If being wheeled into the OR wasn't strange enough, arriving there was akin to an out-of-body experience. There were a dozen people in there, not counting me or the on-call doc who was still stitching another mom who had given birth.
There were nurses for me, nurses for the baby, the anesthesiologist, a doc from the NICU whose name I didn't catch, me, Scott, the cameraman, and Scott's mom with a camera. Everyone was in gowns and masks except for me -- I was still in a hospital nightie with a bare bum which was resting in a swap of amniotic fluid.
Thankfully, though I could feel the increasing pressure with the contractions, I was not feeling the urge to push. I think that had I not gotten the epidural, Baby A might have been born in the hallway because the urge to push is pretty undeniable. Super Nurse asked if I was comfortable and could hang on until the doc got there. I said, "Yes. As long as he's not going to be an hour."
Then she asked if I wanted to do a practice push. I laughed and responded, "Not until there's someone here to catch!"
About that time, the someone to catch came in and introduced himself. If you recall, he met Scott earlier while I was sleeping. This time, I was very awake. He also asked for a practice push, so I did. About .5 seconds into the push he asked me to stop (which I could do, thanks to the epidural -- if I hadn't had the meds, Baby A would have hit the floor) and he quickly suited up.
Two pushes later at 11:47 a.m., Juliet Diana came into the world weighing 5lbs 8oz and measuring 19 inches long. Scott cut the cord and she was held aloft so that I could get a quick peek at her before getting to work to deliver Baby B.
First, the doctor needed to break Baby B's water. Well, she was hiding way up at the top of my uterus, starting to come down head first. But way up there. Not that Juliet had really come down too far -- apparently I accomplished the amazing feat of dilating to 10cm before she dropped, but this is common for my deliveries -- both Milo and Violet stayed high until I started pushing, then they were delivered quickly, managing to keep their little (ha!) heads nice and round.
So little miss hiding-way-up-there necessitated the doc getting his hand way up there, too, in order to hook her bag of water. The first attempt led to a trickle, so he made a second attempt, which led to a river which flowed so fast I involuntarily gasped, "Woah!"
According to Scott's mom (the OB nurse of some 30 years), once they know that Baby B is coming down the right direction, the OR relaxes. We certainly found that to be the case. The doctor and Super Nurse did a little bit of external repositioning and asked me to start pushing like mad, contractions or not. As she was crowing, they let me take a moment's rest before the final pushes.
Nine minutes after her sister (11:57 a.m.), Willa Caroline came into the world weighing 6lbs 6oz and measuring 20 inches long, completely covered with cheesy vernex. I was surprised that there was so much difference in their weights -- generally, the docs won't let you deliver vaginally if they think that Baby B is more than half a pound heavier than Baby A. Maybe it's a good thing we hadn't had that last growth ultrasound after all?
The nurses worked on the babies as I delivered the placentas and was repaired -- it's very odd to feel the tugging of stitches and have no associated pain. My tear was a second degree tear, but I didn't really feel it during recovery, thank goodness. Given that my first two babies were nearly 3 pounds bigger than Juliet, I'm guessing my tear had more to do with Dr. Large Hands than it did the actual births, but I'm not going to complain at all because I was able to deliver them the way I had so very much wanted.
Both babies did great -- Juliet had APGARs of 9/9 and Willa's were 8/9. Neither needed NICU time, both came back to the suite with me. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect twin delivery and am so very thankful and appreciative of the doctors and nurses who trusted me and my body to do it.
And that's my birth story for Mother's Day. I continue to be amazed by the four (FOUR!) little people Scott and I have brought into our lives. Every day fills me with more joy than I thought possible; I am continually humbled by the sheer force of their spirits. I feel pretty certain that I am the luckiest mama in the world.
Happy Mother's Day to all!