thread: The Adventures of Max and Riley

  1. #1
    wampy Guest

    Smile The Adventures of Max and Riley

    Hi All,

    Being the supergeek Dad I am, I actually setup a web site for our boys! The familes on both sides live all over the country, and there's a lot of them, so this was the quickest way to disseminate photos and other information really quickly. It's worked well ... we had some complications along the way, and being able to put the information up to somewhere accessible by family meant we didn't have the million txt's and phone calls each day, with people trying to get a process update.

    My birthing story can be found here:

    The Adventures of Max and Riley - The Birth (His Story)

    But I've copy-and-pasted it below as well. Enjoy!


    It all started around 5pm last Sunday, 4th of November. I was out running around, dropping off some stuff at a mates place, and picking up a few items from the supermarket. The phone rings, it's Bron ...

    "How far away are you? My waters just broke!"

    "Oh *****! I'll be there in 5!"

    "No hurry ... that'll give me time to clean up the mess!"

    So for the first (but definitely not the last) time that day, I ran a few red lights (that's flat out red, not orange-going-on-red), and gave the Tucson engine a bit of a workout.

    I got home and Bron's on the phone to the hospital, asking when they would like us to come in etc. Turns out they didn't want to see us for an hour or so, because Bron's contractions hadn't started. Plenty of time for a shower, pack a few last minute items, and get up there.

    Bron's contractions set in around 5 minutes after getting off the phone to the hospital (of course). Still, no panic ... plenty of time! Even time to swing past a bottle shop and grab a couple of bottles of French bubbly. Nice that half of Tarragindi turned out to stand in line at the counter between the time I got out of the car and got back to being served ...

    Counter chick : "So, celebrating anything special?"

    Me : "Possibly the birth of my twin sons in your driveway ... my wife is in the car having contractions, waiting for me"

    (Cue general laughter from everyone in line behind me)

    So we get up to the Mater hospital, with Bron trundling around with 8 minute contractions. We'd phoned ahead, and they were all prepped up for us. I fully recommend having twins, if you want really prompt attention with everything! It was straight into the delivery room. Then the fun really began ...

    Bit of practice breathing, bit of lounging around for Bron, trying various positions to ease the (at this point) slight pains of the contractions. After an hour or two of this, increasing amounts of pain, hot showers, and contractions down to about 5 minutes apart, it was definitely time to have an epidural!

    The drugs kicked in, and things started to look rosey. At this stage, Bron was back on the delivery bed, with sensors all over her tummy, and a sensor or two tucked "up inside" on twin one's head (so as not to get signals confused). It was interesting watching the contraction monitor measure the uterus movements: levels that previously had Bron gasping in pain for a minute twenty at a time, were reduced to what felt like a mild tightening. We both *knew* that there was no actual change in what was happening ... it's just that the drugs were that good!

    It was about this time that the obstetrician on duty (herein referred to as "Obe Gyn Kenobi") came in to check on progress. She wasn't "our" Obe Gyn Kenobi ... there's 3 of them in the same practice, and they work rotating weekends. However, the Obe Gyn Kenobi we got was/is extremely well known to just about everyone we've ever spoken to, and comes VERY highly recommended.

    Everything was swell (especially Brons tummy) ... except Obe Gyn Kenobi really, REALLY wanted to take a look at Bron's previous scan results etc etc.

    "Did you guys bring your scan results in with you?"

    "No ... we weren't told they'd be needed!"

    "Normally they're not, but I'd really like to see them ... where do you live?"

    For a minute, I thought about lying and saying something absurd like "Rockhampton!" ... but honesty got the best of me ...

    "Tarragindi, on the southside"

    "That's only a few minutes drive from here, yes?"

    You see where this is heading?

    My previous best time from our house to the carpark of the hospital was roughly 9 minutes. I managed just over 20 minutes round trip from the delivery room, to the carpark, to home, inside and finding the material, back to the hospital, the carpark and the delivery room. There's two things I learnt during that drive:

    1. Hyundai Tucsons are capable of exceeding 160km/h in the right conditions, if the driver has the right motivations and a vagrant disregard for the engineering and performance limitations of Korean built cars; and
    2. At that speed, the car behaves more like a small pleasure yacht: you point it in the vague direction of where you want to be, and then hope like hell the prevailing winds assist you with the steering

    I got back up to the hospital ... and of course it was another 2 hour wait or so anyway. During that time, another interesting thing happened: my nervousness really kicked in, and I started getting adrenal flushes. I started pacing, much to the amusement of the attending nurses. Hot and cold full body flushes, mild sweats, and trips to the toilet every 5 minutes or so.

