My Twin Births (A Tale of Two Babies)

At 4:51 am on May 18th, 2017, I woke up to feel a gush of water between my legs. Already certain I knew what it was, I got up and went to the bathroom to investigate. Too much fluid to be anything other than my bag of waters opening. I tried putting a pad on, but it just overflowed - so much and continual, so it must have been more like a leak. Finally one of my daughter's diapers seemed to do the trick. For several weeks I had experienced contractions each night as I laid in bed sleeping and some of them were quite strong and regular. What I wasn't expecting was no contractions whatsoever after discovering that my waters had broke. I decided that I did not want to go to the hospital at this early point without contractions and be put on the 24 hour clock or pitocin. I felt confident that we could get the labor started on our own and suggested to my family that after breakfast we go for a walk.

After our gentle walk in the nearby park, I felt Charlotte (Baby A) move a little lower and had started to feel some light contractions. Nothing that made me think I would be in hard labor anytime soon if my previous births were any indication. I enjoyed my second daughter's birth and labor partly because we filled the day doing things we loved such as walking and enjoying a nice lunch together even through the contractions, so in that spirit we decided to go for lunch at a Greek restaurant where Cam and I actually had our first date. They opened for lunch at 11:30 that day and it was around noon by the time we were driving there. They're located about a 15 minute drive from our home. As we neared the restaurant, something changed and my contractions became more strong and regular. Suddenly having a regular conversation was more challenging and my 6 year old and 3 year were really starting to annoy me... knowing what this meant, I said to Cam, "I think we'd better make it take-out."

I'm going to stop my story here and preface this next part by saying that although early on in my twin pregnancy I had wanted to try to have a home birth, the fact that I developed a blood clot that needed to be managed with daily injections of blood thinner medication made me decide that I wanted to have my babies in the hospital. I was worried that during a home birth my blood would not clot and that I could hemorrhage. However, because I had originally planned to have a home birth, I already had all the supplies on hand and I had even found somebody who was eager to sit and attend to me. Not to play any active role, just someone with some birth experience to keep an eye on how things were progressing, note any warning signs and be ready to call 911 if she saw anything that worried her. Looking back, I had not given up on my wish to have a home birth, but I also had my hospital bag packed and that was my rational first choice. I had even mentally prepared myself to have a caesarean section if need be though that was something I wanted to avoid if I could. Somewhere near the end of my pregnancy I began to trust God and my intuition and decided that I would surrender and let the circumstances guide me when the time came. I had not injected myself with blood thinners for a day or so because of the signs of labor starting.

Returning to our story, on the drive home from the restaurant once we had finally received our take-out order, my contractions were ramping up. My hospital bag was at home, so we had to go there anyway (at least in my mind we did), plus we needed to have my sister-in-law come to look after our older children, ages 6 and 3 since children are prohibited from being in the delivery room and because I didn't want to go to the hospital without my husband advocating for me not knowing what to expect or if I'd even be allowed to remain conscious. I was told by my OB that if they needed to perform a c-section and my blood didn't coagulate enough (determined through advance blood tests), they would not administer a spinal and therefore need to put me under general anesthesia. For that, I would like to have my husband in the room. With nobody close by to look after our older children, he could not be in two places at once I reasoned, though later many of my friends came forward and said they would have looked after our girls. Still, it was a Thursday morning and other people have their own everyday commitments and things progressed quickly. We are a family that does everything together, so childcare is a very rare event. During the drive home I could tell I was already transitioning, so I