Delivering my twins did not happen the way I expected. I was hoping to carry the babies as long as possible so they would continue to grow. Everything had been going well, so I thought I could last to the 38th week. I didn't quite make it.
My parents had come from Peru to stay with us for the birth and a few months afterward. During my 35th week, I had a sonogram scheduled in the morning. I was going to drive to the doctor's office with my mom, then drop her off back at home and continue on to work.
During the sonogram, the technician found something that needed a doctor's attention, so she called one of my doctors into her office. He looked at the results and told me to go to the hospital immediately. I asked him if I could go to my house to pick up my hospital bag. "Go straight to the hospital," he repeated. "Do not pass go." Then he very calmly explained that Baby B hadn't grown since the last ultrasound two weeds prior.
The Waiting Game
I called my husband, Noel, and told him "I'm having the babies today!" At first, he thought I was kidding. I assured him I wasn't. We arranged for him to go to the house to pick up my father and get my hospital bag, then meet me at the hospital. Then my mom and I, both in shock, walked down the street to the hospital a block away.
I was put in a room with monitors on my belly that checked the heartbeats of the babies. Once Noel got there, we started discussing names, which we still weren't sure about. (We didn't decide until the day after they were born—up until then, they were known as Baby A, now Sienna, and Baby B, now Chloe.) I was so grateful my parents were there with us. They are both very calm, which I needed, and we passed the afternoon just making jokes and talking about the babies' names. Time seemed to go by very quickly. Eventually, my doctor came by to check on us and confirmed that I was to have a C-section in the next few hours.
At 7:00 p.m., they rolled me into the operating room. My parents waved goodbye to me from the room door. Noel was taken somewhere else where he got the proper attire so he could join me in the operating room.
At 8:09, Sienna was born. I felt my skin stretching while they were pulling her out. The anesthesia hadn't worked 100%, so I told them I was in pain. It was a deep pain—not so bad that I was screaming but enough that I still remember. (I haven't heard of anybody else who has had a C-section going through this, so I think it's pretty unusual.)
The anesthesiologist started checking to see how much I was able to feel. Before he could give me more meds, I felt the doctors pulling Chloe out. I felt warm liquid spilling over me (from the amniotic fluid surrounding Chloe) and then the pain of them pulling my skin and muscles again.
Sienna was born with some fluid in her lungs; a group of neonatologists immediately assisted her by aspirating the fluid. Noel saw this and was really concerned, but he hid it so I wouldn't get worried. I couldn't see what was going on. Chloe was fine and was taken to the NICU right away; she weighed 3 pounds, 9 ounces. Sienna, who had been getting all the nourishment, was born at a hefty 5 pounds, 1 ounce.
It was the happiest and most eventful day of our lives.
Want more Mari? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow!