I’m delighted to be sharing Katie’s doubly exciting birth story of twins! About 75% of twins are born via c-section but more and more women, like Katie, are desiring a vaginal birth. Finding a doctor who will be supportive can be challenging. Once that hurdle is over, giving birth vaginally to twins is quite a different experience in the hospital compared to giving birth to one baby. Labor occurs in a comfortable labor and delivery room but the birth of the babies almost always takes place in a sterile operating room. It’s a big decision and it’s not for everyone but new research is coming out supporting a mother’s desire to have a vaginal birth with twins. This is Katie’s birth story…
I went in for induction on Monday night, they put in the Cervadil at 8:30 pm. By 3am I was cramping and crabby because my monitors would *not* stay in place on my stomach as I was sleeping, so I got no actual rest. By 5am I was having mild contractions, but the Cervadil stayed in until 7:30 when I was 3cm, then I took a shower and got ready for birth.
They placed my epidural at 8… I had edema so it was incredibly difficult- it took him 35 minutes and a call for backup. I was having contractions throughout and it sucked. My Mom was there to hold me in place and try to keep me calm. It was only about 80% effective and left a window of pain that just so happened to overlap my pulled muscle (yay) they decided to supplement with fentonal instead of trying again.
I got to stay in my nice room for a few hours, where I discovered that I completely forgot everything I thought myself about pain management. My Mom (who had my sister unmedicated) and husband were amazing through that. They kept me calm and laughing between contractions, and reminded me to breath through the contractions.
At 1:15, the head nurse looked and gave me amazing news- I hit 9 cm, it was almost time! They had me pick who would come in to the OR with me (I could only bring one person) and so my husband changed into scrubs. Seeing him like that made it all so real to me and I got really scared. Suddenly, I didn’t want to do this anymore, not at all, I was convinced I wanted to be knocked out and have a c-section. I told my Mom I was scared, really scared. She took my hand and told me it was too late for that and that I would be fine. I didn’t believe her but it helped and we transferred to the OR at 1:35 PM when I had hit 9 3/4 cm dilated…
When we got into the room, they had me fight pushing for about 40 minutes (I was still not at 10cm). I still had my anterior lip, so they were hoping that it would go away with a few more contractions. I kept telling them I wanted to push through each contraction. They kept repeating that it wasn’t time yet (and a few times I said my body disagrees) It didn’t seem to be going away, so the nurse had me start pushing, keeping me on the hospital bed rather than the OR bed. I found out afterwords that the nurse thought I would try pushing once and decide to wait until I hit 10 cm. Instead, I let my body do the work, and found that my instincts were amazing.
I had practiced my breathing, I had practiced the best way to “bear down” in various positions. In the end, my instincts changed all of that. My body told me to talk through contractions when I didn’t want to push and to breathe and do crunches when it was time to push. I was holding my husband’s hand with my left hand, and a nurses hand with my right, curling in to a ball (and taking the nurse with me the first time… she wasn’t expecting it)
After one set of pushes, they had me transfer over to the other bed. By the 3rd set they were telling me I needed to stop pushing because Caleb was almost out and the doctor wasn’t at my feet. They got him in quickly, and I pushed through two more contractions and he was born. He didn’t cry, it was incredibly scary, but the nurses assured me he was breathing, he just didn’t want to cry! They did a wellness check and handed him to me, and I was holding my little man Caleb Christopher (2:25 pm 6 lb 1 oz)
My contractions stopped for about 15 minutes. They let me hold Caleb the whole time until I felt my contractions start-up again then I handed him off. I was only pushing for 15 minutes, then my Big Boy John Marshall (2:55 pm 6 lb 11 oz) was born. He cried right away, and after a quick wellness check, my husband held him and handed him off to me. My husband followed them to the recovery room while I got stitched up (second degree tear nothing too bad) When I went to recovery, I had my extra IV port removed and got to feed my boys.
I was in my room by 4PM and my boys didn’t need any NICU time! I was on my feet by 7pm, and had my primary IV port removed.
We were all healthy and got to go home on Thursday. My parents spent the night so we could get one last full nights sleep!
Twin Mama Resources
- The Happiest Baby on the Block (Not specifically twin related but it is AMAZING. It talks about going back to old ways based on the motherly intuition we tend to ignore.)
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins
- Dad’s Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare for Your Twins
- Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More! (La Leche League International Book)
- My biggest tip in the end: Find a local twins club. The other moms were and still are my best resource!