My Babies Birth Story... Part Two

So a couple of weeks ago I started my three part series on my birthing story. I did not expect it to take so long to write. But so much happened, its hard to write. For those who may not have read Part One, due to pre-eclampsia, I was sent in to be induced a week earlier than planned. We start Part Two of this series with my arrival to the hospital and will end with the birth of my beautiful babies.


When we arrived to the hospital, I was completely terrified. All my planning and preparing was leading up to this day, and I had no idea if I was ready for it. I knew it was going to be hard and scary and I wanted so much to be brave. I wanted to be able to show my husband and our boys how strong I was. But when we pulled into the hospital, all I wanted to do was turn around and go home. But that of course was not an option.

After we were checked in, we were guided in to a beautiful HUGE birthing suite. Seriously, this room felt more like a hotel or spa than a hospital. We were left to settle in. My mother-in-law had put together a nice hospital bag for me with some nightgowns. I got changed and as we got more comfortable, my fears started to be washed away. That is until the nurse came in. . See no one had ever told me I would have to be hooked up to the fetal monitors the entire time. I had a really hard time going through 20 minutes of fetal monitoring let alone a day or two of it! They got me hooked up to the monitors and that is when all my anxiety came rushing back. I had prepared myself to be able to try various positions to help ease the labor pains so I was able to go med free. Laying in bed and not moving was not in my birth plan. I could have refused the monitoring, but they explained it was very important to know how the babies were doing. At the end of the day, they are the priority. If they need to be monitored they need to be monitored...

So they hooked up the monitors and again we were left to settle in. We watched some Cops on TV .We don't have cable so that was a treat. We both forgot how much we love that show. At about 9:00 the Dr came in and introduced himself. He was very nice, and as it turns out, just the first of many doctors we would meet. He talked to us about what we could expect. He explained that in my case a cesarean was the absolute last resort. Given my extreme edema I was at a much higher risk for fluid to enter the incision and get infected. The plan was to start with a cervical softener to get things going and to go from there. The expectation was that the boys would make their arrival Friday night or early Saturday. When he left we went back to watching TV and my Husband went and got us dinner. The hospital has some surprisingly great food! Then the waiting game started. At about 1:00 in the morning the nurse came back in to start the cervical softener. It was horrible! This type of softener is inserted into the cervix. It hurt so bad I was crying. Now I am not trying to frighten any pregnant mommas, I am sure it is not normally that painful. For me it had a lot to do with the edema and the nurse's long fingernails did not help. Enough said... After that was done and over with, we were left to sleep.


At 7 am I was woken up to a woman coming in to our room to draw my blood. Every 12 hours I would need to have my blood drawn. I still have scars on my arms from the blood draws and IVs.

A little while later the day nurse came in to introduce herself. She was great. I had a really hard time with the monitors. I was so big that they would not stay in place, and the babies were constantly moving away from where they were placed. That meant the nurses needed to come in and move them around, spreading the gel all over my stomach, making me itch all over. The old gel would dry up and new gel was placed over it making me itchy and gross. I was already uncomfortable from being huge, add to that not being able to move, and then add itchy gel! Not cool at all!! At one point the nurse let me get up and sit in a chair and held the monitors in place with her hands for nearly 2 hours! She was simply amazing. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. They figured out the cervical softener was not working because the nurse was unable to get it in place so they started me on an oral tablet version of the medication. Then there was more of the same waiting game.

That afternoon my Mom called to surprise me with the news her and my older sister were on their way to be with me. I was so happy but nervous. My sister and I were in a big fight and had not talked at since my first trimester. Her making the 16 hour drive meant so much to me. We used to be so close until our falling out. When her and my Mom got there it was like no time had passed. It had been almost two years since I had seen either of them. They got into town pretty late so they could not stay long. We had a great visit and then they left to let me (try to) get some sleep.

