Thursday, August 2, 2018

C & C's Twin Birth Story

Ah. My last birth story. I am sad to think of that, and yet pleased to not have any more postpartum times. They are exhausting on the body and the mind. Labour though, I am sad that this was my last. As painful as parts of labour are, and as crazy as the recovery and healing always are, boy do I find the experience to be pretty amazing. Anyways, lets dig into it!

The last time I blogged about my pregnancy I was 37.4 weeks pregnant. This story picks up at my last weekend pregnant - I had wanted to keep the babies in as long as possible and there were two parties I wanted to go to without babies that weekend so it was great incentive for me to keep going. Also, of vital importance, a final shower and hair straighten since the newborn days and time to do hair don't usually go well together. We had a great final weekend as a family of 4, joining our friends for a kids gymnastics bday Saturday, and then time with Paul's mom on Sunday, church, and one of my best friends birthday dinners Sunday evening after church. I was especially thankful for that dinner out with a group of close friends - it was for my friend, but I feel like I benefited the most. A final night out before the big life change. It was weird though to know that I didn't need to be on bedrest anymore - finally attending church, attending parties, walking the extra few steps - the point was now to try to get the babies out, rather than guarding them against early labour

38 weeks exactly - last minute groceries with Avie

I went to bed that night with the goal of getting a good sleep before being induced in the morning. My mother in law was in the house already and on deck for the morning, so we both didn't have to get up with the kids and could rest. Unfortunately, the kids had other ideas and were up at 5am screaming bloody murder. So that was fun :$ We left for the hospital by 7:45am so we could stop for breakfast on route and were parked and heading into the hospital in time for our 8:15am appointment. I had no idea what to expect, not having had a cervadil induction before. We headed up to the room, I changed into the gown and met the nurse who would be helping me. I had heard of the famous Vancouver twins doctor, Dr. Dena, and am part of her facebook support group for twin families, so was very excited to hear she was on call and I'd get to have her start this process. She checked to see if all the Braxton Hicks I was having was doing anything (nope, still only 1cm dilated), gave me a sweep (not fun) and inserted the Cervadil all in one painful moment. Cervadil is not fun - in the insertion or the subsequent contractions it induces. We were then to wait an hour before the nurse would return to check on me, so both Paul and I took much-needed naps. After the nurse checked me she sent me home to see if labour would take, contractions had started already - we had our traditional due date dim sum (with occasional pauses for me to breath through contractions) and then headed home for me to nap more. Paul got to troubleshoot kid stuff with his mom for things we'd forgotten to tell her, and I got to wake up feeling very rested AND definitely at least in early labour. As the labour continued, I headed into the shower for the pain relief (and cleansing, win-win), then headed downstairs to be with the family - it was around 5pm. I sat on the couch over the next hour as contractions ramped up - we ate dinner and I got to enjoy watching the girls dance around. 

Waiting on the induction

Bedtime with B on her last night as the youngest

I was having steady contractions every 4 or so minutes - painful but not terrible. If this was a single pregnancy, I would have waited longer to head into the hospital, but as it was a twins birth we gave the charge nurse a call to see if I should go in. She suggested heading in to monitor the babies and see if I was further dilated (I was! 3cm, woot). We got to the hospital around 7:45pm. My body was so sore from having the cervadil inserted, that the checks the nurses did were excruciating. Eventually, around 9pm we were deciding how to proceed, the babies had been monitored and it seemed the cervadil was making their heart rates spike and dip, so we removed it. We decided the best course of action was to skip straight to an Epidural and Oxytocin Induction since it was a higher risk labour. There was something pretty glorious about getting the epidural at 3cm - sure there was pain, and lots of it when they did checks and as the contractions grew stronger but not as bad as I already know it can get! I called my sister to head in, as Paul was fading. He had not taken a nap when I did. As 9:30pm hit, I was heading upstairs and they were sure I would have the epidural within half an hour. Thankfully this wasn't my first rodeo so I didn't bank on that and as life would have it, I had my epidural by 12:30am. Not exactly the quick relief we were hoping for but at least I knew I'd really 'earned' that pain-free moment, haha. At this point, they administered the oxytocin and I called my last support person Lyndsay in. We let Paul sleep the night away while my body laboured, helped with hormones and drugs. It should be noted that the nurses spent a great deal of time trying to do tracing tests on the babies, who were wily and kept moving around. If you are having a twins pregnancy get ready to spend so much time with the monitors on your belly and doctors chasing the babes heartbeats. 

Ready for our big adventure!

More baby heart rate cheques - still smiling!

I know this isn't how most people talk about labour but boy was that long night fun. Jenna, Lyndsay and I talked and laughed (with our nurse) all night long, broken up by intermittent checks. Our nurse was on a couple weeks holidays but came in for an evening of overtime and said she was ever so glad, and that it was like a party. At 6am came around we were all engaged in the most ridiculous game that Lyndsay had brought that involved singing and guessing song lyrics and titles. Jenna proudly took a nap at 6am, having just completed her first official all-nighter (we had previously decided that it was considered an all-nighter if you could just make it to 6am).  It was a pretty great night. 

Jen and I!

Jenna, me and Lyndsay

The doctors came by to check, nurse shift change, then doctor shift change and coffees for everyone but me. Around 9:30am they checked and thought we were getting closer. They assembled the team (two ob residents, the ob on call, two pediatricians, our nurse, an extra nurse and at least one more person) and we waited a bunch. At one point I was babbling excitedly and noticed that everyone was looking at me and smiling, I stopped and asked, "are you guys waiting for me to finish talking? Because if so, you should interrupt because I'm probably never gonna stop." They all laughed, turns out we were waiting for a final team member. 

