My twin birth by cesarian operation
I had been in hospital for 48 hours having had three induction pessaries none of which I had responded to. Looking back I think the midwives were getting fed up of me in there and as soon as they deemed I was 6 cms they pushed me through to the delivery suite, where the midwife who was to take care of the entire birth told me it was a little bit early but not to worry as things were looking good. She chatted excitedly as she took the clothes off of us that we’d bought in for the girls telling me a twin birth was always something of a stir in the hospital and especially a natural birth. Both girls were head down and well positioned and once she had sorted out all of her paperwork and organisation needed for the birth – bracelets with Twin 1 and Twin 2 written on them, she proposed breaking my waters to speed up the contractions a bit.
I’d had this done during Tommy’s birth and I knew it wouldn’t hurt me or the baby l I was also ready to meet my girls and get back home. She proceeded and the waters flooded the delivery table set at the end of my bed. She wasn’t expecting so much water and in hindsight it was probably an indication that neither of the girls heads had descended to the top of the birth canal. They weren’t ready to come out. I apologised for making such a mess!
At this point I was offered an epidural, I was under no obligation to accept and after having had two natural births with no pain relief what-so-ever (it was never offered in Italy) I wasn’t particularly bothered about the labour itself but the twin birth complication list worried me. All the what ifs? As Paul and I had come so very far in this journey and lost babies along the way I wasn’t ready for allowing any fate a part in my birth. I agreed.
You are told to sit absolutely still and not bat an eyelid as should they get the wrong position for the enormous needle going into your back you could remain paralysed forever. I’m glad I didn’t see the size of the needle because I may have changed my mind but as I watched Paul who was assisting me I noticed the blood drain from his face and could see him starting to sway, the midwife was on the ball and told him to sit down which he did and with fear in his eyes he kept on warning me not to move. I don’t think I’ve ever been so still in my life.
Nothing. I could feel nothing. I watched as the monitor, drawing out the contractions, arched back and forth across the slip of paper and I could see my stomach tightening with each curve but me? I ended up having a snooze and catching up on my sleep! Poor Paul tried to sleep on a stiff hospital chair but I know he didn’t get much. The midwife would pop in and out, check the slip of paper, do an internal to check progress and off she’d go again muttering it wouldn’t be long now.
Night went, dawn broke, Paul was brought tea and toast – nothing for me just in case and at 7am it was decided that I’d have to have the cesarean. Neither baby locked up high inside me with all the contractions in the world would ever descend to a position to enter the birth canal.
In a blur of form signing, Paul being kitted out with surgical attire miles to big for him, we were moved to the operation theatre.
Fortunately as I had had the epidural all that was needed was a top up to a spinal block. I was tested with prods and shoves but I couldn’t feel a thing. A green cotton sheet acted as a barrier so I couldn’t see what was going on and although part of me was really curious it’s probably for the best, Paul also sat behind the screen, he’s not good with knives and blood and we waited.
I didn’t shout out any half wits like ‘Oh whilst you’re there make it a tummy tuck too.’ but I was tempted, only the thought of how serious it was made me shut up. I was frightened, I’d never had an op in my life, other than tonsils out at 7 when I was gassed out and told to think of Mickey Mouse. Too much quiet time to worry about What if something went wrong?
I looked over at my Paul dressed up like an ER doctor in his green pants, top and hat and we shared glances praying it would all be over soon.
Then a midwife popped around the screen a sleeping baby covered in goo.
‘Twin 1, Alice.’
The baby had been purple and wasn’t making any noise. Lots of black hair stuck all over her face, the quick flash hadn’t been enough to fall in love with her. Was my baby ugly? I would love her regardless.
I heard the tiniest whimper and sighed relief, one was alive and with us, now just for Twin 2 to join us. Again I was flashed another purple creature with black hair all over covered in goo and traces of blood.
‘Twin 2, Bessie’
‘Urgh!’ was my honest reaction. I actually thought to myself I will love them as they are mine but I couldn’t get past how these tiny scraps in that instant had looked awful. I heard the second cry, a little louder and again started to relax that everything was going to be ok. Now for the sew up and whilst they did that I worried they’d leave surgical instruments inside me as you hear such dreadful stories in the papers don’t you?
My lovely aneasthetist caught my attention and pointed out they were counting, how did he know my worry? He explained they were counting all the surgical implements on a tray to make sure they were all there.
Trussed up, catheter in place I was wheeled to my recovery room and after a while as I had been warned my body started to shake, a bit like the shivers but it wouldn’t stop. It was the effect of the epidural wearing off, it was funny and annoying at the same time and I was glad when it was over they handed me my tea and toast, possibly the best cuppa of my life, a bed bath later, my first ever and then I was allowed to hold both my girls.
The bond was immediate, they were much more beautiful than the last time I had seen them as they had pinked up and the goo had been wiped off. I was surprised to see however that they hadn’t been bathed and were still covered in the thick protective cream they have inside the womb…. Mmm, that’ll be off as soon as I can stand at a sink!
This is my Flashback Friday for Karin over at Cafe Bebe, with the girl’s birthday last weekend it has given me the perfect opportunity to write my twin birth down – thanks Karin. Now go and have a look at what all the others are flashing back to