Author: Skye Wilks
We found out we were having twins at our first ultrasound.
I’m always nervous when I go for an ultrasound due to four previous miscarriages before our daughter, so was already on edge. I had my 2 year old daughter and husband with me. As soon as the technician put the Doppler on my belly I saw something different, she jumped and said ohhh! And removed the Doppler. So as you can imagine my world for a moment went ice cold and terrifying. She then continued and said there’s two babies. Off in the dark corner I hear my husband go “what”?! And my two year old proudly say “two babies!”. I covered my mouth with both hands and sat quietly in shock. DCDA Twins which I was told was the safest twin pregnancy so we were already a head of the game. As I had been on clomid we knew there was a chance but never thought “it would happen to us”. We were excited, terrified and questioning if we would be capable of raising two babies and a toddler. 3 under 3, can it be done?
It took a few weeks before it really sunk in. (Well kinda I look at them now and still am in shock I had two babies!)
Fast forward through what was a great pregnancy aside from the aches, pains and Constant toilet trips I developed gestational diabetes. I became insulin dependent pretty quick but everything else was text book. My body was doing the most amazing thing. Every day I grew not 1 but 2 babies. Every day I also woke with extra stretch marks, extra bags under my eyes and extra aches. Pregnancy is hard; but a twin pregnancy is so much harder. I was in awe of my body but so sore by the end of it. My skin was so stretched it was shiny and I was convinced if I grew any further it would just burst open. I was so keen for the end of this pregnancy but so scared that once it ended I’d have two tiny humans relying on me.
During my frequent hospital visits I was adamant I wanted a natural birth with no drugs.
I had had a very quick labour (2hrs) with my Singleton via induction so this is what I wanted again. The hospital at each appointment would advise it was best to have an epidural so that if twin B needed assistance to be born there was no delay. Apparently it’s common for twin B to enjoy the freedom and space once twin A has left the womb and throws a party; downright refusing to come out. My argument was I’ve just had a whole baby come out what difference will it make if a hand is to go in? I was assured it did in fact make a difference and would be agonizing.
Fast forward to the day of induction. I was exactly 37wks and barely able to move without losing my breath or hurting. My skin was almost translucent. I was ready for them to get out but terrified of what was to come. I was highly emotional saying goodbye to my daughter for the last time as my only baby. I told her I loved her so many times poor kid probably thought I’d never see her again! I left crying mixed with so much emotion. Guilt of what I was doing to my daughter but excitement to meet these two tiny humans. Would she cope? Would I cope?
I arrived at the hospital to be checked and found out I was already 4cms.
As a result. they didn’t need to start the induction till the morning where they’d break my waters. I hadn’t realized but I was experiencing mild contractions and pains all day hence the 4cm. They sent me to have a last date with my husband, but I had to go back to the hospital to go back to sleep incase I progressed quickly through the night. We got ice cream and talked about what we were going to do. We took our last bets on what sex the twins were going to be; I thought boy/girl and he thought boy/boy. We both wanted at least one boy, two would be the icing on the cake. I returned to hospital for my last night of being a Mum of one.
The next morning started early. I woke at 5:30 keen as to get this show on the road. I showered, ate breakfast and even did my makeup while waiting. I got taken over to birth suite at 6:30am and my husband met me shortly after. I was examined and yet again told they’d like me to have the epidural. I declined pleading to be given the chance. I had to wait for shift change over and for day shift to start so if I progressed quickly once my waters were broken there would be enough hands to help. Every time someone came they kept recommending the epidural. In the end I opted to have it done purely to get this all happening.
The procedure isn’t too bad but I was nervous and sweaty. Needles aren’t meant to go in your spine and it’s not nice but not anywhere as bad as my brain had told me it would be. It didn’t take long to feel the numbing begin and to be bedridden.
I hated being bedridden.
I love to be moving and sitting still is not my strong point, so this was agony for me. (Now I’d like to be forced to sit still as it would be the first time since then that I could!)
My birth photographer Gina (link to her website can be found HERE) arrived shortly after with the room buzzing my waters about to be broken. Midwives, doctors and everyone in between excited to find out the sex and see a twin birth; everyone expecting to have me done and dusted by lunch. I expected to be done by lunch – I wasn’t. I blame the epidural for this. Laying in bed and not working the babies out with gravity I feel slowed everything right down.
