The Twin Source - Labor & Delivery http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery Fri, 05 Jun 2020 03:18:10 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Mari On: From Normal Morning to Delivering Twins that Night http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/191-mari-on-from-normal-morning-to-delivering-twins-that-night http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/191-mari-on-from-normal-morning-to-delivering-twins-that-night

Mari Twins Birth Story

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.


The C-Section

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!

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carrie.carroll@gmail.com (Mari) Labor & Delivery Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:39:58 +0000
Ashley On: Delivering Twins http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/185-ashley-on-delivering-twins http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/185-ashley-on-delivering-twins

 Csection or natural delivery

"You are pregnant." Yes! Awesome! Wahoooo!

"It's twins." Ummm, excuse me? Could you repeat that, please?

Sound familiar? If your experience was similar to mine, you almost fell off the ultrasound table and your husband may have needed a defibrillator when you found out you were having twins. In our case, we were not even trying to get pregnant with one baby let alone two! It was overwhelming, exciting, and scary all at the same time.

After the shock of expecting twins has worn off a bit, you will have a ton of questions and lots decisions to make. Should I change doctors to someone who specializes in high-risk pregnancies or multiples? Should I deliver at a hospital that has a great NICU? What tests should I have done? Should I find out the sex of the twins?

Also, what type of delivery should I have? What type of delivery should I have? What type of delivery should I have? I kept getting stuck on that one.


Vaginal or C-Section?

Whether to deliver your twins vaginally or via C-section could be the single most important decision you make. Do some research, and ask lots of questions. Don't just ask your doctor, though. Ask other twin moms about their experiences and whether they would make the same decision if they had to do it again. Also ask yourself what kind of personality you have.

I am a bit of a control freak and I don't like surprises, so early on I was pretty sure I was going to have a C-section. The fact that I was having twins was just about all the excitement I could take. I think I have watched too many Lifetime movies. All I could picture was me having crazy painful contractions and rushing to the hospital with a thousand people in the delivery room screaming and crying. Chaos everywhere!

And then some more screaming and moaning and yelling.

It was just too much. I needed a scheduled C-section.

I think the main factor in my decision was the fear that I would have Baby A vaginally and then come to find out Baby B was breech, therefore ultimately requiring a C-section as well. This actually happens a lot, and I knew I wanted to avoid that at all costs. There was no way I was going to put my body through both a vaginal delivery and a C-section in the same day. I finalized my decision to have a C-section at about 35 weeks.

No Regrets

A lot of women worry about the scar that comes with a C-section. Mine is actually super low, only about 3 inches long, and not bad at all. In fact, I'm still rockin' a bikini!

When I was debating between a vaginal delivery or a C-section, I told myself that the scar was purely cosmetic and could be easily fixed down the road if it was awful. At that point, the most important thing to me was to get my twins out safely. I felt that a predictable, controlled environment was the best way to do this.

To this day, I do not regret my decision. You will hear horror stories about both C-section and vaginal deliveries. Try to focus on what you are comfortable with and what is the best, safest route for you to get your little bundles to arrive safe and sound. Once you are holding those little angels, you won't be worried about scars, rips, tears, or the like.

 


Want more Ashley? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow!

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carrie.carroll@gmail.com (Ashley) Labor & Delivery Thu, 23 May 2013 19:38:05 +0000
Getting Through the NICU Experience http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/140-nicu-experience-tips http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/140-nicu-experience-tips

GettingThroughNICU

It is such an emotionally charged time when you have a baby or babies in the NICU. Here is some advice for getting through it:

