How to deliver twins

4 Sep

I think 9 out of 10 people automatically think I delivered my girls by cesarean section.  I am quite happy, and proud, that I was able to deliver the old-fashioned way.  Baby Girl #1 was head down from 20 weeks on-ward.  She never moved from the finish line once she had her spot.  Baby Girl #2 was head up and head side-ways all the way until two weeks before delivery.  My sweet #2 baby saved my delivery, as my OB would not allow me to even try for a vaginal birth if she was not head down.  I was scared to have a c-section because of all the pain and discomfort that would follow, I have heard horror stories and I didn’t want to deal with it if I didn’t have to.

I was induced at 36 weeks because my little ones are identical and because I have juvenile diabetes.  I was scheduled to arrive at L & D at 12:45 AM.  That is a horrible time to make someone go to the hospital, I didn’t get any rest at all due to jitters.  So, I arrive at 12:45, however, I didn’t get the pitocin started until 3 AM.  Pitocin is what kick-starts you into labor.  Everyone in L&D thought that I would be waiting all day and into the evening before actually giving birth.  I kind of figured that with my mom’s history of short labors and my sensitivity to medicine it would be fast, my labor from start to finish was 11 hours.  The pitocin, as I mentioned, was started at 3 AM; those contractions in the very beginning were not bad, really like bad period cramps.  At 5 AM my water broke and that’s when the contractions started kicking up a notch. Between 5 AM and 7 AM, the nurse examined me because I was clearly in active labor – I was only 2 cm.  I think I said “WTF?! Are you serious?!” because I was experiencing a lot more intense pain and contractions.  It was at that moment, that I could not go through the rest of the labor without pain medicine.  “I NEED an epidural!” Up until that point, the decision to get an epidural was not set in stone, I wanted to see how I did without it.  I could see my OB roll her eyes secretly when I told her I wasn’t decided on an epidural at my last office visit.  It became clear that once I could not handle the pain and discomfort in a non-contracted state that I needed an epidural.  It was the best decision I made.  Because I got the epi, I was able to actually rest, and relax, in preparation for pushing.  At about 12:30 PM, when the nurse came in to check on me, I told her I could start feeling the contractions again; when she examined me I was at a 10!!! I was ready to go – except the OB was in with another c-section.

When they finally wheeled me down the OR (where all twins are delivered for safety reasons) it was about 1:30 PM.  I had about 10 people in there, all my dignity went out the window, there is no use to try to be discreet, it all hangs out and I guess you just don’t care anymore because you want those babies out ASAP.  So I started pushing, gave about 10 pushes and out comes F, she is white as a ghost, but crying.  F was diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) immediately and was transferred to the NICU.  Even though I had many ultrasounds to check on the growth of the girls, no one picked up on the twin to twin transfusion, leading me to believe they had Acute TTTS.  After F was born, one of the nurses came up to and me said “There is a bet going around the room that you will be done at 2.”  I looked at the clock on the wall which was resting at a quarter til.  “You got it” I replied. Less than ten minutes later I delivered K who was a champ for not flipping around and making me have a c-section. K was bigger and pinker than her sister.  One of the things I remember is how motivating the staff was, they kept telling me how great I was doing and how awesome my labor was.  I am not sure if any of it was true but their little bet to get me to deliver K faster definitely worked.

Apparently I make twin pregnancy and delivery look easy.  Well I tell ya, it all caught up with me in postpartum.  My doctor told me all I had was a small tear. “Ok” I thought to myself, not really caring because finally after what I felt like an eternity I was no longer pregnant. I had my beautiful babies, and one of them in the NICU to care about now. For the next eight hours I had a slow hemorrhage that kicked me, and all the nurses, in the arse.  No one could figure out why I continued to bleed, or where it came from.  My nurse made it her mission to kill me by massaging my uterus, apologizing every time she had to do it. I was able to nurse K once and by the time she was ready to nurse again I was in too bad of shape for the nurses to let her do it again.  If you have never felt some one “massage” your uterus after giving birth. It is the furthest thing from being relaxing, or wonderful. It feels like someone is kicking you in the gut and rubbing their foot. It hurts tremendously.  My husband had to watch me writhe in pain every time she did it, and he had to watch the color drain from my skin after several hours because I had been losing blood and energy for last several hours.

My husband literally had to go out and search for the OB because the nurses kept wanting to wait and see what would happen..  Eventually they figured out that I had a hematoma, which caused my “small tear” to grow into a huge tear and that I had a nicked artery or something.  So, I ended up needing two blood transfusions, and that night was the last full night of sleep I have ever had.  Postpartum recovery was much tougher than I had anticipated.  Even so, I am glad I avoided a c-section.

So Baby #1 was 4 lbs 7 oz and Baby #2 was 5 lbs 7 oz.  They were the exact same height of 18 inches long.  Our NICU baby came home a day after K and I did.  She had no other problems, except for a little jaundice, after she got 2 blood transfusions either.  We have been so blessed with how everything happened, when I look over the events that transpired I realize anything could have gone wrong at anytime.  It’s those times that I think about that I know we are being taken care of by the man upstairs.


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