Well, it’s a month later, but the details on the birth of my 2 girls are as clear as ever, due to one main reason: C-section.
The day had come and labor had not; I was at 38 weeks. The doctors did not want to wait any longer to get these babies out (just the protocol for twins at Duke University Hospital), and so the date had been set for December 11, 2018 for either induction of natural delivery if baby ‘A’ on bottom was in a head-down position OR Cesarean section if she was still breech or transverse. The frustrating part for me up until that point was that she had been flip-flopping throughout the previous few weeks–she could not make up her mind! Or at least her position. In the end (and right down to the wire because we made sure to check a couple of times during the morning before proceeding with the surgery preparations), she was still breech. According to the ultrasound, it was her shoulder that lined up with the cervix and not her head, which I confirmed with the OB to not be compatible nor safe for an induction of natural labor. So with that in mind, I was reassured that the best way to deliver these girls was the C-section and began to fill out the consent paperwork. In the meantime, we were told that the doctor who would be performing the surgery had been called into a more urgent case and I would have a bit of a wait. Thankfully the time passed quickly while Daniel and I chatted through some of the anxieties I had been feeling with the prospect of a C-section and the more difficult recovery I would have, mostly in contrast with my seamless deliveries and quick recoveries following the natural births of our 2 older children. Daniel has always been a strength to me with his confidence in God and our prayerful efforts to be at peace regardless of how our babies came into the world. So off we went, well, off I went–getting wheeled in my hospital bed to the operating room to receive the spinal block injection. This was the epitome of why I did. not. want. a C-section: drugs. Now some of you may think I’m crazy for rejecting drugs for childbirth (and yes, it would have been crazy and not permitted to refuse anesthesia for surgery) but having had 2 beautiful unmedicated birthing experiences with my 2 previous pregnancies, I was not fond of the idea of just submitting to having no control over my body and less than ideal side effects. But surgery it was, and drugs I received. The injection went fine. However, the electric jolt through my left leg (after they said I may experience a shock, or whatever they called it), definitely caught me off guard, and especially upon my emotions. As a result from the shock, tears began welling up and I couldn’t keep them in–all to my surprise! It turned into a slow and muffled little sob and I couldn’t understand why it was happening! It wasn’t a result of pain, which I’m pretty sure was what the nurses around me were thinking, so the whole thing was rather embarrassing, haha. But in retrospect, I think that physical shock triggered an emotional shock for me because it suddenly all came flooding in: the realization that I was not in control; I wasn’t having the birth I had imagined and for a moment, a 3 minute ordeal, I cried and came to terms–and peace–that this was what was best for me and the babies. And from there on, I was happy. The anesthesiologists were great–they made small talk as they prepared for the operation and as they gently poked my neck and chest and abdomen to test for complete numbness. Soon Daniel came into the room all scrubbed in and then…then I was ready–both emotionally and physically–and we could not wait to meet our baby girls. Within just a few minutes they were pulling out our *Natalie. What a beautiful sight! They pulled down the blue drape so we could see through the clear one. They quickly whisked her away and Daniel followed to take pictures as she was measured and weighed. Within the same minute, out came little *Violet. First they gave me Natalie…such a precious moment. And then to hold Violet as well–my TWO girls! New babies are so sweet and childbirth is such an incredible experience—no matter how it happens, that’s something I now understand completely. We were wheeled back to our recovery room and I tried tandem nursing and gladly, the little dears latched on right away! They suckled a little and then within a few minutes fell asleep in my arms with Daniel by my side. I think Daniel took a baby at this point…the details are getting a little fuzzy, ha! But we didn’t wait long before getting transferred to our postpartum room and thankfully it was quite spacious–saved for twin moms I was told–woohoo! We spent the next 3 days getting to know our babies and then we went home…off to a new adventure, having doubled our number of children…parents to FOUR precious girls.
*Names have been changed