  • Ask any and all questions on your mind (except maybe during shift change—the nurses will probably still help you with a smile, but it is a hectic time for everyone). Take notes when necessary so that you can recall all the information coming at you.
  • Learn from the pros. These nurses know their stuff! If you let them do what they do best, you will bring home calm, scheduled babies who  are ready to be loved and fed.
  • Give in to your emotions when you need to (that goes for you dads as well!). Having a baby or babies in the NICU is an emotionally charged experience. There will be tears; just go with it and do not be mad at yourself for not being stronger. It is okay. Moms: remember that your hormones are surging. You will have very bad emotional days that you just have to fight through.
  • Respect the babies around you. It is so important to remember that all the babies are there for serious reasons. Allow the nurses to easily move around you when you are visiting your child, speak quietly, and focus on your baby even if you hear commotion nearby.
  • Recognize that parenting is a team effort. You and your significant other are a team—you need to support one another and share the visitation and “routine care” opportunities as much as possible.
  • Know you are learning important parenting skills. If you can learn to change a diaper through the isolette portals, with the stress of multiple tubes and wires running every which way, you can change a diaper under just about any circumstance!
  • Have faith in yourself. Unfortunately, you simply can’t take the NICU monitors (or nurses) home with you! While you may be tempted to beg to take home the heart rate, breathing, and saturation monitors, you’ll quickly realize that you and your baby are fine on your own, and your instincts and common sense will take over. You’ll get to know your baby so well that you’ll be able to instantly tell if something is “off.”
  • Be thankful. Be thankful for the way you are treated and for the way your babies are cared for while in the NICU. Thank the nurses for their hard work.

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carrie.carroll@gmail.com (The Twin Source) Labor & Delivery Wed, 05 Sep 2012 23:44:04 +0000
Midwives and Twin Deliveries: Interview with Maria Mayzel http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/129-interview-with-twin-mom-and-student-midwife-maria-mayzel http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/129-interview-with-twin-mom-and-student-midwife-maria-mayzel

Maria midwife

Twin Mom Carrie talks to student midwife and twin mom Maria Mayzel about all things pregnancy.

Maria, my dear, thank you for taking the time to talk with us! I remember when we first met—my twins were just a few months old, and you shared with me your passion for and love of becoming a midwife. Then, just over a year later, you were pregnant with twins of your own! It is such a magical journey, isn't it?

Yes, it has been quite a journey to say the least. Similar to deciding to become a midwife, being a mother of multiples is somewhat of a calling—in other words, a journey that has chosen us.


First and foremost, could you take a moment to explain what a midwife is and why midwives are still very relevant to modern medicine?

Midwives are the guardians of normal pregnancy and birth. Prior to obstetricians, midwives delivered all babies. In many parts of the world, midwives still serve as a woman's primary birth attendant.

In the United States, we have many different types of midwives—from lay midwives who receive their training by apprenticing with a more experienced midwife to Certified Professional Midwives, like the famous Ina May Gaskin, who also do an apprenticeship as well as study a core curriculum and take a national certification exam.

I am studying to be a Certified Nurse Midwife, which is a registered nurse who has a master's degree in Nurse-Midwifery.


What made you decide to become a midwife, and why do you find it so rewarding?

After living overseas for a few years, I came back to the United States with a passion to work in women's reproductive health. I saw many problems both in the U.S. and abroad that could be solved if women had access to family planning and could make decisions about their reproductive healthcare.

After working in program management for a few international public health organizations, I realized that my true mission was to help women through the journey of pregnancy and birth. The reward comes from seeing the love and satisfaction on a family's face after the birth of a healthy baby. It also means being with women during sad moments, such as the loss of a pregnancy.


How can a midwife help and guide a twin pregnancy, and what is a midwife's role when dealing with a more high-risk pregnancy?

A twin pregnancy is simply a variation of a normal pregnancy, and many midwives manage twin pregnancies and attend births; however, depending on the type of twins you are carrying (dizygotic vs. monozygotic), the risks can be different. Not all midwives have the experience and training to manage twin pregnancies past a certain gestational age.

In general, midwives are trained to handle normal pregnancy. In the event that a pregnancy becomes complicated, they should refer clients to a collaborating physician—an obstetrician (OB) or maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor. For example, twin moms are more at risk for preterm labor and preeclampsia, two conditions that should be managed by an OB or MFM. Still, even if your care has been transferred to an OB for delivery, you can always resume care with a midwife after your babies are born.


Can an obstetrician and a midwife work together?

Absolutely. My twin pregnancy was managed by a group of midwives and an obstetrician. Again, the key is collaboration. Many women still receive the benefits of midwifery care even if their obstetrician delivers (or "catches," as midwives say) the babies. My midwives provided assistance both prenatally and during the post-partum period. I even had two midwife friends serve as doulas during the birth of my twins. A doula is a trained support person who assists a mother and her family through labor.


