Labor and Delivery with Twins

Birth Stories

This FAQ grew out of a post from a pregnant MOM who was suddenly beset with "midnight worries." She asked for some birth stories to calm her fears:

what if one twin gets wrapped around by the other one's cord? What if one is stuck and the other isn't? What if they attempt to make me stop pushing for the second twin and I can't? What if I have a c-section, but they slip and destroy my spine in the process and I am forever paralyzed?
Here are the responses, along with recent birth announcements.

The heck with midnight worry. I was saying in the delivery room "I changed my mind leave them there I can't do this." I was considered very high risk (monoamniotic and monochorionic) and had a vaginal delivery. The boys were born 5 minutes apart and L&D was easier than the pregnancy. I keep saying I would take 10 of my L&D over my pregnancy. Baby A was 5lb 6oz born at 3:14am and Baby B came into the world at 3:19 am with just one push, he weighed 4lb 9oz.

So stop worrying and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.

Oh gosh, this brings back memories. One night I just burst into tears and told the dh I couldn't and wouldn't "do this". He just started laughing at me. He told me they had to come out and I said "they did not!" I was really scared about the delivery part--I kept looking at my *huge* stomach and kept thinking *that* is coming out. On the big day tho all I cared about was the babies. I didn't care what they did to me, just as long as the babies were all right. Baby A broke the water, they were both breech and I had them c-section. Worst epidural of my worst fears, but the babies were fine.

You and your babies are going to be fine!!! Do you have an OB that you trust? If yes... discuss concerns regarding delivery. Knowing what he/she expects and what he/she plans to do if complications arise can help ease your worrying. (It did mine!)

You say you're not a first time mom... so you know what this is all about. (Maybe your first experience is what's got you worried?)

For me, the twins' delivery wasn't really so different from my singleton (other than a ton more medical people in the delivery and much more equipment on hand)(oh yeah... and it was much faster).

My birth story: My water broke at 2:00 am, arrived at the hospital at 3:00 am. Labor really began at 3:30 am and my girls were born vaginally at 4:57 am and 5:07 am. Three pushes for my first and only one for my second. My OB had planned on an epidural so they would have more options for assisting baby B out if necessary. Needless to say... things happened too fast. I received a spinal right before pushing baby A into the world. They did use a minor amount of suction to assist baby B into the birth canal (she was playing around). They were both beautiful and perfect. No NICU... at 36 weeks. For me... not pushing wasn't a problem between babies because of the spinal, but the contractions actually did stop in between for nearly ten minutes then start back up again. This, I understand, is pretty normal.

Take it easy and try not to worry too much!

Monday: Went in for my first checkup of the week at Perinatal Services; they suggested that I talk to my regular OB about delivery. I was almost 36 weeks along with no problems other than moderately high blood pressure and the fact that my twins were monoamniotic.

Tuesday: Saw my regular OB, who (finally) convinced me to have a planned c-section instead of holding out for vaginal birth.

Wednesday morning: Went into the hospital to have my babies!! I was excited and scared ****less -- I don't even like to think about surgery, much less have it done on me. The whole thing was ABSOLUTELY fine. All the nurses, doctors, anesthesiologist (sp?), EVERYONE was great. Some things hurt -- the anesthetic they used before the spinal *stung* -- but it was pretty minor and it all went the way it's supposed to with no problem. My boys went to the regular nursery, but when they had to give them sugar water (for low blood sugar) they coudn't get the hang of breathing and sucking at the same time, so it was off to NICU. I recently got copies of my medical records -- all my charts say basically "doing well, no problems".

By the next morning, I was walking down to nurse them (well, it was a pretty short walk, but I was up and around) and they weren't having any more problems remembering to breathe. I went home Saturday afternoon (mainly so I could have a little time to figure out how to get out of a non-motorized bed, without having to rush to get a baby (g) ). Sunday I brought my boys home, and we really haven't had any serious problems in the almost two years since then.

Unless your twins are monoamniotic (in the same sac with no separating membrane), you REALLY don't have to worry about the cords getting tangled -- I have NEVER, EVER heard of that being a problem unless the babies are monoamniotic.

Hang in there, I'm sure you'll do fine!

Since you want to hear birthing stories I can finally brag about my experience which was virtually painfree and with no drugs! I was already in the hospital because of premature rupture of membranes when I went into labor during the night. I was only aware of some mild period-like cramps although by morning the cramps seemed to be coming more regularly. At 7:30am when my doctor came in to check me I felt like they were subsiding and was looking foreward to eating my breakfast! I didn't get to though because my doctor said I was 6 cm dialated and I was going to have the babies that day.

