I know what I'm talking about here. Two and a half years ago I tried to have my first baby "naturally" and she just wouldn't come out. Labor failed to progress.
Four months ago I experienced the same thing. After about twelve hours of what I felt were fairly uncomfortable contractions, the midwife and doctor told me again that labor wasn't progressing and we needed stronger contractions. My mind said, "Uuhhh, stronger?" My head nodded and my mouth smiled and said, "Okay." A few hours later we hadn't come very far (a centimeter?) and decided on an epidural. A few hours after that I had a fever of 40° C (104° F) and the doctor said, "Okay, let's take them out." So much for natural.
Not long after that I was lying on the operating table looking over at the two babies they had surgically removed from my body. Neither was moving or crying and they were pumping air into the first one and bouncing the other around. The first one had blue feet. I thought, "Yeah, blue is not right." But I had a high fever and was numb from the waist down, what could I do? After a few minutes they put the little girl on my chest so my attention was focussed on her. She seemed okay to me. But then they were both taken to children's intensive care and I went to operative intensive care because we all had an infection of some sort and they weren't breathing properly.
They let me go to the maternity ward later that day but the babies stayed in intensive care for two and a half weeks. Not because they were too small or too young like many twins; they were each three kilos and it was two days before the due date. Because they got sick in the womb. He breathed some baby shit [meconium] and needed a while to get it all out and get his lungs in shape. She needed a little care but mostly stayed because he stayed.
I was wheeled down to them the first few days and sauntered over the next few to bring pumped milk and visit for minutes or hours, depending on the state of things there. Then I moved into a room near the ward for a week and a half to easily visit and nurse. And bond, assumably.
But it was very difficult to find my place in their lives there. The nurses are the moms, making the decisions and giving the care. Like I said, I nursed. And not always. Half of the time they were fed before I got there. And nights were incredibly difficult since they were uneasy at night, eating often and not sleeping well, and I was so tired from the last months of twin pregnancy and the 24 hours of labor (not to mention the subsequent illness) that I fell asleep some nights at 7:30 and let them feed them until early morning.
Now four months later we're a big mostly happy family at home. One baby has slept through the night several times, the other sleeps in at least three hour intervals. We nursed well for two months. Then I got lazy (honestly nursing twins is not the picnic that it is with one baby...but more on that in another post) and now they're getting mostly industrial milk and some breast milk.
They smile and laugh. They kick and grab and roll. They only cry when they're hungry and when they're frustrated. They are good, happy babies. In spite of all the "unnatural" influences and the intervention of modern medicine.