How can midwives assist new mothers post-partum?

Midwives are invested in building relationships with their clients and can be excellent resources during the post-partum period. From assisting a new mother with breast-feeding to helping her through the baby blues to helping her choose a method of birth control for preventing future pregnancies, midwives provide comprehensive care to their clients.

The long-term relationship built throughout the course of a pregnancy may continue through several years and even after menopause. There are some midwives who have "caught" siblings and even the grandbabies of their clients. Midwives, by nature, provide women support throughout her reproductive life—from puberty through menopause.


How did your role as a labor and delivery nurse and aspiring midwife help prepare you for your twin pregnancy?

Being a labor and delivery nurse and student midwife definitely informed the choices I made during my pregnancy. The two most important things a woman can choose are her provider and place of birth. I chose to receive prenatal care and deliver at the hospital where I work—partially due to convenience but mostly due to the fantastic care I have seen my patients receive.

It was important to me that my team of providers respect my desire to deliver my twins vaginally, and I was able to work with an MFM who was comfortable delivering a breech baby in order to realize my goal.

Of course, delivering in the hospital meant giving up some of the things I had wanted for my labor, such as a completely natural birth. I was induced with medication at 40 weeks and three days pregnant, and it was understood that I would get an epidural in the event of an emergency.

However, I was able to have a wonderful birth experience. I walked around, showered, used the birth ball, and received massages during labor. My co-workers came in to chat, and one even performed Reiki on me during labor. I rocked in a rocking chair for a good while. I made the decision to get an epidural at 8 centimeters as planned; this proved to be a good decision.

I believe women should carefully select a provider they trust and know the policies of the facility where they plan to deliver. For example, if you want a vaginal birth but your hospital's policy is that all twin moms get a C-section unless both babies are vertex (head down), then maybe you should plan to deliver your baby at another hospital.

I am also a firm believer in childbirth education for both partners. Although I am trained and work with pregnant women every day, the same is not true for my husband. Going to a childbirth education class was an important part of the pregnancy experience and truly helped us bond during a nerve-wracking time. An added benefit was that after those 15 hours of childbirth education, my husband turned out to be a pretty good doula himself.

As I mentioned, I also see the value in having a doula, or labor support person, at your birth. Doulas are trained to provide physical and emotional comfort to women, and they can take some pressure off the woman's partner when it comes to providing continuous labor support. Labor can be long and exhausting, and doulas get paid to be there for most of that time.


Lastly, a "Woman on the Street" question: If a woman approached you on the street and asked for advice about being a first-time mother of twins, what would you say?

Get all the sleep you can before they get here!


I can't thank you enough for sharing your expertise with our community! We also greatly appreciate that you took the time to share your own personal birthing story on delivering twins naturally. Your unique journey provides a perspective that many mothers can appreciate.

 


Maria Mayzel, RN, BSN, MPIA, SNM, is a labor and delivery nurse and student midwife located in Baltimore, Maryland. She teaches childbirth education classes at the hospital where she works, is a trained and certified doula through DONA International, and has experience in the field of international maternal-child public health. You can reach her at mariamayzel@yahoo.com.

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carrie.carroll@gmail.com (The Twin Source) Labor & Delivery Tue, 31 Jul 2012 08:56:32 +0000
Delivering Twins Naturally http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/128-delivering-twins-naturally http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/128-delivering-twins-naturally

In this special contribution to The Twin Source, twin mom Maria shares her birth story. Her story is somewhat rare because she delivered her twins vaginally. In fact, she insisted on it. All of our regular Twin Mom contributors delivered via C-section, which isn't surprising: Many doctors today insist on surgical delivery of multiples, and most expectant mothers follow doctor's orders. Maria wanted to share her unique story with The Twin Source community, and we are thrilled to provide this different labor perspective.


Maria

It was 11:00 p.m. a few days after Thanksgiving, and my husband and I were rushing to the hospital. No, labor hadn't started on its own; rather, I had made an appointment to meet my twins.

