Two late to take it back: Birth Planning

In this latest Two late to take it back edition, I’m moving past the pregnancy woes and straight to the planning for birth phase. You’ve already washed and folded all the sweetest clothes possible. You have names ready. And you’ve read nearly everything ever printed about multiples.

Now what?

The wait, right? Whether it be on bedrest or working until that final hour, the wait is incredible.

The issue: How to plan for a multiples birth

What I thought: Follow the rules just like everyone else. Attend birthing classes. Learn to breathe. Learn to relax. Watch the birthing DVDs.

What really happened: I quit birthing classes because they were not relevant since one of my girls was breech and it was always certain I would need a C-section. I was totally unprepared for a C-section, though. I thought nurses would help more. I thought I would have less pain. Why else would they plop two floppy newborns on top of my stitched up stomach and expect me to mother just four hours after surgery? Mine didn’t spend even five minutes in NICU and so while in excruciating pain and the inability to really move without wanting to, you know, die, I was trying to be a mother for the first time — to two. It was insane. And overwhelming. And heartbreakinkingly hard.

My advice now: Read EVERYTHING you can about C-sections, even if you aren’t planning to have one. And, do what they say and take at least a day to recover. I know, I know the guilt THE GUILT the GUILT the GUILT. But, seriously, who can expect a woman who’s had a major surgery like that to within hours take care of multiple infants?? My hospital did. My family did. It was not easy. I wish I had let the nursery take them overnight the first two nights so that I could sleep and rest and recover. I know. The Guilt. But, I think I might have been a better mother out of the gate if I had done that.

Anyone else out there have babies born via C-section and spent no time in NICU. Share how you managed the pain and the guilt and the emotions of new motherhood?

19 thoughts on “Two late to take it back: Birth Planning

  1. I too had a C-section, but I was pretty much oblivious to everyone’s expectations because I felt too tired to feel it. I just wanted to sleeeep. I remember that the nurses would come in and ask if I wanted the babies to sleep with me, but I said no thinking that I wanted to get all the rest that I could now, before I had to take them home. (I’m very practical in general) I had a HORRIBLE time breastfeeding them and so I had ENORMOUS amount of guilt and frustration over that. My husband and I both swear that the first 2 weeks were the worst times of our lives! The guilt and frustration combined with lack of sleep, recovering body, and the life altering event really took its toll. I think GUILT was the worst part of the first year over all though.
    .-= Judy´s last blog ..Playmates: for me or for them? =-.

  2. Our baby boy went right to the nicu where he stayed for 2-1/2 weeks, but our baby girl was with us right away. We did send her to the nursery at night, only because we have a 5 year old and know how precious sleep is! haha What was hard for me was spending all this time with her without getting to hold our son for 5 days! Also, I am glad she was in the nursery at night seeing as I did not react well to a lot of my pain meds and was very loopy a lot of the time! Great for moms who can keep them with the the whole time but no need for guilt for those who chose not to or can’t. We knew what sleep we’d be missing when we got home so we unselfishly took the opportunity to get what amount of sleep we could! Like Shawn said, you just had major surgery, your not out of bed for at least 24 hours, its a lot to take in. GET YOUR REST is my advice!

  3. That’s awful! It makes me almost glad mine had to spend more time in the NICU. (Since I have triplets, I knew I was going to have a c/s, so there was no other expectation.) I guess you’ve pointed out the silver lining of my situation. Because of pre-e, I was forced to stay in my hospital bed, away from my boys, for 24 hours after their birth. I’m not happy that I didn’t get to kiss them or hold them or even see them that first 24 hours, but at least I got to recover a tiny tiny bit.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Two? =-.

  4. I took my hospital’s c-section class and tell all twin moms to take it. They tell you EVERYTHING so you are prepared. Best 4 hours of classes I’ve ever taken.

    Even though mine were in NICU, we were “on call” to get up and feed the boys at every feeding. The third night I just wept and told Jon I needed to sleep. Lots of guilt but I felt so great the next day.
    .-= LauraC´s last blog ..Phone Photo Friday: vacation sleep edition =-.

  5. I had this crazy idea that a c-section would be a piece of cake. I even told my family that we wanted to be alone as a family for a few days at home before they came over to help.

