My Birth Story (part two)

After my waters were broken at  4.20 pm, things really started to happen. I went from having a few mild niggles to having strong contractions across the base of my bump every two minutes. There was no build up to the contractions so it felt like I was at the peak of a rollercoaster, dropping and then being straight back at the peak again. I was offered pain relief which I refused, relying on my Lazy Daisy breathing techniques to get me through. Whilst I didn’t get the active birth I really would have liked, the breathing techniques kept me calm in midst of all of the panic.

As soon as my contractions ramped up, twin one (Little Miss) started to show signs that she wasn’t happy and the midwives were struggling to maintain a trace on her. Due to this, I had to lie very still. Not particulary easy when you’re in pain. I eventually agreed to have some paracetamol but almost as soon as I took them, I began to vomit. I was lying flat on my back with my head over the side of the bed, puking my guts up. Hubby hates the sound of someone being sick so I don’t know how he wasn’t sick as well. The midwife offered me an epidural and said that as soon as I gave the ok, they would bleep the anaesthetist. I had been seen in clinic by an anaesthetist at 28 weeks due to the high likelihood of intervention during a twin labour. An early epidural was offered and I was told that when I wanted it, the midwives would bleep straight away. It was also agreed that an anaesthetist would cannulate me due to my nightmare veins. The midwife and student popped out and hubby and I discussed whether an epidural was a good idea. I was finding the contractions very uncomfortable and as I wasn’t able to move, I couldn’t do much to help  myself. When the midwife returned, I agreed for them to bleep for the epidural.

Whilst we were waiting, the midwife decided to have a go at canulating me as she was the ‘queen of cannulas’. However, she was beaten by my veins and gave up after two painful attempts. They were still struggling to maintain a good trace on twin one so decidedshe to go for a clip on the head. The internal for this was really uncomfortable and I was sucking on gas and air whilst it felt that the midwife had her entire arm inside me. Once the clip was on, they connected the wires to the monitor only to realise that the wires didn’t work. So the clip had to be removed and another one inserted – double ouch! This time, the equipment worked and there was a good, consistent trace on twin one. I was enjoying the gas and air and felt very spaced out and chilled on it. I did take the edge off the contractions but I don’t think that it would have been sufficient as my labour progressed.

The anaesthetist arrived at 6 pm and I was helped to sit on the end of the bed only for her to decide that she couldn’t do the epidural with me sat like that so I have to be moved to my side. As I moved, I managed to pull the clip off as the wires were tangled with my legs. Whilst the anaesthetist did her job, hubby and the student midwife were holding the pads onto my bump. I lay as still as I could with my feet twitching in pain during each contraction. The anaesthetist kept asking me when I had a contraction but I thought the fact that I was sucking on gas and air should have been a clue! It took her four attempts to get the epidural in and the process was very uncomfortable. I don’t know if she was  newly qualfied but she didn’t inspire me with a lot of confidence. I do remember thinking that I wanted people to stop touching me and leave me alone. She also cannualated my hand or at least we thought she did!

It took about 30 minutes for the epidural to kick in but it was patchy so I still had uncomfortable tightenings from my midline to my right hip. The combination of the gas and air and the epidural did manage my pain. I was put on a drip and they tried again to get the clip on twin one which was unsuccessful so the midwife reverted back to bump monitoring.  There were still issues with twin one’s trace and a number of midwives kept coming in to check the trace and watch what was happening. It seemed that the heartrate would drop then go to normal then race then settle and repeat. No one seemed too concerned about but I knew that it wasn’t normal.

I was cold and shivery so was covered up with a few blankets. I lay chatting the the midwife who told me about her pregnancy – she was 24 weeks!. When she went on break, the midwife turned out to be the best friend of a colleague who had her baby on Friday, delivered by her midwife friend. It is a small world! I was comfortable and calm as were the midwives but there was also an air of tension in the room. At 7.30 pm, hubby was sent to the canteen to get food before it closed as there was a chance that I was going to need a c section. This was the first time that this had been mentioned. He went off and brought back some delicious smelling chips but I wasn’t allowed to have any. I was starving!!

At 8.20 pm, the trace was checked by the registrar and she wasn’t sure if twin one was showing true decelerations ie in distress of whether it was the up/down nature of the heart rate that was making it look that way. She decided to try to take some blood from her head, leading to another internal. I think I had about 15 of the things altogether. As I was only 3cm dilated by this time, she couldn’t manage to get the sample so decided to get her consultant to come and have a look. I hadn’t met the consultant before but she had a lovely calm nature about her. She looked at the trace, listened to the heartrate and talked to us about our options. I will say at this time that twin two was happy as larry this whole time. The consultant decided to put me on a syntocin drip to see how twin one reacted to the increased stress. However, this was not in twin one’s plan.

