(Written Oct. 28 2013)
Well, it's a long one, but if you want to read it, here it is! They are HERE!!!
The official birth story starts on Oct. 16th at Jeneece Place (the housing unit we were staying at). After having a regular, good day, I took a nap. When I woke up I wasn't feeling great and was stretching on the bed when I all of a sudden felt a gush. I excitedly got up and told DH that I thought my water was breaking. I ran to the washroom and sat on the toilet and saw that it was actually blood. It was gushing though and I thought maybe it was mixed with my water breaking. Once it subsided a bit, I called L&D to tell them we were coming in, and DH wheeled me over to the hospital. They were all waiting for me (having known my history) and admitted me right away (the OB who had admitted me was even there and said I did great for holding out so long).
While there they tried to check to see if it was my water that had broken, but there was too much blood so they couldn't get a good read. I was having contractions but they were not regular or very strong. I guess they did make the call that I was likely going into labour, but the problem was that the nursery was full! So after all our waiting, they transferred me to the hospital an hour away from our home. DH quickly packed up our things and met me there shortly after (I arrived about 11:30pm). That night was pretty restless, with the nurses checking my vitals every 2 hours, the lab in to do blood work, and an early morning wake-up call.
In the morning, I was sent for an ultrasound right away to see if we could tell from the fluid levels if my water had broken. There was a student technician doing the measurements, but her supervisor came in at the end. At the same time the OB came in to take a look. They had determined that the fluid was quite low around both babies. The OB also described to us that he was worried that if I hemorrhaged again, it could put Baby A at much more risk (and he was worried my previous bleeds had affected him already). Also my platelets were quite low. If they dropped anymore, he said the anesthesiologist would deny me an epidural, so I would have to have a c-section for sure. The anesthesiologist who was on at the time was willing to give me an epidural with my levels being as low as they were. We were given some time to think through the decision, but determined that it was probably best for them to induce me and get the babies out. I took a shower, and then things really started to happen!
Around 2:00 the anesthesiologist came in to place the epidural. This is the part I was most scared of, but it actually was not bad at all. Our anesthesiologist was quite a character. He was a tall, shaggy haired man, who spoke in a mumbled voice with a South African accent. He was extremely nonchalant, almost to the point of not seeming to care about what he was doing. But he did a fantastic job! I was also put on Oxycontin to start the contractions. For the rest of the afternoon, I did not feel very much but visited and rested. I was confined to bed since my legs became numb with the epidural. Mom and dad were by for a visit and then my best friend arrived to help us along as our doula. That evening was a bit of a blur to me. I don't remember it being painful, but with all the drugs I was a bit out of it. My friend, DH and I visited, the nurses checked my vitals, I was hooked up to the monitors continually to keep an eye on the babies. I was really tired, so I tried to rest and did manage to sleep a bit. DH and my friend dozed by my side. In a way, it was a magical night. Outside there was a full moon (well, technically full the next night) but there was such thick fog you couldn't see it. The streetlights made the fog look orange and beautiful. In the room, we had the lights dim and were playing relaxing music featuring double bass (Garth Stevenson). I will always remember that time.
The OB came periodically to check me. It wasn't until 11:00pm when things started to get pretty painful, and I was 8cm dilated. I couldn't feel the contractions in the top of my uterus, but with both babies' heads so low, there was extreme pressure/pain down low. The next 3 hours were a blur. As contractions progressed and became more painful, I drew within myself. I close my eyes, breathed through them, worked on relaxation skills, and tapped my fingers (while lying in the bed). DH tried to talk to me at times, but I couldn't really acknowledge their presence. Somehow, this was time for me alone.
At 2:00am the OB checked me and said that I was fully dilated. So, I was wheeled to the OR. While things were getting set up the nurse taught me how to push. DH and my friend held my legs and I worked at finding the right position to push. Since I had the epidural I couldn't feel all the contractions, but the nurse directed me. At one point, though, I stopped needing direction as I could tell when contractions were coming and I had to tell the people supporting me to get in place. It was about an hour of pushing before Baby A (Rivers) made his appearance! Once his head had appeared, I just needed to get him out. I pushed so hard! Everyone was giddy and excited as they could see his head full of hair. He had a short umbilical cord and was placed on my belly but could not make it up to my chest. DH cut his cord and looked to see that he was a boy! We were so surprised as we thought he was a girl. The nurses were most concerned about him so he was taken away pretty quickly to be examined and DH went with him.
I spent some time trying to rest and recover but soon wanted to get the show on the road and get Baby B out! I think they turned up the oxycotin to increase my contractions, since labour was not getting going quickly again on its own. I thought it might only be a few more minutes/pushes until Baby B showed up. Boy was I wrong! Baby B must have been very comfortable and took his time coming down to the birth canal. I was pushing as hard as I could (even harder than before) but it really felt like nothing was happening. I was exhausted from pushing out Rivers, and not eating since noon the day before, but I just had to keep pushing. I remember it being so frustrating because it felt like nothing was happening, even though each push WAS directing him the right way. It was nearly a full 2 hours of pushing before the weight of his head entered the birth canal and he was ready to come out. Seriously, I did not think I was going to make it though that time. I kept telling the nurses that I couldn't do it... That I was way too tired. I didn't want a c-section, but I honestly did not think it was going to ever end. Finally it did though. I was nearly delirious from exhaustion but all of a sudden people were excited around me and told me he was coming out. The nurse kept telling me to look down to see his head, and I remember just being so angry at her. I didn't want to look! I just wanted to get that baby out! Then, at 5:22am, Micah Jude was born. As the cord was cut, we were all asking DH to say what he was, and DH was just smiling giddily not really comprehending. Finally he looked and announced that it was a boy. Micah was placed up on my chest and I was given longer to spend time with him. That moment will be forever engrained in my heart.
They took him to be checked over and DH went with him. Next it was time to deliver the placenta. I was worried this would hurt but it was super easy and came out in a couple pushes. Interestingly, the placentas were partially fused together. The doctor checked me out and said their was minor tearing so he put 4 stitches in. I just remember feeling so exhausted. All I wanted was to close my eyes and rest. Finally things were cleaned up enough and I was wheeled back to my room. The babies were being settled in the nursery with DH and I was given a chance to rest. I must have been so tired because I wasn't worried about the babies and was able to zonk out for an hour or two immediately. And then it was the "start of the day" and we began our journey with preemies in the NICU. Our first visit to see them is a blur, but they were tucked away in their incubators keeping safe. They were hooked up to the monitors, on IV, and given feeding tubes, but they were as sweet as ever! We were able to give them little cuddles for a short period of time. They needed their rest, and we did too.
And that's the story of the birth of my twin foxes. It took me a little while to recover emotionally from all the craziness but as I am settling into things, I find myself so in love with these little guys. I didn't know my heart could be this full.