    The reality was that I was SOOOO tired, out of it, and lost so much blood that I literally couldn’t do things by myself. I couldn’t even walk across the room alone by the time I left the hospital 5 days after delivery! Thank GOD my family knew I was a little overzealous and they were secretly making plans to be there to help right when we came home. I didn’t even change a diaper in the hospital because I couldn’t stand up! My husband changed every single diaper for the first 5 days! The babies didn’t spend any time in the NICU, but I did send them to the nursery each night until the first feeding. After we fed them, they stay with us for the rest of the night. I remember the first night being the best sleep (3 hours straight) that I had gotten in weeks. Way better than the last month of pregnancy!

    Anyway, it all worked out great, but I’m SO glad that I had people there to help me through it!

    Oh……one more very important piece of advice! Keep track of when you are given pain medication and ask for it BEFORE you start to feel pain again! Little did I know that the protocol at my hospital was not to give pain medication unless the patient asked for it! I learned the hard way!

  6. Both my boys were head down and my water broke at 37 weeks, 6 days, so I expected a vaginal delivery. After ten hours of active lasbor and three hours of pushing, I had a C section. I had NO idea what to expect and like others said, I lost too much blood and was in too much pain to be able to walk without assistance or do any child care. I was thrilled that my folks and inlaws and brother were there right after they were born, so I wouldn’t have to hold them (it hurt so bad on my stomach) but they would still get lots of attention. Then the nurse suggested that they stay in the nursery and she bring them to me to nurse the first night. Great idea! After that first night, my husband took care of them during the night and he, or my brother, or my mom or my mother-in-law did all the diaper changing, holding, etc… during the four-day stay at the hospital. All I did was nap, nurse and walk slowly around the room with help. I had some initial guilt about being so tired and drugged after the C and not wanting to hold the babies because of the pain, but as soon as my hormones stabilized (around 6 weeks) I realized I just didn’t care about that anymore. After the hospital stay, I had spent every moment holding them, nursing them, changing them, loving them, playing with them and just staring at their little faces, so I felt completely bonded and no longer guilty.

  7. I think the hardest thing to impress upon new moms is how much guilt you are going to feel about a lot of different things … for MoMs it’s even more. Hind sight is almost never helpful … you can’t change the past and circumstances rarely repeat themselves.

    I had a c-section with my singleton and then 15 months later another with my twins. I had a 15 month old at home, one in NICU and one in the room full time with me. Although my husband was there I kept having him go to the NICU to check on one then race home to be with one (who was actually old enough to know that we were not at home) then back to the hospital to help with the one I had in the room with me … poor guy. I couldn’t be everywhere and felt guilty about not being with them all … and I was just physically wiped out.

    What I should have done was what was suggested in the class I took about multiples and by the post partum nurses … let the nurses take care of the babies at night and SLEEP !!!! You are going to need this time in the hospital to rest up for being at home.

    The babies will bond with you just fine … you will have 24 hours a day …. every day … FOR THE NEXT 18 YEARS (or more). You don’t need to do all your bonding in the first 5 days of their lives.

    The nurses work in that department for a reason … they love the babies. Let them help you and your babies get a good start when you get home.

  8. Our prenatal class for multiples had lots of info about c-sections, which I really appreciate having since my son had been delivered by a midwife. It was a completely different experience. Our girls were delivered by scheduled c-section at 10 am. One of them basically slept through the first day, while her sister was up feeding. The sleeping one woke up around 11 pm when my mom went home, and was awake all night. The nurses were great helping with caring for the babies, but they still needed to be breastfed often. At 6 am, I called my mom to come back and help. That’s when the pediatrician and the doctors started their rounds, so it got busy in our room again. Those 4 days in the hospital were really long and tiring – not to mention the pain of the c-section. I would definitely recommend being prepared for the physical aspect of a c-section and for the recovery time too.

  9. I love this blog–so glad to have found such a good one for moms of multiples. I have a 4-year old and twin 2-year olds, all girls. The only advice I have is to line up as much help as possible before the c-section–I had a moms club bring dinner for two weeks straight–it was so helpful.

  10. Ummm….I just have to post this for all the pregnant MOMs out there who are now freaking out about a c-section.

    All along I was worried that I would have to have a c-section. In the end, it was me that made the choice to move forward with the surgery instead of waiting to deliver vaginally. I had been on bedrest since 14 weeks, I was over 37 weeks in, the babies were measuring close to 7 pounds, and I was done. Just done.

