Monday, October 31, 2011

My Birth Story

Since the boys will be turning ONE very shortly, I figured I'd better write my birth story. Here are my recollections of what was one of the best days of my life...

November 10, 2010, was intended to be just another normal, routine day. I had two appointments that morning. One was at 8:30 in the morning with my perinatologist, Dr. M, whom I saw every 4-5 weeks or so, for an ultrasound to check the growth of the babies. This appointment was to be followed by my routine weekly OB appointment with Dr. P.

Following the growth ultrasound, which was actually performed by my peri's ultrasound tech, we met with my perinatologist. After telling us that the babies looked great and their growth was right on track, he asked, or assumed rather, that I was going to deliver the babies vaginally. My immediate response was "no" and he responded back with "well, why not?" I went on to explain that my c-section had already been scheduled for November 18th and that my OB would not even consider delivering me vaginally, mainly because Baby B was in the breech (feet first) position and it was just too risky. He wasn't comfortable or experienced with breech deliveries and he informed me of this from the very beginning. My peri must had sensed my frustration because he asked me if I wanted to have a c-section.  I adamantly replied "no!!" I told him that I had wanted to have a natural delivery all along. He said that there was no reason for me to have a c-section, even if Baby B was breech presentation. I could still proceed with a vaginal delivery.

A breech delivery is almost unheard of these days. So, you can imagine how my jaw just about dropped to the floor when Dr. M informed me that if I wanted a natural delivery I could have it! I then went into a bit of a panic mode. I read a lot during my pregnancy and read about one of the possible risks of a vaginal delivery with twins. My biggest fear was that after delivering Baby A, Baby B would go into distress which would require an emergency c-section. That SCARED me so much that I resigned myself into believing that a c-section was the way to go. I voiced my fears to my peri, who informed me that the chance of Baby B going into distress and thus requiring an emergency c-section was very unlikely, about a 10% chance. He encouraged me and was very supportive of proceeding with a vaginal delivery. I trusted him. He reminded me that he had previously worked in an IVF clinic for 20 years and had experience with breech deliveries. To him, it was not a big deal. He would be there to assist Dr. P  in the delivery. "Everything was goin' to be just fine" I remember his saying with his southern drawl.

So, Dr. M then told me to go ahead and check-in for my OB appointment with Dr. P and then we would all meet to discuss the plans for delivery! They did the normal blood pressure, urine and weight check. My blood pressure ended up being 149/98! They checked it again and and it was 138/95! I had been averaging 120/70's throughout my entire pregnancy. I had +1 protein in my urine as well. The high blood pressure and protein in my urine were both indicators of pre-eclampsia...not good. Once I was taken back into the exam room, where both Dr. M and Dr. P were present, Dr. M informed me that we needed to get the babies out within the next 48 hours since the pre-eclampsia would only get worse. At that point, Dr. M decided to go ahead and check my cervix...and...I was already dilated to 4! Yikes! What?? You've got to be kidding me! I remember feeling so excited but anxious. Everything was happening sooooooo fast! I didn't feel mentally or physically prepared to put my body through what it needed to do. We were gonna meet our babies, very soon! And, I was going to have the delivery that I had HOPED for and DREAMED about all along but thought I would't have! Wow!

At around 10 am, I called my sister to let her know the exciting news. The timing couldn't have been better. Both my sister and her husband were off for the next few days and were going to head up to the hospital shortly. Shortly after that, I went down to the lab to have some labs drawn.

It didn't take long before I got settled into my room. Since we were completely unprepared for the events that were about to take place, Mark went back home to get all of my things for the big day. He left a little after 10:30 that morning. Fortunately, I had been packing for the hospital for the past few weeks. With twins, there was always a chance that they could come early. Also, I am a little over the top with organization and planning anyways.

The hospital is about 30 minutes from our home, so I was a little anxious being without Mark for a little more than an hour. Thankfully, Dr. M's nurse sat with me the entire time Mark was gone. I can still recall telling her all of my fears. We talked about Karissa most of time and how I was fearful that these babies would be sick and have seizures too.

