Having our twins was definitely the hardest yet most amazing thing I’ve ever done, and I’m so excited to share their birth story with you today!
A little background info… during most of my pregnancy Collins (girl) was head down and Crew (boy) was breach. It seemed like the safest option would be to have a c-section as long as Crew remained in that position. However, at my 35 week appointment we found out that Crew had flipped and was also now head down. So we decided that as long as they were both head down we would try for a natural delivery as opposed to a c-section. The only risky thing about trying for a natural birth was accepting the possibility that I could deliver Collins naturally and still have an emergency c-section with Crew if his heart rate dropped or if he flipped positions after Collins was born. That would obviously be worse case scenario (full labor + delivery + c-section), but we decided it was worth it to try.
Now onto the birth story! Early on, our doctor told us that for various reasons twin pregnancies often result in early deliveries. Knowing that, we were prepared and ready to go into labor starting at week 34. At each of my doctors appointments though, I showed no sign of progressing towards labor, which was great because it meant the babies were healthy and still growing. Eventually we planned an induction date for November 30. I would be about 38 weeks pregnant at that point, which is considered full term for twins. We honestly thought they would come on their own before that, but on the night of November 29 I was still pregnant, so we loaded our bags into the car and headed to the hospital.
We delivered at Baylor Scott & White in Frisco, and let me just say we loved this hospital. The nurses and staff were incredible and we are truly so thankful for them.
Originally the plan that night was to start on a medication called Cytotec, which is supposed to help with beginning the process of labor. Once I got to the hospital, however, I was already having frequent contractions so our doctor decided to skip Cytotec and start me on Pitocin, another medication that induces stronger contractions.
At this point it was about 11:30 PM on Thursday night, so once I was hooked up to the IV we tried to get a little sleep. By 9 am the next morning I was dilated to a 3, which was great and super encouraging because my body was progressing the way it should.
Let me stop right here and say that I knew I wanted the epidural as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I was never the type that even questioned whether I’d get it or not, so as soon as I got to the hospital that night I asked the nurses about when people normally get the epidural. My fear was that I would progress to a certain point and it would be too late to get it. She told me I could get it whenever I wanted to, which actually surprised me because I thought you had to reach a certain point in labor before they would give it to you.
Anyways, once I was dilated to a 3, I was in a fair amount of pain. My contractions were getting stronger and I started to question whether it was time to get the epidural. Even though I knew I wanted the epidural, I also didn’t want to be dramatic and ask for it before I felt like I really needed it. Thank goodness I decided that I needed it, because by the time the anesthesiologist showed up, my contractions were extremely intense and I was in a lot of pain.
Yes the epidural hurt, but it was beyond worth it. It stung for about 10 seconds and then I felt immediate relief. It was honestly crazy how much better I felt, and how quickly it made a difference.
I continued to progress during the day, and since I was no longer in any pain I was able to relax and take a nap. Around 5:00 my doctor said I was ready and that it was time to push. I remember when she said those words, it got real very quickly. Up until then it was like, “I know I’m going to have these babies in the future,” but when she said those words,”it’s time to push,” it really hit me that we were about to do this.
Because I was having twins, our hospital requires you to deliver in an operating room in case you have to have an emergency c-section. The operating room was intense–bright lights and machines everywhere–and with 10 total people in there (the extra doctors and nurses), it was pretty chaotic.
Once I started pushing though, I focused all of my attention on Cory and my doctor who were amazing throughout the whole delivery. I pushed for about 35 minutes and Collins came out!!! It was literally the craziest most beautiful moment that I will never forget. As soon as she came out they put her on me so we could have “skin to skin.” I cried the whole time and just couldn’t believe she was mine.
Immediately after she was born we had to shift our attention to Crew. Thank goodness his heart rate was strong and everything looked good to deliver him naturally as well, which was a HUGE answered prayer.
After I delivered Collins, I was only dilated to an 8 (I didn’t realize I could “un-dilate” until my doctor told me) and Crew was too high to begin pushing, so I was taken back to our original labor room where we waited for about an hour. During this time I was more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I really couldn’t believe I was about to begin the process of pushing all over again, not to mention the fact that the second baby was a pound and a half bigger than the first!
After an hour had passed, my doctor said it was time to push. You’d think after an hour of rest that I’d be ready and re-energized, but I was far from that. I felt extremely tired and like I still couldn’t catch my breath. Ready or not though, it was time to start pushing.
At this point we were locked into a natural delivery for Crew, so we got to stay in the labor room instead of returning to the operating room, which was a huge blessing because there were far less people and the vibe just felt calmer.
The doctor told me to push, and I promise ya’ll, I tried. After the first couple of pushes, I honestly thought it wasn’t going to happen. No joke you guys, it felt literally impossible. I’m pretty sure I told Cory and my doctor multiple times that I couldn’t do it, and I wasn’t just being dramatic. I physically thought there was no way I could do it. I was that tired. At some point Crew’s heart rate slowly started dropping and they put me on oxygen, which actually helped both of us haha.
30 minutes later, Crew hadn’t made much progress and I was still struggling to breathe. I was ready to give up. The doctor could tell what I was thinking and even said to me, smiling, “Amy, I know you’re exhausted, but he can’t stay in there.” Cory prayed over me multiple times and I literally told God that he was going to have to be the one to get Crew out because I had given all that I could give.
After a few more pushes, our doctor decided to try a suction tool, which basically helped pull him out as I pushed. It was amazing because two pushes later, Crew was here! Finally seeing him, I don’t think I’ve ever been more thankful for something than I was in that moment. Our sweet baby boy!
Collins Sophia Cotton was born at 6:00 PM on Friday, November 30, weighed 5 lbs 2 oz. and was 17.75 in. long. Crew Brady Cotton was born at 7:45 PM on Friday, November 30, weighed 6 lbs 10 oz. and was 19 in. long.
Even though delivering our twins was harder than I ever imagined, I would do it all over again because of the overwhelming love I feel for them. They are perfect. We are so thankful that the Lord has given us these two beautiful lives and I pray that one day they love and accept him as their own savior.
Thanks for letting me share the beginning of their story with y’all.
Love, Amy Cotton
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” -James 1:17