Janine and Elias' Personal Page - Birth Story

Well they finally arrived. Two girls in the end and apart from one being a little fatter than the other appear to me to be identical.

Called them:

Alexandra Laura Ivy-Rose,
1st born at 16:06, 30 January 1997,
weight 2340g (5lb 2oz), length 47cm (18 1/2"),
Apgar 1 min 5/9, 5 min 9/9;and

Victoria Evelia Francisca,
2nd born at 16:15, 30 January 1997,
weight 2660g (5lb 14oz), length 49cm (19 1/3"),
Apgar 1 min 9/9, 5 min 9/9.

Pains started at 04:00 10 min apart and we went to the hospital at 09:00 then 3-5 min apart. I was 3-4cm dilated. At 11:00 went to the delivery room with my husband. I was walking about as much as possible before - luckily I had to wait for a delivery room to be free otherwise I would have been "strapped to the table" before. Was 4-5cm dilated. The doctor broke the waters of the first twin and attached an internal fetal monitor to its head, then put another monitor inside the uterus to monitor contractions and an external monitor on the other twin. All this while the midwife connected an IV drip to my right arm, not to mention the contractions - I was attacked from all sides.

With 2-3 contractions every 10 min the midwife said there weren´t as many as she wanted and not strong enough - she threatened me with oxytocin. They felt pretty strong to me!! In the end I dilated quite quickly and about 15:00 started to push. But the baby was coming facing upwards and after pushing for nearly an hour they thought she was getting distressed as her heart rate dropped a couple of times.

So... in came the medical team!! There were loads of people, more than 10 - 2 gynaecologists, 2 baby nurses, 1 pedriatician, the midwife, anaesthetist and a few other doctors, nurses and a couple of students. I thought I was going to have a cesarean and asked the midwife in my rotten Spanish who said yes. But it wasn´t so. They wanted to put a local anesthetic (an intradural - a bit like an epidural but quicker to act) to turn the baby´s head with forceps. They did an episiotomy too. They sent my husband out at this point. Then turned her head. Then with a couple of more pushes Alexandra was born, although I didn´t feel anything, it was really weird. Then a bit more pushing and Victoria was born. With the placenta I lost a whole load of blood and I´m now anaemic and really pale - taking iron.

Alexandra was worrying - she didn´t breath and was blue, she looked like a strange animal - they whisked her away at once and I could see 4 people around her trying to revive her. Then she cried and I cried too. Victoria was put onto me when she was born but was so slippery I could only say she was like a fish, then she too was whisked off.

It was a shame after my husband being so good that they sent him out for the actual birth. He breathed for me and with me, usually ahead of me the whole time, keeping the rhythm going when it got too much for me. After all that time withstanding the pain I was quite disappointed to have such an unnatural last 15 min. But all in all it wasn´t too bad, I think I was very lucky. But I did drink raspberry leaf tea for the last 3 mths and did perineal massage for the last few weeks. I think it helped. I had 5 stitches. I´m a bit sore but nothing like I expected - the stitches aren´t too bad, I had heard that they were worse than giving birth - mine are okay.

I was discharged from hospital after approx. 48hrs but the sad thing is we had to leave Victoria who had a level of blood cells too high. She´s in the neonatal unit still and probably coming home tomorrow having treatment for jaundice which is the sequel to the red blood cells. However, now they think Alexandra is too yellow and they´re going to test her tomorrow morning - we´re hoping she won´t have to stay behind when we bring Victoria home.

I´m breastfeeding completely and only gave in to 2 top-ups of bottled milk for Alexandra the second night in hospital feeling guilty that she had so little weight and she was crying so much. Also I needed to sleep more than an hour. I´ve been expressing milk for Victoria to take to the hospital and she hasn´t needed to have formula milk. I´m absolutely shattered but determined to breastfeed completely. I had to really battle against the nurses in hospital before the milk came in properly but it is possible. I had both twins separately on the breast as much as possible from the very first couple of hours and all that sucking has paid off now, as Alexandra sometimes sleeps 5-6hrs from one feed to the next. I´m feeding on demand. But Victoria has a measured amount from a bottle every 3 hrs - it´ll be interesting to see the difference when she comes home.

We´re so proud of our girls, I´ve never seen my husband so infatuated, so gentle and natural with them. It really took me aback. He presented me with a beautiful ring straight after the birth with 2 diamonds for the girls in the middle of a wedding band style with yellow gold on one side and white gold on the other. We´re so happy!!

(This was written on the eve of Victoria coming home - 4th Feb. She is now home and both are gaining weight healthily)