There are two daunting prospects of a twin pregnancy. Firstly will both babies develop normally and will they both make it safely into the the world? Searching the internet whilst pregnant for advice also brought up hundreds of horror stories of TTTS and only the first twin being born healthily and the second being starved of oxygen. After the first initial months of trying to read everything out there on twin pregnancies and birth, a friend lent me a natal hypnotherapy CD to listen to and I stopped looking stuff up. This was a much calmer approach to the pregnancy, birth and beyond.
We made in to Watford hospital in the early hours of the morning and I was indeed in labour. Once the shifts changed at 8am I met a lovely mid-wife who read all of my notes and understood that I was planning on a natural delivery. I did however have to have an epidural in case of emergency later on but that was amazing - no pain! The consultant and registrar on duty both became a bit twitchy as they both wanted to do a cesaerean and get the girls out but I fought my corner and my husband fought my corner and with the mid-wife onside I was allowed to deliver the babies. It may not have been in the serene waterpool but they were delivered in an operating theatre. Baby A was born at 12.30pm and baby E followed at 12.46pm. It was quite a remarkable moment and perhaps only then did it really sink in that we had two babies. Would life ever be the same again?
After all the scare stories both girls came out fine. E took a minute to breathe and had to be assisted slightly as she had gone through more contractions but they both passed their Apgar scores with full marks after 5 minutes and we were all taken back to our room.
Looking back nearly a year on is amazing. Baby A weighed 5lb4oz and baby E was slightly larger at 5lb7oz. No wonder I had been enourmous! Dear husband and I spent the rest of the day looking in complete wonder at these two tiny tots swaddled together in a hospital crib. As I didn't leave the labour ward until about 11pm that night as they were sorting out a room for me we had no visitors that day.
The snow had stopped but it was still very cold but the ward was lovely and warm. However because the babies were very small and slightly early as they were born at 36.5 weeks they were put into a heated water crib next to my bed. It was very snug and cosy indeed.
After several months of not being able to sleep I remember craving some sleep but the midwives kept me up most of the night feeding the girls as they kept on checking their blood sugar levels which kept dropping. Having breastfed my other two children for a year and never having given formula I was intent on doing the same this time round although my sensible head said that perhaps they would have to have both. My hormonal head just having given birth said no no no to the midwives and staff who desperately wanted to get some formula into the girls as they claimed I wouldn't be able to sustain them until my milk came in.
I carried on breastfeeding but by the Sunday evening with sheer exhaustion I conceeded and gave them some Aptamil in a bottle. This did the trick as their blood sugar level was maintained and we were discharged from hospital on the Monday.
Whilst still in hospital their big brother (he seemed really big suddenly) who now became the boy in the middle and older sister came to visit as well as all 4 grandparents and their Aunty and Uncle. Everyone was completely mesmerised by these little miracles - gifts from God we call them!
On a final note surrounding the birth we cancelled our appointment for 7th January with Marcelina Coker! We asked to see her and she came in to see us on the Monday before we went home. She was delighted that our birth had gone according to plan. We mentioned that we had considered phoning her to come in and deliver the girls but she said she had been away that weekend so we wouldn't have had her anyway. As it happened everything turned out well.
At 6pm on Monday 4th January we welcomed Baby A and E to their new home in Borehamwood. Now the fun starts.