The following Monday, I was not at work. Instead, I was two days into what would become a very long stay in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The previous Friday, I got my second corticosteroid injection and went home to put my feet up and relax as much as possible. My saviours, mom and mother-in-law, came to my house and cleaned it top to bottom to help me feel like something was in my control. The house was becoming more and more untidy as the weeks of my pregnancy went by, during which I was working full time, as was my husband. A spic and span house always seems to take the backburner during pregnancy and for a while after the birth of babies.
The next day, Saturday, my hubby looked after our almost two year old son, while I went out and did a few things and met up with a friend at a cafe. Seeing as I was told to take it easy, I did. I took some time to browse childrens' stores and wander the mall. I didn't have an agenda or a schedule to rush to achieve, I was just simply taking some "me time."
I carried a litre bottle of water with me and some snacks in order to ensure I stayed hydrated and took small breaks off my feet throughout the morning and early afternoon. I called to let my husband know I was fine and I was taking things easy.
I met my friend at 3:00 and after that I went home. As I was driving along I noticed something unusual. When I would come to a stop light or slow down and then accelerate, my stomach would get a mild tightness to it. It seemed like the babies were slipping and sliding around in there, which is the best way I can describe it. I picture it as they were moving forward with the momentum of my car as I accelerated.
The feeling happened a few times as I was driving, but I wasn't in pain. When I would begin coasting and no longer accelerating the sensation would stop. Weird.
I got home around 4:30 and went about the usual getting ready for dinner and hanging around the house on a Saturday. Around 6:00 or so, I got on the couch to have a power nap, which I think is pretty common for pregnant women, let alone one carrying twins.
I couldn't settle down and get comfortable and I watched my husband working in the backyard through the window. He was cutting the grass. It was a beautiful, sunny, Spring day. It was May 1, 2010.
By about 7:45 PM, the "accelerating" sensation had started again, but I wasn't in the car anymore! Something else apparently was accelerating and that was the speed at which my twin babies wanted to show their lovely faces!
I called my midwife and OB, who "shared care" of me and my babies. I told them of my funny sensation and the doctor suggested I come in for an assessment. Talk about deja vu.
I very, very quickly packed a bag for myself, which was pretty much organized and just had to be thrown in a bag. Our neighbour came running over to watch our son, while my in-laws came from across town. My hubby went to park the car after dropping me off at the back exit to go in. By this point I knew the hospital pretty well and avoided the busy areas and went directly to the labour and delivery ward.
I wheeled in my overnight bag and told one nurse I found after a short search, that I was there to see my doctor. She asked, "What for?" Apparently, I don't give off the impression that I am in labour or that there should be any sense of urgency when dealing with me. This is another drawback to not having labour pain. You aren't taken very seriously.
My doctor knew I was heading in, but guess where he was off to...dinner! This man had bad timing. Again, I didn't seem to be in labour, so I guess to him, my situation seemed like it could wait.
My midwife was front and centre, asking me questions and helping me out as she could. The nurses that were getting me into a room for assessment took their time, asked me questions about what brought me there, etc. All the while, I continued to hear my doctor's name being paged over and over.
By 8:15 PM my doctor arrived and explained he would do an assessment to be sent to the lab to see if it indicated I may be having my babies in the next week or so. I suppose hormone levels change, which can be identified. The goal was to do this, then see what needed to happen next. The doctor started to get ready to do the assessment and said he didn't need to do the test, as I was already 2cm dilated!
Upon this announcement, staff snapped to it and began running around to get a transport setup for me to send me to the nearest, best-equipped hospital to deliver high-risk twin births. They wanted me sent there for observation and bedrest to start.
Suddenly, my husband and I were alone in the labour and delivery room and I asked him to go out and remind the staff how quickly our first son came after arriving at the hospital. Eighteen minutes!
My husband ran to bring his car closer to the amublance dock, as he would have to follow me down. He also called my mother and his mother to update and tell my mother to meet us at the hospital we would head to.
