Caesarean twin birth at 36 weeks and 2 days

twins born at 36 weeks

Author: Melissa Lourey

Finding out we were pregnant with twins

We found out we were having twins at our first ultrasound at 12 weeks. It was my second pregnancy and I did the math and realised the twins would most likely be born before my daughters second birthday. Despite the typical pregnancy complaints (and the initial shock of finding out there were two), things were going pretty smoothly, and I waddled my way through the first two trimesters without any drama.

28 weeks pregnant with twins

At 28 weeks I tested positive for gestational diabetes but it was kept under control through diet. My dream birth scenario was to make it to at least 37 weeks and go into labour naturally and deliver them vaginally. The universe had other plans.

34 weeks pregnant with twins
34 weeks pregnant with twins

36 weeks pregnant with twins

At 36 + 0 weeks pregnant, I had an ultrasound. The doctor from the hospital rang me that afternoon to say Twin A had low amniotic fluid and to come into the hospital for monitoring. After a long night in the MFM ward, the obstetrician informed me that the babies would need to be born very soon. I had the option to be induced that night or come back the following night. I chose to wait so I could go home and hopefully get some sleep and mentally prepare for the birth.

The next day I was filled with dread. The plan was to have a balloon catheter inserted into my cervix which would dilate it over twelve hours. The following morning the doctor would break my waters and if this hadn’t brought on labour, I would be given syntocinon via an IV drip. I had a really bad feeling about the whole process and the thought of a caesarean occurred to me but I went along with the plan and showed up that night for the induction.

Vaginal or caesarean twin birth?

At the hospital I was given a steroid shot by the nurse and was soon to be given the balloon catheter when I mentioned my fears surrounding being induced and brought up the option of a caesarean twin birth. She assured me I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do and to follow my instincts. The doctor arrived and we discussed the pros and cons of both the induction and vaginal birth, and the caesarean. She said that the vaginal birth would have more risks for the babies, and the c-section more risks for myself. My instincts were screaming at me to have the section and I was booked in for the following day. Off we went back home again and I managed to have a good night’s sleep.

Caesarean twin birth at 36 + 2 weeks

I woke the next morning feeling excited. Today is the day I would meet my babies! I arrived with my husband at the hospital at 7am and I had another steroid shot and was put on the monitors. I was third on the list for surgery and told I would go into theatre at about 12pm.

Not long after I had the IV drip hooked up, the nurse looked very concerned and called in other nurses. Both babies had become distressed. I went into a panic and everything became a bit of a blur. Both their heart rates went back to normal, but it soon happened again. It was decided I would skip the queue and go straight into surgery. I was assured that the babies were fine now and I focused on my deep breathing, hoping to calm us all down.

As I was wheeled into theatre I kept repeating in my head ‘love, not fear,’ and I managed to reach a relatively calm state. My husband waited outside while I was prepped for the surgery. The room was a flurry of activity. Everyone seemed stressed (except for the surgeon, phew!) and were arguing amongst themselves. I closed my eyes and focused on my breath, blocking it all out.

It was time for the epidural

The needle given to numb the area for the epidural wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated. And the epidural itself was simply a mild feeling of pressure. Once I was in place my husband joined me in the room and they got started. I was so worried I would feel pain because my legs felt tingly rather than completely numb and the anaesthesiologist had to keep reassuring me.

Twins born at 36 + 2 weeks

I felt some tugging and in what seemed like no time at all, I heard the cry of my first born son. Bodhi was born at 9:23am, weighing 2320 grams.

Moments later, I heard the cry of my second son, Jake, but his cry sounded different. Jake was born at 9:24am, weighing 2370 grams.

My husband went over to cut their cords. I still hadn’t seen them. My memories become a bit blurry at this point but I remember asking what was going on and was told Jake needed some help breathing. I kept asking if he was okay but wasn’t getting a straight answer. No one would tell me what was happening. I felt so helpless, paralysed on the table.

twin caesarean birth
Cutting Bohdi’s cord

In the recovery room after a caesarean twin birth

I was given Bodhi to hold and I cried tears of joy. He was so tiny and just perfect. I kept expecting to be given Jake but when I asked about him I was told he had been taken to NICU. Although I know they were doing what was best for him, I was devastated that he had been taken away before I had even seen him, let alone held him.

While in recovery I breastfed Bodhi who latched on and had a good suck straight away. I was so happy with Bodhi safe in my arms but also felt separation anxiety for Jake. On leaving recovery, they wheeled my bed into the NICU to see him. However, we arrived at his room and my bed wouldn’t fit through the door. I could see him in the humidicrib attached to all the tubes. It broke my heart to see him like that and not be able to go in and be with him. But he was in the best place and it wasn’t long before he joined his brother in the Special Care Nursery.

twins born at 36 weeks by caesarean
First cuddles with Jake

It was a challenging time for all of us but they both came along in leaps and bounds and six days later, we were able to return home with two healthy, beautiful babies for which I am so grateful.


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