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I was 19 when I became pregnant with #1. I was also unmarried though the father was very supportive and he and I are happily married now. I was due on March 29th. By April 6th, my doctor called to let me know that he had scheduled an induction for me the following morning. Wanting everything as natural as possible, I attempted natural induction the night of April 6th. I tried a castor-oil cocktail (OJ and castor oil – blah! Never again!), right after a meal of schezuan chicken (my doula friend did not TELL me not to try both at once! - I thought 'the more the better'). After that, I went for a walk, that ended in a run when I found myself 1 mile from home and the castor oil kicked in! I tried squats, nipple stimulation, everything!!! Nothing worked. So, at about midnight, I gave up and went to bed.
The following morning, I went to the hospital for my scheduled induction. The nurse wanted to hook me up to an IV immediately. I told her to please read my L&D plan on my chart (which outlines all of my requests and refusals – including no IVs or hep-locks). So, she told me that my only other option for induction besides Pitocin (via IV) was a cervical ripening gel placed on the cervix.
Within 15 minutes (7:45am) I was feeling mild contractions. At 8:30, we went to the café for breakfast. At about 10, I took a nap. Afterward, we played cards and walked the halls, visiting with the new mommies on the floor, after which I had a late lunch. At about 2, I took a shower (felt sticky and hot). That is where my water broke. Then we walked the halls some more. At 3:40, I asked them to fill the Jacuzzi. Before I went to the Jacuzzi, they checked me (dilated to 4 cm).
My coach (now dh) and I were watching my emotional signposts and knew that we were on the homestretch… very close to delivery, even though my medical signs said I had quite a while to go. Well, I walked two doors down to the Jacuzzi room, disrobed, and sat in the water. I had two contractions in the water, JUST got comfortable, when I felt like I had to poop. So, my coach called the nurse who helped me walk back to the room.
So, anyways… this old bitty of a nurse was helping me back to the room and I was peaking and resolving one on top of the other. I told her that the baby was coming and all she did was look at me with this look that said ‘NOW she is starting to feel REAL labor... I told her so’. Well… we got back to the room and she was going to just leave. I basically jumped her and told her to check me. She, literally, rolled her eyes at me and said, while pulling on her gloves ‘there is no way that you have dilated that much in such short a time… just relax’. Well, she checked me… and her jaw just about dropped to the floor. She told me not to push, that she was calling the doctor. On the phone I heard her say that I was 10cm, completely effaced, and -3 station.
* I have to tell you, I was in complete control, hardly any hard pain, through the whole Labor process. But, when they told me not to push, even though my body was saying that it was time; that is when it was painful… when I got in the way of what my body needed to do.*
My doctor, bless him, got there in 5 minutes and, literally, walked in the room, took off his winter gloves and coat before slipping on his surgical scrubs and gloves. So, here my doc is, winter hat still perched on his head, between my knees and telling me, blessedly, to push. With the first push, her head was out, but we found the cord wrapped twice around her neck and she was not breathing as a result. He gave me an episiotomy in order to get to the cord so he could cut it (it was acting as a noose as it was shorter than normal (17 inches), everytime I pushed her further down, it got tighter). I pushed three more times and she was out.
It was wonderful. I was able to walk around 15 minutes after her delivery and had a nice dinner (snuck in ribs and potatoes) that evening.
SECOND TO BE POSTED NEXT...
I went into labor on May 24th, arriving at the hospital at 9pm. I began solid contractions about 10:30. We talked, walked the halls, and watched TV. When the contractions began to get stronger, I took a shower and walked some more. I literally DINED on saltines, apple juice, and American Cheese… it was all I was craving! My husband got sick to his stomach (too much coffee and no food) around 3am and went to lay down in the waiting room to try to get better. During that time, our Point Person, Shari, gave me back rubs, walked the halls with me SOME MORE, and helped me get to the bathroom so I could throw up my saltines, cheese, and apple juice (lol). I went down to the Jacuzzi at about 6 am, as I was only 6 cm, and relaxed there for about 30 minutes. Then I got antsy and we walked…. Again. I really could not sit still.
* The nurse assigned to my room was very old fashioned and rude. She was about 70 years old and wanted me on IVs and strapped to the table the whole time. She did not want me walking, eating, showering… nothing. My point person finally called my doctor and told him everything. He basically told the nurse that, if she couldn't cooperate with my birth plan, to take my room off her rotation. She was, in essence, fired from me... lol!*
At about 7am, Shari went and woke my husband and told him I was close (from my emotional signposts again). The doctor came in and checked me at 7:45am when I told him that I felt the strong need to push... He replied that I was only at 7cm. I argued that it was impossible, that I knew I had to push. So, after watching me with a few contractions, he got the idea to check me while I was contracting. Kairi was descending completely during the contractions, only to go back up after the contraction ended. So, doc told me to push once with the contraction, and, if she stayed down, I could continue. So, on the next contraction, I pushed… and we kept on pushing.
(BTW, he was adamant, because of the level of scarring from my first episiotomy, I would either tear extensively or REQUIRE an episiotomy. I told him I would rather tear. I also asked him about perineal massage and warm compresses... he said he never even tried it as no one had ever asked before. So, he and I read up on it together and put it to practice).
