six months old + the birth story

Alice and Isla are six months old today.

they are just so. big.. now.

and I am finally sharing their birth story.

I used to wonder why new moms didn't post their birth story like the day after they gave birth... I mean I wanted to read all about it right away... what could they possibly be doing that would prevent them from sharing the nitty gritty details of the birth of their child right away.  I was perplexed.

and here I am six months post delivery... finally putting that amazing day to paper.. or well to computer screen..

I just could not do it until now.  The day of their birth, the four nights at the hospital and the two weeks that followed are so precious in my mind.  I doubt I will ever do that day justice... but I will try.


this story starts with a bang.... literally.  I mean I was past due with twins in August and people were looking at me like I was insane for walking around that pregnant.  It was time.  We took matters into our own hands and it did the trick.

Now we tried the same routine the week before and went to triage and were sent home so I wasn't exactly confident that this was the real deal.  I had been having contractions on and off for a few days but suddenly they were coming much more regularly and definitely much stronger.  We stayed home initially and tracked my contractions online while I road them out in the tub.  Eventually when they weren't letting up Andrew phoned our doula Anna.  She suggested we get to the hospital.

We were ready.  We were packed.  Andrew had an arsenal of 5 hour energy drinks and red bull and we were so hoping this was go time.  I grabbed a jumbo blue freezie and to the car we went.

I remember trying to down that freezie in the parking garage of the hospital.

We headed up to triage and they assessed me.  I was 5 cm at that point and my contractions were every two minutes and lasting a minute.

it was go time.  it was 9 pm.

We called Anna and she was on her way.  While we waited for her we were admitted and brought to a labour and delivery room.  Andrew downed a 5 hour energy and was ready to go.  The contractions at this point were painful but manageable and once Anna arrived they became even more manageable.

Our first nurse came in and tried to convince me she needed to run a line just in case.  I stalled, trying my best to avoid the chain reaction that I so dreaded (first step line, second step epidural, third step pitocin, fourth step c-section).  They were firm that I had to be hooked up to the monitors at all times which was a dissappointment at the time.  Having anything on your tummy while having contractions is highly unpleasant and that also meant that I couldn't labour in the tub.  Luckily I was still able to get up and walk near the bed as I soon found out that I couldn't bear to be lying down through a contraction.

Andrew was amazing.  Anna was amazing.  If you are pregnant go and get a doula, just do it, don't question it.

Anna and Andrew helped me through the next few hours.  She was so great at getting me to focus on what I needed to do to get through each one and Andrew was so great at supporting me.

At about midnight the doctor came and and I was still hovering at 5 cm.  She pushed me to break my water and I caved.  I so wanted to avoid a c-section and the guilt they push on you is crazy.  I thought that breaking my water would move things along so we went with it.

Breaking your water is painless.  Standing up to a new contraction and puking from the pain after having your water broken is insane.  The whole manageable pain thing was over.  I remember standing in the washroom and wondering if I could die from the pain.  I am not saying this to scare you.  I didn't actually think I would die but I remember just being so mad at myself at the time for letting them break my water.

Soon after my water was broken the anesthesiologist popped by.  He was hilarious and totally fine with my insistance that I not have an epidural.  After three hours of this whole new pain level I changed my tune.  This was such a hard decision for me but Andrew and Anna reassured me that it was up to me and that I wasn't letting anyone down by getting it.

At 3:30 am I got the epirdural.  I didn't feel a thing... and then I felt relief... and then I felt wonderful.

the thing is magic.  as much as I hate to admit it.  I was oh so against it.  I was not going to be one of those women who caved. but I was. and it was wonderful. and I don't regret it.

For the next couple of hours the three of us relaxed.... we had naps... listened to music.

when they checked me I was 10 cm.

apparently my body just needed a bit of rest to get where it needed to be.

it wasn't quite pushing time yet.  One of the girls was sideways and the doctors told me the epidural had softened up my contractions and that I would require stronger contractions to push her into the right position.  They convinced me to take pitocin (I was kind of living my nightmare but they kept throwing out the threat of a section which I would avoid at all costs) so I went with it.  I am still sort of torn on this decision more because I don't feel that it was entirely necessary.  Either way her position was righted and after a little stalling on their part to get to a shift change they decided to let me push in the labour and delivery room to get things going.

