My Twin Birth Story: Combined Vaginal-Cesarean Delivery

April 20, 2017
twin birth story

Have you ever heard of the Murphy’s law that says if anything can go wrong, will go wrong? That’s exactly what happened during my labor – everything went wrong! Don’t worry, this twin birth story has a happy ending, even if the way to happiness was much more twisted than everyone expected.

My “high-risk” pregnancy passed very healthy, without any issue, and I successfully avoided all the potential complications. The last ultrasound showed that both babies were head down and weighed more than a “normal” baby at this term. I wasn’t worried at all. Everything seemed to be completely fine, and the doctor scheduled me to be induced on March 29th, at 36+2 weeks of pregnancy.

At 36 weeks monochorionic diamniotic twins are considered full term in France.

We arrived at the hospital on Wednesday morning at 7.30 am ready to meet our little birdies when troubles started. Turned out that it was impossible to induce the labor because all labor rooms were full. “You can go home and try to come in tomorrow,” the nurse said. “There’s one woman who is waiting since yesterday morning.” WHAT? I’ve been waiting for this moment since I found out that I’m pregnant, and now you want me to wait one more day? No way! The nurse added that there’ll be a meeting at 10 o’clock where doctors will decide which mom will have ‘a priority’ to give birth on that day.

They sent me to sit down and wait in the corner next to the coffee machine. I was so upset and frustrated. Couldn’t they just squeeze me in? I was ready to give birth on the floor next to that coffee machine, but there was no way I could wait another day after being pregnant for like hundred months. I was just sitting and waiting. Those were the longest two hours in my life. Finally the light at the end of the tunnel – they had chose me.

We moved to the labor room to start to prepare for a labor. It was around midday when they finally started to monitoring the babies and the contractions. It was very hard to record twins’ heartbeats because one of them was moving so intensively that it was impossible to hold the sensors on my belly. So the process that usually takes 20 minutes lasted for hours.

After three hours of monitoring they finally gave me a pill to cause the uterus to contract. It was around 3 pm when I started to feel strong and regular contractions. Unfortunately, not strong enough for my cervix to get dilated even for a centimeter. After 10 hours of countless laps around the maternity ward, the contractions got worse, but nothing else was moving a long. The midwife told me to get some rest, so in the morning we could insert another pill to restart the process. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep immediately, although the contractions were still strong.

On the next day I woke up 1 cm dilated. The midwife warned me that there’s a possibility of a c-section as I progressed too slow and it was dangerous for the babies. I spent all the morning connected to a monitor without being able to move. Around midday the midwife came and inserted another pill and the process begun again, this time successfully. Two hours after induction my cervix was 2 cm dilated and it was enough to break the waters. Finally, around 2 pm I moved to the delivery room.

So before to break the waters they had to do an epidural anesthesia. I did it with my first baby and it was just fine. But, of course, not this time! I was sitting curled on the edge of the bed while the anesthesiologist tried to insert a needle into my lower back. It was hard to do because ‘I was not enough relaxed’ and he had to do it over and over again, and, for sure, it was not relaxing at all. Imagine the pain when someone is playing with a needle around your spine. Every time I thought that it’s finished, but nothing was actually done. Finally, after fifth time, the catheter was inserted and I could relax.

Shortly after that nightmare, the midwife came and broke the waters. After one hour she came back to check me out, and I was already 7 cm dilated. Hallelujah! During the measuring she opened the cervix more, and it was 8, then 9 cm opened, and then I heard her saying: “Push!”

Suddenly, the room was filled with doctors.  Everything happened so unexpectedly quickly! All I saw was bright lights and masks. The difference between this and my first delivery is that this time an epidural decreased sensation, but didn’t give me a total lack of feelings, like it was at the first time when I didn’t even feel the baby coming out of me. So I was expecting something different.

At 16:09 the first baby came out.  The moment when doctor placed her on my chest was magical.

