I had just introduced myself on this forum, and about two weeks later I ended up giving birth to my twins unexpectedly. This story has been posted in the March 2006 DDC and a preemie/NICU support thread, so I'm sorry if you've seen this before. I just wanted to share!
Well, I started off the new year with a bang (or two!). Dh and I went to Amarillo, where my family lives, to see them for probably the last time before the babies came. I had just found out I was having twins two weeks before, and I was getting more uncomfortable, and didn't want to make the four-hour drive again. We spent New Year's Eve hanging out with family, just watching movies.
Minutes after midnight, I was about to go to the bathroom when I felt a trickle. I KNEW I had not just wet myself. I went to the bathroom and smelled the fluid. It was not urine, as far as I could tell. I yelled at my husband to come in, and told him what was happening. I called one of my midwives, who told me she thought it was possible that I had a small tear in the amniotic sack. Since there wasn't much fluid, and no other symptoms, she thought it might repair itself, and told me to lie down and try to relax. I laid down and rested a little, but kept having to get up and go to the bathroom. Almost everytime I went, fluid would come out of my vagina - not much, but it was starting to scare me. It was tinged a bit pink. We called the mw back, and she had us call the other mw to let her know what was happening. She also told me to try to sleep, unless I started having cramps/contractions, or any other symptoms. She told me to not leave town for a few more days, and to stay in bed.
My husband and his sister put me to bed and covered me up. They brought me towels to lie on, and a robe for when I needed to get up. My SIL lit candles, had some aromatherapy going, and made it very nice and cozy in there. They both did Reiki on me for awhile. I kept having to go to the bathroom, and was peeing and pooping, which were supposed to be good signs. Sometimes I wouldn't leak anymore, and I started to think that I might be okay. Then I would start dozing off, and right when I was starting to dream, I would get a pain in my back. I ignored it at first, but it kept happening, and then the pains were coming from my lower abdomen, too. Finally, after a couple of hours (I think; I lost track of a few hours while this was happening), I told my husband that I needed to get to the hospital. He called the mw, and she said to take me right away. She was thinking we might be able to get a magnesium shot to stop the contractions. At this point, I wasn't even sure if that's what I was having, because I never had any Braxton-Hicks or anything like that. It didn't hurt much, so I wasn't sure what was happening.
The sun was coming up at 6:30 A.M. as dh and SIL drove me the 20 minutes to the hospital. I was really scared, because I'm not a fan of hospitals, and I was afraid I was going to end up giving birth there at only 31 weeks. When I got out of the car, I felt ALOT of water gush out, and I knew what was going to happen.
They put me in a room, in a gown, and started testing me and putting the monitors on me. It turned out that I was indeed having contractions (Duh!), and they were getting closer and stronger. My husband wanted us to try something to stop them , but I told him I just knew the babies were coming. We were offered a mag shot, but after discussing it together and with our mws, we decided against it. I laid in the hospital bed, and between contractions I thought about these little babies that were coming too soon, and how my dreams of a gentle waterbirth were pretty much up in smoke. This was my worst fear - that I would end up in the hospital, and that I would have a c-section. I also worried about my babies, and wondered if they would be alright.
The labor wasn't bad for a little while, but it got more and more intense. The pain was getting to where it was just unbearable. I had told the nurses I didn't want an epidural, but I was seriously starting to re-think my decision . I didn't want dh near me, which ended up hurting his feelings (I don't think the Bradley Method works that great when you have a bunch of monitors on you, and you are lying down, because I wanted EVERYBODY away from me). I was using visualization techniques and deep breathing, which did work alot of the time, but there were times I thought I might die. I know that sounds melodramatic as hell, but I was only seven months pregnant, and I didn't know what was wrong with me or the babies that they would be trying to come out this soon. I was cold and hot, shaking, nauseous, etc. I thought, maybe I'm in transition, in which case, I can handle the pain. I asked two nurses, and they said it wasn't likely because I hadn't been in labor long and I had only been at a 1 when they checked. I started freaking out then. I asked the nurse to get me an anesthesiologist. I felt bad about it, but I hurt so much I couldn't stand it. She said she would, but she never did. She kept telling me how great I was doing, and was very encouraging. Dh came in and I told him I wanted an epi. He told the nurse "No, she doesn't. She's just emotional. Don't get her one." I had made him promise me that he wouldn't let me get one no matter what, earlier in my pregnancy . He kept telling me I didn't need it, that I was just in transition. I was arguing back at him that I HAD to have one, and that I wasn't in transition . I told him the nurses said I still had a long time to go . Finally, I threw up a couple of times. An OB came in and checked me and said, "Youre' a 9; it's time to start pushing!" I immediately cheered up and said, "That's the best news I've heard all day!"