Once Mark returned, at around noon, I was 5 cm dilated and the pitocin, which I was deathly afraid of, was started. I had pitocin when I was in labor with Karissa and I remember how painful my contractions were once the pit really started going. Anyways,  I wouldn't let them start the pitocin until Mark got back. I kept having irrational thoughts that I would have the babies before he got back. Lol! Anyways, they started the pitocin and increased the rate very quickly. Every 30 minutes they upped the dose. They really wanted to get the babies out! I think it was really because both Dr. P, who would be delivering the babies and Dr. M, who would be present to assist with the breech delivery, didn't want to stick around all day. Dr. P had promised me that he would deliver the twins regardless of how they were gonna come out. Oh, and he wasn't too happy about delivering a breech baby by the way!

My water broke on its own shortly after the pitcocin was started. I thought for sure I had flooded the whole L&D floor with all the fluid. Things moved along quite quickly and I was surprised at how well I was handling the contractions. I was in some pain but it was quite manageable. I actually wanted to feel some pain. I wanted to feel my contractions. It's easy for me to say that I could have made it without an epidural but I didn't have a choice. I had to have an epidural in the unlikely event that I would need an emergency c-section. Somewhere between 1:30 and 2:30, I got my epidural, even though I didn't want it. After I received the epidural, I texted a friend and my exact words were: "The epidural hurt like hell." I remember during the procedure, grabbing onto Mark so hard that I think I left a bruise. Dr. M was also with us and I remember him trying to divert my attention away from the pain by telling me my hair smelled really good. I did wash it that morning, too. Oh, and I probably left him a good size bruise on his arm as well.

At around 4:30, I was dilated to 8 cm and shortly before 5, I was dilated to 10 and ready to start pushing. Dr. P had me do some practice pushing before moving me into the operating room for delivery. I was ready to go. This was it! Now I had to push not one but TWO babies out of my body.

I remember being wheeled into the OR and at the last minute asking Dr. P if my sister could be present during the delivery. He agreed. The OR was bustling with people. Their were two teams ready and waiting for each baby. The room was filled with about 12 people...a neonatologist for each baby, 2 nurses for each baby, respiratory therapists, my doctors and my nurse and the anesthesiologist. I had quite the audience!

~Getting ready to move to the operating room for delivery!~
I had to deliver in the OR in the event that a c-section had to be performed. The room was set and ready for both a vaginal delivery and a c-section. Let me tell you, the OR is one place that you don't want to deliver a baby. It was so cold and sterile, filled with bright lights. All I can remember about the delivery was the bright light above my head and Mark yelling at me to "PUSH!" And, I had to lay completely flat on my back, so gravity was definitely NOT working in my favor.

After a few pushes, out came Preston. He arrived at 5:55 pm., weighing 5 pounds 11 ounces and 18 inches long. It seemed like an ETERNITY before I heard the glorious sound of his first cry. I remember the nurse holding him up for me to see. But, back to work I went. I had another baby to push out. I was already exhausted. Ethan, who was breech, arrived 4 minutes after his big brother at 5:59 pm. He weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was also 18 inches long. I didn't realize it until after I had my 6 week postpartum visit, that Ethan was a tough little guy to get out. Dr. P told me that after he delivered Ethan's feet, he had to reach up (ya, gross) and bring his arm down from over his head before he could deliver the rest of him. I remember at that visit telling him that I was surprised at how relatively easy my labor and delivery was and that the delivery wasn't that bad. I ended up only having to push for 20 minutes. Not bad considering I had 2 babies to push out and that I pushed for about and 1 and 1/2 hours when I had Karissa. I was truly amazed at what my body had accomplished. Not only did I deliver two babies, I also managed to keep them baking for 37 1/2 weeks which is quite impressive with a twin pregnancy.
~My very first glimpse of Preston~

But, going back to the arrival of Preston and Ethan, I still remember the moment that the nurse placed Preston on my chest.  Mark held Ethan first and then he gave him to me and I was holding both of my precious, perfectly healthy little baby boys. That moment will be ingrained in my memory forever. There is something so unique and precious about that moment. Almost magical. A moment that is unlike any other and one that comes only once in a lifetime.

~The moment~



~Ethan looking at his brother Preston~

~Preston is on the left, Ethan on the right~
~All ready to go home dressed in
their homecoming outfits~

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