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Birth Story of Andrew and William
Their birth story began on September 20 when I was 33 weeks pregnant with the twins. At 2am I woke with pressure waves (PWs) that were strong and intense and 10 minutes apart. Within 30 minutes, they were 5 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. When we got there, they checked my dilation and I was 4 cm and 75% effaced. Since it was so
early, they immediately started me on Terbutaline, antibiotics, and steroid shots. The Terbutaline didn’t have any real effect on the PWs, so they next started me on Magnesium Sulfate. At that point, delivery seemed imminent. The local hospital doesn’t have the facilities for babies prior to 35 weeks, so I was transferred by ambulance to a hospital about 60 miles away.
I stayed on Magnesium Sulfate for 3 days and then they turned it off to see if the labor would restart. I had PWs the whole time but they weren’t “productive”. I stayed in the hospital 24 hours longer and when I didn’t dilate any further, I went home. It took 2 weeks to recuperate from the Mag-Sulfate so my mom stayed with me and cooked for me.
On October 14, labor started again. This time I was 36 weeks. After 4 hours of PWs that were 5 minutes apart, we headed back to the hospital. I dilated from 4 cm to 6 cm in the triage area within the first 20 minutes. The standard procedure for delivering twins is in the operating room (which I was okay with) so we headed straight there. …
After 30 minutes or so I felt the intensity of the PWs die way down. After spending 3 hours in the OR, I finally told the MW that I didn’t think the PW were productive anymore. We headed to a regular room to rest and see if the PWs picked up again. The next morning, they were completely gone. We spent that day in the hospital, walking the halls and seeing if we could get things going again. No luck.
At this point the OB was very reluctant to see me go home since I was so dilated. We agreed to stay one more night and check again for dilation in the morning. I was so tired from little sleep, walking all day and the stress from being in the hospital again. My confidence in my body was severely shaken with the starts and stops. The OB on call that night came in to talk to us about doing an amnio to check if the babies’ lungs were developed enough to induce labor. I was so frazzled that I almost agreed. My DH was much steadier of mind and reminded me that the babies should choose their own birthday. There was no sign of distress in the babies and I was fine – why induce at 36 weeks?
So the next morning, our favorite midwife (she also attended the birth of our daughter) checked me and since there was no change, discharged us. We spent the next week getting stuff ready around the house. We are also house-hunting since we are currently in a 2-bedroom condo with soon-to-be 4 kids so we looked through some houses.
On the afternoon of October 21, while looking through the house that we ultimately decided to buy, labor started again. We monitored the PWs for a while, but then had the bloody show and very intense PWs. So we headed in to the hospital – again. This time I was at 8 cm at check-in (no triage this time). In about an hour I was at 9 cm and we headed to the OR again. All this time I had been using my hypnosis tools very effectively.
One thing was very different from my DD’s birth. This time, the OBs really pushed the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me and try to convince me that epidurals are completely safe and that I should get one “just in case”. I refused, stating that I was consenting to deliver in the OR “just in case”. He was sure to let me know that he would be right there in the OR if I changed my mind.
It’s odd, but the operating room is icy-cold! DH and our MW (the same one again), made sure I had warm blankets and tried to warm me up. Slowly I noticed that the PWs were getting less intense and spacing further out. After an hour or so I didn’t need to focus to get through the PWs. I asked the MW to start some pitocin at a low level, just get things moving again. Every 30 minutes or so, they turned up the pitocin. I would get a couple of good PWs each time it got turned up, then they would taper all the way down again. I was getting discouraged – I thought pitocin was a sure thing; it never occurred to me that it would not give me hard, intense PWs!
I will never forget sitting on the operating table at midnight in a freezing cold operating room, singing great 70’s and 80’s rock songs with the MW and nurses, dilated to 9 cm, maxed out on pitocin, and feeling nothing. We were playing “name that song/artist” and chatting about life in general.
Finally, at around 12:30, I asked the MW to break Andrew’s bag of water. Thing got really intense after that. The PWs were definitely uncomfortable at that point, but I went back to using my hypnosis tools and stayed very much in control. I felt every sensation as Andrew made his way out. There was pressure outward on my hips as Andrew pushed past William. Once Andrew was out, William began to settle into place, staying head down. William was still floating in his bag of water, and the bag didn’t break until I was pushing him out. It almost felt like he got “washed” out when the water released!
Andrew arrived at 1:00 am, October 22 and William followed at 1:28 am. It was a wild ride from the water breaking to William’s arrival. The intense cold of the room made it very difficult to relax the way I wanted. I birthed them both laying on my left side, but the nurse had to pry my right leg up to allow the boys to come out because I had my legs clamped together. There were only two things that I remember hurting – moving that leg and having the heart monitor touching my belly. Otherwise, it was a very satisfying experience. I felt like I was on a high for a while after the birth, even though our babies ended up in the NICU before I could hold them.
They both had 1 minute apgars of 8, but then had breathing problems at 4 minutes. They were both in my room with me within 12 hours, doing great! Both immediately nursed, having nice big mouths and perfect latches.
Both the MW and the nurses thanked me several times after the birth. Apparently it is so rare that twins are birthed naturally and even more so that the MW gets to catch both. I’m pretty convinced that I would have had a c-section if I had gotten the epidural. With that and the pitocin, I would have had failure to progress and the boys heart rates may have suffered. I am so thankful to my supportive DH and HypnoBabies. None of it would have been possible without them.
Three weeks later, I am tired but still feeling so powerful – amazing!
Andrew – 6lbs 11oz, 19 inches long
William – 6lbs 6 oz, 19 inches long