The Birth Story Of Cove And Meadow Part.1

I’m finally sitting down and ready to write about their birth. It’s almost been a year and to be honest,  I’ve wondered if there is even any sense in writing it all down now…. I’ve written it a 1,000 times over in my head, the words, the thoughts , all the things that happened.. And for now it’s been a safe place inside my head and my heart of all the things I went through and discovered through the journey of them both coming home to me. It’s felt good to keep it sacred until now, and to figure out just what they and the journey means.. But here it is , at last — The birth story of Cove and Meadow…

If you’re new,  a good place to start is HERE.
And probably  HERE
{ I’ll be writing a lot of details of their birth etc, mostly to share my experience with other twin Mama’s out there. When I discovered I was pregnant with the twins I felt very much alone and feel very called to share those details of their story. This may be the longest birth story of all time , oops! But twin Mama’s this is for YOU! }

The story of them started 2 weeks before they were actually born. I went in for a routine check at 34.5 weeks and at the very end of the appointment quickly asked if he ( My OB ) thought he should check me.. He said he didn’t think it was necessary unless I thought something had changed.. Had I? Was I reading into this crazy sense that these babies had dropped and I was dilating..?? I started to brush it off not wanting to sound like a squeaky wheel, but he quickly agreed. I’ll never forget his face when he looked at me and said – ” You’re 5.5 cm dilated!!” I actually thought it wasn’t that big of a deal.. I typically dilate early with all my babies which is why I tend to have fast labours…. But he explained labour technically starts at 4 cm, so I was in labour ( but not in labour )  — so he wanted me to go home and pack my bags and head to the hospital to be monitored for a few hours…  (  I know now he thought I was about to go into labour any minute…) But me and my intuition, we knew. So I decided no better time than now to get a mani/ pedi  because I had no idea when I would be able to set foot in that place again.. so thats what I did. I got my nails done, packed my bags, did not rush by any means to that hospital because I knew the minute I stepped foot in that place they weren’t letting me go, and I was right.
When I showed up they wondered where the heck I had been all day ( oops ) —  They asked if I was having contractions, any bleeding..?  ( I literally heard this question all day err day for 8 days after this and the answer was always the same, no. )

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An amazing OB on call that day told me the NICU was full. I had the option to transfer to a hospital in Vancouver or I risked being separated from my twins when they were born. Since I was still having no symptoms other than dilating me and Steve both agreed to stay locally. We had 3 other little ones to take care of and thinking about being separated from them and the logistics of that — it seemed unbearable.
So I got admitted. Steve helped me cozy – up the room and then had to leave to grab the kids.
So there I was alone.
Night hit and it turned dark and thats when the thoughts and feelings started happening. All the things I had worried about and never dealt with from the very beginning started haunting me…. And I started having full – fledge anxiety attacks. I am not someone who typically struggles with this, but finding out we were having twins, and every single time after I have a baby, I struggle with it. The unknowns, the change, not being able to be in control of my life and what is happening. I remember just seeing the baby warmer in the corner of my room, shouting to me ” this is happening ! There’s two babies, TWO ! !!”  — I still hadn’t even wrapped my mind around all of that yet.. And now I had no choice, they were coming, I had to birth them and take care of them and to be honest, I was terrified.

It’s a funny thing, when you’re a Mom and you never get the chance to stop or get a break.. When all of a sudden you’re left all alone with nothing and no one else but your own thoughts and all the things in your life you told yourself you never had the time to deal with, until now. All the things I’ve gone through.. I’ve lived through them,  but not faced them and I finally had to look at them straight in the face.  I also went through a lot emotionally in that time and looking back on it now,  I truly am forever grateful –because I found myself again. The person I was because of all those things that had happened. It really made me face my situation and take the time to bond and realize what I was about to walk through.. Twins is such a crazy thing to wrap your mind around and still to this day, when I look at them,  I can’t believe I did that..  It was definitely hard at the time — but God knew I needed it.

