- 4 years ago
- Wedding: November 2011
Sorry it’s taken ages to write this! Better late than never, right? 🙂
I was scheduled to be induced with the twins at 37+5 (they don’t let you go past 38 usually as outcomes get worse after that point), so the whole week leading up to it I was doing everything I could to ripen up my cervix and get things on the move–walking, cleaning the floor on all fours, and even going in for an (unsuccessful) membrane sweep–all to no avail. By the time I went in on Monday afternoon, the 2nd of September, they said I was looking favourable and that twin 1 was hanging really, really low. Apparently she was slightly oblique, though, which is why I hadn’t started dilating yet. They said I’d probably already have gone into labour if she hadn’t been sitting funny. Since the labour ward was completely full, they decided to postpone putting in the pessary until Tuesday morning at 6am.
They put in the pessary at 6am the next morning, and after going for a long walk around the grounds, I started having contractions around 10am. By noon, the contractions were regular, and by 3 pm, they were painful and coming 4 one after the other every 10 minutes… But still no dilation. I had been hoping to be dilated enough by evening for them to break my water, but no joy. By midnight, I was in so much pain I started to vomit, but when they checked me, I had dilated a whopping 1cm. Not great. They decided that they would break my water in the morning, but the contractions were so frequent and painful (I was in back labour, apparently) that I gave in to their offer of pethadine at 2am, with the promise that the babies would be born long after the effects had worn off. The injection worked, but I did spend the night throwing up every 30 minutes. I threw up 11 times over the course of the night.
When 6 am finally came, 20 hours after my contractions had started, they checked me again and I was 3 cm. They said that they would move me on to the labour ward to break my waters as soon as a room freed up, but as there were 3 sets of twins being born that day in addition to the full house of single babies, it would be a few hours. By this time, the meds had worn off and I was in agony, with contractions now coming 4 on top of each other every 5 minutes. The midwife recommended another dose of pethadine since they weren’t allowed to administer an epidural until I was on the labour ward. I agreed… Worst decision ever. This time, it did nothing to help with the pain, but it did make me completely delirious and very sick for a good 3 or 4 hours. Darling Husband said he was really scared for me because it was like I had left the room and there was just a crazy, vomiting woman in agony there. It started to wear off around noon, just as a room finally freed up on the ward.
When I got into the room, they checked me again, and to my complete shock and delight I was dilated 9 cm! I had renewed energy and willpower to try for a birth without an epidural since they said I would probably be able to start pushing in about an hour. They offered to break my water to speed things up for the final run, but when they did at 9.5 cm, my labour stopped in its tracks. The water had been providing the pressure on my cervix to make it dilate, but once it was gone there was just the baby’s head in a brow presentation, banging at an angle against my pelvis instead of going into the birth canal with each contraction. They said that a c-section at this point might be a good idea given her presentation, but having heard all the negative c-section press, I desperately wanted a natural birth. The doctor agreed to try. After 2 hours of nothing, they strongly recommended syntocin to speed things up and an epidural. At that point, I had been in labour for 28 hours and was exhausted. I was hesitant, but once they explained to me that they would have to administer syntocin anyway to get twin 2 out, and that they were probably going to need to do an assisted delivery to get twin 1 out, I agreed. Best decision ever. I felt better than I had for months, and with the contractions starting up again, I was well on my way.
Around 3 hours later, I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. I pushed for about 45 minutes, but when she was still not out and her heart rate had started to go up, the midwife got nervous and called in the doctor. The doctor did a massively invasive internal exam (we’re talking his whole hand) and said that her neck was getting hyperextended as I was pushing. He wanted to try for an assisted delivery, so they got out the equipment for a ventouse delivery because they don’t use forceps for brow presentation. Unfortunately, her neck was so hyperextended at this point that the only thing in the birth canal to attach something to was her face… which meant that an assisted delivery was out. The doctor thought he might be able to turn her a bit for the delivery, but after an even more invasive turning procedure, she still wasn’t coming and her heartrate had skyrocketed. The doctor looked at the monitor and said that they needed to get her out ASAP, and that it was going to need to be a c-section because she wasn’t going to come out vaginally. They whisked me into theatre and both twins were out just 5 minutes later. The operation wasn’t great–the anaesthesia made me vomit as they were operating–but they got both girls out safe and sound. Vivienne Gray, who had been stuck, came out at 7:34 pm on Wednesday September 4th, and Philippa Winter came out one minute later at 7:35. Vivi needed some help when she first came out as she was quite limp and traumatised. Her face was completely swollen and covered in bruises, but she was otherwise okay.
The c-section recovery was super easy–I was up, showering and walking without my catheter by noon the next day, d was off my pain meds 3 days later. Having heard so many horror stories about vaginal birth recovery, I dare say I got the easy way out. Bleeding has been very minimal, pain nil, and our love life was back on track a lot sooner than most people’s. So… If you end up getting a c-section, your recovery might be a breeze like mine was!
We were in the hospital for a week following the birth because they had quite severe cases of jaundice (esp Vivi with her bruising) and had to be under intensive phototherapy lights in the NICU for 3 days, so I was thrilled when we finally got to come home! They are now two beautiful, healthy little girls who are growing like weeds. 🙂 I’m loving being a mother and am so proud of them! It’s especially fun to go out and have strangers ooh an aww over them, particularly after a hard night. They’re good babies, though, and we’re getting about 6 hours of sleep at night, which I think is pretty good!
Here are my two little beauties, Philippa Winter and Vivienne Gray:
At 5.5 weeks: (Vivi on the left, Pip on the right)