Suddenly there was this flurry of activity while I called my husband and told him to forget going to work and get to the hospital, nurses started throwing my belongings accumulated over 2 weeks time into plastic bags and I was wheeled down the hall to labor and delivery. For the next 3 hours I hung out in a pleasant birthing room watching TV and chatting with my husband and our friend. I was dialating away with contractions that were still no worse than a bad period cramp. They started a Pitocin drip to try to strengthen the contractions but it didn't seem to have much affect. My friend and husband had to watch the monitor to see when I was having a contraction!

At 11 am my doctor had me do a "test push" (had to tell me how to do it since I wasn't feeling any particular urge) and said that it was time. Off we went to the operating room where a crowd of doctors and nurses bustled around making preparations. The worst pain was the shot of local anesthetic for the episiotomy! When they were ready they had me start pushing. It took about 2 pushes to get Baby A out. I don't remember any particular pain, just the effort. The nurses were all urging me on and then suddenly the doctor was holding her up for me to see! I had about 5 minutes to relax while a nurse kept pressure on my stomach to keep Baby B from turning. They had to tell me when my next contraction came. Again it took effort but no real pain and in a couple of pushes Baby B was out!

I have read that twin births are often faster and easier than single births but this seemed beyond belief! I kept telling friends afterwards that I didn't feel like I experienced real labor. The babies WERE small, 4lb 4 oz and 4lb 5 oz. I am average size and a first time mom. I tend to have a high tolerance for pain (I never bother with Novacane for fillings). My mother had 5 children, 3 of which were delivered without pain medication and my oldest sister delivered a 10 lb baby with no drugs (although she admits now that she should have taken something!) so maybe I have good birthing genes. But then again maybe the small size of the babies is most of the reason for the easy delivery. I would be very interested to hear from others who had babies this size and what the delivery was like.

Sorry this is so long but sometimes it's nice to hear the "easy birth" stories!

My doctor decided to schedule a C-section at 36 weeks due to a 22 lb weight gain in two weeks. I went in for a NST on Friday morning and she told me she wanted to schedule me for a C-section the next morning. Talk about panic! I was just overwhelmed. (I AM a first time mother) I knew I was going to need a C-section due to their transverse positions, but I thought I had a few more weeks because my doctor had said she wanted to wait until I went into labor. I was so scared, I was up all night worrying about the surgery and the spinal, especially the spinal. I had heard so many horror stories.

Anyway I got to the hospital at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. I had not slept at all, but I wasn't tired because I was so wound up. They took me to a labor room and got me prepped. I was really lucky because I was the only person on the floor that morning, so I had everyone's attention. At 9:30 a.m. my doctor came in and told me they would be taking me into surgery at 10 a.m. I was so glad she was there, I did not want a strange doctor operating on me!

They wheeled me into surgery at 10 a.m. and the anesthesiologist was already there. The worst part about the spinal was having to curl up in a ball to expose my spine, when you have a stomach the size that mine was, that is not an easy thing to do. I hardly felt the spinal. After the spinal took affect, they let my husband come in and he sat down by my head and held my hand. Next thing I knew they were asking me if I wanted a mirror so I could see the girls being born. I said "of course I want to see". So they brought out a hand mirror and I got to see both of the girls being born. I was a little bloody, but it didn't really bother me.

They cleaned the girls up and took all their vital signs and then they let my husband bring them over to me so I could see them. They were two very healthy, very LOUD, little babies. They weighed 6 lbs and 5 lbs, 10 oz. They went directly to the regular nursery and they came home with me three days later.

The only problems I experienced were minor. In the recovery room, I had what the nurses call the post C-section shakes. I was shaking like I was freezing, but I had expected this because my sister-in-law had had C-sections with all three of her children and she had warned me. The other problem I had was my back started to hurt once the spinal started to wear off. I think that was from having to lay down flat for 8 hours to avoid a spinal headache and not from the spinal itself.

To offset "worst epidural" experience, I'll share my very positive experience.

When we arrived at the hospital at approx 3:00 am (my water broke at 2:30 am) I inquired about the epidural. While I was not in tremendous pain, I had heard stories about women who inquired too late and "missed the opportunity" for an epidural.

I was asked to hold out as long as possible, and when the pain got to be too much, to call for the epidural. Well, I lasted until about 7:00 a.m. When the anesthesiologist arrived, I tried to be as still as possible (my sister-in-law had had a bad experience just 2 weeks prior - different hospital) - it took a couple of minutes and then it was heaven - pain all but vanished, yet I still had some feeling left in my legs. The epidural basically let me kick back, nap, watch TV, etc. for the next 8 hours. At 3:00 pm, the Doctor looked and saw Baby A's head, they rushed my into the delivery room, Baby A came out in one push - Baby B was a bit harder since he was so far up, and I did need the doctors to tell me when I was having a contraction so I would know when to push. 20 minutes later, Baby B came out.

