I'm in total shock here! Surprise twin girls!
They aren't really letting me sleep, and my birth story is just bouncing around in my head, so I figured I'll just write it up.
I was sitting calmly eating a light supper and doing some surfing, when I felt my first painful contraction this pregnancy. I couldn't quite ignore it, but I only have babies on Tuesdays, and here it is on Thursday. So I opened my contraction timer and continued to eat.
I had made up with my mother to come and bring over my sisters to help clean the house since I was having a hard time staying on top of it. I told my husband to call her and tell her not to bother coming - I might be in labor. But when he called her she was already almost at my house, so I figured they could clean the house anyway.
"Any chance we could have the baby before sunset?" (when the Hebrew date changes) my husband asked. "Not likely," I told him.
Based on the timer, the contractions were 30 to 60 seconds long, and 3 to 4 minutes apart. I called the midwife's assistant (couldn't get through to the midwife) and told her something might be happening. I could still talk through contractions, so she said we'd touch base in an hour or so, and in the meantime I should lie down and relax. I decided I'd take a shower instead.
We had the birth tub in the room, not set up, and I was completely unprepared. We didn't have a hose, or tarp, or anything. I told my husband to quick clean up the room and go buy a hose.
I tried the shower, and it was okay, but not really supportive enough. I needed to be kneeling, since the contractions were getting stronger. I got on my knees and leaned over the tub. I realized that if I kept my eyes open and moaned, it was easier to handle. I was starting to feel almosst pushy, and started to lose my coping ability. But I immediately rationalized that I was being completely ridiculous, since I just went into labor, for goodness sakes! I can't possibly be in transition already. But I did have my husband call back the midwives and tell them to come "sooner rather than later."
I decided to switch to the bedroom, which feels more "right" somehow with labor. I kneeled at the side of the bed, had my husband bring a picture as a focus point, and started a lovely monotonous chant ("ay. yay. yay. yam.") which I continued through each contraction. In consideration for my knees, I grabbed the pillow off the bed to kneel on (whch turned out to be a good idea for another reason!).
My mother came into the room, and I had her try to do hip compression. She did a lousy job, but it was better than nothing! She was also really calm and supportive, which I hadn't known cuz she wasn't there for any of my other births. I also had her bring a chux pad so any "leaking" wouldn't destroy the pillow.
I labored through a bunch of contractions, and then felt pushy in earnest, and started bearing down with contractions. The pressure was unbearable, but my mother reminded me to keep on doing my chanting. Then I felt a major pressure and my water broke. Yay for the chux! Not very long afterwards, I felt the familiar burning sensation and pushed with all my strength - and out slid a baby in one push! I was still wearing a skirt, so my mother didn't see. She didn't believe me at first that the baby was out! She picked it up, and told me it's a girl! The cord was too short, and I couldn't figure out how to get into any sort of position to hold her. So my mother grabbed a towel and held her while I managed to get seated on the bed somehow.
A few minutes later, the first midwife arrived. "You missed it!" I told her. She asked if she should clamp the cord, but I wasn't really ready - I like the idea of lotus birth, even for a few hours. So I resigned myself to being stuck not really holding the baby for a few minutes until the placenta emerged.
The whole thing had felt very quick, so I asked the time, and discovered that it was about 6:45 pm - I had had my first contraction at about 5:20 pm - not even an hour and a half before!
I was REALLY uncomfortable on the bed, though. I then looked down, and my stomach looked kinda big for an empty sack, and the baby looked kind of small. "Why is my stomach so big?" So the midwife started giving me the spiel, how it takes a while to go back down, etc. etc. "But it's moving!"
She looked startled, "Are you expecting twins?"
"Not that I know of." (In fact, a hospital midwife had told me unequivocally from feeling my stomach that I was NOT.)
She felt my stomach, and said "that doesn't feel like a placenta." So she pulled out her doppler, and heard a nice heartbeat in the 130s. "THAT's not a placenta."
My first reaction was "OH NO! So I need to push out ANOTHER one?"
