MijnbBevallingsverhaal van een tweeling

The childbirth story of my twins

“Lick it good, you’ve earned it.” Said the sweet nurse from the recovery room. Thirty minutes before, I was still on the operating table with a thick spotlight on my open abdomen. In that place, my two sons were born: Mika and Tomas. Twin twins. Where you can normally cuddle with your newborns right after delivery, I was licking a pear ice cream. What I didn’t know then was that Tomas was now wearing an oxygen mask because of a collapsed lung and Mika was in the incubator. Both were premature and dysmature. This is my childbirth story of my first child, and equally my second child.

Don’t worry so much

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the living room was full. My friends had surprised me with a baby shower. And it’s SO true: Surely it’s a lot of fun to be surprised by your friends. Just those few hours when it’s all about you and your little ones in your belly. After 35 weeks pregnant with twins, you could say I was highly pregnant. As a heavily pregnant woman, you naturally have to go to the toilet often, and that day I discovered some blood during one of my hundreds of toilet visits. Since I had a placenta previa (plancenta is in front of the “exit”) I wasn’t too worried about it, but did tell one of my friends who is a midwife that I had some blood spatter. Tomorrow, or today if it stays on, but call the hospital right away she said.

Pack your escape suitcase, your labor is coming

After an enjoyable party, that Saturday the legs went up and there was no further blood. That Sunday I still lost the mucus plug and had some wet underwear. So let’s call. “Otherwise put on black underwear, when that dries black then it is amniotic fluid and you should call.” This was late at night, so I thought: tomorrow I have an appointment scheduled with the gynecologist so I’ll wait until tomorrow. Called right away in the morning and they said, “come to the hospital right away and bring your flight suitcase, because you will probably give birth today!”. Somewhat overwhelmed, I hung up and said, ” we have to go to the hospital with all the stuff.”

Cab called and with 2 maxicosi, escape suitcase and some food headed for the hospital. I was still smiling and appending my parents: “hahaha, you’ll see it’s a false alarm, we’ll have to take that cab and ALL that stuff back”. Boy was a I wrong.

Upon arrival, we first had to wait in the waiting room. Since I had an appointment with the gynecologist later in the day, this was urgent anyway. Because of the placenta previa, I was going to have a cesarean section anyway. However, they were going to schedule this in week 37 or week 38. So no date was known yet. I also had it in my head that they would stay put for another 2 or 3 weeks. The time I needed to do some more reading up on breastfeeding for twins.

They wanted to come!

After about half an hour of waiting, I was called. Together, my partner Humberto and I went to the room somewhat tense. There they examined me and indeed, the crazy cramps I felt were contractions after all and after some external and internal examinations, the midwife determined that I was already dilated. The gentlemen wanted to come! Or at least Mika turned out afterwards, because the amniotic fluid I saw in my underwear was his. Tomas was still prince charming in his own little cocoon.

I had to get ready for an emergency C-section. That moment really went in a blur, changing myself in the hospital restroom, back on the bed. Being driven through the corridors. The only thing I remembered very vividly was that I was shaking all over. All the time. And also a little scared, what if it doesn’t go well, what if there is something with the boys, what if something happens to me? It is a mid-heavy operation after all. My great supporter and supporter was my partner. He was there all the time. When he had to change himself, I sat down on the operating table. The physician assistant was really the sweetest. She reassured me and I felt almost nothing from the epidural. Then I lay down and saw my Humberto again. He is the safe constant factor in my childbirth story. So glad he was there.

My childbirth story: hi, bye

When the knife was put into my abdomen, I didn’t even notice (you’re numb, of course). The moment Mika was born was quick and I didn’t even really realize he was born. They showed him and then they had to examine him and left the operating room. On to the second one. And a minute later came Tomas. He, too, had to be examined immediately after a brief hello.

Still special to see a whole team standing around your babies. Humberto went with them and fortunately the boys had their daddy with them. But it still broke my heart that I couldn’t be there either. They were lovely and warm and dark in my belly at first and then suddenly they had one of those operation lights on your head. Only to be carted off to a place I don’t know where they are.

A blur

Everything after that I don’t remember very well. It took them a while to finish stitching everything up and putting it back. Think at least another 20 to 30 minutes. Then I was wheeled to the nap room, where I was given a pear ice cream. This moment was really killing. I remember lying there and thinking, I have two babies. But I don’t know where they are and I don’t know how they are doing. When I could move my toes again I was allowed to go to my own room.

There was Humberto and then we were able to go to the neonatology ward to see the boys. So they were not in the room with us. The neonatology ward is one floor down and since I still couldn’t move after delivery, I was transported bed and all. With some fitting and measuring, I could happily see them. How small they were. When I saw them, they were both on tubes, wires, beeps and had ultra small diapers. We were concerned though because Tomas appeared to have collapsed lungs which meant he had to be on a ventilator. Fortunately, this was able to come off after a few hours. Mika was too small and could not keep himself warm. He was kept in the incubator. This is where he spent two weeks. Tomas was able to keep himself a little better warm and was allowed on a warming cot right away, moving to a “regular” crib after two weeks.

Three weeks in the hospital

An uncertain period of coming and going to the neonatology unit at the hospital began. Fortunately, I was able to stay in the hospital where I received maternity care. But it was not remotely like how I had imagined the first few weeks. At home, with maternity care, enjoying my two little men. Our family. That was the idea. And I had also regularly read or heard a childbirth story like that. Instead, I was on a ward with sometimes three other women who all had their babies in the hospital. Breastfeeding with twins is also a separate story; I wrote a blog about this. So in part because of the circumstances, this did not work out at all.

What I do really want to emphasize in my delivery story is that the team at the hospital was really fantastic, so sweet and patient. But as sweet as they were, we were happy to take our little guys home after three long weeks. How fantastic that was! And so scary actually! Suddenly doing everything myself, with two such tiny babies. But what an intense feeling of happiness when you bottle your babies at home on the couch. This is my childbirth story. I look forward to hearing your story! Have you had an (emergency) cesarean section? Or give birth naturally? Singletons, twins, triplets…more? Would love to hear your experiences.

Love from Spain