All in all, a completely positive experience. Just make sure that you insist that someone with alot of experience (not a resident) give you the epidural.

My twins are my first, so I have nothing to compare it to, but after talking with my friends who had singletons, I think I had a much easier time! Here's my story, as short as I can make it-

When I was 3 cm I still didn't even feel like I was in labor, the dr. had to tell me that I was 100% effaced, etc, basically all ready to go. (I was about to be induced at 35 wks, due to size difference in the twins) At 1:30, they broke TwinA's water and started Pitocin (my DH passed out when they were trying to put the IV in - I was so embarrassed!). By 4:30, I was almost 5 cm and decided an epidural was definitely necessary! The epidural was the worst part of the whole thing! It took 3 tries to get it in (and this time the nursing student passed out - I was starting to think I was the only one who would be conscious through this whole thing!) and then 3 days later I got a spinal headache. But anyway, at 7pm, I told my husband to get a dr., I was ready to push. I could tell when she came in that she didn't believe it, but sure enough, I was ready. Baby A was born at 7:46. The dr. held her up for me to see her, then they immediately took her to NICU since she was in mild respiratory distress. I didn't have much time to think about that though, b/c they did a quick ultrasound to be certain that Baby B was still vertex, then broke his water. I remember clearly telling everyone there was no way I could do it all over again! But, two pushes later, he was born at 7:52. He was able to stay with me for a while before they decided he should go to NICU to get checked out.

There were 13 people (it was a teaching hospital, so student nurses, med. students too) in the room when they were born, but at the time I really didn't care! Each baby had their own team waiting for them in case of complications. The absolute hardest part for me was not getting to hold Baby A immediately. DH went to NICU to be with her almost as soon as Baby B was born, then when they took him down to NICU, I was in the room alone! Truly awful, but at the same time, it was just amazing to lie there and think about the two precious babies I just delivered. I think part of my desire to have another baby is so that I can hopefully have a more "normal" birth experience.

Both babies were able to come home when I was discharged 2 days later.

I remember how terrified I was thinking about delivering 2, and it might be scarier for you since you know what to expect, but honestly, delivering the second baby isn't nearly as difficult as the first! Hang in there, you CAN do it!

My pregnancy was going along great when in week 34 I developed high blood pressure & went on bed rest for 5 days. When my bp didn't go back down, my OB sent me for a consult with the perinatologist, who did an ultrasound, amnio (to check for lung maturity), and a non-stress test. The next day we got the results that the babies lungs were mature & scheduled a c-section in 2 days. (We had 1 crib, no car seats or supplies at all.) My DH took the day off of work to run around to stores buying some basics so we could bring the babies home from the hospital while I called friends & relatives.

Friday morning we went to the hospital 3 hours prior to the surgery for prep, paperwork, etc. The nurses were so nice & helpful. The IV insertion hurt more than anything else, including the catheter, blood being drawn & being shaved. I was hooked up to a monitor & the nurse said I was having contractions but I couldn't tell, just too keyed up & excited the babies were coming (at 35 weeks, 6 days.)

The anethesioligist was great, explained all the steps to me prior to going into the operating room. My husband was with me the entire time for prep except when I went into the operating room. Then I received the epidural (for me, this wasn't painful, the dr was great in my opinion) & then my ob came in & after the incision was made, my DH came & sat down by my head. There was a bar with cloth up so I couldn't see the actual surgery but I could see to the side.

In about 15 minutes, out came Baby A who had been breech, a little girl, my dr showed her to me & then gave her to the team prepped for her. Then a minute later out came Baby B, another little girl(she had been transverse) . My husband went over & took pictures of them as they were being checked out, perfectly healthy. 5 lbs 10 oz, 19 3/4 inches for Baby A & 6 lbs 8 oz, 21 inches for Baby B.

Our aneth. Dr very kindly took pictures of DH holding the babies & me lying there. I was in & out in about 45 minutes, awake the entire time & SO RELIEVED they were born & healthy. The neonatologist came over to say the babies looked good & if we DID NOT see him again, it was a good sign. The girls were taken directly to the regular nursery. I was in recovery for about an hour or so, until I could feel my toes again & then moved to a room.

We all came home from the hospital 2 days later & been on the best ride ever, being parents to twins. Thanks for letting me share.

