Abigail & Annabelle

born March 8, 2008 at Tampa General Hospital, told by Melanie:

This was my first pregnancy and my husband and I were surprised to be having twins! Identical girls was at first a scary thought since this pregnancy was not at all planned but we soon grew to be very excited! I planned to have a completely natural birth and all along was discouraged by each of the doctors in the USF physicians group. They said things like “don’t try to be a hero” and “why would you do that to yourself?” And when I mentioned how opposed I was to a c-section, one of the group’s midwives mentioned that I would change my mind if I had seen as many “dead babies” as she has seen. I was horrified as was my husband but we were uneducated in childbirth (we took the hospital course on childbirth which basically discussed epidurals and c-sections). We were also completely convinced by the doctors that since I was having twins it was extremely high risk and because of this we completely entrusted them with each decision along the way.

I had a completely healthy pregnancy with no complications at all and had a doctor appointment when I was just shy of 38 weeks. My blood pressure was elevated so they sent me across the street to Tampa General Hospital to be monitored. My husband met me there and a cervical check was done by one of the doctors. It was more painful than any exam I had ever had performed on me. Moments later I went to the bathroom and my water broke (we suspect the doctor caused this). This started the cycle of intervention. Oh and my blood pressure returned to normal in a few minutes.

My water had broken at 4:30 pm on Thursday afternoon and I was immediately placed on Pitocin. I was not dilating and was strapped to several monitors. I asked if I could walk around because I had read this would help. I was then told I would need to stay in bed since my water had broken instead of leaking all over the hospital floors. Embarrassed I complied and continued to lay there. Still no progress and Friday morning came. Still not dilating on Pitocin but I was still holding out on the epidural. Friday night arrived and the doctor came to inform us that he “had” to insert an internal fetal monitor because it was more accurate. We trusted. This was extremely painful and I was never informed of the risks of the actual procedure that was being performed. I also never asked, again, I was trusting. I thrashed and screamed and bled. The doctor stood there and said “women usually have an epidural in place when I do this.” He then said he would give us a couple of minutes before he tried again. I was terrified and called for the epidural. The cycle of interventions was continuing. I had the epidural inserted on Friday night along with the internal fetal monitor.

Saturday arrived and there were still no babies and I was still not completely dilated. By Saturday afternoon around 5pm, I had finally dilated fully and they began to wheel us in to the operating room (standard procedure with twins at TGH). We arrived in the operating room and I was lifted onto the table and directed to push. I felt nothing. The doctor stood straight up and said “this baby is not coming out!” It had been 50 hours of laying in the hospital with no food or drink and only ice chips….I was exhausted but still couldn’t understand why my body was failing. I felt that I was a terrible mom and accepted a cesarean. I saw no other option. I lay there on the table and waited through all the pulling and tugging and pressure for a baby to cry. I heard it and then around the curtain I saw a baby, naked, blue and screaming with arms and legs outstretched. It lasted a second and she was gone. Then a minute later I saw my other daughter exactly the same way and again only for a second. They were gone and my husband went with them (I wanted him to stay with them). I continued to lay there while the finished me up. About one hour later we were all reunited to attempt to bond. I didn’t know what to feel. I was happy they had arrived healthy but sad that it wasn’t the birth I had hoped for. Annabelle was born at 6 pounds 14 ounces and 20 inches and Abigail was 7 pounds 1 ounce and 20 inches. They were born at 5:57pm and 5:58pm…..just in time for the shift change and the doctor could go home on time. We all went home together 3 days later!



(note: see also Caroline Leigh for this mother’s VBAC story)