We found out we were having twins at the NT scan at 12 weeks. To say it was a surprise was an understatement but we felt so blessed to add extra children to our family. The start of the pregnancy was brilliant. I had little morning sickness (but HG with our first daughter, go figure!) and maintained a healthy lifestyle and attitude where possible.
At 28.5 weeks, a routine growth scan of the twins showed my cervix was dilating and funneled. This basically meant that there was little supporting the babies in my uterus and that I was at high risk of prem labour. I left work that day preparing for a meeting to be held the following morning. Little did I know that I wouldn’t be returning! I was admitted to hospital that night and there I stayed for the next 44 days. I was not allowed to leave my bed except for toilet and shower breaks. Anything I needed to do had to be done with someone else and in a wheelchair (scans/tests etc). I had not completed anything in prep for the twins birth and had a 16 month old at home who I could not take care of. But I was to be nothing but an incubator- that was my only job. I needed to carry the twins for as long as possible and with a positive attitude and support of the hospital staff, that’s just what I did!
There were many trials along the way- labour (which they managed to stop) and checks and double checks on the babies to monitor blood flow and growth. I was also told that a c-section would pretty much be my only option when birthing. I was pretty upset about this as I had my heart set on a vaginal birth, just like we did with our daughter. Her birth experience was amazing and I wanted this one to be the same.
On the 23rd of October, after exceeding everyone’s expectations, I was allowed to leave hospital at 34+2 weeks. Apparently no-one thought that the twins would make it to 32 weeks so I was pretty happy.
I lasted just over a week at home before I went into spontaneous labour. By this stage, twin 1 had turned cephalic and growth was steady for both babies so a vaginal birth was back on the cards!
Interestingly, we had just attended a multiple births information evening at the hospital that night and I was extremely uncomfortable. I just thought it was the chairs!
Back home later that evening, I started to get some niggly tightenings but no pain. I couldn’t sleep so sat on the couch for a bit. At about 11:30pm, I timed some of the contractions. They were 3.5 mins apart and lasting for approx. 20-30 seconds- still without any pain. I called the hospital and they said that given my history and that I was expecting twins that I should come in. We called the neighbour to wait with our daughter and I called mum to get her to come over to look after her for the rest of the night. At 12 midnight we left for the hospital. On the way, still timing contractions, I noticed that they were becoming more uncomfortable. By the time we made it, they were 2.5 mins apart and lasting 30-40 seconds.
I waited in the waiting area for what seemed like decades as the contractions increased in intensity and length. I breathed through them and tried not to focus on the people in the waiting room who were staring at me! We had studied Hypnobirthing for our daughter’s birth and it was amazing how it all came flooding back and I was able to get into the zone again and focus on my breathing. It was a busy night in the birthing suites that evening and the rooms that they usually reserve for multiple births (because they are a lot bigger) were all taken. We were ushered into possibly the smallest room ever!
A quick check found that I was 8cm dilated and all hell broke loose as everyone tried to get organised. Trolleys and SCN beds were wheeled in and an urgent page was sent to the anaesthatist for the epidural administration (epi’s in this hospital are pretty much policy due to the uncertainty of delivery method of the second twin).
Before the anaesthatist arrived, I felt like pushing. I was told to use every ounce of my willpower not to push before the epidural was administered and boy was it tough! They finally got it in at a little past 1am and I prepared to relax. In the end, the epidural didn’t quite take so I kept on feeling contractions for the next couple of hours until they topped me up with something a little stronger. I also had continual CTG monitoring, regular ultrasounds, a foetal monitor in twin 1’s head and a drip.
At 4am it was decided that it was time to start pushing. Again, the place was a hive of activity as I counted no less than 14 people in the room including hubby and myself. We had our student midwife, 2 private cord blood collection staff, 2 midwives for me, 2 SCN nurses, 1 paediatrician, 1 fellow obstetrician, 1 consultant obstetrician (who was a spunk!) and 2 hospital student midwives!
We had requested a mirror so we could see the babies being born but hubby needed to remind me of this after my first push as I had my eyes closed! After the 1st push, I could see the head of twin 1. Another push and his head was out. A third push released his little body and I received him directly into my hands and pulled him onto my chest. The feeling was electric and as people worked frantically around me to assess the position of twin 2, we met our little boy, Flynn. The time was 4.10am on 1st November. He weighed 2.2 kg and was a huge 51cm long!
It turned out that twin 2 was presenting with an arm over her head so a little bit of minor manipulation was needed to push it back a little bit. It is at this stage that I was grateful for the epidural!
A few minutes passed and we were all good to go with twin 2 and not even 2 pushes later, Alyssa was delivered, again, straight into my arms and onto my chest. It was 4.15am. She weighed 2.1kg and was 46cm long. All of the dramas of the past almost 2 months dissipated as I held my little bundles of joy. What a relief. I had made it to 35+5 weeks.
The babies were taken to the SCN for a checkup, accompanied by their dad. Both of their APGAR scores were 9 and 9 and they were breathing really well. I was stitched up, the epidural was turned off and I was left to rest in an empty room that not a few moments before was a hive of activity!
After a little over a week in hospital my darlings were allowed home.
I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Our 2 birthing experiences were completely different but so life changing and the best experiences of my life. I think this is it for us- 3 children 18 months apart is plenty. But never say never…!