But nothing was finished yet. There was still one baby in the womb. So I continued to push. I pushed so hard that my brain almost blew up. I pushed again and again, but nothing seemed to move forward. I saw  the doctors placing something long inside me, but I didn’t understand what exactly. Then the midwife said that she’s going to try to get the baby out with her hand. I started to worry. A million thoughts were running through my mind. Then I heard them saying: “Emergency! Emergency!” They took away from me the first baby. I looked at my husband and I saw the anxiety in his eyes. I was so afraid! I heard nothing but ’emergency’.

I understood that they’re going to do a c-section. They placed me on another bed and took me to the operating room. I looked back and I saw my husband crying. It was heartbreaking.

The thing is that in all that chaos nobody explained me anything. Everything happened so fast and aggressive. I arrived at the operating room all in panic, completely unprepared for a cesarean. I couldn’t stop crying as I still didn’t understand why I was there. I thought that something was wrong with my baby. And then I felt a scalpel cutting my belly. I screamed!

Actually, I supposed to feel some sensations, but then I didn’t know that. As I mentioned before, during my first delivery I felt completely nothing, so all those sensations seemed wrong to me. And again, nobody explained me a thing. So I continued to scream till they put a mask on my face, and I fell asleep, still without realizing what was going on.

I woke up around 6 or 7 pm, two hours after the operation. My husband came to see me few minutes later. I think I never saw him being so inlove with me before. He brought me our precious angels, put them on my chest, and I immediately forgot about everything that happened before. It was the most precious moment in my life. 

Later they explained me what happened.  The second baby flipped to breech after the first one was delivered, and it was impossible to get her out, so I ended up with the double whammy (combined vaginal-cesarean delivery). However, both babies were born healthy, weighing 2,7 kilograms each, with only 5 grams of difference. There was no need to place them in a NICU (a neonatal intensive care unit), and we left the hospital four days after delivery.

With twins there’s really no way to predict ahead of time how your delivery will go. I was not prepared for a cesarean, especially in such circumstances. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced, and I still feel traumatized about how it happened, even if everything ended up just fine.

April is Cesarean Awareness Month.

A mother remembers her birth for her lifetime. As a culture, we must value, honor and protect the WAY a mother births and her experience of birth.

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23 Comments

  • Reply Imaya April 20, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Such a good and honest post. I loved reading it, thanks for sharing and being so real. Jolanta, you are amazing.

    • Reply Jolanta April 20, 2017 at 6:51 am

      Thank you, Imaya!!

  • Reply Sarah April 20, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Wow, just a huge respect on what you did, having had 2 vaginal deliveries myself, the first with a emergency surgery as my placenta was stuck and not arriving as it should.
    Lovely Twins…and amazing Family!

  • Reply Līva April 20, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Paldies, ka dalījies ar savu pieredzi, Jolanta! Ļoti patiess stāsts par pieredzēto, kas lika man atcerēties un vēlreiz novērtēt to, kas piedzīvots un man dots! Visu cieņu Tavā priekšā! Malace! Tik skaistas meitiņas! Vēlu jums visām veselību un izturību!

    • Reply Jolanta April 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Mīļš padies par komentāru un jaukajiem vēlējumiem!

  • Reply Nicole April 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    You’re so right, that we need to advocate for mommies understanding what’s going on in situations! It sounds like you’re doing the hard work of loving yourself, listening to your needs as you process the surprising parts of your birth. Healthy babies and moms are awesome, but birth stories are more than just that. Thanks for your courage in sharing yours!

  • Reply Carey Helmick April 21, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    This is a beautiful but scary story! I’m so glad you and your little twins are okay. Your birthing pictures are just gorgeous!

    • Reply Jolanta April 21, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Thank you, Carey!

  • Reply Brennon May 4, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Such an amazing story and photos. You look gorgeous. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Reply Olga May 5, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Your story made me cry and your girls are so beautiful. I’m 29 weeks pregnant with MoDi twin girls and I’m so terrified of labor as my doctor said I need to be prepared for anything…

    • Reply Jolanta May 5, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Exactly, be prepared! So if something will happen, you won’t be afraid, like I was. Wishing you all the best!
      P.S. Having twins is amazing! You’ll love it 🙂

  • Reply ilze May 14, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Sveiciens maminu diena!

