Six months postpartum and I am finally getting to writing our vegan birth story, it has been a whirlwind of an experience. We are so thankful for all the love poured out on us during this entire adventure and blessed to be given two healthy, vegan babies. Click the link below for more information about my experience from the hospital and leaving with two adorable babies.
June 20th finally arrived, after much anticipation and anxiety of my water breaking while out and about the entire weekend before our planned cesarean date. Genki Husband drove us to the hospital, stopping by Starbucks for coffee for our hospital crew in tow. It was all very casual, similar to the other drives we took to the numerous doctor appointments. If anyone would have asked me how I would have felt that very moment a year ago, I would have stated stressed and full of fear. On the actual day, Genki Husband and I were both a tiny bit anxious about the procedure however zen for the adventure ahead with the twins.
Parking in the available hospital garage, all of us walked a block down the hospital campus to the entrance of the hospital and checked our crew in with security. It was the first surreal moment when I stated we were there to give birth to our twins. The security guard looked at me and said I was the calmest pregnant women they had ever seen. Then he couldn’t get over the fact I was pregnant with twins and so small in stature.
Next we entered the women’s unit, which we had memorized the location in the specialized hospital a few months earlier on a tour. (You know, just in case we were in a rush on the special day…) Ironically my doctor was just passing as we entered the ward and he ushered us in a special doorway location to be checked in for security and my twin delivery room. Baby Boy (twin B) was still breech so we were told it was safest to have a cesarean, especially since he was located up in my ribs.
Finally, we were settled into our private twin delivery room (double the size of the other rooms) and I was given a hospital gown to change into and hooked up to a double set of heart monitors for the twins on an NST monitor. A third monitor was hooked up for contractions however I never felt any at all as I never truly went into labor. Yes, I never went into labor even through all the stress of my shortening and lengthening cervix. It’s so hard to believe I never felt a contraction, although I was told I did have a few through the monitor and my “waters” never broke. Some women may feel a bit weird and shortened of the experience of childbirth but in the end I do not have any regrets as I have two adorable twins as an end result.
Numerous technicians, RN’s and other medical staff came into my room to inform me of all the events that were to go on that morning. During the two hours we were to wait until our schedule 9AM double birth, we met what seemed like just about everyone in the women’s ward. I am told we were quite the talk around the unit as we were having naturally conceived twins, something that is very unusual in this hospital. Even my mother was stopped by the hospital cafeteria staff and asked about our twins and their success.
My OB, whom I loved the entire pregnancy, came into my room and explained a few times everything that would go on throughout the entire process. He is a very detailed man, explaining everything and answering as many questions as we can think up without making us feel rushed. Finally the moment had come and Genki Husband was given his hospital gear and guided into a special private waiting room while I was rolled in my bed to the operating room. Since we had twins, we were located in a large operating room setup for multiple births. Even though it was a large room, it still felt as though it was intimate and not cold thanks to the dimmed lighting for the babies. My OB was waiting in the operating room for me as I entered, along with all the staff members I had met beforehand in my room. There were around 20 staff members, give or take a few as I couldn’t see everyone in the room.
For those of you wondering the staff included were:staff to assist my OB in the delivery, staff and an Anesthesiologist (whom I had consulted earlier on my needs), general operating room staff and finally each twin had I believe 3-4 RN’s to attend to their needs. As this was a multiple birth, there were double the amount of staff members since complications are quite common. All the staff members were trained for multiple births and were the specialists in their departments, even the NICU RN’s were in attendance. Although there were a lot of staff members, it did not feel like a circus, but then again this could be due to my wonderful OB.
The Anesthesiologist and my OB administered the spinal tap (mandatory for multiple births) and I was laid flat on my back and “strapped into place”. Thankfully I didn’t pass out from laying on my back, I did get a bit sick though because the twins were still on my main arteries. Please note, if you are worried about being strapped down, please tell your Anesthesiologist that you are claustrophobic and he/she will make sure you aren’t really strapped down. Mine just had the straps around my wrists so I could use them if needed but not feel them as they were super loose. Additionally, he made sure the tarp that goes in front of my face was not too close throughout the entire surgery. The tarp is so I couldn’t see what was going on in the surgery location so I wouldn’t interrupt and cause harm to the babies or myself, common practice. A note on the spinal tap, my OB talked me through the entire process and held my shoulder so I wouldn’t get too scared. The needle was not as large as in the movies, I could feel it but it was nothing to be too worried about as it is done in a flash. The same specialist stayed in the OR the entire surgery and administered anything from more medication to a breathing tube when I got a bit dizzy near the end.
The surgery itself went very well, it took less than 30 minutes in total. Baby Girl (Baby A) was born first, followed by Baby Boy (Baby B) less than a minute later. The sound of each baby crying is a sound I hope I will never forget, the sound I heard instantly as each one was born. There is nothing better than knowing your twins have survived the first stage of live, birth. My OB stitched me up and I was then wheeled carrying the twins into a special OR waiting room where the twins were further inspected and I was to breastfeed for the first time.
Both twins were extremely healthy upon birth, receiving Apgar scores of 8 and then 9 a minute later. The highest is a 10, however, most babies do not receive the highest score I was told. Baby B did have hypoglycemia upon birth and was given some lovely sugar water through an IV but that was the only health issue for both twins. Hypoglycemia is common apparently, something I did not know previously from reading up on childbirth. It happens in all sizes and types of babies, not a serious condition and not a result of being vegan.
Upon my OB’s suggestion and the hospitals’ rules, I stayed a total of 5 days in the hospital. This is the recommendation after having twins by c-section. My recovery went smooth after the first day. The first day after surgery I became very sick and used an entire stash of sick bags, the medication used during surgery did not settle in my stomach. This is something I normally have issues with when taking medication, not something from the failure of the hospital staff. So after 1 day of being sick, I made myself start to eat food and fluids through my mouth again. It was a struggle the entire first 2 days after surgery, I had no appetite and nothing settled in my stomach for long. Thankfully I am very strong and made myself get back into the swing of things and was up walking by the second day after my catheter was taken out. After the first day of surgery, taking the required medication during surgery, I did not take any medication besides a motrin the second day when the nurse scared me into thinking I was going to need pain medication. After the first one, I declined each one afterwards. The RN’s were so surprised I did not need medication and the head nurse mentioned in her 35 years of working in the women’s unit, I was the only one to decline. I am not sure if this is because of my healthy lifestyle or because I have a high tolerance to pain. Whatever the reason, I am thankful I never took any medication besides what was required for surgery. Additionally, since I know many of you will ask, I did lose all the pregnancy weight before leaving the hospital. (I will go into this in another blog post.)
The twins and I are now settled into our house and happily getting into a sleep training schedule. We took a few weeks off from the outside world just to get to know each other and become an official family. I am so thankful for this time together, especially as Genki Husband had this time off work too. He was a great support throughout the entire process and has become a wonderful, protective father unlike any other man I know in my life. Our family of 4 is so thrilled to be blessed to have each other and can not imagine life any other way.
Note: The photos on this blog are copyright protected and have watermarks. If you want to link or use any part of this blog post, written approval and signature must be given by Genki Kitty.