The twins have arrived! On Sunday, October 12th I woke up to incredibly intense contractions. Two days prior I had learned that I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced so we all knew that they could arrive at any time. I took a walk around our mile long neighborhood circle on Saturday with my family and I think it really got things going! Back to Sunday. I was told to wait until the contractions were 5-6 minutes apart for at least an hour or two before I called and went to the hospital. All I can say is to trust your intuition, because mine were still a cluster of contractions coming between 5-9 minutes apart, but I called anyways.
We arrived at the hospital and got settled in the room to wait for the doctor to come in and check my progress. Turns out I was 7cm dilated! The nurses later confessed that they didn’t think I was in active labor because I didn’t look like I was in pain. I tried to explain that after enduring an epidural-free, pitocin induced labor with my son…this was nothing. I was so excited to experience what it feels like to labor naturally. I can’t even begin to describe the difference!
The babies positions were checked (both head down!) so I was given the green light that I could try to have them vaginally! Even though I was managing the contractions well it was the plan all along that I would be getting an epidural placed in case they had to do an emergency c-section. For those of you that know me will understand the fear that shook my body when the anesthesiologist stood behind me about to stick a needle near my spine. I looked up at Greg’s knowing eyes. “You’ve got this, Lin,” he said. Honestly, I had hyped it up to be a way bigger deal than it was. The hardest part was the initial stick of the numbing needle…I would compare it to getting an IV. Once the epidural was placed he pushed through a test round that made me gloriously numb from the waste down. As a control freak, I was pleasantly surprised to learn I could still move my toes and feel my legs. But all good things must come to an end. My OB and I decided that the level of my epidural should be really low so that I could take a more active role in pushing. This would increase my chances of having the babies vaginally.
Soon after I started feeling the contractions in full force again it was time to get rolled into the Operating Room. It’s common for moms of twins to labor in an operating room since there is a high rate of c-section, especially with the second baby. What a crazy experience! There were two doctors, two nurses for each of the babies, two nurses for me and two nursing students that I had approved to be in the room to observe. It was quite a production!
I had worked so hard to keep these babies cooking for as long as possible and now it was time to welcome them to world! Baby A, my princess Claire, arrived after about 10 minutes of pushing and a small episiotomy. Before I even had a chance to linger in the excitement and relief of my daughter’s birth I had to move my focus onto Baby B. He moved into the birth canal without any flipping! My OB ended up guiding him out with a vacuum extractor (sounds a lot worse than was in this case) during my contractions because they had become weaker after Claire was born. A push or two later he shocked everyone and flew out like a rocket ship and I felt him under my legs! My sweet Owen was born 12 minutes after his sister.
The nurses brought both babies over to me and informed us they were perfectly healthy! We rolled out of the operating room together and into the recovery room where I tandem nursed them for the first time. I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God for being blessed with my husband and three children. My eyes are welling up just writing this because I’m just so thankful!
I also want to send a heartfelt thank you all of you who have followed this journey and sent encouraging words, positive vibes and daily prayers. Of course, our story doesn’t end here! I’ll be continuing to update my blog so stay tuned for stories of our adventures as a family of five!