My Birth Story by Adrienne Baddeley

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Birth Story by Adrienne Baddeley

My twin birth, like most of them I imagine, did not quite go to plan.

I had booked a civilised C-section at the civilised time of 9am on the Monday morning of 9th November. Unfortunately our girls started to show their impatience before they even showed their faces, as they started trying to ‘escape’ about midnight on the Wednesday beforehand.

The twins’ wonderful daddy was out entertaining colleagues (ie friends) during what he has since acknowledged to be the ‘drop zone’, when all expectant daddies should be permanently poised to drive us to hospital. He was in Shoreditch (or similar, frankly at that point I didn’t care as long as he got back ASAP) in an underground bar, of course with limited phone reception. When he did eventually answer the phone with a: ‘darling, what are you doing calling me at this time of night?!’, my answer wasn’t super patient either. So he dutifully drunk two strong cups of sobering coffee and jumped into the nearest cab to Kingston hospital, all the time telling me: ‘Don’t worry darling, I’m not thaaat drunk’!
It appears the twins were not worried, as I got to 8cm dilation in the space of 3 hours. That was quite a shock as I hadn’t been expecting the luxury of going into labour at all, according to the original master plan. It was further complicated as I have some sort of platelets malfunction which I’ve never understood properly, meaning I had to have a caesarian under general anaesthetic, plus get special back up blood samples sent down from St Thomas Hospital… due to arrive Monday 9am, not Wednesday 3am.

To cut a long (or what felt like a long!) story short, the contractions came thick and fast, I got the gas and air – which had me in fits of giggles in between howling with pain – and my lovely husband, who probably felt as rough as I did by that point (actually who are we kidding!) was making all the right noises and stroking my hands.

Then I was told that the babies were likely to arrive before my back up blood samples. So did I want to have a natural twin birth with no epidural (not allowed for the same reason) or just be wheeled into the operating theatre for my C-section. I don’t think I have ever jumped up so fast!

No one is allowed in an operating theatre when it’s a C-section under general anaesthetic, apparently as it’s too traumatic for anyone watching to see the mother being put to sleep. So my poor family had to wait outside, I have no idea for how long, and I had to wait to wake up before meeting my babies for the first time.

Now, we do have twins in the family (though not enough for the first scan not to have been a huge surprise!) But that was a few generations back, and in both known cases, they lost one of the twins at birth. So you can imagine my shock when, on coming round, I saw my husband holding… one baby! Of course, my first question was: where is the other one?! Luckily they reassured me that she was absolutely fine, but was slightly underweight (1.74kg, whereas the larger twin was 1.99kg) so had gone to the neonatal unit for extra feeding.

The five days we all spent in hospital were not fun. Despite being well looked after, I felt totally out of my depth and uber-hormonal. We had one twin in the room with me and the other in the neonatal unit, which gave my lovely husband some one-on-one bonding time with her. Things started falling into place as soon as we got home and I had brilliant support from family and a wonderful nanny. I was also, of course, completely smitten with our wonderful daughters, as we all were, and still are! I work for myself teaching small language groups from home, so I was keen to at least go back to a few hours’ teaching per week ASAP so I wouldn’t lose my languages students. Zumba teaching took slightly longer! I now feel incredibly lucky, one year later, teaching French from home, so I can spend quality time with my girls every day, as well as learning how to be a mum. I can honestly say having two at once seems like an absolute privilege. Two weeks before their first birthday, they are already becoming good friends and they are not double trouble but easily double the fun!