I was certain that the babies were going to come close to their original due date. I knew for fairly certain when I had conceived, and although I¡¦d told the doctor who did my sonogram that, of course since doctors know best, he changed my due date. Anyway, on Tuesday I was certain that I had lost my mucus plug and was feeling fairly crampy. I wanted the babies to hold out for the weekend though so that my mom would be here to help with the kids so I could concentrate on the birth.
The rest of the week passed with me having fairly consistent contractions each day, but they weren¡¦t building in intensity at all. My midwife checked me on Thursday and told me I could go at any time. I called my husband crying, certain that I would have them without my mom being here yet. Unknown to me, he called and booked my mom on the next flight out and she was with me by Thursday evening. I knew there was a reason we got married .
DH and I got romantic that evening in hopes that it would start things going..mmm, it didn't work. DH was happy but I was still huge and uncomfortable. DH went to work on Friday, and my mom took the kids to the park. I cleaned up around the house, unpacked a few more boxes and tried to encourage the babies to make their appearance. Nothing worked.
Saturday dawned just beautiful, sunny warm beautiful blue sky. My midwife came over around noon and told me that I was already at a 3!! I couldn¡¦t believe it..I thought that for whatever reason the babies had changed their minds and were going to stay put longer, but I was glad to find out that I was wrong.
Sara (my MW) left to go home and get her things in order and said to call when things started moving. DH got out our birthing tub and set it up in our new game room..(the only place with enough room, every other room still has too many boxes). I laid down to try and take a nap while my mom to my kiddos to Chuck E Cheese (against the wishes of my older ones who say its for babies).I woke up with a bladder that felt ready to explode. As soon as I stood up, I had a contraction, but figured it was because my bladder was so full. After I got back in bed, with my mind knowing that was a "real" one, I couldn't really get back to sleep. 20 minutes later, I had another contraction. And my water broke in the bed-it felt like it shot everywhere!! DH had fun cleaning all that up btw.
Once I got up, they were consistently 10 minutes apart. They weren't horrible, but a little uncomfortable & they were involving my low back. We showered & decided to go for a walk. It was nice to be out walking, the fresh air felt wonderful, I stopped for one contraction, but was able to walk through the other one..
We walked up the hill past our house waiting for Sara & her friend to arrive. I had to have two midwives for the birth as a precaution because of the twins. The contractions were coming closer together & demanding more of my attention. There was no more walking through them. Arthur timed two & they were 6 minutes apart now.Sara arrived & said, "Are they about 6 minutes apart now?". We laughed as we told her yes & that it sure was nice to know I was working like a well-oiled machine. They went upstairs & were setting up a bit & I ate a few bites of fruit salad. She asked if I wanted a check & at 9:45pm I was 5.5-6cm, 50% effaced, & baby A was at a -3 station. She said I was very stretchy & that baby just needed to move down more. She suggested we go for another walk while they finished setting up. We did & it was so nice & relaxed. We talked & joked, laughed, and stopped to work through the contractions. We weren't out there long before I felt like I wanted to be inside again. It was exciting to see everything all set up. Wow! We were going to have the babies!!
The contractions were coming pretty quickly & they were getting more intense. It was maybe about 10:30pm when she checked me & I was at 7cm, 80% effaced, & baby A was at 0 station. I did not feel like I was in transition. This was totally unlike my last labor where I was miserably writhing in pain & unable or unwilling to speak between contractions. This time, as soon as a contraction was over, we were talking & laughing again!
Sara started filling up the tub & said I could get in whenever I wanted to. Part of me thought I had a while to go yet & didn't want to get in too soon. But once it was filled, it looked so inviting!! I put on a jog bra & made the last minute decision to try to be modest & put a shirt on over that. I had a doozy of a contraction in the bathroom & as soon as it subsided, I stepped into the tub. Oh it felt so luxurious! The next contraction felt like the ones I was having while we were still walking around in our neighborhood at 5cm! Everyone laughed as I said, "OK, I'm sold on waterbirth!"
She checked me again when I was feeling a lot of pain & pressure. I was at 9cm, 100% effaced, baby A was at a +3 station. I really couldn't believe I was that close to birth because as soon as the contraction was over, I had a smile on my face & we were talking normally. Then they started not to really go away & I was feeling a lot of pressure.
By now, of course, my children were at home. The older ones of course knew what was going on as they have ¡§been there done that.¡¨ Levi and Anna were apprehensive about the whole thing but enjoyed coming over to the pool and "watching"for the babies. I did worry a bit because I think I was getting a little bit more vocal (DH says there was no little about it though) Nothing more than groans & saying "Oh God" & "Ow", but I was afraid that I would scare them. I am thankful that we practiced noises before the birth & practiced different things that I might say. Levi was pretty interested in all the equipment & wanted to use the fish net after he saw Sara scoop some "baby goop" out of the tub with it. She was really great with him.
Back to work! Some whopper contractions that never really let go and I felt so full of baby. I was ready to have these babies! All of a sudden, in the middle of a contraction, I felt this undeniable urge to PUSH. I felt great letting my body do the work it was made to do. I said, "I'm puuuushing!" The midwife said, "Wonderful! Let your body work for you! You're doing this! All on your own!" That lifted me up so much. I felt so empowered, so alive.
