In the last few weeks of pregnancy I was on serious countdown to the date of my elective c section. It really couldn't come soon enough. Everything was uncomfortable. Twin 1 had dropped very low and was pressing on my bladder which meant even more frequent bathroom trips and because we live on a very bumpy farm track, every time I went out in the car it was torture to get down the lane! I prayed that I wouldn't have to face going down the lane whilst in labour!
Anyway the due date arrived with no serious trauma. Our hospital policy required all ladies with elective C sections arrive at the Postnatal ward by 7am having been nil-by-mouth for the previous 12 hours. I had my 'pre-op' meeting with a consultant anaesthetist the day before.
I was number 3 on the list. So I think I walked down to theatre at about midday. Its very bizarre walking into an operating room - It was all very casual and friendly with everyone introducing themselves and explaining what their roles were and even though I was warned, I was still surprised at the amount of people there were in the room! There was a separate team for each baby.
I had to sit very still on the side of the bed whilst they put an iv line in, a catheter and gave me my epidural. I'll be honest, the epidural needle going in did hurt and the anaethestist did struggle to find the right spot - having to try in a couple of places but from then onwards it was just a weird feeling - coldness/numbness going down one side of my leg and then eventually down the other. They lay me down as soon as they could after the injection was given and then my blood pressure was closely monitored. I couldn't see anything as there was a big blue screen up in front of me - and behind the screen I could see the faces of the paediatric teams and on my side of the screen from memory was my husband, and the anaesthetist.
The team at Frimley Park hospital were brilliant - they talked me through the entire procedure explaining what they were doing (which I had asked them to do) - and before I knew it I had my twin girls in my arms! Weighing 5lb7oz and 5lb 6oz, they were both born within a minute of each other but realistically I think it was probably about 12 seconds which separated the two.
Recovery and getting used to being a twin mum - They don't come with a manual!
I was very lucky in that having returned from 'recovery', I only spent about 30 minutes in the post natal main ward before being moved to a side room. I think this is to give everyone else in the main ward some peace and quiet as 2 babies can create a lot of noise. But also its invaluable for someone post c section with twins as with a side room you can have 2 cots - one for changing nappies and other for them to sleep in beside your bed. We had lots of help - my husband and I were both completely clueless and twins don't come with a manual. So there was a midwife on hand to help should we need it. I found them so helpful especially at night as my husband went home in the evenings to look after the dogs and inject Tammy, my diabetic cat! I would breastfeed the girls one at a time and hand them to the midwife who would give them a bottle top up.
I have to say breastfeeding wasn't easy for me and both girls definitely favoured one side more than the other. Once I had finished breastfeeding, in order to encourage my milk to come through I would use the expressing machine. So from day one I did breastfeeding followed by a mix of breastmilk and formula top up. It was exhausting but very rewarding knowing that my girls were getting the best start in life they could. I'm not sure how common it is for twins to be exclusively breastfed but in my case there was no way that I could do that ... simply not enough milk.
I was in hospital for about 4 nights. I was encouraged to leave after 3 nights - physically I was ready but mentally I simply wasn't ready to go home.
What they don't tell you is that on day 3 post delivery is when your milk starts to come in and that is when the hormonal tears start... by the bucket load, for no apparent reason! The hormonal tears you experience during pregnancy pale into insignificance - these are oscar-winning hormonal meltdowns - oh and they last for about 5 or so weeks! Definitely no mention of this in our NCT classes ...