Less than a week earlier, I had canceled my scheduled C-section after my stubborn little girl decided to turn from breech (feet first) to vertex (head down). I anxiously visited the acupuncturist and chiropractor in the weeks leading up to my due date with the hope she would turn head down. On the day of my last ultrasound, we discovered how full of surprises this little girl was: She had turned vertex, and I was elated.

Once that happened, I made the decision to attempt a vaginal delivery. My doctor would be out of town and I didn't want to leave my birth attendant to chance, so I decided to schedule an induction with a different doctor who was comfortable delivering breech babies. The main concern was whether my son would flip back into the breech position after I delivered my daughter and whether he could safely fit through the vagina. After discussing the risks with my doctor, we scheduled the induction for the following week.

After being admitted to the hospital, I tried to get some sleep. Any twin mom knows it's nearly impossible to sleep with two fetal monitors attached to your huge belly and with nurses coming in every few minutes to readjust the monitors. Still, I did manage to get a bit of shut-eye before morning.

My labor was induced with medication (Cytotec to soften and ripen my cervix, and Pitocin to induce contractions) and a foley bulb (a catheter filled with sterile water and inserted into the cervix to cause it to dilate).

After I was induced, I spent most of the day chatting with my labor support team—two midwives who are friends, my husband, and another friend—as well as my co-workers, who are also nurses. I sat on the birth ball, walked around the hospital, took a shower, rocked in the rocking chair, and squatted during contractions to help ease the pain.

It took over 12 hours for active labor to start. Once the "real" contractions started, I was in agony. Pitocin, unlike the body's natural Oxytocin, causes horribly painful contractions that are hard to relax through.

My provider kept urging me to get an epidural, but I wanted to hold out as long as possible so that I could have as "natural" of a birth possible. Most providers know that although the evidence might be anecdotal, epidurals can slow down your labor. I wanted to avoid this and all of the other interventions that come with a more technological birth. I'd asked for a "light" epidural, one with less anesthesia and narcotics so I could feel what was going on and better direct my pushing when the time came.

Eventually, after receiving my epidural, I was relaxed and calm again. I sat high in my labor bed and chatted through the contractions, which now felt like pressure in my bottom. It took a couple of hours to become fully dilated. About 20 hours after the induction started, I was ready to push. I don't know why they say epidurals relieve pain because I felt everything during my delivery, and boy was it painful.

Olivia Leonor was born 20 minutes after I started pushing. She came out screaming and was given a quick assessment while I geared up for the task of pushing out my son. Right after Olivia was born, the doctor broke my second bag of water. We knew ahead of time that because my son had a lot of fluid, there was a risk that he might flip back into the breech position, which he did. Next thing I heard was my doctor telling me she felt a foot. I felt Lucas Matthew's feet, then body, then arms come out of my body, but he became stuck when they tried to pull out his head.

Things got very quiet for me then. While I am not a religious person, I am very spiritual. It was in this moment that I called to my higher power to please deliver my son safely. The doctor knew exactly what to do. Within a moment, she had delivered him with a special pair of forceps designed for this exact type of delivery. He came out limp but began crying right away.

Once both babies had been looked over, they were placed skin-to-skin on my chest and I immediately began to breast-feed both of them. Lucas looked intently into my eyes as I fed him, and we formed a very deep connection within his first few moments of life. Olivia and I later bonded as she happily fed on the other side. She was later placed skin-to-skin with her dad so she could also bond with him. It's no wonder she is a daddy's girl today.

While I started out wanting a natural home birth, I can't complain about the birth experience I shared with my husband, friends, and colleagues. It was one of the most amazing days of my life, and in the end I had two healthy babies. What more could you ask for, really? Every day since has been pure chaos—is life anything less with multiples?—but I am grateful to have been chosen for this very special journey.

 


Maria Mayzel, RN, BSN, MPIA, SNM, is a labor and delivery nurse and student midwife located in Baltimore, Maryland. Read more about Maria's insights on midwifery in her interview with Twin Mom Carrie.

