My labor with my first was a great experience. It lasted about five hours from my first real contraction at home, after which we hurried off to the hospital, to the time she came out at 5:59 am. This time however we had a similar start but a very different ending.
After being awake for almost forty-five minutes with some cramps, I thought maybe my water had been leaking, and we decided to tell my mom we were heading to the hospital. No sooner did we get outside when the real, intense contractions set in. My husband opened the van door for me to get in, and I was like “no, I can’t… I can’t sit.”
“Um.. okay, what do you mean?”
“I can’t sit. I just can’t, there’s too much pressure…. just open the back door and I’ll kneel on the floor in the back.”
Yep. That’s how we rode the almost thirty minutes to the hospital. With me in the back on my knees, leaning over the seat having contraction after contraction. With him saying, “don’t worry, hang in there. In a few minutes you can have an epidural, and everything will be fine.”
Yes, I was very much looking forward to that.
Once we got there he got a wheel chair and I forced myself to sit as he wheeled me upstairs. The receptionist was taking my information, and I had to loudly breathe and tap the desk with my hand to get through the contractions. It was starting to get so intense. Once we got into the first exam room where they started taking my vitals I thought, “okay, almost there.”
Then the doctor comes in… immediately she is not pleased I want to deliver the twins vaginally. She starts asking, “do you even know if they are head down?”
“Both of them?”
I am in pain and starting to get frustrated. It’s a Saturday and my doctor isn’t there. He assured me I could definitely deliver both twins vaginally, and he would even deliver the second one breech if need be because she’s smaller. However, he did warn me he’s only one of two doctors at the hospital willing to deliver twins vaginally. My induction date isn’t until Thursday (at 38 weeks exactly) and now I’m stuck with this lady who clearly is not comfortable delivering twins. I’m getting nervous.
“Well, I’m going to go get an ultrasound machine, and then we can talk about it once we see if they’re head down.”
I’m in so much pain, she hasn’t even checked me yet to see if I’m dilated, and now she’s trying to prove I need to have a c-section. I’m not happy.
She finally gets back with the machine. She puts it on my stomach and says, “I don’t even see baby a’s head.”
I’m getting more and more frustrated.
“We need to lay you back further.”
Basically tilt me upside down on the exam table.
“No, I can’t lay back further. It hurts. I can’t lay back. You need to check me.”
I’m starting to panic.
She finally realizes I’m serious.
“Okay, lets just check to see how far dilated you are first,” she finally says and pushes the machine to the side.
No sooner does she lift up the sheet then I hear her say, “Oh. You’re at about a 9, we need to go.”
I’m furious with this woman.
“I want an epidural,” I tell her.
“Well, I don’t know if there’s going to be any time,” she says shaking her head.
“Yeah, because you’ve been asking me all these questions and messing with the machine instead of checking me!” I snapped back at her. “I want an epidural.”
“The five or six minutes I was talking to you wasn’t going to make a difference,” she told me.
I beg to differ.
The next few minutes were so chaotic. Nurses are prepping me and my husband for the operating room (you have to deliver twins in the operating room in case of an emergency c-section). The doctor agreed to try to get me a spinal. To which I replied, “I don’t want a c-section.”
“You can still deliver vaginally with a spinal,” she says.
I don’t remember much. I do remember a nurse next to me talking to someone saying, “yeah, shes having a c-section.”
I snapped my head around so fast, “I’m not having a c-section!”
I must have startled her. “Oh okay, sorry!” She replied quickly. I remember saying to my husband, “this doctor is going to cut me open. I just know it. I don’t want a c-section.”
I’m in excruciating pain, but finally, a couple of nurses are wheeling me into the OR. Only a few more minutes until I can get a spinal and relax a little.
The OR is very bright and there are tons of people in there. Probably at least eight or ten people. There are several people surrounding me, getting ready to lift me from the portable bed onto the operating table. The man performing the spinal is behind them with a clipboard asking me all the necessary questions. They finally ask if I’m ready to transfer tables. I’m in so much pain I don’t think I can get from one table to the other. But then I think, “okay, the faster I just do this and get it over with the better chance I have of being able to get a spinal before I get too far along.”
They count to three and lift me. As I push myself up, I start screaming. Like blood curdling screams. I can hear the nurses around me frantically saying “breathe! Breathe!”
I finally could catch my breath enough to yell, “he’s coming out!” My body felt like it was thrashing around like the exorcist.
Quickly a few people move to the end of the table and lift the gown, “oh, he is coming out!” I hear someone exclaim.
Everyone is shuffling around so fast. In a matter of seconds I look up to see blood shooting out onto my legs and finally for the first time since getting into the van I felt some relief.
They laid a baby boy on top of my hospital gown. Ben was born at 5:33 am. I look up behind me to see my husband’s eyes full of tears. He’s honestly probably just relieved something much more serious wasn’t happening from the way I was screaming.
The room was buzzing with excitement, and the doctor was yelling for everyone to quiet down. I remember turning to the nurse next to me that had been telling me to breathe and saying, “I’m so sorry for screaming.” She just started laughing. “Don’t be sorry! You just had a baby! That was amazing!”