He began warm compresses and perineal massage so that I would not have to have another episiotomy. And, on the next contractions, though I held off on pushing, her head was birthed gently. She blinked and looked around at all of us. She was posterior.
During this whole time, my husband and Shari were running back and forth from the sink to me to alternately hold me (as I was in the modified squat position) and put cool compresses on my forehead. With the next contraction, my doctor had me push gently and firmly to birth Kairi’s shoulders. And, on the final two contractions, she slipped from my body. She was born 20 minutes after the start of pushing. She was immediately given to my husband who got to hold her while they did the postpartum checks on me and all the newborn checks on my daughter. When the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, I was able to cut it. Then, she went to breast and began to nurse.
15 minutes after that, I was well enough to walk the hall and get a breakfast tray followed by a long nap. I had no tears, no episiotomy, no pain medications, and no complications. The entire labor was 11 hours. I was 23 years old, and it was my second wonderful birthing experience.
On May 31st, 2004, we went in to B Hospital for a routine NST and ultrasound. The NST came back wonderfully, but, during the ultrasound, they found that Twin 2 had only a small pocket of water under her chin. For this reason, and after attempting to restore fluid naturally and having time to discuss pros and cons of waiting, my doctor, Dr. V, and we agreed on an induction for that day. Calvin took the girls home to call and wait for their babysitter and to get my hospital bag. When he returned at 11:30, they hooked up the hep-lock and began the EFM. At this point, I was already at 3+cm dilation and -1 station. The initial plan was to simply break the bag of waters surrounding Twin 1, but her head was not at a good seal against my cervix and there was a small chance of the cord prolapsing if we simply broke the bag of waters and my body didn’t begin contractions immediately. For this reason, at noon, they began pitocin to bring her head to a good seal against the cervix.
The contractions began within the hour, though I only began to feel them with any intensity at 2pm. At this point, they stopped the pit drip to see if I would take over on my own, I did. Shari and Calvin went to the cafeteria while I took a short nap to gather my strength.
Around 3pm, the contractions were now intense enough that I had to have Calvin coach me through them and have the room silent while contracting. The intensity of the contractions continued to build while they also continued to get closer together.
Right about the time I reached 7 centimeters, I began feeling the slight urge to push. This was around 6:50pm. I was becoming extremely sensitive to the light, so Shari diligently placed cool washcloths over my eyes and forehead while Calvin reminded me to relax through the contractions and rubbed my hand. Doctor Van Slooten came to check me around this time and found Twin 1 to be descending nicely with each contraction. He instructed me to push when I felt I could not resist the urge. A few contractions later marked that time. I was 9 cm when I began the pushing stage.
She descended rapidly and was soon crowning. When she crowned, I reached down to feel her head. Calvin remarked on how much hair she had. I asked if there was more hair than Bri and Kairi. He said yes. I then said ‘great, we’re giving birth to Sasquach’. I have always, with all of my pregnancies, cracked jokes at the pushing stage. We believe it is my coping mechanism. The attendants could not believe that I was cracking jokes at this stage of labor and stood in uneasy silence until my doc began belly-laughing. Her head cleared with the next contraction. They suctioned her nose and mouth and, as I began gentle-birthing her shoulders, she began to cry. Immediately afterward, with no help from me, her body slid free and they placed Twin 1 on my belly, skin to skin, and began to clean her. Charis Nevaeh was born at 7:21pm. She weighed in at 5lbs 13ozs and measured 17 ½ inches long. She was born with dark black straight hair.
Shari clamped the cord and cut Charis free of my body as Twin 2 was coming up quickly behind (thanks Charis for the nipple stimulation). My husband then passed her to Shari so that we could begin birthing Twin 2. Five minutes after the delivery of Charis, I began having pushing contractions for Twin 2. Though the contractions were not very strong, I gave one push and she raced down the birth canal to crowning. Surprisingly, she was head-first (we knew previously that she was breech and were planning on delivering her breech). She must have flipped after Charis was out. With the next contraction, her head was delivered where they suctioned her mouth and nose. I pushed through the next contraction and her shoulder and body slipped from mine, she shot into the doctor’s hands. Again, they placed her on my chest and began to rub her down as she was not breathing well. She made quite a fuss. We waited awhile before my husband clamped and cut the cord. Jocelyn Makena was born at 7:34pm. She weighed in at 5lbs 9ozs and measured 16 inches long. She was born with dark black wavy hair.
The placental delivery was easy, as I was entranced with the sight of my two new daughters. As the placenta showed two sacs sharing one membrane and one placenta (when we thought there were two) they are 70% sure they are monozygotic twins. Two healthy babies, a med-free vaginal delivery, God has blessed us.
Dr. V tells me 'thanks for the bragging rights' of being the only doc in their office that has delivered twins unmedicated... and one of the few who have delivered vaginal twins. He also told me he is extremely impressed with the unmedicated mother, labor & delivery and to send patient's his way if I have any friends... that the questions and learning together was 'fun'.