    I talked to my doctor, he scheduled an amnio, and once we confirmed the lungs were mature, we had the c.

    It was a TOTAL breeze. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about it. My babies roomed in with my husband and me, and I was able to get the rest I needed (barring all the visits from other people….grrr….) and was READY to go home on day 4 even though they said I could stay another day. Sure, I was tender, but I was fine taking care of the babies once we got home, and within a week, I went to Target.

    In retrospect, I am so glad it worked out that way. My delivery was relatively peaceful and stressfree, not to mention painless.

    I know I’m probably an exception (though one of my girlfriends has said the same thing about her two c-sections), but in the end, the most important thing is healthy mom and healthy babies. C-sections are just one way to ensure both in certain circumstances.

    Please don’t hate me.

  11. I’m in the same boat with Tracy. My c-section was a complete breeze. I was scheduled for an 8am delivery- went into the OR just before 8am, both babies were born at 8:22am, and I was back in my recovery room calling friends and family by 8:45am.

    I delivered at a community hospital, and there were signs everywhere saying 0 tolerance for pain. I got pain meds every 4 hours even if I felt only the slightest bit of pain. (It wasn’t until I got home and forgot to be so meticulous about taking my meds that I found out what kind of pain was being masked by those magic, white pills.) My babies roomed in with me during the day, but spent most of the nights in the nursery- only coming in at feeding times.

    The hardest part for me was recovering from my two months of bed rest. I lost a lot of muscle tone, which made it tough to do all the things I wanted to do. And we struggled a lot with breastfeeding in the first 3 weeks. So, yeah, the c-section wasn’t tough for me, but I still had the guilt.

  12. I had a great c-section and have a great birth story but it was the recovery in the hospital that was the worst! Right as I was brought into my room after the c-section, I quickly realized I may have been hit by a Mack truck! I think it was the epidural that had made everything happy-go-lucky until it started to wear off. I told anyone I could before the c-section that I had a very low tolerance for pain. So, they pretty much kept me medicated. And I was still in pain. But I did appreciate that they had a nurse always assigned to just me to stay on top of my pain level. My husband and mother and mother in law were the ones who took care of my boys while I was in the hospital. Mostly my husband and the nursery staff. We took advantage of them taking the boys at night so I could rest. I was really really out of it for the entire 4 days I was in the hospital. But Thank God, because whenever I became even a little lucid I was in PAIN!! I just wanted to sleep the whole time! I recovered quickly after I got home and just took my pain meds and was fine.
    .-= Stephanie Nichols´s last blog ..Boxer briefs! =-.

  13. Oh my gosh, I wish I had thought to let them spend the night in the nursery after my c-section! I don’t know why we didn’t do that, but it was just unthinkable! I think a lot of it had to do with the huge push for breastfeeding. The babies were healthy but small and had to be fed every 3 hours around the clock. So my schedule was try to breastfeed (which didn’t work because they were too small and sleepy to latch), then bottle feed, then pump. By the time that was done there would only be an hour to rest before it started all over again. Our hospital really, really discouraged sending the babies to the nursery because of breastfeeding and bonding issues. (Whatever. It’s not like they did any breastfeeding for the first few days anyway).

    I remember spending a little bit of time in the recovery room after the c-section, then being wheeled to my hospital room with my babies in the gurney with me, and then a nurse immediately trying to demonstrate to me how to bathe the babies. I was so ridiculously tired as an after-effect of the surgery that I kept falling asleep right there in my bed as the nurse talked. Then I would jolt myself awake and try to force myself to stay awake and watch the lesson. Now I look back on this and think how ridiculous it is. We all would have been in MUCH better shape if we had just sent them to the nursery at night for those first 4 days!
    .-= albe´s last blog ..It’s Sad Because It’s True =-.

  14. This is great, important advice that no matter what it is, try to let go of the guilt!

    (My guilt was over breastfeeding in the first few weeks, but I digress and looking back I can’t believe I wasted so much time worrying/feeling bad…it all worked out absolutely fine!)

    Anyway, like others have said, my c-section was pretty darn easy…far easier than I expected. I think it was my husband who was the reason. He did EVERYTHING for the babies and stayed with us at the hospital every night.

