On Sunday 3/19 I started losing my mucus plug and having some cramping. I went to bed early and awoke around midnight with fairly strong contractions. I didn't think too much of it, since I'd been having contractions during the night for a couple weeks. I was 39 wks, 4 days pregnant with twins.
Around 12:30, my water broke. I climbed back in bed to try to sleep for a bit, but I was having decently strong contractions about 5 minutes apart. Got out of bed again around 1:00. I labored on the toilet, on the birth ball, kneeling over the birth ball, on hands and knees. Dh got up and rubbed my back.
We called our MW around 1:45. She asked if we wanted her to come over, to meet us at the hospital, or to wait until we called her back. [We had originally planned a homebirth with the MW, until we discovered at 30 weeks pg that we were having twins. Because MW in VT are not licensed to deliver twins, we needed to have a hospital birth (unless we went UA), but our MW was going to act as labor support.] Quickly, I said we'd call her back, as another contraction came on.
Dh called my parents to let them know they could get on the road (they were coming to stay with dd). The contractions continued about 5 minutes apart. I was standing mostly at this point, leaning over the bed or the bathroom counter. I was telling dh that this sucked and that I didn't think I could handle it. It was only starting & I couldn't handle it. (Later I realized I was actually in transition at this point.)
Around 3:30, I went into the bathroom again. I had a very strong contraction leaning over the sink and then, before I realized what was happening, I squatted and started PUSHING! When I realized what I was doing, I stopped & started yelling to dh to call our MW, call the doctor, we need to go to the hospital NOW, I'm PUSHING, THIS BABY IS COMING!!!!
Our friend came over to watch dd. It took me several minutes to get dressed, get downstairs, put on a jacket, and make my way to the car. The contractions were coming close together and they were strong. Plus I just felt out of it. The ride to the hospital was interesting. Fortunately, it is only about 15 minutes away. My body was dying to push the whole way there. I had maybe 5-6 contractions on the way. For each one, I stiffened my entire body like a board & held my legs together tight. Not the most pleasant or natural thing to do!
We followed a car into the hospital parking lot that ended up being the head nurse. She waited while I finished a contraction in the van & another next to it. Then she walked us to admitting where I needed to sign my name-as I had another contraction. It was an interesting looking signature, to say the least! I also found out that the on-call OB is not mine, but his partner, and he is already coming in for another woman. This was not the best news, as I had hoped to have our doctor, but it was not the worst doctor we could have ended up with, either. One more contraction on the way to the maternity ward.
I'm still not sure how far along I am. Everything happened so fast, I couldn't really believe I was having the urge to push. I thought maybe it was something else (???) and I was only a 5 or 6 cm dilated.
We arrived at the labor room at 3:45. Our doula was waiting for us. A nurse helped off my pants and asked if I wanted a gown. I opted to just keep my t-shirt on. She said the doctor asked her to check on my progress, so I needed to lay on the bed. She put her fingers barely in and said "Oh! You're gonna have these babies soon!" I hear her on the phone to the doctor say, "Yeah, she's complete with the twins." Yay!! No wonder I've felt like pushing!
They wheeled me into the delivery room, where the entire gang has gathered: nurse, doula, dh, me, pediatrician, baby nurse, doctor, second nurse. The doctor entered shouting out orders to me and the nurses, many of which we ignored (like: you need to put a gown on, etc.) A phlebotomist took some blood while the doctor inserted a saline lock. He did a horrible job. He jabbed me 3 times and tugged on my skin a ton. Ugh. The nurse asked if I was going to take antibiotics, because I had a positive beta strep test & I started to say no because I retested and it was negative. She asked if it was ok with my OB, and the pediatrician stepped up, saying it was ok with her. I had already discussed it with her previously, on the advice of some wise MDC women, which worked out well. (thank you!)
Then the doctor pulled off the end of the bed and pulled up these horrible, awful leg stirrups. He pulled them up SO high and wanted me to put my legs way up into them and lay back. I outright refused. I knew that I was not going to be able to be in the position of my choice since it was a twin hospital birth, but there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to be able to accomplish anything in this hideous position! Finally, my doula and the nurse convinced the doctor I could just use these low pedal type things for my feet. So I ended up sitting almost upright with my legs down, which I could at least bear. As far as I was concerned, this was a HUGE compromise on my part, as I was dying to stand up or get on my hands and knees.
The lights were so bright and glaring. They strapped 2 external fetal monitors around me. At this point, my MW arrived. Yay. She's only allowed to be labor support in the hospital, but it was so good to see her. The doctor draped me with these paper drapes (why??) and washed me with cotton balls soaked in something (betadine?). So silly. One of the nurses positioned a mirror so I could see what was going on.
Then the doctor started watching the monitors and telling me when to push. Not shouting/coaching really, but just telling me a contraction is coming & to push. I'm thinking I probably know when the contractions are coming better than he does, so I just ignore him. Needless to say, after all of this "preparation" and being on my back, my contractions slowed down and spaced out, and the urge to push had completely gone away. So I didn't push. This went on for a bit-him telling me when to push, me nodding and ignoring him. Then he started getting impatient (of course). My doula, midwife, and even the pediatrician (who is standing behind the baby warmer knitting a sweater for her daughter!) all started urging me to push. I'm sure they know if I go on ignoring the doctor forever this will not turn out well for me. So I start to think about pushing!
