A long story.... but hey it's like 2 birth stories!
and Calvin Christopher
both 6 lbs 5 oz, 19.5 in
born 11/16 at 1:05 and 1:29 pm
It was an intense 24 min that sounds like the plot of a TV show.
I was 38.5 w and my perinatologist wanted to induce because 1) she's uncomfortable with mono/di twins going past 39 weeks and 2) I have a history of rather fast birth (ds was 3 hr). I was so nervous about all this because my 2 previous hospital births have been very low intervention... no epi, no IVs, delayed clamping... I was very worried about stepping into the cascade of interventions.
Happily both babies were now vertex and so my dr was no longer pushing for an epi. (i don't mind needles in general but the idea of one in my back totally freaks me out) The procedure for twins is to move to the OR as a precaution when fully dilated and ready to push. There would be a pediatric team for each baby, an anesthesia team there on standby, my dr, a resident, 3 nurses-- basically a circus.
Monday I did lots of walking, squats and acupressure and managed to get into a regular pattern of contractions every 5 min, not terribly painful but I hoped they would progress. However, I woke up Tues still pregnant and headed to my appointment at the hospital. After a lot of waiting around, I was started on a low dose of pitocin. It did get a pattern of contractions going, not very close together and very manageable. dh and i had fun re-reading the post on the "pain assessment" chart on hyperboleandahalf.com At noon, my own dr showed up, my cervix was a stretchy 3, baby A at 0 station and suggested we break baby A's water. As she did so, she said she felt my cervix open another cm or more. After about 10 min, the contractions got stronger but not much closer or regular, maybe 3-5 min apart. Over the next 30-40 min there were some more intense ones that I had to concentrate through-- but less intense ones between. I felt focused. My dr looked in on me, said she wouldn't do any more vag exams until i felt the urge to push to prevent infection. She told me I could move around, move to a chair, whatever I wanted and she'd check again after a quick lunch. I was sitting on the bed, turned to the side and after a couple harder contractions I thought maybe moving around would feel better. Or at least, would get things moving faster. That was the understatement of the year. Just after 1 pm I stood up and felt enormous pressure. The contraction went on and on. dh was standing next to me and I grabbed his shoulder and told him i felt pressure and to get someone NOW. I had read about Michael Odent and the maternal-fetal ejection reflex but-- all I can say is OMG-- it was INTENSE and completely involuntary. Still standing, I grabbed onto the back of the bed and screamed. About a dozen people ran into the room, I heard dh say "there's a baby" and various people tell me to get on the bed. I had barely put one knee onto the bed, and baby A flew out. I was in so much shock i couldn't move or look at him. dh was fabulous telling me "you had a baby!"
The next few minutes were scary. The dr who came running in was an older guy I'd never met. He tried to get me onto my back, was trying to assess baby B's position (not knowing an u/s just 2 hrs before had shown him head down), and dh and the nurses were basically telling him to just let me try to push out B on my hands and knees as I was. However I wasn't contracting hard so pushing was not very effective. My own dr came running in (she later said that someone shouted into the break room for her to help Dr K assess baby B's position-- and that's how she learned baby A was already born!) At this point, baby B's heart rate dropped (dh and I think that turning onto my back might have contributed)-- and everyone freaked out because after all, we were supposed to all be in the OR for just such a reason. I tried again to push on all 4's but he wasn't far enough descended yet. So I was wheeled to the OR with about 15 people dashing alongside. The next few minutes were complete chaos to me. The room wasn't fully prepped yet, no one from anesthesia was there yet and it was hard for me to figure out WTH was happening with so many people talking at once through masks. I was terrified of a c-sec and still trying wildly to push effectively. But in this mad dash down the hall, baby B's heart rate had recovered. My dr made eye contact with me and said "His heart rate is in the 120s". Whew. Everyone else calmed down too and re-focused. In just a couple minutes, baby B's water broke spontaneously and he started to descend. i pushed 3 times and he was out. Apgars 7 and 9-- no signs of distress. I had a 2nd degree tear, I think from the first baby.
It was a wild experience and probably the most intense 20 min of my life. dh was amazingly calm though-- even calmer than some of the doctors. Although my last birth was quick, it never felt out of control in the way this one did. But in the end i did get everything i wanted--vaginal deliveries, no epi and 2 perfectly healthy babies. In the first 24 hrs, they've been very sleepy and spitty-- the staff said they came out so quick that a lot of mucus didn't get squeezed out in the birth canal. But when they're awake they do seem to latch and nurse just fine. They are so tiny and sweet-- we're all in love!
ETA: dh reports that he saw absolutely no tearing after baby A was born (he was surprised by that actually, that there was no blood) and told me he's convinced I wouldn't have torn at all if I'd been upright when baby B emerged too. Funny how this birth has been our most "medicalized" and yet has taught us both more about physiological birth than the others. My healing has been incredibly fast though and I''ve had almost no perineum soreness/swelling.
Edited by butterflies - 11/22/10 at 3:23pm