Sunday, 4 August 2013

My Twin Labour Story - #VEDA Day 4

Hey guys,

For #VEDA day 4 the topic suggestion given by We Blog We Vlog is to talk about your best day ever, which for me has to be when my twin babies were born. Obviously it wasn't the best day in the sense of wanting to re-live it over and over, as, to be honest experiencing that once was quite enough. However, my life changed after that day, and I thought I'd share with you my personal story so you can get to know me better.

twin labour labor story

Instead of boring those of you watching my YouTube VEDA videos who don't want to hear about labour, I thought I would put together a montage of videos and pictures to show you how my life has changed from that day up until now.

For those of you who are interested to read about my twin birth story, read on...

Towards the end of my twin pregnancy, like any full term pregnant lady, I was ready to pop. I could barely walk up the stairs and resorted to using my partners hiking stick, which he'd used when he went travelling in Peru... who would have known that would come in handy again! Basically, I was absolutely huge, very uncomfortable and with two sets of hands, elbows, knees and feet knocking about in your belly, I was ready to meet my boys. 
Waiting for my induction date did feel like forever, I eventually found out about a week before the actual induction itself, and so I was to be induced on the 4th December 2012, at 8am. 

I can remember the night before I put on my hypnotherapy CD one last time, and I lay in bed feeling sick with nerves. I doubt I got much sleep at all, what with the boys going crazy at night in my belly (a sign of the crazy nights to come), but also I was terrified. I was new to labour and I just didn't know how I was going to get through this experience. My plan was to experience labour naturally, as that is what my doctors and consultants had pushed for, secretly I wanted to opt in for a C Section, as I knew 50% of twin births end in one anyway. I think my biggest fear was giving birth to one baby naturally and then having to have the C Section anyway.

So this is me on the morning of my induction, which was on the 4th of December, can you tell I'm nervous? I had barely any sleep and I really was ready to pop, we'd put up our Christmas tree early as we knew we wouldn't have time once the boys arrived!

I can remember vividly the taxi ride to the hospital, and that feeling of excitement and nerves at what was to come. I walked into the maternity unit, this was the room that I would wait in until I was dialated enough to go through to the labour ward. I got linked up to an oxycontin drip in order to get the contractions starting, and from then on it was just a waiting game. A lady on the opposite bed to mine was already screaming out in agony every time she experienced a contraction, little did I know we were as far along as each other. At this point I looked over to see Brad, my partner, asleep in his chair - thanks Brad! Whilst he slept I got linked up to a monitor so they could hear the babies heartbeats, so I was sat with my giant belly strapped up, listening to heartbeats that sound like two horses galloping. The contractions were getting stronger now, but I still wasn't really in too much discomfort. It was only after the whole labour was over that I realised I had definitely experienced contractions in the run up to my induction, I just put them down to being braxton hicks but they were probably early signs of labour. So as the woman opposite me sat screaming on her bed with her worried looking husband, I sat calmly (well, sort of), waiting for it all to kick off whilst Brad got a good nap. At least one of us could! This picture is awful, but you can even just see how exhausted I was - and this was just the beginning.
monitoring heartbeats twin labour

At one point I remember the contractions did get stronger, still I wasn't in too much pain, and I was consistently focusing on my breathing. I was amazed at how in control I was, as the main thing that terrified me about labour was the lack of control you have over the situation. But my way of coping was to focus literally on the moment I was in right now, and I allowed myself to focus on what was going to happen next, I made sure I asked every time I wanted to know what was to happen next, e.g when I was going to move onto the labour ward.

Eventually, after a few walks around the hospital I was dilated enough to move to the labour ward, I was actually in shock as I seriously hadn't felt any pain just discomfort. However, as I walked into this room and looked at the bed I started to realise this was all going to happen and there was nothing I could do about it...

How scary is that room? There was a massive birthing pool just behind where I was standing to take this photo, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to use it due to being a high risk pregnancy.