Monday I had some blood and went to the hospital. Monitor, u/s and internal exam and they sent me home saying it was a false alarm. We leaved hospital at 9:30 pm. I was very hungry and had a sandwich. We got home, got our daughter from my sister's and went to sleep it was quite late.

Tuesday I woke up at 4 am feeling contractions. I looked to the clock and they were every 10 - 8 minutes. DH went to the morning prayer and when he came back I told him about contractions. I called my doctor and he said to go to the hospital. We called my sister and took our daughter to her and went to the hospital.

I was examed at 8 am, was 3 1/2 and both girls were head down. So, I was admited to delivery room for a vaginal birth. My DH was with me all the time. A neighbor that is a medical student visit us and also a nurse from IVF. About 11:30 I was 6 and 90% effaced. Contractions were prety bad so I asked for an epidural. It was a relief for about 2 hours. Then, as I was 9 and totally effaced, and #1 was +1, the doctor in charge decided to give me pitocin to increase contractions. Then began the most difficult time of all. During about 3 hours, they increased the dosage of pitocin and contractions were longer and painfull. The midwife and the doctors wanted me to push #1 out but it was difficult to push the right place. As time passed, I was geting very confuse and tired. When midwife or doctor put a hand inside on #1's head, it helped to direct my pushes and it helped a lot. Finally about 5 pm The midwife said she can see #1's head. Then, 2 pushes and she was out (5:03 pm)! They put her on my belly and cut the umbilical cord. Then took her to medical exams. My DH went with her. The doctors saw in the u/s that #2 had changed position and was with her botom down, with legs crossed like sitting in an oriental position. I was then sure I'll have a section, but the doctors assured me they would take her out. One put a hand inside and the other was with the u/s and a hand on my belly. they said "don't push" and I heard a "chuaaa" - it was #2 sac that broked. Then they said "push now", and 2 pushes and she was out (5:08). She had the umbilical cord once around her neck. They put her on my belly, it took her a little to cry and I was panicked something was wrong, but then she cried all right. She was also tooked to the other room to medical exams. Their apgars were 9/10 and 8/10. They were some minutes in an encubator and then in a regular crib. They were allowed to stay with me and my Dh for a little. He put one on my belly and I gave her the breast, while he took the other on his arms, and then we changed. Then the girls were tooked to the babies room. My DH went home and my SIL stayed with me. I stayed 2 hours in delivery room for observation, then was tooked to my room. I stayed in a room for 2, with a very nice woman that had a boy after 5 girls about an hour after my delivery. I was very hungry, didn't eat from 9:30 pm and got my meal. It was full of sweet things - and after 2 months of dieting because GDM, it was delicious! My SIL stayed till almost 10 pm. I couldn't sleep most of the night, thinking about my girls and all.

Now they are almost a month old. In the begining they lost about 20% of their weight and the doctor recomended to suplement, special for the little one. But I was very firm in my decision to breasfeed and he agreed to wait and see how it goes. Well, they are getting weight very well - last week about 120 g and this week, 200 g.

I'm getting a hard time from them, they want to breastfeed all the time. My mother is here helping me this month, I don't know how I'll manage without her. Breasfeeding now is working better than the first weeks. But it's very difficult. I'm sure if I can make it for the 3 first months, I can continue from then on and it will be easier.

I recieved some posts about breasfeeding that helped me a lot - thank you all. [The Breastfeeding FAQ has lots of excellent advice.]

My wife was admitted to the hospital a week ago yesterday for fetal monitoring. She was 31 weeks pregnant with weight discordant twins. They were going to try to get her to 32 or 33 weeks and then deliver the babies.

On Thursday morning, they didn't like the decelerations in heart rate one baby was showing so they transferred her to the Labor & Delivery unit for continuous monitoring. The babies were doing fine, basically, but there were a couple more decels that night. Friday morning the doctors felt that the decels may have been the sign they were looking for so they decided to deliver them that morning via c-sect.

So here we are...twin boys (Inky and Stinky) weighing 3lbs 9 oz and 2lbs 4oz. They're doing great, all things considered. They're breathing on their own and getting mother's milk already!

We've been calling them Inky (baby A) and Stinky (baby B) since day one. And, since they were preemies and didn't give us enough time to think up two boy names (girls names are more fun to think about), we are still calling them Inky and Stinky. The NICU folks even wrote it on their incubators!

Anyway, they're very cute. God answered our prayers.

Yes, the babies do have real names now!

I was dreading the possibility of a c-section, but that's what I ended up with and it went just fine. Although I missed having a natural child birth experience and was momentarily disappointed about that, having our precious babies safe and healthy was our primary concern. Every once in a while when I hear people talking abou the birth of their children, I am sorry that ours weren't born vaginally, but just looking at my little boy and thinking about what might have happened to him reminds me that we made the right decision.

