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.