My Double-Whammy Twin Birth Story
By Kristyn Hodgdon, Founder, The Fertility Tribe
The birth of my twins didn’t go at all how I had planned. I mean, does anyone’s? (Serious question, does anyone’s?!) That’s why it has taken me almost a month to get back into the swing of things, because it was a rough recovery to say the least.
Many of you know that my pregnancy didn’t really go as planned, either. My cervix shortened at 26 weeks & 6 days putting me into preterm labor, and I was put on bed rest for 10 weeks with 25 total nights spent in the hospital. The amazing part is that after all that I ended up delivering my twins at 37 weeks, and despite mentally preparing myself for a NICU stay, they avoided the NICU entirely.
Despite the ups and downs of my pregnancy, one positive was that my twins were always in a head down position. Even though part of me thought a c-section would be the “easy way out” with twins (spoiler alert: it’s not) I really wanted to try for a vaginal delivery, so that’s what I planned to do from the start. Fast forward to going into labor at 37 weeks, and they were still head down and ready to go. Yay!, or so I thought.
When I got to the hospital I was already 5 cm dilated and was having contractions, but they weren’t close enough together yet so my doctor gave me pitocin to help me along. After having contractions for the last 10 weeks of my twin pregnancy I thought I knew what they felt like, but it turns out I did not. Labor contractions are PAINFUL! Thankfully, my doctor wasn’t opposed to me getting an epidural right away so I was only in pain for a short time before the drugs kicked in. After that, I progressed pretty quickly. Within an hour, I was at almost 10 cm and was ready to start pushing.
For those of you that don’t know this, twin deliveries are always done in the operating room, even if you’re planning on having a vaginal birth. This is just in case it ends up turning into an emergency c-section. (Does anyone sense the foreshadowing here?) I hadn’t even been pushing for an hour when my doctor said he saw Baby A’s head, so I was immediately moved to the O.R. My first thought once I got there was, “Damn, It’s bright in here!” My second thought was, “There are approximately 9 million people in here watching me birth these babies out of my vagina,” but I quickly stopped caring about all of that. After what felt like not very long, Baby A was out and I was a mom (cue the waterworks!). Although I got to get a brief glance at my daughter, I unfortunately wasn’t able to savor that moment for very long because I had to move on to pushing for Baby B.
At the time, I thought I had gotten off easy. I had had an amazing epidural, my labor had progressed quickly, my daughter had been born naturally, and she had to have paved the way for her brother to be right behind her, right? Wrong. After another hour of pushing, Baby B decided that he did not want to descend into the birth canal, at which point my doctor told me it wasn’t safe to keep going and that he would have to perform an emergency c-section to get him out. I was disappointed, because this had been my biggest fear in trying for a vaginal delivery, but I was also exhausted from pushing and just wanted my son out and safe in my arms.
To prep for the c-section I was given local anesthesia, and even though I wasn’t “put under” I became extremely drowsy and incredibly nauseous. I don’t really remember anything from the c-section except vomiting for pretty much the entire duration of the surgery. Then I passed out. I woke up in the recovery area about two hours later, without having met my babies yet, and found out that I had started hemorrhaging during the delivery and had needed a blood transfusion. Never a dull moment, right?! Thankfully, the doctors said I was going to be fine and I was finally able to meet my precious babies.
Now I’m not going to sugar coat it. After having both a vaginal birth and a c-section, my recovery was not a walk in the park. I found it hard to enjoy those first few days with my babies because I was exhausted and in so much pain. Not only had I had a double whammy birth, I had lost a lot of blood and received a double dose of anesthesia, so my entire body was swollen and itchy. It was not fun, but at the same time I was so excited that my babies were here and that they had avoided NICU time! All of my hard work had finally paid off.
Still, it has taken me over a month to feel like myself again after giving birth, especially because about 10 days after my delivery I had a hemorrhaging scare and needed another blood transfusion. It was terrifying leaving my kids at home and having to stay in the hospital alone overnight after losing a ton of blood (and this time being awake for it!), but since being discharged 3 ½ weeks ago I haven’t had another incident. It turns out my uterus wasn’t contracting back down to normal size, so I had to be given medicine to help it do so. File that under “things you never knew you needed to worry about.”
I know at this point many of you are probably thinking, “Jeez, this girl has been through it all!,” and that is exactly how I felt after this was all said and done. In fact, I started getting anxiety once I got home from my last stint in the hospital thinking, “what’s going to happen next?” But I have since realized that this was all part of my journey to becoming a mom to Brooke & Charlie, and for every “normal” pregnancy and delivery there is someone like me who went through infertility, had a high risk pregnancy or a complicated delivery. I know that I am not alone, and I share my story so that others know they aren’t alone, either. Everything I went through led me to my two greatest blessings and has made me a stronger and more resilient mother, and for that I would do it all over again.
*You can read another account of my Double-Whammy Twin Birth Story that I wrote for Twiniversity by clicking here.