Yesterday, 6 months ago, was a miserable miserable day. I was largely pregnant, with two little boys jammed inside of me. All day and evening, I had cramping and extreme backache, and it was hard for me to get comfortable. Literally nothing gave me relief. Standing, sitting, laying down… little did I know, I was having silent labor. I didn’t have contractions like I did with Liam, and so I didn’t give it a second thought.
I had a doctor appointment the next day, for my biweekly stress test. I sat there pushing the button every time I felt my babies kick inside of me. I was still so miserable. The nurse came in to check on me and looked at the paper the machine was spitting out. “You are having some contractions. Do you feel them?” “I don’t think so?”
My midwife came in and did my weekly check to see if I was dilating at all. She looks at me and says in a very nonsense voice. “You’re dilated to a 6! You have to go to the hospital right away. (I guess with twins, they don’t want to mess around.)
So I call my husband who turned around from a job he was going to, and started driving to the hospital. I also called my mom-in-law, who was watching Liam, and asked if she could bring our hospital bags to the hospital for us.
I took my time driving to the hospital, and even stopped at Chick-fil-A for some breakfast (my midwife said I could, but not to tell tell anyone she said so.:) ). I got to the ER and checked myself in, preparing myself for the long labor ahead of me. They were just getting ready to wheel me up to my room when my midwife called me and said that the doctor she usually works with is gone, and the doctor on call did not want to work with her, so she could not deliver my boys. I was absolutely devastated (and I think she was too.). Suddenly I was in the hands of a doctor who knew nothing about me and the boys, and who likely would not care at all about my beloved birth plan. I could have cried.
I got to my room, and my husband arrived, which really helped boost my spirits. I sat in the bed, my huge belly covered in buckles and heart monitors. It was super itchy! Archer kept kicking off his monitor, so the nurse was constantly coming in to adjust it. The thum thum of my dear babies’s heartbeats was such a wonderful noise to hear. We were so CLOSE to meeting these long awaited babies.
My mom-in-law showed up with our bags, and brought Liam with her. I was so delighted to see him, and wished he could have stayed for a fun distraction. Plus it broke my heart to not be able to be with him hardly at all for a couple of days. He was my BABY. But after hugging him and trying to explain to him that his babies were going to come out today, they left.
The doctor came in and introduced himself, and broke my water to try to get things moving along faster.
He then asked how recently we had done an ultrasound to confirm the babies’s positioning. I told him it was about two weeks ago, at which the babies were both head down. He decided he would still like to do another ultrasound to see for himself. The babies popped up on the little screen, and he told us the bad news. Archer had flipped to a breech position. This created a problem. Oliver was positioned to be born first, and he was head down as he should be. The problem was that Oliver was the smaller twin, and so that made the chances of pushing his larger breech brother out behind him a lot narrower (pun intended.:) ) He said they could try to turn Archer after Oliver was born, but he said that likely we will end up having a natural birth PLUS an emergency c-section ( It was quite obvious that he did not want to mess with it). Well that was my first fear, and without my midwife there to advise me and support me, I was too scared to try it on my own.
He checked to see how far I was now dilated, and I was close to a 9. He told us that if we wanted to do a C-section, we should decide NOW, because soon my body would soon start pushing these babies out, especially since my water was now broken. This was crazy to me, because while I was still super miserable, I still did not feel any contractions.
We decided to do the c-section. I was so scared! The doctor asked me how recently I had eaten. “Uuuuuuuum. Two hours ago?” He was not impressed. (But how was I supposed to know I was going to be having a c-section a few hours later?!) And now I was worried that I would throw up and be sick during the c-section.
Literally minutes after we decided to do the c-section, they were prepping me for surgery and wheeling me out of our room. We arrived at the OR, and they made my husband wait in a little room while they got me ready for surgery. The room was FREEZING and harsh with bright lights. There were what felt like 50 people packed into that little room. I saw TWO little baby beds waiting. It was the craziest feeling, knowing that we would soon have TWO babies.
As soon as we entered the room, contractions suddenly hit me like a wave. I sat on the edge of the bed, shivering and shaking from the pain as I tried to hold as still as I could so the anesthesiologist could do my spinal. Bless my dear nurse. She talked me through it and put her hands on my shoulders to help me stay still.
I then lay down, and they started draping cloths everywhere and swabbing my belly, and I started feeling numb from the shoulders down. Weirdest thing EVER to be able to feel touch and pressure, but to feel no pain. They finally let my husband in, and he sat down by my head. He asked to be able to watch our babies being born, and they refused. (We’re both still super mad about that. We don’t even have any video or anything of that beautiful moment when our boys were born.)
The anesthesiologist was wonderful. He joked and talked the entire time and was a lovely distraction while they sliced me open.
The doctor asked if I could feel. I said it hurt a little bit. He told me he was pinching me as hard as he could. Then I asked when they were going to cut, and he said, o he already did. 🙂 I felt some tugging, and heard a huge slurping noise, and then the dearest dearest gurgling cry. They brought my sweet little Oliver over by my head, and I started crying. Our firstborn twin was healthy, and o so handsome. And so TINY compared to Liam’s huge birthweight of over 9 pounds.
The next part was HORRIBLE. Archer was breech and jammed up in my ribs, and so they had to twist and pull him out. I felt a horrible pain in my ribs and felt like they collapsed, and suddenly it hurt terribly to breathe. Through gasps, I told the anesthesiologist that I was hurting so badly, and that I suddenly could not breathe. During all this, they brought sweet crying little Archer to me (he and Oliver were born a minute apart), and I was in so much pain, I could hardly see him because I felt like I was passing out. (I’m still so sad about that.) They upped my anesthesia, and I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew, I was in a quiet, tiny recovery room, with my husband, a nurse, and two baby beds with two wee baby boys crying with tiny newborn wails.
The first time I held them, it was all so unbelievable, and so wonderful that I had TWO babies. They looked so different from each other, but also so much like brothers at the same time. They were so tiny and perfect, and we were so thankful that they were healthy and so well developed at 36 weeks and 5 days. Oliver struggled with his blood sugar a bit, but that corrected itself in a day. They needed no NICU time, and could stay in our room with us the entire time we were at the hospital.
Their birth was nothing like I had planned and dreamed of. In fact, NOTHING went as planned. And sometimes that makes me really sad, but most of the time I just try to remember that they got here safely, and that’s all that mattered.
Getting to be Oliver and Archer’s mama these past six months has been hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it has also been so full of the sweetest, happiest moments, and I’m so proud of my twin boys. I have a feeling it’s only going to get more fun the older they get!
I love you my Ollie Bollie and Archer Sweetie.
Happy 6 months!