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. 🙂