On Tuesday, June 24th I had my 36 week appointment. The babies were looking great via ultrasound, but I had high blood pressure. My OB wanted me to come back on Friday the 27th for a second appointment. If my blood pressure was still high, they were going to induce me. I never made it to my second 36 week appointment.
At 1:30 am on Wednesday, June 25th, I got up to make yet another trip to the bathroom. On my way back to bed, my water broke. The first thing I said to Tommy was “My water just broke. Happy Anniversary.” Yep, our babies were born on our wedding anniversary. Tommy sprung into action packing the car and taking care of our dog. Noah was visiting family, so we did not have to make arrangements for him. I attempted to get dressed with fluid running down my legs (seriously disgusting– I wish I had some jumbo super pads at this point!) and starting contacting our families and my OB to let them know that we were heading to the hospital!
My OB contacted the hospital, so triage was expecting us when we arrived. Tommy took the picture above as soon as we got in the triage room. I desperately wanted to change out of those soaked shorts. Can you see the disgust in my face?!
We waited in triage while they processed my paperwork and got my labor & delivery room ready. My contractions started at 2:45 am. Tommy was a tad nervous and tried to calm his nerves by taking hundreds of pictures of everything.
At 3:10 am, I was moved via wheelchair to my Labor & Delivery room. My OB came to visit after I was hooked up to all the monitors. Each baby had their own heart monitor and I had one to monitor my contractions. I was 4cm dilated and 60% effaced. My night nurse Emily started my IV and penicillin around 3:40 am. I had to have three rounds of penicillin through my IV because I tested positive for Group B strep. My wonderful anesthesiologist, Dr. Roth, put in my epidural at 4am. My epidural worked great– my legs were totally numb and I could no longer feel my contractions.
Our first visitors, Tommy’s parents and sisters, arrived at 5:30 am. Those poor girls had no idea it would take so long to see our babies! We borrowed playing cards from the nurses and played many, many games of Go Fish to pass the time.
At 7:30 am, my OB came back to check on me before she went downstairs to her clinic. I was 5cm dilated and 80% effaced. I could not believe that I had only progressed one centimeter since my contractions had started 5 hours before. Noah’s labor from start to finish was 8 hours, so I was expecting things to go more quickly. They started pitocin, and my second round of penicillin, to help move things along.
I was re-checked at 11 am and had progressed to 6.5cm dilated and 90% effaced. They stopped the pitocin at this time because it was causing my contractions to be right on top of each other (thankfully I was not feeling them!) and causing Eli’s heart rate to decelerate. They gave me additional IV fluids to help space out the contractions. Unfortunately, once the pitocin kicked things into gear, the contractions barely slowed down and I started to feel them pretty frequently. By 12pm, the anesthesiologist returned to give me some additional anesthetic to counter the contractions. Our second set of visitors arrived shortly after, my grandparents. We had a packed room most of the day!
At 12:30 pm, my OB returned to check on me and I was fully dilated and effaced! It was almost time to meet our babies! Since we were having twins, we knew that I would be delivering in the OR in case they needed to perform an emergent C-section. I would “labor down” until Baby A was well into the birth canal before they would roll me to the OR for delivery. Now that I was fully dilated, my OB wanted me to push and see how far down I could move Baby A. Unfortunately, I had a hard time pushing. I was too numb from the recent anesthetic to be able to push effectively through my contractions. Tommy updated the board and got his scrubs on so that he would not have to wear the “bunny suit” in the OR.
Over the next 3 hours, I would have mini pushing sessions every 30-45 minutes to try to move Baby A down. I got really emotional when we stopped each of these sessions because Baby A was not moving down when I was pushing and I was terrified of having a C-section. If you know me, you know I like things to go according to plan! I think this fear was amplified by the fact that my nurse (who was really wonderful 99% of the time!) prepped me by washing my belly and kept bringing supplies into the room “just in case I needed a C-section.” Our families tried to keep me distracted and would come hang out in the room with me between each pushing session. I also had beautiful flowers from Tommy to keep me company. He had ordered them for our anniversary (before we knew we would be having our babies!) and had his sister Amy bring them to the hospital.
By 3:00pm, the anesthetic had worn off enough that I could feel when I was contracting. They were not pleasant but it was not too bad– and I was ready to meet my babies! The nurse decided that it was time for me to start pushing for real! She asked for everyone to leave and brought down this crazy UFO light (I guess to help them see?!) and had another nurse in the room to help.
Over the next 40 minutes, I labored baby A down. They gave me an oxygen mask to wear between contractions and that was definitely something I had not planned for! My contraction monitor was not picking up my contractions, so I would have to let the nurses know when it was time to push. I felt really anxious. I honestly felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I kept my eyes closed during most of this time to help keep myself calm. Finally, Baby A labored down to +2 station and it was time to go to the OR! They wheeled me into the OR at 3:47pm (I only know this because Tommy took a picture of it!) and Elijah Thomas (Baby A) was born at 3:59– just 12 minutes later! One of the nurses took pictures during the delivery or I would not have all these great shots. Amy and I had to convince Tommy that he wanted to cut the babies umbilical cords (and we had 14 hours to do so!) and I think he is glad that he did!
Baby B was not super eager to greet us. She floated around by herself for awhile. She must have enjoyed having the whole womb to herself! Emry Jane (Baby B) made her way into the world at 4:09pm, exactly 10 minutes after her brother.
Both babies had a team of nurses and doctors to make sure that they were healthy. Emry took a little longer to get checked out, so we got a little alone time with Eli in the OR.
We were all amazed that the babies weighed exactly the same, 5 pounds 14 ounces. They were almost the exact same weight in grams! Emry Jane has a more solid, rounder build and we thought for sure that she would be bigger. Eli was a little longer at 18 3/4 inches to Emry’s 18 inches.
After 14 hours of labor, our sweet babies were finally here! We are so thankful to have two healthy babies that did not require any NICU time. Eli and Emry Jane were able to go home with us on Friday June 27th. We are truly blessed.
“For this child, I have prayed and the Lord hath given me my petition, which I asked of Him.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28