    The Oby Gyn explained the various birthing scenarios to us. Basically, twin one was presenting and ready to come out. Twin two was breech-to-transverse. Not to worry, we were told ... there's plenty of room in there after twin one pops out, so the Oby Gyn was confident they would manipulate Bron's belly and get twin two around into the correct position for head-out vaginal delivery as well. Then there's the fairly rare occurrence with twins, where they have to perform a c-section to get number two out. No worries, that's why they recommended we have the epidural early on, so it could just be topped up if things got "interesting". Lastly, there's the really, really rare occurrence, where there's a complication getting number two out, and rather than having a regular c-section, you have an emergency c-section : "don't worry, I've only had to perform one of those in 20 years of doing this".

    Anyways, at one point the attending nurse called me around to the "receivers end", pulled the "curtains" aside and said "check that out, that's your son's head!". Funnily enough, all the nervousness etc disappeared immediately. There I was, looking at the crown of my first progeny, and suddenly nothing else mattered but making sure the little guys got out safely. The switch flicked over from "flight" to "fight" in that instant.

    The contractions had sped up by now, down to just under 3 minutes apart. The attending nurse thought it might be time to get things underway. She set up a mirror so Bron and I could both see the "receivers end" ... bit of a spin-out, but definitely helps Bron see the progress etc.

    We started wondering if the boys were actually going to be born on the same day ... it was looking like a pre-midnight and post-midnight birth at that stage ...

    "We'll get Bron to have a bit of a push with the next contraction. 3 nice long pushes per contraction, and we'll see how we go. New mothers normally take around an hour to get the baby to crown ... when we get a little closer, we'll grab the Oby Gyn and get the bubs out! Okay ... here comes the first contraction ... push!

    ... tic ... tic ... tic

    "Nice work! Well done! Okay, here comes the second contraction ... push!"

    ... tic ... tic ... tic

    "That's really great! You're doing so well! Okay, here comes the third contraction ... push!"

    ... tic ...

    "****! Stop pushing! Someone go get the Oby Gyn, and tell her this baby is coming out next contraction!"

    The Oby Gyn comes in, takes one look and says "don't bother pushing, the uterus is pushing this baby straight out next contraction".

    Sure enough ... contraction ... slip! And out pops Max Thomas Hansen! 2 second pause, and then the wailing starts ... all good!

    And then things started to blur.

    By this time there were 5 people in the room, Bron and I included. As the seconds ticked over while the Obe Gyn attempted to get twin two to spin around in Bron's belly, more people arrived. I'd have to say one person every 15 seconds.

    After a few minutes, and with a lot of people in the room, the Obe Gyn jumped back, said "damn, this is the second one! Cord prolapse!". Suddenly there was a huge flurry of movement, and everyone was rushing around preparing the bed, Bron the room and the hallway outside for a frantic dash to the emergency operating theater. Voices started layering over each other and people dashed around exhibiting the kind of grace and spatial awareness of each other that only comes with medical teams and pit crews.

    Meanwhile, I'm standing in a corner out of the way, holding Max. There was a brief stillness from everyone, and the question was asked: "Bronwyn, Tony ... is Tony coming to the operating theater?".

    Bron and I looked at each other, and at Max, and Bron said "you stay here with Max, I'm in the best hands here, you just look after our boy and let these people look after me and Riley".

    At this stage, I'll comment on Bron's strength and calmness. It was phenomenal. Later, after everything was over, all of the operating theater staff and everyone else involved commented on her strength as well.

    It's worth reading what's involved in a cord prolapse ... try the links on the home page. The most diabolical part of it is the woman who had to climb onto the bottom of the bed, and put her hand actually UP INSIDE Bron, and hold twin two's head up off the cervix, in complete contradication to what the uterus was busy trying to do. And with the cervix starting to close up again, the bones and muscle start to contract back onto the nurses arm. Here's a piece of information that (thankfully) wasn't put to the test on the night: the cervix and associated bones and muscles have more than enough hydraulic power to break arm bones. So you can imagine how painful it would have been for the poor lady.

    So they barrelled out the door, with enough people handing off the bed to make a photo of the scene look like the cover of "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" or something equally absurd. The doors swung shut, and I was alone with Max.

    I knew from various classes, reading etc that an emergency c-section could be anywhere from three minutes, to around twelve minutes. I was bonding strongly with Max, but the seconds were rapidly adding up to long minutes, and I wasn't hearing anything from anyone. I lie: I was getting reassuring comments from one of the nurses that had come into the room to do the associated birthing paperwork, weigh Max, give him his first wash etc. But unless telepathy plays a part in these things, I knew that she didn't *really* know what was going on. And the minutes kept ticking by.

