My twins were born 17 minutes apart. I still remember the moment I was handed each one, Elijah being first at 3:14pm, and then Emery at 3:37pm. I remember crying, while staring at this beautiful baby boy on my chest. The look on my husband’s face is still burned in my memory. He was so happy, we were so happy in that very moment, and before I knew it, it was time to push our little girl out…
Flash back to 6:10pm November 28th: we finally made it to the hospital, and of course we were 10 minutes late for our appointment. It wouldn’t be like us to be early or even be on time to be admitted to the hospital to be induced. I had cried a little on the way to the hospital. This was the last night we would ever be a family of two, and things were starting to become more and more real.
I gave birth at Providence St. Vincent Hospital. After getting all checked in, being placed in a room, IV was in, the on call OB stopped by to check my cervix. I had been in the early stages of labor for a little over a week now, and I was hoping I would be dilated enough that they wouldn’t have to start the misoprostol and they could go straight into giving me pitocin come the next morning, but those hopes came to a halt when she told me I was still only dilated 2cm and 80% effaced. (Which was exactly where I was about a week and a half ago when my doctor stripped my membrane.) They started the miso around 11pm, and about 30 minutes later my contractions kicked in. These were not my normal contractions though. They caused my back to spasm uncontrollably. The only time I would get relief was when I would stand and walk around my delivery room. I was hooked up to 3 monitors: one to track my contractions, and two to track both babies heart rates, and every time I stood up to get relief from my contractions I would lose the heart rate of one of the babies. At that point the nurse would come rushing in, and I would have to lay back down. The nurse kept telling me to try to get some sleep but I couldn’t get comfortable, and with my contractions becoming more intense and more frequent sleep was absolutely out of the question.
It was about 2:00am when I called out to Nicholas and had my first breakdown. My pain was too intense to handle, and the nurse had asked if I wanted an epidural. I had told her no multiple times already. I had a plan in my head: I didn’t want to get an epidural until my water had broken. I was only about 3 1/2 hours into active labor and I felt like if I gave in and had my epidural now I would be failing myself. I originally wanted to do this all naturally. It wasn’t until I spoke to my doctor about it a few weeks earlier that I was finally convinced I needed to make sure I got one. She was very positive with the fact that I would be able to birth both of these babies vaginally, but in the case that I needed an emergency c-section she wanted to make sure I was prepared and that I could still be awake to witness the birth of my babies. There was also the chance that even though both babies were head down, Emery might flip after Elijah came out. At that point she would have to perform a breech extraction. Which again, she was very positive it would be successful. She just worried about my pain tolerance, and also warned me there was a high chance of her sticking her whole hand up into my uterus in order to perform the breech extraction.
It was around 2:30am that I finally broke. I called my nurse, and told her I was ready for my epidural. I literally fought with myself for 30 minutes on whether or not I needed it. I felt defeated.. this wasn’t my plan. I had chickened out only 3 1/2 hours in?! This wasn’t even the worst part! I cried, and finally came to the realization that if I was going to give birth to these babies vaginally I needed to let my body rest. I was exhausted emotionally and physically, and it was time for me to relax. After they placed my epidural I felt so much better. My pain went away almost immediately, and I was finally able to relax. The nurse came in and put in my catheter, and after that I slept for what felt like hours. It felt so good to finally close my eyes, and not cry out in pain every 4 minutes. It was about 30 to 45 minutes later I woke up with intense nausea. I woke Nicholas up to get me a puke bag, and it was at that point my breathing became shallow and my vision began to blur. I panicked. Nicholas called in our nurse and she immediately found that my blood pressure had dropped significantly. She gave me some medicine through my IV to help bring it back up, and it only took a couple of minutes after that for me to feel normal again. Apparently it’s normal to have your blood pressure drop after having an epidural placed which they told me only after it happened. After this I finally fell into a nice deep sleep.
It was around 4:30am that I woke up to what felt like a bubble of water popping from my vagina. It wasn’t a gush, just a little pop and a trickle. I called my nurse and told her “either my catheter is leaking or my water just broke”. She came in and took a peak. My catheter was fine, and there wasn’t a whole lot of liquid down there so she went and got these strips that turn a certain color if it’s actually amniotic fluid leaking out. She used two of them and both turned different colors.. I was so annoyed. The on call OB came in after the nurse checked my fluid with the little strips of paper. She decided to check my cervix to see if I had dilated anymore, and at that point a large amount of fluid came rushing out into her hand and they finally came to the conclusion that my water had broke. I was dilated 4 1/2cm. They started the pitocin a few minutes later. I was starting to get so excited! I was thinking “Dang! My water just broke! I’m going to have these babies in a few hours!” Well the joke was on me… I fell back asleep and woke up a couple of hours later in terrible pain. Especially on my right side. My labor was starting to get more and more intense as the hours went on.
At this point let me just tell you: LABOR IS FLIPPING HARD! I was in so much pain even with my epidural, and I was so exhausted. I would sleep, but it would only be 30 to 45 minutes at a time, and when I would wake up it would be from my contractions worsening. At one point we had to call in another anesthesiologist to give me extra pain medication because my epidural was not helping my pain. Let me say again that originally I did not want an epidural at all. I wanted to do it naturally. I kept telling people “A woman’s body was made for this! I was literally born to bare children.” But I can say confidently now that if I didn’t get this epidural I wouldn’t have had the energy to push these two babies out of me.