Twin one decided that now was the time to completely drop her heart rate to about 88 bpm. This is when things really started to move. The midwife was counting each minute that the heart rate remained down (it was at least 8 minutes by the time we made it to theatre), discussions were made about whether it needed to be category one (general anaesthetic) or category two (spinal block).  It was very one born every minute and I kept my eyes on the midwife who was counting. Her body language was calm but I could see anxiety in her eyes. A different anaesthetist came and I gave my verbal consent to the c section. It was during this time that it was realised that the first anaesthetist had missed my vein and the fluid that had been pumped into me, was actually in the tissues in my arm. My forearm was cold and massively swollen. At 9.20 pm,  a decision was made that they could afford to go for a category two section and I was whipped around to theatre and hubby was taken to get changed into his scrubs.

While in theatre, I had to lie on my side while the spinal block was administred. The poor pregnant midwife had to crouch on the floor to keep the pads on my bump to maintain the trace which really worried me. I kept asking her if she was  ok. I remember hubby walking in and me being annoyed that his hair looked stupid in the hairnet! He had also forgotten the camera so another midwife ran back to the room and grabbed both of our phones. As soon as the spinal block was done, the c section was started. I didn’t feel anything and the first thing I knew that they had made the incision was made was at 9.57 pm when a little girlie bottom loomed above me. I was surprised that it was a girl as we thought that twin one was most likely to be a boy! A minute later, a little boy bottom appeared.

Hubby and a midwife gave the twins here first bottle and cuddles. I was shaking loads and didn’t feel that I would be safe to hold them although the anaesthetist convinced me that it would be ok. During the time that I was stitched up, Little Miss decided to have a floppy episode and was whisked off to see a paediatrican. It felt like she was only gone for a few minutes but my notes showed that it was actually 20 minutes. During this time, we decided on Little Man’s name but when Little Miss came back, we weren’t sure about her name, only sure about what name she wasn’t.

When the surgeon was finished, we were taken to recovery where I had skin to skin with the twins and we tried to take in what had happened. Another consultant came to see us and stated that the arterial blood gases had shown that they had got Little Miss out in time. We will be forever grateful to the staff for their care and prompt action in dealing everything.

After an hour, we were taken to the ward. Hubby went to get the twins’ bag as he hadn’t had chance to get it from the car and we got them dressed. I was checked over and hubby was sent on his way. He was really tearful at leaving us and I was in a state of shock. I’m glad that the midwives took the twins for a couple of hours so I could rest althought the oromorph I’d been given caused me to itch all over. I used the time to take everything and come to terms with the previous 12 hours!

Hubby having his first cuddles (with his bad hair!)

Hubby having his first cuddles (with his bad hair!)

 

Little Miss

Little Miss

Little Man

Little Man

Cuddles in recovery

Cuddles in recovery

Twin skin to skin

Twin skin to skin

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My birth story (part one)

The twins are now 11 months old and I have yet to write the story of their entrance to the world. Things might be a bit hazy but here goes:

Friday (36+1 weeks)

I had my 36 week scan and consultant appointment. The scan showed both babies were head down so we knew that we were good to go for a ‘normal’ delivery. I eventually saw my consultant after a lot of waiting and surprise surprise, my blood pressure was up. She booked us in for an induction on the following Wednesday and sent me upstairs for monitoring. The plan was to induce me at 36+6 weeks so I had a chance of delivering before the bank holiday weekend when staffing levels were lower. Hubby and I went upstairs for monitoring. By that time, my BP was normal and I had no protein in my urine. Bloods were taken but we were allowed to get lunch in the canteen whilst we waited for the results. They came back clear and I was allowed home to come back for more monitoring on Monday.

Over the weekend, it was my dad’s birthday and I ended up cooking for everyone. Cue a pregnant lady meltdown!

Monday 36+4 weeks

Monitoring at the hospital. Both babies were fine and my blood pressure was within normal ranges. All systems go for induction on Wednesday.

Tuesday 36+5 weeks

To celebrate our last night before we became parents, hubby and I decided to go out for our last date for a while. We had a delicious three course meal at Jamie’s Italian with a side order of gaviscon. I have no idea how I managed to eat so much! On the way home, we got a few bits for breakfast and had an early night. It was a bizarre day.

Bumpin' at 36+6 weeks

Bumpin’ at 36+6 weeks

Wednesday 36+6 weeks

A very nervous and excited hubby and I made our way to the hospital for 9 am. We went straight to the delivery suite as arranged by my consultant. We were shown to our room for the next X amount of hours. A lovely and very chatty midwife talked us through the process and did the first monitoring of the day. Both babies were happily swimming in my tummy. I also had the first of many internals which showed that I was nowhere near going into labour. The pessary was inserted (ouch) and I was monitored for another hour. I started to get backache during this period but figured it was due to lying in one position.

