Ben and Alex’s Birth Story

I meant to post this yesterday, in honor of the boys turning 6 months old. But between wildfires and severe weather and engineers on vacation, it’s been a very hectic last couple of days for my dearest husband, and as a result, hectic for me. But better late than never, right? I actually wrote out the boys’ birth story when they were 10 days old and everything was still fresh in my mind. Now I want to share it here….

Written May 4, 2012

We went in for my induction at 5am last Tuesday morning. I was 37w1d, and my OB didn’t want to wait any longer because of the added risks with mono/di babies later in term. (Because they share a placenta, there is an increased risk that the one placenta just can’t keep up with the demands of two babies as it ages, and if the placenta fails, both babies are in serious trouble). I was 3cm dilated and about 50% effaced. We started the pitocin around 6am, and then it was just a waiting game. The morning seemed to drag on forever, and the boys kept literally climbing on top of each other during my contractions, so the nurse had to constantly adjust the monitors. I was afraid to move so I pretty much didn’t breathe all morning long!

Around 1pm my OB decided to break my water to get an internal monitor on Baby B (who was presenting and ended up becoming Baby A). As soon as my water broke the contractions went from annoying to excruciating. I didn’t waste any time in asking for the epidural, I remember asking the nurse how long I needed to be a martyr, or if we could just get this over with. She gave the go ahead for the drugs, yay!  Unfortunately, it took forever for the epidural to kick in, or so it seemed. Finally they got me comfortable, and as they were going to check my progress, I remember thinking “good, now I can relax and maybe take a quick nap before it’s time”…..

Wrong. Before the epidural I was about 4cm. Once they got my pain managed and checked again, it was already time! Wow, that was fast! So fast in fact that I didn’t feel ready yet, and immediately went into a panic attack. Five minutes later I’m being wheeled to the OR and I’m shaking like a leaf and trying hard not to cry or throw up, I wanted desperately to do both. A quick note, it’s many hospitals’ policy to deliver mutliples in the OR, just incase an emergency c-section is needed. I was hoping and praying not to have one, but knew it was possible. About 50 percent of twin births are vaginal, the other 50 percent happen by c-section.

So here I am, having a full blown panic attack while the nurses are helping Alan put on scrubs along with everyone else. The OR was so cold and sterile and scary looking, and I was trying desperately not to freak out. Alan was absolutely amazing, he kept holding my hand and looking into my eyes and kept me calm while everyone was getting everything ready. He even put his mask on upside down because he said that way it would look like he was smiling, which he was of course, I just couldn’t see it.

I remember glancing at the clock while everyone was getting set, and it was 3pm on the dot. Then it was time to start pushing. Both boys were head down, but they upped my epidural in case the second baby decided to flip once he had the room. If that had happened, my OB would have had to do a breech extraction, which would have been very painful. So instead, I was thoroughly drugged up and not feeling anything. Fortunately my body remembered what to do, and with maybe 10 minutes of pushing, at 3:12 Benjamin Parker was born, weighing 5lb9oz, 18.5 inches long. It took just a few seconds for him to start crying, but it seemed like an eternity. I remember feeling such relief as they showed him to me and I heard his wails. I couldn’t hold him yet, but I watched as they took him over to the warmer to get cleaned up. I kept one eye on him and one eye on the fetal monitor, so afraid that the other baby might start having problems. (My biggest fear during delivery was the possibility of the placenta detaching after the first baby was born, leaving the second baby in distress).

Luckily he didn’t. They gave me just a moment to rest and then it was time to go again. Five minutes and about three pushes later, Alexander Ryan was born at 3:17pm, weighing 5lb,10oz, 18.75 inches long. As soon as I heard his cry I was in heaven, my boys were safely here!!!!!

An interesting side note. The ultrasound machine that they brought in to keep an eye on the second baby was broken, so one of the nurses literally clamped down on Alex the second Ben was born, to make sure he couldn’t flip to breech. Alan told me it looked extremely painful, thank goodness for drugs, I was blissfully unaware, hahaha.

I got to hold both babies as they cleaned me up and stitched me up, and we took a few quick photos of our foursome. It was surreal to have two babies in my arms. It’s true, you know you are pregnant with twins, but it doesn’t hit home until there are two babies in your arms.

Both boys had a little extra monitoring in the nursery that afternoon, Ben was having trouble keeping his temps up and Alex was having some labored breathing. But once they brought them to me for some skin to skin and feeding, they both improved dramatically. In fact, we all were able to go home the next day!

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