Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TWINS // THE BIRTH STORY PART 2

So we're up to the point where Taylen has arrived and Baby B is still inside. I wasn't scared at the time, but looking back I had an umbilical cord hanging out and really was prone to some major infections.

After some loving on Taylen, okay about an hour's worth, Diane told us it was time to start getting mentally prepared for Baby B to arrive. My body was so tired from all the work it did with Taylen that I didn't know how I could do it at that point. I didn't feel any contractions, though, and so I knew I had some time. Our midwife-apprentice, Liz, was feeling a little sick and so she decided to head home for some rest and we were to call her when contractions started. Diane had brought a pillow and some jammies to bunker down for the night with us.


Laying with Taylen, trying to get some rest.
I tried to nurse Taylen. Not only because it was the right thing to do but also because we thought it might stimulate contractions to start. Well, he would not nurse. At midnight I was feeling exhausted from the work and also emotions and conversations with family far away. Diane told us to try to get some sleep and wake her if anything happened. I slept like a rock, Taylen right next to me. Bob, on the other hand, did not. He stayed up almost the entire night checking to make sure Taylen was okay, still breathing, and loving him. What a good dad!

In the morning I still felt nothing. We moved on to some other methods to get the ball rolling. At this point is was about 10:00 am and it had been 16 hours since Taylen had arrived. I drank castor oil and juice, we mixed it in some eggs, I tried nipple stimulation, going to the bathroom, eating spicy food. You name it- I tried it. And nothing.

Diane told us to think seriously about heading to the Hospital. I was crushed. I felt like such a failure. What else could I try? She said she would never force us to go, especially since both Baby B and I were fine, but she was opening the door for exploration. At 12:30, after two and a half more hours of waiting, we decided it was time to go.

But what about Taylen? We couldn't take our newborn son, in perfect health, to the Hospital. There's be no one to care for him, not to mention the chaos we'd cause walking in with a twin born at home. We decided it was best to leave him with a certified Doula recommended to us by Diane, her name was Rachel. She was so kind. She walked me through nursing before we left and told us we were in good hands. We believed her. I know it sounds crazy. How could we leave our son? Looking back I am so thankful things worked out well. We didn't have a choice, and I didn't have time to worry.


By 2:00 we were on our way to the hospital. I had time to take a quick shower while Bob called family to update them. I finished phone calls in the car and we were checked into the Prenatal/Surgical until by 2:30. They were shocked by our story and we received a less than warm welcome. Diane had asked us earlier if we were okay with telling the Hospital staff that Taylen had actually been born at 6:30 that morning instead of his real birth time 12 hours prior. We were fine with that, we wanted Diane to stay with us and not be reprimanded by hospital staff. It didn't make a difference to us. We knew we had done the best thing for us. We just wanted to be treated well but even when we lied... we were not.

Prepped- waiting for surgery.
Bob ready for surgery, too!


The minute the doctor arrived, Dr. Santa Maria Torres, she layed into Diane, of course outside of the room so I couldn't hear. She said that I could have died and that my blood pressure was that of someone with preeclampsia. It was 180/110, which was scary high, but in my defense I was scared out of my mind to go into surgery, which is what I knew they'd make me do. Plus Diane had checked me every hour since the birth of Baby A. It was the Hospital making me sick. Modern western medicine does not allow a woman to try to birth twins naturally, let alone breech twins, or one that's been waiting more than 20 hours after the first one to arrive. Our path was laid out for us. Baby B would be born via Ceserian Section nearly 22 hours after his brother. I was prepped immediately for surgery. Shaved, talked to, and scolded.

Diane said goodbye and went to get a bite to eat. She said she;d see me on the other side of surgery and kissed me and wished me well. Bob was told to wait while I got a spinal; apparently too many men faint at the sight of the needle. Little did they know that this was not Bob's first birth! He's the oldest of 8 children and has seen two of his own children born. It would have been nice support for me to have him by my side since I was a big ball of nerves, but c'est la vie I suppose. Beside that I was in no mood to fight, I already felt defeated.

Inside the operating room I was amazed. So many brite lights and noises. Most people are asleep during surgery and the plan was for me to be awake - that's sort of neat! I wasn't having a typical epidural because I wasn't in labor. I was instead having a spinal block. The difference is that the needle comes out with a spinal block, but you are completely numb whereas an epidural you may have some sensations. Well the anesthesiologist tried two times to insert my spinal block, unsuccessfully. Each time I was receiving an electrical shock down my leg- talk about painful and scary! I was told that on the third try if the anesthesiologist was unsuccessful that I would have to be put to sleep. The pressure was on. I was determined to be successful. I bore down, squeezed Robin (the nurse) tight and did my best (you try holding still when you know a giant needle is being inserted into your back, there;s a chance you could be paralized and there's a school of students watching your bare ass from behind!)  I did it! I was finally completely numb from the mid-spine down.

Bob came ino the room and I asked him to take as many pictures as he could because they wouldn't allow me to see beyond the blue scren hanging over my belly. He said he would do his best. It was quiet in the room and I wasn't sure what was going on. I asked the anesthesioligist if I was open and he replied "Oh, yeah. You've been open. I can see your baby." Ahh! I was so excited! Bob said he could see right into me. I wanted him to take a picture but he said i wouldn't want to see. I took his word for it.

At 4:28 pm Dayr Hebel was born. He was 6 lbs. 2.5 oz. and 19 inches long. He had a full head of dark hair, his arms were outstretched and he was gasping for air. He was not okay. The Doctor asked if I wanted to see him, of course I said yes, but they were panicking and I only got a view of his toes. Bob went silent as we waited for him to make a noise. I puked. My mind started racing with thoughts like:  "he wasn't ready to come out, we should have waited" and "what if this had happened at home"?

Bob stopped taking pictures and they wheeled Dayr past me, stopping only long enough for me to glance in his direction. He had a breathing helmet on and was already receiving oxygen. He was on his way to the Nursery and I was on my way to recovery.

Dayr and his oxygen Helmet

When I got to recovery the nurse came in to tell us Dayr had gotten worse and was being taken to the NICU. I couldn't wait for Bob to go and be with him. Having no family nearby and not many friends I called one of the only people I felt I could, my friend and co-worker Courtney, to come and sit with me while Bob visited Dayr.

The next sequence of events is blurry. I'll have to have Bob fill in the cracks. Somewhere along the line the next hour Bob drove home, had help from rachel installing two carseats, brought Taylen to the Hospital, and he joined us as a "Well Baby Companion" for the remainder of my stay.

It wasn't until 3 days later, when I was finally able to get out of bed, that I got to visit Dayr. It was a very emotional time for us as a family. We wanted to celebrate Taylen's arrival but felt incomplete without Dayr. Bob went to visit him as often as he could in the NICU, and he spent the night with me and Taylen in one of the Hospital's nicest rooms overlooking the mountains.

We were treated well during our stay and after the weekend (Dayr was born on a Thursday) we went home ... without him. Dayr stayed in the NICu for 9 days until he was strong enough to come home. Here's a picture of them on that first day, together at last:

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