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Natural Twin Delivery

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#1 newyearbaby

Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:32 PM

I really wanted to share my story. For anyone who is interested, but especially for those who are pregnant with twins, who desire a natural birth experience. It can be done!

I had previously birthed 2 babies at a midwife run birth centre without any intervention and really desired the same outcome for my last pregnancy. But at a 6 week scan it was revealed that I was carrying twins and was no longer able to deliver at the birth centre as I was classed 'high risk'. So my pregnancy was managed by the hospitals twin clinic instead. At my booking in appointment at 16 weeks I was told that a drug-free delivery was not possible with twins, and to deliver them vaginally, twin 1 would have to be head down. I was devastated and madly started to research twin deliveries. It became apparent to me that as my twins were DCDA they were fairly low risk and if all went well (no complications, head down etc) there should be no reason that I couldn't deliver them drug free.

So my plan at this stage was to work on getting them into a head down position. Once there I could start the discussions with the hospital on birth choices. I started sessions with a chiropractor who specialised in Webster technique. I used this in my previous pregnancies and both these babies had moved head down by 28 weeks, so I thought that 26 weeks was a good goal for having both twins head down. It worked. Twin 1 moved head down first. Then a couple of weeks later twin 2 moved head down (and in doing so, moved twin 1 out of prime position). A scan at 26+5 confirmed they were both head down and twin 2 (now the presenting twin) had already engaged in my pelvis. Yay! They were also measuring weeks ahead so they were running out of room very quickly. By 28 weeks I was as big as I was at full-term with my previous baby and he was 4.130kg so I figured there was little chance of either twin changing position.

At an appointment at 30+5 I saw one of the consultant obstetricians so I figured it was a good opportunity to discuss birth options. After a few questions and answers, I was told that she could guarantee me a vaginal birth, so long as I did it her way. Her way was an epidural at 4cm followed by a syntocinon drip to keep everything progressing quickly. I left thinking that maybe I should just do it their way. I felt deflated and I started to lose the belief in myself to be able to do it. I was tired!

A couple of weeks later I attended an information session about birthing issues for multiples. It was run by the head of high risk obstetrics and it was brilliant. I questioned the epidural and how I was supposed to know when I was at 4cm when I had not turned up to the birth centre before 6cm dilated in my previous labours. He said I wouldn't know and chances are I would be 7cm this time round and it would be too late for me to have an epidural. He then said, "that's okay, if an emergency happens and we have to get one of your babies out quickly, then we'll just sedate you". This is the first time I had heard that said so casually that I actually decided it would be okay to be sedated in an emergency situation. Chances of it happening were extremely small. He also said that the syntocinon could be administered at any point throughout labour so it wasn't necessary to do it from the start. We could just see how things progressed. I left the session feeling invigorated.

I then wrote out my birth preferences. I had decided to use syntocinon to bring on labour for the second twin as I decided that I actually wanted that stage to progress quickly.

At my appointment at 34+5 weeks I had decided to discuss my birth preferences but my wait to see the doctor was so long that I couldn't be bothered. My scan that day had revealed that both babies were measuring nearly 4 weeks ahead and chances are that I would not make it my next antenatal appointment in 2 weeks time. I too had a feeling that I wasn't going to make my next appointment so it really was my last chance to discuss anything. I decided to take my chances and see what happened on the day.

From 35 weeks I started having strong practice contractions nearly every night. At 36 weeks I had a great acupuncture session and felt ready to go into labour. Nothing happened over the next few days though and even the practice contractions disappeared. At 36+4 (the day before my next appointment was due) I went to see my chiropractor and we had a great chat about the impending birth. I left that appointment feeling ready. Within hours I started having strange pains. I didn't realise it but I must have been in pre labour. At 8pm that night my husband left to play squash, and I put the kids in bed. I was really tired and needed to make myself some dinner, but decided to sit down on the lounge for a rest first. At 8.35pm I felt a contraction and instantly knew that it was a real one. The contractions came regularly so at 9.15pm I called my mum to come over to look after the kids. And at 9.35pm I rang my husband to tell him to come straight home (I was feeling pretty proud that I had actually let him finish his squash match).

At 10.30pm my mum arrived and we soon left for the hospital. I rang them from the car. We parked up and I realised that I had forgotten my birth plan on the table. We would have to wing it. On arrival I was allocated a male midwife. He led us to the delivery room and asked me some questions about what I wanted. I told him about my previous deliveries and said I would love the same sort of experience this time round as well. He explained the reason for the hospital protocols and I said that I believed I could do it my way. He said that all sounded fine and went to get the obstetrician on duty. She came in saying that the midwife had explained my choice for having a natural delivery and that she would be fine to try that approach. She would manage the birth and not call the consultant obstetrician unless it became absolutely necessary. She then left the room. I felt so relieved to have a supportive medical team. And I didn't need to argue once.

The midwife then checked me and I was 7cm. Definitely too late for the epidural. My contractions had become irregular so I walked around the room to get them started again. The midwife came back with the monitoring machines and asked me to sit on the bed so he could attach the belts. I was worried that my contractions would stop again and he said that I could walk near the bed easily enough. I did this but found it hard so he suggested I sit on the bed with a large incline and see how it goes. I found this pretty comfortable but my contractions were pretty much non-existent. My husband and I played trivia on the ipad to pass time. A couple of hours later the midwife checked me again and I was 9cm!! Who needs painful contractions?