The hours seemed to drag by after my water broke. My contractions were intense, and I was slowly dilating. Every couple of hours or so my nurse would bring me two cups of jello and an apple juice. I could only have “clear” foods and drinks after my epidural was placed. I was thankful for the jello. Even though it was simple it was enough to suffice my hunger, and I felt like I was getting full. People always tell you that by the time you have your baby you’re starving. That is the truth! They didn’t let me eat a whole lot after I was admitted. The doctor was afraid I would throw it all up… Which I totally didn’t.
It was around 1:00pm when my nurse came in and asked how I was doing. She said “wow, your contractions are becoming a lot more intense.” Which in my mind I’m like “uh they’ve been intense… for hours.” At this point she asked if I felt like I needed to poop. Like, what the heck do you mean “do you need to poop”? When it comes time for you to push you start feeling heavy in your butt, you want to push, and it feels like you need to poop. I hadn’t really been concentrating on that, so I took a moment and really concentrated on my next two contractions. Sure as heck, that’s exactly how I felt. At this point they called in my doctor to check me one last time. I was dilated 9 1/2cm and was 100% effaced… it was time.
Everyone started rushing around my room. They cut off my pitocin, and started getting the baby beds ready to move into the OR. No matter how you are giving birth to your multiples at St. Vincent they have you do it in the OR just in case you need an emergency c section. Before I knew it the prep work was done. It was around 2:00pm when the had Nicholas put on his scrubs, and at that point I knew it was time. I was going to have these babies soon, and I was pumped for it! They pushed my bed into the OR, it was so bright, and tiny. There were so many people in there, but I couldn’t figure out who anyone was with their masks, and hair caps on. I finally heard my doctor’s voice, and she asked “Are you ready to do this?” I replied “OH HECK YEAH!” I got all set up, feet in stirrups, completely exposed and ready to push. My doctor said it was time, and with Nicholas on my left side and a nurse on my right I pushed with the first contraction I felt.
Nothing happened. My doctor had me push a couple more times then stood up and said “this is going to be awhile, I’ll be back.” Uh where the heck did this lady think she was going?! I was pushing out twins for goodness sake! She did in fact leave the room. I continued to push though with every contraction I felt. I asked to have a mirror placed in front of me so I could watch. I could literally see Elijah’s head the whole time I pushed. I remember thinking “uh isn’t this called crowning? Shouldn’t the doctor be back by now?” Let me just say I was not “crowning” yet… I continued to push for what seemed like forever, until I actually saw my son’s head coming out.. they told me to quit pushing. My doctor had not come back yet, and it’s when they tell you to quit pushing that you REALLY want to push! I tried my best to hold it back, and I was so thankful when I finally saw my doctor walk into the room.
It was only a few pushes later that our son was born. Elijah Carter Andersen was born at 3:14pm. He weighed 6lbs 3oz and was 19in long. He was perfect. I was overcome with so much emotion. After months of waiting, and almost losing him to TTTS he was finally here. I spent what felt like only a couple of minutes with him before they took him to the warming table to get his vitals, and it was at this point my doctor told me if I was ready I could start pushing our little girl out.
My doctor broke my water, and stuck her hand in to make sure she hadn’t flipped around. It was at this point she found that she was in the right spot, just upside down, or sunny side up is what they called it. Her nose was facing upward, and my doctor had to grab her head, and flip her around inside of me. It took one flick of the wrist and our little girl was ready. The pushing didn’t last as long with her. She was ready to be out of there the minute her brother vacated. I remember her being put on my chest, but she wasn’t crying yet. I started talking to her and rubbing on her along with all of the nurses around me. When she finally took a breath and started to cry. They immediately had to take her to the warming table and put her on a machine to help her breathing. It was nothing too serious, she just had a little bit of fluid in her lungs. She was okay.
It was at this point they started pushing and pulling the placentas out. The first one to come was also attached to our little Easton. When he came I didn’t have the doctor present him to us. We saved that moment for later when I was ready to see him. I cried. I was exhausted. At this point things started getting fuzzy. I remember things going black, hearing people shouting around me, and screaming in pain… When I woke up I was in a room I’d never seen, and I was very confused because I was told I would be going back to the room I started in.
When my doctor and the two nurses who helped deliver the twins came in the kept telling me “we almost lost you!” And “thank you for not dying!” It turns out I hemorraged and lost over 2 liters of blood. They had to perform a D&C and a balloon was inserted into my uterus to keep it from collapsing.
We stayed in the hospital until Saturday. I was finally able to leave when I could walk down the hall without feeling like I was going to pass out. I was still in a lot of pain. My groin, hips, and ribs were killing me, and trying to get out of bed to take care of the twins was so terrible. I hated my after birth… Especially while I was still in the hospital. I felt completely helpless. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom or shower on my own.
It took almost a full month for me to heal. The day I could lay on my right side again without being in pain or discomfort was seriously amazing. I felt like I was finally getting into the swing of things, and life was starting to feel normal again.
Here we are. 10 weeks later. These babies are the best thing that has ever happened to Nicholas and I, and the more they grow and becoming little people the more grateful I am for my two beautiful healthy babies ❤