My two boys were born on Sunday, September 18th in the morning at 10:12am and 10:14pm respectively via cesarean. Oh and I never went into labor. My water broke and about 16 hours later the babies were here with nary a contraction in sight. I was hoping for a VBAC but with no signs of labor, a cesarean was the way we had to go. Here’s what happened:
When I was 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant my water broke Saturday night around 6:30pm while having dinner with my husband Ryan and adorable, precocious 3-year old toddler Ian. Ryan and I were sitting at our dining table watching Ian sing some silly songs. All of a sudden, I said, “uh oh” and Ryan turned to me, eyebrows raised.
“Um, I think my water broke. But I’m not sure. I’ll be right back.” And I darted off to the bathroom. What I had felt was a little gush, almost like I was having my period. I sat down on the toilet and took a look. I happened to have a panty liner on because as most pregnant ladies know, when you are that far along you just start to secrete quite a bit down there. My panty liner was soaked with a clear liquid and didn’t have any sort of smell that I could discern. It wasn’t soaked through my underwear though and I thought when my water broke it would be really obvious and be a big ‘ol gush.
I went back to Ryan and told him that I think it’s okay but then every 30-minutes or so it kept happening. After some googling and going back and forth with Ryan about what to do while putting Ian to bed I called our on call doctor to seek his advice. He wasn’t sure by my description if my water had broken or not, plus I wasn’t having any contractions at all so he said it was up to us whether to come in. If my water had broken he said I should come in so I don’t risk infection for the babies. Ryan and I discussed further and decided we should be safe and go in.
My doctor told me to go to Fairview Southdale hospital which we had never even toured before so we were a little nervous about that. Regardless, we didn’t have any choice in the matter anyways so we just had to go with it. Our hospital of choice, The Mother Baby Center at Abbott was not accepting patients in Labor and Delivery due to a strike, and this was a big bummer since we had had Ian there and had absolutely loved their service. What really made me nervous though was that I was going to try for VBAC with twins and the doctor on call said he had never done VBAC with twins before. He didn’t say he wouldn’t do it, but I knew that a cesarean was likely with him. It’s not like he would just be like, “Yep, today’s the day I am going to do a VBAC with twins!”
My primary doctor was on call on Monday and it was Saturday night so a part of me just wanted to stay home, and try to keep these babies in till then so I could try for VBAC. I told Ryan this and he said he would do whatever I wanted to do. If I didn’t think my water broke then we can just stay home. But as the next couple hours went by and more water trickled out I became more sure that it was my water that broke. Around midnight I decided to call Julie, my sister-in-law and see what she thought. She had three kids so had plenty of experience. She told me she thought it sounded like my water broke and so we decided to be safe we would go to the hospital and get checked out. Julie would come over to our house and spend the night and be here when Ian woke up in the morning and take him over to her house to spend the next few days there while we were at the hospital. We are so lucky to have Mike and Julie just four blocks from us, Ian loves to be with them and play with his three cousins, Olive,age 7, Parker, age 6, and Will, age 4).
As we began adding the last items to our already packed hospital bags I began to have doubts again about whether or not my water had really broken. I googled it (again for the like the 50th time) and a lot of posts said that you had 12-24 hours to get to the hospital if your water broke. After talking with Ryan more, I changed my mind and decided it would be better to get a good night’s rest and then go over in the morning if I was still having water trickling out.
Trying to sleep that night proved very challenging. My mind was racing and I had to pee every hour, since the babies were really pressing on my bladder. Whenever I peed more liquid would come out and by 4:00am I was pretty positive that this was my water breaking all through the night. I woke Ryan up and we decided I would call our Doctor again. After talking with my doctor he said I should come in. Since it was 4 in the morning I asked him if it mattered if I came in at 6:30am and he said a couple hours wouldn’t make a difference and it was fine (since I’m not in labor). He also told me not to eat anything in case we ended up with a cesarean which was looking more and more likely since I didn’t even have any contractions happening, plus there was the fact that he had never done VBAC with twins.
I called Julie and she said she would come over at 6:00am to be at our house when Ian woke up at 6:30am. Julie arrived early at 5:50 and Ryan and I got our stuff together and headed out the door after hugging Julie and thanking her profusely. We so are damn lucky to have her as a sister-in-law.
We drove to the hospital which was just 15 minutes away. The sky was still dark and just starting to brighten and there were not many cars on the road since it was Sunday morning. Ryan and I kept talking about how surreal it was that this day was finally here. You see, we had never experienced the whole going to the hospital thing due to water breaking because Ian was a preterm baby and we were sent to the hospital to have him when he was only 33 weeks. So everything we were experiencing that day was really new to us.
We got to the hospital and didn’t know where to park of course and ended up entering the wrong wing and being directed all the way to the other end. Luckily, I wasn’t in pain so it didn’t really matter! Ha ha.