    The next bit was like a scene out of "E.R.", or some heart-wrenching loss-of-a-loved-one movie. A nurse walked into the room ...

    "Hi, are you the husband and father?"

    "Yes ... what's going on?!"

    "I'm afraid there's been a complication ... "

    The sentence wasn't quite finished, but in the instant that followed the entire world ground to a standstill. My vision was swimming and rushing in and out, there was a crashing white noise in my ears as though I was standing under Niagra Falls, my stomach suddenly felt cold and empty, my knees felt week.

    " ... but it's okay, everyone is going to be fine"

    Vision snapped back into focus ... well, as focussed as it could be through the sudden explosion of tears that came from nowhere. Another surge of adrenalin, easily biggest of the night. Arms moving more protectively around Max. Rush of blood through the lungs, a few quick hyperventilating breathes. Definitely change in stance on my part: the nurse took a step backward, and the other nurse looked around, put her pen down and stepped behind the messenger.

    "Take me to Bronwyn, right now"

    "You can't, she's just had very rough surgery, she's still being patched up"

    "Take me to Riley"

    "You can't, he wasn't breathing for almost 2 minutes, he's okay now, but we've rushed him to intensive care"

    "Take Max and I to Riley, RIGHT NOW"

    And off we went.

    By the time Bron came out of post-op, I had both Max and Riley in my arms. They brought Bron in on an op cart ... she was having violent full-body shakes, and had a look on her face that was a cross between shock, panic and genuine fear. The strongest woman I've ever known was now the most vulnerable I'd ever seen her, and it was crushing me.

    We spent some time in the recovery room ... Bron getting pumped full of the strongest drug ****tail you'll find this side of Ibiza, and me flitting between my two boys in their cribs. Bron got close to each of the boys, but couldn't hold them at that stage ... the drugs, the adrenalin and everything else conspired to keep her in minor fits, and a complete lack of co-ordination.

    After an hour or so, the procession was off! Bron's op bed, followed by two nurses with cribs on carts, followed by me with our bags etc on a cart, followed by a long stream of specialists. We were taken to our room, where we got setup, and flooded with instructions, directions etc etc. It was definitely sensory overload at that point, and the midwifes knew it ... they eased back a bit, and gave us some space. The boys were okay at this point, and Bron wasn't going anywhere. I was a complete mess ... it was approaching 7am Monday, and I'd been up since 5am Sunday, including putting in a pretty full day of heavy labour around the house all Sunday.

    And that's the birth story!

    There was a cast of thousands involved in running that particular marathon. There are 4 people we really, really need to acknowledge here (in order of appearance):

    Ailsa: the attending nurse that was with us from the minute we turned up, right through. Words cannot express our gratitude enough for Ailsa's attention, instruction, humourous comments and support. From showing Bron various positions to help ease the pain pre-epidural, to simply being in the same room with me and Max while we waited for Bron's operation. She was there for everything, and we thank you for that.

    Phil: the man with the drugs! Easy going, laid it out for us, and brought my wife the relief she needed. I later found out that Phil stood in for me as "support person" during Bron's operation, while I was with Max. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Glenda: our Obe Gyn Kenobi. We'd heard wonderful things about Glenda, and frankly all those comments didn't do her justice. Glenda's an absolute angel. Not only did she deliver Max safely, she then went on to make the hard and fast calls that saved Riley's life, and quite possible Bron's as well. We owe you everything. You owe me a new engine for the Tucson, and possibly a stack of demerit points! :-D

    Mystery Nurse: the lady who held Riley's head inside of Bron while she was rushed to surgery. I didn't find out the nurses name, but I will. What she had to do, necessary as it was, defies description. Bet that particular task wasn't in her job description!

    Seriously, the list goes on ... and on ... and on. Basically, we thank everyone who was involved in the birth and subsequent delivery to our room at the Mater. Bron tells me Glenda was commenting post-op how we were "quite lucky" ... the team that was on that night, the availability of that particular birthing room, the availability of that particular operating theatre etc. Luck might play a small part ... but the real thanks needs to go to the team at the Mater for their dedication, skills and support.

