I was scheduled to go in to the hospital on April 8th, 2003 for an induction at exactly 39 weeks. I was having no noticeable contractions, and had not been feeling any at all my whole pregnancy-- thus the scheduled induction. I was scheduled to be there at 6:30am, so at 5:45 I called the hospital to verify that they could still take me in. They could, but told me to wait a little bit and plan to arrive at around 7:00am instead. So Rick and I sat down at the kitchen table and had a light breakfast. At around 6:15, Rick went out to warm up the van, as it was a very cold morning. I was sitting down, tying my tennis shoes, when all of the sudden I felt a POP and water started GUSHING out. I ran to the bathroom, and on the way stopped by my bedroom where Angela was sleeping. She was staying at our house to dog-sit Jack while we were gone. I woke her up and told her to go outside and tell Rick that my water had broken. She was so excited that she ran outside on that frosty morning in shorts, her T-shirt, and barefoot to get my husband!
I waited on the toilet for the waterworks to slow down, and then Rick brought me some dry clothing. Once I was changed, we got into the van and were on our way to the hospital. When we arrived, we got checked in and they led me to my labor and delivery room. We got all settled and my IV was placed before the doctor arrived. He thought it was great that my body had decided to have these babies at the same time WE wanted them to come out! He checked me and I was dilated to a little more than 2 and I was completely effaced. Since I was still not feeling any contractions, and the monitor was showing that they were irregular, they began a Pitocin drip to move things along. That was at about 8:30am.
At around 10:30am, I started to feel the contractions. They were in my back, and I felt as if I was having a terrible backache, like I get during my period. At this point, the doctor told me that I could have an epidural at any time, and that there was no need to wait until I was at 4 or 5 cm since my doctor was requiring me to have one anyway. He was requiring me to have one in the case of some kind of emergency happening that would require a quick C-section, or in case a breech extraction would not be possible if the second baby came down the wrong way. So, at around 11:30 when my contractions began to really bother me and become painful, I asked for the epidural.
The epidural was a piece of cake, and once it was placed, I was able to rest and Rick went to go get lunch with my mom who had come to be of some support. The epidural completely blocked out all pain and sensation. It was heavenly! At around 1:00, my doctor checked me and I was at 5cm. He guessed that I would be ready for delivery by 6:00 or so. The afternoon flew by, and he checked me again at 4:00. He finished checking me, and the nurse asked him where we were at, to which he replied, "We're ready to have babies-- you're dilated to 10!" It was so exciting and I was happy that things were moving so fast!
At 4:30 I was wheeled in to the operating room with my husband, my doctor, my labor nurse and one other nurse. I had expected that a whole lot more people would be in the OR, but there was never more than the 5 of us from beginning to end in that room! By this point, I was starting to not feel so great. There was no pain, but I knew that I was probably going to be sick. I did just that just as we got into the OR and I was moved to the table. Once that was over, I felt great and everyone got situated.
I began pushing at about 4:45. Though it was hard, initially, to push well, since I couldn't feel anything, I managed to get the hang of it quickly. After a half hour of pushing, Gabriella Elizabeth was born at 5:16pm and placed on my stomach. The nurses cleaned her up at the warmer just to the right of the table. Once she was wrapped up, she was given back to me to hold and cry over with my husband while we waited for the second baby to come down. Rick decided to go tell all of our waiting family in the waiting room that Gabriella had been born, and came back quickly. After about 10 minutes, the doctor announced that the second baby had indeed come down head first (YAY!) and they brought Gabriella back to the warmer so we could focus on baby number 2!
Pushing the second baby out was harder than the first since I was worn out from the first birth. Things did not progress quite as fast as they had with Gabriella. About 35 minutes into pushing, the doctor began to get concerned because the baby's heartbeat was slowing down considerably with each contraction/push, and he was concerned that she was distressed. He warned that if I couldn't get her out quickly that he would have to help her. The question at that point would be whether he would use forceps, or perform a C-section. Since I didn't want to deal with either one of these options, I ignored my lack of energy and decided that she was going to come out the right way, and quickly!! With determination, and thanks to the wonderful encouragement of my husband, my doctor, and the wonderful nurse I had, I managed to deliver the baby with no help within a few minutes more. Rick cut the cord, and Isabella May was born 58 minutes after her sister at 6:14pm and placed on my stomach.
While the doctor delivered the placentas and stitched up the small tear I had managed to get, Isabella was cleaned up and I got to hold her, too. The stitching-up of my tear was the worst part of the whole experience. Since they had shut my epidural off halfway through the delivery of the second baby, I had feeling back to a small extent. Enough that I was able to feel and experience every stitch. OUCH!
Once everyone was fixed up, we all went to recovery together. Delivery was over and I was so exhausted. But now it was time to try breastfeeding. I attempted to feed Gabriella and all seemed to go well. Before I could get to Isabella, it was time to move to my permanent room. I would have a chance to feed Isabella later.
In all, the birth of my twins was the most wonderful and exciting experience of my life! It went perfect-- I couldn't have asked for a better experience. And the best part was that the girls NEVER left my side until later that night when they went to the nursery for their first bath. I was too tired to go with them, so Rick went alone with the nurse.
We all went home together two days later on April 10th, 2003. And then began the great adventure that was our children!