Sunday, January 16, 2011

They're Heeeeeere....

Introducing Reese Harper (6 pounds, 1 ounce) and Ryan Henry (6 pounds, 8 ounces), born vaginally at 38 weeks, 2 days gestation on January 12 at 6:24 and 6:37 p.m. after 22 hours of labor.

On Tuesday I went into my OB's office for an ultrasound (our first since 35 weeks), the ultrasound revealed that the babies hadn't grown since 35 weeks because of IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) which means that their placenta wasn't properly nourishing their tiny bodies. The ultrasound tech estimated that both babies were in the under 10 percentile range with Reese at 4.75 and Ryan at 5.5 pounds.

The doctors sent me straight to labor and delivery to start pitocin. Unfortunately, I threw up my breakfast before leaving for the OB and I was on a fully empty stomach. So they wanted me to eat first which meant that I had to wait another 4 hours before they could start pitocin. At that point they just decided it was so late in the evening that they would kickstart my labor that night and wait to deliver me the next day when there were more staff, NICU folk and doctors in the hospital.

At 9 p.m. on Tuesday night they started my pitocin. I was still 100% effaced and 2 cm dilated. They told me to get some rest (yeah, right) and then at 6 a.m. they came to check me and I had made ZERO progress even though I had spent the last 9 hours contracting. At that point they began titrating up my pitocin and around 2 p.m. I finally hit 4 cm.

The pitocin made my contractions come and come fast. They were every 2-3 minutes and were 2-3 minutes long so it was like back to back to back contractions and they were PAINFUL. When they told me I was only 4 cm I almost lost my shit completely. I thought for sure I was fully dilated. They administered my epidural around a half hour after that check and within minutes I was comfortable and able to sleep.

I slept for around two hours and when I woke up at 4:30 I was fully dilated. My OB came in and asked me to try and push to see how I was doing pain/sensation wise and I couldn't feel the contractions at all (insane!) - I couldn't even push!

That's when they decided to turn off my epidural completely in order to give my body time to process and rid itself of some of the epidural numbness so I could labor and deliver. Knowing the hardest work was ahead of me and that I had just lost my epidural caused me to lose my shit again. They moved me over to the OR and I was scared to death but so ready to be done. At 5:45 p.m. I began pushing. I could kind of feel the contractions, but they weren't painful.

Pushing was the hardest part of the labor, even harder than the painful contractions because you are just so tired and you have to work so hard to get the baby out! At one point I asked the OB, how far do I have to get before you can help me and he laughed at me and told me I was completely on my own for the whole ride. I think that's when I started to cry.

I pushed for just under an hour for Ryan; Reese followed him out (very easily) 13 minutes later with two contractions and a hail mary (also known as let's get this done and push even though I don't feel a contraction, cause I'm exhausted).

They whisked both babies away from me before I could even see them and I had no idea what was going on. I was watching from the OR table while delivering my placentas (horrible pain with that delivery, almost worse than the twins!!) and all I could do was watch in despair as I heard them shouting out stats and numbers while a team of NICU staff stood in the room waiting to take my babies.

Everyone was shocked when they ended up weighing over 6 pounds each. Goddamned ultrasound!

The delivery was really funny in one aspect because we delivered in an OR (just in case Reese - baby B - turned breech or I needed to have an emergency c-section). Anyway, there were two glass fronted doors that led into the operating room. Behind one door was all of the NICU staff on stand-by for the babies and behind the other door were all of the interns and residents that I banned from my delivery in my birth plan who had never seen a twin vaginal delivery. Hysterical. We had people rooting for us behind both doors!

Hearing my son cry for the first time didn't feel real. I had a complete out of body experience, one I think that was heightened by the fact that I didn't see him even though I felt him leave my body. I just kept saying to Joe "is this really happening? is he real?"

I'll never forget hearing my husband tell me that our daughter's head had fully birthed and that she was looking at him with bright open eyes. I just kept asking him what she looked like and all he could say through tears was that she was beautiful and perfect.

I'm four days postpartum and aside from being tired, I feel great. I healed very quickly from my delivery, I'm still bleeding lochia and I have a bit of vag soreness, but I'm shocked at how good I feel. In the end I'm so glad that the IUGR scare happened because lord knows I'd probably still be pregnant otherwise. The babies were ready to come out and I am happy to have them in my arms instead of in my belly.

And now, for pictures...

 { Ryan }

 { Reese }

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