My waters were broken and drip commenced. I was numb but could feel tightness, how boring I found it. It felt like I was there for a hospital procedure not to do what my body naturally does and give birth. Filling the time with chit chat and thinking about names. We hadn’t even decided on ones we like, nothing like spur of the moment.
My epidural started to wear off and the pain hit me hard. Experiencing no build up to being hit by a continuous truck is a hard reality. I was angry I was pinned to a bed and now in pain. They quickly fixed this by boosting my epidural which made me more numb. This made everything speed up once I relaxed a bit and I was ready very fast after this to give birth.
I had two amazing midwives who listened to everything I wanted and guided me through what I needed to do and when.
Twin A (who actually started as Twin B but had pushed its way to the entrance) was coming. Everything in the room was calm, my midwife was calm, I was calm. It was so beautiful. I pushed twin A and got them close. We let them rest and adjust ready for the final stage. Slowly the room filled but everyone was quiet, I was focused on my midwifes voice. She told me to breathe and push, the head was almost out, I could feel it with my hand I knew my second child was almost here. One big push and they were here. A whole 7 pounds of BOY! My beautiful boy I had always wanted entered the world crying but healthy and settled on my chest quickly. I was beside myself with happiness.
By this stage there was a huge crowd gathered in my room. It wasn’t as calm, everyone was chatting and working out what happens next. People are talking but I’m in my baby bubble cuddling my little boy when 8mins later that it was time to start with B.
That sucks I must say when you’ve just pushed a tiny human out and they ring the bell and say round two! It’s pretty heart breaking and to be fair if I didn’t have the epidural I probably would have been more upset as usually you get a few years between babies not a few minutes!
Twin B hasn’t engaged yet but they want him out so the doctor steps in to break my waters. After a few failed attempts they finally got them broken (at this point I realized the epidural saved me a lot of discomfort as I swear it was an eternity of trying with a hand where no hand should ever go!). Poor twin B got the bums rush. I pushed and I pushed whilst cradling twin A. Which was beautiful, I got to hold him whilst pushing, but actually quiet challenging.
In the end daddy got twin A so I could give it my all. I was tired and twin B was just not coming out. Bub started to get distressed and I was told I had to get them out now or they were stepping in.
I took a deep breath and gave it everything I had. I tried so hard but in the end they had to vacuum bub out. It turned out B was posterior and came out face up. The scream sounded like a gargle poor bub had swallowed a lot of gunk. I knew things didn’t go as well as his brothers birth just did but B had screamed which is always reassuring. It was another boy 7 pound boy, the cherry on top of this crazy baby cake. B was put on my chest but was quickly taken off me as he was very floppy and needed help breathing.
They tried hard to get him to clear the stuff he swallowed, trying to make him more responsive. It wasn’t working so he was put on my chest to try and get him to come round. He was then taken again to be worked on again but this time taken to special care. My husband followed him out and I was left in the room with my first twin.
The room quickly emptied and I realized just how full it was before. My mum and photographer left to see baby B and give me an update.
I started to feed baby A while the midwives cleaned up the room and delivered my placentas.
I lost a fair bit of blood and was almost classed as a haemorrhage. The nurse managed to stop the bleeding before it was serious; all the while I was back in my baby bubble blissfully unfazed.
Once the epidural wore off I was allowed to shower and get on my way with A to visit his brother in special care. Baby B was looking around at the world from his humidity crib. Stable and healthy. My second bundle of baby looking so much better than when I met him.
Over the next 24hrs he became unstable with his heart rate dropping and stopping breathing twice. He was checked and found to have a heart murmur. That mixed with a traumatic birth had caused him a bit of drama. He stayed in special care for a few days but stabilized and came into my room by the end of the week.
Both boys were finally in my care and it was time for the real challenge to begin.
We named Twin A Seth, a name I had picked when I was 16 if I was ever to have a son, Twin A we called Axel. I was desperate to breast feed so we practiced the art of tandem feeding before finally coming home to start the rest of our lives together.
4 months on both boys are healthy. Twin Bs heart murmur has healed on its own and both are thriving. I am now exclusively expressing for both boys as it’s a lot easier to tandem feed with bottles than breast for me but I was still desperate to supply breast milk. Each boy is totally different from each other both physically and personality wise. Both thriving healthy happy boys and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but when they smile or giggle it makes it’s all worth it!