Anyway, a lot of what I am to talk about now is a bit of a blur. I remember in this room the contractions did get more intense, I never screamed when they happened, they were manageable as long as I took deep breaths. Here's a photo of me with 'the last supper', they brought this to me as I'd been in the hospital so long, although it did make a reappearance later all down my hospital gown (lovely), here's me looking very light headed on gas and air having some food:

After this the anesthetist came in to give me an epidural, the contractions were getting stronger now. It took at least 8 times until the epidural actually worked, and that was because my spine was curved due to carrying twins, so the anesthetist kept putting the needle in wrong, needless to say my back hasn't been the same since then.  
I know that the epidural took away the pain, but I had it early so I didn't really experience any pain.
epidural twin pregnancy

The next couple of hours were spent trying to push Twin 1 out. Everyone who examined me could feel that he was 'very low', and said he was in a great position. After hours of pushing and not feeling anything due to the epidural, the surgeons came in to tell me they wanted to try forceps.
This was an absolutely horrific idea to me, I was terrified of being cut down there, but being surrounded by surgeons and exhausted I signed the papers and just wanted these babies out.

Once in surgery this is when things turned worse, the epidural wore off and I immediately went from feeling absolutely nothing to a surge of extreme pain. I screamed and the hospital surgeons who were preparing to use forceps said absolutely nothing and kept preparing the room for the forceps delivery. This was definitely the worst bit of my labour, I remember shouting out 'I'm dying' and nobody would listen to me or give me any comfort and tell me I was okay, that's all I was desperate to hear. 

Eventually a nurse came over and tried to help by giving me lines from my hypnotherapy CD that she must have also listened to. During another increase of pain she asked me 'where did you last go on holiday' and 'imagine yourself on an island', and all I could think of was telling her where to go. I think I ended up just telling her I didn't want to talk about that, and asked Brad to talk to me about my cats, which distracted me slightly from what I was going through.

The hideous forceps came towards me and I blurted out that I didn't really want to go through with this. They hadn't actually cut me open which I was so grateful about, but they did still want to try the forceps. After trying for about 3 minutes they realised twin 1 was just too cosy in there, and the surgeons came back over to tell me I was going to have a C-Section. HALLELUJAH!

By this time the anesthetist came back through (thank goodness) and dosed me up on more drugs for the c-section. Moments later the curtain was up and it was all happening, I wasn't even nervous any more just exhausted and ready to get this whole day over with. By this time it was approaching 5am and I didn't even know how I'd been awake all day and night, it's not like I slept the previous night either!
c-section twin pregnancy

All of a sudden behind the curtain I heard a cry, and realised that was my baby! I never thought they'd cry at birth I always thought I'd be panicking as they tried to resuscitate my babies, but I was so lucky to hear a loud healthy cry. Dylan, twin 2, aka the smaller twin was born first, followed by Twin 1 - Sebastian, who had lodged himself into my pelvis.  

I remember hearing the midwives say how gorgeous they were as they cleaned and dressed them. Brad brought them over for me to see, but being stitched up laying flat on the operating table I was unable to get a look and just saw a bundle of sheets.
It was only when being wheeled out of the delivery room I was able to see my babies. They were put into either side of my arms, which was not the most ideal thing seeing as I was so exhausted and at that point they were quite heavy.

delivery room twin labour

We then went into a recovery room, where I was immediately told to start breastfeeding, and pretty much left to attempt it myself. I'll write a separate post on my breastfeeding twins story, as that's quite a lengthy one.

I hope you found my labour story helpful. If you're pregnant with multiples now, congratulations, and try not to stress about it being a high risk pregnancy. Also, try to remain calm about the labour. Whilst labour is a very scary thing, women have been doing it since the beginning of time, and these days there is so much that can be given to help you out.

If I could go back and do it again, or if I become pregnant with twins again in the future, I will probably opt for a C-Section. In my opinion, I went through a lot more pain and was so exhausted after attempting a natural labour too, that I wish I'd never even tried to give birth naturally. I'm not saying you shouldn't try if you want to as 50% of twin mothers can give birth naturally, but if you are worried or concerned about it and would prefer to have a section, then by all means talk with your consultant about it.

I'd love to hear from you if you're a twin mum, or if you're pregnant with twins, leave me a comment and please subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos like this:

Lots of love,
Samantha Dawn
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