 

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carrie.carroll@gmail.com (The Twin Source) Labor & Delivery Tue, 31 Jul 2012 08:46:52 +0000
Carrie On: Twins in the NICU http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/31-carrie-the-nicu-experience http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/31-carrie-the-nicu-experience

NICU


My husband, Andy, and I will never forget our twins’ stay in the NICU. Our story is unique, but I believe other NICU parents can find commonalities with their own experiences.

After several third-trimester complications, our doctors decided to deliver the twins on short notice at 35 weeks. Due to some specific concerns that developed for each baby in utero, we had suspected that the babies were likely destined for the NICU. However, it was still very hard to prepare for, given the million or so thoughts that went through our minds during that crazy, exciting, and scary time.

Separated

When the babies were born, I was unable to truly hold them due to the C-section operation. Then, as we thought, both Drew and Celeste needed to be taken to the NICU—Celeste due to her low birth weight and Drew to monitor his in utero complications. I insisted that Andy go with the babies while I was in the operating room being put back together so to speak. I felt alone, but I wanted him to be with the babies. Once I was moved to the recovery room, poor Andy was juggling checking on me; checking on the babies; and, perhaps most difficult of all, dealing with my mother—a first-time grandmother concerned about her firstborn daughter’s state and unable to visit any of us due to the H1N1 (swine flu) restrictions.

In recovery, I began realizing that my post-delivery situation was a bit different. I could hear new mothers near me with their babies also in the room. I asked the nurse about it, and she said that if a baby does not need to go to the NICU, they can stay with the mom in recovery. That would turn out to be one of the most difficult things to handle while staying at the hospital—hearing babies crying while in recovery, and later in my room upstairs, was very difficult for me. I wanted the twins with me, and Andy and I would constantly wonder if they were crying or okay whenever we were not with them in the NICU. I’m sharing this because that was something I did not prepare myself for, and I hope it will help others to know in advance.

NICU Nurses

Meanwhile, in the NICU, the nurses did a great job explaining the status of each baby: why they were there, what specifically was going to happen, and how and when to visit them. The calm, friendly demeanor of the NICU nurses was so important. Andy immersed himself in the know-how that the nurses happily provided—taking temperatures, changing diapers, feeding, and bathing. He found the nurses extremely helpful and reassuring.

The days and nights spent in the NICU seem almost like a dream now. Fortunately, the babies were there only about a week. At the time, it was heart-wrenching. Leaving the hospital without them and coming home to an empty nursery was probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life. Though it was a roller coaster of a week, we realize that we were very fortunate that their stay was so brief.

We found true comfort and solace knowing that the babies were in the absolute best place possible. The nurses and doctors in the NICU were not only on top of their game medically but also showed great compassion for our children and for every child they worked with. They also showed heartfelt warmth and support for us in our fragile emotional state. They comforted us whenever we needed comfort; answered our barrage of questions thoroughly; and, if they did not have all the answers, they would make sure a doctor met with us as soon as convenient. We could not have dealt with our fears and emotions without their support. I would have had to be dragged out of the hospital kicking and screaming had I thought the twins were not receiving wonderful care.

In a way, we look back on the NICU stay as a silver lining in the occasionally stormy story of our pregnancy and birth experience. Through their wonderful care, patience, and guidance, the nurses helped us “first-timers” become much more confident in ourselves as parents. Andy in particular had very little experience with newborns, but they showed us that we could take care of these babies—on our own, no less! Even though it was a tough week not having the babies in my hospital room or at home with us, we think it really helped us start off on the right foot—calmly and confidently—when we did get to bring the babies home.

 


Want more Carrie? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow! You can also follow her on Twitter.

 

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carrie.carroll@gmail.com (Carrie) Labor & Delivery Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:44:47 +0000
Carrie On: C-Section for Twin Pregnancy http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/12-carries-story-the-cesarean http://thetwinsource.com/index.php/en/hospital-411/labor-a-delivery/12-carries-story-the-cesarean

C-Section

While I was on bed rest in my final week or so of pregnancy with the twins, a very dear friend came over and brought me lunch. She gave me some of the most comforting information I received during my entire pregnancy: She soothingly walked me through her C-section process with her firstborn so that I could feel a bit more comfortable if the doctors decided that was the best option for me and the babies.

