The USA to UK Edit: Labour

As I said last week over on The Nelson Nest: when you go into labour you expect to feel the same rush of emotions as when you found out you were expecting. Excitement, worry, joy and fear. The 'who will he/she look like?', 'is it a boy or a girl?', 'what name shall we call them?'. You never expect to have to worry about their safety or well health. You never expect to be begging with pleading with God and the doctors surrounding you to get your baby here safe and sound. You never expect your labour will take days only to result in them needing to perform an emergency cesarean section. And you never expect it all to happen at 27 weeks of pregnancy. Or at least I didn't expect it - I will from now on! Talking to Brittany, she did expect to be going into labour early as with twins it's quite rare to go full term. She'd done her research, had the tours, prepared mentally and emotionally as best she could and was ready and raring for a hospital stay in the NICU - which she never had to do! She was lucky enough to carry her twins to full term (for twins), a brilliantly safe 36+5 weeks. On the comparison side of things, I mean there's the obvious: twins vs single, early vs term, but what I'm interested mostly to compare is that we both had to have cesarean sections to deliver our babies here safe and sound. So although my fear was a different type and mine was much more rushed and emergency, we've both experienced the same surgery, the same birth.

As I said last week, I was admitted to hospital at 26+2 weeks of pregnancy blah blah blah. Then eventually they transferred me to a different hospital, 20 miles away. They'd given me 2 courses of steroid injections for her lung strength at my original admittance (which hurt like hell) and then gave me a concentrated dose of magnesium sulfate (which is the worst thing ever) for her brain function and hooked me up to a magnesium infusion to continue over several hours. We were rushed via a blue light ambulance in the middle of the night and after nearly crashing, getting lost finding the ward for me and beginning to experience my first contractions, we finally arrived.

After 1 day in the transfer hospital, the labour pains had progressed. I coped with them, made it through the agony of them and being examined and poked and prodded every hour. They became much worse and I was around 8 cm dilated and began to use gas and air as pain relief. I then started to get a horrendous back pain that was continuously there and was requesting pain relief medication (have no idea what I asked for I was out of it). Eventually they couldn't find a good trace of Aria's heartbeat and I had lost about a litre and a half of blood. I had 5 cannulas with different fluids, antibiotics, and magnesium sulphate (again) going into me. They sent round numerous doctors and specialists who, in the end, made the call to perform an emergency caesarean section to get her here safely. I had my back numbed and was given the spinal block, which I really didn’t want. I was so scared it would paralyse me or I’d still feel everything or just something would go wrong. But it didn’t, it actually worked perfectly. All I could hear was nurses and doctos asking if Connor was ok and telling him to sit down and giving him water. As if he stole my limelight during my surgery! He told me afterwards that when he saw the size of the needle going into my back he was so worried about everything that was going to happen that he just went pale.

They sprayed water on my arms and asked if I could feel it which I could, then then sprayed it on my chest (I think) which I couldn’t feel, and continued down my body – I couldn’t feel a thing. During the C-Section, I could feel pressure, pulling, tugging and pressing. I was so nervous, I was asking Connor to speak to me to take my mind of things. He was stroking my head and talking about our new house and how we would decorate it. I lost a further litre of blood, required 3 blood transfusions and all the other joyful things that comes with emergency surgery like injections to prevent clotting, horrible shaking from the anesthetic, etc. Apparently I was as white as a ghost and I could hear the nurses asking ‘oh my god, is that mum ok?’ which didn’t help my fear. I felt like I was going to fall asleep but they kept talking to me to keep my awake – obviously because they thought I was going to kick the bucket. But Finally, at 27+3 weeks of pregnancy, on 7.9.2016, at 7.27am, weighing 2lb 2oz, my beautiful Aria Grace was born. The anaesthetist doctor beamed and said ‘she’s crying can you hear her?’ I couldn’t. I thought they were lying to me, I looked at Connor who was allowed to see her first, he was smiling so big. They pulled down the screen infront of me and pushed my head up so I could see her. She was like a little blue smurf with jet black hair, covered in gunk and pulling tongues.

When they took her over to weigh her and check her out and put her on the ventilator, she let out the biggest scream she could do, she must’ve known I couldn’t hear her. They cleaned her up and let Connor go over to see her and take photos to show me. She was purple and see through now, wrapped up in a plastic bag. I could see her lungs and veins all through her body. I couldn’t believe she was here, alive and reasonably okay. They wheeled her passed me and showed me a quick glimpse of her before they took her to her special reserved space in the NICU. I was stitched back up and taken round to recovery to complete my blood transfusions and monitor me. I was sick a few times and continued to bleed, they nurses kept assuring me they weren’t worried so I shouldn’t be. They brought me round a photo of my girl that they’d taken for me that I placed on my side table so I could see her all the time. I still couldn’t believe she was here. I kept imagining kicks in my tummy that obviously weren’t there. I slept off my anaesthetic and at 8pm that night I was allowed to be wheeled round in my bed to see my baby girl properly for the first time. I can honestly say that September 7th 2016 will always be remembered at the worst and best day of our lives. 