My second reaction was "cut the cord for the first" :-) I tried to hold her, but I was really uncomfortable, so my mother continued.
Not long after, the contractions started again. I was NOT doing as well this time, despite all of the same coping mechanisms being in place (and the midwife did a much better job with the hip squeezes!) My pushing didn't feel the same, and I knew it wasn't a head. I didn't feel the same pressure.
Finally, my water broke again, and something seemed to give. "You have to stand up," the midwife told me. "I can't!" "You have to." So I did manage to stand up, and again I had the wonderful feeling of something slithering out. This cord was longer, so I was able to hold her.
I was told it was 7:08 pm - about a half hour after the first was born.
Not long afterwards, the other midwife and assistant arrived. "You missed it twice!"
The next few minutes passed in a blur of organizing cords, chux pads, blankets, hats, diapers, weighing, etc. The placenta came out with a few contractions, and turned out to be one lovely large melded one, so not clear if they're identical or fraternal. (They look a little different though, in my opinion.) My placenta looked HEALTHY this time, so that's a great sign! No fatty deposits like last time, no calcification from being overdue (41+2 I think).
I was told that the second baby was a footling breech, which makes sense! She came out very quickly though, so no problems there thank G-d.
My husband had already called some people before we knew it was twins, so that caused quite a bit of confusion!
Postpartum has been a complete disaster pretty much, though. Afterbirth pains started promptly, and I didn't even bother trying to fight. Tylenol with codeine for me, thanks. (I hate pills.) I even tried crampbark, which did nothing. Massaging my lower fundus was helpful, even though my fundus is hard as a rock! After using the restroom I passed a bunch of clots and got a very large gush, so I was given some methergine just in case. I got dizzy on the way out of the bathroom. Then I was hit with horrible back spasms necessitating my crawling to and from the bathroom every hour... And the first baby didn't figure out how to latch on right away, maybe because for the first 40 minutes or so of her life my mother was holding her and gave her a finger to suck on so she wouldn't be so sad! All night has been one up, one down. I hope this gets better soon!
Baby A: (no name until we get to a Torah reading) 7 lb, 4 oz (I hope I'm not mixing them up!)
Baby B: 7lb, 8 oz.
Both born within 2 hours of going into labor (Labor began 5:20 pm - second baby born 7:08 pm - well before sunset)
Dry land birth this time!
I'm so glad I chose the only midwife group I know of here who does breech, twin AND postdates - I hit the jackpot!
Now of course everyone is telling me how they knew, but even though I suspected it was possible, I was sure I was just indulging in wishful thinking. I didn't have any classic signs of twins (intense morning sickness, etc.). I was big, but not THAT much bigger than in the past. But here they are, and I'm pretty sure I'm not dreaming!
Loads of blessings, and learning on the job.
You did an amazing job, mama.
Jenn<>< crunchy conservative mama to 6
and my way through my stash.
I wish you healing and rest and lots of help as you recover.
Peace and Blessings,
I'm not that big. I'll just tell myself that.
Becky, sahm to 25/04/2000 Chloe 12/04/2002 Cameron 19/02/2004 Caitlin 28/06/2005 24/07/2006 and Caden 14/03/2008
19.05.2012 18.08.2012 24.05.2013 25.6.2013 04.09.2014
Go easy on yourself and take an extended babymoon--twice as long, lol.
caution: one-handed nak
blessings to you and your twins!!
mama to callum (april 8,07) and everett (sept 24,09) - blessed to be married to my life's love since '98.
The names are Chana (grace in Hebrew) and Shterna (star in Yiddish). They are SOOO cute, look totally different, and great nursers.
I am so glad I didn't know they were twins beforehand. This worked out so perfectly, and I didn't even have to pay the increased "twins" rate for the birth! (usually goes for the third midwife)
Loads of blessings, and learning on the job.
How are you feeling with the postpartum challenges? Better I hope
Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.
Mom of 8 children 4 Boys : and 4 girls :2 dogs named Kibblez and Brook , sadly miss my Husband that passed 03/03/2007 !Trully Miss my Brother Joey that passed on 3/25/09..