Second set of twins. Here we go. My last birth story. I was working as a doula once twins Birdie and Hazel were about 6 months old. I was around pregnant women and birth constantly. I thought I was done with babies after I had my twin girls. I adored them but they were hard work. My husband was definitely finished with having more kids. I then caught the baby having bug bad. I asked Dan for just one more baby. I romanticized about the idea of 1 baby. Dan was convinced we would have twins again. I said “Lighting doesn’t strike twice.” Boy was I wrong! After my twin girls anything seemed easy to me. He wouldn’t budge and I would periodically ask him hoping he’d change his mind. He didn’t but the universe was on my side. We used the rhythm method because I don’t do well with hormone based birth control. Obviously it didn’t prove very effective in this instance. I remember my excitement and feelings of guilt when I got a positive pregnancy test. I knew Dan wasn’t going to have the same level of excitement that I had. For his birthday I gave him the positive pregnancy test wrapped in a box. He was shocked and didn’t really talk about it for a week or two. I guess he needed time to let the news sink in. I was set on a homebirth this time around and decided to once again get checked by my OB before finding a homebirth midwife. I started to google twins twice. What where my chances? 1 in 3000 apparently. I lurked in a few expecting multiples forums online. I guess I had this sixth sense that it might be twins again. Dan already was 100% convinced that we were having twins again. He came with me to the appointment. As soon as my OB started the ultrasound Dan knew what he was looking at. TWINS!!!! We laughed, we cried, and then we were silent. What the hell were we going to do? How would we break the news to my step-daughter Bella? I knew she loved her sisters but wasn’t thrilled with the whole baby thing. Especially twins again. This was the biggest shock of my entire life. It’s hard to even describe the feeling. Everyone got used to the idea eventually. Most people didn’t believe me at first. I remember being nervous right before my 18 week anatomy scan thinking that something was wrong with the babies. I over google things like vanishing twin syndrome and it made my anxiety go through the roof. While riding the train to the hospital a set of teenage twin boys sat across from me with the exact same voice. I had this intense sense of relief wash over me. I knew at that moment even before the ultrasound that my babies were going to be okay and that they were boys. I was right and Dan was thrilled. He was finally going to have a son after 4 daughters. 2 of them! I decided to seek dual care for the duration of the pregnancy. I felt like I was cheating on my OB because I never told her my plan of a homebirth. My midwife was only willing to deliver my twins at home if they were born after 36 weeks. I agreed that this was a good goal to reach in order to proceed with a safe delivery. She was also thrilled that they were di/di (dizygotic (“fraternal”) because they develop from two separate eggs that are fertilized by two separate sperm), which decreases the risks associated with a twin delivery. I reached the 36 week goal and then some. I carried my boys to 39 weeks and 3 days. I was walking around dilated to 5cm for weeks! My OB offered many times to break my water and get the show on the road. I was tempted. But I dreaded delivering in the hospital if it wasn’t medically necessary. I cried everyday for the last few weeks. It was hard carrying those boys so long but worth it. I went into labor around 7am on July 2nd. I woke up and started contracting right away. My mother, aunt, and sister all had spent the night. My sister was actually in town to visit the new babies that I hadn’t given birth to yet because no one thought I would carry them to almost 40 weeks! It worked out perfectly that they were all there. They made the kids some breakfast and brought them to the park while Dan called the midwife. My contractions were hard and fast. I knew that this was going to be a quick labor. I hopped in the shower and let the hot water hit my back. The contractions came with lots of pressure. This labor felt different from my two previous labors. I felt in control and relaxed. I could manage the contractions and I wasn’t running from the pain. I was embracing them and actually enjoying it. I got out of the tub rather quickly and it seemed like my midwife just magically appeared. I labored in my room for a bit and my midwife checked me. I was fully dilated. She asked me to stand because my bag of water was bulging. I stood up and with the next contraction my water broke. It was a huge relief. I decided to lay on the bed to rest between the contractions. I felt like trying to push a little. I was laughing and joking in between contractions. I pushed Luke out at 10:05am. Just 3 short hours after labor began. I remember pushing him out and thinking what a huge relief it was. I quickly remembered that I had to push another baby out. My contractions slowed down a bit and it took a little longer to get my boy Rocco out. He was born in the caul 46 minutes later at 10:51am. I remember saying how easy the birth was right after giving birth. I really enjoyed my birth. I was so happy that I was able to give birth to my sons at home and that they were huge and healthy. Luke was 8 pounds and Rocco was 7.9 oz. They nursed like champs. Soon after I gave birth my girls came back from the park and climbed into bed with me to meet their new brothers. It was so sweet it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I had the perfect birth. I deserved at least one orgasmic birth right? Hah. I am so grateful to my amazing midwife who agreed to stand by my side. I really did not have many people supporting my decision to have a homebirth with twins. She will always hold a special place in my heart. I am so glad I was able to experience the beauty of a calm and peaceful birth.
