FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK, MIDWIFE. Why, just the DAY BEFORE, I had met with my regular OB (not the Sunnybrook one) and had inquired of her, "So, on the off-chance I go into labour in the new few weeks, do I go to Sunnybrook or TEGH?" She very blithely responded, "Oh, you're at 32 weeks, so we [TEGH] would keep you. But I don't think you'll be going early. You know, everyone says twins come early, but all my twins go to term." FORESHADOWING ALERT!
Earlier last week, I had also asked my friend at work, G, "What do Braxton Hicks feel like?" because I had been feeling a tightening in my belly that wasn't uncomfortable, but was definitely a something. On Wednesday, I stopped at the fish store to scope out their soft shelled crabs and walked TWO AND A HALF KILOMETRES home, moving verrrrrrry slowly, because my gut was belly was so tight. FORESHADOWING ALERT!
So I went to TEGH and was admitted to maternal triage. They hooked me up to a bunch of different monitors, and lo and behold, I was having contractions every 5 minutes. The OB on duty came and took a look at me, and said, well, this is early, we'll see if we can keep you steady at this rate for 24 hours, but you won't be going back to work. Me: "Today?" Her: "Uhhh, no, until these babies are born." Me: "But I sit all day at work," Her: "Well, you'll be on bed rest." Me: "But I can still go for walks and stuff right?" Dotytron (who had come to be with me on his way to work) and her, in unison: "YOU'RE NOT LISTENING. BED REST MEANS DOING NOTHING, BECAUSE WE WANT THESE BABIES IN AS LONG AS POSSIBLE." Me: "I don't think I'm processing this well."
Then she checked me and clucked in regret, "Oh, you're not going anywhere, you're 2-3cm dilated. We'll hope that we can keep these babies in you for the next 24 hours, but you're here." So I called my midwife who said that I was basically in TEGH jail. The roomie also said that they would set a series of goals for me - like, if I make it through the next 24 hours, then they'd hope for 48, then maybe a week, then maybe two weeks. Either way, I wouldn't be allowed to go home, in case I delivered there.
I got the whole epidural lecture again - and this OB's hands were BIG. The Dotytron after the fact was like, Dr. M is pure rural animal birthing styles. She just looks like her natural environment is birthing cows on a farm. I said I would think about it. I got moved to a labour and delivery room, and my midwife told me to page her when I reached 5-6 cm dilation. My contractions were coming every 4 minutes, but on the pain scale of 1-10, I was like, they were maybe a 1 or 2? Maybe? So I hung out with the Dotytron and wrapped things up at work, emailed my manager, etc., etc.,
It came time to make the epidural decision. I didn't want to have one. I was in active labour at that point - 5-6 cm dilated and again, not really feeling the contractions at all. I called my midwife and was like, "Hey S! What's up?" And she was like, "Don't ask what's up with me! What's up with you?" Me: "Well, I am 5-6 cm dilated and you wanted me to call you?" Her: "You're in active labour and you're asking me how I'm doing? You are crazy."
The anesthetist came and talked to me and gave me the whole "informed consent" talk about the procedure, outlining how it's done and the risks. This was probably the 2nd most freaked out point of this whole birth story. I was FREAKED. Um, nicking a nerve and then me having a splitting headache for 6 weeks? Potential (I mean, 1 in 4 million, but still!) paralysis? Not my bag, sons. I think the issue is that by the time most women want the epidural, they're like the woman down the hall, who was apparently SCREAMING for one. They don't care about the risks.. The fact that I was listening calmly wasn't doing me any favours. I was pretty scared. The anesthetist was also like, it would be more preferable if you could feel the contractions more, so that we would be able to know for sure the epidural was working, but what can you do? My pain tolerance/threshold is what it is. I ended up getting one because the high change of an emergency section for Twin B meant that it would have been getting knocked out, general anesthesia styles if it came to that, which is less ideal than if they can just bump up the meds and I'm conscious.
The midwife shows up (in a birthing support capacity) and the Roomie showed up (in an awesome friend/birthing support capacity) and then I kind of laboured until around midnight. The OB came and checked me and said that I was around 8-9cm dilated, but she didn't want to stretch me to 10cm dilation because if I didn't hit 10 naturally, there was a chance that I would close up again for Twin B and then we'd have to wait, which is less ideal. In the course of checking me, she broke my water and got doused, and then it was GO TIME. They wheeled me into the OR.
I pushed maybe 3 times, but twerp A made his way out on his own, basically. He started crying right away and then the pediatrician and her team took him away to do the Apgar-y stuff. Then it was B's turn. Unfortunately, in the course of getting A, the OB had broken B's water sac. The way the midwife explained it is that it's harder to grab a hold of the babies if the water breaks, because you don't have the air/water balloon to help you move them around and figure out what you're grabbing. It's also jarring for the baby...the Roomie likened it to getting your head pushed under water repeatedly. So you can take a breath, but then you're struggling and it's stressful. The next five minutes were intense. Dr. M was ELBOW DEEP in my nethers and was like, "I can't get the feet, that's a hand, no, I can't reach the feet, call the anesthetist, we've got to section." The whole room got really quiet and intense and I was scared and I know the Dotytron was scared. The anesthetist was basically walking in with the syringes all prepped when Dr. M said, "I've got the feet!" and pulled B out by his legs. He was obviously kind of shocked and scored really low on his initial Apgar. They kind of showed him to me and then whisked him away.
And that, was that. The midwife, the Roomie, and I stayed in the OR and checked out my placenta (which was pretty cool, if you're into that kind of thing - you could see the dividing membrane between the two amniotic sacs!) and the Dotytron went to the NICU to be with the twerps and check them out.
We named them the next day, after going to the NICU and taking a good, long look at them. That's Lennox on the left and Quincy on the right.
Look at Q vamping for the camera! So cute! L got banged up on the way out.
We are totally, completely, utterly in love. Guys, I have THREE sons, now.