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Positive Birth Stories are here to revolutionize the way we look at birth (and change the world 🙂 )! Fear and stress associated to birth are one of the main reason why women don’t manage to achieve a joyful birth experience. And it doesn’t have to be that way! Here’s Kim’s Positive and Natural Twins Birth Story, perfect to read if you are expecting twins.
You can read more about Positive Birth Stories here. Or head to my birth story: How I had a natural and pain free birth thanks to hypnobirthing.
If you’d like to share your own birth story, I’d love to hear from you! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim’s Natural Twins Birth Story
Ali and Sam’s birth story doesn’t start out with a ton of excitement. Once I hit 35 weeks in my twin pregnancy discussions of when to induce began.
Honestly, I didn’t want to be induced. I’ve heard that being induced makes birth harder, and of course, I have heard that as soon as you start adding interventions you get closer to a c-section.
The big concern with identical twins is that they share a placenta. The reason babies are induced if they go too far past their due date is that the placenta starts to lose optimal function. With two babies and one placenta obviously the placenta feels this strain earlier. So we knew induction was a possibility the whole time I was expecting twins.
My doctors and I went back and forth about when to induce a couple of times. I wanted it pushed back as far as possible to give the girls the most time in the womb as possible. I wanted to make sure their lungs were developed enough. I wanted to make sure they could swallow and eat on their own.
Overall, I just wanted to make sure they were ready for life on the outside. Understandably my doctors wanted to get the girls out before any problems could arise. Fortunately, my doctor was pretty understanding of my concerns and talked to me about the idea of inducing when we did.
Pat and I discussed it, and we decided to go for it at about 36 and a half weeks. We could have waited another week, but the risks to the girls outweighed any benefits of waiting longer. While it seems like the girls were early compared to a single baby, they were basically a few days before the actual full term time period. That sounded perfect to us.
We took our son Ben over to Meo and Omi’s house the night before the induction. We all had dinner together and Pat and I were able to put him to bed there. The next morning Pat and I got up early to head over to the hospital. Unfortunately for Pat, he did not get to experience the rush of getting us to the hospital quickly. It was a nice quiet morning. I missed Ben, but it was way easier on him and Meo and Omi to already be at their house. We checked into the hospital and got ready to get things going!
Everything actually got started a lot sooner than I thought it would. I was group B positive, so we started the antibiotics right away. Group B isn’t a big deal as long as you can get the penicillin prior to delivery. The IV penicillin can sometimes burn for some people as it is delivered, and sadly I am one of those people. We ended up having to wait a long time for the full dose to keep it from hurting. Pat and I didn’t mind though, it was better than having my arm on fire while it was given.
Pat and I just kind of chilled and watched morning tv while this was going on. A nice part about being induced was that we were both reasonably well-rested.
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Once the antibiotic was done they started off the Pitocin. I was worried about that part. I heard it makes contractions super hard and makes them come super fast. I was pleasantly surprised when, well, I didn’t really feel anything.
Pat and I continued to kind of just hang out. They had to monitor the twins the whole time, which was kind of annoying. You would think for how full my belly was with baby it would be easy to keep tabs on the two of them. Not so. Any time they moved the monitors had to be adjusted.
The monitors meant I had to stay in bed, so again it was actually kind of boring. My mom came in the room to hang out with us a bit. That was nice because Pat was able to go get some lunch. Yes, we had hit the afternoon by this point. It was nice to have my mom there to hang out and talk with. Daytime tv is not exciting, so there wasn’t anything good to watch.
While Pat was grabbing some food my doctor decided to break the first water to really get things moving. That’s when things started kind of happening I bit. Contractions started, but weren’t too bad yet. It was actually good to feel things happening.
After Pat made it back to the room things started picking up a bit. My mom nicely headed out to the waiting room to let Pat and I proceed alone. Contractions started really coming a little after 1.
Fortunately relaxing through them was a bit easier for me than it was with Ben. I’m not sure if this was because I had been through labor before and knew what to expect, or because the time was shorter, or just because I had built up how painful it would be to undergo induction that I thought it would be worse than it was. But it really wasn’t too bad.
