Currently Juice is on the floor holding both boys (who are sucking furiously on their hands…I see a feeding in my future) and playing with Butterfly and her barn and ponies. Wow is he talented or what? And cute besides.
Ahem. Back to the matter at hand. The Birth Story of Pirate and Professor! It’s 3 months later (can you believe it’s been that long already?!) but I wrote it out about 2 weeks after birth. Most of you know the back story (since I got all the details from the blog) but since it has been 3 months, I will leave it in.
Friday April 11th I went to my normal doctor’s visit. I was 35 weeks, 6 days. As the midwife checked my cervix, she found I was 5 cm dilated and Baby A was so low that things were headed towards delivery. She said not to wait if I felt something going on. Also, my blood pressure was up, 167/ 113. Ouch. The whole office did not expect me to last the weekend. I did not expect to last the weekend. The midwife hugged me on the way out and asked me to really not wait. Okay!
Saturday came and went. Sunday. Then Monday. Then Tuesday. I had another doctor’s visit that day. The doctor checked me and I was still at a 5 and my blood pressure was climbing. 168/113. But there was no protein in my urine and they weren’t terribly worried about it. In fact, if I had not brought it up, I don’t think my doctor would have said anything about it. But I brought it to his attention and he asked me to come into the office again later that week and get it checked again. He told me that he honestly didn’t expect me to last the next couple of days. Neither did I. Or anyone in the office. Again.
I was so uncomfortable. I could barely move and my hips had stretched out so much my ligaments were starting to burn. Wednesday came with a lot of contractions and we considered going into the hospital and just being done with it. But I worried for the boys. I worried that they would not be ready (even though I was)! I worried that they wouldn’t be big enough, be able to breath well, have the suck/swallow reflux that I hear only comes late in pregnancy for them. I worried that they would not be able to come home with me and I so wanted them to. So I drank a ton of water, put my feet up and was miserable for the entire day.
On Thursday, I had another doctor’s appointment. This time at my perinatologist’s office. He saw me checking in and wanted to know what I was doing there! I said I had no idea. Both boys were looking great on the ultrasound and he was concerned more about the fact that I was 5 cm walking around with high blood pressure. He told me that if I did not go into labor by next Wednesday, he would schedule my induction for me. Fine by me! There was no more room for anyone and I was more than ready. I had already decided to go into the hospital on Sunday when my mom got into town so I knew I was not going to make it to Wednesday. I knew birth was close. It just had to be.
Slowly all the worries I had about the boys being healthy melted away that day. I knew that if I were to go into labor, they would be fine. I knew that even if they weren’t fine and had to stay in the NICU for awhile, they would still turn out okay. I had done all I could, and now, it was time for them to come.
On Friday, April 18th, I had yet another doctor’s visit. This was the one my OB asked me to make to check my blood pressure again. 170/119. And I had the maximum amount of protein in my urine. The first thing the midwife said to me when she walked in the room was, “Guess where you are going?” Of course I knew. I knew I was going to be admitted as soon as the nurse had told me my blood pressure. I had already made peace with it. But I was so nervous. How was I going to handle labor again? I admit I didn’t do very well with Butterfly’s birth and I felt totally out of control and ripped in half. With these boys’ birth hours away, I wondered how it was going to go to deliver two! I had progressed to 6 cm so it was time to go.
We spent the next hour at home gathering up all the last minute things I needed, and arranging child care for Butterfly. I have some really sweet friends in the ward who helped out. I was really relieved that she was going to be so well taken care of and that allowed me to focus on getting these boys here safely. Once we dropped her off, we drove down to the hospital about 10 minutes away. We got closer and closer and I got more nervous! How was this supposed to go? Would I be okay with the epidural? Would the boys be okay? I also felt them moving a lot and thought about how in a matter of hours I was going to see them on the outside. I would see their faces. I would see these movements on the outside! Juice was ready. He kept getting more excited as we got closer. He said I would do wonderfully, and he was so excited to hold these boys. I guess I forget that parenthood kind of starts at the birth for him. He doesn’t get to be kicked and bond with the boys before they are born as much as I do. We said a prayer before we went in, and up the elevator we went.
