Sunday, July 19, 2015

Twin Birth Story: Abigail and Samuel, Part 1

I have been wanting to get our birth story published for a while now... I set deadline goals and let them pass a few different times... turns out, life with two newborns leaves precious little time or brain space for blogging!  I believe this will be a two-parter, in part to let me publish some of it sooner, and in part because it could very well end up being really long! ;-)  So many thoughts and feelings that I want to preserve on the internet to look back on as they begin to fade in my own mind...

The night we started my induction, we dropped Charley off with Ethan's parents, who would be watching him while we were otherwise occupied :-)  His mom made one of my favorite meals - chicken and dumplings - for my "last supper," since we assumed I'd be going without food from the start of the induction until the babies made their debut.  I got super-emotional hugging and kissing Charley goodbye... next time we saw him, he'd be a "big brother" and I knew his life was about to change dramatically.  Eventually for the better, I believe, but knew it would probably take him a while to agree.  

Pulling out of my in-laws' driveway...
We reported to the hospital at 8pm on Sunday, May 31.  The doctor had told us that we'd be doing a foley bulb induction, and I had made the mistake of googling what that meant.  So I was pretty nervous.  We knew the plan was a slow induction, and that we may not even have the babies until Tuesday.  Of course, we were hoping it wouldn't take THAT long, but agreed that slowly increasing induction meds and letting my body adjust and cope and giving it the chance to kick in on its own was the best course for my diabetes and for the babies.  I just hoped I had the stamina!

So we got registered and were shown to our room - which was the same labor and delivery room we were shown on our tour :-)  Room 2010.  Met my nurse, Stephanie, who got my IV started and monitors on the babies - just like my gazillion non-stress tests.  She said I'd be on the monitors continuously until the babies were born... I immediately started trying to negotiate for intermittent monitoring, but she was pretty insistent that I'd only be able to unhook to go to the bathroom.  

38 weeks, 1 day pregnant.  I.Am.Done.
The resident who would be working closely with my MFM team (Dr. Abtahi) came in and introduced herself, checked the positions of the babies (B - Sam - had flipped breech again, but no big worry, since Abbie was still vertex), and got started inserting my Foley bulb.  I don't handle cervix checks well, and this was like one looooong, drawn-out cervix check.  And my cervix was shut tight, so she had to work really hard to get the catheter through.  She was the sweetest, so I feel a little bad that I wasn't super-nice to her... but OW!  

Anyway... eventually, it was in and I was tucked in for the night.  Except that I was still massively pregnant, and being tucked in for the night meant for the next hour or so until I needed to go to the bathroom.  Again.  After several times of me being up and unplugged from the monitors, and the nurse having to find the babies again, she got the resident to agree to intermittent monitoring, since pitocin wasn't starting until morning.  Once in the middle of the night, during a bathroom run, I saw that I was dripping blood all over the bathroom floor... I called for my nurse in a panic, and she said it was coming from my catheter and was totally normal... from the "trauma" to my cervix.  Yeah, trauma is a good word! ;-) 
This is a foley bulb induction.  Yeah.  The image is originally from IMGBuddy, but it seems to only exist in Google search results now..
In the morning, they let me order breakfast, which was AWESOME since I'd totally expected the chicken and dumplings to be my last meal for a while.  We got pitocin started at a really low dose, and increased it a little bit every so often.   My bulb finally came out in the early afternoon when a nurse gave it a little tug.  When I was checked after that, I was dilated to about 3cm.  I'd been on continuous monitors since my pitocin started, and we could see that I was having good, strong, frequent contractions, and guesses were that I'd deliver in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.  


Monday evening, I was dilated to about 4cm, and the doctor said to discontinue pitocin long enough for me to have supper (woohoo!) then get it started back up.  The thought was that if I was only off a short time, my uterus could rest and regroup, and I wouldn't lose any ground.  Plus, I needed fuel to keep going!  I love that my doctors were so focused on making sure I had what I needed to stay strong.  During the day, I had a shot of Nubain in my IV and got a good, drugged nap... but still passed on the epidural.  I knew I was going to get one eventually, but I wanted to hold off until labor was a little more established.

As the late evening and overnight progressed, and it was clear I wasn't going to be delivering early Tuesday morning, I started to get a little discouraged.  When my doctor rounded, I asked her when the best time for an epidural would be... she said that since I was 5cm and contracting well, this would be an excellent time.  So around 10am on Tuesday (36 hours after induction started), my epidural was up and running.  Thank goodness!!  I was terrified, but it turned out that the biggest problem was my ticklish back.  Any time the anesthetist touched me, I twitched.  Ethan and my wonderful nurse, Brenda, kept talking to me and keeping me calm... they were fantastic!  Brenda was relieved when it was in because she said, "Your mouth said your pain was a 4, your eyes said more like 7."  :-)  And I truly had no idea how much pain I was in until it was gone!  Drugs are niiiiice!  

Best support person EVER!  Sorry about my "30 hours into induction and still no babies" look. ;-)
So...  I labored, nice and comfortably, all day Tuesday.  The day time resident broke Abbie's water at 1pm, and I knew I was on a 24 hour clock.  Then supper time came, and we did another pitocin break so I could eat and we could "wash the receptors" in my uterus that they thought were being overloaded.  It meant starting back on the pit at half of what I was on when we quit, but overnight we got back up to speed pretty quickly.  

Super-cozy accommodations
At 5:20 in the morning, I was snoozing lightly while Ethan slept on a pull-out chair for the third night in a row.  Dr. Abtahi, who had been my night doctor the last three days, came in to check my cervix.  I was surprised when she said I was dilated to... 5cm.  I'd been at 5cm for a whole day.  She left to call Dr. Kovac, one of the doctors in my MFM practice.  When she came back in, she told us that she and Dr. Kovac thought it was time for a c-section.  Ethan was starting to come to at the point, and we both readily agreed.  It was about 5:30, and I asked her what kind of a timeline we were on... expecting her to say a few hours... she said, "Oh, maybe thirty minutes or so?" 
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