January 20th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
This is my birth story of my first set of fraternal twins Birdie and Hazel. This was a planned pregnancy that turned out to be the biggest shock of my life. Dan and I decided to try for another baby once Mia turned 2. Dan was hoping for a boy. We got married in March of 2008 and were pregnant in July of the same year. I was extremely blessed to get pregnant so easily. I am very grateful. I really wanted to have a homebirth this time around. I decided to go to my regular OB to get an initial scan of the baby before meeting with a midwife. At 10 weeks I went in and got an ultrasound. To my complete and utter shock we found out we are pregnant with twins. Holy crap! We are still shocked. My OB was doing the ultrasound and I said, “There’s only one right??” Totally kidding. She said, “Oh my gosh there’s 2!” I almost fell onto the floor. Shock turned into excitement. I called Dan and he thought I was pulling his chain. I then became confused about our birth plan. We really don’t have one anymore. We found a homebirth midwife that said she would still deliver me at home but I had some apprehension. I really needed to examine all of my options and all the risks associated with twins. WOW! Reluctantly I gave up on the home birth plan and I decided to deliver in a hospital as naturally and drug free as possible. I went on the hunt for a toughy doula who could be a strong voice in the operating room. Standard procedure is to be in the operating room when delivering twins. I was not too fond of that part. I spoke with my OB and she told us that the doula could be in the laboring room but not the operating room. I decided that Dan would be my primary support person. She also strongly suggested an epidural. I wasn’t even considering it. Now it was strongly recommended if I hoped for a vaginal birth. At 35 weeks I went to my OB and she said that all looked good. Both babies were in the vertex position. She said it might be a few days or weeks. Hard to tell with twins. I was in constant pain from the weight of the babies. I put on 40/50 lbs at this point. Little did I know that I would go into labor a day later. Here’s a picture of me a few days before I gave birth.
I woke up with some cramps. I first thought it might have been the burger that I had for dinner. Dan was convinced that this was not labor. It was around 7am and we were just waking up. The contractions became consistent almost immediately. They were 3 minutes apart right form the get go. I knew we needed to head in to the hospital. I was nervous that it would be as quick as my previous birth with Mia. We headed to the hospital. The experience in a hospital was very different from my previous experience in a birthing center within a hospital. I was checked and admitted. I think I was around 6/7 cm. I got the epidural pretty quickly because they insisted on constant fetal monitoring. I couldn’t move from the bed. I also kept knocking off the monitors while I was contracting. My labor slowed down once I got the epidural. I have a feeling that if I didn’t get it I would have delivered very quickly. I was in labor about 8 hours total so it was still pretty quick. At one point during the labor the OB that was on-call and there to deliver my girls offered a c-section because of their size difference. I declined and said I would only get a c-section in an emergency situation. Once I was fully dilated they wheeled me into the operating room. I pushed for 15 minutes and Birdie came out easily at 3:06pm. The OB applied a little fundal pressure and I pushed out Hazel at 3:12pm. She came out sunny side up. I was able to nurse them right away and they had no health issues being born at 35 weeks and 3 days. Hazel weighed 6.7oz and Birdie was my peanut at 5.8oz. I was in daze for the fist few days. Holy shit I just had twins. I love my girls and was so grateful that they were born vaginally and healthy. I must admit that I hated giving birth in a hospital. My anxiety was high and it contributed to intensifying my labor pains. This experience is what inspired me to become a doula. I knew that birthing twins could be done naturally at home. I didn’t know that I would have a chance to give it go again a few short years later with my second set of twins. Story to follow.
