Thursday, March 11, 2010

Birth Story Part 2 of ??

I think my DH's response to my question was "Huh? What? Are you serious?". Thankfully, at 2am in the morning, there is no traffic on the highway going downtown so it was only a matter of him getting up, getting dressed and then driving to the hospital. In the meantime, the nurse got a wheelchair for me and I was transferred to the labour and delivery side of the floor.

Finally...underway. And no induction required either!

I was checked into this tiny little labour room where I was promptly strapped down with fetal heart monitors and another monitor to record and measure contractions. I wasn't in too much discomfort yet but I was beginning to appreciate why epidurals were created in the first place and why women ask for them. My contractions were not yet painful but the pressure was becoming more and more intense and I had to focus more on breathing my way through them vs. chatting with my nurse.

At 3am, my DH arrived and joined me in labour and delivery. At this point we were transferred to another much larger labour room where we called our doula and waited for her arrival. At some point, I was checked again by the resident to see how far along I had progressed. I was now 3-4 cm dialated and almost fully effaced. For my first time, labour was progressing along really nicely and I was dilating at a good rate of about 1cm per hour. I did a quick mental calculation and determined that I would be 10cm dilated by about noon - a good ways away from 5am in the morning but you know what, the time went by pretty quickly.

Since I was attached to the monitors, I couldn't get up and move around freely but I asked to be taken off the monitors for at least a few minutes at a time so I could sit on a birthing ball or at least move around and relieve the aches of lying in bed in the same position for hours. The contractions continued to intensify and started getting painful. My goal all along was to make it into active labour before getting an epidural, that being 5-6cm dilated, since the hospital's strong recommendation was to have an epidural in the case of twins given the high incidences of medical intervention. By 9am, I was finding it really hard to breathe my way through the contractions. Interestingly enough, when I froze up and held my breath as it is so instinctive to do when in pain, the contractions felt even more painful and unbearable. However, when I focussed on taking slow, deep breaths like I would in meditation and hypnosis, the contractions were definitely more bearable.

Once it was confirmed that I was in active labour, I asked for the epidural. I was incredibly nervous about having it put in as the idea of having someone poking around in my spinal column just seemed so dangerous. Words like "paralysis" kept on floating around in my mind and were exacerbated by the full disclosure discussion the anesthesiologist had with me before he proceeded (i.e. all of the risks associated with the procedure). With my DH kneeling infront of me and my hands on his shoulders, I hunched over and waited for the epidural to be put in. We got to the critical part of the procedure where the doctor says "Now don't move under any circumstances" and I looked my DH in his eyes for support. Quite funny - at that exact moment, my DH's surgical mask that was hooked on over his ears, dislodged from one side and slowly swung open across his face. I could see in his eyes that he was thinking about fixing the mask but then I said to him "Do not move. Do NOT move." So we both stayed frozen in place and the epidural was put in and everything faded into wonderful numbness.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Photos and Birth Story - Part 1 of ??

Time is not my friend these days and I have been wanting to share my birth story with all of you along with some photos of the girls and I have decided to do a few minutes here and there and get down what I can in that time as opposed to nothing at all.

First of all, here are photos of my precious miracles:



I blog anonymously and for those of you who wonder what we look like, we have received the comment over and over again from friends and family that Victoria is a Mini Me DH and Caitlyn is a Mini Me Kayjay. :)

Onto the birth story...

As I had blogged before, that fateful Friday morning, I woke up and felt different. I had a low back ache and I felt crampy in my lower abdomen. Before, any back pain that I had was mid to upper back and due completely to how I was carrying the twins but this time, the ache was definitely lower down. These feelings persisted throughout the day but it subsided during the afternoon and then returned with increasing persistence in the evening hours. My DH and I were talking on the phone that evening and by mutual consent, we decided not to put off running some errands until the next morning "just in case". I still didn't know if this was labour or not but we wanted to be somewhat prepared just in case.

By 10pm that evening, I was definitely feeling uncomfortable. Every time I tried to lie down, I felt like my uterus was hanging by a thread and the effort it took to lie on one side or another made me feel like my belly was going to snap free from that tenuous little thread. So, I sat upright at the side of my bed and wondered if this was labour because other than being a little uncomfortable, I wasn't in any real pain. I also found that if I got up and walked around slowly, the feelings with abate a little. However, there was still something telling me that something wasn't right and I finally called the nurse at around 11:30pm. She thought at first it was false labour because if you can alleviate the "pain" simply by shifting positions, than what I was feeling weren't true contractions.

I lasted until about 1:30pm at which time I called the nurse again and had her page the on call resident. Something just wasn't right and I was beginning to feel more and more uncomfortable with each passing hour. I was having very irregular contractions at that point, some lasting a few minutes to others lasting a few seconds in no set intervals. The sensation of a contraction is much like period pains except for worse...kind of like a bearing down sensation that involves your lower abdomen and culminates into intense pressure "down there".

The resident came and checked me out and did an internal exam to determine whether or not I was in labour. Remember - with my ruptured membrane, internal exams are avoided as much as possible because the risk of infection increases with each exam. I wanted to be sure that I thought in my own mind that I was in labour before I took the chance of increasing infection.

I was already 2-3 cm dilated and effacement of my cervix (thinning of the membrane) was already well underway. I was officially in labour and not a day too soon - the girls waited until they were 34 weeks exactly before deciding that it was time to make their appearance into the world.

I called my DH at 2am and asked him the question I have been waiting 7 long years to ask - "Are you ready to meet the girls honey?"

To be continued...