My dh and I had done quite a lot of preparation to deliver naturally using the Bradeley Method. I knew that I would have to have an epidural placed but we were hoping that it would not have to be dosed. Frankly, having the epidural put in was the scariest part of labor that I was anticipating--I was really nervous about the pain of having something put into my back and the risk of problems.

My dr. had me go to the hospital the night before my due date for monitoring; on that day's U/S the fluid pockets in Baby B's sac were very small. We were going to induce the next day anyway if I didn't go into labor on my own. By the time we finally went home, got our stuff together, had dinner, and then got the the hospital that night, I had already gone into labor myself. I was in labor for 10 hours before I decided I wanted drugs (forget the natural stuff, I wimped out) and had the epidural put in.

When the anistesiologist finally placed the epidural (it took her 3 tries) I remember a nurse telling me that I was having a contraction which surprised me because I couldn't feel a thing. I figured that if that was what the rest of the labor was going to be like now that I had the drugs, this shouldn't be to hard or painful. After being in agonizing pain for about 2 hours before this, I was feeling much better. Needing a c-section was the fatherest thing from my mind!

At the same time that the nurse checked the monitor for contractions, she noticed that Baby B's heart rate had fallen to 60 beats per second for several minutes. They immediately gave me terbutaline to stop the contractions and this helped baby B's heart rate recover. The dr. on duty wanted to do an emergency c-section, but since the rate had stabalized we asked for a consult with my regular dr. Given the circumstances, and the fact that Baby B's rate would probably fall again at some point when labor resumed, she concured with the attending dr. and we decided to go ahead.

They prepped me and my husband and things calmed down again. We asked them to make sure that they took Baby A out first so that he would always be baby A. We thought it would be very confusing if the one that was baby A all during the pregnancy would become baby B for the birth if he was born second and be Baby B on all the records thereafter. They said they always try to do that but we know of situations where that wasn't the case. One of the nurses volunteered to take pictures. My husband spent the first part of the procedure holding my hand. I couldn't feel or see a thing thank goodness so I kept asking what they were doing. My dh moved to the other side of the screen so that he could watch our babies being born, and he still got to clamp the cords. It turned out that Baby B's cord was as thin as a pencil, this probably contributed to the heart problem and he would indead have had a hard time with a vaginal birth. My husband went with both of the boys to the nursery while they put me back together. I was in recovery for a while and they brought the boys to me as soon as they were cleaned up, tested... We all met back in the room a couple hours later and were all doing farly well. Baby B was still having some problems maintaining his body temperature, but that eventually stabalized.

I was up the next day and a little sore after the drugs wore off, but not in any real pain. I was more scared of what pain I might feel as I walked, went to the bathroom, etc. than any pain I actually felt. Turning over in bed was a bit difficult for the first few days, but I had no pain with them on me when I nursed. I took tylenol with codeine for the first 4 days to avoid the pain when sitting up or turning over. I was up and about in the room the day after they were born and walking around the whole floor (albeit, slowly) in a two days. I walked a few blocks with the boys in the stroller at the end of the first week just a day after we brought them home. By 4 weeks I was walking a mile or so at a time with the boys in the stroller and ready to go back to swimming and by 6 weeks was in the pool doing some heavy duty aqua aerobics abdominal exercises. Now, at 10 weeks, I am back in my biggest jeans and have been for a few weeks.

So, all in all, a c-section wasn't bad at all. I know I have become one of those statistics that over 50% of all twins are delivered via c-section, but I know that it wasn't just because the dr. was scraed to deliver twins or for convienience. Baby B was really at risk. The boys are doing great and we are just thrilled to have them. The fact that they were born via c-section doesn't make a difference.

Hello all!! Well, now that I have a minute to write to all of you, I thought I'd send out an announcement of the birth of my twin girls. So without further ado.....

Baby A
Born October 21, 1997
Vaginal delivery
4 pounds 9 1/2 ounces
18 inches long
Baby B
Born Octobe 21, 1997
Cesearen delivery
4 pounds 6 ounces
17 1/4 inches long
Born at 34 weeks 4 days gestation.

I had been swelling in my feet and legs very badly the last two weeks or so of my pregnancy, but my bp had been fine. I was however throwing protein in my urine so they had my do a 24 hour urine the weekend before they were born. I had gone in for my doctor's appt on Monday the 20th and given them the urine and had my exam. I was shocked to know that I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced already!! They had me do a NST and I was having regular contractions already (which I took as the Braxton Hicks I had been having all along). They wanted me to go over to Labor and Delivery to be monitored more closely. So I called my husband to tell him what was going on and that I didn't know whether I was going to stay and have the babies or be coming home. He said he'd wait to hear from me and then come over to the mother said she'd be right there and came over from her work.

