Day 1 – Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Around 1 am, I was still having about 6 contractions an hour, but they began to be more painful. I suddenly felt a very strong urge to pee. I got out of bed, to the bathroom, but when I tried not even a drop came out. It was the strangest feeling. My contractions were also getting more intense even though they were not getting closer together. We called on the nurse because this was very odd and told her of my symptoms. She decided to call the doctor and the doctor advised her to check my cervix which she did. When she completed the exam, she calmly said, “I feel a bulging sac and a baby’s head. I am calling your doctor now and we will be taking you to the operating room.” This was not what I was expecting and even more so, this is not what I would have chosen. This is the first time tears came because, for many reasons, this was the last thing I expected to happen. I asked Kyle to, “call my mom.”
The next hour was very intense emotionally and physically. My contractions took off like a freight train. They were worse if I was sitting or standing because of the pressure on my cervix. By the time I hit the operating room, I was hitting contractions at a 8/9 out of 10 pain level. Kyle was taken to get scrubs on and to be prefaced by the NICU team while I waited in the operating room for my doctor to arrive so that the anesthesiologist could start the epidural. The nurse waiting with me was walking me through what was happening while holding my hands and kept reminding me to breath. I was asked to sit up so that the anesthesiologist could prep me for the epidural. My contractions were happening about every 2 minutes and now that I was upright, contractions were so intense. The nurse said multiple times that the anesthesiologist will be putting a needle in my spine and she said multiple times, “we are going to begin the epidural shortly, I need you to not move, can you do that?” Once it was time to do the epidural, it took all of my mental focus to not move my spine. The small procedure was quick and I began feeling immediate relief from the pain as my chest down to my feet became numb. Around that time Kyle was able to finally join me in the operating room and we were about to start the surgery.
My doctor was very compassionate toward my intense emotions and was also efficient in getting the surgery started and finished. In the main operating room, my husband was by my head and I was surrounded by a team of medical staff. Another room was connected to the operating room which had two isolates. Each twin had a whole team ready to accept the he/she after delivery.
The procedure was intense. There was a lot of tension in the room and the delivery felt very aggressive. We, for one, had no idea what was about to happen. Will our babies be born breathing? What will they look like? And a million other unknowns.
The first twin, Baby A, was born at 2:15 am. We did not know the sex of our twins prior to birth. The doctor lifted the baby so my husband could announce the sex. He said, “Well, we got our boy!” We were both delighted to know we would have a son. The medical professionals were counting outloud, I believe it was how many seconds it took the baby to breathe. Around 5, I heard the sweetest baby cry I have every heard. Baby A was breathing and crying. It was beautiful.
At 2:17, the second twin was delivered. This one belted cries immediately. My husband was able to announce that our second baby boy was here. They were both immediately taken to their individual NICU team for monitoring, intervention and support.
The moment that I heard each baby cry, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Up until that moment, I felt I had complete responsibility of my twins. It was my job to keep them in utero. For some reason, as soon as they were born, I knew that their health was now truly out of my hands. Kyle got to look at both babies very briefly before being taken to the NICU team while the doctors and medical team finished my surgery.
I was moved to another room for several hours before Kyle and I were able to go see my babies in the NICU. On my way into the room, my sister and mother came rushing down the hall. I was able to say, “the boys are here” announcing the sex of our twins before they were told that they can’t see me until I was out of recovery. It was a relief to see them briefly and then I entered the recovery room.
Once I left the recovery room, I was taken up to the NICU. The elevator ride made me a little motion sick and it seemed to take forever. Also, there was so much anxiety, I had no idea what I was about to see. They were able to put me upright so I could see the boys better. Upon being pushed into Baby B’s room, I saw a 1 lb, baby in an enclosed crib with tubes on his face and tubes coming out of his body. On top of being a bit motion sick, I was overcome with anxiety and started to feel ill. The nurse on staff began telling me what all of the numbers, monitors and noises meant. I did not retain a single word of what she said. The more she spoke, the more I became nauseous and eventually was able to verbalize that I had to vomit. They scrambled to get me a bowl and I did. I don’t know if the ride made me ill, the nurse overwhelmed me or I was just physically ill from seeing my baby boy be so small, but I had to vomit a couple times. Right when I finished, the nurse continued speaking and explaining what all the equipment was and again, I retained none of the information. I asked Kyle to take pictures so I could remember the moment and then a nurse asked if we wanted a picture. I said no, mainly because I was already trying to forget this moment. This was not the birth I had expected. I did not know if my babies were going to make it and, in survival mode, I did not want to get attached to his being. The nurse insisted, “let me take a picture of you two, if you hate it you can delete it later.” I complied and then we were moved into Baby A’s room. I briefly looked at him and was ready to leave. Kyle took a few pictures of Baby A and the nurse also took a picture of us by the baby’s bed.
I was so overwhelmed and confused about what had just happened. I was exhausted and felt awful. I was able to head back to my room for further recovery and I was able to see my parents and sister.
While the twins were being closely monitored in the NICU, I began having issues in recover. Everything had seemed to go as well as possible with my surgery until blood began showing up in my urine. This was concerning and needed to be investigated quickly. I waited for hours to get taken in for my CT scan. While waiting, I was pumping every 2-3 hours, the nurses had to press on my shrinking uterus above my incision and I was still not being able to eat or drink.In the past 48 hours or so, I had only had one meal a 8pm the previous night and still couldn’t drink anything. I was able to get a CT scan that afternoon which showed that I had a 1 cm hole in my bladder that needed to be repaired with surgery. I was scheduled for my second surgery around 7 pm, this time I would be put under general anesthesia. It was explained to me that there was a significant amount of scar tissue left on my uterus from my first c section. While trying to do the second section, the doctor had to break away the uteran scar tissue from the bladder. Before stitching me up, he checked for damage and did not see any at that time. If the hole in my bladder were smaller, it may have been able to heal on its own. Unfortunately, it was large enough to leak into the cavity, so it had to be taken care of urgently.
I have only been put under one other time and really hate the idea of it. There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the surgery. Then suddenly it was go time. My husband, parents and sister were with me when I was wheeled back to surgery. They were supportive and optimistic, and I was just trying to not cry. I had two new babies fighting for their lives. “I do not have time to be absent,” I thought to myself let alone under general anesthesia. I said my goodbyes, I love yous and was wheeled back in the operating room where the anesthesiologist put me to sleep. I woke up a few hours later. I was told the surgery went well and I could finally exhale because I could start healing.