After the monitoring session, I was free to move around. I had lunch (hubby was given copious amounts of tea in a proper tea pot which he was very impressed with!). We went for a walk to get hubby lunch and to pass a bit of time. We bumped into an ex colleague of mine who was now a student nurse and it was bizarre talking to her knowing that the babies would be soon in the world.

We had six hours to pass between the next monitoring and pessary session. Time was passed away by reading, bouncing on the birthing ball, having a nap and numerous trips to the toilet. I was having a few niggles in the base of my bump but didn’t think much of it as we’d been told that it was a long process to get labour started. Hubby’s prediction was that the twins would be born on Friday afternoon 😳

Conserving my energy ;)

Conserving my energy 😉

Proper tea courtesy of the NHS!

Proper tea courtesy of the NHS!

There was a shift change before this time period was up so we had a lovely younger midwife and a student midwife. I later found out that the midwife was pregnant and this made me feel bad because of what she had to do – more of that later. She popped me back on the monitor and asked if I was getting any pains. I told her about the niggles in my bump and she told me that I was getting a lot of tightenings which were palpable. She was concerned about giving me the next pessary due to hyper stimulation of my cervix. Due to this, she got the registrar to check me.

I will start by saying that I really didn’t like the registrar. She was very curt in her manner and rough in her examination. She checked the trace and decided to do an internal. I was 2cm dilated and she made the decision to break the waters of twin one – the twin nearest the exit. My waters went everywhere, soaking her & I! I was still in my normal clothes so my cardigan was removed  as it was soaking wet but I remained in my vest top until the following afternoon. So much for having a labour nightie 😜

This was the point where things started to go downhill………

 

Parenting – it’s your choice

There seems to be so much advice and information on how to parent nowadays, whether it’s from books, professionals, internet, friends or family that it can be overwhelming. There also seems to be a number of different parenting styles around – maybe there always has been but the different styles are now more widely known?

I don’t see myself as a (insert your label) parent. I’m just a parent. I have made choices on how I raise my children based on what is right for us as a family and with the best interests of my children at the centre. Yes, we have a fairly strict sleep and feed routine and have done sleep training but we also babywear and are doing babyled weaning read about our BLW journey here As parents, my husband and I are not purists in any of this. We’ve taken the bits that work for us and adapted bits that don’t so that they do.

I feel that as parents, we’re all on a journey. The destination is the same – happy, healthy, confident children who have been enabled with an armoury of skills that allow them to successfully navigate life – but we all take different routes to get there. No one route is better than the other and sometimes we have to change the route when we hit a road block and that’s ok too!

However, not everyone agrees with me. I have experienced criticism of my parenting choices on social media because it wasn’t a choice that someone else would make. I’m not saying that I haven’t seen things that I would never do with my children and judged. I have done. We all do! I have had to remind myself that the individual is making the choice that’s right for them and I don’t know the circumstances that have led to that decision.

It’s when this judgement becomes open criticism that frustrates me. I will always make informed choices about what I feel is right for my children and my family. I wish that people would realise that your wrong doesn’t make it wrong for the rest of us. We don’t have to agree but we can agree to disagree!

Parenting is difficult enough as it is without us as a community supporting each other. As long as the basis of any decision/choice is the best interests of the child and their welfare is paramount, let’s accept our differences and relish in the joys that that our children bring.

x

Another milestone

Today, Little Man reached another milestone – getting his first pair of big boy shoes. He’s been assisted walking for weeks and strides around with his Vtech walker like a boss!

I’ve been struggling to get pram shoes to fit him so took him to Clarks a couple of weeks ago to discuss when was the right time to get shoes and to get him measured. It turns out that he has his dad’s hobbit feet and is a 3.5H – the widest that Clarks do! No wonder I hadn’t been able to get shoes to fit!

Today we took him to try a pair on for fit. As soon as he had on his shoes, he wanted to take me for a walk around the shop. He’d decided he was having shoes!

As it was Little Man’s first pair of shoes, he had his photo taken and we got literature about the importance of correct fitting for shoes. As I have foot problems, I want my children to have proper shoes whilst their feet develop.

Little Man looks so grown up in his shoes. Where has my baby gone?

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Little Man and his new shoes

What makes a Super Mum?

This has been a question that has been on my mind for a while. As a mum of multiples, I have had the super mum comments myself but I’m definitely not!

So what does make a super mum? Is it being a multiple mum? Is it classed by the number of wakes ups/dirty nappies/feeds you’ve done? Is it because your husband has never come home to you still in your pjs with no make up on and food/sick in your hair? Is it having a pristine house at all times?

I don’t think any of these class someone as a super mum although I do admire those who have the energy to do their hair and make up on a daily basis 😜

For me, super mums are those to triumph against adversity, who continue to put one foot in front of the other and striving for the best for their children, in circumstances that would have others crumpled on the floor. In both real life and internet life, I have come across women like this and I can not explain how much I admire their courage, strength and tenacity.

As for the rest of us, we’re just mums…..who are super!

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