D-DAY of attempting to give birth to twins was edging closer and closer, and I soon reached the 36 week ‘they should be fine’ milestone I was praying I’d get to. I was not-so-secretly quite chuffed with my body.
Turns out, my boys (I’m fine with that now, by the way) were pretty comfy in there. Shame I couldn’t say the same for myself. 36 weeks pregnant is hard work for any woman. Let alone 37, and in the end 38. With twins. Did I mention everything is that little bit tougher when there are double the babies in there? I think I may have done…
Oh to have been able to put my feet up and watch a box set, scoffing chocolate fingers and Match Makers like my first pregnancy, having nice afternoon teas with my girlfriends before impending motherhood arrived.
Toddler had different ideas. He wasn’t letting me off the hook however much I wanted him to. I mean, FFS, look at the size of me.
I was booked in to be induced at 37 weeks – hurrah! I was ready, bring on the epidural! What I wasn’t ready for was Toddler getting a stomach bug, passing it onto me and being either in bed or attached to the toilet for three days.
Induction postponed. I was secretly relieved. Who wants to push out two babies whilst they’ve got the shits? (For those of you about to give birth? – yes you ARE likely to poo, but it’s the least of your worries at that point in time. Accept it and hope you don’t catch a stomach bug).
What I wasn’t bargaining on was also developing an infected cyst (on my bikini line of all places) two days before D-Day and being put on antibiotics. But the induction was going ahead whether I liked it or not – keeping them in much longer was heading towards dodgy ground. I had spent my entire pregnancy hoping they’d stay in to be as healthy as possible. Now it looked like they were going to stay in too long. That thing called irony again.
I’d not been ‘symptom free’ from my D&V for 48 hours, but they were admitting me to hospital anyway. My babies were going to be here tomorrow! Or so I thought, during an optimistic/deluded moment.
The silver lining of having a stomach bug was getting my own room in hospital. This was the Best. News. Ever. No mixing with the riff raff or listening to the chavs argue with midwives over not being allowed out for a fag, or how they don’t know who their baby’s Dad was. (I sound like a snob, of course I totally am, but this was a true story from my previous birth – I’ve heard countless worse, and funnier ones since).
Turns out having my own room also meant I was being ‘barriered’ because of my bug. The Other Half had to wear plastic gloves and an apron whenever he was in there (not sure this was entirely necessary but it kept me entertained for a bit), and all staff had to gown up every time they came in. Might have been why I didn’t see any staff very often. The tea ladies had the right idea – stand at the door and shout. Or just break the rules.
The infected cyst seemed to improve once in hospital but my bug got worse – until I realised the ever-increasing trips to the loo (thank God I had my own bathroom) were down to the antibiotics. FFS.
I refused anymore antibiotics. PLEEEASE let the shits clear up before giving birth, I was running out of time and feeling ever-so slightly panicky! More worried about shitting all over the midwives than pushing out two big babies. This also helped me get more sleep, after I was woken by a midwife at 3am with an antibiotic. What sort of frickin’ moron wakes up a 38 week pregnant woman who is already close to losing the plot at 3am, just because the drugs have to be taken three times a day?! I literally could not believe it. (You can imagine the reception they got).
I had high hopes for this induction malarkey. I’d heard of friends who had gone into labour within hours of the hormone pessary being put in. But 37 hours later, the maximum it’s allowed, nothing had happened.
There were eight other women waiting to be induced on my ward, each slowly being ticked off the list as they were taken down to labour ward around the clock. I was going nowhere apparently. Giving birth to twins, it turns out, needs a whole lot more staff – multiple midwives, a consultant and two anaesthetists in case it all goes tits up – so I was only allowed to have my waters broken during ‘daylight hours’ when they could get the whole crowd together. It was like organising a Facebook event.
FINALLY I was down there ready for action. I won’t go into the gorey details, possibly because you might be eating, but mainly because there weren’t really any. Epidural in, get told when to push, (in my case it was more like shut my eyes, hold my breath and hope something was happening) and in between times, sit round like you’re in a pub chatting to the pros about what boxset they’re currently watching. And I’m not kidding.
Ten minutes of breath holding and Twin One was here, 43 minutes of stomach holding (by them) intermittent breath holding (by me) and first baby holding (by The Other Half) later, Twin Two was here. Could it really have been that simple? Epidurals are the BEST THING EVER. Compared to a ventouse birth on gas and air, followed by two hours in theatre being put back together, this was a walk in the park. There was even a comedy moment when Twin Two’s waters broke as he came out and properly drenched a midwife.
They were here at last. And all that hanging around meant they were a whopping 7lb 1.5oz and 7lb 8.5oz. F*ck knows where they’d been hiding at that size.
Less than 48 frustrating hours in hospital later and we asked to leave.
I was a Mummy of three boys under the age of three. Toddler turned 2 the day we were discharged so for a couple of days, it was actually three under two but that doesn’t bear thinking about.
We were heading home as a family of five. Now it was time for the real fun to start. HELP!!!