Two hearts??? I asked. Yes, she repeated… I asked her why does my baby have two hearts. She laughed and said you have two babies. I asked HOW WHAT WHO WHEN. She laughed even more and turned the screen towards me and should me two little alien figures and two hearts pumping… it was beautiful, I fell in love with life all over again… I was in tears and was missing Suresh.

I decided to keep this a secret and not tell Suresh until our actual scheduled 12-week scan. This meant 3 weeks of not telling him about this.

Then came the day… we both went to our midwife appointment and my heart rate was raising. I wanted to see the magical two little hearts again but because I hadn’t shared it him it felt like a dream..we went inside and they scanned me again and surpriseeee.

Suresh was awestruck he did not utter a word. He just kept smiling and looking at the screen. One alien figure was hitting the other alien figure with the leg and the other one was pushing the first one away with her arms. (They did not allow us to film this) it was beautiful… something that me and Suresh will not forget forever.

They said we are gonna have identical twins and because they are sharing the same sac it is a high-risk pregnancy. I can’t travel long distance and should be monitored and scanned every 2 weeks… I had plans of delivering the baby in India with all family around but now that’s not happening.

Both me and Suresh were always looking forward to the next scan. Every alternate Wednesdays were so exciting coz we got to see the two brats playing inside my tummy.

In April when I was 18 weeks pregnant, we went for our regular growth scan and the midwife asked us if we want to know the sex of the babies. I was hoping and praying they were girls. I love the idea of dressing up girls and Suresh secretly was wishing for girls as well. We nodded our head in excitement and said yes please tell us they are girls and the midwife had a wide smile… she said YES they are both girls. The best feeling ever when you get what you want ❤️

My mom and dad came over in July. My mom wanted to be with me for my delivery and decided to travel with my dad who needs a lot of help with his day to day activity due to his Parkinson’s disorder. I got to have yummy food. We had a traditional baby shower with family around and I was booked in for a C-Section on Monday the 31st of July 2017.

On the Saturday 29th of July, my mom was giving my dad a shower and just stepped out of the bathroom to grab a shower. Dad slipped in the bathtub and held the hot water tap to try and balance and opened the tap. It was boiling hot water and in a few seconds before mom came back he burnt both his feet. We heard the noise and rushed to the bathroom and picked him up and mom was in tears. Both his feet were completely burnt and we had to call an ambulance and he was rushed to an emergency. They had to admit him coz he was burnt very very badly. It was very very sad and we were all frantically trying to sort things around. My brother came over (he lives in another city in the UK about a 3-hour drive) which was a relief and spent the weekend with dad and us.

Monday morning though I was mentally not prepared to invite babies into this world coz I was too occupied and worried about dad. We had to get admitted in the hospital (luckily it was the same hospital just different floors and for the next one week Mom and Suresh kept going back and forth from the first floor to the 11 floor between me and daddy).

The midwife came over and asked me if I am happy to go ahead with a C-Section (this was discussed earlier with my consultant and he said it’s very risky to try for a natural delivery). But that day (actually always) all I wanted was a natural delivery and I really wanted to get back home ASAP without any cutting and stitching. I asked the midwife if there was a chance I can try for a normal delivery.

My mom, Suresh, my brother all of them were clueless but I had some guts to ask for it.

Another consultant came over and said one of the baby was breach and it’s risky trying for a normal delivery. I asked her what would the risk be. She said… well the first twin is heads down so she might come out fine but we might have to go with an emergency C section for the second one if she doesn’t come out in 20 min after the first…!! If you are deciding to go ahead for a normal delivery, I would suggest we administrate epidural, just in case you need an emergency C section, this can be used for topping up the anesthesia.

I had strong instincts that I will be able to deliver them naturally. I said I don’t want C Section and Suresh just smiled at me… I have always been talking about normal delivery to Suresh and my lovely midwife Pam. The consultant asked the midwife to take another scan to check the babies’ positions and said she will give us 1 hour to take a final decision. The girls were moving around vigorously and I was speaking to them and asking them both to be heads down so I can have a natural vaginal birth.

30 min later, while the radiologist was scanning me, my fav midwife Pam, who has been with me throughout my pregnancy came in to check if I was okay and if the babies were doing fine. I was surprised to see her, she is usually off on a Monday but the lovely lady just popped by to see me ❤️

I told her I wanted to go for a natural delivery. She looked at the scan and asked me to go for it… she said there is 70% chance that I have an emergency C-section either for both or the second child but she also said if I have strong feelings that they will both deliver naturally, I should just go for it…

The next time the consultant came in I was sure about going for a natural delivery… she handed over my green notes to the midwife and asked the midwife to induce me.

So here I was… opting in for a natural birth just on the day that I was booked in for a C-Section

The babies heartbeat had to be monitored for an hour before they could induce me but twin 2 (Naughty Vidu) decided to keep moving around and it was 5pm before we could successfully get 60 min of heartbeat readings for both.

It was 5:20 pm and a Pessary was inserted and the midwife told me that I was already 1 cm dilated and contractions could start anytime in the next few hours. They scanned me again to check the positions and both of them were now heads down (thanks for all the earthquakes that happened inside my womb a few hours ago).

It was around 8pm and I had no pain what so ever, there was another shift change and a new midwife came to check how I was doing. I said I have no pain and she said for some people it might take up to 24 hours after inducing. She asked me to relax and call her if I was in pain or if my water broke. She also served me some sandwiches and I really did not want to eat it. I asked mom for some rasam and asked both mom and suresh to go home… I was sure I will be fine..

