I'm not sure where to start, but I definitely want to get this down before I start forgetting details.
I went to the birthing center for a non-stress test on Saturday, July 3, and the OB on call finally noticed my climbing blood pressure. Everything else looked good, but she ran a urine test and saw protein in my urine, so asked me to take home a jug and do a 24-hour urine test. If it was positive, there was a good chance we wouldn't be going home before the babies were born, so we frantically (and finally) finished packing our hospital bags and putting carseats in the car. I don't think we really believed that anything would happen, though.
We returned on July 4 at 11 and waited an hour with the babies on monitors. The OB came in and said my protein level was 5 times higher than normal, that I would be admitted, and that she recommended induction. We agreed (I had been starting to be pretty horrified by my blood pressure, because it's always been low). Some of the nurses were finally horrified by my swollen feet and legs, too, and they were doing relatively well that day!
They set us up in a labor and delivery room and started the pitocin, and by mid-afternoon I was finally feeling contractions. Nothing too bad, though, and I was disappointed to not really be dilating. I was hooked up to the baby monitor with a strap for each baby and a contraction monitor, and was having continuous blood pressure monitoring as well - a cuff that was set to automatically inflate every 10 minutes. We watched a few fireworks from our hospital room window, and we opted to try a foley bulb for the night to help with dilation.
Unfortunately, it only helped a bit, and the next day, Monday July 5, I was still not even 4 cm dilated. They started upping the pitocin, but it seemed that my body was getting used to it, because it took them half the day and large doses to get contractions going again. Finally, the doctor proposed breaking the amniotic sac, since I was dilated just enough. At that point, the contractions became strong and painful, but I could handle them pretty well while sitting up. Again unfortunately, when I sat up, my blood pressure would spike, and I was forced to stay lying in bed, where the contractions were unbearable. And still not dilating very quickly at all. After hours of this, and knowing there would still be hours left to go (despite nurses expecting July 5 babies), I finally opted for an epidural. I still feel that I could have tolerated the pain if I could use the pain techniques I had learned in class, but alas, I was stuck in bed flat on my back.
The epidural came at 7pm and was awesome, a huge breath of relief. Ironically, just sitting up to have the anesthesiologist put it in lessened the pain so much that I almost changed my mind, but I knew I'd have to lie back down again. I didn't feel any more contractions after that, it was strange to see them going on the monitor while my husband and I watched the Lord of the Rings. But still no progress in dilation until they really upped the pitocin. At least I was able to get some sleep.
My OB was on call that night and kept us company throughout the night. Finally, finally, at 4am on July 6, she pronounced that I was ready to start pushing. At some point they had switched Baby A to internal monitoring (they found it impossible to keep her heart rate on the monitors otherwise), and internal contraction monitoring, plus they put in a foley catheter, plus I now had the epidural tubes and pitocin IV, and the blood pressure cuff - I was attached to everything in sight, it was a mess. But I was so ready to see my babies!
The OB explained that I would start pushing and see how things went, and she expected that in 15-20 minutes we'd start moving to the OR, as is the standard procedure for delivering twins at my hospital. After an hour of pushing, and I mean REALLY pushing (which let me tell you is rather difficult when you can't feel the lower half of your body), I was started to get suspicious of why we were still in the labor and delivery room. The OB admitted that I wasn't making any progress, even though I was doing a great job. I was determined to get these babies out, after all those hours of labor and getting to that point. I pushed harder.
Another hour went by, and I asked again - any progress? Still ... nothing. Everyone could see Baby A's head appear when I pushed, but it would disappear again when I'd stop. And the contractions were still few and far between, which didn't help the pushing, either. After 2.5 hours, the doctor was concerned, and said it was time to make a decision. She recommended doing a C-section, but would let me keep pushing while the staff was called and the OR prepared, in case a miracle happened. I was still hoping for the miracle, and pushed some more. My husband told me he could see the veins standing out in my face. At 7am, I admitted defeat, which was in a way a bit of a relief. I had been through just about every intervention possible since being admitted to the hospital, I knew I had no control over this labor, and I was starting to believe there weren't really any babies in there and everyone had been lying to me the whole time. I just wanted to see my babies.
I was moved into the OR, the sweetest anesthesiologist in the world found some music I liked to play during the delivery, and everything was prepared. Finally, my husband was brought in and everything got crazy and busy!
Jose.p.hine was born at 8:20 am, weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces:
Her brother, Vin.ce.nzo, was born at 8:21 am, weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces:
It was so incredibly emotional. I cried. I couldn't believe that those two beautiful babies were really ours. Even though the last week has been incredibly hard, I am still so grateful for how blessed we have been.