On July 4, 2012 I slowly lumbered in to see Dr. Stewart, hopeful to hear good news about having Independence Day twins. I had been having prodromal labor for weeks, with contractions coming off and on irregularly every day. I was exhausted, huge, swollen all over, in pain. I had gained 70 pounds with my twin pregnancy and my joints and bones were being put to the test.
My blood pressure had been creeping up during my third trimester. During our appointment the results were not good. Traces of protein in my urine and a high blood pressure reading signaled the possibility of preeclampsia. My hands, legs, feet and face were swelling. It was time for babies to come out. I had carried my twins to term, my job was done.
Dr. Stewart scheduled our induction for the following evening. I had joked it would take a stick of dynamite to get these babies out. Apparently that’s sort of what he had in mind. He ordered Cervadil to get things moving.
That night we went to light fireworks and celebrate with our friends, Aaron and Rowonna at the lake. I was hot and itchy and very tired, but happy. We made arrangements for our four children to spend a few days with various friends. Rowonna and her sweet mother came over to clean our house and help us with final preparations the next day.
At 7 o’clock Thursday evening we went to the hospital to check in. I had been in and out the last few weeks with false labor. This time I proudly waddled into the Labor and Delivery ward, fully confident that I was not leaving empty handed this time. I gave my doctor and the nurses a big goofy grin and they pointed me to my room. The nurse on duty hooked me up with an IV and our doctor fitted the Cervadil and we waited.
And waited and waited.
All through the night I struggled to get comfortable. My body just could not find a position that would allow me to fully rest. Around 4 a.m. I told the nurse the Cervadil insert was burning. She removed it and I was checked for progress. None. I was still hanging around at 2 cm dilation. Because Harmony and David were both head down, side-by-side, neither head could fully engage and provide the pressure needed to dilate my cervix.
My doctor ordered a pitocin drip. I agreed to have an epidural put in at this point. I knew the doctor would have to do some maneuvering during the delivery and I didn’t want to kick him in the face as he was trying to deliver babies. The contractions picked up the pace and after a couple of hours, Dr. Stewart broke my water and gently pushed David back a bit so Harmony’s head could slip into position.
Once her head engaged, things progressed quickly. The last hour was spent laughing at a Jim Gaffigan stand-up routine with my husband and our friend, Tori. She is a midwife student and we invited her to be a part of our birth. I touched up my make-up. I wanted to be pretty for my babies.
When I noticed pressure and got that familiar “It’s Baby Time” feeling, I called the nurse. In a flurry of activity we were wheeled into the operating room as a precaution. There were several nurses and an anesthesiologist present. We were planning for a vaginal birth, but in case of emergency we were prepared to deliver by c-section. I prayed to God, asking for a safe delivery.
It took several people to move me onto the operating table. I was a very, very large lady.
My gown was pulled up, my lower body swabbed and prepped, my feet where hiked into the stirrups, and lights as bright as the sun shown down on my exposed body in front of everyone.
It was a little intimidating.
So intimidating that my contractions stopped. My body said, “Whoa horsey! Way too many people,” and shut down the baby factory. So we waited.
I’m sure it was only a few minutes. It felt like two hours. Laying there, huge and naked, with my legs wide open. Dignity GONE.
Finally the contractions returned and I pushed. After four previous babies, my body had no problem escorting Harmony Grace into the world. Dr. Stewart worked to ease David out by his feet 4 minutes after his sister.
They were both 7 pounds and 7 ounces and 20 inches long. Perfect, fat and healthy.
The nurses were thrilled. Several commented that they had never seen a twin vaginal delivery or a breech delivery. Our birth was special for them. They handed our twins to us and I marveled at their pink little faces.
The twins breastfed right away, stayed healthy and went home with us the next day.
It’s been very fun raising two babies at the same time. Double the blessings!
Our doctor did a great job. We were very happy with the expert level of care he provided.