birth story

October 19, 2009

4am, i’m awoken by a few strong contractions but i’ve learned not to really believe that these actually mean anything will happen. the contractions come and go about every 7 minutes for about an hour and then just after 5am they fade away. i had just started to think that maybe just maybe this might be it… of course regardless of the contractions my induction was set for 7am. at 5:30 my alarm went off and i got up to take a shower and the contractions ramp back on up. by the time i made it downstairs to have a bite to eat i can barely stand upright when they hit. i gripped the counter-top and just tried to breathe through each one, realizing that these are definitely different than what i’ve been feeling for weeks, if not months. they do not go unnoticed.

my sister had arrived the night before to be present for the birth, so glad she could make it. as i tried to sip my tea the contractions get stronger. i could barely eat my cereal and clear my thoughts enough to grab my belongings. it takes me so long to get myself out the door that we don’t even get to the hospital until 7:15 or so. nice. i’m late to my own birth.

my doc has been waiting, have i mentioned how much i love her on this blog? well i do. i heart her with all my might. she is hilarious and wise and always on top of my laundry list of medical issues and medications and she’s a big believer in vaginal twin deliveries so i’m just so excited that she will be with me through the entirety of the birth and i won’t have to go through this with someone else.

she walks into my closet size room (more on this later) as soon as i shut the door and stands with her hands on her hips and says, “man, you’re late!” just then i’m seized with a pretty strong contraction and as my body folds with pain over the end of the bed i somehow explain that i think labor began around 4 and have been having a hard time moving quickly. as the contraction passes i look up to find a huge smile on her face and she says, “well, it looks like we’ll be holding off on the pitocin for a while, let’s see how you do!”

my hospital, though they are all for vaginal twin deliveries does ask that an epidural be placed in case a c-section is necessary on one or both of the babies, and though i was able to labor in a room in L&D, the actual birth would take place in the OR just in case an emergency arose or surgery was needed. so because my actual birth would not take place in my labor room i was given the tiniest room on the ward, closet size. not that i guess i cared, i was too focused on getting through those contractions for the first few hours i hardly noticed the setting but my sister, DH and my close friend were crammed by the AC vent shivering through my contractions, as i sat bare legged and sweating my brains out. apparently labor makes your body work hard and get really heated up. who woulda thunk. he he.

by 9:30am the contractions were coming hard, with each one, DH would rub my lower back and my sister would rub my forehead reminding me to stay relaxed, the pain was intense and i tried to really just breathe and stay calm although it was getting more and more difficult to do with each one that passed. i had been about 3-4cm dilated for the last few weeks and was now about 5-6. the babies looked fabulous on the monitors the entire morning, the nurses and my ob kept commenting on how insane baby A was, she was going nuts on that monitor, (in a good way) her heart beat jumping up and down and all around while baby b stayed cool as a cucumber. the anesthesiologist came in and asked my sis and DH to leave so they could insert the epidural. he was amazing and placed it so fast, painlessly i might add and within 10 minutes i was sure my labor had stopped. i said, “oh no, i haven’t had any contractions since you all came in” i was just sure that the epidural had stalled my labor. the nurse looked at the tape and laughed, “you’ve actually had three in the last few minutes, guess we’ve got a good epidural going.” i was so shocked. i have read so much about how the epidural really doesn’t take away all the pain or how so many people didn’t get relief on one side or the other so i was shocked to be so, well, numb. i could still move my legs around, though they were all pins and needles but i had more feeling than i thought, i guess another reason why i was so confused by the lack of feeling with the contractions.

after the epidural time really slowed down. for those first few hours i was so focused on getting through each contraction, every 5 minutes, lasting for 1-2 minutes at a time, the hours really flew by and then after the epidural, well things got boring to be honest. i just sat there. my body was still working so hard but i could barely tell beyond the overwhelming waves of exhaustion that would pass over me from time to time and the extreme thirst that those damn ice cubes could never really quench. i just sat there in the bed hoping things were still moving forward. i was checked every few hours and things were going ahead text-book like, i was dilating about a cm an hour and by 4pm i was fully dilated. my doc came in and had me do a practice push to see if i would be a “good pusher” or not, this would determine whether i would be asked to push for a time in the labor room in order to a lot of the work done before moving to the OR, or if i would be moved immediately in for delivery. with one practice push my doc’s eyes got wide, “oh yeah, we’re going now, you’re going to get these babes out fast!” i was so excited, and freaked out and well, ready and not ready all at the same time.

i was wheeled down the hall to the OR, both my sis and DH were allowed in with me which was amazing. I was feeling so excited and not scared or nervous at all. We got to the OR about 4:50 but i don’t think i started pushing for another 10-15 minutes or so. And with 10 big pushes out came V. For a while there I thought she’d never make it past my pubic bone, she paused there for so long it seemed, but finally her head pushed past and her body followed quickly at 5:23pm. As soon as V was out the OB reached inside me to feel the presentation of baby B who had been transverse for many months, his feet had flipped down into the breech position. this was not something my doc was worried about, in fact, she had told me that if he flips to breech it would be the faster way for him to come out. the OB guided his feet and with only 1-2 pushes M came into the world just 2 minutes later at 5:25pm.

