Saturday, 28 January 2012

Martha and Tamsyn - their birth story

 Our girls are here! At 37 weeks and after a planned induction that was a little later than *actually* planned, they came into the world with relative ease and only a little fuss. If you're a man you might want to stop reading now, fingers in ears and 'lalalala' (or maybe not, there won't be too many graphic details!). Here is the birth story of Martha Alison Brown and Tamsyn Elaine Brown, born 22nd January 2012.

My induction was booked for Saturday 21st Jan, and I was asked to go to hospital the day before to be examined to see if they would start me off overnight. When we got there there were no beds on delivery suite due to a sudden influx of inconveniently labouring women, so they stuck me on a ward. No news the next morning or for the whole of Saturday, which was really disheartening as we had really geared ourselves up for it to happen that day. Luckily as the girls were pretty snug and happy where they were it wasn't urgent I was seen that day but it was a bit hard to take.

Anyway overnight on Saturday they finally took me down to the observation area next to the delivery suite and examined me, I was 1-2cm dilated and having pretty constant but pain-free tightenings, so they decided not to start the official process of gels and drips as they thought things might progress overnight. In the morning I was slightly more dilated to 2-3cm but no other change. The doctor decided to break my waters for me as she thought that would start me off and yes it did!

In the company of the lovely midwife Jenny who we were really lucky to have with us all day, my waters were broken at 10.40am and strong contractions started soon afterwards. By the time Jenny went for her lunch at around 1.30ish I was only 4cm dilated. Ali had been into Headington and brought the papers and a Starbucks latte for me and I had a spell on the rocking chair, reading the Observer magazine and sucking on the Entonox gas and air through contractions. I decided against an epidural as while the contractions were really long and painful, I was managing on the gas and air.

"Nothing will happen any time soon, you're not ready, so I'm off for my lunch" said Jenny, handing over to 2 other lovely midwives. Hmmm. By just after 2.15pm I was high as a kite on gas and air and contracting pretty permanently. "You're not ready to push yet!" "Oh yes I bloody am" and Martha made a pretty swift entry to the world at 2.47pm weighing 5lbs 5oz, and demonstrating excellent lung capacity with her screams. I was as shocked as anyone it had happened so quickly and there was immediately a team of paediatricians, doctors, midwives etc to look after her and focus on twin 2 who was preparing to make her way out.

Our second little lady caused a bit more bother - she turned around after Martha was born, still head down but now back to back so they lost her heartbeat. All of a sudden there were millions of people in the room, they broke the 2nd lot of waters and although scans showed her heartbeat and her moving, the team in the room became so concerned they got her out with forceps after giving me a local anaesthetic to numb some of the pain. However at the point they were about to wheel me to theatre (apparently - I was fairly oblivious to this due to a combination of absolute agony and gas and air) I pushed hard and out Tamsyn popped at 3.06pm.

After I'd delivered the placenta (Ali has pictures for those who are curious, it was fascinating to see it though pretty gruesome) and got stitched up (the doctor had to cut me as forceps were involved) I got to have skin to skin with the babies and Martha started to feed straight away, bless her. Tamsyn was a bit trickier and didn't really get the hang of it but we had great support from the lovely midwife Renata. I was in a room recovering by about 8pm.

We were all discharged home on the Tuesday after the birth on the Sunday, which in hindsight wasn't the best plan, as we were straight back in the next day after the girls were weighed by the community midwife and had lost more than 10% of their birthweight. We're in the JR fattening them up and they are doing brilliantly, so we hope to be out again at the weekend.

Overall the whole experience was very different to Gemma's birth which was far less 'managed'. I don't feel it was any the worse for that though, just different but still wonderful; and the team at the JR, once they got going with inducing me, were and continue to be amazingly professional, caring and supportive. Our 2 girls are here, safe and sound and that's what matters most. Their big sister is delighted with them and has been a little treasure over the past week while Mummy and the babies have been in hospital. Ali and I are so, so lucky!

Our lovely new girls
Tamsyn Elaine Brown
Proud big sister Gemma with Martha

Martha Alison Brown


Debs said...

What an amazing and beautiful story. You really should write for a living....well, when you don't need 3 hands again ;) Congrats!

Deborah Whitlock said...

Wow, Kathryn. Twins via natural birth - I am super impressed! Congrats to you and the family.