Once we arrived to the birthing area, they checked us in and were expecting us since the doctor had let them know. They did a swab down there, and yep, my water had broken. Dr. Wavern then came in to go over my options. Basically, since it had been a good 12 hours since my water broke it was important we got the babies out. And with me not going in labor, he did not thinking inducing was a good idea since, 1. I have never given birth before given that Ian was born via cesarean, so the labor would be long and hard and would most likely end up with me having a cesarean anyways and 2., since it was twins it was double the risk. Unspoken was the fact that the doctor had never done VBAC with twins but we all knew that so it was a given since we had talked about it before.
We decided on cesarean because I wanted to make sure there were no emergencies with my babies and that they delivered healthy and not stressed. Plus, I didn’t want to run the risk of having one vaginally and then have the other via cesarean since the recovery would be so much harder.
With that I was told the cesarean would be scheduled for 9:30am. Holy shit. It was happening. I turned to Ryan after everyone left and asked if I really had to do this today. I wasn’t ready or mentally prepared!
“Um, yeah…” He told me bemused. I told him I just really couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that the babies were going to be here in two hours. It seemed so strange. He squeezed my hand and tried to comfort me the best he could but man my heart was racing and I was getting a serious case of anxiety. Plus, I was starving and I was told I couldn’t eat until post surgery and even then it would hours till I could eat solid food! I wanted a bagel so bad!
The nurse came in and was really excited for me and we began to talk about what to expect during and after the surgery. She told me I would be able to hold both babies right away as long as they were healthy and breathing on their own which right now seemed very likely, and she also said they would be with me in the recovery room and I could start skin-to-skin and breast feeding as soon as I wanted too. This made me get excited and the anxiety began to lessen. Holding those babies right away was so important to me, and to hear I would still get to experience all that was just what I needed to hear.
The next two hours went by surprisingly quick with nurses and the anesthesiologist coming in and prepping me and then Ryan’s parents showed up all of a sudden which was unexpected but I didn’t mind. I knew how much they cared and wanted to be involved. They gave us lots of love and said they would come back in a few hours after the babies had arrived.
Then there I was, being wheeled down to the operating room. Ryan had to stay behind which sucked but he was going to join me in about 15 minutes after they got me ready. Time went by quickly, and then there was Ryan and boom, the cesarean was going. The anesthesiologist did a great job with the drugs since last time when I had a cesarean I had felt so much pressure on my chest and got nauseous and also was shivering. This time I was numb down there but didn’t have all those other side-effects which I was told were common but they try to keep them from happening.
The babies soon arrived, first Leo at 10:12am. When I heard his cry I knew he was okay and my heart was ready to burst. Ryan went with the nurse while they did the apgar test on Leo and the doctors continued to work on getting baby B out (Dylan). Two minutes later out came Dylan and he took a second or two to start crying and I was very scared for a moment because all I could hear was the doctor saying, “c’mon little fella, catch a breath,” or something like that. But then there was a howl and all the nurse and doctors were like, there he goes! Meanwhile the nurse next to me was updating me saying both babies were looking great on their tests and shortly after Leo was brought to me and laid on my chest followed by Dylan. I looked at my two babies and couldn’t believe how big they looked! I was so happy they looked healthy and they were so cute and wrinkly. I was told by the special care nurse they would be able to go with me to recovery and they did not need to go to NICU and I was so happy and proud.
The babies were taken to go get some more things done and get cleaned up and the doctors stitched me up. Then the babies were brought back and laid on my chest and I was wheeled over to the recovery room with Ryan.
The nurse asked if I wanted to do skin-to-skin or if I wanted to wait and rest. I was like, “hand me those babies NOW.” Ha ha. But I said it nicely. They were both put on my chest and we immediately began to see if either was interested in breastfeeding. I said yes I was, and that I wanted to try tandem breastfeeding. I didn’t think either would latch but Leo immediately nuzzled around and opened his mouth and latched! I couldn’t believe it! The nurse seemed impressed too. We then began to work on Dylan. Dylan moved his little face around, grunting but kept his mouth closed. Sometimes we would get a quick latch but then he would quickly let go and cry a little. He seemed a bit confused and quickly got frustrated, gave up and fell asleep. Ha ha. He would need a little extra help for sure. Leo had taken a few sucks and seemed satiated and had fallen asleep during all this.
After the hour in recovery I was wheeled up to my room, with the birthday song playing as I went down the hall and nurses clapping. It was very sweet. Everyone ooh and ahhhed as I passed with the twins. Double the cuteness!
Unfortunately later that day Dylan’s blood sugar dropped and he was taken downstairs to the NICU. Leo followed shortly after. They spent a week there getting their blood sugars level which is normal for preemies to have happen. Still I was disappointed because I had really wanted them to come home with me when I was discharged. Luckily thought they did come home only three days later.
What a happy moment loading up the babies in the mini-van. I never felt so proud. We were like a parade walking down the hospital corridor wth our twins headed home. I almost felt like there should have been a band following us, announcing our departure.