Pat was very helpful during the hard contractions though. I don’t like to be touched during them, but I want him right next to me. So poor guy has to kind of stand there because I want him right there. He was able to talk to me while I had a few seconds between contractions. He also helped keep me cool as I got really hot during this time.
After a little bit, I did get some of the iv painkillers. Unfortunately for me I waited too long to ask for them and only got a half dose. It was still nice though. They don’t stop the pain really, but they do make you care about it less. And they really helped me not bear down on contractions, which can cause problems.
I didn’t have an epidural for the girls. That was a bit of a discussion with my doctor as well. With twins the chances of needing a c-section rise dramatically. Generally, they want you to get the epidural so if needed they can just get right to a c-section if needed and you can be awake for it. Without the epidural I would be knocked out completely if an emergency arose. That would mean I wouldn’t see the babies right away, and it would mean that Pat wouldn’t be allowed in the room while they were born. Pat and I had a few conversations about this, and he was very supportive of my decision. The girls were both head down and I was reasonably confident things would work out.
After the anesthesiologist introduced himself several other people came in the room. My doctor was there of course, along with another doctor from the practice to be ready just in case, well, in case two were needed I guess.
Each baby had a nurse ready to go as well. I was supposed to deliver in an operating room. This is normal for most twin births these days. Pat got to dress in a super cute coverall outfit to go in with me. Sadly we did not get a picture of him wearing it. I wanted to, but was really in no condition to take a picture. Plus, as we were getting all set to wheel to the OR things got interesting.
It Gets Exciting
They just started to wheel me towards the OR. I remember not liking the movement of the bed. I was already nauseated, plus you know, in labor. And then I felt it. Yes, someone was coming, right then.
I yelled out that something was happening. The nurses told me not to push, to ‘blow out the candle.’ I remember learning about this when we took our birth classes with Ben. I understand that sometimes you need to not push. For instance, if the cord is wrapped or something, it gives the doctor a chance to undo it before pushing puts too much tension on it.
In this case, there was also the issue that the doctors weren’t in the room.
My doctor had gone to prep in the OR. Fortunately, the other doctor who was going to be there was just out in the hall. Because no matter how much sense not pushing makes when you think about it with a logical mind, my body had other ideas.
Alison was coming at that moment.
Baby A is Born
And she did! Seriously, she came out so quickly. (I think Pat didn’t even see it!) The whole vibe of the room shifted. Instead of moving to the OR they pushed me back and we just went for it right in the labor and delivery room.
Alison was perfect and wonderful. She cried out and I got to hold her. Pat cut the cord and we had our first little girl out.
It became pretty clear though that baby B had to get out too. Like, now or it was going to be a c-section.
This isn’t that uncommon in twins I’ve been told. The first comes out and it causes major changes to the womb set up, which causes baby B to have some problems. Well, I didn’t make it that far to just get a c-section so we were getting my other baby out.
I still had Alison on my chest, so I called out for a nurse to take her. (Seriously, I was worried I would drop her, or squish her somehow.) By this point, my doctor had arrived. She quickly broke the other water and told me to push. Pat helped hold my head and I pushed to get my other daughter out.
Baby B is Born
Four minutes after Ali joined us Samantha was born. She too was perfect and wonderful. Pat cut the cord, and I got to hold her.
Both girls were healthy and ready to be in the world. That was a concern we had with inducing. But we didn’t need to be worried. Both got 9s on their Apgar. Alison was 5 pounds 11 ounces, and Samantha was 5 pounds 12 ounces. They were actually only 30 grams apart. Both were 19 inches long. Because they were born a little early, they had their blood sugars checked right away.
I wanted to nurse as soon as possible, so the nurses helped me try to get the girls eating. They both latched on right away. I was so relieved to feel them both sucking. I was very worried they would have a hard time eating, but no. They were able to breathe, eat, and do everything just right. I know we made the right call in having them when we did.
To read the whole natural twins birth story, you can head to Kim’s website Team Cartwright.
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