As they took him away to be cleaned off, my body started involuntarily shaking. Oddly enough though, a lot of the pain of the contractions had dulled and eased. The doctor placed my shaking legs in stirrups. And then after checking me announced that baby b has flipped breech. “I don’t want a c-section,” I stated for what felt like the millionth time. “Can you try to turn her?” I asked.
And with that the doctor tried to reach in and turn her, which was extremely painful since I hadn’t had any medication at all and could feel everything. It took everything in me to keep myself down on the table. She wasn’t able to flip her though.
“Can we just wait and see if she flips?” I then asked.
I could tell by now I was trying the doctors patience.
She let out a sigh, and said “well, we can try to give you the spinal, and then maybe when you relax more I can try to go in and flip her again.”
Okay, yes. I felt relieved like she was actually listening to me for the first time since I had gotten there.
Well, I obviously couldn’t sit up to have the spinal put in, so they had my roll on my side, and a nurse asked me to try to curl myself around her body. Easier said then done when you’re trying to hold a baby in. “I’m scared she’s going to come out,” I said.
“Don’t worry, she’s not going to come out,” the nurse assured me. “You’re doing great just hug me as tight as you can.” She continued to speak so sweetly and encouragingly to me through the whole process.
Can I pause a minute just to say, thank God for the amazing people that go into the nursing profession. It’s incredible to me that I don’t know any of their names, I will never probably see them again, and I don’t know if they will ever remember me, but they made such a huge impact for me during this scary and stressful time. They are women I don’t even know but will never ever forget. I’m so thankful for their profession.
Unfortunately, despite all of the amazing help from the nurse, they stuck me four or five times and couldn’t get the spinal in. When that failed, the doctor finally announced they were going to have to put me out with general anesthesia and cut me open to get the baby out. Basically, the worst possible scenario in my eyes was about to become a reality. I immediately began pleading with the doctor to just wait a little longer to see if she flips. “One leg is up by her head and one leg is down. I can’t risk her coming out like that,” she said.
Next thing I know there was a woman above me grabbing my neck and shoving a mask down hard on my face. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Brent being ushered out of the room.
The doctor started yelling at the anesthesiologist telling her “wait, wait” and I heard her yelling back at the doctor but couldn’t make out what she was saying. I started to panic again. I began pushing up against her hand and the mask. She was fighting it back down on my face. I finally shoved it hard off of me and told her “stop! The doctor is telling you to wait.” She told me, “I’m putting the mask back on your face, don’t take it off again.” And that was the last thing I remember.
I woke up to a strange sound. It took several moments for me to realize it was the sound of my teeth chattering. As I started to become more alert I realized my whole body was shaking like a jackhammer. My abdomen was in so much pain I just wanted to relax my muscles, but I was shaking so bad I couldn’t. This was an unpleasant surprise. I never imagined to wake up in more pain than I went to sleep in. I was so ready for this to be over. I just wanted some relief. “Can I get an epidural now?” I thought.
Finally a nurse came in and through chattering teeth I said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t stop shaking.”
“It’s okay she said, I’ll give you something for it.” No sooner did she put something into my IV then the shaking all seemed to instantly stop. After some conversation between the nurses in the room I realized I was in the ICU, and they were looking for Brent to bring him in there.
Then the doctor stopped in the room to ask how I was doing and apologize. “I know it didn’t go the way you wanted, but I couldn’t risk her legs breaking. Things were happening fast and you felt pressure, and I couldn’t let her come out like that,” she said. “Both of the babies are doing well. He he had a bit of bruising on his face from coming out so fast, but it will go away,” she continued. “We’re going to find your husband and bring him in.”
Then not long after that the anesthesiologist came in to apologize as well. “I’m sorry if you thought I was being rough with you. Everything was happening so fast, and I had to make sure you were out and didn’t feel anything. I know it seemed like I was being mean, but it’s my job to make sure we put you out in time.”
Finally, after what felt like forever Brent walked into the room. My voice was so hoarse and my throat so dry I could barely talk. His eyes filled with tears again. “Are you okay?” He asked. I nodded and smiled at him and managed to ask where our babies are. Turns out he had been in a room with them both the whole time. “How is our baby girl?” I asked. “Is she okay?”
“Yeah she’s okay. She was 5 pounds 4 ounces. She was born at 5:59 am exactly the same as Charly. I texted everyone her name is Amelia Grace. So if you want to change it I’ll have to text everyone back.”
I started to laugh. We had struggled for nine long months with this poor little girls name. Weeks ago we had decided on Anna then a few days before I went into labor we went back to Amelia.
“No baby, I like it,” I said.
“Oh and they both had formula since they didn’t know when you would be awake. They asked me if it was okay, and I didn’t know so I said yes. Was that okay?”
I just laughed again at the worried look on his face. Our poor husbands can be so worried about doing the wrong thing when it comes to the kids. “Yeah baby, that’s okay.”
Fortunately it wasn’t long before they were ready to take me out of the ICU and into the room to be with my babies. I finally got to hold them both for the first time.
Overall, the whole thing was a bit of a traumatic event for me. I later learned that we had only left the house at 4:47 am and Ben came out at 5:33 am and Mia came out at 5:59 am. So despite it seeming like an eternity of painful and chaotic events the whole thing only lasted a little over an hour. I would never want to go through anything like that again, but it is really hard to complain when I see this photo and think back on how lucky we are to have two beautiful healthy babies that we went home with two days later.