April’s Twin Birth Hypnobabies C-Section
“The waves were 30 seconds long and 5 minutes apart right from the get-go. I was grateful for the waves because they jarred me out of my panic and reminded me to use what I had learned from the Hypnobabies course for my twins’ birth. I used my Peace cue (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort) to relax through the first two waves and then my husband arrived.”
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This is my recent twin birth Hypnobabies story. They were born on 5/20 at 34 weeks 1 day.
That morning I went in for our regular second of two weekly non-stress tests. Izora was doing really well but Davina was struggling with decelerations for about 20 minutes but then suddenly improved for the next 20 minutes. My midwife was concerned as to which tracing truly showed Davina’s status, so she wanted me to go to the hospital for longer monitoring.
She was concerned that the girls may need to be born soon so they went ahead and gave me the first steroid shot to help develop the babies’ lungs. The plan was for me to come back the next day to get the next shot and then two days after that I would be induced. I wasn’t expecting to be sent for further monitoring so we had to scramble to go home and get a bag quickly packed for our toddler so we could drop him off at a sitter before my husband had to leave for work.
I was admitted to the hospital a little after noon for monitoring. They drew some blood and preemptively placed an IV in case I needed medication based on the new blood work. Before they started the monitoring, they did a biophysical profile (BPP) ultrasound on both babies to see how things were in utero. They each had plenty of amniotic fluid, but Izora was breech and Davina was transverse. Both girls passed the BPP with flying colors and so we moved on to belly monitoring. It was a little after 1 pm when they got the belly monitors hooked up.
Over the next few hours Davina’s heart rate would be good and then it would drop and take a bit to go back up. I still wasn’t thinking that today was going to be our birthing day, so I wasn’t listening to my Hypnobabies tracks or anything.
At 5:00 p.m. the on-call OB, Dr. Meredith, and my midwife, Becca, came into my room with serious looks on their faces. Dr. Meredith said for me to call my husband (Anthony) to come to the hospital right away because they were going to be taking the babies out at 6:30 pm. Induction was not an option because of fetal positioning. I started to cry because in an instant I saw the vaginal twin birth I wanted and prepared for disappear. I knew I was going to need extra emotional support and so I asked if there was any way that we could wait until 7:00 pm so that my hypno-doula Natalie could get there to help me use my Hypnobabies for my twins birth. The doctor said no and that the only reason they were waiting till 6:30 was because they needed time to prep the OR and prep me.
I started crying even harder as they left the room. I was panicking because this wasn’t in our plans plus, I was alone right then and acutely aware of it. I immediately called Anthony’s job and told them to tell him that he needed to come to the hospital immediately because I was getting a C-section at 6:30. Then I called Natalie and told her what was happening. I knew she wouldn’t make it in time for the birth, but I still wanted the added emotional support. She said that she would get on the road right away and suggested that Anthony read the change of plans script to me when he got there. I responded that we didn’t have any of our stuff because we hadn’t thought it was our birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor).
My hospital bag, which had all of our Hypnobabies stuff in it, was at home. Fortunately, she had her doula bag in her car with her and was able to pull over and take pictures of the script and send it to me. After I got off the phone with her, I called our sitter to let her know that it was our birthing time and that she would be keeping our son for the next couple days as previously discussed, just much earlier than planned.
About 20 minutes after the doctor told me that I would be having a C-section, I started getting powerful birthing waves. The stress of the situation had started my birthing time in earnest. The waves were 30 seconds long and 5 minutes apart right from the get-go. I was grateful for the waves because they jarred me out of my panic and reminded me to use what I had learned from the Hypnobabies course. I used my Peace cue (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort) to relax through the first two waves and then my husband arrived.
We asked the nurses if we could just have a few minutes to process things before they started to prep me for the C-section. Anthony closed the door and then came over and gave me a priesthood blessing. After the blessing, I got as comfortable as I could, and Anthony began to read the change of plans script. Hypnobabies really helped me to calm down and to accept that what was happening was necessary for the twins birth continued wellbeing. At the end of the script, he asked me if I wanted to stay in hypnosis or come out now. I replied that I was going to stay in hypnosis until the C-section was over.
He then opened the door and let the nurses know we were ready to proceed. A nurse came in and shaved me in preparation for the surgery. Then my midwife came in to check that I was ready. She had the nurse shave a little lower and then said I was ready. We took a quick selfie together to commemorate making it to our 34-week goal. While this was happening, another nurse came in with surgical wear for my husband. She told him that she would be back in a few moments to help him get gowned up. Then that nurse, a student nurse, Becca and Dr Meredith wheeled my bed out of the room, down the hall and into the maternity OR.
In the maternity OR they had me get out of the birthing bed and sit on the side of the surgical table to prepare for the spinal block. My husband had to wait in our hospital room until I was ready for them to start the C-section, so I’m going through this without him. The anesthesiologist (Michael) explained the difference between a spinal and an epidural as he got me prepped. Becca was standing in front of me as he got ready to place the spinal. While this was happening, I started shaking and was feeling overwhelmed.
