Tag Archives: contractions

Birth story

I wrote most of this post in the hospital. Here’s how it all went down in the wee hours of Monday, March 21…

12am The night before cervix check appointments, I get pretty anxious and tend to stay up late in the hopes that I can tire myself out enough to get to sleep. That’s how it happened that I was reading a magazine in bed at midnight. Hubs was awake, too, and we were reading/chatting in bed.  As I was switching positions,I felt a “pop” or “snap” sensation in my tum, and my first thought was, “Could that be my water breaking?!” I’ve Googled “water breaking” enough times to know a lot of folks describe it that way. My second thought was, “Naaaaaah. Must’ve tweaked a muscle or something as I was shifting in bed.”

But I went to the bathroom to check it out and my undies were wet. Not Niagra Falls by any means, but soaked with clear fluid (no scent, yeah, I checked). I wasn’t feeling any contractions, but I did start to shake with adrenaline immediately. I knew that, at 35w3d, they wouldn’t stop labor and if this was really my water breaking, and we were going to meet the babies!

12:05am I paged my clinic and the OB on call (the awesome Dr. M) rang me back in a few minutes. She said it did indeed sound like my water had broken and to head to triage and they’d page her later if I was in labor. I already had my hospital bag packed, but suddenly simply finding my pants and shoes and locking up the apartment were tough tasks to accomplish—I was so shaky! Now the contrax began. Not the tensed uterus feeling I’d learned to pinpoint from my preterm labor scare, but pretty darn bad period-esq cramps.

12:15am Hubs pulled up with the car and I plopped into the front seat with my bag. En route to triage, the period cramps intensified in a major way. It wasn’t horrible pain, but it was def intense enough that I was doing some deep breathing. The car ride was kind of surreal. It had stormed all day and the streets were wet, dark and empty.

12:45am With no traffic in the middle of the night, we were at the hospital lickety split. We hung out in the triage waiting area for about 10 minutes waiting to be seen and the cramps became seriously awful, consuming my entire body. I was wondering if I should make a bigger deal about them to the triage check-in person, but felt like all preggos must feel like this when they show up in labor: totally uncomfortable and kinda dying with pain. While waiting to be taken into a monitoring room, we made a bet on how dilated I’d be. I guessed 7cm. Hubs guessed 5cm.

1am We get taken into a monitoring room in triage and now the contractions were, like, totally severe. I ask for the first time when I can get the epidural. At this point, I was starting to become concerned that there wasn’t enough urgency with my situation. No one had checked my cervix and I was having a ton of pressure and contractions that absolutely huuuuurt. In retrospect, I should’ve articulated how I was feeling the moment I checked in at triage, but hey, I’ve never been in labor and figured this was the drill. Hubs told the triage nurse that my contractions were coming roughly every 45 seconds or minute and was that cause for concern? “No, she’s fine,” said the nurse. She continued messing around with fetal HR monitors, swabbing to check if there’s amniotic fluid present to see if I really broke my water, etc.

1:15am The triage nurse finally checks my cervix. Her eyes BUG OPEN. She grabs her phone to call for backup: “The twin patient is presenting! Page Dr. M! Prep the OR!” Turns out I’m already 10cm dilated and she can see Baby A’s head in +2 station. AHHH!!! It’s like we’re in a movie all of a sudden, and I’m on the wheeled hospital bed, being rushed to the elevator bank and up to the OR. It was honestly pretty freaky.

1:30am In OR prep, I’m in agony. The contractions are all-consuming and nearly constant. The nurses blow out two veins (you should see my left arm, it’s still black and blue) trying to get an IV in and I’m on the verge of flipping out. [Hubs says the reason they keep fracking up the IV is that I’ve stressed them out so much by continuously asking, “Is it in? Can I get the epidural now?”] They finally get it in and I’m taken into the OR to wait for Dr. M and for an epidural. I probably ask a dozen more times, “Where is the anesthesiologist? I want the epidural!” Hahaha.

2am The epidural is placed. SWEET RELIEF! Seriously, it’s like I’m a new person as we wait for Dr. M to get to the hospital. She arrives and checks out my cervix. She says we can start pushing now, but Baby A is sunny-side up and she’s hoping he’ll change position. Also, because I now can’t feel much (yay epidural!), she wants me to chillax for a bit in a special side-lying position to see if he’ll move and face the other direction, and to give me some rest before pushing. I feel like a new person, soooo excited to meet Baby A and Baby B and ready to gather my strength.