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They had me in a room closest to the OR just in case. They literally thought I was about to go into labour at any minute. There was a Starbucks in the lobby but I couldn’t even leave the maternity floor… My room was dark and faced a wall which didn’t help …I had gone from being a busy, very pregnant Mom of 3 to being stuck in a hospital room, not allowed to do anything but walk to the ice machine, it was crazy. But by day 5 and still no sign of labour, I begged to be wheeled out in a wheelchair to the lobby. I saw the door and told Steve,  ” for the love – take me outside!! ” He reluctantly agreed and quickly wheeled me around.  I took deep breaths of fresh air while raising my head to the sky.  I thought about the world just moving on with their day to day and there I was — stuck in this in between place of excitement and fear… The experience taught me a lot and really made me appreciate health etc, amongst other things..
In my normal care, I was being seen by the most amazing Obstetrician,  I trusted him because I knew and felt like he had me and the babies best intentions in mind. He is also known for being the most pro vaginal — something that was super important to me since I had already had 3 uncomplicated vaginal deliveries and also because trying to recover from a C – section with 5 kids and not a ton of help was not my idea of a good time. He also agreed to share care with my midwife who I have a very close relationship with. She delivered Harlan and was the first person we called when I found out about the twins. She was my voice of reason, the person I talked to about my fears, she came to my house in – between my visits with my OB and get this — she even found me 2 amazing Mama’s who were willing to pump milk for the twins before they were even born.  I really, truly could NOT have done it without her also beside, behind and in front of me.
So here’s the thing — when you stay at the hospital the person in charge of your care changes daily depending on who is on call that day.  Each different Doctor carries each of their own opinions and ways of doing things and I feel torn with how much to share here…So know I am sharing some, but not all things..
On day 3 the mood shifted drastically. Here I was 35 weeks pregnant sitting at 5.5 cm dilated taking up a room in a very busy maternity ward. I was a walking liability for each doctor that came on shift each day.  And I get it, I do.  – Obstetricians see and deal with high risk pregnancies. They have seen the worst of the worst and I can see why they could be jaded. I also feel like midwives are portrayed as the hero’s and OB’s are the villains,  — very much like firefighters vs cops and it really is too bad. BUT that day was just awful. I was told matter of factly that they were inducing me the next day and all of a sudden had a bunch of nurses in my room,  hooking up I.V’s, bringing in equipment and what have you and I felt completely out of control of the care of my own babies and really, of my own body. I thought getting the twins as close to full term was the end goal ?  I was proud of my little body for hanging in there and giving me some extra days to cook them. I had people praying for me that they would stay in there longer, so it was such a shock to hear such contradictory news. As the evening came me and Steve made the decision that we did not want me to be induced. I was in the hospital, a step and a button away from great care.  -Nothing contraindicated that the twins were in danger or not doing well, I was being monitored constantly and had non stress tests daily.. I was dilated ( big time ) — But I was NOT in labour. If my body was allowing it, I wanted them to stay in. The news wasn’t taken all that great and I was told lots of bad things and scary stories… But I needed to stand up for my babies and listen to my intuition. They were better off in than out —  where I knew they would be stuck in the NICU away from me — being fed with a tube shoved down their throat.

I spent the next 5 days with no change. I wasn’t even having braxton hicks, it was crazy. They deemed me a ” medical mystery ” ( first claim to fame 😉 But the stress of it all was getting to me… I went to bed each night praying I wouldn’t go into labour and staring at the clock watching the hours go by until I knew I had made it another day. Since I knew when my OB was on call,  we decided that in order to have the best outcome and birth we would induce on his day. But I felt sick about the decision. I remember waiting for Steve to show-up and looking down at my big round belly, feeling them both move and I just bursted out crying. I told them I was so sorry for taking them out before they were ready, but I felt desperate to do something. Steve came in the room, chipper and excited about finally getting to meet our babies, but I couldn’t even talk. I was cold and disconnected and finally when he asked what was wrong I told him, ” How would you feel right now knowing you were about to birth twins that aren’t even ready to come out..?”  and my hubby, I love him so much because he knows just how to deal with me. Smart man, he said nothing – rubbed my shoulder, gave me a kiss and sat across from me in that rocking chair, letting me have my moment and give me the space I needed to get there in my mind..

Cove and Meadow 1 day to 7 days (3 of 572)

My midwife had been supporting me emotionally during my hospital stay and had come in that day to help with the birth of the babies.. She came into the room with one of my favourite nurses and told us the NICU was full and I wasn’t going to be induced. I honestly thought she was joking, but she wasn’t. God slammed that door right shut. But I also knew I couldn’t stay one more minute in that hospital. The stress of being away from my kids ( Harlan cried herself to sleep every night ) –  the comfort of home and the emotional roller coaster each day with a new doctor was too much. I texted my midwife I was out, threw in the peace sign and running man emoticon and started packing my bags. She checked me and I was still the same, so I made the call to go home and if I had any sign of labour,  I would call an ambulance.