The epidural had worked so well that I felt no pain during any of this, nothing, i mostly laughed my way through the pushing with my sister and DH. We were all so giggly and overexcited.

After the babes were out, M had a little trouble breathing at first, this had been explained before hand as well to me so I wasn’t too worried, although I waited and waited for those little lungs to kick in and his cries finally let me relax fully a few minutes after his birth. My OB had explained that with second babies not having to work so hard to move through the birth canal, they can react similiar to c-section babes and just not have time to work out a lot of the fluid from their lungs. It can take them a bit longer to adapt to the world outside. M was taken up to the NICU for observation but only for 2 hours and then he joined us back in our room after that. His sis was so strong from the start and she ended up being the one to lose more weight and develop slight jaundice in the next few days. M was stronger than ever once he was with us.

They both took to breastfeeding really well and though I’m still adjusting their latches a few times a day they are hungry, happy babies. They are now just over three weeks old. I can’t believe how fast it has all gone. It’s been a huge transition. Huge doesn’t really cut it to be honest. For the first week i think i spent most days hysterically crying from lack of sleep and pain from engorgement (why does no one explain engorgement before it happens?! i had no idea!!) but now we are slowly adjusting to our new schedules, hello no more than 3 hours of sleep at a time!

Parenthood is so much harder than i would ever have imagined. There are so many ups and downs and there is no way to really prepare for so much of it. but all the pain and struggle and worry and stress and fear has paid off. Now i just need to remind myself of that at 4am when one or both of them won’t stop screaming. I just look at them and think… thank you.


September 26, 2009

Not to be Outdone by a deadline M & V decided to show who’s really in charge by jumping the line to my scheduled induction Thursday at 7am and kickstarting labor just three hours sooner at 4am. After just over 13 hours the little people arrived both the old fashioned way. I’ll get the story out someday soon but for now some quick details.

Baby A, now known as V, a girl is 5lbs 12 oz and came out head first.

Baby B, now known as M, a boy is 5lbs 6 oz (and taller than his siter by an inch at 19″) came out feet first.

Both adorable, sweet and looking for trouble. This is going to me amazing and crazy. More details when I’ve had more than 2 hours of sleep. Hmmm not sure when that might be. Hee hee.

Less than 24

September 23, 2009

I can’t quite believe that this time tomorrow (unless my body decides to throw me a bone here) we’ll be on our way to parenthood. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, excited and terrified all at once. But mostly I am so ready to meet these little people and see them safely into the world. Fingers crossed.

At last weeks’s ultrasound they were measuring at 5lbs 15oz and 5lbs 11oz so I hope they have continued to grow grow grow over the last week.

I have been so lucky this pregnancy really. I’ve felt really good for the majority of these 9+ months but the last few days have been rough. I’m afraid my bottom has taken the brunt of the damage. Not fun. Basically I can no longer really stand for more than a few minutes before all the pressure starts to do me in and sitting now requires my good friend the inflatable donut. Nice. But all in all I can’t complain. I have made it so much farther than I expected. And whether labor moves swiftly or not, it looks like we’ll have some new birthdays to add to the calendar oh so soon.

I really can’t wait!


September 21, 2009

i can’t believe i’m still posting with these babies still all cozy-ed up inside me. seems crazy. i spent so many months so worried they would come early and now it seems they don’t want to come out at all. but it may not be up to them… we’ve been scheduled for induction this thursday at 7am. yup, that’s in three days!

i was hoping just getting the date would motivate my body to get going but it’s been four days since we found out and well, i have had some hours of hard core contractions that seemed to be leading to the big day and then everything just fizzled out. it’s happened two big times, i was sure it was coming and then… nothing. oh well, at least my body’s getting ready.

i definitely feel more secure having a date to focus on though. i know the longer these babes have inside the bigger and stronger they will be when they finally emerge but i also have fear. i’ve been too close to the tragedy of stillbirth with my dear friend that knowing this is never a sure-thing has me feeling waves of panic as well. i’m trying to focus on the positives and keep on top of my kick counts. it’s all i can do.

so unless everything changes in the next two days we have an end to this part of the journey in sight. and even though these last few weeks have been hard on my body and have left me a weeping sally, i will so miss these little bodies inside me. it’s such a personal experience for us now, it will be amazing to meet them and for DH to be able to hold them like i’ve been able to these long 9+ months. i’ll try to post if anything happens. and thanks so much for all your support through these wacky travels. i’m so blessed to have such support.