We got lost trying to find the check in desk because the ladies at the information desk told me to go up the main elevator rather than the back elevator (which is what I had taken the 2 times I went to Labor and Delivery before). But the nurses were nice and directed us to the desk where I checked in. We waited in the waiting room and exchanged small talk with a lady who was waiting for a grandchild to be born. I had a momentary pang that my mom couldn’t be there for the birth and sitting in that very waiting room.
When they called my name, we followed the nurse to room #12 and met our labor nurse, Maryanne. She was wonderful! She listened to my concerns that things would go very fast like they did with Butterfly. She and I worked out a plan of epidural first, then water breaking, then delivery to present to the doctor. My doctor was Dr. Newbie, a new doctor in my practice. I don’t think she was new to OB care, just new to the practice. She was nice, said okay to the plan, and told me that I would be delivering in the OR in case of an emergency. Okay.
It was around noon by the time I got all hooked up to the monitors and things started going. I got an IV with fluid, and we waited for me to be hydrated. We chatted to Maryanne, watched my contractions, and just waited for these boys to be born. Baby B had the hiccoughs so bad that the bed was shaking with each hiccough. They couldn’t monitor their heart rates on the monitors because the hiccoughs were so loud. Juice kept asking if I wanted to be read to, watch tv, do something. I couldn’t focus my mind on anything but the fact that soon, TODAY, I would be the mother of 3 kids, not just one. I was doing something. I was in labor! Frankly I was a little overwhelmed and just couldn’t focus on anything else.
The anaesthesiologist came in and discussed the epidural to me. This was my very first one and I was very nervous. Down the hall, we could hear a lady screaming in pain, and the anaesthesiologist decided to go help her first, and come back and do mine after. Fine with me. We watched my contractions (every 4-3 minutes) and waited some more. My blood pressure was still very high. They were giving me a lot of fluid which normally brings it down. This time it wasn’t. Probably because I was so worked up about the birth. I sent Juice to the cafeteria to get some lunch for him since it was around 2pm. I figured nothing was happening and I needed him to be able to focus on me later.
At this point they started me on some magnesium sulfate to try and get my blood pressure down. I was hoping that they would be able to get it to a reasonable level so that they would actually let me have the vaginal birth I wanted. They did tell me at this point, I would have to be on the magnesium sulfate for 24 hours after the birth and I wouldn’t be allowed out of bed for those 24 hours. Okay then.
As Juice was finishing his lunch of hamburger and fries, the anaesthesiologist came back and started in on my epidural. I sat up, rounded my back, and shut my eyes. Maryanne held my shoulders and she started. Wow, she was fast and it hurt a little but not as much as I thought it might. I was actually impressed at how easy it was and wondered what I was afraid of. About 4 or 5 minutes later, my feet started to feel tingly and my legs started to feel heavy. It was working! It was actually kind of amazing because at one point I put my hand on my leg and had to look down to make sure what I was touching was my leg. I couldn’t feel it in my leg but I could with my hand. Weird!
We were now waiting for the epidural to take full effect. We were visited by Nancy, our bishop’s wife who is a baby nurse at the hospital. I was SO HAPPY she was there and was going to be watching out for my babies when they were born. She was also there to cheer me on, and I was surprised at how much I needed someone to just cheer me on that I knew. Yes, Juice was there and he was helpful, but there is something about having another woman there. Besides, she knew where the ice chips were and I didn’t ever have to be alone.