Another morning awoken to blood draws. By this time I am pretty uncomfortable. My itchiness is becoming unbearable and I cannot find a position that doesn't hurt. My husband is amazing. I just wanted for my boys to come already! Still no improvement. They decided to put a balloon in my cervix to get things going. I guess the balloon is supposed to fall out once it has done its job, after about 12 hours. They put it in... more waiting. I am starting to see a pattern....

The nice thing about having my family coming to visit was that it gave my Husband the ability to go take care of our other little baby... our cat. For five years she had been our only little baby. She was our world for so long, it was important she get some attention. Since nothing was progressing and I wasn't alone I sent my Husband back home to take care of her.

Everything was fine until the Doctor came in to tell me my platelets were dropping and if I wanted an epidural it was now or never.... Enter panic attack here....

The whole part of childbirth that scared me the most was the epidural. The idea of something being put into my spine still freaks me out, even after having one. I just don't like the idea of not being able to feel my body. That fear was far more than the fear of pain during childbirth. I would have said no to even having it if it were not for the increased chance of having a cesarean. I had worked out with my Doctor (before my care was transferred) to have an epidural in place later into my labor, but with a very very low dose of the medication put in. That way, if I needed a c-section, I would not have to be put under, and I could have the epidural turned off during labor and delivery and still have a natural childbirth experience. So, when I was told that before I am even dilated I have to have the epidural in place or not have one at all, I was thrown. I agreed to have it put in. The last thing I wanted was to have to be put under if I needed a Cesarean. My husband was not back from taking care of things at home yet. I was really scared when they went to put it in, but my Mom and Sister were great. My husband got back just as it was finishing. I don't think I have ever been happier to see him than I was in that moment. 
12 hours after the balloon had been put in place, and nothing had changed. They decided to give it more time. The problem with inductions is that we were asking my body, and my boys, to be ready before it was time. My babies did not want to be born yet, and my body did not want them to be born. Even though my pre-eclampsia was getting worse, my body would just not co-operate. So... The waiting game continued.... 

Another morning wake up. More Blood Draws. More waiting. Then, things got crazy. My mom and sister were able to stay until the afternoon, then sadly, they had to leave. They both had to work the next day and had a very long drive ahead of them. I was very sad to have them leave, it was nice to have them there, but at the same time it was also good to have some time with my Husband too. About an hour after they left, the Doctors decided to check the balloon again. Apparently it had fallen out, but the edema in my legs was keeping my legs closed shut! As it turns out, I was dilated to 4 centimeters. This was around 2:00 (I think). At this point, so many things were happening so quickly it is hard to get it all straight. I know that shortly after they removed the balloon they started me on pitocin (or maybe I was already started on it, again things moved quickly) I am not sure how much longer after that, but it was not long, they broke my water. Everything went down hill from there. I was not expecting it, but it hurt. It was not the actual water being broken that hurt, that was not so bad. It was everything being inserted inside that hurt. After my water was broke I felt such a sigh of relief. I knew from my childbirth class that after the water breaks, things must move quickly. The next step was to put the internal monitors on at least one baby.
Again, I was surrounded by nurses and doctors as they tried to get the internal monitor. That was one of the most painful parts of the whole thing. They could not get it to work. Baby A was just too far back. I was crying and screaming out in pain. At one point, the Doctor stopped, and all but one nurse left the room. She was a very kind, but very straight to the point, kind of woman. I liked and respected her for that. She basically told me that we NEED to do this or we cannot go forward with a vaginal delivery. They need to be able to monitor what is happening with my babies and if they cannot do it, a cesarean would have to happen. She then said we should try again, now that everyone else is out of the room. She has been a nurse for ages, and knew some tricks to getting it to work. I trusted her, took a deep breath, and prayed. It did not work. The doctor then came in and said that it was time for a cesarean. I did not want to agree, but I knew it was the right thing to do. It had been four days and my boys were not doing well at this point. The more stressed out I became the more stressed out they became. They were starting to feel distress and we needed to get them out before it got worse.  
As they wheeled me in to the room to get ready for the cesarean, I was so nervous but mostly excited. I was minutes away from seeing my boys. This may not have been the ideal way to birth my babies, but in the end, all that matters is that my boys were happy, healthy, and here with my Husband and I. My Husband was not able to come in with me while I was prepped for surgery. There were so many people in the room. There was nurses for me, nurses for each baby, the anesthesiologist behind me, the doctor that would deliver the babies, another surgeon to help with my incision (because of the edema they consulted with the best surgeon in the hospital), his team of people they call the "wound people", and later, my husband. It was intense, that is until the anesthesiologist pumped me full of enough drugs to numb me to my eyebrows and I think something in there had to be keeping me calm. Especially after they dropped a bar on my head! That's right, as they were setting up the screen, one of the bars that holds it up came crashing down ON MY HEAD. I could barely feel it, and the only person that was not freaking out was me. I thought it was pretty funny, the nurses however, did not seem very pleased with my sense of humor.

