Our Story: Twin Labor and Delivery

This is part 3 of a 4 part series. 
Read Part 1:  Our Story: “You know there’s two?”
Read Part 2: Our Story: Twin Pregnancy
Read Part 4: Our Story: Hospital Stay

The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}

At 35 weeks and 5 days, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was possibly leaking amniotic fluid. But I wasn’t sure. It wasn’t enough fluid to say oh yeah, my water definitely broke but it was enough to make me suspicious. I was 100% sure I didn't pee myself. I went back to bed and when I woke up in the morning I still wasn’t sure. I went back and forth about whether to go get checked out and finally called my doctor at noon. They had me go straight to triage to get checked out. I thought for sure it would be nothing and told Ben not to come home from work. I put my hospital bag in the car, just in case and drove myself to the hospital.The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}After a few tests on the fluid - one positive, one negative - and a PH test which was consistent with amniotic fluid, the doctor and nurses decided I probably had a high leak in one of my amniotic sacs. It was either leaking very slowly or baby A’s head was so low she was blocking anything from coming out. Either way, I wasn’t going home! I called Ben to tell him to pick up the rest of our things at home and meet me at the hospital.

We did a lot of hanging around the hospital on the first day because our doctor were taking a wait-and-see approach. I was not having regular contractions, just the cramping I’d been having throughout my pregnancy. We even went for a walk outside!

The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}

24 hours after we suspected the leak started, with not regular contractions going on, I was given an oral cervical ripener to try and get things moving. This happened to be around 2 am so it was not a restful night! I finally started having mild regular contractions. I could sort of sleep through them so they weren't too bad! We were still in the triage unit at this point but were sent to labor and delivery just before lunch.

The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}

Throughout the day, I had the type of labor I was hoping for. I was able to use a yoga ball and walk around the floor. My contractions hurt but were manageable with movement and breathing (thank you prenatal yoga!). I had reached 3 centimeters and stayed there all day. In the evening the on-call doctor, who was not part of my practice, and our (very pushy) nurse encouraged me to get my epidural and start Pitocin to strengthen my contractions. I had been somewhat reluctantly planning to get an epidural but it was recommended in the event I needed an emergency c-section for the second baby. The alternative being that I would be put under in the event that happened and miss his birth. Both babies were head down and if Baby B flipped, all the doctors in my practice were comfortable delivering him breech.  

Before I knew we were having twins, I wanted as natural a hospital birth as possible so I was feeling like that was taken away from me at the time. Between the cervical ripener, Pitocin, and epidural, their birth was more medicated than I wish it had been. Knowing what I know now, I would have stood my ground and not gotten an epidural at 3cm. I was uncomfortable enough that I couldn't sleep but I really think it lengthened my labor and delivery quite a bit and I hated being confined to my bed and not being able to feel my legs. The nurse at the time was very pushy about it and I wish I had stood up for myself more. The other nurses I had were more the "You go girl! You got this!" types.

Of the whole birth process, I was actually most nervous about getting an epidural! The anesthesiologist was fantastic and earlier in the day he came in and talked me through the whole procedure and answered any questions I had. Despite not enjoying the paralzyed feeling of the epidural, I was able to sleep through most of the night. My only real memory of that night is waking up to my leg falling off the bed. I couldn't move it back and had to yell to wake Ben up. He was panic stricken that something was happening but I just needed him to pick up my foot!

The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}

When I was checked at 6am, I was still at 3 centimeters. I was worried the doctors would start encouraging me to go with a c-section since it was now Saturday morning and my water started leaking Wednesday night. The doctor’s shift changed and now the head of my practice was on. The babies were still tolerating everything well and they were going to continue to wait-and-see. After a few more hours they decided we should break baby A’s water because it was bulging and my doctor hoped it would move things along. That was one of the weirdest sensations I’ve ever experienced. It didn’t hurt at all because of the epidural and it was a huge gush of water that just kept coming. Lucky for us, this worked to get things going. About 3 or 4 hours later, I was over 9 centimeters and we got ready to start pushing.

I started pushing at 2:45 just as the nurses’ shifts were changing. I was so sad to lose the nurse I had just spent the day with and loved! Our two new nurses were very nice and extremely helpful but it threw me off at first to have two brand new people for my delivery. I quickly stopped caring who was there because labor is serious business! I know it's called labor and I watched tons of labor and delivery videos so I felt semi-prepared but it was still more physical than I expected.

I stayed in my labor and delivery room pushing for several hours before we were moved to the OR, which was standard procedure for twin delivery at our hospital. The operating room was so sterile compared to the L&D room. It was cold and bright, and I could see the tables laid out with surgical tools in case a c-section was needed. It was definitely not the cozy, dimly lit birth I had originally envisioned! I was able to stay in my L&D bed instead of on the surgical table, which made me happy.

The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}

I pushed for a total of about 4 hours before our little baby A was born just before 7pm on Saturday! She came out with her eyes open and her hand up by her head. They put her on my chest for a minute before she was taken to be checked out. She was 4 pounds 14 ounces and her Apgar scores were 9 and 9. As soon as she was delivered, one of the nurses quickly started pushing on baby B to keep him head down. 18 minutes later, baby B was born. He was 5 pounds 11 ounces and his Apgars were 8 and 9. The placentas were delivered more quickly than I expected and I barely felt anything. I actually barely remember that part. I had wanted to see them, which totally skeeved Ben out, but I didn't have the chance and didn't think of it in the moment (you know, because I had two beautiful new babies!). Then I was stitched up from my episiotomy (it was that or a vacuum delivery and I chose the episiotomy). We headed back to our L&D room where I was able to do skin to skin and nurse my sweet babies for the first time!

The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}

I feel very lucky to have had such an uneventful twin pregnancy and birth. It wasn’t the low intervention, super natural birth I originally thought I would have, but I’m still very happy with how it went. I’m thankful to have had experienced doctors who didn’t rush our delivery. My water started leaking Wednesday night, we went to the hospital Thursday, and I delivered them on Saturday night. It was certainly a long labor but worth every minute!

The longest three days of my life: a twin birth story {labor and delivery}

 

 

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