…We are rushed into theatre. I am surrounded by people. It feels chaotic. Panic.
Turns out I did, indeed, need to have that epidural. I had to be numbed from the waist down and quickly. It took no time. I was going to say it took minutes, then I realised I have no idea how long it took… unsurprisingly my memories are a little vague!
It was a strange feeling not being able to move my legs. Paralysed and completely at other people’s mercy. I really didn’t like it. I like to be in control of everything. And I MEAN EVERYTHING (I may have heard the words ‘control freak’ a few times).
The doctors, nurses and midwives were quick, efficient, friendly and kind. Although it felt chaotic to us, in hindsight they were amazing and knew what they were doing. They were professional. They didn’t panic.
There were twice as many people in the theatre than with a singleton birth. We had two midwifes, two paediatricians, an anaesthetist, two consultants. As I was a special case, we had a number of junior doctors who were observing.
A lady sat and held my hand. I didn’t know who she was. I still don’t know who she was. I might never know who she was. She had blond hair. I felt like she was my guardian angel. Later, in my semi-consious state, I wondered aloud if this lady had indeed existed. Was she a nurse? Was she a figment of my imagination? Was she my actual guardian angel? When I asked my husband if she was real, he thought I had truly lost it (more so than normal) and confirmed yes, of course, this lady existed. He confirmed she held my hand never left my side. I guess she was monitoring me. Regardless, she will always be a guardian angel to me. She is one of many people that I plan to go back and thank.
My husband stood at my other side, holding my left hand.
The boys are both stuck in the birth canal. The doctors and nurses had to push one (Bob D) back in and assist the other (Bob L) out. Which one was twin 1 in the scan photos? Who was twin 2? We will never know. The doctors said they still brought twin 1 out first but he was smaller. In every scan photo we had, twin 1 was the bigger twin.
I pushed. They pulled. After an unsuccessful attempt to use the ventouse, Bob L eventually appeared with the help of forceps, a tiny 4lbs 12.
He didn’t cry. He wasn’t breathing. Time stopped.
He was whisked away from me before I can see him. “Go with him” I cried to my hubby. “Don’t you dare leave him”.
I have to point out we had already agreed this would be our strategy should something like this happen. It was stated on my birthing plan. Then a nurse said: “shouldn’t your husband stay with you?” I said a few choice words. Bob L was in far more need than me. I was outraged that she couldn’t see that and had dared to pass comment.
In the distance of the chaos I hear Bob L’s high-pitched scream. The hubby returned.
I desperately ask: “how is he”. Hubby said: “he looks just like me” – I don’t think he was thinking straight! “What? I want to know if he’s alive!” Hubby said: “oh yes, he is fine”.
Relief and desperation to see my tiny bundle overwhelms me. I have to wait. I have another job to do.
I am told to push again. I decide I have had enough and refuse……”no way, I won’t do it” *** in the manner of a tantrum throwing and unreasonable threenager ***
Unsurprisingly, when the doctor points out it is that or a c-section, I quickly change my mind.
Suddenly, with a new-found incentive, I push again. Bob D appears soon after. He looks massive at 5lbs 4. The wrinkly bundle cries and is placed on my tummy. He doesn’t look like I thought he would, no amount of OBEM (One Born Every Minute) can prepare you for what this looks like in real life. This time hubby is allowed to cut the cord. We are overwhelmed with happiness.
I then meet Bob L. How strange is that? Meeting the first-born twin last.
I vaguely remember having both boys in my arms and feeling so weak I was worried I would drop them.
I was shaking and shivering. It was out of my control. The nurses said my body had gone into shock.
According to the doctors at the hospital, this was when I developed HELLP syndrome.
I remember nothing else from this point. I managed to stay awake for a few hours afterwards. I don’t remember this time at all. I don’t remember the FaceTime calls made to family to announce their arrival.
Then….I am asleep. The hubby stays awake all night watching the boys, marvelling as they are mirror each others’ movements. Incredible.
The next thing I remember is half-a-day later. I wake up, briefly, feeling like death. As it turns out there was a reason for that!
I don’t remember the first day of my boys’ lives.