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Coming home was absolutely amazing. I had a new appreciation for so many of the little things, I was still on bed rest, but I was home, and crazy enough, still pregnant.

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As soon as I hit 36 weeks I felt a huge shift. That belly was big and those babies had grown and I knew, they were ready. Right up until then I felt comfortable, and was sleeping decent– which was shocking because if you have ever been pregnant with one baby I’m sure you have thought – how on earth would someone have TWO in there?! The thought, especially for me in the beginning made me feel claustrophobic. The woman’s body let me tell you though, is amazing. I actually think I had more discomfort in my second pregnancy than with the twins. But by 36 weeks I could barely walk, the pressure was crazy and I could feel both their heads on top of each other. Meadow I knew, was coming first and Cove second. They switched baby “A” and “B” roles at 32 weeks and I have more on this in just a bit..

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I managed to clock in a few more days but on the early evening of 36 +3 days as I started watching Jill duggars ” dramatic delivery ”  I started to feel nauseous. It felt like I had eaten something that maybe made my stomach upset, but I felt slightly panicked sitting at 6 cm dilated and the pressure of puking… I tried to wait it out, but it wasn’t going away. I called my midwife and she told me to ” be careful !” So I got sick the calmest way I could ( haha!! ) and instantly felt better. She texted again and well, here it is – IMG_0387IMG_0388

 

Well that girl,  she knew !! She came and checked me and .5 seconds later said in her Aussie accent,  ” Holy F**k, Michele!  ( we’re friends, swearing at this point in our relationship is totally acceptable 😉 You’re 7.5 cm dilated, the baby is RIGHT there! ” – she showed me on her finger that Meadows head was literally only finger tip away.. uhhh what!? How was I not in labour !? And no wonder I could barely walk, dem babies were practically falling out!! She consulted the OB on call and he told us to come in. I said goodbye to the kids knowing this time for sure, we wouldn’t be coming home without babies. — That’s always such a surreal thing to think about..
Luckily I had showered that day and had done my makeup, I thought about curling my hair but didn’t want to come across toooo over the top 😉
We got to the hospital and I told them I would go in any room but the one I lived in for 8 days, I needed a fresh start. So I got the one beside it. Luckily my birth photographer  ( In the River Valley ) was there too and all the images of us and the twins in our room are from her ( If there is anything you photograph, please let it be your birth. I hold these photos with the greatest of love for what they capture. The moments I don’t want to forget, but probably wouldn’t have remembered , thank you Roxanna ! )

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I thought things would move quicker, but we ended up hanging around in our room for awhile. The energy and mood in the hospital that night was eerie… Going into this I thought hospital staff would get excited about the idea of delivering twins, and well — they just don’t. It’s a lot more work, they need double the nurses, a OB, a doctor,  a paediatrician, an anaesthetist and a OR room available just in case.
I knew going into this all of my options.  I researched a TON, asked a lot of questions and knew very well the risks involved. I joked that I wasn’t trying to have a herbal twin birth with a floral crown on my head ( wouldn’t that have been nice 😉 But I really did want to do this the most natural way if I could. I had never had a epideral and really did not want one. I was already at 7.5 cm without having contractions, so my goodness  – I had this ! But they pushed for it, reminding me that if baby ” B” ( the wild card twin ) flipped, which was likely after baby “A” came out, they would have to reach inside and do a breach extraction ( essentially — grab baby B by the feet and get them out ) If I didn’t tolerate that, I risked being knocked out if the heart rate, etc dropped,  so in the end I grudgingly agreed.. But we all decided to just have it placed, without anything running through it unless I needed it – which seemed like a best of both worlds option..

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What dreams may become_0612My midwife managed to convince the OB to break my water in the room, but when he went to do that I was 8.5cm dilated ( still NO contractions ! ) and he said no way, we were going to the O.R. I wasn’t allowed to have my birth photographer with me, so all the images of their birth are from my camera and a go – pro.

