Through all the complaining, all the weight, the eggs, cheese, and yogurt I ate, the ups, the downs, the kicks, the bumpdates… The girls are finally here!
Today is officially my due date so I thought… no better time to post my birth story. It’s taken me a while to get into a groove and to be honest, it’s taken me even longer to wrap my brain around all the events that transpired. Alas, here it is:
They arrived on Monday October 24th, on the what was to be my 39th week of being pregnant. They arrived in a way that was unexpected which in hindsight, is totally the way my children would have made their debut. I’ll try to keep the details short & sweet. Very unlike how my pregnancy and their birth felt.
Thursday (October 20th) is what feels like a good place to start. I had been feeling like I was a walking time bomb of babies. And I mean I REALLY felt it. My midwife checked me and said I was effaced about 75% and dilated to about a 3. It would be soon. She didn’t care much for my unusually high blood pressure levels so she had me buy a bp cuff to keep a closer eye on it. I had been fighting swelling and bp issues for months now. With the babies fast on our heels though, it wasn’t something I felt would matter for long. That night I had contractions like crazy. Knowing that this pattern could continue for hours, days even I decided I would rest.
I woke up Friday with labor seemingly quiet. I was in a great mood despite it all so I shopped for dinner, bought my birth cake supplies, made myself a beautiful floral arrangement for our bedroom and lost my mucus plug that afternoon. Labor would be soon!
That feeling would be short lived. With prodromal labor creeping in and out, my blood pressure remaining extremely high, and feeling absolutely ran down, my midwife decided now was the time for action. She came over to discuss options. By the time she got there, my bp had been the highest it had ever been. She searched and called hospitals all over our area hoping to find a doc who would treat me for hypertension without an instant csection while I attempted to pack a impromptu overnight bag. It was when she suggested we pack unassumingly for 4 that I lost it. I retreated to our bedroom and proceeded to pace the floor, grabbing random objects and moving them about the room, very unproductively. I called my best friend and cried. I hugged my husband. I cried some more.
I unplugged our birth pool, and began to mourn a birth story I knew I wasn’t going to be having. After all my hard work, researching, and planning. I was a mess.
It would be an hour and half drive later that brought us all to the Denton Presbyterian in the hands of Doctor Dooley. I arrived bitter and angry. Prepared to defend my choices and ready to fight anyone in a scrub who would say otherwise. At 3am, they gave us 24 hours to be observed. I opted for an ambien and some meditation in hopes to get a clear bill so I could go home and labor in peace. There was still hope for a home birth after all. After 24 hours however, it was clear that the amount of protein in my samples were simply too high. My kidneys were not doing so well. I was going to need to stay & deliver at the hospital. Awesome.
Doctor Dooley gave me 2 options for labor: break my water and see where we go from there or pitocin. The horror stories I had read about pitocin… I was terrified it would be the first stop to a c-section. So at 1:30pm she broke my water. Luckily, labor steam rolled shortly and was pretty patterned. I walked what we jokingly called the green mile, a long stretch of a corridor with lovely little reminders posted to “keep going” & “stay strong”. We laughed, watched the Rangers game, my midwife snuck me a chicken sandwich, I went through the “waves”, my best friend and I rekindled our relationship… it was a good couple of hours. At some point, I showered. But mostly I was either laying down or on my birth ball. I was doing great!
At some point, labor became intense for me. I was asked to try to pee and despite all my pleading to please just let me be, I was walked to the toilet where I started spiraling. I tried all my techniques, gave into the pain, and at some point, we. were. in it!
The doctor came to check me and I swear it felt like she was pulling everything inside out. My poor husband and best friend, she jumped on the bed with me and Joey got right in my face. He walked me through each and every contraction which at this point felt like they were back and back with no relief in-between. I tried every position I could get into to try to maintain my focus but at some point, I broke. Instead of welcoming each contraction with happy, open cervical bliss, I fought them screaming, “NO! NO! NO!”. It was at that point that I really felt like I lost my shit.
I was tired, feeling defeated, without my creature comforts, and just wanted to rest. I lost faith in what it was I was doing. I asked for relief. I begged. I pleaded. My midwife kept reminded me of my birth plan and my husband tried to keep me centered but every time I began to grab control, something would throw me off. I caved. My bp had reached an all time high and everyone felt some relief would be in my best interest at this point. An epidural was ordered, given, and half an hour later, I was sleeping. It was bliss. My mind drifted in and out that point. Oddly, I still felt each contraction and after a couple of hours the pain began to return with vengeance. This time I was ready. The doctor checked me and sure enough, one of the babies was making her decent. After hunting down my husband (he was taking a breather. I’m pretty sure all the events had scared the devil out of him) we all suited up for the operating room where we were told would be best for delivery “just in case”.
I went from my nicely dimmed room to a bright as hell room. I hated that room. It was cold and bright and not at all what I had pictured. Sigh. Anyhow.
At 1:00a.m I was stirruped and told to push. At 1:12a.m Lola James was born. She weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces.
On her heels, literally was little miss Charlee Paige who decided yet again to do a little latin-loppy-loo and flip breech on us. She was easier to deliver though and at 1:15a.m (yup, only 3 minutes later) she made her appearance, feet first. She was my little peanut weighing a tiny 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
The doctor began working on the placentas when I heard him say, “there’s an additional lobe on one of your placentas.” I later learned that it belonged to a third fetus. We must have lost her early on. It really made me happy we had put off that sonogram or we would have known about her from the get-go. Not a great way to start a pregnancy, all things considered.
2 babies in less than 15 minutes of pushing. One head first. The other breech. No tearing. No stitches. Very little intervention. The doctors were really awesome with following my birth plan: no vitamin k shots, no eye goop, they even let me rub some of Lola’s vernix into her. I do wish they had waited until the cords had completely stopped pulsing before cutting them but I was to understand that they were “pressed for time”. Naturally.
And here they were. It was hard because in typical hospital fashion, I wasn’t able to hold them both very long, they were whisked away to be weighed. They didn’t need any NICU care and we were able to take them back to our room with us right away.
We stayed in the hospital for another day and a half. 24 hours were given to the babies for observation (in which they passed with flying colors) and I was told to stick around a little bit longer for more tests to be absolutely sure I was in the clear.
My blood pressure is still a little high but I’m working on it. The babies… they’re fantastic. Totally worth it all. Even with how it all turned out. I wish I had been able to give birth to them at home, safely. I wish I hadn’t given in to an epidural. I wish I had been able to hold them longer when they were first born but when it’s all said and done, the ending was all that matters to me. I have my Lola and my Charlee and we’re all happy and healthy. And I couldn’t be more in love and more insane, all in one.
A huge thank you goes out to so many of you for the countless encouragement and love you have all shown me in this. I am in absolute heaven, you guys.
I can’t wait to see what else is headed our way: Me, Mini Monster, The Guy, and our monster twins!