Today my twins turn two.
Two years ago, about this time of day, I was sitting in my Dr’s office (okay… not sitting…) and learned I was 7 cm dialated and 80% effaced. If you don’t know what that means… sorry… not helping you out on that one… not really a blog topic. You’ll have to look it up ;o). I’d been having contractions for two weeks or so, but never anything in a solid enough pattern to go to the hospital. When the doctor saw how far along I was, she nearly didn’t let me go home, but I did have Jaden to take care of, after all, so we had to go home. We agreed to get him settled and then head back to Tulsa by 3:00 so I could get a strep test done, etc. and she’d come break my water at 6:00 ish.
We raced home, excited, nervous, in disbelief that today was the day! We’d been waiting for the day to spring on us like a cat out of a dark corner, but here it was… all announced and time to prepare for and… well, that was more shocking than the cat we were prepared for. We picked up Jaden at the baby sitters and she was so embarassed. Jaden had taken a tumble onto the concrete and scraped up his face pretty badly. One whole side of his face was road-rashed. It wasn’t her fault, but she felt guilty that it had happened on her watch. We scooped up our boy, took him home, grabbed his doodah, took him to the other sitters’ house and dropped him off.
WARNING: If you’re squeamish, read no further.
When we got to Tulsa, they wanted me in their little smock thingy and there was just no way. So, I wore what I wanted: a really seriously comfy sarong and a tee shirt. We did the strep test, wandered the halls, tried to get labor moving. I knit, we played cards and just… waited. Our friend who was planning to attend the birth and be our photographer called and offered to get me something to eat. I was starving, so this sounded good. She happened to be going to my favorite deli and they had some really stellar options. Before she could get there, though, the nurses informed me that I was not to eat anything in case I had to have a c-section. Blah.
Then came the debate. My dr called and told the nurses to start me on a pitocin drip. I was not having it. No way, no how, nuh-uh. Somewhere in the middle there, our doula (who was also our Bradley Method instructor) arrived. We’d discussed in class the need to stand up for ourselves and demand a full explanation of why what was happening. The dr wasn’t there, the nurses couldn’t give me an explanation and I didn’t want to be induced. So, the answer was no… three different times. Finally, the dr arrived… and she was not happy with me. Hand on hip in true womanly fashion, she growled, “I hear there’s some debate over the pitocin.” I explained that I didn’t want to be induced, that I was afraid it would cause contractions too painful for me to handle without drugs and that I’d rather she broke my water first. She wasn’t listening for a bit and (rather demeaningly) told me that I wasn’t going to get those babies out without some pain. I explained I wasn’t afraid of the natural pain; it was the unnatural pain I was afraid of. Then she understood. She has six of her own kids. She’s familiar with natural birth. She’s generally willing to do whatever you want as long as it’s medically responsible and you understand the consequences of your decision. We’d already been rounds over whether or not I could go without an epidural and she knew I wouldn’t budge if I didn’t want to. She explained that she wasn’t goint to give me enough pitocin to induce. Induction takes 12 units and she was going to give me two. It would be just enough to give my uterus some endurance after the birth of the first twin. I agreed.
She broke my water and full-0n labor started quickly. She broke my water at 8:45; Isaiah was born at 9:17. Isaac followed 12 minutes later. Those 12 minutes were more painful than all the rest. Isaiah had a short umbilical cord, but Isaac’s was really really long. She had to keep it from prolapsing and killing him before he could get out. I had gotten to feel Isaiah’s head as he was crowning, but not after. I got to feel Isaac’s head as he was crowning and as he flopped out. Amazing! I hope I never forget that as long as I live.
But I skipped a part. My dr and I had agreed that I would have to give birth in a c-section room, bright lights and all, just in case an emergency c-section became necessary. When it came time to push, though, she just told the nurses to bring everything into the room. I got to deliever my twins in a regular birthing room with my music, soft lighting and mellow surroundings. My husband was by my side all the while, my doula was helpful, our friend was encouraging and ready with the camera. I didn’t have to have any pain killers and my dr did such an outstanding job of judging when I ought to push that I didn’t even rip. It was a perfect birth– two perfect births, really.
I was up and walking within hours. The nurse was a hoot. She couldn’t get over that I’d had twins “naturally.” She kept asking me if it was true. I discovered the next day that her definition of “natural” and mine were different. She had been amazed that I’d delievered them without c-section. When she found out the next morning that I’d also done it without drugs, she was astounded. She was about 8 months along with her first baby and said she wasn’t going to tell her husband about me because he’d expect her to do as I had done.
I know this maybe sounds like bragging. It’s one thing I’m really proud of, though. And there aren’t that many things I’m proud of.