    I’m having my 3rd via c-section (in TWO weeks!), and we lined up family to come stay with our twins so that once again my husband can stay with me. Yes, there is a little guilt about that, but the boys will come and visit us every day and I think (hope!) those first four days of great recovery time will once again help make this a positive experience.

    But I sure do wish someone would invent some “beam me out, Scotty” technology in the next week and a half so I could skip the c-section :)
    .-= WhatACard´s last blog ..An odd twin moment =-.

  15. Good advice ladies. The only thing to expect with a twin delivery is not knowing what to expect! I had a vaginal deliver for baby A, then baby B was a c-section 3 hours later. So you can always go that route too…but I don’t recommend it! ;) I lost a fair amout of blood too, so I had that “not being able to walk” problem too. And people kept handing me 2 babies! WHAT were they thinking?? Anyway, after the first day, and the drugs started wearing off, I realized not that I was in pain, but that I was just not up to the task at hand. So I allowed myself a few days of “light duty.” I also had a 5 year old at the time, and remembered well her struggle with bf’ing for the first MONTH….so figured I would have a double-whammy of same trouble waiting for me. Fortunately, that was not the case, and they were great nursers, even with being finger-fed formula in the nursery at night so mommy could sleep! And don’t be mistaken…a good night’s sleep, especially at first is also important to your milk supply, as much as the stimulation can be in some cases. If you’re exhausted and anemic, your body will be struggling to make milk anyway…so give yourself permission to get healthy for your baby’s sake!! Like the other mom said…you get to do this for the next 18 years….so ease into it as best you can!
    p.s. I was induced at 40w1d, baby A was 7 lbs 4 oz, and baby b was 9 lbs 5 oz. Yes, it happens.

  16. I had a horrible time in my hospital as well. I had my b/g twins vaginally however, once they rolled in the room, my husband got sick and all the nice visitors LEFT! I was alone, I couldn’t walk after pushing for 2 hours and I was warned that the medicine they gave me to stop the bleeding would give me diarrhea. I was going to have diarrhea and I couldn’t walk to the bathroom and all this while I had to breastfeeding two screaming babies. I left out the part that my babies weren’t the sleepy kind, they were wide awake from the minute they were born. I was a scaring first night.

  17. I am also one of the very lucky ones. Both of my C-sections (first with my singleton daughter, and later with my twin sons) were relatively easy. The hard part was caring for the babies while recovering from surgery. The person who was supposed to care for my daughter while I was in the hospital got the flu and was not able to do it. Therefore my husband had to be home at night. Looking back, I should have had the babies spend the night in the nursery. The nurses guilted me into keeping them, saying I had to start breastfeeding ASAP. The first time they brought me both babies to be fed at the same time, there was a group of student nurses standing around to watch. I didn’t realize that was what they were. I assumed they were nurses there to assist me until one said “I can’t wait to see how you do this!” That is when I called my husband crying, begging him not to leave me there alone! Things were so much better when I got home. It was hard but atleast I didn’t have to choose between who needed my husband more…me or my daughter. My husband had to go back to work after just three days and I cared for all three on my own. I survived…but even two and a half years later I still wish I would have had those first few nights of sleep to get off to a better start.

  18. I had a vaginal delivery but had a Tubal Ligation, which was an incision right there in the room after delivery. I WISH I had known how painful that incision would be. I WISH I had reconsidered even getting that tubal ligation. I was in tremendous pain from that incision and my nurses were only giving me Tylenol 3. Only after I explained how I could not function, or get out of bed, let alone handle the babies, did they give me percoset. The percoset was life-changing, it enabled me to care for the twins. I was smart enough to leave the twins in the nursery at night. I also refused the big ole hospital pump they brought in to start me pumping mere hours after delivery. I refused to pump for the twins and supplemented with formula instead. But I could only be that tough because I was not a first time mommy, I had already BF’d my older son and knew how demanding that would be.

  19. I don’t have multiples, so I prob. shouldn’t even be commenting, but anyway. I had a c-section (not scheduled, but not an emergency, either) with my youngest son. I hadn’t read much about them either so I was pretty much unprepared. However, I was at a fantastic hospital with the sweetest nurses and that pretty much set me up for success. I would have to agree – read/research c-sections and your hospital! It really makes all the difference!

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