My nurse came in and I asked her what would happen if I suddenly had to deliver, while on route to the hospital. She calmly told me the EMTs would have to pull over and deliver the babies!! I said something along the lines of, "Yeah, okay, that's not happening!!" She explained it happens sometimes and that the EMTs are trained to deal with that type of situation. No matter what anyone said to me at a time like that, I was not open to the idea of having premature babies born on the side of a highway, without any real medical interventions or support available, except what was in the ambulance (and that's not much.)
Meanwhile, I was now beginning to feel more than the "acceleration feeling" and I told my nurse that I was pretty sure I was dilating, and dilating fast. She said, "There, there, dear." I assume she was thinking I was just beginning to become upset at the idea of having babies in the back of an ambulance. I explained to her that I know my body and it was beginning to feel the exact same way things unfolded with my first preemie. I know she thought I was nuts. My midwife, who was with me with my first son, knew I was very aware of my body.
This all evolved over about 15 minutes. I told my nurse to get the doctor in to check on me, because I was extremely confident I had dilated even more. Keep in mind, I was not raising my voice, I was not screaming or crying in pain. I was holding a calm, rational conversation with my nurse. The doctor came in and confirmed (again) my suspicions. I was fully dilated!! It took me approximately 15 minutes to dilate from 2 cm to 10cm! My doctor and the staff were astonished and all hell broke lose.
I was told I was being wheeled to a high risk delivery room on the same floor, as I was now beginning to feel the need to push. I was so far along that the staff would not be able to get me down to an OR in time. I was wheeled through the door of my room, out into the corridor, down toward the high risk room. It was like a bumper car ride, yelling voices and so on. My bed/stretcher was being wheeled so fast and we were bumping into door jams along the way. Once we were in the delivery room, I was then forced to climb off the bed, upwards towards a higher up table. I almost sat on what was a broken stirrup metal pole and my husband was not amused.
From what I recall, the room was drab and very stark and cold. Lots of metal finishes around, but definitely what I would consider a sterile and well-prepped room. I was told it was reserved only for high risk deliveries. I guess I was up on an operating table, which wasn't explained to me. I always knew there was the great likelihood that I would have to have a c-section to deliver the babies. Up until this point the only moment I cried a bit, was when it occurred to me I would have to be knocked out by the anesthetist. I didn't want to be asleep when my babies were born! It took a lot of will power to give in to the idea of having to have an epidural and the very likely c-section. Now I was fully aware I may not even be awake or have any control when my babies arrived.
By then I knew I was past the point of return to be able to get an epidural to complete a c-section. A c-section, however, was not an option because my body was working too fast. I delivered my two babies without drugs and without a c-section.
No sooner did my water break, then Baby A came out. It was completely insane in the delivery room and I was absolutely unaware that the first baby had arrived. My midwife, who was to my left, suddenly disappeared and came back to say he is "okay." I looked up at my husband, to my right, and thought, no he's not alright by the looks of his face and tears. My husband clarified, Baby A, is okay. I lost it!
The staff assumed I knew he had been born and didn't joyfully announce, "It's a boy!" as you might usually hear, or I've only ever seen in movies. My husband said Baby A is born and I snapped at the entire staff in the room, "You have to talk to me! I'm the one having the babies!!" I was so mad. The pressure of my water breaking completely disguised the fact that the baby was on the way out at the exact same time, which I could not feel. Now I became worried that the doctor hadn't actually been ready for the baby and that the baby had hit the table or something disasterous. I was assured the doctor was there the whole time guiding the baby out.
Four minutes later Baby B arrived. He had to be externally turned a little bit, as at the last ultrasound 2 days prior, he had been laying a bit sideways, head downwards.
At 9:50 and 9:54 PM, May 1, 2010, our twin boys were born.
The next steps were to stabilize and arrange for transport to the nearest available Level III NICU. The one we wanted had already been notified and we were told there would be two beds waiting, thankfully! We didn't want to go through the drama of finding a bed like we did with our first son.
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