Annie & Sybelle: Our Twin's Natural Birth Story

It has taken me a while to come to terms with how our babies were delivered. It wasn't a horrific birth, or even very traumatizing, but there wasn't much that went to plan (is there ever?) and I felt a little ashamed of how my babies had to be welcomed into the world. 

I had a birth plan. I knew there would be things I'd have to be open to that weren't on my plan, but I thought I'd be strong and stick to my guns on most things. I didn't want medical interventions, if at all possible. 

That went down the drain when I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant with twins, unbearably uncomfortable, covered in PUPPS rash, hardly able to move, and just completely over being pregnant. My OB had told me from the beginning that I'd be induced by 38 weeks because the likelihood of my placentas starting to die after that point was very high with twins, and the babies would be healthier on the outside. Honestly, I didn't think I would even make it that long. I was thinking 36 weeks tops, but these girls were cozy all tucked inside. 

At my 37 week appointment I asked to be put on the induction list. I wasn't urgent, so I likely wouldn't be induced for a few days, but I just needed to have something put in motion. I had been dilated to a 1 for a few weeks, and I just wanted to have some progress. Days went by and I didn't get a call, so on September 21st I decided I would go to the hospital. I hadn't felt Sybelle moving for a while (she was a quiet one, but it always worried me when I went too long without feeling her) so I decided we would go to triage to get monitored, and hopefully we wouldn't have to go home. 

Kyle and I went for breakfast and took our time heading over to the hospital. When we got there we were monitored for a while. I remember this part so well. Kyle and I were goofing around and I just felt so relaxed. It was so much fun hanging out together. I kept asking the nurse if they would just send me up to be induced since I was on the list and finally they let us know there was a bed ready upstairs in Labor and Delivery, and I would get to be induced! I was so so so excited, and looking back I'm so surprised that I wasn't anxious in the slightest. I hadn't had much fear of the birthing process throughout my pregnancy, but I just felt really calm when it actually came time.

We got sent upstairs and they immediately set up my IV and started the induction. I went over the birth plan with the doctor on call and she gave me her low down. She strongly encouraged me to have an epidural (not part of my plan) in case there was an emergency with either of the twins. She let me know that should Baby B need an emergency C Section, I would have to be put under for the surgery if I didn't get an epidural. She said that was more dangerous for baby than the epidural, and I really didn't want to be unconscious for the birth of my second baby. She also let me know that there was a chance of forceps/vacuum use and that would be incredibly painful without the epidural (a little bit of foreshadowing here...). 

The doctor left and Kyle and I discussed our options. I was feeling pretty upset that the doctor was encouraging the epidural so much. Kyle said, "I know you didn't plan on having the epidural, but I think we should do what makes our babies as safe as possible." At that point it looked like that would mean getting the epidural. 

Right after we made our decision, my contractions starting coming as painful and strong as ever. It only took maybe 15 minutes since the induction started to get the contractions moving and after that the pitocin was turned off. I got the epidural almost right away because the anesthesiologist was available. The epidural took the edge off of my contractions I just remember still being in so much pain but not wanting to pump more of the epidural. I had read birth stories about women not being able to feel their contractions anymore when it came time to push and wanted to make sure that I would feel my body contract so that I was still in control of my labour.

I dilated quickly from a 1 to an 8 over a few hours, and then we hit a wall. I was still having incredible contractions but was stuck at an 8 for an hour or two. They pumped a little bit more pitocin and then we were on our way! At this point I had been labouring for 7 hours. Kyle was rubbing my feet, letting me squeeze his hand, and softly talking me through the contractions. He was so incredible. 

I was finally at a 10 and the nurse told me if I felt like pushing, I could. I was like uh, of course, get these children out! So I started pushing in the labouring room, and about an hour later we got wheeled into the OR where we would deliver the babies. It took over 3 hours of pushing baby A (Annie), she was so close to being out, but Baby B (Sybelle)'s heart rate started dropping. The doctor then let me know that we had to get Annie out so that Sybelle could come out ASAP because she was starting to go into distress. 

The doctor told me she would like to use forceps to get Annie out, and then she would use the vacuum to get Sybelle. This broke my heart and was pretty much the last thing that I wanted for my babies. I asked her about a C-Section instead, and she told me that the forceps/vacuum delivery would still be better for the babies, and especially for me and my recovery. I agreed, and we went ahead. They bumped up my epidural, and now I couldn't feel the contractions at all. I remember my heart feeling it was going to burst out of my chest, it was pounding so fast. My heart rate was through the roof, and I remember the anesthesiologist sitting behind me encouraging me. He was so kind. 

Within a few minutes, at 3:07am, Annie Elizabeth Louise was born - 5lbs 11oz and 20 inches long. They passed her right to me and we did skin to skin with Kyle right there beside us. It was so incredibly overwhelming. I just remember sobbing, I couldn't believe this was really happening, I was holding my first daughter. Then they took her to make sure she was okay, and we got to work on getting Baby B out. The whole time I couldn't stop asking if Annie was doing okay. Kyle kept having to remind me that there was another baby we had to focus on getting out, and that Annie was doing fine and in very good hands.

8 minutes later at 3:15am, Sybelle Kendall Lynn was born - 5lbs 7oz and 18 inches long. They took her away before handing her back to me. It felt like forever before I got my babies back, though I'm sure it had only been a few minutes. As they stitched me up (I had a partial episiotomy due to forceps/vacuum) they handed me back both babies and Kyle and I just sat with them. I remember I was shaking and felt so week, so Kyle was holding the babies on me, to make sure I didn't drop them. 

We got wheeled out of the OR and into recovery, where we spent a few hours. We tried breast feeding in recovery, but both babies were just so sleepy we waiting until we got upstairs to our room to try again. My mom and my sister had been waiting all night in the lobby of the hospital to come visit us and I remember feeling so bad that we had to be in recovery so long, I just wanted to see them and show them my babies! We finally went to our room around 6 or 7am, and our visitors got to come up. Kyle was absolutely exhausted at this point he was falling asleep in the chair beside me, but I was still high on adrenaline and probably pain killers :) 

I am so so so thankful that both of our babies were born strong and healthy, but as you can see in the pictures, both had some pretty significant bruising. It was really hard to see our perfect little babies with such painful bruising which is why I think it took me so long to share our birth story. I still feel guilty about it today. We had to stay in the hospital for just over 2 days because both babies' blood sugar was pretty low and they weren't very interested in eating. The testing to check their blood sugar might have been the saddest thing of all. Their poor little feet had so many prick marks, and they were so sore. We had no NICU time, and the babies stayed in our room the entire time we were in the hospital. Both babies were a little bit jaundiced but never ended up needing any treatment. 

On September 25th we got to go home, and it has been a chaotic dream ever since. 

Finally got admitted! 

Take good care, lovelies!