Lucinda and Cecelia's birth Story
I was growing increasingly more uncomfortable as one could imagine the further I got into my pregnancy. The goal with a twin pregnancy is to make it to 36 weeks – from what I’ve read, the majority of twins arrive between 35 and 36 weeks gestation. At my 34 week appointment, I was examined and found to be 3 cm dilated. My cervix was still fairly thick. At my 35 week appointment, I was still 3 cm dilated and my OB decided to put me on bed rest.
I was very discouraged; I knew that it was ‘normal’ for me with a singleton pregnancy to be very dilated but to not deliver early. It’s sort of a gift that my body slowly labors over weeks, but in a twin pregnancy, it was too risky for the OB (and for our babies’ health) to speculate about whether the early dilation was just a normal ‘Kate’ thing or if it was a sign that the twins would be arriving early.
I didn’t exactly adhere to the bed rest orders after a few days – I so missed being an integral part of the family. I started doing more and pretty soon, I was 36 weeks and still no babies. I had made it to 36 weeks! At my appointment that Friday (I was 36w4d), I was ‘a good’ 4-5 cm dilated and I must have had ‘the look’, because Dr. Grohs made an appointment with Labor and Delivery for the next Wednesday, July 12, at 8 AM, to bring me in and rupture my membranes to start labor! I was thrilled to have an end in sight.
In the meantime, Dustin had been absolutely wonderful doing everything to care for the children and the house. The kids also spent a lot of time at our angel day care provider’s house while I was physically and often emotionally exhausted. At times, it seemed decadent to be pampering myself so much – but I had accepted that my ‘job’ was to make sure that these twins arrived safe and sound and that I did not crash emotionally in the meantime, because it would be a long road to haul with no gas and five kids, aged six and under.
By Sunday July 9, I was getting discouraged again. The girls must have dropped further into my pelvis because I could barely walk by evening time. I was in a lot of pain – not from contractions as much as from feeling like my pubic bone and tailbone were being ripped apart. I went to bed that night with a half of an Ambien. As soon as I drifted off, I felt something in my abdomen that felt like a balloon had burst (around midnight). I wondered for a second if my water could have broken, but I felt no wetness and then started wondering if the babies were ok. I got up to use the bathroom and it didn’t seem like my water had broken – but I wondered if there was a little more ‘trickle’ than usual. I got back into bed and lay on my side. I started to feel those intense, wrap-around-the-back contractions, which usually don’t happen when I’m completely prone. I got up and GUSH – sure enough, I knew then that my water had broken.
I went to get Dusty (who was sleeping in the nursery) and told him that my water had broken. He knew that we should act swiftly. I started throwing things into bags and he called the doctor, his parents, and my mother. My father in law had planned on sleeping here and my mother and my mother in law planned to attend the delivery. The on call doctor called back (Dusty thought she must have been asleep because she called me ‘Nicole’) and said to come in. Yeah –we were coming in anyway.
The ‘caravan’ left the house around 12:30 (my in-laws and my parents live very close by) and we were off! I had a too-small wash cloth in my hand to manage the gushes of water. I was having fairly regular, real-labor contractions at this point. I realized that I was tensing up a bit and told my body and all of my muscles to relax, harkening back to my Bradley Method birth training. The car ride was not fun, but certainly not unbearable.
We arrived at the hospital and Dusty fetched a wheelchair for me and my mother in law and mother pack-horsed our bags to the labor and delivery unit. (Some of the details are blurry and I’ll have to get a better ‘story’ from my birth attendants and edit this at some point.) I was quickly ushered into a large room. The on call doctor is just here working at the hospital to fill in for an OB who left suddenly, so I had never met her before. Her name was Dr. (somethingunpronouncable) so everyone calls her Dr. Z. Anyway, we talked briefly about my situation – how I deliver, positioning of the twins, my last appointment, yada yada…… I was a bit frustrating because nobody there ‘knew’ me and I was so used to the midwife way of doing things.
Anyway, they hooked me up to monitors, ran an i.v. drip, and ultrasounded me to make sure the girls were still both vertex. I was 7 cm dilated upon initial examination. Dr. Z. wondered if I wanted an epidural – and I said no. I continued to labor quietly, visualizing Wyatt, Elliot, and Cora during my contractions. I have to say that labor never became really painful this time. I quickly went to 8-9 cm and then very quickly after that was complete. I knew I was complete by how alert I felt, moreso than by the overwhelming sensation of having to push. In the meantime, Dr. Seckas arrived. I call her the ‘OB’ version of Natalie (my midwife) and she was an amazing calming influence over the whole scene in the room. Dr. Z. wanted to deliver in the OR in case Twin B was in distress or wasn’t descending properly. Dr. Seckas was apparently responsible for letting me labor and deliver right there.
I was told to start pushing! It seems like with every delivery, I need a refresher on how to effectively push. Once I assumed proper position, Lucinda Hart was born very quickly, at 2:23 AM. They put her on me and Dusty cut her cord, but the focus soon became determining Cecelia’s position via ultrasound. Lucinda had a lusty cry and lots of dark hair. Cecelia was still head-down but not entirely engaged immediately after Lucinda’s delivery. They started pitocin in my i.v. to get me contracting again. I have a very hard time feeling contractions during the pushing phase of labor and delivery. I was told to start pushing, which felt funny because she didn’t feel like she was anywhere near the birth canal. Suddenly, I felt a huge amount of pain and I looked up at everyone, as if to say, ‘what the heck is that!?’ Suddenly, Cecelia’s bag of water burst all over everyone! I felt a huge amount of relief, but everyone around that ‘area’ was pretty messy. (My Mom said she was never washing her shirt – spoken only like a mother.)
At that point, she descended quickly and I delivered her with very few pushes at 2:40 AM, 17 minutes after her sister! She has much less hair than Lucinda and a sweeter cry, a lot like Wyatt’s when he was born.
I nursed one of the babies right away – I think it was Lucinda but I can’t tell from the picture. I actually had to push the placenta out this time. It hurt a little bit, and it was such a huge relief when it came out. I felt so amazing right after delivery. There was such a flurry of activity, high fives, tears, etcetera from the entire birth team that I didn’t have the usual midwife-y feel of a singleton delivery. But what an amazing experience. We were pretty much cleaned up by 3 AM! The girls were held and loved by their Daddy and Grandmothers while the nurses got me cleaned up and situated.
I have to say that I had the perfect delivery! I was thrilled that my last pregnancy ended with the ‘romantic’ midnight dash to the hospital and that my babies arrived safely and the way we wanted them to!
Lucinda Hart, born July 10, 2006, 2:23 AM weighing 6 lbs., 3 ozs., 18 inches long
Cecelia Love, born July 10, 2006, 2:40 AM weighing 6 lbs., 12 ozs., 18.75 inches long