Imagine stepping onto a stage, with bright lights on. There are 10 eager people in the audience. And your only act is to perform birth in front of them 😉
That is why I describe my birth experience as “exciting!”
Induction Day #1 (yes, there is more than one day!):
I made it to 37 weeks in my pregnancy! And since I was carrying mono/di twins, protocol was to induce by 37 weeks. So on July 5, I called the hospital to see when I could go in to be induced. They told me I could come in at 11:00 so I just had to wait a few hours. The waiting made me a little nervous, especially since this was my first experience ever being in a hospital. We kissed Elijah goodbye and took a short drive there.
Getting checked in took a bit of time. I was surprised at how much paperwork there was! And I got bloodwork done, which was a surprise for me. I even asked the phlebotomist why she had to take my blood. Haha.
I first went to have an ultrasound to tell the OB how Baby B (Kayley) was facing, as she was breech a few days before at the last ultrasound. So we waited a bit. Kayley was being an aerialist in there, as per usual.
The doctor then came in and gave me the OK for vaginal birth. She explained that I had a few options:
1. Try vaginal birth and hope for the best in terms of Baby B flipping. She could be guided as well by the OB.
2. Have a vaginal birth with Baby B coming out breech
3. Have vaginal birth with Baby A (Sophie was always head down) but have a C-Section if Baby B isn’t able to be delivered vaginally. (They call that a “double-whammy” in the twin world)!
4. Go for C-Section and eliminate all guessing.
Option #1 was my preferred option. I never wanted to wonder if I could have had them vaginally.
So we had the Pitocin drip started at 1:00 and long story short (cause it’s a long story—won’t make it any longer for you), contractions were very mild. I was super relaxed and played puzzles on my phone for hours. I kind of liked it though—it was a break from being mom for a day and Dan was there, so it was like a date. Haha. By 11:00pm, we (us and the OB) called it quits on the induction for the day and decided to start it up again the next morning. We stayed at the hospital overnight to keep our place in queue.
Even though I had a very pleasant day, I must admit, I was a little discouraged that nothing had happened and was worried that nothing would happen the next day either.
Induction Day #2:
The next morning, there was a new OB. Very nice man. He introduced himself and suggested that we start the morning by breaking my water. He broke my water at 8:30am and then the nurses got the Pitocin drip going again at 9:00.
The next few hours were interesting. The nurses had to have the babies monitored at all times. And the task got trickier after the water was broken. Sophie moved further and further down and the nurses eventually couldn’t get her heartbeat. So they had to call in the OB. He had to use a portable ultrasound machine to locate her. They tried to place the monitor near her but they couldn’t keep the heartbeat located so the OB tried to put a clip on her head to monitor her, but the sensor wasn’t working. Finally, they were able to use the monitor on my belly to locate her heartbeat and then they wouldn’t let me move haha.
Contractions did progress after my water broke, so at 1:00, they suggested I have an epidural. This was part of the birth plan, in case I would have to have a C-Section. If I did not have an epidural and I needed a C-Section, then I would have to be put under completely. There was also the chance that the OB would need to help Kayley flip, and I didn’t want to have to feel that either.
My contractions felt fine at that point, so I said I could wait a little longer (remember, I had a medication-free birth with Elijah), but the nurses said we should get it going before they got really strong.
The epidural worked great. It was interesting feeling one leg get numb before the other. But then things evened up. I was about 5cm dilated then, in the afternoon.
My contractions got stronger, but I had a little nap! The doctor even came in to do a check, but he left the room to let me nap (great guy!).
The nurse told me to let her know when the contractions started to get stronger. Probably around 3:00, I noticed them getting really strong so the nurse checked and I was already fully dilated!
The plan was to bring me down to the OR (operating room) as a precautionary measure, when I was 8-9cm dilated. So when the nurse found that I was fully dilated, she made a phone call and several nurses and the doctor came in to wheel me and all of my equipment down.
In the elevator, I put my hands on the railing of the gurney and my OB said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you when I’m driving.” Hahaha. I thought that was pretty funny. Crazy gurney driver.
We got outside of the OR and there was a man waiting to go into surgery and my doctor apologized and said, “sorry, were going to have to boot you” or something like that. The man was so nice. He said, “no problem. It looks like you need the room more than me anyway.”
A group of nurses approached me and asked when I ate last. The anesthesiologist introduced himself to me and we went in.
I was kind of expecting an OR like one from Grey’s Anatomy so I was a little surprised when it was quite plain 😉
My audience was:
3 OR nurses,
2 nurses (one for each baby),
Paediatrician (who we knew personally!),
Everyone helped me get off the gurney onto the operating table. And pretty much when I got settled, I was ready to push. It felt like it took no time at all to push Sophie out! Elijah took 1.5 hours to push out, so Sophie’s birth felt so speedy! Just a few pushes and she was out! 5.7lbs born at 3:57pm.
I got to hold her right after she came out! All of the nervousness about being a twin mom went away and that moment was just so perfect. I let out tears as I was overcome with joy after seeing my precious baby.
The nurse noted that Sophie wasn’t gaining much colour so they took her over to the baby table to be examined. The nurse informed me that she needed some medication in the special care nursery so they were going to bring her up right away. I was so grateful that she kept me informed.
Turned out that Kayley took more of the nutrients from the placenta, so Sophie had a very mild case of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and needed a little extra hemoglobin.
To get Kayley’s birth going, my OB broke her water. It was pretty funny—the water went all over his surgical gown!
It took a little longer for Kayley. She pretty much flipped on her own once she got all of that space to herself! But the pushing took so much longer. I couldn’t figure out why it was so much more difficult this time, but it was because she was facing the ceiling, or “sunny side-up” as they call it. This makes birthing so much more difficult. The worst part was actually when the doctor told me not to push, right at the end. Because everything in you is telling you to push. But I believe he was saying that so I wouldn’t tear. I gave one last push after and Kayley was out!
She was born at 4:13—a whole 16 minutes after her sister! Weighing 6.1lbs and was very red compared to Sophie. I got to hold her for much longer than Sophie. Then they had a look at her.
My only request when going into the birth was that I get to see the placenta—I love biology so I had to have a chance to see a twin placenta. It looked so cool. One placenta with 2 cords coming from it. Very neat!
I then got to get back on the gurney and got to hold Kayley for the ride back up to the delivery room.
Kayley got examined further there, while Sophie was in the nursery. I got to start breastfeeding Kayley and they also brought Sophie in to breastfeed as well. I was able to feed them both at the same time, to my relief.
Looking back on the birth experience, I’m so grateful that everything was able to go so smoothly and that my OB was so great. All of the nurses and doctors were so kind and helpful! What an exciting experience!