At one point, he asked the nurse to start the Pitocin, but I asked him if we could hold off on that. He agrees, "But you have to push, then. You can't breathe through them!" They let me have sips of Recharge and tea throughout, which was nice. I never did get to brew that strong RRL tea, even though I already had the leaves all measured out!
At one point I noticed the table full of scissors and instruments and I pointed it out to my doula. She said that doesn't mean he will use them, then she let the doctor know that I would prefer to tear. He sort of shrugged it off. I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Don't cut me." Then he gave the whole, well, twins are usually smaller, you won't need it….
Finally, I started having the urge to push. Weakly at first, but then more strongly. I could feel the first baby moving down as I pushed. Then, due to my position, he started to move more slowly. The doctor urged me to push harder to "move him around the corner." I asked if I couldn't change position. My midwife asked what I was thinking of, and I meekly suggested hands & knees (knowing it was not likely to be permitted). She said that she understood why I felt that may be helpful, but that the doctor needed to be able to see so that he could help me control the pushing and keep an eye on my perineum. So in her kind way, she basically told me that it wasn't going to happen, and also let the doctor know he needed to be cautious about guarding my perineum and helping me know when to stop/slow down the pushing.
Throughout, the doctor kept touching me/poking me and I kept saying "Please don't touch me! Please don't touch me!" Fortunately, he did stop when I asked him to. It was SO unpleasant to be touched.
The doctor suggested Pitocin again, and my midwife and doula instead offered to do some nipple stimulation, which kept him content enough. I reluctantly got back to pushing in this awkward position. I reached down with my hands to feel myself and the baby's head, which helped. Finally, he was crowning, which lasted through about 3 contractions. OUCH! I just kept saying, "Aah, it hurts so bad!" The baby's head felt SO soft & squishy. The doctor was basically shocked that I was crowning for so long (my contractions were still fairly well spaced out) and he made a comment about me setting a record for length of crowning. Dh thanked him for pointing that out; saying that's probably just what I wanted to hear right now. Later, my midwife said that in his almost 30 years of practice the doctor has probably never seen a normal crowning like that because he's always in such a hurry to get the baby out (either by cutting an episiotomy or coaching extra pushes or whatever). Pretty sad.
Anyway, I finally pushed out the first baby's head. The doctor was good about telling me when to stop pushing and slow down, especially as he delivered the shoulders. The baby slid right out at 5:14 am. It's a boy! The doctor suctioned him a bit and clamped the cord immediately
, then handed him right to me. Dh cut the cord, which squirted blood all over. He nursed right away, and for quite a long time. His Apgar scores were 8 & 9. It looked like I had just a small tear.
I felt the doctor pressing on me and poking/prodding. It was pretty uncomfortable and I started groaning. My doula said it was ok, he was just checking the position of the second baby. I later found out that the second babe had gone transverse and the doctor performed an external version while I was nursing. Then they brought in an ultrasound to confirm the position, which ended up being head down, with his hand over his head. At the time, I completely missed the ultrasound, dh & I were so wrapped up with our first son!
Then dh took ds1 and they started a Pitocin drip. I had agreed to this, since it wasn't going to be for long and I was probably going to end up with one afterward (to stop bleeding) anyway. I started pushing again and when it got intense, I asked dh to give ds1 to our MW so he could hold my hand.
The doctor debated with himself whether or not to break the sac. Three times he started with the amniohook (?) but stopped. Then I gave a good push, the second baby descended, and the sac broke & sprayed the doctor like a tidal wave! All the nurses laughed out loud and said, "Boy you really got him back now!" The doctor barely reacted. He was wearing a big face shield, anyway, to protect his eyeglasses.
The second babe crowned after only a few contractions. He presented compound, with both head and hand. It looked so weird in the mirror I couldn't quite figure out what I was seeing. I gave a couple "extra" pushes to get him out pretty quickly, and the doctor was good about telling me when to stop/slow down again. It was another boy! Born at 5:35 am. Again, the doctor clamped him right away
, and dh cut the cord. His Apgars were 10, 10. He was allowed to come straight to me to nurse.
I looked down again and saw the doctor tugging at the cords.
: I gave a little push and out slid a big, fat placenta. It appeared to be two that had fused together, so it looked really thick.
I ended up with a 2nd degree tear along my episiotomy scar. (I had been given an episiotomy against my wishes when I delivered dd & ended up with a painful 3rd degree tear that never quite healed.) The doctor gave me lidocaine and stitched it right up. He didn't give me enough lidocaine at first, though, and I could feel him sticking the needle in. Ow. I asked for more, and then it was better. My midwife said it was an easy stitching job and should heal nicely.
The doctor needed to run right off after stitching, since the other woman who he originally was called in for was still laboring and probably about the deliver. Then they wheeled me off to the recovery room, where they weighed & measured the babies. The nurse asked me all the questions she didn't have time to ask beforehand (like, do I give permission for my doula to be there, do I have any religious beliefs/requests about the birth, etc.) I got to have some snacks. Ds2 decided to poop all over himself and me, so we got diapers for the boys! DS1 was 7 lbs, 3.8 oz and 20.5 inches. Ds2 was 7 lbs, 5.5 oz and 21 inches.
My milk came in around 5:00 that evening! I couldn't believe it. We left the hospital finally around 7:00 and enjoyed the night in our own bed. Aah.
The boys have been doing great! This has been one wild ride, from the pregnancy (discovering twins at 30 weeks, needing to change our HB plans) to the birth, and I'm sure it's going to continue as we raise twins.