Giving birth to my twin girls was the most amazing and proud moment of my life. We were so happy that the babies had made it past the 37 week point and I knew from then on that things would go well as I trusted my body even more that it had got me to this point.
At 4.15am I went to the bathroom to pee and as I walked I heard a little pop. It was almost like the sound your back makes when you crack it but it was in a really weird place. I went to the toilet and noticed nothing unusual and rolled back into bed. I lay there for a while with my hands on the babies thinking about how great it was going to be to meet them soon.
As I lay there, I could feel some discharge seeping out, which was nothing new, except this felt a little more watery. I jumped out of bed and it was quite clear that my water had broken. I woke Ross up who grabbed me a towel and we just kind of stood there watching this happen. It felt like it went on for a long time and there was a lot of fluid. It was slightly tinged with pink but I knew it was OK. I shuffled my way back to the toilet and let the rest of the fluid come out.
Meanwhile, we were starting to realize that things had become suddenly very real. Rather than feeling scared or panicked, Ross and I were really excited, as we knew this would be the day the babies would be born. Although, I think Ross was a little nervous as the first thing out of his mouth was “Do you want something to eat? Should you eat?”
Ross started getting everything together, we woke my Dad and Ross’ mum who had arrived 5 days earlier and let them know we were heading to the hospital. I don’t think I have seen two people jump out of bed quicker!
We took our time getting ready and I rang the hospital to let them know what was happening. The first nurse we spoke to told us to take our time so we finally started on our way to the hospital at 6am. Just as we got on to Sheikh Zayed Road, my mobile rang and the nurse asked if we could come in straight away – obviously we were already on our way. I rang our doula, Christine, who was excited for us and told us she would be at the hospital in a couple of hours. She later told me she was a bit hesitant to come in straight away, as my contractions were pretty irregular and not very strong.
It was about 6.30am when we arrived at the hospital. We parked in the carpark and walked to labor and maternity. I have to say the car ride and walking into the hospital were all a little surreal. I don’t think we could wipe the smiles off our faces although we were trying to take it all in our stride and not get too excited.
We were shown to a labor room where we sat for at least 45 minutes as of course we had arrived during a shift change. During this time, Christine arrived. Eventually, one of the midwives came in to see us – Naz. She explained a few things to us and then I lay on the bed to be monitored for a while. 20 minutes turned into 1 hour as the midwives were busy with other people. I did find it a bit frustrating but Ross and I tried to stay relaxed.
Eventually I was allowed up again and the three of us just hung out and I walked in circles around the room, as it was uncomfortable to sit. As the contractions came, I would lean on the bed and breathe through them but at this stage they were not very strong or last very long so otherwise we just got the room ready. I changed into my own gown and wrapped my favourite blanket around my shoulders. We ordered breakfast and I made sure to eat, drink and go to the bathroom.
Dr. Raj came in about 10am. She asked if she could have a look to see how I was doing and also to remove the obstetric pessary that was inserted when I was 24 weeks pregnant. I had had my doubts about the necessity of the pessary when it was inserted. It was quite a traumatic experience to have it put in. It was also one of the reasons that I switched doctors, as I didn’t feel confident in my previous doctor’s manner. At this point, Ross had left to go and get himself a coffee. Christine and I were laughing as he had also missed the appointment with the doctor when the pessary was inserted – the only appointment that he missed during my whole pregnancy!
Dr. Raj and Naz prepared to remove the pessary. Dr. Raj wasn’t too sure what type of pessary it was but I had explained it to her. It was a 3-inch square hard rubber device with a large hole in the middle and four smaller (finger) holes, one at each corner. So, Dr. Raj went in and pulled this thing out. The look on their faces was priceless! Naz actually started laughing, as she could not believe something that big had been inside me without me feeling it. Even Dr. Raj was surprised. I think it was quite the talk at the nurses’ station.
Dr. Raj continued with the examination and found that I was fully effaced and already dilated 3-4 cm. We were all surprised as my contractions had been really mild at this point. I was really happy that things were progressing. At this point, Ross came back in and could not believe he missed it all.
I continued to pace and started feeling a bit frustrated that things were not moving quicker (it had only been a couple of hours). Christine suggested that I rest on the bed and try to nap. Ross put on the Rainbow Relaxation and I wrapped myself in my blanket and rested. I turned out to be one of the best things I could have done.
Naz came in to monitor me again. Unfortunately this meant that I had to be strapped on the bed again but I did want to be reassured that the babies were doing OK. At this point, my contractions were becoming stronger and I breathed through each one as I relaxed and chatted with Ross and Christine. During the contractions, I wouldn’t talk and close my eyes and breathe. Now Ross and Christine could see my contractions on the monitors. As my contractions came, baby A’s heart rate would go right down and then slowly come back up as the contraction ended. I wasn’t really aware of this although Christine and Ross told me they were a little concerned at the time. For this reason, Naz made me stay on the bed so the babies could continue to be monitored. I didn’t really feel anxious about this, as I knew the babies were fine.
