I had heard about the curse of the nurse ever since nursing school. It was not something I ever really expected to happen to me in regards to birth. I ha already had a somewhat unconventional birth with my daughter and now I was facing another complicated birth with having twins.
I started working for a birthing center last summer as an assistant for midwives while we help mamas deliver babies at home or in the clinic. I was so hoping I would get to deliver my baby at the clinic with the lovely ladies at South Coast Midwifery. I had my consultation ad within three days I went to see the OB/GYN and he informed me there were two heartbeats in my womb! My hopes for having a home birth were shattered. CNM’s are unable to deliver twins due to license restrictions, so the hospital it was.
At kaiser, the physicians were ok with a natural birth, they were even ok with delivering baby B breech (butt first) so long as he measured smaller than baby A and that is what we got. Baby A stayed head down the whole pregnancy. Baby B turned his head down around week 31! I was so excited! My hopes of having a natural birth were coming true! Why couldn’t I deliver twins naturally?! I then went back to the doctor 2 weeks later and baby B put his head back up. I was so bummed. I tried standing on my head, doing exercises to try to get baby B back down. It never happened. I was definitely a spectacle and an anomalie to the medical community at kaiser because I still wanted to deliver baby B breech. I was bound and determined to attempt to deliver naturally so long as they were willing to help me do so.
I made it to 37.5 weeks. I was miserable. I was going to the hospital 2 times a week to get testing and I was having contractions for the last three weeks of pregnancy. I was checked when I was 37 weeks and I was already 4cm. I walked around at that dilation for almost a week.
It was a Sunday evening. I had been walking around with my husband that morning hoping I could get my body into labor. We staying home that day and I switched off with napping, bathing, and walking to try to get labor started. We went to dinner at Esther’s Taco House where my mom had gone prior to going into labor with me and my sister to have some hot salsa! I was already thinking it wasn’t going to happen that day because it was already 7 pm by the time we got home.
When we got home from dinner my husband was outside playing ping pong with my mom and I sat inside on a ball watching duck dynasty ha! I started having some contractions that seemed different than all the previous ones I had been having. I got out my handy contraction timer app and started tracking them. They were about 7-8 min apart and consistent for an hour. So I went upstairs and told Charlie I was going to lay on our bed. When I did, the contractions got a lot stronger. I had called my doula at this point and told her to come on over. I decided to get in the bathtub a while and it gave me great relief, however they just got stronger and closer together and we decided it was time to go to the hospital. At this point it was 9 pm and I had only been in labor for two hours. I was having a hard time moving in between contractions. It took me a while to get dressed, down the stairs and out to the car. Then we had to drive 15 min down the road. My husband wheeled me up to labor and delivery. Thankfully there were not a lot of people at the hospital that night. My contractions were pretty strong. My biggest fear was to show up, have them check me and only be 6 cm with all the pain I was having. By the time I finally got in my triage room it was 1030. It took a while for me to get undressed, hooked up to the monitor and seen by a midwife. Of course everyone was making sure I wanted to deliver baby B breech and that I was ok with having no drugs. I didn’t want and epidural. Not because I am stubborn but because I believe it to be the best way to deliver a baby. (I believe there are amazing reasons to have an epidural and I am willing to discuss those if anyone has a question about that). The nurses were unable to get a good read of the heartbeats on both babies. While they were struggling, I was still laboring. The MD came in and asked if she could just check me. Low and behold I was completely dilated. Eventually during an amazing contraction my water broke. It was to time. The staff was frantic. They had to set up the OR because all twins are delivered in the OR in case of complications with baby B. I was excited, tired and scared all at once. Someone drew my blood, someone started an IV, someone drove my gurney into the OR. It was all moving so fast. When I got into the OR the clock read 1150. I was ready to go but the staff wasn’t quite ready. If I had gotten to push right then my babies would have had different birthdays. As I was waiting it was miserable to fend off the pain as I waiting for them to be ready to catch my baby. I was finally given the green light to push with the next contraction and within 4 pushes total baby A was out. They put him on my chest but it was so weird knowing there was more work to be done. I am grateful they did that but I had to keep going. They eventually took him from me to prepare for baby B. As we were waiting the contractions subsided briefly. Right away baby B’s heart rate looked great. Then, as we were waiting for contractions to continue, baby B’s heart rate just tanked into the 70’s. The doctors gave me a short opportunity to try to push the baby down but he was stuck up pretty high and trying to put his foot and head out together (he flipped his head down when baby A exited). He wasn’t coming. The doctors decided to go ahead and do a crash c section. I was trusting them in that moment. Charlie had to leave the OR and I had to be put under general anesthesia. This was the perfect storm I had been praying against. At this moment I trusted they were doing what was best for the baby and I wanted a healthy baby. I woke up an hour later to two crying baby boys. I was in so much pain and they were hungry. The work started right away. They were so precious and worth all the trauma and work I went through. I do not recommend surgery. I hated the recovery. It was so painful. If I could do it all over again I would do everything the same way. It was so worth it to me to try to deliver naturally and without having surgery.
I have been so blessed by these two babies. It has been hard as I’ll get out. I love them but it has tested my patience and perseverance in ways I never thought imaginable. All birth stories are different and so beautiful in their own right. I have now experienced birth with an epidural, without an epidural, and via c section. I am so thankful I can relate to so many different women in this way and I hope I can encourage women as they have create their own birth story.