I am one of the many twin moms that opted for a scheduled C-Section over trying to deliver naturally. Because my boys are identical twins I was put into the ‘high risk’ category due to them sharing a placenta. This meant I had two doctors. One was keen to give a natural birth a go, the other stayed neutral and left it up to me. Because I had an extremely long and grueling birth with my daughter, ending in emergency C-Section, I decided to opt for a planned C-Section this time around.
Moreover, planning a vaginal birth does not necessarily mean that a woman will have one. In the study, 56 percent of the women delivered both twins vaginally, while roughly 40 percent had a C-section. The remaining 4 percent had a combination of vaginal and cesarean delivery. (C Pearson, Huffington Post)
This is what I’m calling ‘An Alternative Twin Birth Story’ because it’s a little silly at times, although always truthful. Having a scheduled C-Section is no laughing matter, but I hope to at least ease the worry with a little humor…
“Can I help you?” The receptionist asks as I waddle out of the elevator with my husband and suitcase in tow. “Er… yes? I’m here to have two babies?”
Despite arriving two hours before my scheduled c-section appointment, once at the hospital, it was all go. I change into a fetching gown and get plugged into a number of needles and monitors. It’s pretty much that scene from The Matrix, with a little less goo. And instead of shaving my head they get busy with the razor down below.
I hadn’t been allowed to eat after midnight, which is just cruel when you’re eating for three. By 9am I’m already considering breaking the rules and turning my babies into Gremlins via the emergency food rations in my bag. I always wondered about that movie… what time was it safe to start feeding Gizmo again?
I’m wheeled towards the operating theatre, which feels like it’s in the basement somewhere. There are no windows, and it is eerily quiet in the corridor.
I’m parked for a while and everyone around me seems to have a job to do but me. I’m propped on the bed waiting… twiddling my thumbs, my heart rate slowly rising in mild panic, yet I’m somehow still thinking about how many double cheeseburgers I could eat.
We move on into some kind of lobby area, and the temperature suddenly drops. It feels like I just arrived at the kitchen of the Ice Palace from Frozen and Elsa has thrown another diva fit. Calm down love, I’m trying to birth a couple of babies here.
Once in the room where the magic happens, things seem to exponentially speed up. The phone keeps ringing because there’s a c-section back-log emerging; everyone is feeling too posh to push today. I am helped to a seated position for the spinal tap, “Bend over please.” the anesthesiologist says. Err… have you ever tried bending over in a seated position with a jumbo twin bump? It is not possible. “More please,” he says again.
I manage to slide off the bed a little to give myself more leverage and brace myself for the needle. With Elsa still having a tantrum, it’s near impossible to sit still without shivering.
I am sure the anesthesiologist is going to miss and leave me with one very numb kidney.
Luckily for me, he’s used to a moving target, and all goes well except it’s more painful than I remember from my emergency C-Section with my daughter.
Still, it seems to be working and the numbness has started to kick in. My Obstetrician walks in all happy and smiles, which put me at ease. She looks like a TV doctor, her hair and makeup always fresh, and her outfits always look like she has a personal stylist. Today is no exception, she’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and eager to get started.
Now, I’ve watched every episode of Grey’s Anatomy, so I know doctors only ever work and have sex (at work), so I’m starting to wonder how much coffee she drinks. Look at her hands – check they’re not shaking. After all, this woman is about to pick up a scalpel and she looks unnervingly excited about it.
Meredith had asked me on a previous visit how I felt about having a clear screen between me and the business end during the scheduled c-section. The screens were new-in and she was desperate to give one a go – I told you she was keen. I was kind of on the fence about it until she warned that she would be “removing the uterus from my body to sew it back up, and then popping it back in again.” That, along with all the placenta stuff sounded like something out of The Walking Dead so I decided to opt for the classic opaque screen instead.
What doc failed to mention was that a mirror was conveniently fixed to the operating room ceiling, meaning the make-up of the screen was totally irrelevant.
Yes, I could see all the action, and despite the initial panic that I might pass out, I actually really enjoyed watching (out of the corner of one very squinty eye).
Quickly after Doc gets busy, I feel the gush of Baby A’s water being broken. It’s like that moment in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman suddenly wakes from her overdose… I could breathe! When you’re pregnant with twins you sacrifice the ability to breathe for sake of the second baby. So as George arrived into the world I took a deep breath for the first time in two months.
I hear George cry straight away, which is such a relief, and I can’t really remember whether I saw him before Arthur was out the hatch, hot on his heels. Either way, they were both being weighed and poked when doc called out “and that’s a mono-di placenta!” in her usual excited manner.
I felt like a medical marvel… me and my mono-di placenta, please take a bow.
We deserved a chariot of fire and a round of applause like Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games. Yes, we’d done it and the scheduled c-section was a success. Me, Peeta the placenta, my glamorous coffee fuelled doctor and her many helpers. Last but not least so had my husband – dressed in scrubs and armed with a slight shade of green and a trigger-happy iPhone finger. And I’m glad I didn’t raid the snack stash because there isn’t a Gremlin in sight, just two perfect baby boys, snuggled up on my chest while my insides are enthusiastically put back where they came from.