Thursday morning our new pack and play came. So I felt a little more like nesting. We unboxed it and put it together and then the kids and I started cleaning and rearranging things in my bedroom so we had a place to put it. I generally putzed around all day. Around 3:30 or 4:00 I sat down to knit a pair of mittens for Matt's Grandma for Christmas and started having contrax...not unusual for me. I was unable to sit on the couch for any length of time without having them. They were coming very regular though so I decided I should get up and go lay down and see if they stopped. Well, they slowed down but didn't stop so I let Matt know and I was off to take a bath and see if that changed anything. I didn't want my midwife to have to drive 3.5 hours to get here and I wasn't really in labor. After my bath around 6:30, the contrax stopped so I just laid down in bed. The picked up again at around 8:30 but they were weaker and didn't last as long - only around 20 sec. About 10 I decided that I was just going to go to sleep. We were going to have company over on Friday to help us with some things around the house so I wanted to get some sleep.
I woke up at 4am on Friday morning - still no contrax - but I was wide awake so got up to bake bread. Around 5 I sat down to finish the mitten I had started the day before and my contrax started up again. 5:30 I laid down in bed (just to see) and they continued. 6 minutes apart and fairly strong. At 6 I decided to take a bath again and see if that changed things. I went to the bathroom and had some pink spotting so I told Matt to call our midwife - It was the real deal!! I was exactly 36 weeks – I had been praying to make it to 36 weeks so that we could continue with our plans for a home birth. I had made it to our cutoff date!!http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j8...week_labor.jpg
I was asked to labor in bed for awhile until the midwives got closer so that things didn't progress too quickly. I made some phone calls to arrange for our children, cancel our visit with friends, and a couple calls to some prayer warriors.
My good friend Heather was the first to arrive at about 8:30. I had asked her to come for some moral support. She had 5 of her children at home and this was my first home birth and I knew she would make me feel calm. Our friend who is a midwife and lives close by had woken up that morning throwing up so I asked her not to come after all. It was a hard decision to make for me because I wanted her to be here but I also had some reservations because I knew she had some fear in her heart regarding this birth and I had been so calm about the whole pregnancy and birth except when I was around her. I think that everything worked out for the best with her not being able to come because of her being sick. It allowed me to labor and birth these babies without fear taking over.
Matt spent the morning getting things ready. A fire was started in the cook stove, and I helped make up the bed. He got the older children up to go out and do their chores. My mom came over to take the children to her house and I snuggled in bed with Clara and Sarah for a little bit and by about 7:30 or 8:00 the children were off to Grandma's. My midwife called me about every 45 minutes to get a status updates and there were really no great changes from the time my labor started. Contrax were the same and still 6 or 7 minutes apart.
When Heather arrived, she helped Matt set up the pool and they began filling it. My midwives were close so I got out of bed and sat in the living room while Heather clipped coupons and we just talked and joked around. My midwife and her daughter got here around 10:00.
Babies heart beats were checked and were both around the 140's even through a contrax so we were doing good. I spent some time in and out of the pool over the next couple of hours and we all just talked and joked around. I was so nice and relaxing and it really didn't feel like I was there laboring and they were all watching me like a pot ready to boil. It almost felt like a social call except the fact that I was stripped down to a sports bra and floating around in a pool in my kitchen/dining room. Matt had started a batch of soup on the cookstove around 12:30 or so and had finished the bread that I started baking that morning. It was all smelling so good but I really didn't have the desire to eat more that a slice of fresh bread with butter and I had been drinking some juice.
My contrax never got fewer than 6 or 7 minutes apart but they were getting stronger. The last 6 contrax were pretty painful and I needed to squeeze Matt's hands and couldn't talk through them. I had the last painful contrax at about 1:52 or 1:53 and immediately after my water broke...It was time to have babies!!
My water never breaks before baby is crowning so I knew when my water broke with the last contrax, I was going to be pushing a baby out with the next one. After I said that my water broke, everyone jumped up to scrub up. The next 5 minutes were like a whirlwind.
Judith, my midwife was standing at the opposite side of tub and I asked her if it was ok to push with the next contrax. She gave me the ok and said to push slowly. Well, I tried to push slowly but my body took over and out she came at 1:55. The first thing I saw was her little butt float up to the surface. I said something about her being breech after all and Judith assured me that she came out head first. The babies had done been head down since 21 weeks but had done some flip/flopping the last few weeks and I had been concerned about them being head down.
The baby did a little somersault on the way up to the surface. I was holding her and they were rubbing her down. She was breathing but pretty purple and we continued to rub her down with towels to stimulate her. They clamped her cord and Matt got to cut it. Judith said that there was too much blood in the pool and she would like me to get out. I was about to when another contrax hit me – only about a minute or two had gone by since the first baby had been born. I asked that somebody take the baby because the next one was coming. Judith felt and there was another baby, right on the heels of her sister. Judith's daughter was sent to put some pads on the bed so I could get out and into bed as soon as the next baby made her entrance.