  • Reply Una June 4, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    This story makes me cry.. and the twins was so beautifull..

    • Reply Jolanta June 4, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you so much!!

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  • Reply Quinn December 20, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I had the double whammy just over 3 months ago, and I didn’t realize how long my mental recovery from it was taking (and will probably continue to take). My story is similar to yours in the sense that no one told me what was going on, and the emergency c-section happened in a matter of minutes. Thankfully both my boys were healthy too. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Reply Penny January 24, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Well, first mistake was induction… second is caregivers that do not know how to deliver a breech baby. It is sad to think our western deliver style has penetrated the rest of the world… you wanted to be delivered that day you showed up. Maybe that was a nudge it was not time. When we think we know better than nature, this is the result.
    Thrilled your babies were healthy!
    Between this and the formula feeding (have ya read a formula container/ingredients?!?) it’s a shame you did not know your rights and the best options, being so high profile…
    You are a beautiful family… it just seems you are victims to a poorly run system.

    Hope it you have more some day you realize VBAC is the healthiest and safest, and that you give BF a chance.

    • Reply A April 23, 2018 at 6:54 am

      So long as your babies were born, irrespective of how, healthy that is all that matters.

      and…

      Fed is best.

      Gosh we could all write lists of shoulda, woulda, coulda’s but you do whats right for you and your family.

      reading your birth story, even though it didn’t go exactly to plan for you, has just filled the dark place i’m currently in with my twin pregnancy with a little light. The picture of you and your babies is just so precious.

      You most certainly are not a victim- you are a strong mother- just like the rest of us.

      x

  • Reply Andra March 27, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    My story is very similar to yours, but worse. We had bought an apartment that year and the deadline for renovation was March, as my due date was May, 4th. But of course the finish got delayed and in order to rush things, I decided to get involved and to help out, as little as I could. Yet we calculated that we would finish by the end of March and would move in and prepare ourselves for the baby.
    On the 11. 04 I was at the apartment and suddenly felt sick. Nausea and fever tremour. I called my Dr. and went to the hospital for a check up. By the time I got there my temperature had risen and I felt worse. They decided to keep my overnight under supervision and to release my the next day. But it worsened and the first thing in the morning a nurse announced my that they are preparing me for C-section, as my little one was in breech position. I instantly panicked! Suddenly I was invaded by many thoughts: she’ll be here 3 weeks early; the apartment is not ready yet, we won’t be able to move in (at our rental everything was all packed already); I didn’t have time to wax ..- everything added on and I didn’t feel like being prepared yet. On the other hand, I was already dilated so the birth would have taken place anyway! The c-section story is almost identical to yours; many attempts for the epidural anaesthesia and me panicking and screaming not to cut me as I was still feeling their hands on my belly.
    Apparently my labour got induced by an E-coli Infection that caused me severe dehydration in the next 6 days.
    I am trying to forget everything else and just remember that magical moment when they put my perfectly healthy baby on my cheek! -it was priceless

  • Reply Hafsa Rehman March 29, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Hats of to u!!!
    You are blessed to have 3 girls in your life…You are really a Strong Women!!!
    God bless you moreee!!!!

  • Reply Agnese March 29, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Lasot šo stāstu asaras sariesās acīs. Tu esi tāds malacis un tik daudz jau pieredzējusi, apbrīnojama sieviete. Liels paldies, ka dalījies ar tik patiesu stāstu. Lai turpmākā dzīvē jums visiem stipra veselība, mīlestība, harmonija, lai viss izdodas, kas iecerēts.

  • Reply Jean March 31, 2018 at 6:38 am

    I was warned that this exact thing was a possibility by my consultant. She went into a lot of detail and I was fortunate to request a c section due to the risks associated with twin 2 possibly flipping. However even the c section did not go as smoothly as planned and I ended up in an emergency situation. Luckily all ended well. Thank you so much for sharing.

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