Eventually, they let me off the monitors so that I could go to the toilet. Meanwhile, Ross was looking at the breakfast tray on the table and spotted something wrapped in tissue. He asked Christine what it was and she said she thought it was the pessary! Sure enough, when they opened it, it was. When I came out of the toilet they were both laughing and Christine joked that we should keep it as a souvenir – we didn’t.
So I got back on the bed and Naz strapped me back up. By now the contractions were getting stronger and I had to focus to breathe through each one. Naz did a vaginal exam and this time I was 8cm dilated. We were all a bit surprised as the contractions did not seem to be strong enough to get me to that point. Naz told me that the babies are probably an hour and a half away! We were all very excited. I didn’t really think about that too hard and just continued breathing through the contractions.
Dr. Raj asked Naz to start the syntocin drip to ensure that my contractions were strong enough for the birthing phase of labor. It took a while to work but gradually my contractions became stronger and more regular. I asked Naz if I could change positions onto all fours and she and Christine tried to help me move into this position but as I tried, the contractions came stronger so I ended up being propped up in the bed.
Dr. Raj came in again to do another check. She said that I was now 10cm dilated but still had a slight lip on my cervix so she left me for another 20 minutes or so. By this time, the contractions were becoming increasingly strong and I would describe them as toe curling. I really had to concentrate on breathing to get through each one and it was a relief as each passed and I could breathe properly again.
Eventually, I said to Christine that I felt the need to push. She went to let Naz know. We tried with the next contraction but I wasn’t quite ready yet. Naz started preparing all of the medical equipment and I knew we were close to the birth of the babes. Naz talked me through the next contraction and asked me to hold my breath and push. I ignored her and tried to breathe down the baby as we had practiced with my J-breathing. Not much happened. The next contraction, Naz tried to talk me into pushing again but I again breathed through the contraction and made a little progress however they were starting to get worried about Baby B so this time Naz spoke pretty forcefully to me and I knew I had to try it her way. She tapped my inner perineum muscles with her fingers and told me to use those to push while I hold my breath. This time I listened and I could feel the first baby moving.
After 3 pushes, the head was almost out. I reached around to feel it – it felt like velvet. Ross said that he had a look too and said it was amazing as the head was still inside. With the next push, Zoe’s head appeared. I stopped pushing and I could feel her turning as we saw in the birth videos. One more push and she was out; born at 3.02pm. After waiting for the cord to stop pulsing, Ross cut it while Zoe was on my chest. After a few minutes, she was taken away and Ross went with her. Christine stayed with me while I continued on with the contractions to meet Mya. Mya pretty much delivered herself. One contraction and her head was out and then I could feel her turn and slither out. I reached down with help from Naz and delivered Mya who went straight onto my chest; 9 minutes after Zoe was born. It was an amazing experience to deliver her myself.
Mya took a little while to wake up and needed a bit of suction. But then was returned to my chest. I was given the injection to speed up the placenta delivery and Dr. Raj worked on delivering the placentas. I needed a couple of superficial stitches and to be honest this was the most painful part of the whole delivery.
Soon after, both Zoe and Mya were placed on my chest and started breastfeeding. Mya took a little while to get the hang of it but then they were both away. Ross and I were left with the babies and to absorb what had just happened. After so long, it was amazing to think that our girls were finally with us.
The girls were taken to the nursery for their checks and I walked to the bathroom to have a shower. We then moved to the maternity section and were reunited with our little girls. Once we got settled, we rang my Dad and Ross’ mum who were waiting at our house. They made their way in and were the first people to hold and spend time with the babies. It was something we were so glad we did. That time can never be replicated.
So overall, it took 11 hours from when my water broke to when our two beautiful girls were with us. It was a very calm, tranquil and relaxed labor and birth. The breathing techniques and the rainbow relaxation were two things that were invaluable to the success of their birth. I also believe that the birth affirmations and visual picture of the babies birth positions helped me remain calm and confident throughout. Although I did end up with some interventions, I was so proud that my body went into labor independently and that my cervix dilated easily and quickly. I also know that the trust I had in my doctor made it easier to accept the interventions and I knew that she had my and the babies best interests at heart. I cannot recommend Dr. Raj highly enough. Without her, I am sure that any other doctor in Dubai would have done a C-section.
I can’t wait to share this birth story with my girls. Thanks to so many people that helped make this miracle a reality. We are truly blessed and thankful.