Author: Jess Webster
I’d say, not many people get to go in a plane at 36 weeks pregnant with twins. I did. It wasn’t for business or pleasure though. I was airlifted to hospital with twins at 36+4 weeks.
This is my remote area birth story – part two of my blog submissions. In part one, I finished writing at just shy of 36 weeks. I’m here to update on how the rest of it all went and how we are today.
Note from Twinfo: Please read the AMAZING first part of Jess’ Story HERE before you read this update.
Final OB appointment before being induced with twins
I had an appointment with my OB on the 8th of February. It was going to be my last until I was being induced the following Thursday. I mentioned to her that I was starting to get concerned about Twin Bs lack of movement. She was still moving plenty according to the books but not enough for her if that makes sense. Everything else was looking okay but the OB preferred I go to the hospital and perhaps have a CTG done. I attended the hospital and had two hours of monitoring done and everyone was happy with their heart rates and movements. I wasn’t. Because of this, they decided to admit me. I stayed in hospital that night, had more monitoring done and results never varied much.
Waiting waiting waiting…….
As my husband was in town and all the monitoring was okay, they allowed me to spend the next night, Friday night, in my motel with my husband but only on a leave pass. I was still technically admitted. We attended the hospital that day twice for monitoring and again, all was well.
Saturday and Sunday were much of the same. My husband went home and I stayed in with on and off monitoring. The staff were very attentive and helpful, but I was still concerned. She just wasn’t moving enough to keep me happy so they scheduled an ultrasound for Monday, around 11am, to check cord flow. You guessed it, all came back perfect. So here I am, arguing that something is wrong when all the tests speak otherwise.
There was talk of bringing my induction forward to maybe Wednesday however, their small 4-bed Special Care Nursery already had 6 babies in it. They couldn’t induce me pre-term, even by a day, without having two beds in special care for us. So we were stuck at an impasse of sorts. I wanted babies out as I was concerned for Baby Bs health, they wanted babies to stay in, also for health reasons.
Airlifted to hospital with twins at 36+4 with twins
My obstetrician just happened to be around the hospital that afternoon so decided to pop by. I told her I still wasn’t happy and within half an hour both Melbourne and Adelaide had been contacted to see who could take me. Melbourne was the lucky winner.
By 5pm, I was sitting in a patient transport vehicle, being driven to the airport. Of course, my poor husband is at home panicking. We had our car seats at the store near the hospital; all my hospital bags were in my room still as I was only able to take one small bag with me. He set off towards town to grab everything. The plan was, he would stay the night in my motel room and drive over to Melbourne the next day.
The plane pulls into the airport, I’m getting so nervous. I’ve never been a nervous flyer, but my gosh, I was being airlifted to hospital with twins at 36+4 weeks. It just all felt so surreal. I sat upright on a stretcher in the plane. Not overly comfortable sitting in one spot for an hour and a half but its not like I could lay down.
Arriving into Melbourne was surreal
Seeing the city of Melbourne come into view was a bit unbelievable. It looked so different to what I expected. I still couldn’t believe I had been airlifted to hospital with twins at 36+4 weeks. We touched down and I’m wheeled across the tarmac in a wheelchair and taken to another patient transport vehicle. A short time later we arrive at The Royal Women’s Hospital. My home for the next little while. We move through triage and I’m taken to the birthing suites.
The head doctor for the suites that evening comes to talk to me, while my amazing midwife gets me comfortable. I was absolutely fretting and couldn’t have coped nearly as well without her. Here I was, in a strange city, on my own, panicking about my babies and it was all within a matter of hours so I had no time to process. The doctor then explains that they are fully booked for inductions and surgeries the next day, so I could either get squeezed in then, or they could do it right now. They had a full staff on and only 3 births currently happening so they were more than able to do it. I phoned my husband and told him to head towards Melbourne and we got started.
Epidural for twins
I had the epidural put in, which was horrible. Apparently I had a tricky spine so 6 attempts that felt like I had been punched in the back before they got the good one in. Again, the midwives were amazing. Holding my hand while I was bawling my eyes out.
That epidural was great though. Once the contractions started, I couldn’t feel a thing. Why oh why did I birth 4 kids without one? It was about 10pm when everything got cracking. My husband had been on the road for a couple of hours already. I dozed on and off until he got there at about 2:30am. When my husband arrived, they checked and I was 4cm dilated. Not great but not terrible. It’s when they checked again nearly an hour and a half later, and I was still 4cm that it became a problem. The babies heart rates were starting to be affected too.
The word caesarean started being used
The staff approached me with a “we have to start considering a cesarean” speech and I just agreed. I was too concerned for the babies, I just wanted them out and safe. About 15 or 20 minutes later and the papers were signed and I was being prepped for surgery. I couldn’t stop the tears. I thought I would feel disappointment that I couldn’t birth vaginally, but that didn’t get to me at all. It was just a pure feeling of being overwhelmed. The last 12 hours was massive and I was just struggling to take it all on board as well as realising I was about to have twins. Two babies!
As it turns out, I’m one of the ones who has a severe shaking reaction to the top-up epidural they give for surgery. I was just shaking and I couldn’t stop. I felt so silly but at least it gave me something to think about for a minute so I could ignore the fact they were cutting me open. We had heaps of staff on though. Everyone was really supportive and took their time to make sure I was comfortable and happy. Then the big moment came.
Twin caesarean birth
On the 13th of February, at 36+5 weeks pregnant, I became a multiple mum. First a boy, Calvin, weighing a decent 2990g and 47cm long at 4:25am. Followed by my little girl, Adeline, at 4:28, weighing 2362g and also 47cm. As to be expected, Adeline’s placenta just crumbled as they went to grab it. I’ve never felt so proud of myself for sticking up for myself. She definitely could have ended up sick as it was just about dead.
I quickly saw them both before they were taken into a little room off the side to be looked over by the paediatric team. Calvin was perfect and was able to be wrapped up and brought back to me. The midwife held him near me while I was being sewn up.
Adeline needed some help to breathe so was taken off to Special Care with my husband by her side. It wasn’t too long before I was brought to recovery and given a chance to feed Calvin. Because it was so early, recovery was empty and half the lights were off. Felt a bit odd. We stayed a while to make sure I was okay, then I was brought up to my room. Adeline needed help breathing for around an hour before the tubes were removed. She stayed in Special Care for another 4 hours before being able to come back to my room. We were given a huge double bed in a private room which was nice.
No one knew we were having twins!
We made a whole lot of surprise phone calls. Apparently no one guessed it was twins so everyone was shocked. Let alone I had been airlifted to hospital with twins at 36+4 weeks. My husband stayed until later afternoon before heading back to my motel, yes all the way back there, so he could gather my things and check out the next morning before returning home. To start off with, Calvin and Adeline had some feeding problems and weight gain issues. Neither could breastfeed very well so I pumped and gave that and formula. After about a week, my husband returned with all my kids and everyone met the babies. We stayed a few more days and finally at 11 days old, we were able to make the trip home.
At 11 days old we made the trip home. Which took 11 hours.
It was a 7 hour trip except because of feeding, it took 11 hours to get home.
Thankfully there were no complications from my caesarean birth. My caesarean healed amazingly so it wasn’t too painful. Today, at 14.5 weeks old, the twins are doing well. We managed to get back to exclusive breastfeeding. Growing plenty but still small. We finally made it into 000 clothes and both laugh and chat up a storm.
I’m a pretty lucky twin mum I reckon. Double blessed.
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