Here's Brittany's story:
'The day was April 18, 2016 and it started out as a normal day. I awkwardly rolled out of bed after a terrible night’s sleep and started to get ready for my OB appointment. I was 36 weeks + 3 days pregnant with twins and couldn't believe it! I was officially full term! Most likely my twins would be healthy and need no NICU time. So this mama was ready to meet them whenever they were! I arrived at my appointment and the doctor wanted an ultrasound to determine if Baby B was still breech (which I knew she was by the way her feet kicked my hip bone all the time!). It was during this ultrasound that we found Baby A hadn't grown since our last scan, which was two weeks prior. It was such a scary moment watching the ultrasound tech take measurements and asking questions. I knew what I was seeing, Baby A was small. Like 34 weeks small even though I was 36! I was nervous for her. Scared for her. Did I do something wrong? Mom guilt is real from the moment you become pregnant. The doctor finally explained the situation. Baby A was small and Baby B was breech. There was a small chance that Baby A would carve the path so to speak, and Baby B could be pulled out by the feet, what they called breech extraction but it would be best to opt for a C-section because it was safest for both babies. The doctor wanted to double check measurements at Utah Valley, where I had also received ultrasounds, but it wasn't an emergency situation even though it felt like it! My baby might have stopped progressing but her fluids looked great. Her heartbeat was strong. I wanted to be seen that day, that minute! I wanted answers, I wanted them both here so I knew they were safe and out of harm’s way. I went home that night, being told I couldn't be seen for 2 weeks... hello?? I am already 36 1/2 weeks pregnant with twins! They wont allow me to go past 38 weeks, but they wont see me for two weeks? This makes no sense! These are my babies we are talking about! This is important! Someone see me RIGHT NOW!! So after some calls, and a night of ugly crying over the stress I finally was able to get an appointment for Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Little did I know that was the twins birthday!

I woke up that morning with my bags packed and ready to go. I rolled out of bed after little sleep and was preparing for the day. I was hoping this was the day! I was 36 weeks 5 days pregnant. I had already surpassed mine and my husbands hopes, and my doctor raved about how wonderful of a patient I had been! So needless to say I was anxious to meet my two new babies and not be so pregnant anymore! Funny how fast I was wishing it away when I wish I could be pregnant again! I mean, I would love to fast forward through the first 12 weeks, but I really did love being pregnant! My mom met me at Utah Valley and we checked in and waited for my husband. He came rushing through the doors, in a nice change of clothes (I knew he had changed out of his muddy mess in the parking lot) and he looked so happy! I think he thought I would be sent home and he would get to continue rubbing my giant belly for days! I think he misses the bump more than me, which I am so happy about - not very many men get to experience such a sexy, giant whale. I am grateful that my husband never made me feel anything but beautiful and would worship that bump night and day! The ultrasound confirmed what we already knew, Baby A was smaller than normal, and a c-section would be our best bet that night! I was so nervous! Was I ready? You’re sure you don't want me to come back tomorrow? You can never be prepared, even if you are, to hear that your babies are just hours or pushes away from being in the world.

I was taken to a room and changed into their gown. I was hooked up to fluids and babies were monitored. I had braxton hicks contractions for weeks, and could see my irritated uterus on the screen! Luckily they weren't too painful and I had been able to survive. The nurses said it looked like I was in labor, even though I certainly knew I wasn't! Who is 36 weeks 5 days pregnant with twins and NO signs of labor? These girls were stubborn long before they arrived! We were told we would be meeting the twins in just a few short hours! Those hours drug on and we kept being told they were "almost" ready for me. What turned into a scheduled C-section at 6 pm actually happened at 9 that night! Epidural was placed in a spot that didn't allow the meds to flow like they should. So I was pumped full of more and more anesthesia. The doctors kept poking and I could feel their sharp tools. I could still wiggle my toes and I was getting so nervous! There was whisper of a spinal tap and we waited just 10 minutes more. "Did you feel that?" I was asked. Finally I could respond with a positive NO and was more comfortable to start the surgery. I wouldn't call any of my experience painful, but definitely uncomfortable! There was pressure from the doctors and instant relief! I knew that my babies, or one of them was no longer inside me. She was out in the world! I waited for that cry for only seconds. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. It was everything I had dreamed and more! I instantly was overcome with that moment. How beautiful she was, how proud my husband, her dad looked as he smiled and kissed my cheek. Before I had time to take it all in, there it was again. The instant relief I was familiar with. Her sister was outside the womb. Her cry this time was instant and it sounded so different than the last. Auri Anne was born at 9:34 on April, 20 2016 weighing 5lbs 7 ounces and 17 inches long. At 9:35 her sister Ellie Perry followed behind her weighing 5 lbs 13 ounces and 17 inches long. Thankfully Auri was not as small as they thought and Ellie's head was just bigger! Ellie had a little trouble breathing due to fluids in her lungs, but by 1:00am she was in our room and sleeping on my chest. I loved my whole birthing process and am so grateful to have such healthy happy babies! I want to relive this day over and over again! The best day of my, no OUR lives hands down!’

Join us next week over on The Nelson Nest where we will be comparing our top life saver products for 0-3 month old babies!



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