230am The nurses have Wilco playing for us on the computer and we’re all just hanging out in the OR. Life is good, haha. At about this point I begin to feel the contractions again (NOTHING like before tho!). Dr. M tells me this is good stuff, it’ll be better for pushing.

3am I’m rested up. Baby A has turned. I get a crash course on how to push/breathe out a baby. We begin with my next contraction.

3:23am Char.les William is born—screaming pink and beautiful. Utter relief as I watch his screaming body being whisked away to the annex room where a team of pediatricians are waiting. Dr. M says Baby B is still head down and that I can begin pushing/breathing again on my next contraction.

3:26am Lucy Elizabeth is born—also screaming, pink and beautiful. Unbelievable relief and joy ensue.

3:30am While Dr. M sews me up (there was some rippage), hubs goes back and forth between the annex room where teams of docs are monitoring the babies, and my bedside, showing me pics of our sweet little things. WE ARE IN LOVE WITH THESE BABIES!!!!!!! I was a celebrity in the hospital for a couple of days with all of the doctors and nurses thanks to whole arriving-at-10cm-dilated-and-presenting-a-head-and-two-babies-born-two-hours-later thing.

The end. The beginning. 🙂

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35 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I felt safe moving more than a centimeter every few seconds, I’d be doing a ridiculous happy dance right now! YIP YIP YIP!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Great job, sweet little babies! Great job, ute! Great job, cervie!

I feel like labor has to be very imminent. I am having a ton of snotty discharge, which is what happened when I went from 1cm to 3cm. And Baby A is giving me all sorts of crazy pelvic pressure. Most of the time I just can’t believe they are still in there, safely and happily hanging out and growing and getting bigger and stronger as my cervix opens up. I know this sounds crazy, but I worry about Baby A just popping out….I know, I’m nuts.

Bedrest is still my norm, though I have taken Dr. Zen’s advice and made one mellow outing each day since Monday. On Tuesday, hubs’s MIL flew in from out of town and the three of us went out to dinner. On Wednesday evening, she drove me to the salon for a haircut. Yesterday morning, she drove me to the dermatologist. IT WAS AMAZING TO BE OUTSIDE! Of course I always go right back to horizontal position as soon as I get home and the furthest I (slooooooowly) walked was from a curb to a chair at each outing. But still, it was awesome. She also did a ton of errands for us, which was so kind and has made me feel so much more “together” (Costco, Target, various returns I haven’t been able to do, etc). We are so lucky to have such wonderful Moms—I only wish they lived here instead of having to take plane trips to visit!

I know my updates are super-boring these days, and I’m sorry bloggies!! But this is my life, this is what consumes me: One more day, one more day, one more day.

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Another Monday, another OB appt

But this was a good one! At 34w3d, I’m still 3cm dilated (and 100% effaced). I’ve had a lot of snotty discharge and pelvic pressure since Thursday’s appointments, so I was tooooooooooooootally shocked to hear my cervix has hung in there at 3cm. THANK YOU LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know from doing research online and reading blogs that it’s HIGHLY likely babies born before 36 weeks will need a good amount of NICU time, but we have come so far from Valentine’s Day. I am so so so grateful. Keep growing big and strong in there, sweet little babies.

Dr. Zen also said that at this point my bedrest restrictions are lifted. WHAT!!??? I feel like we’ve got a good thing going here….me progressing and then hanging out for a bit, the babies staying put, minimal contractions, etc (no jinxies!). She says there is nothing I can do to stop or start labor at this point. If it’s going to happen, it’ll happen whether or not I’m horizontal on my couch.

She could see I was pretty freaked out by the idea of messing with bedrest and said to do whatever makes me comfortable. But she did encourage me to leave the house for one outing a day. I have only left the apartment for OB appointments this month. It feels so weird to have permission to GO SOMEWHERE. I mean, I don’t even go to the other end of the apartment unless I need food or a shower…..(Now that I’m reflecting on this I wonder if they want you to get up to help out your muscle tone etc, so you’re not a total limp dishrag for birth?)

I don’t think I’ll actually change anything, to be honest, but it feels pretty freaking AWESOME to not feel sick and helpless for the first time in a long time.

We love you so so so so so so so so much, Baby A and Baby B. Stay put in there!!! We can’t wait to meet you, but you have more growing and developing to do! Stay strong, cervie! Stay chill, ute! One more day, one more day, one more day.

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Still here

I had another OB check-up today, because of Monday’s drama. My cervie is managing to hold steady at 3cm, with no length. Thank you cervie, thank you babies! And thank you ute, for not contracting much the past few days! It was SUCH A RELIEF.

