I was 34 weeks and 6 days into my final pregnancy. I had been having contractions off and on for a couple of weeks and had been to the hospital twice during that time. Both times I had been given a shot or two of terbutaline to make my contractions stop and was sent home to rest. When the contractions started up again on the afternoon of February 22, 2003 I took my "labor-stopping" pills, got in bed and waited for things to slow down. It didn't work. I called the doctor's office and was told to go to the hospital. I was convinced that we would just go get a shot and come right back home.
On the way to the hospital I decided to call my doula, just to give her a heads up. She was resting so I told her husband what was going on but since I was sure I was coming back home I figured I wouldn't disturb her. She called me back right away and asked the question that I now ask every one of my doula clients when they are (or think they are) in labor, "Do you feel like you need me?" For some reason (it must have been intuition) I said yes and asked her to meet us at the hospital. On the way there I noticed that the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and I was starting to have to breath through them. I still thought I'd be home in time for dinner. Thing One and Thing Two had other plans.
Here is the rest of the story as told by my fabulous doula.
Dear Thing One and Thing Two,
Here is what happened on the day that you were born. I am the doula that had the privilege of being with your parents at your arrival. It all started when Mommy called to tell me that she was experiencing contractions again. She was already on bed rest and terbutaline. The contractions were consistent enough for Mommy to call and give me a heads-up. I was actually resting and Mommy let me sleep and left a message with my husband. I awoke to him telling me what was going on so I quickly called Mommy. She said that they needed to head over to the hospital to get checked out and that she was hungry. We talked about how once she gets to the hospital, she couldn't eat, and to do what she felt was right. So, as Daddy went through a drive in, Mommy got some food.
We all arrived at the hospital around 4:00pm. K was our fun nurse who enjoyed giving Mommy a hard time. First it was, "Why have a doula for a cesarean?" Then, "Why didn't you take more of the terbutaline?" Lastly, "Why did you eat on your way to the hospital?!" It didn't take Mommy long to realized the humor in everything she said. She checked the cervix and we were all surprised to hear that the cervix was already 4-5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. It was time for the two of you to be born today!
Everyone was in a bit of shock, especially Mommy. She really didn't think your birthday was going to be for another week or so. Nurse K prepared the chart and Mommy for the upcoming births. We actually had quite a few visitors too. Aunt R had Cousin J in the waiting room, Aunt J and Uncle M, with Granny, and Grandma and Papa watched your brother and sister. It actually was a pretty fun couple of hours as we anticipated meeting the two of you.
Dr. H came in and did a quick ultrasound to confirm your transverse presentations. He was very kind and soothing. Dr. Y the anesthesiologist introduced himself and explained his role. C came on at 7:00 to be our nurse and it was soon time to go to the OR. At 8:00pm Mommy was wheeled back to the OR as the family waived from the waiting room. C stayed with Mommy as Dr. Y administered
the medication while Daddy and I looked in the window. Once Mommy was settled, we took our places by Mommy's head.
Before we knew it, Thing One was born at 8:21pm, weighing in at 5 pounds 4 ounces and 18 inches long. Thing Two was one minute later at 8:22, weighing in at 5 pounds 8 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long. You were both so cute. Thing One made more noise than Thing Two who was just trying to figure out what had just happened. The nurses brought you to Mommy for a few minutes and then you were taken to the nursery for observation. You both were doing great.
After meeting your parents while Mommy was pregnant with Girl Thing, I looked forward to working with them at some time. It really was a joyful time with many giggles. Mommy was so brave and did beautifully. Daddy did his best to keep everyone smiling and it worked! It truly was a joy for me to be a part of this wonderful celebration. Thank you for letting me be a part of your birth-day.