My contraction were coming regularly but I hardly felt anything. They gave me a shot of Terbutaline to see if they *could* slow them, and it did nothing. By that time the 24 hour urine results were in and my protein was at 328 or something and anything over 300 was considered preeclampsia. They did an ultrasound and Gabriele was still head down and Abigail was frank breech so they said I could try vaginal delivery, and there fluid was low so they decided that it was time to have these babies. At this point I called my husband back and said, come on over, were having our babies.

They started the Pitocin around 12:00 pm on October 20. The anethesiologist came in and told me that they would not recommend my having an epidural or spinal since I have a bleeding disorder and they were afraid of a spinal bleed. So I'm thinking, "Great Pitocin induced labor with no epi!!" I was on the Pitocin all day and all night with hardly any stronger contractions and absolutely no progress.

Around 9:30 on October 21st, the OB chief resident comes in (who I know from the Parents of Multiples club--he and his wife have b/g twins) and says, "What's say we break your water?!" So he broke my water, and I have to say that that is when I realized that hey I'm having made it so real to me. After they broke my water, they started upping the Pitocin at regular intervals and the contractions starting coming very regularly and with force. I finally got my husband to at least watch the contracton monitor and tell me when they peaked so I could know when they were getting better. I just layed there and closed my eyes and breathed through the contractions. I was also on Magnesium for the pre-eclampsia, so I was feeling pretty exhausted already.

Around 12 pm or so I felt this overwhelming urge to throw up and I did and I thought maybe I'm at transistion now....but no, it's too soon, it's only been about 2 1/2 hours since they broke my water. Up until this point I had had *no* pain relief whatsoever, and frankly didn't even feel like I needed any really. They hadn't checked my progress since they broke my water. The nurse came in and thought I was throwing up from the pain or whatever and gave me a shot of Nubain with some sleeping stuff in it. Then we asked when the doc would check me again....the doctor came in and checked and lo and behold I was fully dilated already. Well, thanks for the sleeping I can't even stay awake. I slept thorough almost an hour of contractions without even knowing it and then I remember being wheeled into the delivery room.

I felt the urge to push before I was even in the delivery room and as the doctor is trying to tell me when to push, I'm telling him that I'm ready to push NOW. I gave one hard push and thought there is no way I'm going to have the strength to push her out. But my husband said, "I can see her head, it's right there, you can do it, just one more push". So with the second contraction I gave it all I had and we welcomed her to the world. She had the cord around her neck twice, but was fine. I didn't tear or rip and didn't have an episiotomy either.

They immediately put the u/s on me to see what Baby B was up to and she had decided with all the extra room that she was going to relax and kick back for a while. She had turned transverse. Remember, I didn't have an epi or spinal but the doctors seemed to think I did, cause they were doing their thing down there I guess with the cord and such and then they tried an external version three times and she wasn't going to budge. So the team swooped in and prepped me and put me under a general anesthesia and Baby B was born 31 minutes after her sister. Her 5 minute apgar was a 2 and she need resusitative measures to breath, but was ok.

The girls were in the step down NICU for one week and then they came home on sleep apnea monitors and caffeine. I thought that was ironic since I tried to avoid caffeine as much as possible the entire pregnancy,and now they are getting it in straight shots. At their 3 week weight check they were 5 pounds 7 ounces and 5 pounds 8 ounces.

I recovered very quickly from the c-section. As most of you know, my husband is not really in the picture. He wasn't home the night I came home or the night they came home. He brought them home with me and then went out. I've basically been the sole caretaker of these precious little girls, a single mom of twins you could say. I was up and walking to the NICU 1 1/2 days after their birth and released on day 3 and driving myself to the hospital after that so that I could be with them. It's been hard and sometime frustrating, but very rewarding. It's more amazing than I ever imagined it would be. They are all I really have left of my 7 year marriage and they are my world right now.

As an afterthought, don't everyone hate me, but I've lost about 52 pounds since their birth, and I only gained about 25 with the pregnancy. I'm about 28 pounds under my prepregnancy weight and fit into clothes I haven't been able to wear for a while. What a weight loss program..I don't even look like I had a baby, let alone two. Maybe this is God's way of rewarding me for making it through all the stresses and problems I've had recently. The only thing that even shows I've had babies is the stretch marks, that are very low on my abdomen and my incision from the c-section....not even a saggy belly.....let me brag's one thing that went good in my life....besides the babies themselves.

