New Jen's Horde

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen: The birth of Maya and Sage


Thirteen Things about The Birth of Maya and Sage

1. If you aren't familiar with our family, I should start by telling you that Maya and Sage are my 8 year old identical twin girls.

2. Our first child, Anya, had been a micropreemie, so when we were going through the infertility process again we elected not to use injectable medications, opting for the less effective Clomid treatment. We figured we'd rather take longer getting pregnant than risk the higher incidence of multiples with the injectables.

3. Ha! The joke was on us, we got pregnant with twins anyway! We were very happy, but worried because at the time we still didn't fully know what had caused Anya to be so early, and the doctors were concerned it could happen again. Since Anya was born right on the edge of viability, we worried that the twins might come too early and there'd be no saving them.

4. It was a difficult pregnancy, made worse by the worry and the early dilation of my cervix. I was put on bedrest at 19 weeks, and spent some time in the hospital trying to slow the process. I was OK with that, anything to avoid doing time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) again. I'd do anything to get the babies to full term.

5. 24 weeks came and went. Then 28 weeks. Then 32 weeks. By then, I was totally ready to get the babies out. I know that sounds weird, since that's still 8 weeks from full term, but I was HUGE, I'd been laying on my couch for weeks, and there was just no end in sight! I figured if our 24 weeker had made it, surely 32 week twins would be a piece of cake! Yeah, I was a little crazy by then...

6. At 36 weeks, I'd nearly lost my mind. Christmas was coming, and I took myself off of bedrest to try to do some shopping. No contractions, nothing! I was starting to believe the babies would never come! I had done a complete 180 at 32 weeks, from praying to keep them in to praying to GET THEM OUT!!!! My skin was tearing, I couldn't sleep, and the hemmorhoids? Well, they looked more like Cthulhu than anything you'd normally find as part of human anatomy... On Christmas Eve, I cried in my perinatologist's office, begging him to do something to help me. He ordered an amniocentesis for lung maturity, to see if we could induce safely.

7. The test results were great, they were more than ready! I wanted to start right away. The perinatologist reigned in my enthusiasm by saying, "We can deliver the babies today, if you call my wife and tell her that I won't be home on Christmas Eve because I'm doing an elective induction." I considered it, but realized that was awfully selfish of me. So, we went home and came back the next Monday, the 29th.

8. I was supposed to be there at 7am, but I just wasn't moving quickly enough and we got there around 7:30. I reasoned that they weren't going to start the induction without me, so I was just going to do my best. They were all a little peeved at me, but they didn't send me home so I was happy.

9. They started the pitocin, and the contractions began pretty quickly. They weren't too bad at first, and I'd been hoping for a natural childbirth experience, so I just rode it out. At around 8 centimeters (about 14 hours later) I just didn't have any energy to deal with it anymore. Even though I'd really wanted to do without, I asked for something small to knock the edge off. The nurse scurried off to consult with the doctors, and came back saying they all agreed that I needed an epidural. What? That seemed awfully extreme, considering I was mostly tired and not in pain. She explained to me that, sometimes after the first twin was born, the other would fall sideways and the doc would need to reach in and adjust the second baby's position manually.

10. Did you ever see that veterinary show, All Creatures Great and Small that used to show on PBS when I was a kid? When the nurse was explaining to me what the doctor might need to do, all I could picture in my head was that episode where the vet had a glove on that went clear up to his shoulder, and he had to reach INSIDE a cow to help her deliver. Just the thought of Dr. Jones with a giant glove, reaching around in my guts trying to turn the baby was enough for me to beg for the medication.

11. Have you ever had an epidural? It must be sort of what heroin is like in the beginning. I went from being tired and in constant pain to feeling absolutely WONDERFUL! I had been hurting since about 30 weeks, my skin was ripping, my pelvis was sliding around. All of that GONE in seconds, and not to mention those crappy pitocin contractions were no longer anything I needed to worry about. The nurses kept telling me to get some sleep, but all I wanted to do was scratch my enormous belly. It had been itching for months, but the skin was so tender that I couldn't touch it. Now I clawed at myself with abandon! The nurse came running in, because the sound was magnified by the two monitors strapped around me, "SCRITCH! SCRITCH! SCRITCHYSCRITCHY SCRAAAAAAATCH!" and my actions were distorting their measurements of the babies' heartbeats, and my contractions. I tried to scratch less vigorously, but I couldn't stop completely.

12. Finally, after 16 hours, they rolled me to the operating room. It seemed like there were 30 people in there waiting. There were two people to man the ultrasound, watching how the girls were doing, two to catch as they came out, two to keep track of how I was doing, and two teams of folks from the NICU to care for the babies after they were born. And then there was one little old lady with a sour look on her face, standing in the corner. At the time, I thought she must be from housekeeping, because she just looked so disgusted with everything we were doing to the room. I'm sure that wasn't why she was there, but I never did find out what her duties were...

13. At about 2:30 am, Maya was born. My epidural had worn off, and I tore from here to almost there, and the whole process was pretty crummy. All 60 people in the room were yelling at me to push, and I was tired and miserable. I spent a lot of my energy cursing at them and trying to be somewhere else. Then the anesthesiologist appeared, like an angel riding a cloud of glory, and shot more medicine in to my spine. After that I was golden. Dr. Jones could have put on a wetsuit, and walked in to my womb to get Sage and I would have been OK with it. I was able to watch Sage being born, it was around 45 minutes after her sister. The cord was wrapped around her neck, and they had to sort of somersault her as she emerged, to keep her from being strangled. It was amazing to see! Then about 40 lbs of placenta came out, it was beyond huge, and I was ready to go to my room.

Tune in next week for the rest of the story!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Identical twins are the coolest thing ever! I love the names Maya and Sage too!

The pregnacy and birth sounds terribly painful though... the tearing, the itchy stomach.. all of it. Poor, poor you
Oh OUCH! And that octopus thing was a little vivid for me, having lived throught hems from hell myself.


Epidurals never did anything for me.
What a lovely story to tell; looking forward to hearing more.
Yikes! Those kids should kiss your feet for all you went through for them.

BTW I've had 2 epidurals. Instantaneous pain betcha!
ick, makes me not want babies eve nmore... i mean sure they are great, but the process. .ICK.
Wow you really had to go through alot!! I can't wait to hear the rest next week!
Wow - that's quite the birth story. Looking forward to the rest of it.

Happy T13. :)
40 pounds of placenta!! Lovely image.
Twins have to be so much fun. I realize they are twice the work, but I can just bet they are twice the joy too.
I had an epidural with Taylor, and I highly recommend them!

The Halloween photo is great. I bet you are up to your armpits in candy corn about now. :)
I've heard you tell bits of this story but never the entire thing. Cool!
I wanted an eppy... but couldn't have it as it was not available to me...bummer!
And Pitocin is EVIL!
loved that post//wonderful family

Mine is up! Please stop by to vote for our daughters name!!!
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