I talked to the doctors and was able to push the delivery date further one week. They wanted the protocol 37 weeks, I got 38 weeks instead, so no big feat, but still better than nothing. When I was asking for an even later date, they told me to look at my blood pressure readings for a few days (which became high) and decide then, so I did. I decided against pushing the date even further because my blood pressure started going from bad to scarier and I was afraid of sudden pre-e.
The doctor insisted on putting in a port, 20 hours before the operation, I tried to talk her out of it but didn't succeed. She put it into the elbow, so every time I had to move my arm, the elbow would bend and the f*#~$% port would hurt. So I talked to her and the port was out, replaced with a new one far below the elbow, so it didn't bend, didn't hurt and I could ignore it. I had to get pretty confrontational for that, I wish I didn't have to.
The operation - husband was in scrubs, by my side. The anesthesiologist was awesome, she was very reassuring and I had the impression I was in good hands. The epidural didn't hurt at all (and the injection site never hurt after the operation either - my neighbor in the room complained that hers did, I got lucky.)
For the operation they put up a curtain so we couldn't watch. I was warned that when they take out the babies, they can push against the upper stomach and that could get me queasy, but that didn't happen. I was lying there, talking to my husband, thinking "they started, ok now they are really working", and then all of a sudden I heard a baby cry. It happened so fast, I didn't expect it so very quickly - what a surprise! They showed me the babies and took them to do the warming / suctioning / etc.
After the operation I was in bed for 24 hours. I got up briefly in the next morning, to walk a few steps, but it hurt too much so after the first try I stayed in bed and only walked once again in the evening. The catheter was out the next morning after that (the nurses wanted it out sooner but I insisted.) So on day 3, I was walking around at 1 mph. Day 3 was much better, pain-wise.
The stitches and the pain: I don't know if I was given any opiates for pain on the day of the operation, I think I would have noticed (I had them before for other pain issues so I thought I could tell if I had any.) No one had any patient-administered pain relief systems or anything, no "push the button for an immediate refill." Nurses came in and gave me IVs, and that was it. They asked if I was in pain, I'd say yes, and a new IV went in. They didn't work too well, so I wondered if my pain was that stubborn, or if I were too wimpy, or what. Two or three days later, I noticed that the labels on the IVs said "Diclofenac" and "Paracetamol". I was happy I hadn't seen them before, because that's not really pain relief. Paracetamol? Really? No wonder I still had lots of pain.
Getting out of bed was awful, word to the PP who said it's a terrible burning feeling. Getting out of bed sideways, or lying down sideways was torture. I used the grip above the bed, and raised myself up with that - first part is sitting up, the next part is swinging the legs to the side of the bed, and all is good.
Word to whoever mentioned the gas pain - I think it's so bad because the intestinal landscape shifts right under the
wounded uterus, and disturbs it. I wish I had these with me - I never used them before so I had no idea what was available:
I recovered quickly because my mom was in the hospital every day, from early morning through afternoon, and then my husband was there in the evening. The nurses took the babies from 11pm to 7 am on the first two nights (I had the catheter and didn't walk.) I don't know how I would have survived all alone.
On day 6 I was discharged, and we went home. They took out the stitches before I left, I was lucky it didn't hurt.
We live in a big city so we don't have a car (think center of Boston, or Manhattan - car is more of a nuisance than convenience), and hence no baby car seats, so we put the twins in the pram and took the subway right home.
A word of warning - don't lift your toddler (or two babies at once for that matter.) My aunt managed to burst the seam 4 (four!) months after the operation. Being back to the hospital for another one is not fun.