A singleton pregnancy versus a multiples pregnancy is in itself an entirely different journey. As one can imagine, so is the labor and delivery. I hope that by sharing my experiences during a singleton and twin delivery, any anxiety, or fear will be eased. To be honest, my singleton labor and delivery was a heck of a lot more difficult than my twin labor and delivery.
Before I gave birth to my son in 2013, I went into pre-term labor at 29 and 30 weeks. After a night in a hospital, careful monitoring, and medication management, I eventually went into labor at 37 weeks while my husband was running the New York City Marathon. We were living in New Jersey at the time and the night before he was to run, I spent a few hours in the labor and delivery unit just to make sure there were no changes. I was having some contracts, dilated at one, but my body had been like this for a few weeks so no concerns and he left. I treated myself to a prenatal massage, but still didn’t feel right. Came home, took a warm bath, and tried to sleep, but was up most of the night pacing and having horrible back pain. The next morning my husband calls to check in before he starts the big race and tell him “I’m fine.” I plop myself on the couch and watch the marathon on television, not feeling good at all. At the half way point, my in-laws call to see how I’m feeling, again I say “I’m fine.” My people-pleaser self was really starting to feel serious back pain but again, I didn’t think anything of it. By the end of the race, I was in a lot of pain, almost to the point where I couldn’t speak. My husband called and said he was going to stay in NYC and I yelled that he needed to get to the train and get home now.
Two hours later my husband arrives home and finds me on the floor. At this point, my brain must have gone into survival mode because I don’t remember much from being at home to arriving at the hospital. I do recall cursing a lot, throwing up a lot and seeing women in the waiting room with their hair and makeup done and me wondering what the hell was wrong with them. I was admitted and given an epidural immediately. After 24 hours of intense labor and two hours of pushing, my Charles came into the world.
When I think back to my twin delivery last year, I think about how I am lucky to have had such an amazing experience. Just as I did with my singleton pregnancy, I ended up going into preterm labor at 30 weeks. After one week in the hospital, lots of medication and modified bed rest, I went into labor at 37 weeks. Luckily my husband was not running any marathons and was in town, he is a pilot in the Air Force and was flying a lot. In the military, sometimes you get to sit out of missions that place you overseas two weeks before your spouse’s due date. We had his mother come stay with us when I was 36 weeks because we needed help with Charlie and towards the end of a twin pregnancy, anything can happen.
The week before my twin delivery, I must have been in labor and delivery over five times getting checked and having the babies monitored. My contractions were ranging at 10-20 minutes apart, but my body wasn’t progressing so I kept going home exhausted and honestly over being pregnant. I also developed a bad case of bronchitis during this time and was really sick. The day before I delivered, I went to labor and delivery, spent six hours there, and was sent home. Early the next morning, I noticed blood in my underwear and called the OB immediately. My OB (who was phenomenal) told me to get to the hospital ASAP; she thought I could be in labor.
After five minutes of being on the monitor and a cervical check, my OB determined it was time to help me progress. I was admitted, epidural started and baby A’s water broke. At the time I was only 6 cm dilated so my delivery team thought I wouldn’t deliver for a few hours. My husband went downstairs for dinner. Moments later, I felt baby A drop into the birth canal and the epidural no longer taking away pain. I called the nurse and told her it was time; she checked me and I had gone to 10 cm. She ran to get my doctor and called my husband to come back. I remember crying not because of the pain, but was flooded with overwhelming emotions. I couldn’t believe the time was here to meet my twins.
I was wheeled to an operating room, which is standard for a multiples birth just in case something goes wrong. There were two nurses for me, four NICU nurses, my OB, an anesthesiologist, my husband, and other support staff present while I delivered. I pushed for 10 minutes and my Joseph arrived. Immediately after, my OB broke baby B’s water and Cora arrived two minutes later. The delivery was incredible. There are honestly no words to describe how you feel after delivering two babies.
In closing, I hope you feel less anxious and can take a deep breath when you think of your upcoming twin delivery. Listen to your body and never be afraid to ask questions or go to labor and delivery hundreds of times. Find comfort in knowing you and your babies will be monitored carefully and closely. No, the labor and delivery won’t be easy, but I guarantee it will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Megan Cannone is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who currently is a stay at home mom to a three year old boy and one year old boy/girl twins and a dog. She married her love at first sight, Anthony, who is a pilot in the Air Force and her hobbies include exercising, happy hours with friends, participating in church activities and supporting dog rescues. Follow her on on Instagram.
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