We finally got the call to head down and I had to lay flat back because of the epideral.
What dreams may become_0613What dreams may become_0614What dreams may become_0615I’ll never forget feeling SO scared about what I was about to go do, so I did what I always do when things get hard, I laugh. They wheeled me down that hallway and I busted – out the peace sign.What dreams may become_0616We got held up trying to get into the OR so me and Steve took random pictures and joked around.  What dreams may become_0617What dreams may become_0622Finally we got into the O.R where I got transferred to a uncomfortable surgery table and my legs were spread and literally strapped into stirrups. What dreams may become_0618What dreams may become_0619What dreams may become_0620It.Was.Awful.
I sat there for awhile, literally with my legs spread open and a room full of people — I am a pretty open girl, but come on.. Until finally someone grabbed me a blanket to put over my legs.
I instantly felt claustrophobic being stuck lying flat with my legs bound and thought it was a little over the top to have them literally strapped on. I begged to have them at least just in the stirrups, but they said then my legs might move (?!) I went from a room down the hall being able to birth normally, but the second I stepped foot in that Operating room, everything changed.

The OB finally went and broke my water and sitting at 8.5 cm he thought he could get me to push, and literally just stretch my cervix over Meadows head, but it didn’t work. So they let me sit for a few minutes and I could feel the tick tock of the clock. Important, highly needed people were there, and I felt stressed to start having contractions, but I still had nothing. I knew if I was allowed to walk around, etc it may get them going, but I was still stuck on that table with my legs strapped in those damn stirrups. I know how to birth, and this went against absolutely everything my body was telling me to do.
I actually had a moment where I felt like I wanted to SCREAM and high tail it right out of there and go birth in the bush right beside the hospital ( this sounds so weird, but clearly mother nature was stepping in )
But I couldn’t.
So I prayed.
I prayed so hard and so strong in my mind, begging God to give me the strength to do get through this. The most amazing thing is I could feel him cheering me on. This,  forever the reason,  was his plan.

So I trusted in it.

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Time continued to tick so I turned to my nurse and told her I needed Oxytocin to get the contractions going. They happily agreed and the ever so slightest tightening began. They told me to push, still without really any contractions, but it felt like I was literally pushing against a brick wall. They cranked up the oxytocin more and more and more and I started pushing, hard. I’ve realized now when you have a baby, the harder you push, the faster this whole thing is over.. But Meadow literally felt stuck. I told them I never usually have to push this hard, they thought it was because they were twins and because my uterus was so stretched, it was harder to push..
I laughed at one point and said,  ” this is the most bizarre birth ! ” ( it really was )

The OB let my midwife jump – in which was awesome and I’m forever grateful for that ( thank you !! ) But I could see him pondering something and came over to check me and said, ” the baby is posterior .” ( the wrong way around essentially ) To be honest, I felt super irritated in that moment. This is what my girls do for some reason, they go the wrong way! He tried to move her, but there was no way, she was locked in there with Cove being right above her..
So I pushed and pushed and pushed..
Meadow made me work for it and I was literally,  sweating.

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I told them to crank up the epideral because dammit if I had it, I myaswell use it ! But it did nothing ! I felt everything still and actually thought to myself at one point — ‘ why on earth would anyone get this, they suck ! ‘
I opened my eyes during a pushing break and saw they had grabbed the vacuum.
I heard the very slow heart rate on the monitor and knew this baby needed to come out, like now. I told him, ” Wait!! – let me try one more time !!” He let me ( thank you !! )
And if I have ever had to dig deep and find that inner strength I never knew I had,  it. was.then.
I am a strong minded woman,  I was getting this baby out.
So I took a moment and I dug deep. I pushed with every ounce of strength I had in me and finally, she started to budge. My midwife said, ” look Michele,  she’s looking right at you ! ” I couldn’t see a thing, but now knowing her — it suits her perfectly.

Seconds later, she was in my arms.

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My itty, bitty 4 pound 10 oz  * Meadow Nightingale Shine. *
In my dreamiest of dreams, it was always her.
And finally,  she was here.

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They let me have her on my chest quickly without being whisked away like they typically do
( thank you! )
There definitely wasn’t that sense of relief like when you have one baby..Nor that magical, euphoric experience..
I knew it wasn’t over yet and I have had some regrets about not really being in that moment. I was too worried about what was happening to baby B and situations like ” breach extractions ” and what have you..

As soon as they took her away, she started crying like crazy.  They immediately had me pushing again, not exactly what you want to do when you just pushed a baby out a minute earlier..
And I just kept saying, ” a head?? Do you see a head ??!”

To be continued.
( Part 2 will be posted tomorrow )

By admin

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