They took me to an operating room, in case I had to have an emergency c-section, of course. It was freezing in there, and I could not stop shaking. It was very surreal. I think I pushed for about twenty minutes and a little past 2:00 P.M., the first baby came out. She was a girl. The neonatal team whisked her away, and I didn't get to see her. Dh went with them to NICU. I guess I should've been more upset, but I had another baby to worry about. The room was full of doctors, nurses, and another neonatal team waiting for the second baby. We waited and waited...the doctors and nurses chatted with me. The neonatal team left. Finally it was just me and a nurse. They managed to get me warm by putting a "bear hug" on me - a sheet that was blown up with hot air. At least I wasn't shaking any more. The doctors and nurses kept coming back to check on me. They were amazed. The second baby just decided that her roomy new surroundings were to her liking, and she wasn't going anywhere! Two doctors said they had never seen a twin take so long to come out. They knew I really didn't want a c-section, and since I managed to push the first one out, they didn't push things. After about 5 hours, a couple of doctors talked to me about the possibility of having a c-section. They wanted to give me more time, though, so we decided (Drs., dh, and I) that if the baby didn't come out within another couple of hours that we might have to resort to a c-section. To make a long story a little bit shorter, I had the c-section. By that point, I was okay with it. We had another girl! We didn't know what one of the babies was going to be, so it was a total surprise.
I didn't get to see my girls until 4:00 A.M. because of the surgery. My mom and I stayed up until then so I could be wheeled to NICU to meet them. I could hardly get out of the bed! I knew a surgery would do that to me, though.
I felt very empowered by these births, considering that my worst fears had come true (hospitalization and c-section). I felt like everything happened the way it was supposed to, and I still feel that way. Turns out the NICU my girls are in is the best in the region. They are getting excellent care, and are doing very well considering they are two months premature. They were each just over 4 lbs. In fact, there has been alot of debate over how old they actually are, because some of the staff feels they are too big to be 31 weeks, and some staff feels that they are too under developed to be older. The girls are known for being rowdy and rambunctious already! The nurses seem to like them, though. Some of the nurses specifically request to work with them.
After about four days, and much debate and brainstorming, we named them Furie Sioux (baby #1, 'Sprout'), and Fenix Eden (Baby #2, 'Sprig'). We thought they should have good, strong names for their big, strong personalities to grow into.
I am disappointed in some ways that I didn't get the birth experience I wanted (although it came close to it in the beginning, thanks to SIL), but like I mentioned, I think it all happened for a reason. My family all lives here, and if we had the babies closer to home, they wouldn't get to see them much. They have been very supportive, and see the girls almost everyday. They give me rides to the hospital when I need (dh has had to go home to check on things), and make sure I have food and anything else I need. One sister used to work at this very NICU. It made her a PITA while I was still pregnant, because she worried about them being premature , but now it's cool, because she knows what's going on in there, and explains things to me when I don't understand. She also appreciates the little things more, like when Fenix was moved from a respirator to a cpap, and to a cannula in two days. Nobody else knows what that means!
Also, I figured that since I had had midwives, I would be treated like an irresponsible nutcase, but it really wasn't like that. There were a couple of snarky comments, but mostly I have been treated very well by everybody. A few of the staff have even told me that they had considered homebirths.
This hospital really supports breastfeeding, and gave me a pumping kit that works with an electric pump, or as a manual pump. They also gave me a really cool insulated bag for transporting my milk to NICU (too bad it is from Similac ). I never was even offered any formula samples. My babies got my colostrum today for the first time. I was SO happy...I have been gloating about it and showing off my bags of milk evey chance I get (No, not THOSE bags of milk! ).
Anyway, my babies seem to be improving daily, and everybody talks about how well they are doing. I am recovering really quickly, too. I have no episotomy to heal from, no tears, hemmorhoids, constipation, hardly any bleeding, etc. My incision is healing nicely, and doesn't bother me much. I am up and moving almost completely normally, and have had a minimum of pain killers. I'm not really all that depressed, considering I have to live here for a couple of months, not seeing my pets and being away from home. At first, I cried everytime I thought of my fur babies (Still do sometimes ), but I'm feeling better. I spend all of my time at NICU, which should be depressing, but things are going so well that it's really not. I miss my babies at night when I go home to my SIL's house, though. I miss being pregnant, and having those girls in my belly, oddly enough. I envy all of you for still being pregnant, since I didn't get to have the complete experience. But it's kind of cool to have my babies here, KWIM?
Sorry this is such a long story, but I didn't know how to make it any shorter. I just wanted to share with you . I wish for all of you a long and safe pregnancy and beautiful birth experience, however it happens. I hope things turn out as well for you all as they have for me.