when they are born. A lot of people ask whether this hurts, I don’t really remember it hurting so no, I don’t think it does. We were then faced with a hard decision about whether to try for a natural birth and give them the best start or just go for caesarean that I had planned.
5:15am I was having proper contractions and in pain now – oh bugger, why didn’t I stick to my original plan to go for a c-section – no we are doing the best thing for the babies, keep reminding me that! I had to ask for pain relief, I’m not doing this alone! I think all women get excited by the gas and air part, and the men in fact; possibly more so! One thing I never realised was that it made your voice go funny! I felt a little embarrassed!
6:15am Transferred to labour ward with a sea view – year right! I was having regular contractions now and in a lot of pain. I asked for an epidural but the anaesthetist was in theatre – typical.
The contractions were almost continuous. It’s hard to explain what these feel like but I remember arching my back and asking if it was nearly over. It’s a bit like stomach cramps that you have never experienced in your life. The doctor came back in and said there was a possibility that they may be born without an epidural and we should be prepared. Arrrggghhhhhhh Nooooooo – no one ever prepares you for this! I don’t do pain very well, in fact I’m a complete wimp. The gas & air not doing much at all!
I was now 9cm dilated so in order to monitor Twin 1 better the nurse fixed a clip to twin 1’s head to directly monitor the heartbeat.
7:30am the Anesthetist arrived – It felt like all my Christmases had all come at once. I was virtually fully dilated and my goodness did it feel good – I could breathe again!
9:30am I boosted the epidural for the first time – why not when I can, I had the power!
10:45am A quick examination by the doctor and he instructed the midwives to start the pushing process – sounds so glam!!
11am Midwifes and medical staff surrounded me. When anyone has twins, there are always double the people in the room. 2 paediatric doctors, 2 paediatric nurses, a third midwife – maybe a forth, and 2 neonatal nurses. Each baby needs its own team of medics. Now donned in gloves, the midwife held her hand on my bump. The other felt twin 1 and felt that she could feel the front diamond on twin 1 head so twin 1 was looking up. When the contraction came I was to push down. This took a bit of practise to get it right as I couldn’t feel anything due to the epidural. Before I knew it, my feet got put up in stirrups which was actually more comfortable, by no means was this my best pose ever! The doctor arrived, I was fully dilated and ready to give birth now – The doctor wasn’t going to wait and was a man on a mission!!
The Start of an Incredible Hour
The Husbands account – I was otherwise busy!!
The doctor asked Anna to push, so she pushed but twin 1 wasn’t making much headway. Anna wasn’t a giving birth screamer like you see in the movies, she was very quiet and focused. The room was full of professionals by this point!
The Doctor tried with ventouse (basically a big plunger) and then had to do a little snip (episiotomy) to widen the gap. I watched the blood come out in a steady trickle down from the cut. He then had to work the ventouse hard and side to side to get twin 1 passed the pelvic bone with Anna pushing as hard as she could.
The birth was swift – head followed by rest of body poured out in milky white covering and a lot of blood! I was surprised about how big she was – a lot of body, legs and cord followed the head. The doctor cut the cord quickly and passed twin 1 over to someone who took twin 1 to the resuscitator where 2 paediatric doctors & two paediatric nurses were. The doctor then inserted a syringe into the cord and then used what looked like scissors with a bent over end to clamp the cut.
The midwife then appeared with twin 1 by Anna’s head and asked me to tell Anna what she had. I thought it was a boy as genitals were quite proud (albeit it would have been a very small willy!!) So midwife laughed at me and corrected me!! She took twin 1 back to the resuscitator and asked Anna what her name was and Anna declared it was ‘Tabitha’.
Tabitha Rose was born at 12:17pm – 4lb 15 oz
I looked at the 8 inch wide river of blood that was staining the sheet from Anna to the floor and the 18 inch diameter pool of blood on the floor. Amazed and a bit concerned about the amount of blood.
With Twin 2 still inside and a fair way away from the exit we couldn’t see how she was expected to descend. The doctor told me that he could probably grab her legs and decided that due to the position of Twin 2 it would be wise to go to theatre as that would be the safest place to do the second delivery although he still hoped to get her out naturally. Anna really didn’t want to go through a c-section now no matter how much labour had just hurt. Everyone burst into action for the move to theatre and 2 units of blood were called for as it was reckoned Anna had lost about 1.5 litres of blood at this point (and 3 litres by the end of both births)!
I was told to wait outside the theatre whilst all was prepared. It felt very unnatural to sit outside patiently on your own when all hell is breaking loose. A whole rollercoaster of feelings ran through me during this 45 mins in particular!
Being allowed into theatre and getting back to Anna had an immediate calming effect as I was back where I should be. The doctor explained that he had scanned twin 2 and she was breach with the cord around her neck and whilst he might be able to get out it was dangerous so he wanted to do a C-section. Anna was disappointed as the exact scenario she didn’t want was playing out but we had no choice.
Anna was very concerned about feeling the scalpel & needed gas and air again to calm her down. I watched the doctor prep the area with dark brown stuff which Anna could feel but within a minute Twin 2 was on the resuscitator and it was all over & Anna hadn’t felt any more!!
Poppy Victoria was born at 13:02 – 4lb 5oz
I got invited over to cut the cord (it was about a foot long and obviously already cut but did it again whilst one of the midwifes took a picture. Was invited to feel it as well – bit like rubber!
My Placenta and Being Sewn Up!
The Popitha Twins!
So, I am a Daddy, and Anna is a Mummy. This is just the beginning of our journey with twins…