Both Mom and Suresh went home and now in my ward there was a new patient in the bed next to me (this was the induction room and I was moved to the labour ward yet)… so I started having a conversation with this patient and it was apparently her 4th pregnancy. She had a teenage visitor who was apparently her first daughter… and here I was thinking how does it feel when the water breaks.

Suresh came with yummy Rasam… he also visited dad and gave him his dinner. It was around 9:30pm, I had dinner and I asked Suresh to go home and get some rest. It was a long day actually a long weekend and he needed some rest. I was sure that from the next day our life is gonna be pretty hectic so I thought he would need all the rest tonight. He left and I continued talking to my new patient friend. So this was her 4th pregnancy and she was 29 weeks pregnant and her water broke so she is here.

I have always wondered how would I know if my water broke??

It was around 10pm and I slowly started having cramps… like period cramps… And now I really wanted to know what does it feel like when the water breaks.

I told my new friend that I have read about water breaking. My midwife has told me… but I don’t understand how I will realize my water broke??? She laughed so hard and said you will know… it will feel like you are peeing loads of water and you don’t have any control of it… I felt like I wanted a wee and I got out of my bed and suddenly I was peeing loads of water without any control… I was rushing to the toilet but the floor was wet and the water never stopped. She looked at me and screamed and said your water broke… she rang the buzzer and called the midwife for me.

The midwife came in examined me and confirmed that my water broke and by now I started feeling the contractions…it was painful but bearable. I called Suresh and told him my water broke. He and Mom rushed to the hospital… it was almost 11pm now and I was lying on the bed with contractions and telling my mom that it wasn’t that bad. ”Amma it’s painful but not as bad as I thought” she said Poga poga paaru, meaning see how you feel in some time

By 12:30am I was screaming and swearing in pain… I had asked for a water birth earlier after I was induced and the midwife promised I can stay in the warm water bath until I was ready for epidural administration. I was siting in a warm bath with contractions every 5 min and was in tears.

I spoke too soon I told Suresh and my mom had a wicked smile…I remember..but the hot water actually helped a lot.

It was around 2:30am and I was screaming more than ever. They now wanted me to get out of the bath so they could shift me to a labour room. I did not want to go anywhere. I just kept screaming yelling and Bitting Suresh’s hands.

I remember Amma kept giving me a leg massage… strangely all the pain I had during contractions was in my thighs… I thought it would be in my abdomen… but it was all happening in my thighs… this pain my dear is unexplainable.

In the labour room, 5 midwifes tried for over 45 min to monitor the girls’ heartbeat but the two naughty brats failed to stay in one position. So throughout my labour I was constantly scanned to check if both girls were fine. I mean in throughout my labour until both of them came out I had this ultrasound thingy on me.

Around 3:30 am they said I was 4cm dilated and an anesthetist would come asap to administrate Epidural. I never wanted epidural I remember telling Suresh I don’t want pain killers. I want to feel the pain… but at this point I just wanted to kill my self to have thought that I could handle this pain.

I was so relieved when they said they will administrate epidural… it was almost 4:30 am and I was screaming more… not because of the contractions now but because of the pain this epidural administration caused… trust me contractions were better… they asked me not to move… to sit in a position where my spine is straight… I mean I am like a balloon who can feel that I will burst any time… how can I sit straight and show my spine… it was a nightmare.

By 5:30am epidural was given and I had the least possible dose because I had to feel the contractions to be able to push not one but two babies… They said I was now 6cm dilated. Every contraction got more painful and longer and the gap between contractions got shorter. I had Suresh right next to me throughout my labour. He did not even step out for a wee. My mom kept massaging my legs and back and kept praying all three of us should be fine…

Around 6:30 am I said I feel like pushing, the midwife wasn’t sure I meant it… she thought I was blabbering in pain… but no I really felt like pushing… I could feel a head (I REALLY COULD FEEL IT)… they checked me and I was now 8.5cm dilated.

The contractions got stronger longer and tighter. And I now had a whole new energy. There was a shift change and now it was a new midwife.

At 7am she came in and asked me how I was feeling and I said I am in pain but I am feeling awesome (I don’t remember saying this but she told me I said this when I met her the next day)

Push… push… you can do it… I can see the head… I can see the hair… I could hear all this. I had 7 people other than me in the room and everyone were busy.

I kept telling myself… Sandhya you can do it… come one PUSH… and at 7:58 I felt a tiny head come out of me… it was the best feeling ever… so much of relief… and she cried… and she was beautiful… beautiful Viha. Suresh cut the umbilical cord and was in tears. My mom held her and I screamed again my next contraction.

I remembered I had Vidu inside me and she needed to come out now so I don’t have to go through the C section. Once Viha came out she started going round and round. While 2 midwifes were cleaning Viha the others were scanning and trying to guide Vidu so she turns head down and comes out.

It was 8:03 and I had to push one more time… this time it felt easier… I pushed and pushed harder and even more harder and the second little head popped out at 8:05!!
7 minutes apart. Two tiny alien looking creatures… wait it doesn’t stop here… I had another contraction and now I had to deliver my placenta… this one was a easy peasy. 8:12 I delivered the placenta!!

Labour is painful but is satisfying than any other thing in this world… and remember the pain is temporary but the product is permanent.

P:S: When I held them both they felt super tiny… I couldn’t believe that I was pushing so hard for so long and only these two tiny little rats came out. I was expecting bigger babies. I mean mine and Suresh’s babies how can they be this small tell me??

– Sandhya Anantharaman