28 July 2016

The Twins Birth Story - Part 3

Continued on from Part 1 here and Part 2 here

Once my waters broke, things really started to kick off.

My original plan was to order the epidural immediately upon arrival at the hospital but the thought of the epidural extending my labour encouraged me to labour naturally for as long as I could handle it. 
Seemingly out of nowhere {within about thirty minutes} around 3 contractions were coming in each 10 minute window and growing increasingly stronger. It wasn't too long before I was shouting from the rooftops 'get the epidural NOW!'

Roberto my saviour anaesthetist arrived pretty quickly and was very good at his job - not only because he arrived quickly and ensured the epidural was precise {he wasn't entirely happy with his first effort so went back for round two} but mostly because he mentioned that I was 'skinny and fit' ... Pretty powerful and encouraging words when you're not feeling your most glamourous. 

Epidural was working its magic before too long but at my next check I'd only progressed to 4cm so on advice from the team I was put on the syntocin drip to help with progression. 

Around 11pm the lovely team organised a fold out bed for Pat and within minutes he was asleep. Once the drip had started I was also encouraged to get some rest and was advised they would check dilation around 5am. 

It's seriously hard to sleep, let alone rest with machines and cords hanging from you {with one attached to twin 1's head} and constant monitoring from the midwives. The doctor popped in multiple times as well and there was a lot of discussion and study of the CTG output.

Unknowns to me {thank you epidural}, I was getting up to 6 contractions in 10 minutes and twin II's heart rate was sitting dangerously high around 180-190bpm and she was moving around like crazy. Naive me thought more contractions meant quicker progress and that I'd get to meet my babies sooner. Once the midwives explained that that an ideal number is around 3 or 4 contractions every 10 minutes and anything higher means the baby doesn't have time to rest, I really did start to get anxious. 

I was running through scenarios of what was going to happen and it wasn't helping with the panic I could feel creeping in rapidly.

Would I have to have a caesarean for one baby?
For both babies?
Is Twin II in danger? 
All of this ensued while Pat was still asleep.

The resident doctor Jess who was lovely ensured me that everything was okay and was trying to problem solve before calling in the consultant who generally only makes an appearance for the birth. She wasn't overly keen on waking him without really trying to determine herself what was making twin II so distressed. By this stage the syntocin had been turned off and completely flushed out.

For what felt like hours the CTG was studied until ... light bulb moment!

Jess said let's see if you've magically dilated to 10cm - literally hours before they expected me to. 


We've all ignored or forgotten about the simple solution first in a range of situations so I wasn't bothered that I wasn't checked earlier - just relieved that we had an answer. 

It seemed my body just needed a little hit of the drug to really get things going and by little, really little. I later found out initially the drip was set to release 1ml then 2ml and then back down to 1, completely turned off and then flushed out. The maximum that it can be turned up to is 32!

Pat woke to the news of 'it's time to push' and basically avoided all the drama. The midwives were so supportive throughout that I didn't feel the need to wake him earlier and stress both of us out. 

Now I felt scared. Pushing meant that we were going to have not one, but two babies soon. But it also meant I had to push and given my two hour pushing experience with Ned, I wasn't excited about it at all. 

My pushing was good and progress was being made quickly but the team asked permission to use a vacuum to expedite delivery for twin I so we could get twin II out as quickly as possible. Six minutes of pushing and twin I was out at 3:21am weighing 2.285kgs.

A quick examination and ultrasound confirmed that twin II was in a breech position and we had a 10-15 minute window to get her out. Once it gets past that time period an emergency c-section may be required so I pushed as hard as I could. Twin II was out safely at 3:34am after 13 minutes of pushing and entered the world bum first complete with her first poo on the outside world. She weighed 3.205kgs.

She was quickly whisked away to the team of doctors and the birth report details she was resuscitated due to severe asphyxia/respiratory distress. I was kind of oblivious to the drama and then didn't really even get to see her for hours afterwards as she was moved to the special care nursery attached to the CPAP machine. I felt comforted knowing she was in safe hands and still had to birth the placenta/s.

I only birthed one placenta even though I was expecting to birth two so we assume the two placentas fused together in the womb or pregnancy scans were interpreted incorrectly and there really only was one. We may get DNA testing in the future but we are pretty certain they are not identical.  

Twin 1 who we named Frankie stayed with me for some time for skin to skin and feeding and then joined her sister Evie in the special care nursery.

We spent four nights in the special care nursery {Evie was on CPAP and antibiotics for two days} and both girls were admitted due to their size. The nurses were wonderfully supportive and the stay was made that little bit better because I had my own room back on the ward. 

The girls were born on Tuesday and we got to go home on Saturday.

Then the fun started...

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