More time passed. A medical student turned up at some point and I said I was okay for him to watch. I was really bored by this stage. Contractions came and went, some really intense, some pretty pathetic. But somehow I got to 9.5cm. The midwife then massaged my perineum until I was fully stretched. I still had no indication from my body as to what was going on but the midwife told me it was time and he went to get the rest of the team. Several people walked into the room. From memory there was 7 people plus me and my husband. There was my midwife, the medical student, a couple more midwives, the obstetrician and 2 paediatricians. A lot of people but less than I was expecting I guess.

The pressure was on now that everyone was in the room. The midwife talked me through the pushing stage of the first twin. My body still wasn't talking to me so I just went with his lead. It took a long time to get to the crowning stage, but once we were there, it was only two more contractions and Alfred was born. It was 3.54am. He was lifted straight on to my chest. I felt my second twin engage in my pelvis straight away. I had been willing to use syntocinon to re-establish labour for the 2nd delivery, but the midwife didn't bother. Within a few minutes, he told me to push again. I expected at this stage that I would want to hand Alfred over to his dad but I decided to hold on to him. Again I followed the midwife's lead as I couldn't feel the contractions. Within 2 contractions my second twin, George was born. It was 4.03am. He too was lifted onto my chest. It was a bizarre feeling to birth a baby with one already in my arms. I held both my babies whilst the midwife checked my bleeding. It was minimal and I had no grazes or tears. At this stage I was put on a syntocinon drip to re-contract my uterus. I just lay there in awe of what had just happened. The medical student said thank you and told me I was the perfect advocate for natural childbirth. That is the best thing anyone has ever said to me.

Alfred was 48cm long and 2.88kg and George was 49cm long and 3.125kg. They are extremely fraternal. They look completely different and are complete opposites in every way.

My first son was a hard labour but an easy birth. My second son was an easy labour but a hard birth. My twins were an easy labour and an easy birth. It seems to good to be true, but I think it helped that they were babies 3 & 4. And I certainly couldn't have asked for a better and more in control midwife.

I believe they put too much pressure on women pregnant with twins to conform to their norms 'in case' something happens. But if everything is looking pretty good for a normal delivery, then I say go for it and see what happens. I am very glad I did. Hopefully it can work out for you too.

#2 hollyanne

Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:56 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your story!! I'm not having twins but have the same attitude of "try...and see what happens."  And have been lucky enough to have great midwives with each of my previous births. Such an amazing thing when you get the right support!
Best of luck with adjusting to life as a family of 6!!

#3 *mylittleprince*

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:09 PM

Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful boys and thanks so much for sharing your story. It is very positive and encouraging!

#4 SoTired

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:14 PM

I was really looking forward to reading this, nyb and it is such a relief that there are other ladies out there who have delivered twins completely naturally. I know i am going to have a fight on my hands with out twins but this has spurred me on quite a bit!!

Congratulations and keep us posted with how Alfred and George are going!

#5 jimbobmel

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

What a wonderful birth story original.gif Congratulations to you & your family on the birth of the twins.

#6 longlegEd

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:23 PM

Like, like, like!!A beautiful birth story. Glad you had such a satisfying experience and 2 wonderful boys to take home:)

#7 Madeline's Mum

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:23 PM

What an amazing birth, good on you for making educated and informed decisions on your impending birth, what an inspiration!

Enjoy your twins original.gif

#8 CherrySunday

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:27 PM

What a wonderful birth! Thanks for sharing & congratulations!

#9 Bam1

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:27 PM

Congratulations and your story should encourage others to go outside the strict norm with 'low' risk twin births.

I also had a natural twin birth without an epidural, I actually wanted one but gave birth too quickly for it to happen. I'm not sure what my doctor would have said if I went in with the intention of not having one though but I do know he was very supportive of the natural birth and a cesarian was never really brought up as an option.  I was very lucky to have both twins head down and no complications.

#10 sakura73

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:28 PM

I love the names Alfred and George! Congratulations on your 4 beautiful boys.

#11 Guest_tuitui_*

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

Congratulations on your boys! totally inspiring birth story!

#12 briandrea

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:36 PM

I think preparation is key in any labour and your story certainly proves that! How incredibly inspirational.

Congratulations on the birth of Alfred and George! I am sure they will love hearing their birth story in years to come original.gif

#13 *molly*

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:40 PM

what a wonderful story, thank you so much! and congratulations on your beautiful babies original.gif

#14 Zavesmum

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:54 PM

Thank you for sharing your birth story, good luck with the rest of your parenting journey.

#15 lady lady

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:55 PM

LOVE LOVE LOVE your birth story!!

#16 renmaro

Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:06 PM

Massive congratulations NYB! I'm so pleased you achieved the birth you worked for. Well done!

Welcome Alfred and George! I love your names.

#17 three 4 me

Posted 04 April 2014 - 01:11 PM

Thank you for sharing your story! What an amazing birth story x 2 :)

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