Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Twin birth - my experience


This post is about the birth of my twins... and I'm not going to spare you the details, so prepare yourself!
It's important that you realise that every birth is unique, as is every mother, so I am just going to tell you about my own experience.

I was fortunate enough to have a brilliant pregnancy with my twins, with only minor niggles to worry about (see previous post), and towards the end of my pregnancy, my consultant decided that my babies would probably have to be delivered by caesarian as 'baby one' (the one nearest the exit!) was lying over the opening of the birth canal.
At 36 weeks, the date was set for my c-section and I mentally prepared myself for the surgery/having two newborns/being very sore when I really could do without being sore!

On delivery day (I was almost 38 weeks pregnant by then - great for twins!), I arrived at the hospital very early in the morning, as they had told me I would be one of the 'first in'. I was quite relaxed really, considering the enormity of the situation, I think I didn't really allow myself to consider what could go wrong - I was focussed on my babies, trying to be positive and looking forward to meeting them.
So, I had a shower, got into my bum-flashing gown and then just sat and waited with my lovely hubby, who had bought me a hand-held water-spraying fan thingy (highly recommended!) which I desperately needed as it was BOILING in the hospital, in the middle of summer. The waiting was the worst part, as I then really started to think about the surgery. When the nurse came to take me down to theatre, I was actually quite pleased as I was sooooo bored just sitting there on the ward!
Once in the theatre, I had a spinal block (kind of like an epidural, but stronger) which was not the most pleasant of experiences! The nurse told me to sit on the edge of the bed and curl forwards (easier said than done when you have a huge stomach to consider!) and then told me to sit absolutely still as one slip of the needle could cause paralysis...hmmm, no pressure then! What they didn't mention was that the injection could in itself cause me to twitch, so the nurse nearly had a coronary when my leg shot up in the air! Luckily, I was fine, but bloody hell, you'd think they'd warn you! After the injection (which wasn't as bad as I'd thought - and I really don't like needles), I slowly lost feeling from my toes to my boobs (very surreal!), but I felt fine, if a little apprehensive. The doctor gave me a good sharp pinch on the side to check I had no feeling and we were off.
Suddenly there was a roomful of people. Initially, there were people milling around, but once surgery began it seemed the room filled and there were about at least a million people in there when they whipped off my gown and I was lying there naked... Alright, I'm exaggerating slightly, but you really can't be worried about being naked when you have a c-section, because plenty of people will see your bits! Prepare yourself mentally for this...
The surgeon then prepared my humungous belly and in he went!
Although, when you are prepped, they put a screen between your head and the business end of things, you are still very aware of what's going on. I was able to hear a lot of what was happening (hubby had a good look over the screen!), but I wasn't in any pain. My blood pressure crashed at one point, making me very dizzy, but the lovely anaethetist lady gave me loads of free drugs (!) and I was fine again.
The only real feeling during the birth was pushing and pulling as the surgeon got stuck in and although this was not the nicest feeling in the world, it was okay. The only time I really didn't like it was when they were pushing to get the first baby out and due to the pressure on my lungs, I struggled to breathe for a few seconds - not nice at all. Once they were in, 'baby one', my first beautiful boy, was born within minutes, screaming his head off and weighing a great big 6lb 1oz. Once he was checked and wrapped, I gave him a lovely cuddle while his brother was being born (one minute later!), and this time they lowered the screen and held him in the air (still attached to his cord) - a moment I'll never forget - it was very special (got a photo - see above!). 'Baby two' weighed an even bigger 6lb 5oz and needed a little bit of oxygen to get him screaming, although he was silently having a go as soon as he came out!
My gorgeous healthy boys had at last arrived and I didn't pay much attention to what was going on behind the screen after that - the sewing up bit took longer than the whole preparation and birth, but I didn't care what they were doing by this point!
The post birth bit is however, the least dignified, as you have absolutely no control over most of your body still and the nurses basically hoist you up and give you a wipe every now and then - having babies is a messy process for days afterwards! Again, don't be shy - I was mortified at first, but you have to remind yourself that they've seen it all a million times - it's what they do. They don't give a monkeys if you have a Brazillian of haven't been able to reach anywhere near it for months! And just be grateful you didn't have to poo in front of strangers while giving birth! (This, believe it or not, was my biggest worry for the whole of my pregnancy... irrational, I know - must have been the hormones...).
At the end of the day, just relax and enjoy your babies - you deserve it. Anyway, the hard work has only just begun!

Next post - the hospital stay and getting to know your babies.

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