So, it turns out that when you go to the hospital to have a baby, but you’re not in labor it’s really boring! They checked me in, gave me the never fashionable, modest, or comfortable hospital gown, and hooked me up to the machines. There was the IV drip of fluids, and antibiotics (I was Strep B positive this time), the automatic blood pressure cuff, a monitor for contractions (not having any) and a monitor for each baby’s heartbeat.
This part was boring and time-consuming because Baby Boy, hereby blog-named Macaroni, had a habit of not staying in one place for the monitors. This also made all my appointments for the previous month long and boring. Oh, and then there was the Pitocin since this was an induction and all. They started the Pitocin out at something like one drip every fifteen minutes. Boring, but glad that my uterus wasn’t exploding.
During all this boring stuff I was about 3cm dilated. After a little bit I did start having the slightest of contractions, but as far as contractions go still boring. My friend, Cari, who was being my doula, photographer, and voice of reason should I go a little batty came and that’s when things started to get a little more fun. My labor didn’t increase, but she, my husband, and I were talking and hanging out. Minus the hospital gown and all the wires, we were basically just hanging out.
My nurse was awesome. I’m thinking her name was Grace (If I had to do college over again, I might be a nurse.) was amazing and cool. We should totally be friends. I was getting an epidural for the first time and I was first-class freaked out about it. She held my hands (and helped me keep the IMPOSSIBLE position of pushing out two specific vertebra in my back, which by the way Dr. Anesthesiologist, is NOT a thing an actual person has control over ) and talked me through the entire thing. So I’m hunched over pretending like this is something I can do and we’re talking all about the distillery that she and her husband are opening, her MOPS group, and even though it takes a little longer than I wanted it to it was one simple little poke and over. No. Big. Deal.
Once it was over I’m laying there in the bed slowly going numb and we’re still talking about the distillery because if there’s anything that a 9 months pregnant woman wants to talk about it’s alcohol! Abstaining makes the heart grow fonder!
Back to the epidural. It’s really strange because after feeling every.little.smidgeon. of pain in previous labors you now feel basically nothing. There’s a button to push for bonus pain killer and I did have to do that and there was a little lopsidedness for awhile, but Grace talked me through all of that and there was just all in all much chilling. I would not change my previous “natural births” for anything, but there was no chilling involved with those. It was WORK. Brutal, amazing, personal, incredible, and empowering work. At 11:30, the doctor asked me if I was feeling any pressure. I could tell when I was having a contraction, but no pressure, nothing exciting, 5 centimeters, we were all just chilling and expecting several more hours of the same. The epidural gave me this huge ocean of separation. I could feel my muscles, but eh, they were doing one thing and I was doing another. It was a very disconnected feeling.
A bit later, there was a contraction that was noticeable for sure and gave me the briefest sense of, “that felt weird” but still, there’s NOTHING to it. I was talking to Grace, she was probably doing vitals or something. My husband and doula-friend were on the side of the room talking-chatting-amusing me. There was another contraction. Longer contraction. I felt like maybe I should say something, but I wasn’t sure because again, it was nothing like anything I’d ever experienced before. It didn’t hurt. It wasn’t anything but noticeable. It was 12:04. Grace asked me if I had felt that contraction. I said yes and it felt kind of strange. She nodded, crossed the room to get gloves, and said that she’d check me because “my face looked different”. She was getting gloves. Doula and husband were talking. It had just felt weird and so I moved the sheet away. The next words out of my mouth were,
“There’s a baby in the bed.”
And thus, my daughter was born! She was just there. Grace came running over, one glove on, she hit the emergency button, and started doing nurse-baby things. My friend and husband were now THERE and she was taking pictures and he was holding my hand, and then there were one million people in my room. (Something about being in labor with twins and not being in the OR, and then one of them suddenly being born unattended in the bed!)
There wasn’t a lot of time for thinking, but I remember thinking, “She was born and that was so easy and now I’ll have Baby Boy here, in the room.” As I was thinking that, someone was taking care of Baby Girl (Jellybean) and another nurse was doing an ultrasound of Baby Boy (Macaroni) and then we were all moving. There was mild shouting.
I didn’t get to hold my daughter, and they were rolling me out of the room and down the hall. I didn’t know what was happening except they told me I needed a c-section because Baby Boy was in distress. The anesthesiologist was there and turned my epidural into c-section worthy medication. I couldn’t see my husband. I didn’t get to hold my daughter. I was trying not to cry, but was crying. Having a vaginal birth and then a c-section was exactly what any twin mom did NOT want. Everything had gone from amazing and fine to emergency and it was shocking. Then all of a sudden, Grace was there at my side again, telling me that we said we wanted two healthy babies and that’s what this c-section was going to give me. We’d be fine. He’d be fine. He just needed to be born. Now. Andrew would be right back. We would all be fine. Other people might have said more things, someone might have told me then what was actually happening, but I don’t remember that. I was scared. I felt alone. I didn’t know what was going on. We were booking it through that hallway.
In the operating room, everything was happening around me. Fast. I knew it was happening FOR me, but I didn’t know what was happening. Every now and then Grace would stop back by me and tell me that it was okay and that I was going to be okay (and that I could stop crying, lol). Andrew magically appeared at one point and that was good. I was so glad that my friend was there with Jellybean, but I was still thinking about how I’d never gotten to hold her, and then scary thoughts about whatever was happening right at that moment.
Someone did another ultrasound and then there was my doctor again telling me that my son needed to be born, now, and that they wanted me to push, even though I was 1000% numb and couldn’t feel anything. It was extremely strange. They had to lift my legs into the stirrups for me because I couldn’t do anything, but they said that Baby Boy needed to be born and that since I’d had babies before they thought I could push him out in less than the 12 additional minutes it would take for them to get ready for the c-section because the room was 0% prepared.
And I did. I think it took three pushes, which is not my record, but since I couldn’t feel anything I’m still proud of it. 😉 I’m pretty sure the first push was not good, the second push I remember seeing Andrew, and then Grace was back for the third push, not letting me stop even though I couldn’t feel what was going on and keeping me going until he was born. There was my doctor and there was the neonatologist, and they were both trying to get my son out and he was not cooperating. Our little Macaroni was finally born 16 eventful minutes after his sister and whoosh, he was away, and I didn’t get to hold him either
He needed a lot of help. It felt like forever until I got to see him. Grace would go away and come back and I’d cry and ask was he okay, was he okay, was he okay. And she’d tell me that he was fine. He had a rough start, lots of trauma. He’d be fine. I’d have him soon. And I think I just kept crying against my will, from the moment they wheeled me into the hallway. Finally, they brought him out and I was able to kiss his cheeks and then he was gone again, and they were taking me back to my room.
It turns out that as soon as Jellybean was born, he did a quick flip. He was breech, feet first, with the cord coming down before his feet, and then he had his arms crossed behind his head. It’s a classic waterslide position, but not birth position, and he was first class stuck.
Eventually, I was able to hold both my babies at the same time. One fell out, one was basically pried out (the doctor came and told me they were pretty sure they didn’t break any of his bones getting him out), one was fine, one needed resuscitation, but we were all there. I was wheeled into my room holding two healthy babies, my husband was there, my doula/friend was there, and that was the beginning of it all.
I have three wonderful “big kids”, two healthy incredible babies, one amazing husband, and zero time for blogging. I’d take some extra sleep, but I wouldn’t change anything else about it all.