a birthday…. or not

September 13, 2009

wow today was a doozy. here i am at 36w2d and let’s just say i’m ready. (he he i think i might have mentioned that before huh…) i rounded out saturday night with some friends and spicy enchiladas and promply woke up this morning to major stomach cramps… but not like your typical cramps, they would come and go at regular intervals and my entire belly would be engulfed in sharp hot pain that would radiate to my back. it was awful. after a call to L&D where my doc was on duty and responded to claims of “yay!!, come on in!” when i explained my pain. feeling encouraged and in much pain we headed off to the hospital. i felt so terrible i didn’t eat any breakfast which was a terrible idea i would regret later.

after being checked on arrival i was still only 3cm, same as last wednesday. total bummer. from the amount of pain i was in my doc was even convinced i’d be more like 7! alas. my doc decided we would wait a few hours and check again and monitor my contractions and the babes in the mean time. my contractions were really all over the place, no organization there and the stomach cramps slowly began to ease back.

so two hours later though i was having contractions that i could definitely feel and they were getting pretty rough, my cervix barely showed any wear. 3 1/2. we waited another 2 hours and the contractions stayed about the same, moderately painful but no regularity or organization… and by 5pm 3 1/2 cm. nothing had changed. by this time i was so starving (damn the hospital and their no food if you’re “potentially” in labor clause) by that third cervix check i was hoping nothing had changed because i didn’t know how much longer i could last with no food. so by 5:30 we were out the door and headed home, a nice 5 hours or so in the hospital with nothing to show for it. but thank goodness for take-out!

so here we go on another wait, it’s just so frustrating to know that honestly i have no idea how all this will begin, what it will feel like and how i’ll “know” when it’s for real. i was so convinced this morning. i had never felt pain like that with my BH contractions. so back to the drawing board. and for now i rest happily filled with dinner and some ice cream. rule #1, never leave for the hospital without eating SOMETHING! even if i am terribly nauseous the next time around i know i’ve got to get something in this belly or i’ll be sorry. lesson learned… now onto the next stage… or so i hope!


September 9, 2009

another week down! i can’t believe 36 weeks is just two days away. yippee! we make just make our big goal and them some… or not, as of this morning i was 3cm dilated and 70% effaced so things are still moving forward. i was thinking today’s 09/09/09 date seemed like a good one but as the hours pass i realize that most likely won’t be happening.

i’m feeling pretty good but definitely not as comfortable as i’ve been in previous weeks or days. lots of sharp pains and more painful contractions off and on, still nothing steady.

i’ll keep you posted… ready or not! ha!


September 2, 2009

had an appointment this morning and i’m still 50% effaced and now 1-2 cm dilated. holy crap. so this may all mean nothing but if i had to guess i’d say i’ll go sooner rather than later. i’ve just started feeling “different” in the last two days. some weird sharp pains coming and going and some much stronger BH contractions. soo. yeah. i’m excited. totally freaked out and really needing to clean my house. yipe!

i really wanted to make it to 36 weeks and perhaps i will but i get the feeling none of this is really up to me so we’ll just lie back and get ready for the ride.

34 weeks!

August 29, 2009

well we made it folks. today i’m 34w1d! That means that if i go into labor now they won’t try to actively stop it. It means the babies lungs should be developing nicely and they won’t give me steroid shots if labor begins.

i feel so damn lucky to have made it this far. i’m still hopeful we can hold these little ones off for a few more weeks and try to avoid much NICU time. Some days i feel like that will be a piece of cake, other days i’m on the complete other side of the fence. I’m trying to stay as quiet and calm as I can so the babes just rest and keep growing.

in terms of how i’m feeling, yes, enormous is up there close to the top. my feet which had been killing me the last few weeks have finally started aching less (probably because i haven’t been walking all over the place, i’m just too tired for that these days). Now the pain has moved into my hands and knuckles for some reason. I’m chalking it up to fluid retention since i can’t come anywhere close to fitting into my ring and after writing about 50 thank you cards last night my hands ached like i had a wicked case of arthritis. nice. but really these minor discomforts are no biggie. i’ll take them anyday if it means happy healthy babes at the end. (remind me i said that in a few weeks when i can’t get off the couch or put my own pants on)…

have an appt on wednesday so we’ll see how we’re all doing then. probably get a cervix check and see if there’s been any change. fingers crossed. my eyes are set on 36 weeks.

who knows where the next few weeks will take us.


August 26, 2009

after feeling pretty damn amazing for being just over 8 months pregnant this week revealed things can certainly change quickly.

friday night i woke up at 1:30am to a pretty strong BH contraction. no biggie, i’ve had them since 15 weeks so they’re not something i tend to freak out over since they are never consistent and really are just more annoying than anything else. But from 1:30-2:30 they came every 10 minutes. (thank you application icontraction) then from 2:30-6:00am they were more like every 5-7 minutes. weird. i called L&D at about 2:45 to say this is different than anything i’ve experienced before. They said to call back if the contractions got down to 5 minutes apart or less and stayed that way for an hour or more. I laid back down and kept track for the next few hours, they just kept coming but stayed above 5 minutes the entire time. I finally called back at about 5:45am to say that they haven’t dropped below five minutes but they are still very consistent and all the water i’m drinking and lying on my side doesn’t seem to be doing squat. Also, I’m only 33 weeks so if I was going into labor I would still need steroid shots to help the babies lungs out. I was so worried by the time I’d get to the hospital it would be too late. The doc said, well why don’t you come in at 7am (since shift change was about to happen which would mean i’d most likely be waiting for quite a while to get seen.) I laid back down at 6am to try to get some rest until 7 and next thing i knew it was 9am.
When I woke up the contractions were gone for the most part, and if i did have any they were back to their inconsistent norm. I decided to just take it easy, eat some breakfast and see how the morning went before I went in. I met a dear friend for coffee half a block from the house and as soon as I sat down i just lost it. I think it was a combo of exhaustion from being up all night, fear that these babies were going to come early and not be ok, and hell, extreme fear that these babies were going to come and i won’t know what to do with them. i think i finally realized how imminent this all is and it scared the pants off me. Don’t get me wrong, after so long in this journey all I want is to meet these little people and to know they are ok. but that doesn’t mean i don’t still shake from the idea of knowing that I don’t know anything about babies or being a mom and my world is about to change oh so dramatically. I know we’ll be ok, we’ll figure it out, we want this more than anything, but it’s still a big transition.

anyway, with one look at me my friend said, “i’m pulling the car around and we’re going to L&D”, j was off on a run for work and wasn’t available so I hopped in the car and away we went. At L&D the babies and I were hooked up to the monitor and they looked just wonderful. Moving a ton and good strong heartbeats, my contractions were still willy nilly and showing up.

They checked my cervix and found that I was 50% effaced, no dilation though which was great to know. And apparently I was 50% effaced at my appointment on wednesday though no one thought to mention that to me. So after a few hours and no change in my cervix I was released and came home. The next two days I was over the top exhausted. I couldn’t do much more than sleep and eat.

It’s been two days since then and I feel much better. my energy has returned a bit but i’m vastly more uncomfortable. a few weeks ago i would have said i thought i’d make it all the way to 38 weeks, but now, well, i ain’t so sure. i feel like i’ll be lucky if i make it past friday. PLEASE let me make it past friday!!

now excuse me while i attempt to dislodge a baby head from under my right ribcage so i can finish my workday.


August 19, 2009

the days and weeks are flying by and i can’t believe we’re nearly to 33 weeks. it’s quite literally boggles the mind.

we had an ultrasound and OB appt today and the babies looked great! and damn they’re big ones, well 58th percentile anyways. baby A is measuring at 4lbs 12oz and baby B just a touch behind at 4lbs 8oz. it’s crazy to think i’m carrying around nearly 10 lbs of baby. I’ve not been able to gain as much weight as i thought. i eat almost every two hours and am mostly housebound these days so why i’m not piling on the pounds i’ll never know. only 26 lbs up to date. but apparently the babes aren’t lacking for nutrients so that’s good to know. i’m going to blame my super fast metabolism (i’ve always been on the long lanky side) and my propensity for overdoing it. i’ve gotten miles better with this last one and have stopped building cabinets and doing crazy amounts of home improvements but i did spend all weekend making 3 dozen jars of peach jam from the tree out back.

all in all i still feel really good. i’ve only had minimal swelling in my feet (and actually only after all those hours making jam and being on my feet, that really kicked my arse) and i’m still feeling fairly comfortable and sleeping well. ok, sleeping well in between the 8 trips to the bathroom and 5 minutes of pillow reforming each night. i started working from home full time a few weeks ago and that has made a huge difference in my back. i haven’t had the same pain since the rocking chair became my desktop. now it’s really only the bottoms of my feet that are a constant source of pain. they just feel bruised almost. sore. and no shoes are helping but i can’t complain. i feel really lucky to be at home, not on bedrest and not having any major complications. phew. so far so good.

so for now i’ll just keep on keeping on and see what they say at my next appointment in two weeks. i’ll try to be better about updating. i’m not sure what my problem has been really. i think it’s part exhaustion and lack of motivation and part worry that i will make someone feel the way i used to feel when i would read about happy pregnancy blabber. but at the same time i need to keep this going, have a record of this time for these little people. so they know how much we’re excited to meet them and how long we’ve been working to get to where we are.