Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My twins have arrived!

I'm SO sorry it's taken me so long to post this! The twins are now exactly four weeks old, and it's been a crazy time - things are only now settling down enough for me to take the time to write their birth story.

At 2pm on April 20, I turned up at the hospital for my induction - by 4pm I had an internal exam confirming I wasn't dilated or effaced at all, and given my first Cervidil treatment. I was startled at how quickly it took effect; I was having contractions within 10 minutes, and after half an hour, they were only 2 minutes apart. The next 6 hours passed in a blur of pain - the only relief I found was in standing or sitting in a warm shower...I spent HOURS in that water!

By 10pm the contractions were strong enough and close enough together that the nurse and I were hopeful that I wouldn't need a second dose of Cervidil, but no such luck - another internal exam showed I was only barely dilated (possibly around 1cm) and still not at all effaced. I nearly started crying - the last 6 hours had been so painful that the idea of dealing with those contractions for another 6 hours was agonizing.

I was given the second dose of Cervidil and also offered a pethidine injection, which I gratefully accepted; I was exhausted from the rapid contractions and worried that when the time came for me to actually push I'd be too tired - the injection allowed me to relax and catnap for a little while. After half an hour or so, I got up for yet another shower, and when I stepped inside I felt warm fluid gushing down my leg - my water had broken. I nearly cried with relief, thankful for the confirmation that labor was progressing.

Five hours of painful contractions later, I was exhausted and begging for more pain relief, and another internal exam showed that I was finally 5cm dilated and ready to move to the delivery room! At that point, I'd been having agonizing contractions that were only 1-2 minutes apart for 11 hours and I was exhausted, so when I was offered an epidural, I didn't hesitate to say yes. The actual process of getting the epidural was a bit difficult - the anesthesiologist didn't get the placement correct the first time and had to re-do it - meanwhile, I was in severe pain and trying desperately to keep still during the contractions. The end result though? BLISS. I wasn't numb from the waist down like I expected - in fact, I could still feel everything and even move on my own - but it took the pain away and let me rest for a while.

(Side story: when you get an epidural, you're warned of the possible - though fairly unlikely - side effect of an epidural headache. Pay attention to this! That first failed epidural ended up giving me one, and it was one of the most stunningly painful experiences of my life. I honestly can’t describe just how bad it is…it’s like a incredibly severe migraine, but in addition to photosensitivity, etc., there's positional sensitivity as well – I could just barely tolerate life if I stayed flat on the bed, but the instant I tried to tilt my head upwards it was like getting smacked in the brain with an axe. I was completely incapacitated for two days before the problem was fixed with an epidural blood patch, and ended up being in the hospital for a total of seven days from the start of my induction to my final discharge.)

Eight long hours and several internal exams later, I started feeling tremendous pressure in addition to the pain from the contractions (the epidural was more or less completely worn off by this point). My doctor had told me to let her know if I experienced a pressure that felt like I needed to poop, but this was different - it felt like I needed to pee. I told the nurse and she asked if I felt a need to push. "Not really," I replied, "Just like I really, REALLY have to pee." When the pressure didn't let up over the course of another 15 minutes or so, I finally asked them to do another internal exam. I was convinced the pressure meant things had progressed, even if it was in the "wrong" place - and sure enough, I was 10cm dilated, fully effaced, the first twin was making his way down the birth canal, and it was time to push!

And push I did, for an hour and a half. And nothing. Nada. The baby wasn't moving at all. At one stage I had two doctors and three nurses staring at my nether regions to make sure I was pushing efficiently and effectively, and I was - but that little boy was stubbornly refusing to negotiate the final curve of the birth canal. By this stage I was incredibly exhausted and in an immense amount of pain but since the twins were still doing fine, my doctors offered to give me another small dose of the epidural to give me a chance to rest and regroup for another try. 45 minutes later, the dose was starting to wear off, and we were ready for round two.

For the better part of an hour, I gave it my all. I'd been put on a Pitocin drip to try to help increase the strength of my contractions and push the babies out, but by the end of round two even that was failing - my body was so exhausted from 19 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing that my contractions were starting to slow and weaken, even with the drugs pushing them along. Clearly, something had to give.

