I was 35 weeks pregnant with Tiger Lily and River when I went in for a follow up appointment with my MFM dr (high risk doctor) to see if we were going to have to induce early. At our previous scan Tiger Lily wasn’t growing as quickly as her brother and it was confirmed that growth had stopped. It was a Friday and just like that we were scheduled for induction on Monday morning.
MY BIRTH PLAN
As we all know, nothing goes according to plan when it comes to birth. I had so very badly wanted an unmedicated natural birth. I don’t do well on medication and I prefer to be able to move around the room while dealing with pain. But with twins there are more risks involved. If I delivered River vaginally there was a chance Tiger could flip in the womb with all that extra space and I’d end up needing an emergency c-section. Because of that risk I had to get the epidural. Without it they would have had to put me fully to sleep if I needed a c-section and I didn’t want to chance missing her birth.
We arrived to the hospital at 5am Monday morning and by about 7am I was hooked up to an IV and induced. Around 1pm the anesthesiologist came to talk to me about an epidural. We thought I’d be delivering later that night so I got the epidural in the afternoon. By that evening I was only dilated 2cm and we knew the babies wouldn’t be coming any time soon. I ended up spending 50 hours laboring and finally very early Wednesday morning they said I was ready to go. During those days they had to break my water twice. Toward the end of it my body had decided to get used to the epidural so it wasn’t really working and I was definitely feeling all of the contractions. It’s one thing to be able to move around and deal with the pain but it’s no fun to be bedridden and unable to move through the pain. But in the end it was worth all of it.
I was rolled into the delivery room with my husband right behind me. I pushed for an hour before River finally came out. When he came out he was lifeless and not breathing on his own. It was terrifying. There was no crying or noise coming from him. I saw the doctors and nurses take him away and to work with him in the corner. I’ll never forget seeing them lift his little lifeless arm and it falling back to the table over and over while they checked his vitals. I was so worried about him but I still had another baby to focus on and I had to turn all my attention to her. After a few minutes I finally heard faint cries from River and they told us he was going to be ok. Exactly ten minutes after he was born Tiger Lily was born. I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride bringing them into the world. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. Unfortunately I didn’t get skin to skin contact with them and I only got to hold them for about a minute before they were taken away. River to NICU and Tiger to wellbaby. Tiger was brought back to my recovery room where I was able to breastfeed her but minutes after she too had to be taken to NICU. They were both in intensive care for just over a week. Hooked up to feeding tubes, breathing tubes, and I’m not even sure what else. I always pictured Alec and I walking out of the hospital with our babies in our arms and bringing them home with us but we were released from the hospital empty handed. It’s a very odd feeling going through 8 months of pregnancy and 5 days in the hospital only to come home alone. But we visited them every day and were eventually allowed to hold them and feed them and when we finally did bring them home it was one of the happiest days of my life.
The first couple days of recovery were rough for me but not because I had just given birth. I had been on IV fluids and an epidural for so long and my legs had retained so much water they were three times their size. I’m not even joking. It was so bad that I couldn’t walk at all that first day. By the second day I could just barely walk to the bathroom and back by myself but my babies were in NICU so I pushed myself a little more each day. Alec would roll me up to NICU in a wheel chair but I wanted to be able to stand up and walk myself. By Friday, the day I was released, my legs were still in a lot of pain but I was able to walk on my own.
My husband is an incredible man. He stayed with me throughout the entire process. He slept on the couch next to me, kept me entertained, brought me flowers, and made my hospital stay almost fun. I’m so lucky to have him in my life and it’s been so incredible watching him become a father.