Emily & Alyssa's Birth Story
As every mother must, I love talking about my girls and how they came into our world. My pregnancy was pretty normal, we found out at eight weeks that we were having twins since I was already showing! I had nausea up until 16 weeks but it didn’t stop me from eating and sleeping around the clock.
My husband and OB both wanted me to quit working by 28 weeks but I talked them into extending it to 33. I just couldn’t imagine sitting at home waiting for my girls to arrive. Besides, I was much closer to the hospital and OB at work; my office was across the street from the hospital and the OB’s office was in the building behind mine. I used to look out my window at my desk and watch Dr. Riley run across the street several times a day. I worked for a group of surgeons; how could being home be better, right?
Anyway, my due date was May 13 and my last day at work was scheduled for March 27. My girlfriends had held a baby shower for me the Sunday afternoon before. That night while lying on the couch, I felt a sharp kick and then wetness. My first thought was, “Oh great, now I’m incontinent!” and I ran to the bathroom.
My husband was on the phone with a client but ended the call when he saw me move so quickly. To quote him, “I haven’t seen you move that fast in months!” He followed me into the bathroom and asked what was wrong. I still didn’t think too much about what was happening but my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. He asked if I’d lost the mucous plug; I hadn’t even looked. I got up from the toilet and there it was. We’d made it to one childbirth class and it definitely paid off.
Throughout my pregnancy and before, I had always believed that when the time came, I would be the one in control while my husband sat back in shock. How thankful I was for his take-charge attitude; I was helpless. He called the doctors, got me dressed –even tying my shoes for me– and got me in the car. I was still in a state of disbelief.
At the hospital, I was taken to a room and examined; I was 3 cm. and because one of my bags of water had ruptured, I was admitted and put on strict bed rest. This was NOT how I’d imagined my pregnancy to end. I had three monitors around my belly, (no easy feat with a waistline of 52″) and two IV’s in my arm. I was given magnesium sulfate, terbutaline and a double dose of betamethasone. Now we just had to sit back and wait. Thursday night, one of my OB’s came to see me and said things were going well, my labor had not progressed and they were confident I would make it to 34 weeks (the magic number to insure fetal lung development). My husband went home to get some much needed sleep.
At 2 a.m. when the nurse arrived to give me another dose of terbutaline, I told her I was feeling different. My contractions seemed to be worse and it was getting harder to get up to go to the bathroom (at this point I was allowed that much limited movement). She suggested it was because the last dose had worn off but offered to examine me anyway. She “had trouble finding my cervix” and went to get another nurse to check. The second nurse confirmed that I was “complete.” She could feel my daughter’s fuzzy head. It was time!
My husband was called and I was rushed to the OR; just in case. There were two teams from the NICU waiting for us. It was too late for an epidural; one more thing I’d never considered happening. My husband walked in the room just in time to see our first daughter, Emily, arrive. She was perfect! A little small, but breathing on her own and with no evidence of any medical problems. The whole room breathed a sigh of relief.
This is where things got interesting. That last dose of terb. kicked in and my contractions STOPPED. Now what? We waited a little while and then the doctor started a Pitocin drip to induce. Still nothing. I guess Alyssa decided things were much better now that her sister wasn’t taking up so much room. An hour went by, then two.
Finally, the anesthesiologist suggested we try an epidural. He’d never administered one in-between twins before; he wasn’t sure it would even work. “Go for it!,” I told him. He did, and it worked. At that point my OB decided to rupture the second bag of water. I still had no noticeable contractions. A few minutes later, I told him, “I feel pressure.”
He said, “It’s just your water.”
“No, it feels different.”
“Oh my God,” he said, “There’s the head!” Two hours and 40 minutes after Emily´s birth, Alyssa finally made her appearance. She was just as healthy!
They spent eleven and ten days respectively in the NICU due to having a hard time maintaining their body temperatures, then they were released home with us. The neonatalogist sent them home on apnea monitors as an extra precaution, but there was never any real concern about it.
We are now getting ready for their third birthday and you’d never know they were preemies. They were caught up within the year and now the pediatrician doesn’t even consider the fact of their prematurity when she examines them.
My husband and I will always remember how wonderful the doctors and nurses were in Labor and Delivery and NICU; and how incredibly lucky we are to have such beautiful, healthy babies.
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