My lead doctor came and stood by my head. "We can keep going if you want," she said. "Your babies are still doing OK - their heartbeats are fine and neither are in distress. However, you're pretty exhausted and I honestly don't think you will be able to push these babies out. If you want, we can try to help with vacuum extraction, but I don't think it will be very effective and it may cause them to go into distress. You've given this a very good try, but at this point I'd like to recommend a c-section."

I stared at her through a fog of pain and exhaustion. A c-section? I'd known from the beginning that there was a good chance I'd need one with twins, but I'd been so hopeful that I'd be able to have a vaginal birth. I turned and looked at Mr Bibliosaur. We didn't really need to discuss it - we'd already talked about this in the weeks leading up to this moment and agreed that we would do whatever was necessary to have a good outcome with two healthy babies...so if that was a c-section, then so be it. We looked at each other for a moment before I quietly nodded and he nodded back at me. I turned back to my doctor - "OK. We'll do the c-section."

Things were a hectic blur from that point. The doctor left immediately to make sure an operating room was ready, and the nurses rushed to get me prepared. A short time later, I was lying on an operating table getting a massive epidural dose and Mr Bibliosaur had been taken away to scrub up - I was nearly frantic with nerves by the time he returned. The actual surgery was faster than I imagined - it seemed like only a minute or two before my doctor was holding up the first crying twin and asking Mr Bibliosaur if we had a name picked out. "William," my husband beamed, "His name is William." "And this one?" the doctor asked, pulling out the second boy. "Dash. That's Dashiell."

I started crying with happiness when the nurses brought them over so I could see them. I could barely believe it - Will and Dash were finally here!

The stats:
William John
6lbs, 12oz
20 inches
Born April 21, 2010 at 3.40pm

Dashiell Thomas
6lbs, 8oz
19.5 inches
Born April 21, 2010 at 3.42pm

The boys on their birthday:

Will is on the left, Dash is on the right.

13 days old:
Dash is on the left, Will is on the right.

17 days old:
Dash is on the left, Will is on the right.

24 days old:
Yours truly and my boys: Will is on the left, Dash is on the right.

My journey through trying to conceive and pregnancy has been an amazing experience, and I've been honored and privileged to share it with you all. I can't thank you enough for your support, encouragement and advice - I don't know what I'd have done without this blog as a place to vent my worries and celebrate my good news. Mr Bibliosaur and I have had our share of ups and downs over the last month as we grow accustomed to our new role as parents, but I'm humbled and amazed that I am the mother of these two gorgeous and perfect little boys.

I'm intending to keep blogging over at Littlesaur, and I hope you'll follow me there - raising twin boys is going to be one hell of a ride!

11 comments:

  1. Congratulations Bibliosaur! What an amazing job you did through a long, painful labour ending in a C-Section! Your little boys were pretty big actually - I'm so glad that everyone is happy and healthy. Thanks for blogging your experience here - it has been a huge help and inspiration in my TTC journey. I will follow your stories on Littlesaur with great interest! All the best to you, Mr. Bibliosaur and Will and Dash. Hugs!

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  2. Congratulations! I teared up reading your birth story and seeing the pics. You have two beautiful boys.

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  3. Your sons are so adorable! Sounds like you were a champ throughout the l&d experience - you gave it a good go! Hope you are enjoying the heck out of those two cuties. (Oh, and I'd love to join you blogging on Littlesaur whenever you have time to set it up).

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  4. Congratulations!! I posted a while back on here as Singersaur with no success TTC, but now I'm actually 9 weeks pregnant. I've continued to read the blog and was excited to get to see your post! Enjoy your new little ones. :)

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  5. Such beautiful twins! And I love the names you picked out for them. Congratulations!

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  6. Big congrats! Your post has reminded me that I too, need to make the leap tp Littlesaur.

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  7. Congrats!!!! I have been following your story from the beginning and waiting for a post. Can't wait to keep reading your journey.

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  8. Congratulations on two beautiful little boys. The photos are fantastic.

    Stopping by from SITS.

    LisaDay

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  9. They are beautiful!!! Congratulations to you and Mr. Bibliosaur! Boys are lots of fun, I look forward to hearing all about them on Littlesaur!

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  10. Congrats!! I've been blog stalking for a month and was starting to get antsy. Love the pictures and their names! (Surfergirl28)

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  11. Congratulations! They are just beautiful. You're brave attempting the natural birth with twins for a first pregnancy. I'm sorry it didn't work out but all was well in the end and you have a fantastic result. I look forward to reading about your adventures. No doubt there will be many!

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