I’d noticed the crazy bulge I have on my right upper quadrant (aka Baby B) had felt different over the past couple of days and maybe was more focused along my right side. Turns out Baby B has moved into head-down position. Which is funny because hubs and I gave up on telling her to do that about six weeks ago. Of course a million different complications may mean that I’ll have a c-section, but for right now, vag-delivery still looks possible.

Baby A has always been head-down, but he’s super-duper vertex these days—bumping up against my cervie, totally engaged in my pelvis and ready to go. And, oh boy, I can tell, I have so much pelvic pressure! It’s hard to feel him in this position, actually, which has been wigging me out a little bit. But he fortunately gets the hiccups a couple of times a day so I know he’s there, doing okay.

My blood pressure was really high again. (I get SO hyped up for appointments nowadays.) But they let me go home since it wasn’t as bad as Monday and I’d just been screened for pre-e while at the hospital. But now I have to start taking my blood pressure at home at least 3x/day.

My one more day mantra is in FULL FORCE right now. One more day, one more day, one more day. If we can make it through today, we will be at 34 weeks. 10 hours to go….

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33 weeks!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, my gosh: I am still here. 33 weeks. Thank you lord!

The contrax were pretty bad on Tuesday night….not painful, but scary because there were more than usual. Two thoughts kept running through my mind….either I am a) going into labor (FRACK!), or b) dilating like crazy (FRACK!). If it had gotten much worse I would’ve called the OB, but fortunately hubs rubbed my back, got me a big glass of water, and we watched my favorite bedrest show, Anthony Bordain’s No Reservations on the Travel Channel, until I was tired enough to fall asleep through the worry. They were bad again on Wednesday night but fortunately not as bad Tuesday night. And last night they were fine. (No jinxies!) If (if if if if if!!!) I can make it to my OB appointment on Monday, I am very fearful of what kind of damage (aka: dilation) those contrax have created. Eeeeeeeeeek. [Side note: Dr. Zen said contractions are more common at night—which is definitely when I get most of mine, between 7 and midnight—something about circadian rhythms, have others experienced this?]

But, I am still here! Thank you lord.

My Mom has been in town the past couple of days. We had to lay some very serious ground rules: NO TALKING ABOUT MY CERVIE OR UTE. Fortunately, she has not made the comments I feared she would. She did talk a fair amount about how QUICKLY all four of us kids came into the world….3 hours max from the start of labor. I admit it elevated my heart rate hearing about that and I think crazy thoughts like, Oh my gosh, what if I don’t realize it’s labor soon enough and I have the babies at home, they are too tiny to not have doctors helping them. I am so incredibly hyper-alert of every tensing, aching, contracting sensation—each one I experience is a little lesson in managing my fears. Zen zen zen zen.

I am working full-time from home via my laptop, but it’s been awesome having my Mom in the house with me. Boy do the days go by faster when I’m not totally isolated! She has also been working herself to the bone around the apartment, taking on all of the nesting projects I didn’t get to: cleaning out the drawers and cabinets in our kitchen and putting in new liners, putting up art in our hallway, hanging up art in the babies’ room, organizing all of the babies’ clothes and gear into dressers and drawers and bins. She finds new projects to delve into on her own….last night she cleaned up all of the dead leaves and winter muck off of our front porch! She also has done about a dozen loads of laundry. She is such a good egg and I am so appreciative of her help! 🙂

I am so so so so so grateful and happy to be 33 weeks. Thank you cervie, thank you ute, thank you sweet Baby A and Baby B. You are all doing SUCH an awesome job. Thank you lord, for letting us make it this far. Today is all I can think about. One more day, one more day, one more day.

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Hanging in

We had a GREAT appointment this morning.