About 20 minutes after the epidural, we decided it had taken enough effect. I could still feel the contractions on the top of my uterus and Maryanne showed me how to push the button for more pain relief. Something else that also started to take full effect was the magnesium. My contractions stopped (normal for mag) and we decided to start on some pitocin. Now, I didn’t want the pitocin because I think that’s why I had such a fast labor with Butterfly. But my contractions went from every 4 to 5 minutes to every 10-12. I was started off on the lowest dose, and immediately my contractions went back up to 3-4 minutes apart. I started to feel some trickling and she checked me. I had a lot of bloody show, and I was close to 8 cm dilated. My doctor came in then and we decided to break my water. Yes! Let’s really get this going!
Dr. Newbie broke my water and it was a pressurized stream instead of a huge gush like with Butterfly. And like Butterfly’s birth, my contractions suddenly ramped up in intensity. They hurt. Badly. I thought the epidural was supposed to help with this. So did everyone else. I spent a lot of time focusing through the contractions. Maryanne checked me about 10 minutes later when I felt a lot of pressure. Still 8 cm dilated. Only a few contractions later, I started feeling like I needed to move around and couldn’t handle the pain any more. I heard Juice say that this is what he remembers from Butterfly’s birth, and Maryanne checks me immediately. I am 10 cm and Baby A is starting to crown. They page Dr. Newbie for delivery, and shove scrubs into Juice’s hands. He changes quickly and between contractions we take one last picture. Dr. Newbie wanted to deliver in the OR so they get the bed all ready to push me down the hall.
From here, things get a little fuzzy. I remember being wheeled down the hall to the OR and having several back to back contractions on the way. I remember thinking that the breeze they were making while pushing me was nice. I lost track of Juice. (Juice says he got lost!) When we got to the OR they wanted me to move from my bed to the OR table. Yeah, right! I could sit up and lay down and that was it. They helped me slide over, and it wasn’t without a lot of pain and determination on my part that I moved a foot to the right. At that point I was in tears and just crying while they moved me around and got situated. The anaesthesiologist showed up at my head and I saw her pushing more medicine into my epidural pump. Juice finally took my hand and having him there made me start to cry even harder.
The lights came down out of the ceiling, Dr. Newbie was there and dressed and they had me hold my legs up to start pushing. Oh it hurt! I couldn’t push the full count to 10 and I do remember trying to roll over to the left. Juice held my head up. Maryanne was holding my left leg, and some guy I had no idea who he was was on my right. Maryanne told him you can’t be nice to them. She was a good helper, and didn’t make me mad and just tried to support me in what I could do. Dr. Newbie was stretching out things and that hurt worse than the pushing. I think I pushed about 10-15 times. I do remember them saying to stop pushing at one point, when I’m assuming Baby A’s head was out. Reading the birth report after, he had his cord wrapped around his neck once. One more push and out he came. He did not cry and all I saw of him was the nurses whisking him off to the warmer on the left. I put my head down on the bed, and waited to hear him cry. I do vaguely remember thinking that I was only pregnant with one baby right now, but there was nothing beyond that thought. Pirate finally started to cry and Juice got up to go and see him.
They wheeled the ultrasound machine around to my belly and did a quick look at Baby B to make sure that he was still head down. Dr. Newbie said, “Okay, he’s still head down. We need to do this before he turns.” She looked right at me and said, “You have to push him down NOW. I will guide his head so we make sure he stays head down.” Okay. Juice came back to sit by my head again. Dr. Newbie broke the other bag of water and again, it came out in a pressurized stream. I pushed hard for one contraction. Dr. Newbie nodded and said he’s down. I pushed for one more push and suddenly, she had a baby. She scrambled to catch him and Maryanne said, “Sunny side up! He was looking up!” Dr. Newbie had to call to the nurses to come and get Professor. He was very blue and very long. As the nurses took him from Dr. Newbie, he started to squall. And he cried and cried and cried. They had to deep suction out his lungs and he gurgled and choked through the whole thing.