Working through a contraction, as the epidural gets topped up

Lots and lots of fun though

Finally,  we were all assembled, I was fully dilated and it was time to push. I love this part. I never feel as powerful as when I’m pushing a baby out. I assumed that pushing twins out would be very similar to pushing a single baby out, just that it would keep going once the first baby was out. Boy, was I wrong! Pushing is way harder when there are two babies since the push is spread out over two babies. The pressure is disbursed and therefore it's much harder. I took to holding the top of my belly while I pushed, basically pushing the top baby with my hands to ground me, as I pushed the lower baby out. I started pushing at 9:50. Having been in the hospital air all night my throat was quite sore and my nose was immediately stuffy, so pushing was a bit trickier as I could only breathe out of my mouth. I had a mirror so I could see what I was doing to help since I had the epidural. It was tricky to see with so many doctors and staff in the way, though. As I progressed, I was pushing with guidance from the resident’s and the ob - eventually, they needed me to lay down fully for a better angle and I could no longer see in the mirror. They needed to hold a finger on me where I should aim my pushing so I could push towards it, which helped a lot. I was working on pushing Colt out and had a big sneeze and that got him out! 

And this photo of many people looking at my private parts does not show all the people in the room! Any birth, but twins especially, is a great time to check your privacy at the door.


Paul was able to catch him and put him on me and it was so surreal to have a boy!! I couldn’t help but exclaim, “what big balls he has!” Colton got to cuddle on me for a few moments and then within a minute, they had whisked him away for some skin to skin with Paul while they prepped me to deliver Charlotte. Colt was born at 10:14am, weighing 6.8lbs.


My boy on me, while Paul prepared to cut the umbilical cord

Colt and I

Skin to Skin with Daddy so Mom can push the next baby out!

The senior resident worked on preparing Charlotte for her arrival - apparently, they need to make sure they get the second twin out before the placenta detaches or the cervix closes. They had told me in advance what would likely happen and, as they said, it was a textbook twins birth. The senior resident reached inside of me (sounds worse than it was thanks to the epidural) to position her and pull her feet first halfway out. Then I got to deliver her shoulders and head - a breech delivery! What a cool experience. I definitely felt more pressure with the breech birth and would imagine it would hurt more than head first if I hadn’t had the epidural. So thankful for drugs. They immediately put Charlotte and me and I noticed how tiny she was as she emerged - she was over a pound smaller than her “big” brother. Charlotte was born at 10:19am, weighing 5.4lbs, 5 minutes after her brother.

Pushing with my sisters support


Sweet baby B

My youngest girl

Char and I

The doctor then worked on sewing me up (his arm had made me tear a bit) and I alternated cuddling babies. The rest of my labour squad took turns having baby cuddles as well. We texted my Dad who needed to be at the airport by noon and he was able to swing by at 11am to meet them for 10 minutes. We had to wait in the delivery room for the peds doctors to come weight and measure the babies - it took forever! Almost 2 hours to find out their weights and get up to our room. Our other births had been so much faster and it was so hard to wait as I was soooo tired having not slept in almost 30 hours at that point, plus everyone was texting and asking their size, I was sooo curious. I don’t know how long they were as they never told us the measurements for length.

Me with both my babes

My sister Jenna and the babies!

My Dad was headed out of town and made it in time for 5 minutes with babies before heading to the airport!

Finally, we were whisked away to our room - for the first time we were placed in a private room right away. At my other two births, we were put in joint rooms until a private room came free, so this was really nice. The babies were put in a neat wooden bassinet side by side. We got up to our room around 1pm and we left the following day by 5pm. I always like getting home as soon as we can so we can sleep well in our big bed, with the lights out, and without the constant interruptions. The staff was great though - and we ran into a lot of nurses who were twin moms themselves! We got some great advice.

We have somewhat perfected our hospital stay time with what works for us - we like to have most of our visitors at the hospital since people stay for a shorter time at the hospital than they do at home, and I don’t get deep sleep at the hospital anyway. So we saw a lot of people, we had great meals brought to us and we shared a beer with takeout to celebrate as always. It was perfect. We also had our girls join us, brought by Pauls mom and sister. We were officially a family of 6! That’s huge. Whoa.

Our first family photo as a family of 6 - looking suitably stunned

The hospital twins bassinet 

Avie meeting Colty

My cousins meetings the babies at the hospital

Bringing the stroller to the hospital is a must have! Easy to carry the carseats out and all your junk! We did it in one trip :) and we had a lot of stuff.

I will also say that the things I packed in my bag were perfect! I felt very pleased with my hospital bag this time. I loved having everything in smaller travel packing cubes and spent most of my time in the hospital robe, or the robe I’d bought on Amazon. Both were great, and I felt pleased to have finally gotten it right - third times a charm!

And just like that, we were home with two babies! It felt fun to leave the hospital for the last time with new babies, knowing we were done having kids but having enjoyed the experiences immensely. They are now 3 months old (today!) and we can’t imagine life without them. I mean we remember life without them, but this new normal is quite delightful, if exhausting.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You are a Rock Star Mamma in my books. May God continue to Bless you and your precious family each and every day. Such a sweet and compelling birth story.
Sending love and Blessings.


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