Here is a birth story from Emily about the birth of her twins, Audra and Mira. Be sure to click the link at the end to read her inspiring breastfeeding story as well!
We have been seeing specialists through out most of the pregnancy along with our regular Ob-Gyn the last few weeks of the pregnancy I had 3 appointments a week, carrying identical twins is high risk so I was followed closely. It was originally predicted that I would not be able to carry the girls till April, but I proved everyone wrong, and while the girls were positioned to enter the world vaginally they were not of the mind set to come out. I spent a week trying to induce labor, walking, acupuncture, bouncing on a balance ball, primrose oil etc…but we went in for our last doctors visit and found out that not only did I have a rock solid cervix, but Audra (baby a) had moved out of my birth canal (where she had been hanging out for 6 weeks, this was a shock to the doctors). We had reached the deadline of staying pregnant safely, which meant I needed to decide how to get these girls out. My options were to be induced or have a c-section…. To be honest this is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make and even after they were born I wondered if I made the right choice, or if I should have fought to keep them in longer and go natural or if I should have tried being induced, but I really do think I made the choice that was right for us. Being induced would have involved a balloon being inserted in my cervix and then using that to push it open which would have meant one day in the hospital waiting, then Pitocin, and membrane scraping which carries an average of 32 hours labor (vs the normal 18 hours) and with the condition I was in there was a 70% chance of a c-section. And keeping them in longer meant an increased mortality rate, words no pregnant woman wants to hear. So we set up a c-section for the next afternoon. That evening Mikel and I had a lovely dinner and got free dessert for the girls impending birthday.
So on the morning of April 10th I got up (still secretly hoping I would go into labor) and packed my last minute things, I watched Celebrity Apprentice while Mikel and my mom ran around like crazy (I couldn’t eat or drink so I tried to stay distracted). We packed everything we could think of, you may have thought we were moving into the hospital, but we knew that the c-section would require us to be there for 4 days. In the long run all we needed was something to play music on and our cameras. We all drove to the hospital where I checked in and headed up to Labor and Triage.
I was there about 2 hours before my section was scheduled, they monitored the babies, took my vitals, and prepped me, our doula joined us. Mikel was going to be the only one alowed in the operating room with me so they got him ready, he looked very cute in his scrubs. At a little after 2:30 I was prepped and walked into the operating room (waddled in). I recall myself jumping up on the table, this was not possible, but it’s what I remember. I was very calm. I got a spinal, which was not painful at all, I then laid down as my whole lower body went numb, the room filled with doctors and nurses we had two teams from the neonatal intensive care unit, one for each girl two regular nurse teams, I had a doctor and nurses and then the two anesthesiologists, I think it was about 20 people. Once everything was set and I was numb and the curtain so I couldn’t see was hung Mikel came in. He sat by my head with a camera, but he was allowed to go anywhere he wanted and take pictures of anything. To my shock he stood up to watch and took photos of the surgery (I will not share those unless you really want to see them). I didn’t feel anything, I was told I would feel pressure or pulling but I really didn’t. I also was never nervous, my blood pressure the whole day never went above 110/70. Baby A (Audra Rose) came out first she was taken to her little care station and in less than a minute Mikel was there cutting her cord and being handed his first child, she was healthy and strong and it was immediately determined that she would not need special care. She weighed in at 5 lbs 9 oz. Within seconds of being handed his first daughter Mikel saw his second daughter come out, I heard her scream. Baby B (Mira) came out yelling very loud, she also looked great and Mikel cut her cord. He ran back to me to show me some pictures as they weighed Mira Louise (5lbs 14 oz) and cleaned her up a bit, then he went back to his girls, the placenta was removed and they started to put me back together. He spent the next 10-15 minutes holding both the girls next to me, I cried, he just smiled. We felt so lucky that we got to be with our girls right away. I was then rolled into recovery and the babies were both put right on my chest where we had skin to skin time, my mom came back to be with us. This was a really weird time for me, I really had trouble believing that these were the two things that had been growing inside of me, while they aren’t huge girls they are a lot of baby to have been inside of me, they had this amazing jet black hair and seemed so strong. We hung out in recovery for about an hour then I got wheeled up to my room my mom and Mikel each pushed a baby we made some phone calls to parents, grandparents and siblings, we were trying to keep it under wraps till we got in touch with my brother, that took a couple hours. I was so tired I didn’t really have energy to call anyone. My mom was with us for the next hour or so and when she left Mikel and I talked about what we would name the girls up until then they were a and b, we had come to the hospital with a few names in mind but once we heard Mira, we both knew who she was, Audra took about 3 minutes to decide. Their middle names come from me, I’m the 6th Louise on my mom’s side. And Jack Rose, our dear friend who played the guitar at our wedding, he passed away a few years back.
Emily also wrote an emotional account of her breastfeeding experience with the twins. You can read that here.