I'm back to the land of the living even without eating and sleeping!!

Baby A (born 4 pounds 2 oz)
Baby B (born 4 pounds, 12 oz.)
were born by emergency c/section on Friday at 11:30 and 11:31 pm.

I've been home since Tuesday night, but it's taken me this long to get a few minutes together to write their official announcement, and their birth story. The boys are still in NICU, but they scheduled us for CPR training next week, so chances are they'll be home in about a week. They were born at 32 weeks.

Their birth story is not an easy one, to write or to have survived, but I share it with you in the hope that I can save someone else a bit of what I/we went through. If you'd rather skip it...then on to the next section.

First, let me again express my gratitude for this list and all that contribute to it - including the lurkers. It's added to this pregnancy being a very special time in my life, and gave me knowledge about things I never thought I'd need, but DID!

Tuesday, September 9: Regular OB appointment. Extreme swelling in my legs, but no protein in my urine. My blood pressure was a nice, low 110/70. Based on the edema, OB had me begin a 24 hour protein/urine test and sent me to the lab to draw blood for kidney and liver functions. I had no headaches, blurry vision, or stars.

Late Wednesday, September 10: Having lots of Braxton Hicks. I really didn't want to go to the hospital (I knew it wasn't 'real' labor) - but I knew it was too early for the boys to be born, so I went. Received two shots of terbutaline to stop contractions. OB ordered an additional set of bloodwork for kidney and liver function - which showed that I was starting to develop toxemia. Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m. I was admitted to the hospital, and shortly after that started on "the Mag Bag".

The initial dose was a 4 gram PUSH of Magnesium Sulfate. Based on this, I know now why Hell is described in Bible as a place of fire. During this 20 minutes of hellfire, I'm sure that the only reason I didn't melt away completely was that two nurses were holding on to me. Every fluid in my body that could escape was violently expelled. (Nurses do NOT get paid enough money!) I was sure I wasn't going to live, but I did. Then I was put on a continuous drip, which makes you feel like you've got the worst flu you've ever had in your life. Raging fevers are intermittently spaced with arctic chills, blurred vision, and skull splitting headaches.

After a day or so, they lowered the "mag bag" dose, and told me I was in the hospital until I delivered. They continued to monitor my liver, kidney and platelets with bloodtests around the clock. They also sent me for an amniocentesis to measure the maturity of the boys' lungs. The initial results were "immature", but the more sophisticated test indicated that they were mature.

Friday noon my numbers took a turn for the worse, and the OB told me that he was inducing labor, and I had until Saturday morning to delivery the babies, or they would have to do a cesarean. He administered prostaglandin gel and a couple of hours later they started the Pitocin drip.

I found it extremely ironic that *I* - who had been on bedrest since 20 weeks to avoid preterm labor, was now being induced. But, I called my doulas, rallied my resources, and prepared myself to deliver these babies. I was sorry they were coming so soon, but very happy that their lungs were going to be OK.

2 to 3 hours after the pit started,(about 9 pm) the labor room nurse (who was also wonderful) got very concerned about my kidney function. To make a part of a long story short, I had complete renal failure, and the Pitocin (which should have come in through the IV, and then exited) was trapped in my body. It was circulating and re-circulating in my body, causing ever stronger and STRONGER uterine contractions, (which may or may not have been causing my cervix to dilate) but the rest of my body was shutting down. My legs were 2 - 3 times their normal size, and so swollen they were HOT. They decided to do an emergency c/section, but we had to wait until the person in the cesarean room finished delivering. My water broke. The anesthesiologist couldn't give me an epidural, because the risk was too high. (Someday I'll understand that part better...I wasn't exactly in a position to do a Medline search at the time.) My water broke, my contractions continued and I completely redefined my definition of pain. My doulas, my husband, and everyone else tried to bring me comfort through breathing, focus etc. but I was beyond anything that I could control. I was having HARD contractions every 60-90 seconds. I begged for anything they could give me, but was told that I would have to wait.

They wheeled me into the operating room, DH at my side, and after a few more minutes of blood-curdling screaming, I was given a general. The boys were delivered within minutes at 11:30 and 11:31 pm.

I came to sometime the next day with a morphine "self administered" drip in my hand. What a hoot. I was supposed to make some connection between feeling pain, and pushing this little plunger to get medication. I was hallucinating so vividly, I couldn't draw a logical connection between 1 and 2, and was supposed to determine when I needed drugs. I spend Saturday visiting planets I never knew existed. By Sunday, they had lowered my medication to Darvon (I think), and then I finally got it down to Percocette. As I was bouncing from planet to planet, and hallucination to the next, I KNEW that BOYS were back on earth, and I was desperately trying to get back to them. (The mag sulfate had to continue for 24 hours after delivery, and that was altering reality as well.)

