There was about 3 hours where nothing happened as I laid there upside down. Heartbeats are still good. We might all survive this.
K and I discussed how I would probably be on complete and total bedrest from this point out. From the beginning, I had been asking what the odds of that were. And I think everyone interpreted my interest in the subject as me wanting to be a lazy little princess with my every whim catered to. But now I think K finally understood that my desire for it was so I would be completely monitored 24/7 and nothing would happen to the girls that couldn't be fixed.
There was some joking during this time. I could tell that K had been praying. I was raised without specific religion (though a generically Christian values household) and he was raised Catholic but had decided years ago that the god of the Catholic church wasn't really the god for him. So I teased him a little bit about finding God again. And we joked about how K had better keep chapstick in his pockets for the duration of the pregnancy.
***Warning, graphic content ahead***
Then I started realizing that there was a cough coming, and I wasn't going to be able to control how deep it went. I had been asking for a cough suppressant the whole time, but I'm not certain they ever gave me one. Knowing it was coming, I asked either K or the nurse to cup their hand over the sack to prevent it from pushing out when I finally did cough. Obviously, it was up to the nurse to do that and thank everything that it wasn't K. I'm so glad he does not have the tactile memory of what followed.
I held back as long as I could, to the point that I was choking. And then I coughed.
There was a very loud *pop* and I felt the sack explode on my right thigh and fluid everywhere. And I felt the nurses hand jerk away. Just to be clear and to understand that she did exactly what I asked her to do, her hand jerked microseconds AFTER the pop.
And I started screaming "That was it! That was the point of no return! I just killed our babies!" And I just kept screaming variations of those three thoughts as everyone was suddenly in my face trying to convince me that I didn't do anything. K was crying and he and the nurse were both holding me tight and trying to tell me how the cough didn't do anything. The sack was so thin that if that little amount of pressure could pop it, there's no way it would have remained in tact no matter how still I had been.
It hadn't even occurred to me that my water would break. I was thinking that it would push completely out of my body. So the shock of it bursting just hit me. Hit isn't a strong enough word. Punched? Sledgehammered? No word is strong enough for the impact of that shock.
There's brain knowledge, and there's emotional knowledge. My brain understands that there was nothing I could do to prevent my water breaking at some point during that night. But my emotional knowledge keeps countering that argument with no matter how much you examine it and look at it, it burst in response to a physical action that I didn't have enough willpower to stop.
And my mind just kept seeing my little girl slowly choking to death as her fluid drained away. And there was nothing we could do about it, we just had to know it was happening. Even with my lack of medical knowledge, I was fully aware of the fact that there was no magical procedure that could create a new sack for her to live in.
And just to make it worse, I identified the dieing twin as Christina. For some reason, I imagine Charlotte as the big sister, and Christina as the little sister. I know they are just arbitrary names and they weren't even assigned to a specific baby yet, but for some fucking reason, it wasn't Twin A that was lost and Twin B still in a sack, it was Christina that was lost and Charlotte still inside.
And then it all got calm again. We cried, but nothing else was happening. I wasn't in any pain, I was actually physically very comfortable. And that just made it even worse. If she was slowly dieing, why couldn't I at least suffer along with her?
The nurse examined the fluid and told me that there were green specs in it. This told her that the baby had already been responding to the infection and had pooped in the water. I don't remember at what point I had been told that this was all due to an infection. The fact that Christina had pooped in her water meant that she had been inevitably lost for quite some time. Hours? Days? We don't know.