I only gave 2 small pushes with that contraction. Another contraction & Sara took my hand & put it on my baby's head. I felt the hair & the wrinkly skin & smiled. Oh how it burned. I said, "Oh, it burns!" Levi said, "It's gonna burn a little Mommy". We all got a laugh (even me) & Sara said, "You're right, Levi, it's going to burn a little." Another contraction, another few second push & Sara said, "head is born, here's a hand". Our plans were that my husband would catch the rest of the baby after Sara checked for nuchal cord, but I had another contraction & gave a push & the baby's hands, shoulders & body came out. It seemed so fast! Sara said, "give me another little push" & I did & the baby slipped out. "11:25" Sara guided the baby up out of the water & I pulled the baby to my chest. I heard Sara say, "oh, took a breath" before she was out of the water, but I felt such relief holding my little baby. I had my hand on the little bottom & thought it was a girl, but I felt the cord & thought I better wait to say anything until I saw for sure.
Baby Audrey tried to birth with both hands by her head. Sara pushed back the hand that was first, but I tore a bit when I pushed out the baby's hands & shoulders together. One hand came out of the water which must have triggered the breathing reflex which is why the baby's chest started to expand. But I felt the baby moving & heard little noises. She suctioned the baby & we got a little cry. She got the oxygen out & told me to cradle the baby over. Sara had Arthur hold the oxygen tube over by our baby & she suctioned again. The baby was pinking up & gave us another little cry of protest. But while this was going on, Sara¡¦s friend was checking on baby B. His head hadn¡¦t completely dropped and they needed me to stand up to try and help things. I did and he ¡§dropped¡¨ into place and as he did I had one huge contraction. Sara cut Audrey¡¦s cord and handed her to me. After a few minutes I felt like I needed to really focus on the next baby so I handed Audrey to my mom, who kept her nice and warm and introduced her to her siblings. I had this strange fear that if I held onto A that I'd crush her while trying to push B out.
The head midwife was now at my feet with Arthur, awaiting baby B. We'd been very glad this baby had turned to the head down position and now we intended to make it stay that way. The baby spent a few minutes on my pubic bone. Another midwife was listening for heart tones. I lifted my now semi-deflated belly up so she could find a good spot. When I did that the baby started to move off my pubic bone. So I kept doing it.
The baby sounded great and there wasn't any real hurry. However, I was starting to get nervous and really wanted to get the baby out so I could stop worrying. All along I knew that there would be more potential problems with baby B. At one point I heard the midwife ask how long it had been since the birth of A. Sara responded that it had been 15 minutes. While this is not a long time, I realized I was beginning to obsess, so I asked to hold Audrey again. She was passed to me and I gazed into her eyes and cried some more.
She was so calm and had this amazing effect on me. This felt good.
Finally I could feel Logan moving down more and once again I passed Audrey off to focus on the next birth. My water broke with a huge explosion! It was worse than famous performance artists and everyone in the front row was definitely covered in amniotic fluid! They were all laughing, the kids really thought it was great. They had to wipe my midwife's face and glasses off. I just said, because we'll all good friends, "Just be glad it's me¡K"
Finally I felt the baby move to my pubic bone and past. I really wanted it over with to hold Logan. I began pushing with all my might, while belly lifting with one hand and doing fundal pressure with the other. Later someone told me that I said, "Stop it!" Abby told the midwife, "She said stop!" The midwife said, "Honey, I'm not hurting her, it's the baby she's talking to¡K" There was no stopping with the second baby, and the baby went from being partially visible to born in about 20 seconds. Arthur was also able to help catch this baby. It was finally over! Both of my babies were born and doing well!
One of the midwives was preparing to give me a routine injection of Pitocin that I had requested during pregnancy to prevent postpartum hemorrhaging. As I looked down and saw the needle I had second thoughts! I asked Sara how my bleeding was and she said fine. I decided to hold off on the injection. I told everyone I hated needles!
Everyone was looking at babies and sitting quietly amazed at what they had all just seen. We took some pictures of two cords hanging out of my body. It was an amazing sight to see, so I'm glad they took photos. Shortly after the birth of baby Logan, the placenta(s) came. We briefly checked to ensure it was all there and then set it aside.
I wanted back in bed! First a quick trip to the bathroom, then I got in bed and held a baby. I tried to nurse and each baby took a turn at nibbling, but no one was really interested. Finally since I was stable and babies were stable, Arthur and I kicked everyone out of the room. Though first I had the midwives weigh the babies so we could make a few phone calls. Baby Audrey weighed in at 6lbs. 1 oz and baby Logan weighed 5 lbs.12 oz. Fine sized twins!
Arthur and I just held a baby and cried and cried. Everything had gone even better than we had imagined and oh so quickly. Baby A was born at 11:25 pm. with a short break before her brother joined her at 11:48 pm. Logan tried really hard to get his own birthday.
The midwives sat in the hall and came in periodically to check my bleeding or whenever we'd call. That included calls for drinks and breakfast! So not only did I have two great new babies, but a great breakfast in bed.
At one point all of my children piled onto our bed, as we loved on our newest family members. It was calm, laid back and peaceful, just as it should have been. I think Allison sums it up the best, with a huge smile she proclaims with two fingers shown on each hand, "Two babies!"