Finally, sometime on Sunday, I got wheeled down to NICU to meet my sons. They're wonderful, beautiful boys, and (as my neonatologist said) for a couple of "wimpy white boys" they did quite well. (Black girls survive premature delivery the best.) Nurses continued to help me get out of bed, walk, and I think I finally ate something on Monday. Those days are all a bit of a blur.

Tuesday morning my OB shows up in my hospital room: I'm being sent home. It was officially 4 days after surgery, and that was IT! I couldn't get out of bed, or go to the bathroom by myself (although I was walking really well!) and my time was up! We live more than 30 minutes from the hospital, which also meant to come back and see my sons meant a long ride back and forth, but none of that matters either. Most insurance plans (I was told) would have had me out after 3 days. When the logical fact that I needed medical assistance was presented, I was told that my mother should come and stay with me. (She lives 2,000 miles away and works, etc.) It was now *MY* problem.

Political commentary here: Folks, we have lost all control of logic and/or compassion when it comes to medical delivery, insurance coverage, etc. *WE* ultimately pay for our insurance - why is it we have no say? Additional envy/kudos to those of you able and willing to pursue alternative birthing choices. YOUR pressure on the current system is the only reason there have been any changes at all.

Since then:
Each day gets better. I'm told that the 5 layers of tissue they slashed will heal at different rates. The boys will probably be home in about a week, and have had some episodes of apnea, but generally are progressing well. I'm pumping 8 times a day, and they feed my breastmilk to the boys.

It breaks my heart that my sons already have to deal with the stresses of hunger, temperature, and even gravity. I so wanted to give them more time in that perfect in utero world, where all their needs were being met. It's also very hard to be away from them, but I'm grateful that I've got a chance to physically recover while they are being nurtured.

Lots of family members have their knickers in a knot over not being able to either see the boys, or have their phone calls returned, etc. My sister - who demands center stage at every family event - harassed the nurse's desk constantly until I called her back the day after surgery. NICU has very strict visitation, and we barely get there as much as we like. I am learning the lesson "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself".

And finally, one of the truisms I learned here is fact: Each intervention leads to another intervention. I'll probably never know where or if anywhere in this process I could have said, "That I will not do". I experienced almost every drug I can imagine in the OB's repertoire, and grew to hate each one more and more. But, if I had chosen a different path, would I be bringing home healthy boys in a few days?

Toxemia is not a syndrome I would wish on anyone. Remember that it can develop relatively symptomless (like me - swelling only), and take care of yourselves.

My b/g twins who were born at 35 weeks (3 months prior to my 31st birthday). They weighed 5 lbs 8 oz and 4 lbs 12 oz, were very healthy and able to come home with me, as soon as I was ready following a rather stressful/eventful last 7 weeks of pregnancy and delivery.

Beginning at 28 weeks I experienced a number of episodes of placental bleeding -- rather heavy and on a few occasions it took a long time to subside which meant a rush to hospital (usually upon waking in the middle of the night to the bleeding - kind of scary) and preparing for a potential very early delivery of our babies each time. Initially they attributed it to probable placenta previa (U/S showed the placenta was low and touching the opening of the cervix so that bleeding might be occurring as the lower uterus/cervix grew/stretched to accommodate growth of babies). Subsequent few U/S showed that placenta had "migrated" up and my problem "should" be resolved, however bleeding episodes persisted and they decided I was having abruptions within the placenta (sections/pockets within the placenta lifting from the uterus causing the bleeding). The babies "seemed" to be tolerating all this OK but "you never know"... and I was very relieved when all was over with a happy ending. As it turned out, after the vaginal birth of the first baby, the placenta began to separate before the second was delivered which threatened her blood/oxygen supply so led to an emergency section for her delivery. Things happened SOOOO.... fast (and they HAD to) and she was born 15 minutes later, safe & sound!!! - we are truly VERY fortunate to have such technology and professional expertise available to us today!

I had lost a lot of blood as a result of the numerous bleeding episodes and delivery, and had a very bad reaction to some of the post-op medications so I was in hospital for 1 week (longer than the typical/"allowable" stay here for a cesarean birth).

When I returned home, I actually weighed 2 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I nursed the babies exclusively for 5 months and they were weaned by about 9 months. They will be 20 months this weekend, and although the time has flown by SOOOO quickly, I do find it hard to remember when they were infants!

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