*This post was written 5 days before giving birth to our twins, although it wasn’t published until about two weeks after their birth.*
From the moment we
found out accepted the fact that we were having twins, we knew that our birth experience would not be standard or planned. We constantly got the question from friends: “So, will you have a c-section?” to which we would answer, “We aren’t sure. The doctor thinks that we will be able to avoid it.” In our childbirth class, as the instructor discussed birthing techniques to minimize pain, I let my mind wander, knowing that I was going to have an epidural no matter what, just in case Baby B made it harder to come out (they didn’t want me to feel anything if they had to do some other techniques to get him out). Laboring in a bathtub? No chance, as I would have constant monitoring bands around my stomach to check on the babies.
In the past 9 months, I haven’t been in control over my body or these babies. For a Type A person like myself, I strangely handled it very well. Finally, however, I knew there were some certain things I could expect out of the birthing experience, and it was nice that some decisions were made for me. In this way, I was even more prepared than a “singleton” pregger. Yes, there would still be a lot of unknowns, but some things were set in stone: epidural, delivery in the OR (just in case), many more nurses ready for different situations.
Even so, no twin births are alike, just as no singleton births are alike. It’s just that, when you are pushing out two little bodies, there is even more uncertainty. Still, I never thought I would get to 36 weeks with these little peanuts (I always prepared for the worst so that when it was better, I was happily surprised). Now that we are here and at “full term” for twins, I am letting myself visualize what MY ideal birthing experience will be:
Tim and I are at home, and we have had a (relatively) restful night/morning. I’ve taken my shower and already finished straightening my hair (to help me feel normal, despite not leaving my house). Either my water breaks (hopefully a trickle and not a gush) or the contractions come at every 10 minutes for 2 hours. We call the doctor and head to the hospital with our labor bag, 2 hospital bags (to leave in the car until after the babies are born), and the babies’ bag (also to be left in the car for a while).
Once I get to the hospital, I don’t let the nerves take over. I don’t start to feel warm or nauseous, as can sometimes happen. Instead, I am perky and talk, excitedly, to the nurses as they start the long check-in process (despite the fact that I’ve already pre-registered). Tim gets me my coping items: a cup of ice pellets (my favorite), a hospital mug of ice water, 1-2 washcloths soaked with cool water, the fan out of the bag, the speakers for the quiet music, and possibly some juice or popsicles.
I change into my BINSI birth skirt and black nursing bra (if it won’t cause a problem to wear these with my impending epidural). Once I am checked in, Tim will turn down the lights and we will start keeping me calm and rested as much as possible. I will ask to go to the bathroom once more before they hook me up to the monitors.
Pretty soon after arriving, I get prepped for the IV and possibly even my epidural (because I have already progressed so much in the weeks leading up to this point). I know that this is when my nerves will get the best of me. I will start feeling warm and nausea waves will sweep over me. Tim will take over answering questions as much as possible, although we will both engage the nurses and anesthesiologist in talking during both times. Talking and hearing someone else’s story helps me to get through medical events that I don’t enjoy.
Once everything is in place, I will be able to calm down again. Tim will keep feeding me ice chips, water, rubbing me, washing me down with a cool, wet cloth, talking to me in his calm voice.
Eventually, I will get to the point when we are ready to push. I won’t feel anything, because of the magical epidural. Thank you, modern medicine!
They will wheel me into the operating room, and Tim will (for the first time) not be by my side as he gets his gear on. He will join me soon enough. I will push, but hopefully not feel much because of the epidural. Because Baby Girl is head down and so low, I won’t need to do much to get her out.
She will be a great weight and cry right away, and I will get to hold her immediately. I will burst into tears upon holding my baby girl, calling her the name that we have kept private for months. Tim will fall even more in love with her than he already is. This is his daddy’s girl. I won’t even notice when I have to push out the placenta.
They will take her away just in time for me to get ready to push out her brother, Baby Boy. He may move and squirm and possibly change position on us while he is still in utero, because he is my wiggler and not used to having so much space in there. Hopefully, the doctor won’t have to do too much in order to get him ready and in position. Just a few more pushes, and he is here too! Both of our babies are brought to my chest and we can love on them and let them start breastfeeding.
We will get an hour with them (called “The Magic Hour” by the hospital), before our families will be invited in to meet them. We will get that initial bonding, loving, and smiling/laughing/crying before we have to share them with anyone. Our little family just grew by 4 feet, 4 hands, 20 fingers, 20 toes, 2 hearts. We are now complete.
The doctors have said that I have had an ideal pregnancy up until this point (after finishing the first trimester). It’s okay to dream about this ideal scenario, isn’t it? After all, we did make it further than we thought possible! A girl can dream…