Friday, November 5, 2010

Labor and Early Delivery

I know that twin pregnancies are likely to result in pre-term labor. But to be honest, I was convinced that I would carry my babies until at least 36 weeks. I remained active throughout my pregnancy and felt great. I did go to labor and delivery last week for cramping, but after evaluation, my doctor said I was fine and I was even cleared to go to game 2 of the World Series. I had a pretty normal weekend-- we had friends and family over for Brandon's birthday and to watch game 3. I carved pumpkins and watched game 4 while handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. On Sunday, Brandon and I decorated the nursery and I washed all the newborn and 0-3 month clothes we had.

On Monday morning at 7:15 I was laying in bed trying to decide what time I should get up. As I was laying there I felt a gush of water. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, while reviewing in my head if it was possible that I was actually peeing on myself. I stood in the bathtub in my pajamas and determined that no, I was not peeing. So I ran and got my phone, then returned to the bathtub which seemed like the only logical place to be. I called Brandon first, who was already at work. I don't have a clue what I said to him. Then I called labor & delivery and they told me to come in right away. Despite my insistance that I could drive myself, the lady convinced me I needed someone to drive me. I called my mom and asked her to come get me so Brandon could just meet us at the hospital. I had 30 minutes to wait while she drove to my house, so I packed a toothbrush and some clothes. Then I wandered around my own house in complete shock because there is nothing that prepares you for going into labor 5 weeks early. By the time I got to the hospital I had accepted that I would likely have babies by the end of the day.

In triage they confirmed that my bag of waters had broken and put me and the girls on monitors. I was only dilated to 1 cm (where I had been for several weeks) and was not having regular contractions. The doctor decided to admit me to labor & delivery where they would monitor me and the babies on complete hospital bedrest. He hoped I could put off delivery for up to a week. So just hours after believing I would deliver that day, I was now planning on spending several days in the hospital just letting my girls grow longer inside as long as labor didn't progress and the girls showed no signs of distress.

I spent the rest of Monday in bed with very little excitment. I got my laptop from work and Brandon brought me enough DVDs to keep me entertained for days. Brandon and I watched the SF Giants win the World Series from my labor room. We decided that since Baby A had broken the water, she clearly wanted to see the Giants and that is how we chose who should have what name (her middle name is Posey--named after Buster Posey, the Giants' catcher). Although I had a few cramps, there was nothing regular and I assumed that the doctor's plan would work. I was incredibly miserable because the monitors lost the babies' heart rates everytime I shifted my body. The bed was uncomfortable and I couldn't find a position that didn't ache. Nurses were constantly coming to adjust the monitors and they were incredibly patient with my need to use the restroom and unplug every machine I was hooked up to.

Unfortunately my body didn't have the same plan as my doctor. At 3am I began having contractions about 5 minutes apart. They were bothersome but I hoped they would subside and so I didn't even wake up Brandon. I breathed through the contractions and several times told the nurse that I did not need any narcotics for the pain. By 4:30 I was having regular contractions about 3 minutes apart. They had intensified in pain so I finally woke up Brandon and told him I needed my labor partner. Brandon was fantastic at supporting me through contractions and emotionally supporting me while I was trying to understand what was going to happen. The resident that night didn't seem super concerned over the fact that I was having regular contractions. She said they would just keep monitoring them.

At 5am the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was in a lot of pain. I was still turning down narcotics because with two breech babies, I knew that if delivery was coming it would be cesarean and I didn't want drugs and a spinal. She decided to try some sort of oral tablet that slows and stops contractions. After 3 doses there was no change in contractions and finally another doctor came and saw me at 6:20am. His exam revealed that I was now 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. At 6:40 he decided that I needed the cesarean soon. Brandon called my parents and told them.

The shift change for the entire hospital happens at 7am. So the transition was a little slower than it should have been. While waiting for everyone to be in the correct place, I was experiencing intense contractions 2-3 minutes apart and was absolutely terrified of having a c-section. When the anesthesiologists came in I was barely capable of listening to them between the pain and my fear. Finally I was walked into the operating room. They introduced me to the NICU nurses who were there to take my babies and I lost it right there in the hallway. The nurses and the nurse anesthestists were amazing with me as they tried to calm me and explain to me how the spinal would work. I got the spinal and they had me laying in place when suddenly some code was shouted out in the room and the room emptied. There was a good 10 minutes of questioning about who would do my c-section since everyone had just gone to an emergency. Everyone returned a few minutes later and after asking for the 3rd time, someone finally went and got Brandon from the waiting room.

My entire upper body was shaking and I was in tears the entire time the procedure was happening. Brandon got to stand up and see each of them pulled out. Grace Posey was born at 8:22 and she came out screaming. Ana Cristina was born 2 minutes later. Although she wasn't crying, I felt comforted by the fact that there was no commotion or great concern. Brandon was able to bring them both to see me before he went with them to the NICU.

After the c-section I had to wait for feeling to come back to my body and then I was faced with several hours of dizziness. It was 7pm before I was able to finally go the NICU to really see my girls for the first time. Brandon had been showing me pictures and giving me updates all day. What an overwhelming moment-- to meet my children in such a place. We are blessed that they are quite healthy and well for their gestational age. They need only to meet a variety of milestones before they are released.

I was released from the hospital this afternoon. We have no idea how long the girls will be in the NICU-- it could be anywhere from a week to five weeks. There are many things to say about life in the NICU, which I will certainly share in the days to come. In the meantime, say a prayer for my little girls-- that they will meet all their milestones and come home to us soon!


  1. I will be praying for them, Erin, and for you and your new family as you all recover and get to know each other.

    Congratulations, again!

  2. Beautiful story, very well told. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you! Congratulations!

    Blessings & love,

  3. Congratulations...and best wishes during the next few weeks. Take good care. xoxo

  4. Oh congratulations!!! Definitely praying for your girls!!!