Friday, February 21, 2014

That is That: A birth story of twins

If you have been keeping up, I was very nervous about the possibility of giving birth to my twins via cesarean section.  I first wrote about it here, when I discussed all my fears of having another surgery, and then revisited here, when I had resolved to let go of the fears and need to control the outcome.  I had a c-section and that is that.  It is all in the past and there is nothing to change it now.  I wanted share how everything turned out with the birth of my twins and my feelings about having a c-section.

It was 9:00 at night, I had just sat down 20 minutes earlier after putting Natalie and Nathan to bed,  I'd had a busy day with running the daycare all day, heading to the hospital for a non stress test, coming home and hosting a sewing night, and seeing my hubby off to work for the ice/snow storm expected that night.  So I was finally sitting down, and felt what I thought was more Braxton Hicks contractions when my water broke.  I kind of freaked out to be honest. Firstly because I was only 35 weeks and 4 days along, secondly because at the non stress test earlier that day the nurse had confirmed that Brandon was still breech and still presenting first, so when my water broke it all sank in and I knew I would be having a c-section.  I called my hubby to come home and then started rushing around trying to pack a bag and arrange child care for Natalie and Nathan.  Somehow it all got done, and the contractions got really intense, really fast.

By the time we made it to the hospital, I was already 5 cm dilated so they rushed to get a team together to get me into an operating room.  Out of the entire experience, this is the part I am angry about.  There were at least 8 people running in and out of the room trying to get everything ready. Doctors shoving papers into face trying to get me to sign off on a surgery that was terrifying me, nurses botching my IV, an anesthesiologist explaining that I would be getting a spinal and if it didn't work for some reason that I would be put under general anesthesia, in which case my hubby would not be able to come into the operating room during the "procedure".  It felt so cold, sterile, distant, and foreign.  It did not feel like I was about to welcome two new little lives into the world.  I was very upset, in tears and was trying to calm down talking to the hubby during a short lull when we were actually alone in the room.  At that point a nurse walked in to check our vitals and saw that I was upset, while taking my blood pressure she told me that if I couldn't get myself together that they would put me under general anesthesia.  I was not hyperventilating or uncontrollably upset, I was crying and trying to calm myself.  Threats to put me under and make me miss the birth of my children completely because I was crying and scared was completely uncalled for and I felt bullied and threatened.

Despite the added stress and fears I made it into the operating room, and the spinal worked.   The room was so cold and so full.  Two OB's, two teams of nurses and pediatricians for the babies, the nurses and anesthesiologist assisting the OB's, quite overwhelming.  Eventually they let the hubby come in, and the anesthesiologist was great in talking to me and letting me know what was going on.  The hubby watched the babies being delivered, and left me to watch them as they were cleaned up and assessed.  I heard them both crying, they sounded strong.  I couldn't see them though, I had to wait for almost 10 minutes before they finally brought them over for me to see them.  That was the most painful part of the whole birth process, not being able to see or hold them when they were born.  Natalie and Nathan were put right onto my chest after their birth and assessed while I was holding them.  It felt so wrong and so painful not to be holding my babies when they were born, and I'm not sure that pain will ever really fade away.  I was very glad to finally see them but there was no skin to skin in the OR because it was too cold and I couldn't hold them properly on the operating table anyways.  

I was glad to finally get to the recovery area.  Then I was able to hold the babies and start nursing them.  I am very glad that they didn't have to leave my side, and that the surgery didn't impact our nursing relationship at all.  The recovery was quite different from my other deliveries, with a very extended hospital stay.  Ugh, I could not wait to be discharged, the longest. 3 days. ever. With my others I was out 24 hours after baby was born, I cannot sleep in hospitals.  The hubby had to help a lot when we got home with up and down with the babies and taking care of the other kids.  He is kind of allergic to being domestic, so the last two weeks have been pretty fun :)

All in all, this was not the birth experience that I wanted, nor was it an experience that I enjoyed.  It makes me so very sad that I cannot say that I enjoyed the birth of my twins.  I am thrilled and blessed that they are healthy and there have not been any complications.  At the same time I need to mourn the loss of the birth experience I could have had and wanted so desperately.  I am not sure that it is possible to truly heal emotionally from that loss.  For the last two weeks I have simply been trying  not to think about it very much because I don't want to wallow, but there has to be a point where I face it and try to accept it.  Which seems impossible at this moment in time.

And then there were FOUR!

I have FOUR children, two of which are brand new!
Brandon Heath

and Alice Grey

  The twins were born about 2 weeks ago, and we have been adjusting to being a family of six.  I've been lucky enough to have my husband home and helping with Natalie and Nathan and making sure that we are eating real food and aren't buried under a mountain of dirty laundry.  The babies were born about 4 weeks early, but are absolutely perfect despite their early arrival.

(Brandon above, Alice below)

No time in the NICU, breathing well on their own from minute 1, nice healthy 6 lb birth weights, and nursing champs from the get go.  Of course, there is a healthy amount of twin baby problems, like one of them trying to eat the other basically all the time.

There are also lots of peaceful tandem milk comas...

and plenty of baby snuggle time where I simply stare at their beautiful faces.

They like to sleep at night, but they like to be held while they sleep at night.  Which means the amount of sleep that I am getting is pretty minimal to be honest.  They will sleep on their own in the crib during daylight hours, but once the sun goes down all bets are off and into the arms they must go.

There they are at 2 weeks old, I think the identical poses are pretty great.  I actually find them in similar positions in the crib quite often.

All in all, we are pretty happy and enjoying the changes to our new, big family.  We love it when things are nice and peaceful....

Even though it doesn't last very long with two newborns in the house.  We love the crazy, chaotic times too :)