In this episode, Emmie shares her vaginal delivery of her twins!
Emmie’s Birth Story:
Ellie and Josie’s birth story began on August 1, 2018 1:30 pm. I was sitting in my living room writing thank you notes. I got up to use the restroom, and before I could make it to the restroom I felt a gush of fluid, and immediately flooded our hallway. All I could think was “Thank the good Lord I am at home!” And “I’m so happy Garrett is working from home today so he can help me clean up this mess!” We contacted our Doula, Angela, and together decided to labor at home for a while since I was not having contractions and could still feel the girls moving. I found out quickly that when your water breaks its not necessarily one big gush. I tried to be up and moving around but even with a postnatal pad – aka a mom diaper – the fluid was still gushing! I ended up just sitting around in the bathtub after we got everything completely ready to leave for the hospital. 8 hours later with no contractions and we decided to go ahead to the hospital for safety reasons.
The next several hours at the hospital were exhausting and frustrating. Test after test of the leaking fluids came back negative for amniotic fluid. While the staff were seemingly convinced based on everything I had told them, they were not able to medically confirm it. Finally, after 3 tests and 4 hours, the test came back positive! Since I had still not begun having contractions, the doctors decided to place a Foley bulb to help dilation along to 3cm. I was admitted to an antepartum room since labor rooms were full. A shot to encourage lung development in the development and penicillin shots were administered as a precaution since my GDS results weren’t available yet. (I ended up being negative, go figure) The next morning we were transferred to an L&D room around 8am. Still no contractions. Oddly, I was told to remove the Foley bulb myself in the shower which was quite traumatic. Luckily I was able to remove it after several tries and a little bit of sweating. Around 11am my Doula had returned, but unfortunately, contractions had still not begun. The hospital staff started me on Pitocin and oh baby did the contractions begin!
I opted for an epidural and received it at 2pm when I was 6 cm dilated. Fun fact, you can only have one person in the room with you when you get an epidural, and if you choose your Doula over your husband, he won’t be thrilled. I am lucky to have a gracious and loving husband who recovered the hurt ego quickly. The whole procedure took about 10 minutes (which my doula said was quick.) Compared to contractions, the pain of actually receiving the epidural was minimal, and the relief it provided was a Godsend. 5 out of 5 stars – would recommend. A few hours, and many contractions later I was finally at 9 cm and *so* relieved. With twins, it is SP to deliver in the OR for safety, so the room was prepared, and Garrett changed into his scrubs.
About an hour later once the doctor had finished delivering another baby we were transferred to the OR. I had prepared myself ahead of time for going into the OR, which can be overwhelming with all the people and equipment. During transfer, I tried to focus on my breathing and my doula and stay in “the zone” which helped keep me centered. Long story short, three sets of three pushes later, Ellie Rae was born at 4:44pm without incident. Thanks to the epidural, there wasn’t much pain, but I could still feel pressure and the birth.
While I held Ellie skin to skin (and gushed on her like any new mom would) the doctors were busy verifying via ultrasound their plan to manually turn Josie who was breech. While they were focused on the imaging, Josie was focused on kicking her way out! Her foot came out before the doctors had a chance to flip her. I always joke that Josie kicked Ellie out of the womb! With the change of plans, the doctors went in and extracted her other foot. With the fear of head entrapment, it was critical to get her out in one push. Giving it literally everything I had left, I successfully birthed Josie at 4:51pm. After her vitals were checked, she immediately joined her sister for skin to skin contact. The relief in having them both out and healthy was overwhelming.
We were returned to the L&D room a short time later and began navigating nursing! I was able to feed the babies one at a time that first feeding and was so grateful that the girls took to latching and nursing like pros! One of the most important things I learned while in the hospital is that everyone had their own opinion. Nurses, doctors, consultants, random passersby, family, friends and everyone. But the only one that mattered was mine and Garretts. I listened to the advice of trusted and educated support persons, but was not hesitant to make decisions for myself and the girls that I felt passionate about. It made a huge difference between feeling helpless and feeling empowered in my new role as a mom of not one but two new babies. After two nights in the hospital we were released to make the scariest drive of our lives. I swear everyone was driving like maniacs and I was sure we were not going to make it home. Thankfully we made it safe and sound to begin the journey of being a family of four.
Emmie Livengood is a SAHM of twin girls living in Raleigh, NC with her husband, Garrett, and their dog, Jenny. She is passionate about coffee, keeping her sanity chasing babies, and championing the availability of breastfeeding education for all moms.
She is currently pursuing her Lactation Educator Certification and aspires to lead support groups and be a one on one resource for mothers needing extra support in their breastfeeding journey.
On the weekends Emmie and her husband enjoy exploring the mountains of NC with their girls, browsing Target with a Starbucks Latte and spending time with their friends and family.
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