Needless to say, I couldn't then get out of the tub. My body bore down and I pushed with everything I had. It was much harder that the first time. I could tell that my face must have been beet red from straining so hard. Judith reached down to feel again and what I didn't know it until after the fact, the first baby's placenta had detached and came down along side the second baby's head. She told me to keep pushing. The placenta had to be pulled out of the way to make room for the second baby to come out. I was continuing to push all this time and the next baby came out all in one gush, just like her sister, only she came out with her placenta and all – it was 2:00. Judith was rubbing her down and trying to see if she was breathing, she was – Thank God!! The cord was immediately clamped, I was handed the baby, and I was helped out of the tub and into bed.
The Continued Chaos:
The contrast in the two babies was so distinct. The first one was so purple and not breathing very well. She was breathing but she was retracting and needed some oxygen. Some was being blown directly in her little face but Judith thought it would be best to call a collegue of hers that had a bit more experience with situations like this to give her some oxygen therapy. I consented, the call was made and Robin was on her way. The second baby was very pale but alert. She was a bit cool and Matt was sent to throw some dry towels in the dryer to warm them up.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j8.../brand_new.jpg
I was filled with adrenaline, people were rushing around, babies were being rubbed down with more towels, Matt was getting me my RRL tea infusion that we had prepared earlier. The minutes immediately following their birth is like a blur, it all happened so much quicker than I had expected but still I felt no fear about what was happening. I was laying next to them and taking turns letting them latch on and nurse. I was bleeding much more that they would have liked and we were trying to facilitate some more contrax to make my uterus clamp down and slow the bleeding. It wasn't working fast enough and my bleeding wasn't slowing, so I got a shot of pitocin, which in the course of the next hour or so (by this time I am on such a rush that have no idea how much time has gone by or exactly what time of day it is) I received two more shots of pitocin.
The pitocin just wasn't working. My uterus was still spongy feeling and wasn't clamping down. It is possible that I had some retained placenta that was causing some problems initially. I got up to go to the bathroom on a few occasions and lost a lot of clotty stuff and there could possibly had been some placenta there also, we just don't know for sure.
Matt and I were spending some alone time with our new bundles. I was taking turns trying to nurse them both. Judith and her daughter came in to show us the placentas and told us that we should really be praising God that our first twin is even here. The condition of the placenta was such that it probably would not have sustained her much longer.
The placentas were like day and night. The only way I can think to describe the first one was that it looked like it had been put through a meat tenderizer. It was pale and spongy and when you held it up in the palm of your hand and looked at the side that attached to the uterus, it just fell apart at the cracks and looked like a minute steak. The other placenta was dark red, firm, and solid.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j8...g/placenta.jpg
My bleeding still was not slowing down fast enough and Judith gave me another medicine to help my uterus contract better. Some more time passed without significant results and another dose was administered. I trusted Judith fully with what was going on, I was not fearful at all. I really wanted to avoid a transfer and didn't mind Judith doing everything in her power and expertise to get things under control. I knew she would let me know when and if we needed to do something more or seek additional help.
Matt continued to get fresh warm towels periodically from the dryer and it was finally time to do assessments and weights. I was dying to know how big they were. I had been praying all along for 6 pound babies. I was going to be ecstatic if I had 6 pounders, especially at 4 weeks early.
Baby A was weighed – exactly 6 pounds – I was thrilled. She was also 20 inches long. Baby B's turn – 5lb and 15oz and 19 inches...WOW! I was just on cloud 9 – they were exactly what I had been praying for.
Shortly after this Robin arrived to give our first baby some oxygen therapy. It was about 5:30. My mom had arrived with my older children so that they could do their evening chores and she came in to quickly peek at our new bundles. My oldest son Danial, who is 12, came in with to strain the milk and got to peek at his new sisters. Robin helped with the babies and then also helped with trying to assess my bleeding and get that under control. My uterus was beginning to feel firmer, and was getting lower into my abdomen....Praise God!! We were moving in the right direction. The first baby immediately started to perk up and became better colored after a little oxygen therapy and we were on the right track. It seemed like it took almost no time from finally seeing some response from my uterus and my bleeding had slowed way down and my uterus was getting lower and lower in my abdomen.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j8...e_plus_two.jpg
We had a few other quick visitors later that evening and by 7:30 Robin had left and by 9:00 Judith and her daughter had gone also and would be back the next day to check on us. We were left with specific instructions and a list of things to monitor over the course of the next 48 hours. We didn't get any sleep that first night and I don't think that I could have slept even if given the chance I was so pumped up from the events of the day.
It was just an amazing experience. My first home birth – twins no less – and it was just awesome. It was by far my best labor and birth experience.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j8...g/close_up.jpg
By the next day Emma was really jaundice already and we made a makeshift billilight for the girls to lay in. They are both doing better and hopefully by Christmas we can have them out of there. Emma (baby2) has almost perfect coloring again but Anna(baby1) still needs a little time.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j8.../bililight.jpghttp://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j8...allthekids.jpg