They were 6 minutes apart. Pirate weighed 5 lbs, 13 oz and was 19 and a half inches long at 4:03pm. Professor was 6 lbs, 3 oz and was 19 and a half inches long at 4:09pm. They checked their blood sugar immediately because of my gestational diabetes and both boys were in normal ranges. They put the goop in their eyes and checked their apgar’s (9 and 9 for Pirate, 7 and 9 for Professor).
Juice went to look at our sons, and I put my head back and was very thankful that we were able to have the vaginal birth that we had been praying for. I was pretty sure that my epidural did not work as I was in a lot of pain the whole time. The placentas came out in one huge whoosh and I felt instantly 20 lbs lighter. Dr. Newbie started to fix a few minor tears I had. Ouch! I felt that needle. OUCH! OUCH! Okay, she finally got the picture and asked for some local anaesthetic and gave me a shot. OUCH! About a minute later, another poke of a stitch. Yes, I still feel it. Another shot (another OUCH) and finally I couldn’t feel anything. Finally.
They moved me back to the other bed, and brought me both boys. They told me how much they weighed, we rejoiced in their being. Wow, twins! They had an A and a B on their hats, and were just so comforting to have in my arms and not in my belly. They took me back to my delivery room and Nancy came in to check them over and give them their first baths. She then asked if I was going to nurse them and we started with Pirate. No problems for either boy. They each got their first shot and were doing fabulously.
After about an hour, they moved me to another room. Apparently, this was the old maternity ward of the hospital. (They are remodeling.) I wasn’t allowed to go to the normal mom and baby wing because of my magnesium. They couldn’t let me go but they needed the delivery room. So I was in a half way house. Our new nurse came in, told me I was only allowed liquids and brought me a tray with broth, water, and jello on it. Yum. Juice called our babysitter to tell Butterfly she was a big sister (he left a message, they had been at the park) and went home. At that point, they told me I was not allowed to have the boys by myself while I was confined to bed so they took them to the nursery. Juice went home to let the dog out and get something to eat and whatever else he needed to do at home. (Upload a few pictures! You can see them here.)
I don’t remember much about the first night. I do remember getting up a few times, Juice sleeping in a very small bed next to me, and enjoying the boys. They were so tiny and perfect. But I was so sleepy and trying to recover. They took my blood pressure every 10 minutes all night long. They took my blood at 3am and again at 6 am. (This was to check the level of magnesium in my blood to make sure that it was doing what it was supposed to do.) I had another lovely breakfast of broth, water, and jello. I sent Juice home as soon as possible to get Butterfly to meet her baby brothers. I tried to sleep while he and the boys were gone, but I couldn’t. I was too excited for her to meet them.
The first words out of her mouth when she came in the room was, “Hi Mommy, where are the baby brothers?” She and I snuggled on the bed for a few minutes while Juice went to the nursery to gather the babies. When they came, she held them and did not want to let them go. We finally convinced her to let me feed them and we continued to oh and ah over them. Nana and Grandpa came from Utah this afternoon, and they got to see them when they were about 24 hours old. We had a few more visitors from the ward and talked to a lot of people on the phone. Finally, after 24 hours on the magnesium, they moved me to the mother baby wing and into a really nice room. My blood pressure was coming down, but not very fast. My upper arm had tiny bruises all over it from them taking my blood pressure so much. The only thing I wanted to do was take a shower because I was all sweaty and sticky. They didn’t want me to take a shower until the morning because I had just spent a day in bed and had twins and didn’t want me to stand up for that long until the morning.
Another very busy and fuzzy night. I do remember Juice telling me the other bed was better than the pull out couch they had for him here and how happy he was for his pillow that he forgot the first night. I don’t remember much else. Sunday in the hosptial went very well and we actually took some naps. I watched a few movies on my ipod. We oh and ahed over the babies again. I was finally allowed a shower and felt so much better. That evening, just after dinner, they sent me home. I was so happy to be home and sleep in my own bed.
I just can’t believe that we were able to have these babies and they came so healthy and strong. What amazing blessings!