On the day the twins were born, as I was being prepped for and even during the surgery, I heard my friend’s soothing voice at all the right moments telling me what I could expect. It brought me a remarkable calm. And so I want to share my story with you, so that you can be better prepared.

Triage

Your birth story will most likely start with the labor and delivery triage area, so this is where I will begin my experience. You might visit the triage area during an early hospital tour. If you haven’t seen it, I would describe it as a sort of partitioned holding area for delivering mothers.

You will most likely be in a small area partitioned by curtains. At this point, your significant other will probably be with you. The nurses will have asked you to change out of your clothes and into a hospital gown. A nurse will come in, check your vitals, and give you any information she can at that moment. For me, a nurse also checked the babies’ heartbeats and monitored them until my surgical room was ready. This time will be a bit nerve-wracking, as you might hear other soon-to-be mommies preparing for their baby’s (or babies’!) arrival and the nurses will be in and out quite a bit.

Go Time

When all is ready, your significant other will be escorted to get scrubbed and prepared for the surgery. You will be escorted separately to the operating room and will get your first look at the operating table. I want to point out that the operating table is stainless steel and is shaped like a lower case “t” so that when you lie down for surgery, your arms will be spread out in a “t”-like position.

When you arrive in the operating room, you will be brought to the surgical table and will meet your medical team, which will most likely include your anesthesiologist and your doctor or a doctor in your OB/GYN practice.

In my experience, the anesthesiologist introduced herself and began prepping me for the epidural anesthesia. She explained the steps she would be taking to numb my body and then had me sit on the operating table. I was instructed to lean forward and hunch my back as best I could. The needle then went into my spine and felt warm. The pain was not as terrible as I thought it would be; I attribute that to weeks and weeks of carrying the babies as well as to a prior trip to the hospital where I was poked and prodded for what seemed like eternity. Also, I believe at that point my adrenaline had taken over and I was focused on psychologically preparing for the moments to come.

The anesthesiologist then helped me lie down on the operating table. A few moments later, my husband, Andy, rejoined me. Then a large blue curtain moved into place, blocking our view of the medical team and the half of me that was about to be opened up. The anesthesiologist continually monitored my progress. I was quickly numbed, but I could still hear sounds associated with the preparation, including a quick shave of the surgical area. Then the operation was under way.

I mostly just listened and looked at my husband, whose eyes were completely transfixed on mine. He was so comforting and did such a great job keeping it all together.

During the surgery, you might feel a sort of pulling or tugging. Then all of a sudden, the doctors’ conversation will indicate that you are about to meet your babies. And then you will hear their cries. For me, Drew’s first, then Celeste’s—and I must tell you it was like hearing sounds straight from heaven. I will never forget their distinct voices making sound for the very first time—and realizing how much I had yearned, without even knowing until that very moment, to hear them my entire life.

Each baby was quickly brought around for me to see and meet. It is important to tell you that you will not be able to hold them right away, as you will still be numb from the anesthesia and then the nurses will immediately want to check each baby’s vitals. At that point, my little ones were brought to the NICU. I asked my husband to go with the babies and be with them while I was mended back together. Talk with your significant other ahead of time about what you prefer. For me, I wanted him to be with the twins.

Recovery

I laid quietly as I was mended back together and wheeled off to recovery. My time in the recovery area was longer than most, but Andy checked on me and provided me reports on the twins as much as he could.

The babies were born at 3:21 p.m. and 3:23 p.m. Because of my recovery time, we did not meet again until 10:00 p.m. I tell you this just to prepare you in case you are in a similar situation. When we did meet again for proper introductions, I promise it was like no time had gone by—and they were the best introductions of my life.

Remember to Laugh

Lastly, I must tell you that I will never forget my surgical nurse. While I was prepared for surgery, he began singing under his breath in perfect pitch, “Like a virgin / Cut for the very first time.” I stared in shock at my husband, who was holding my hand in support. You see, I am a lifelong Madonna fan. Andy instantly looked me in the eye and said, “Carrie, they’re singing your song. It’s all going to be okay.” And you know what? It was.

 


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carrie.carroll@gmail.com (Carrie) Labor & Delivery Thu, 12 Jan 2012 10:32:07 +0000