The Peace cue helped me relax and calm down but didn’t stop the shaking. Becca went to go help the anesthesiologist and I quickly said, “No. I need you to stay here and be my support person since Anthony can’t be here right now.” She replied that that was fine and that she was there for me. She had me hold on to her arms as I tried my best to stay still.
After the spinal block was given, they had me lay back on the operating table and then put my arms under these loose cloth restraints on either side. They said those were to prevent me from accidentally moving an arm into the sterile field. Once I was set, a nurse brought Anthony in, and he stood by my head.
They waited a couple minutes after he was brought in and then asked if I could wiggle my toes. I tried but nothing happened. Then they said they were going to touch a few points on my belly and to let them know if I felt anything besides pressure. I didn’t feel anything but pressure and after a few moments, Dr. Meredith said they were going to get started with the C-section.
I mentioned that I really wanted pictures, but Anthony didn’t want to look. Our anesthesiologist, who was 6’4″, was kind enough to take several pictures above the surgical drape so I actually got to see the girls being born (but not until after the fact). I had a clear drape but because of the size of my belly and the angle I wasn’t actually able to see anything from my vantage point.
Suddenly I felt the pressure and tugging stop. A few moments later I heard a baby cry. I heard one of the nurses say that she was a good size and then my midwife held her up for me to see. I thought that that was likely Izora because she had always been the bigger of the two babies, throughout the pregnancy she was always larger at ultrasounds. I told my midwife that I wouldn’t know for sure who was who until both babies were out because the bigger baby was Izzy. Then Becca passed her through the window to the NICU. (At my hospital the maternity ORs are connected to the NICU through a window so they can immediately get the babies to the help they need without having to move them more than absolutely necessary.)
Less than a minute later the pressure and tugging repeated themselves, followed by three energetic cries. I heard the doctor say, “wow she’s got a strong grip!” The second baby girl actually grabbed the doctor’s surgical robe while he was cutting her cord and refused to let go. Then Becca held her up for me to see (she was so tiny!) and then passed her over to the NICU. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as both my girls were here and obviously breathing.
A couple minutes later, I hear someone say, “Wow it’s huge!”, followed by the doctor saying “That’s one of the largest placentas I’ve ever seen.” Apparently both my girls had nice large healthy placentas. While removing the placentas, the doctor mentioned that I would likely have much less bleeding postpartum this time because they had managed to suction most of the blood out during the surgery.
I spent about another 10-15 minutes in the OR because I decided to get my tubes tied since I was having to have surgery anyway. I asked my husband to go check on the girls in the NICU since he didn’t need to witness the sterilization surgery. It made me feel better knowing he would be with them while I couldn’t be. A couple minutes in I smelled a strange odor and asked, “What am I smelling?” My midwife responded jokingly, “That’s the smell of your fertility dropping to zero.” I laughed and said “Good!” I hadn’t realized before that that they cauterize your tubes as part of a tubal ligation.
As a final step before Dr. Meredith sewed me up, Michael said he was going to inject a local anesthetic into two spots between the incision on the uterus and the layer of muscle above it. He said that usually helped for about 24 hours so I could get up and get moving before things got really uncomfortable.
Once the doctor sewed me up, the nurses brought my hospital bed back in. At this point I had not yet recovered any sensation from the spinal. So, the nurses inflated this thing that was on the table under me and used that to shift me back into the hospital bed without me having to do anything. Then they took me back to my hospital room where I impatiently waited for the spinal to wear off so I could go see my babies. They said that I couldn’t visit the NICU until I had recovered full feeling in my legs.
Once I was back in my hospital room, the nurses brought Natalie in from the waiting room. I cried in relief at seeing her. After being able to talk to her for several minutes about everything that had happened that day, I finally felt like it was okay to let my hypnosis go and so I brought myself up.
She sat patiently with me, and we talked more as I waited for the sensation to return to my legs. We talked about what I learned from Hypnobabies that I had been able to use that day. She showed us a couple comfort measures to help with managing the post C-section discomfort that would be coming soon. Roughly an hour after I got back to my hospital room the feeling in my legs returned. By this point Anthony had returned from the NICU and was able to reassure me that our girls were in good hands.
Anthony and Natalie helped me get into a wheelchair and then Natalie pushed as we went to the NICU. It was hard seeing them in the NICU and not being able to hold them. The NICU nurses said for the first 12 hours after birth it’s strictly monitoring, and they don’t get touched any more than is absolutely necessary. I think Natalie could tell that I needed some extra support dealing with that news, so she actually spent the night and was able to be with us the next morning when I got to hold my babies for the first time.
I am so grateful that I took the Hypnobabies course for my twin birth and that I hired a hypno-doula. Both had a big impact on making my unplanned C-section birth much better than it would have otherwise been.”
Here is another great twin birth with Hypnobabies