Callum and Ronin | a twin birth story
Our beautiful twin boys arrived just after 11 pm on November 19th, 2019.
⋒ Callum Eric Rothman - 5 lbs 12 oz and 19” long
⋒ Ronin D. Rothman - 6 lbs 1 oz and 19.25” long
With twin pregnancies, you are monitored very closely and starting at week 32, you feel like you basically live at the doctors office between the OB/midwives, the MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist) and in my case, also the chiropractor.
On Friday, November 15th, I went to my 36 week midwife appointment and during the BPP (biophysical profile) ultrasound, Baby B didn’t practice his breathing during the hour ultrasound. Practice breathing is one of the things they monitor for, as well as amniotic fluid level, babies movements and heart rate. Since he didn’t practice breathing, they did a NST (non stress test) and he passed so all was well. Since I was 36 weeks they also were doing a swab to test me for GBS and I asked the midwife to check my cervix while she performed the swab. I was so happy to find out I was already dilated to 3.5 cm and was 80% effaced. Baby A’s head was also right there which wasn’t a surprise since he had been engaged in my pelvis for weeks. I felt for sure we were going to have babies over the weekend!
Well, we didn’t. I was super bummed out and in constant pain at that point due to the insane amount of pressure on my pelvis - it felt like it was broken and any and all movement was excruciating. I cried at least once a day from the pain and dreaded the thought of having weeks left knowing it would only get worse.
My 37 week appointment fell on Tuesday, November 19th. This time during the BPP, both Baby A and Baby B didn’t practice their breathing. The midwife decided to check me again to see if I’d made any progress and I was dilated to a 4 and she said she could stretch me to 5 cm and did. She spoke to my OB who was in the office and she wanted to do NST’s for both babies. If either one had a deceleration of the heart I would be sent to the hospital. However, they couldn’t get two monitors to work at the same time for the NST’s. As soon as one monitor would work, it cut off the other one. So they decided to just send me to the hospital to break my water and get things going. I asked if I could go home first to get my husband, hospital bag and wait for my parents to come over to watch Eisele and they said that was fine.
So, I head home at 3:30 pm, quickly make dinner for Eisele, Violet and my parents while John grabbed the hospital bag. I started feeling crampy while making dinner. Parents arrive and John and I head to the hospital. I started getting contractions while we were on the way there. We get to the hospital at 4:30, get settled into a labor and delivery room and after all the check in questions are answered, one of the L&D nurses checked my cervix and asks the midwife to confirm that I am at 6 cm. So awesome that the midwife stretching me to 5 cm started labor and I’m no longer needing to be induced! I’m now progressing on my own and having regular contractions - they were honestly so mild compared to my contractions with Violet and Eisele. I kept looking at the monitor to confirm to myself I was even having one.
They start my IV for the epidural. It feels like forever before I finish two bags of IV fluids. I think it was around 8:30 - 9 pm. I was starting to get worried I would finish dilating before the anesthesiologist came in. One of my biggest fears for this labor was not getting the epidural in time and there being an emergency situation and I would have to be put under general anesthesia and miss out on part or all of the delivery and not be able to see my babies for several hours while I was in recovery. Both of my previous two labors have progressed very quickly - Violet was 6 hours and Eisele was a fast and intense 3 hours!
Finally, I could relax because the anesthesiologist arrived. It was my first time getting one and it was definitely an odd experience - both getting it placed and the weird feeling that your legs weigh a thousand pounds when you try to move them, but you can still feel sensation like touch. So, so weird. After the epidural is in place, I am checked again and am 7 cm and still 80% effaced. They break my water and have me sit upright to let gravity help me progress further. About another hour passes and I started to feel pressure in my lower back. I'm checked again around 10:30 pm and I am fully dilated and effaced! With twins, you deliver in the operating room just in case something happens and they need to do an emergency cesarean so they got that set up and wheeled me in right around 11:00 pm. After a slight confusion from the anesthesiologist who thought we were doing a cesarean, the team of nurses and my midwife got me set up on a different bed and it was finally time!
I pushed three times through the first contraction and Baby A was born at 11:14 pm with a head full of dark hair just like my oldest daughter Violet! I wanted to do delayed cord clamping so we waited until his umbilical cord turned white and then John cut the cord. They asked me to push a tiny bit to get Baby B engaged in my pelvis and once he was, my midwife placed her hand behind his head (externally) to keep him from turning since a whole lot of space just opened up for him. They made a joke about how I made that look too easy and I laughed and Baby B started to come out so they had me push and then asked me to stop because he was sliding out on his own. Baby B was born at 11:21 pm and as soon as I saw him and his blond hair I knew they were fraternal.
I used my Positive Birth roller to help me keep calm and help with my contractions and dilating. It was such a beautiful and peaceful birth; I’m a little sad these are our last babies.
I’ve been soaking up newborn cuddles since they arrived and working on getting a good routine going which has been harder than I expected. If you’re a twin mom and have any tips or life hacks, please feel free to send me a message - I am all ears! Thanks for reading!