Honestly, I’m not sure anyone cares to hear birth stories besides moms deep in the throes of pregnancy furiously googling things you absolutely should not google late at night while your partner sleeps comfortably and soundly besides you because they in fact are NOT a beached whale that can’t roll over (just me? ok cool). Here I am though, sharing that exact thing, so if you’re reading this now buckle up it’s going to be a bumpy ride – ha, bumps. Like baby bumps. You get it.. (I’m sorry I’m like this.)
I learned a lot from reading other women’s birth stories, the good the bad and the ugly. As a first time mom I wanted to absorb as much information as I could about what I was getting into so that when the day came I could be mentally prepared. With that said, internet, here is my story about the day our twins joined us.
By the time the day came I had gained a nice 60 pounds, I was riddled with stretchmarks and it was mid-July. I had already been through months of constant vomiting to the point where I was medicated for the remainder of my pregnancy, I could hardly put one foot in front of the other, I had raging heartburn, carpal tunnel in my fingers and my feet were so swollen that I requested daily foot baths from my loving husband. (The translation for that is I sat on the back porch in a lawn chair with my feet in a tupperware that he filled lovingly with hose water – it was glorious).
Around 10 at night I went to step into bed and I felt it and knew exactly what it was. My water breaking. The sheer volume of times I had heard “trust me when your water breaks it isn’t anything like the movies, it’s very gradual and not dramatic at all” was bananas – and could NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG. Without getting graphic, there was a mop needed before leaving for the hospital… so.
We, like the cliche we had by then become, drove very fast to the hospital in a weird dream state not really understanding what was about to happen. I was Group Strep Positive, and to this day my only understanding of it is that once your water breaks and you go to the hospital you can’t leave and they give you antibiotics. It does not, as I had to frequently remind myself, have anything to do with your throat. I had to spend a really strange amount of time trying to convince nurses that my water had in fact broken and that I was in labour. They seemed skeptical. I had to spend another strange amount of time trying to explain why I wouldn’t be taking a nap and “sleeping it off” until morning because I had contractions rolling every 4-5 minutes. No explanation I read did any justice for what a contraction feels like. All I can say is it sucks, it feels very bad and say yes to the laughing gas.
Because I was having twins they had to be constantly monitored which meant I had to lay in bed pretty much the entire time – honestly I could hardly move anyway so it really impacted me very little. My pregnancy was split care between an OB and a Midwifery (Insert here my 800 page love story for midwives and how I believe every woman should have one during pregnancy and birth) so I had someone with me through virtually every contraction from beginning to end, which ultimately meant there were a whole lot of people that had to put up with my delirious, gassed up, making inappropriate jokes at even more inappropriate times, for about 15 hours. Lucky them. For example: When I was told the anesthesiologist who would be administering my epidural would be late arriving because there was a trauma he needed to attend to, I high fived the nurse that I was not considered a trauma. I’m told it was weirdly received. I finally did get my epidural when I was 8cm dilated and to say it was heavenly would be an understatement. I was nervous about epidurals.. I had read all the scary stories. Side note: they don’t give you a huge amount of choice epidural wise with twins if you’re delivering “naturally”. I mean they do, but they “HIGHLY ADVISE” you get an epidural. I’m obedient & it was delightful.
I actively pushed for 2 hours – which in labour time is about 15 minutes and also simultaneously an eternity. The interesting thing about pushing babies, probably especially with an epidural I imagine, is you have no idea how much effort you’re exerting until it’s over. It took several hours for me to be able to even get out of bed without virtually collapsing. Maximum effort for 15 hours + 4 glasses of apple juice is a lopsided equation, I guess.
Our two beautiful boys were born 7 minutes apart. With a bit of jaundice and some low blood sugar (same) they stayed in the NICU 48 hours for monitoring and then they came home with us when I was discharged – total I was in the hospital for about 3 days.
My belly will never look the same & I’ll probably always pee a little when I sneeze, or jog lightly, or laugh too hard…etc…but I can honestly say it was truly worth it.