This is the story of Mia’s birth. She was my first baby, first pregnancy, and my first birth. I did have a little experience with kids because of my step-daughter Bella, but I met her when she was 8. I adored Bella and was looking forward to giving her a little sister. Bella was a great and easy kid so I really had no idea what I was in for with a baby. When Dan and I first started to get serious we had the baby talk. He was very content with having his daughter Isabella and had no desire to have any more kids. I agreed that I wasn’t ready either but that I needed to be in a relationship where it could be a possibility in the future. I was in my early 20′s and might change my mind. He agreed and said we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Little did I know we would be crossing it very soon. My close friend Shannon had recently told me that she was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. I then realized that I didn’t remember when my last period was. Shannon was convinced that I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I celebrated with some wine. I didn’t know about false negative pregnancy tests at the time. I took 2 more tests in the next few weeks and the third one came out positive. I was shocked. I might have been the least likely person I knew to have a baby. Majority of my friends agreed. I walked around in a daze for the first few months just trying to digest the news. I started to get excited. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a unmedicated birth. I had read Ina May’s book Spiritual Midwifery when I was a teenager. Mostly because it had cool pictures of long-haired hippie types and my mother was a Bradley childbirth instructor when we were kids. She always had birthing books lying around our house. Natural curiosity I guess. I found a birthing center and hired a doula. My pregnancy was uncomplicated and easy. I did however gain almost 75 pounds. Damn Shannon and her root beer floats. It was nice to have a pregnancy buddy. Shannon and I spent time discussing every detail of our pregnancies and our birth plans. We used the same midwifery practice and chose the same birthing center. Shannon delivered her daughter Genevieve 4 days before me in the same exact room. Kinda crazy. I was 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant when I decided to self induce with castor oil. I made this decision very impulsively and regret that I didn’t wait for labor to start on its own. I took way too much. I went to bed thinking it wasn’t going to work. I woke up around 3 am with strong contraction 2-3 minutes apart. I called my doula and midwife and headed to the birthing center. I was throwing up with my head out of the window the entire ride to the hospital. My husband Dan couldn’t find the entrance to the hospital. I was laboring on my hands and knees on the sidewalk. It was pretty funny looking back. I wasn’t laughing then though. When they checked me in triage I was only 4cm. The midwives want you to be closer to a 5/6 to admit you to the birthing center. While in the triage area I dropped to my knees moaning loudly and the nurses agreed to admit me just in case my labor was progressing quickly. Good thing they did. I hopped in the tub and my doula arrived. She was a newer doula that had only attended 5/6 births. It really didn’t matter though because she had a calming presence. I was moaning very loudly through out the entire process. I didn’t want anyone to touch me and I felt very out of control. I never got a break between contractions. I got out of the tub after a short time and got on the bed. I started to get the urge to bear down. They checked me and I was fully dilated. So I went from 4 cm – 10cm in one hour. They were all shocked. I didn’t even really push either. She was like a Mack truck coming out. Fast and furious. I really thought my legs were going to snap off my body. She came out so fast that her cord snapped in half. It turned out that her cord was shorter than a normal cord. I hemorrhaged a bit and they had to check for retained placenta. That was really painful. The birth was very fast and felt out of control. I think the castor oil may have played a part in that. It may have greased the pipes a little too much. I did however get the natural birth I had wanted. It went so quickly that I couldn’t even think to ask for the drugs. It really helped me as well to be in a birthing center that supported my desire for a unmedicated birth. It was one of the most painful and beautiful experiences of my entire life. I’ll never forget seeing Mia’s little face and sweet eyes for the first time. I will be posting the first set of twins birth story in the next day or two. More birthing stories to come.