I love reading a twin birth story and every birth story is personal to the author and over the last few months as I have entered the mummy blogging world I have read the warm, delightful, inspirational and a few sad ones.
My partner holds me accountable for the “spontaneous” twin pregnancy. Perhaps it was my obsession with Sweet Valley High books or watching the movie, “The Parent Trap” or living with identical twin sisters but nothing quite prepared me for the ultrasound technician to say, “Congratulations its Twins.” I had gone to the Queensland X-Ray department at 9 weeks on my own – pure curiosity I am afraid with a referral in hand. I should have waited for the usual 12 week scan but I was impatient. I am the type of person who searches Wikipedia for the plot before I watch the movie, read the finishing chapters of a book half way through and certainly not one to keep spoilers from The Doctor.
I am also not known for delicacy and can be depended on saying things at the most inconvenient time. “I’m pregnant” as my partner chokes on his Weet-Bix. Now in the car park I call him at work, “Surprise, I am having twins” as stunned silence permeates through the phone. Tactful comments may also run in the family as not 6 months later as I am admitted into the maternity ward four weeks early, “Have fun” my father says as he leaves for the evening.
At 36+1 weeks (so precise I know) my partner and I rocked up to the obstetrician’s office for a check up. The appointments were now weekly and I had finished work four weeks prior. We sat across the Dr’s desk and I started to beg to be induced. I was huge, swollen and didn’t think I could last any longer. That morning we had seen little baby B’s foot very clearly kick through my tummy but no signs of labour was evident. For weeks I was resigned to sleeping in the double bed in the spare room or the couch but nothing was comfortable anymore and the frequent trips to the bathroom had made any sleep impossible. The weather was hot and I was waddling in the blow-up pool on the deck which was straining under the weight of the water, me and two unborn twins.
The Dr soon gave us a good talking to and we were duly chastised for requesting to be induced early as the priority was to reduce any time in special care. Even though the girls were a good size; we just had to wait. Then she took my blood pressure and the story changed, “We’ll admit you into the maternity ward tonight for observation.” So off we toddled to the hospital in the building next door.
“I don’t have my bag, its at home.” As I settled into my hospital bed and the midwife hooked me up to the monitors N disappeared home to collect my bag. It was peak hour traffic at 5pm when he returned. They took my blood pressure but it continued to climb. “Looks like these babies will be arriving tonight”.
“Where is the camera?” It was still at home. Off he went to return home for the camera. By then the midwives decided to move me into the labour ward. Apparently labour had started but I had no recollection. People were coming in and out of the room and I was oblivious to it all. “Too dangerous its pre-e and we need to have a c section.” It was disappointing but acceptable. All the money wasted on baby yoga. “Where is your partner?” he still had not returned. They inserted a cannula and there was blood all over the floor as it was difficult to find a vein. My mobile rang and it was my sister leaving a message saying “G’day how are things?” right when the nurse decided I needed a shave. Not good timing. It was all happening so fast we did not have a chance to relay back to the extended family that the girls were to be born shortly. A tall Asian man came in and started asking me questions and in my delirium I thought he was the janitor. I called N, “Where are you?” He was in the car park. The staff threw him his greens to wear in surgery and he came rushing in with camera in hand. The epidural was painful, swelling made it difficult. They took blood from my neck. The large bright lights and two Drs peering down and “are you ready?” click went the camera and baby A was born. Two minutes later followed by her little sister’s screams. Twin A and Twin B times were marked on the White board. My partner holding my hand, “We did it.”
I spent the night in Intensive care to monitor the blood pressure and bleeding. Fluid continued to fill up bags as I started to admire my feet which I had not seen in months. My two legs were periodically pumped for continued circulation and an automatic BP reading went off every fifteen minutes. The night was long and lonely with only the night nurse to talk too as she wandered in and out of my room. She gave me two Polaroid photos of the babies. It seemed forever before I was allowed to move into the general maternity ward to meet my two girls in special care. With the twin birth story done and dusted now the hard bit starts. Parenting.