  • My cervix is still totally effaced, but Dr. Zen said maybe she could feel a tiny bit of length. I will TAKE IT!
  • My cervix is still a “loose 1cm.” It doesn’t get any better than “no change” at this point. Yip yip yip!
  • We had a growth scan and Baby A is measure 4 pounds 5 ounces and Baby B is 4 pounds 4 ounces. Baby A’s head is waaaaaaay low. Like, so low that the tech was pressing the u/s probe well below my pubic bone. Yikes! No wonder I feel a ton of pressure even laying around on bedrest.
  • I talk to the babies a lot lately. I have been telling Baby A all day that he needs to stay chill and not bump up against my cervie. And then I tell Baby B not to kick her brother and push him down any more. We need the babies to stay chill. Hubs keeps reminding them that they are getting awesome food in utero (homemade Sheperd’s Pie, chili, burgers, shakes, etc.) and that they won’t eat this well again for years….so they should stay put and really enjoy it while they can!
  • The tech said that she could see Baby A practicing his breathing. Awesome job, sweet little guy!
  • I gained 2 pounds in the past week so I am back up to my weight 3 weeks ago, or 28 pounds total. I continue to eat protein and milkshakes like it’s my job. Because, seriously, it is.
  • My blood pressure was a little high. It almost got me sent to L&D for a pre-eclampsia work-up. They checked it several times…ay yi yi. Fortunately Dr. Zen chalked it up to my nerves about the cervix check, but I heard her telling the nurse we need to keep an eye on it.
  • This is a little embarrassing, but I had to fill out a depression screening form today and Dr. Zen kept telling me I need be calm. I think the midwife who checked me last week must’ve written “This patient is crazyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” on my chart last week. I explained to her, and to Dr. Zen again today, that I am not depressed. I am just scared! And when I am scared, I get teary-eyed. I love my babies so much and want them to have the best start in life possible. I am doing better at managing my fears and emotions…every day we make it is a major boost to my heart and psyche.
  • I downloaded some meditations on iTunes last week and have been listening to them every other day. And I am avoiding bad karma in every way I possibly can. (Including deleting the mean anon comment I got over the weekend. I 200% get it: I am totally and completely lucky to be pregnant, even if I am at severe risk of delivering preemie babies who will be in the NICU for weeks or months. If it bugs you to read what’s up with me, please don’t visit my blog!)

I think that’s it. I am very happy to be where I am today. Thank you lord, for our sweet babies and for letting us come this far. I continue my mantra: One more day, one more day, one more day. All I can do is think about today. Today today today. We love you so much sweet litte Baby A and Baby B.

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31w2d

Bed rest would be a million times easier if it weren’t for the weepiness and fear that accompanies it.

I have ordered a couple of books on preemie care and NICU survival off Amazon. I have a cart filled with preemie clothes at preemieoutlet.com. I’ve talked to a coworker and work acquantaince who had their babies at 32 and 33 weeks. I am trying to find peace within the storm of emotions I’m feeling all the time.

It is really hard to read pregnancy blogs, again. All of the women celebrating 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 weeks….all of the women bemoaning that they are still pregnant at 38 or 39 or 40 weeks. It’s too hard to read. Like an IFer riding the bench with a cyst, I would give anything to be in their  shoes. You’d think because I’ve had so much practice with fear and jealousy, I would be good at by now. But it turns out it doesn’t get any easier. (P.S. You know how much I love all of you guys, I’m just so emotional right now!)

It is also really hard to think about my early pregnancy. I have all of these memories of when we first found out we were pregnant….the feeling of them kicking me while I would swim laps every weekend…..the music we were listening to in the car as we drove to Cannon Beach the day we found out that we had two babies on the way….the huge box of cute maternity clothes my friend just sent from Austin that I won’t ever wear since I’m no longer going to work….the nursery with all of its unfinished projects strewn about…..even the freaking meditations that have gotten me through so many anxious times. All of these memories and reminders of earlier milestones make me weepy and seem like such carefree, easy times in retrospect (ha! yes, I am fully aware of the irony of this).

No one really knows what to say. Well-meaning coworkers say things like, “Rest up and recover this weekend and we’ll see you next week!” or “Enjoy watching movies all day!” My Mom says things like, “But now that you’re on bedrest everything will go back to how it’s supposed to be with your cervix, right?” And, “Ohhh, well, if you’re having contractions at home then you’ve definitely dilated a lot more,” and “When does the doctor say the babies are going to be born?” and “I only had 3 hours of labor with all four of you kids—you need to tell your doctors that, they shouldn’t have let you come home.” And the random woman I interviewed for a work story says, “Do you feel responsible for this?”

Sheesh!!!!!! (Hubs always knows exactly what to say, thank the lord. So do AplusB and her hubs, who visited us yesterday with lunch. That was, literally, the world’s biggest boost to my psyche. Good good eggs, those two!!!)

Positive note: Because I am laying down pretty much all of the time, I get to feel the babies bumping around pretty much all of the time. 🙂 I think I spent so much time running around at work, running around at home, running errands….I never got allllllllll of this time to experience how amazing it is to feel sweet Baby A and Baby B inside of me. I treasure it. We love these sweet little babies so very very very much. I pray that they are growing big and strong in there and that my body can just keep holding on….

Surviving today with the babies inside of me is all I can think about.

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