Saturday, October 22, 2011

Birth Story

We were scheduled to be induced on Wed the 12th of Oct. I was ready, emotionally, physically, psychologically. And then they had to cancel due to there being no room in the NICU. The doctors did anticipate that the babies would need to be in the NICU so they just scheduled another non-stress test for Thursday and said they'd see where things were at then.

I arrived at the hospital on Thursday with my Dad. Andrew went to work as we did not think circumstances would change that day and he didn't want to take time off work when it wasn't necessary.

At the hospital the Doctor asked to speak with me before the non-stress test. She was very clear, "there is no room in the NICU and there won't be for quite some time.... and your babies can't wait. We want to transfer you to Nanaimo. They have room in their NICU. They've already been told about your circumstances and are waiting for you. You need to go home, pack and leave as soon as you can."

I cried. I was shocked. I called Andrew and told him to meet me at home, that we had to pack and leave asap. Before I left the hospital the non-stress test showed both babies doing just fine so all we had to do was pack and hit the road and let all our people know that all our plans were changing.

After a very uncomfortable 2 hour drive, we arrived in Nanaimo around 3:30pm and were incredibly relieved to get a fabulous room and wonderful nurses and meet the OB who would be delivering our precious babies. We got a very quick tour of the small but very nice facilities and saw the OR where we'd have to deliver.

Ocytocin was started via IV around 5pm and contractions started slowly and the pain was very managable. However, because we were having twins and because it was an induction, they needed to keep an eye on the babies heartrates the entire time! This meant I had to be hooked up to an IV and have three straps and monitors on my belly for the entire labour. Due to the odd positioning of the babies, the nurse had to constantly be adjusting one monitor looking for baby A's heart rate.

This is an aweful scenario for labouring....confined to bed with a stranger holding multiple monitors on you the entire time.

By about 7:00 contractions were stronger and more regular and more painful and the OB recommended the epidural line go in right away. I agreed to get the line in as the anesthetist was going to be in an operation later and there was no telling when he'd have time if he didn't do it then.

By the time he arrived and put in the line, around 7:45 pm, contractions were hard to manage on my own and when he urged me to start the medication right away I agreed.

Epidurals are glorious. It was the first time in months that I was without pain. Andrew and I talked and tried to keep in connection with each other. However, now there was also a blood pressure cuff on my arm (took a reading every 15 minutes) a heart rate monitor on my finger and an epidural line running from my shoulder along with the previous IV and monitors.

This was NOT the way I'd imagined things going. I tried to rest and relax and somehow a couple of hours went by and I started to feel pressure. When I told the nurse she agreed to call in the OB to check on me. The OB resisted at first and the nurse insisted. The OB arrived around 10:15 and with a shocked look said, "I have good news! You're fully dialated and baby is +2. We need to move to the operating room now!"

It was an emotional moment, knowing we were so close to meeting our little ones, knowing that the next few hours (?) would be scary and hard. They wheeled me in to the OR and I started pushing around 10:30. After about 15 minutes baby boy's heart rate dropped and the OB was concerned enough that she started using the vacuum. After just a few pushes, his heart rate returned to normal and we were able to deliver without further assistance.

Samson Asher Gillan came into the world and onto my chest and looked around and cried. I was amazed and shocked. He was so small and so alive! I kisses his head and talked to him and then they had to take him away. Andrew went with him and I anxiously waited for news and considered how I could possibly do it again. I was only half way done and I was tired.

The OB assured me that baby girl was doing just fine and it would be easier the second time. Also, there was no hurry. She was still quite high in the uterus and needed time to descend. Andrew went back and forth from the OR to the NICU next door giving me updates, taking pictures, trying to be in two places at once.

We waited, I tried to relax and stop the shuddering that went through my body almost non-stop. Samson came back into the room with Andrew and we got to visit, snuggle, attempt breastfeeding, love each other for a few precious minutes as a family of three. Then it was time to start again.

Pushing began around 11:50 and everyone in the room kept speculating about the possibility of different birthdays. Rachel Mikayla arrived after about 19 minutes of pushing. The nurses and OB saying, "here she is, she's here, reach for her, reach for your baby." And I did. I delivered her onto my chest myself. She was perfection. Her dark hair, wide open eyes, perfect tiny features and tiny cry. (I can't write this without crying)

We were all here, safe and sound and a family at last.

They dried her off and then had to take her away. Andrew went with her and I was left with the OB and nurses to be stitched (2nd degree tearing).

More about the hospital stay soon.


  1. thank you for posting your birthing story. As I read your words I could almost see everything. I am happy to hear that your family is all home and doing well...



  2. Awesome Stacey! What an experience! Cannot wait to meet the little babes ;)