Phew! What a crazy few days it's been. To start with the labor story (for those who want details - stop reading if you don't!), I started having contractions Saturday night that were quite painful, and to help distinguish from the weeks of contractions I've been having, I started to have a little deja vu and remember that oh yeah, this is what the real thing feels like. But they never really got closer than 6 minutes apart. So I finally decided to go to bed. Or I should say try to go to bed since every 6 minutes (and they slowed down to about 9 minutes), I was panting through contractions. So after a sleepless night, I finally called my midwife in the morning and said that if I was in the hospital I would totally be asking for medication right now, only my contractions weren't close enough to warrant going to the hospital, so couldn't I come in and we could speed things up a bit like breaking my water or getting some Pitocin or something? Well, their practice is really adamant about not inducing twins until 38 weeks (which was two days later), so she wouldn't, but said I should wait a few hours and see what happened. So finally at about 4 or 5pm I called and said I couldn't handle it any more and I at least needed something for the pain, even though the contractions still hadn't gotten close enough together. So she told me to come in and if I was dilated to a 5 then they could break my water. So we went in and even had Cash with us because we really just thought I was going to get something for the pain, and the nurse checked and I was a 6. I seriously almost cried at that point I was so happy! So Ryan had to run Cash home, and the nurse told him that he probably should hurry.
So I got all settled in (they have sweet delivery rooms there, too bad I had to deliver in the OR though because it was twins), and then I got my epidural. I was a little worried because it was only really working on one side, so I just kept pushing that button for more medication as often as I could. The midwife came in and broke my water just after 7pm. We waited a little while and the contractions didn't really increase, and I mentioned that last time breaking my water hadn't done anything either. So she decided to start a little Pitocin and I swear I had one contraction from the Pitocin and was like, "Woah." The midwife looked a little startled, checked me again and realized I was suddenly a 10. So they wheeled us into the OR and got everything set up in there and really quite easily Ashton was born at 8:44. So from that perspective, really an hour and a half since I'd had my water broken was not bad.
Then they did an ultrasound to check on the position of the second baby. 3 days before he'd been head down, but when Ashton came out, he must have flipped. At that point the OB that was also there told us we had three options. We could try to turn the baby using external maneuvering, we could do a c-section, or we could deliver him breech. So they tried to flip him. No success. So then we debated. And debated. For really maybe 30 or 40 minutes. (They stopped the pitocin and the baby was still up high enough that we had time.) Pretty much everyone there wanted to do a c-section. It was definitely the safer, more cautious option, and I really got the feeling that the OB felt more comfortable doing that, although she said she would do either. I had discussed this exact possiblity with a couple of the other OBs in their office and they seemed to feel ok about delivering breech. I wasn't getting that vibe from this one, which is why we were debating it so much. A little surprisingly, even the midwife was more in favor of the c-section. The other problem was that with a breech presentation they prefer that the baby be butt first, but this one was feet first - a footling breech, as they call it, which is I guess a little trickier.
Oh the dilemma. The worst case scenario that I had feared all along - getting the double whammy. Recovering from a vaginal delivery and a c-section.
Finally Ryan said he really thought it would be ok to do breech. I was glad he was confident and took a stand because I was ready to do a c-section. But then I agreed, and we decided to go for it. I figured we'd just gotten one out vaginally quite easily, and couldn't they just pull this one out by the legs fast if they needed to, or still do an emergency c-section if they had to.
So then they could only find one foot. She kept reaching in and searching around trying to find the other foot and looking on the ultrasound to locate her hand relative to his body parts, but she really couldn't find the second leg. Anyway, the baby finally dropped, his sac broke and then it was a really few tense moments of stress while she groped around inside for his leg. She finally found it, pulled them out, pulled the body out, then it was another few tense moments while we tried to get his head out. When he came out, he wasn't as responsive as the first baby had been and we were a little panicked. His first apgar scores were only a 2 (out of 10), but luckily by 5 minutes it was up to an 8. But holy cow. We had a good few minutes of looking at each other saying, "did we make the right decision???" When it was clear he was fine, I think Ryan and I both teared up a little and were a little emotional about the whole thing. It really was all ok, it was just intense and nerve-wracking for a few minutes.
Then the most physically intense part for me came - the placenta didn't come all the way out, so the doctor had to reach in and manually try to get it all out. OH MY GOSH. Good thing my epidural got working because I was seriously feeling a hand sweeping all the way up to my ribcage. Imagine how far your arm has to be in someone's body to be reaching their ribs. Ugh. The thought makes me cringe. It was nasty. And she had to do it multiple times.
But all in all, the delivery really wasn't bad, it just had a few really intense moments and a lot of worry and emotion attached to making some big decisions. We realized later that it really was a bit of a novelty these days - one of the nurses later commented, "Wow, a footling breech. You don't see many of those around here." Maybe we were crazy for making the decision we did, but we had really wanted a vaginal delivery all along, and we're glad now that we stuck with it since it all turned out fine and I didn't have to have to recover from both a vaginal delivery and a c-section.
So now we have two beautiful boys! I was wrong on my best guess - they really don't look like Cash did as a baby, and these two are going to be blondies. So far they still think they're identical - their heads just look different from coming out different directions and they have some different battle wounds, but their hair is the same, and apparently even their male anatomy has some specifically identical genetics. I don't know what that's all about, but after doing their circumcisions, the doctor came into my room and said, "Those are the most identical twins I've ever seen."
There have been some good high points too, such as the fact that I feel quite a bit better than I did after having Cash (didn't tear as bad for one thing), and I even weighed less coming home from the hospital after having twins than I did with Cash! (Not that I'm anywhere close to normal - I just didn't even lose one pound when I got home from the hospital with Cash!) I quite enjoyed the whirlpool tub they had on my recovery floor, and my only regret was that I only remembered a few hours before I went home that they had massage services available there and they had already gone home for the day!
Apparently though, there is to be no honeymoon period of newborn sleepyness for us. Last night after we got home from the hospital, I was a little dumbfounded when I realized it was 4am and we hadn't been to bed yet. Welcome to our new life!
We'll get some cute pictures one of these days when we've slept and gotten our heads on a little better.