This lasted a very short time.  Apparently Anna's crash course on pushing to me in the delivery room did wonders and I was too good at it.  She was coming out... I had to stop pushing.  We had to go to the operating room.  This is standard procedure at many hospitals so that they can allow for a double set up in case of an emergency c section.

I felt like I was on the set of greys anatomy.  It felt like there were twenty people in that room but to be honest, it really didn't bother me.  It was like Andrew, Anna and I were in our own little bubble and we had our pushing routine down and were ready to get this done and meet these girls.

It took about twenty minutes and we met our first little girl.  That first scream was amazing.  I will always remember that scream.  I remember wondering how all of this was possible.  How amazing it all was.  They layed her on me right away for just a second and things suddenly felt so different.  After the first baby was born they vaccumed the second down (not out).  This is the only part of the birth experience that still irks me as I don't feel it was necessary.  I pushed her out after that quite quickly and her scream was just as wonderful.

I was lucky.  There was no c-section.  There was no tearing.  I delivered our girls the way I wanted to even if some of the details weren't what I had hoped for.

That day was perfect.  If I could do it again I would in a heart beat.  I would not change one thing.

six months later and life is pretty perfect.


  1. It's impossible, isn't it, to really capture how amazing that day is. I had NO IDEA it would be going into it and I look fondly back on it frequently. And the epidural was amazing! Transformed the experience into a day at the spa!

  2. I love to read birth stories and this was a great one. Look how big they have gotten! Happy six months!!!

  3. How are our girls so big already!? You are such a rockstar, doing all you did to deliver two healthy baby girls and no c-section.

  4. You are incredible! WOW! Amazing story!

  5. Amazing! I remember I thought the contractions before my water broke were bad, but once my water broke I wanted to - like you said - die. Luckily, I was pushing within a half hour! It was too late for an epi at that point, but I would've gladly taken a club over the head to knock me out ;)

    It sounds like you did an amazing job!! Don't feel bad about the decisions you made. Who is even remotely sane in those moments of pain?? I can't believe you delivered TWO!! Crazy!!

  6. I had a doula and it was the best thing I ever did! Your birth story is amazing, it's so hard to recapture all the emotion writing it out isn't it?

  7. What a great story! Thanks for sharing!
    I always wondered how I would ahve handled the contractions. My water broke and I had a ton of pitocin, since my water had broken 3 hours earlier, so I took the epidural at 3 cm.
    I can't believe you delivered two and no tears!!!!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing everything - I swear we go through life not hearing about how birth actually GOES. Maybe it's because like you said it's so precious you don't know if you can do it justice. Not everyone has such good experiences, so maybe they want to tone it down a bit. Regardless, it's such a miraculous process!

  9. This was so nice to read Ashley! The girls are getting big and they are so adorable. I just finished my second cycle of IVF last week and I am waiting for my results and keeping my fingers crossed.

  10. Love it! Hi there, I've been reading your blog, and well, here are a few things we have in common!!!

    1. We both have twins, yours are just 2 days older than mine- too bad you live so far away, they could be playmates!!
    2. We both have husbands called Andrew :)
    3. Well, I guess this is more something in common of our babies, but two weeks ago our twins slept in their own room for the first time, and ate solid food (organic brown rice cereal) for the first time!

    Unfortunately you are a much better blogger than I these days!! I am jealous :) I STILL don't have my birth story out there, but you inspired me to get the ball rolling!

  11. It's hard to believe your girls are six months already! They are getting so big :)
    I loved reading their birth story, I'm all about reading them these days. I hope I am able to capture the day when it comes, I may have to do it early to ensure it's done. <3

  12. Just yesterday I was speaking with a girlfriend who is beginning to think babies and we ended up talking birth and epidurals. It was interesting to see her adamant no-epidural attitude. Made me feel (as always) guilty for getting one. For about 5 seconds.
    I hate the stigma of giving birth with an epidural. The way it usually comes out is: well, you don't know what real giving birth is like because you did it with an epidural. To this I always get really really really defensive. Until I turn around and I see my little girl, my healthy, happy, active little girl. And I no longer care whether I had an epidural or not. She's here and that's all that matters.

    As you say, the day was perfect. Wouldn't change a thing.

    Happy 6 months! :)

  13. Happy Half Birthday my little beauties!!!


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