The words that slipped from my mouth to the receptionist at the birth care center seemed utterly surreal, "Hi. I'm 37 weeks pregnant with twins and my water has broken. I'm not in labor yet. Oh, by the way, I have called S. from the hospital and she will be here with a camera person shortly. They are completely OK to come in to triage or our room, wherever we are when they get here. And there should be a note in my file that my OB is planning to deliver me, even though she's not on call. And I'm Courtenay..."
I'm not sure which part was more crazy -- that the twins were on their way or that the little flighty introduction I gave the poor receptionist made me sound like I was Mariah Carey and we were checking into the celebrity wing of the hospital in L.A. whilst surrounded by paparazzi. In any case, I felt a wee bit self-conscious giving that whole self-important blah, blah, blah...
We were shown back to Room 2, the site of many of our non-stress tests. The tech asked a few questions, gave me a hospital gown and scooted out of the room to let me change. I made Scott take one last belly shot for the sake of weird science, and used the toilet. When I was attempting to stand up without dribbling amniotic fluid down my leg, our nurse arrived, escorted by a newly-minted charge nurse who just happened to be the daughter of a friend and who had staffed Violet's birth. I'm not sure who was more excited -- us or her.
I apologized profusely for leaking on the floor.
After going through the admission paperwork, I was hooked up to the old familiar monitors. Baby A was in the same spot as always, Baby B was sliding up and down the right side of my belly, naturally. I was not contracting in any pattern, commenting that the contractions I was having were less painful than the Braxton-Hicks I'd been having all week.
About this time, S and M (the cameraman) showed up for a quick interview, both looking tired and excited. I apologized for calling them out of bed, but neither seemed put out by it. M decided that he was going to shoot clocks throughout the piece, so, though I have no clue how long I was actually in triage, the video has the proof!
After confirming that my water had indeed broken, the nurses helped us organize our stuff and head to the suite where I would labor. Because I was having twins, the delivery would take place in an operating room in case we needed swift medical intervention, but I was able to labor in the comfort of a birthing suite, followed always by the swoosh-swoosh of the monitors.
I was still not contracting with any urgency, still only dilated to about 2cm. They started an IV with my antibiotics and fluids. My OB arrived on the scene, also looking sleepy. She explained that as luck would have it, the next morning was the only morning that she had surgery scheduled all week and, due to that, the on-call doc was going to have to do the delivery. I blinked and asked who the doc was...
Fortunately for us, the on-call doc was an OB who had been practicing longer than I've been alive -- so back in the day when they delivered breech babies vaginally instead of automatically checking the box for a c-section. I sighed with relief knowing that my body could deliver both babies vaginally if the doc was amenable and that the on-call doc was amenable. As she placed a scalp lead on Baby A, I mused that my OB has tiny delicate hands and the on-call doc towered over Scott and had hands the size of polar bear paws. I shuddered a little and decided that I was glad that I was going to have an epidural.
And then the waiting began. My doc decided not to start the pitocin right away to see if my body would get into a good labor pattern on my own. I didn't think that it would and had a deja vu moment as I remembered back to Milo's birth. My water broke then, too, and labor didn't start. Pretty much like it was going so far with the twins.
And so we waited. Scott and I were far too awake to relax, he was bouncy with anticipation. My contractions weren't painful, strong, nor long. So we waited...