    Like everyone else, we were subjected to the usual cliches and comments all the way through the pregnancy. I'm here to tell you that what everyone says is absolutely true:

    1. *Nothing* can prepare you for the birth of your first child. No amount of heading, no amount of watching education videos and YouTube clips, no number of discussions with friends who have had children. Every birthing experience is different. Well, maybe not ... after all, our Obe Gyn had done one similar sometime in the last 20 years ...
    2. Your own babies are definitely more beautiful than all the other babies
    3. It's okay, indeed it's absolutely normal, to feel like you're the first man in the world ever to become a father
    4. If you've ever felt uncomfortable picking up or holding someone elses' baby, fear not. Not only will you not need instructions on how to hold and handle your own baby, it will also feel like the most natural thing in the world. In fact, I'd give it 3 minutes before you're convinced that you could run classes.
    5. Go the epidural. Bron says that giving birth to Max was the most enjoyable thing she has EVER done. I tried arguing that making him in the first place might be up there ... but she insists that having the epidural gave her the clear mind she needed to be able to focus on the job of giving birth, and commit every detail of the experience to memory, without having details glazed over by any pain.

    Thanks for sharing my side of the story!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Add Rach75 on Facebook

    Oct 2005
    Moura, QLD, Australia

    wow congrats on the birth of your sons

    so any details size etc apgars scores

  3. #3
    slyder Guest

    A great and 'gripping' read, Wampy.

    Congratulations to you both.

  4. #4
    wampy Guest

    wow congrats on the birth of your sons

    so any details size etc apgars scores
    Hi Rach75,
    Good point, I didn't have those stats up on their site either. I've updated the site, and here's the full stats list:

    Max Thomas Hansen
    Born: November 5 2007, 12:11am
    Natural Birth
    Weight: 5lb 7oz (2480 grams)
    Length: 46cm
    Head Circum: 35cm
    Apgar - 1 minute: 9
    Apgar - 5 minutes: 9

    At Discharge
    AABR1 Left : Pass
    AABR1 Right : Pass
    Weight: 2510 grams

    Riley Paul Hansen
    Born: November 5 2007, 12:38am
    Emergency C-Section
    Weight: 5lb 12oz (2620 grams)
    Length: 48cm
    Head Circum: 35.2cm
    Apgar - 1 minute: 2
    Apgar - 5 minutes: 8

    At Discharge
    AABR1 Left : Pass
    AABR1 Right : Pass
    Weight: 2390 grams

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Add Rach75 on Facebook

    Oct 2005
    Moura, QLD, Australia

    nice sizes for twins

    congrats again.....

  6. #6

    Jun 2007

    congratulations to both you and bron

    always love to get a dads perspective!

    i forgot to say that i was p*ssing myself laughing, especially reading about your ride from thehossy home to get the scan results. great great great story!!
    Last edited by katnap; November 21st, 2007 at 09:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Jul 2005

    what a fabulous read - Congrats on your twin boys

    All the best

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Oct 2006

    Congrats I loved reading this story. You've written it brilliantly and it's great to hear the dads side

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Nov 2007
    Caloundra, Sunshine Coast

    Congratulations! What an excellent story!

    I was in tears and laughing at the same time; pass on congrats to your fantastic wife, what a champion!!

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Sep 2004
    Sydney's Norwest

    WOW, now that's a story to be read.

    A huge congratulations to both you and Bron on an awesome job.

    You told your story so well that I felt like I was in the room watching it.

    Your little men are gorgeous, you have every right to be the proud daddy that you are.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Add Evie76 on Facebook

    Jan 2007

    Far out! What a birth story.

    Congratulations on the eventful birth two healthy sons.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Oct 2006

    This is a brilliant story. Well done to you and your DW. Yes, what great healthy sizes for twins. Congratulations

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Dec 2004

    Wow what a fantastic birth story!


  14. #14
    Registered User

    Jan 2006

    Congratulations on the arrival of your gorgeous twin boys!

  15. #15
    Platinum Subscriber. Love a friend xx

    Jun 2006
    Gold Coast, Australia

    I agree with Trish, it was like actually being there. I think it's the best birth story I've ever read!

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member

    May 2007

    I loved your birth story. It was really well written - I think I felt all your emotions. Thank you for sharing it.

    Congratulation to you and Bron.

  17. #17
    Registered User

    Feb 2007

    I agree with the others, such a well writeen birth story you really made us all feel as if we there. Make sure you print out a copy and put it in a scrapbook for your boys.
    Congratulations to you and your DW, she did an amazing job!

  18. #18
    Registered User

    Nov 2006
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

    Just like everyone else I was both in laughter and tears reading your story.
    It was fantastic to read a dad's perspective on a birth and of twins no less. Mum deserves a medal.

    I wish you and your family all the best for life. You should keep a printed copy of your story for the boys when they are older, it would make a great 21st speech.