As soon as I was ready (I think it took at most 20 minutes but my sense of time was off) they brought in my Husband. He was able to record the entire birthing. The actual birth only took a few minutes. My husband and I were talking to each other, and then I heard my baby cry for the first time. I could not see him, but I could hear him. They took him away right away. As one set of nurses were attending to my baby, my other boy was born. I could hear him cry too, but his was a little more faint. I had sent my Husband away already to be with the boys. I wanted to hold them right way, but it was not possible. I did not want them to be alone so I would rather my Husband leave me and go to them. I asked the doctor how they were doing and he said that Bruce (baby A) was a little "stunned" but they were both doing ok. After a few minutes my Husband came back to me. He had tears in his eyes. I asked about my babies and he said they are doing ok and he just wanted to check on me. He looked so handsome and perfect in that moment. All I could think of was how much I loved him, how much I loved my babies, and that I did not want them to be alone. I sent him back to be with them while I was being put back together. When they were all done (I think it took about a half an hour) I was brought up to my room. 

Things were moving so quickly before the cesarean and now I cannot remember when everyone arrived. I know my Husband had called my mom and sister to come back. They had made it about an hour away when they had to turn around and come back. I believe they got back to the hospital when I was in surgery. I think the same is true for my in-laws, but I could be wrong. I cannot remember seeing them before I went, but I was pretty out of it at that point. All I remember was being wheeled into the room and everyone being there. The waiting game started again, only this time I was waiting to see my boys. I did not understand at the time why it took so long. I found out later that something was wrong but I had lost so much blood they were waiting to tell me. I knew pretty early on my babies needed a blood transfusion but what I did not know was that Oliver (baby B) had two punctured lungs.  All I wanted was to be with my boys. It took a couple hours before I could see them. They both had breathing machines and all we could do was touch their hands. I had been given a medication to prevent seizures and I had to close one eye to even see them because of my double vision. I had dreamed for so long about my birthing experience. It was so important to me that we do instant skin to skin and start our bonding right away. Having glass between my boys and I was unbearable. I wanted to pick them up and hold them. Especially my little Oliver. He had a c-pap machine helping him breathe. Bruce just had a tube in his nose. My boys were in so much pain and there was nothing I could do to fix it. I couldn't even stay with them for very long.  I could only stay for a few minutes before I had to leave. My Husband was able to stay, and our families were there. My mom and sister stayed the night in the waiting room so they could be close for me. We had support but that did not make it any harder to be away from my babies. I may have been in the same hospital but to not have them with me, in my room where I could look them and hold them and feed them. It was unbearable. I worried about them so much but the nurses were taking great care of them.  As hard as it was,the only thing I could do is trust in their ability and skill, pray, and wait for the day when my boys would be healthy and home with me where we all belong.

Thank you for reading our story. Check back next week for the final part of this series, our experience with the NICU. 

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About Amara Franklin

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times... I LOVE MY LIFE. I have a great husband and the best little baby dudes in the world! I have found that raising twins is not so different than a singleton, just a little bit louder (and a lot more fun!). I look forward to going through this journey together... SUPER MOMS UNITE!


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