Dad takes photo of his newborn twins, but when he saw the photo, there’s nothing like meeting other parents who already have young twins, triplets or more. For finding out what you really need to know, such as what equipment you will need, extra sets of. You may even be able to pick up some useful items. Secondhand, can you have a natural birth with twins? Lots of women think they have to have a cesarean section with twins.
In fact, more than 40% of twin births are vaginal. If you’re planning a vaginal delivery, it’s usually recommended that you have an epidural for pain relief, but you can discuss this with your midwife.
The prospect of birth can be such a daunting one that many parents find it hard to think beyond that miraculous and improbable event. Try to bear in mind that once your babies are here, you’ll be very busy. The time before they arrive is a great opportunity to research some of the practical issues ahead of you.
Reading up on everything from what happens in a multiple birth to twin or triplet sleep routines for a twin mom, I think I have a fairly unique birth story. My twins made their entrance at a planned home birth with a professional midwife. They came at 41 weeks one day and they weighed £15 combined. So many women think they don’t have options when they’re planning their twin’s birth. When I started researching in early pregnancy, all the books said to pretty much expect a C section.
Every doctor I visited and passed by on the street said there was no way I’d go full term. As mothers in an age of information overload, I think we can forget to listen to our intuition, the voice within us telling us what is best for our children and ourselves. My twin birth brought me to my knees in that place and taught me to listen to the voice of peace, the voice of love. But it wasn’t easy. A baby story.
I had a twin home birth with our first Singleton pregnancy. We made the researched decision to birth at home with our trusted midwives. Though our daughter’s labor was 24 hours long and full of twists and turns, we were amazed at the skill and expertise of our team, who patiently and enthusiastically supported us through it all. Sofia was a good sized thing, so when we happily found we were pregnant again, it was a no brainer to return to our midwife. Heather for care at my first prenatal, at a sure of my dates.
Eight weeks. Heather raised her eyebrows while palpitating my uterus and said I felt more like twelve weeks. At twelve weeks, I measured 20. Sure enough, an ultrasound confirmed we were having twins. Does anyone forget that moment?
So much joy, so much terror. Heather asked if I’d like to continue under her care, and my husband and I agreed there was no one we’d trust more. She told me to expect to go to my due date and she counseled me nutritionally to insure it. Did you know twin moms need 130 grams of protein a day? It was hard work, but I tried my best.
Growing two people is no small feat. While the decision to have a home birth seemed straightforward at first, I admit my mind wavered a lot. I felt a lot of social pressure to birth in the hospital. Heather was sending me to a perennithologist regularly for detailed ultrasounds, and though my particular doctor was generally supportive of home birth for low risk moms, he honestly treated me like an idiot for planning to have twins out of hospital. He told us off the bat that half of his patients don’t go past 34 weeks and the rest by 36 weeks.
Heather would only deliver if I went past 37 weeks. He insisted my nutrition had no bearing on the health of the babies or my length of gestation. When baby B turned breach around 32 weeks, our parentatologist really could not fathom our plans to move forward. He asked how our midwife would handle the breech baby and I told him she believed Scout could turn after Toby baby A was born. He scoffed that that would never happen.
I replied that if it didn’t, we felt comfortable delivering the second baby breach, since breach presentation is a variation of normal. In addition, Scout was healthy and consistently measuring £2 smaller than Toby, and I was sure he’d have paved the way for her easy birth. Did I mention I birthed a nine pound, five ounce baby as a first time home? I had this in the bag, and though we passed every biophysical profile and growth scan with flying colors, I always left his office feeling terrible. As a birth doula myself, I’ve worked with a lot of obese around town, many of them supportive of natural birth.
Second guessing my motives and desires, I decided to interview them. None of the doctors believed I would go past 38 weeks, which concerned me. I didn’t want to spend my last days of pregnancy fighting induction that wasn’t medically indicated. I wanted my babies to grow as long as they needed, no matter how uncomfortable I was. And boy was I.
And honestly, I saw having twins as pretty normal. Why was it necessary to labor and birth in the operating room? Why couldn’t I just be wheeled in if needed? Like everyone else, I asked a lot of questions about the delivery of our Breach baby Bee. The doctors neither wanted to break her amniotic sac to speed birth or pull her out by her legs or operate.
I didn’t see that any of that was necessary if things were going well either. It dawned on me that many doctors nowadays aren’t trained for vaginal breach delivery. They’re told to operate. While many midwives had learned all the tricks of the trade from attending many variations of normal birth, 36 weeks was rapidly approaching and I needed to make a decision. My husband and I talked.
We prayed. We researched more and sought trusted friends opinions. I went back and forth, back and forth. Time passed and my belly grew and grew. Early in my pregnancy, I’d heard a quote that must have made its home within me.
There are only two reasons for ever doing anything. One is love and the other is fear, and I think for me. Suddenly I was able to quiet my fears and listen to the voice of love telling me what was the right thing for our family. I knew that Heather was our care provider. She knew us and she knew our babies, and it wasn’t that she needed to usher them in.
My husband was supportive and jumped on board. We finally felt peace. For a moment, I actually forgot I still had another baby to deliver. But the urge to push quickly returned, and Heather did her first cervical check to determine Scout’s position. She felt a bulging bag of waters, but said with surprise that she thought she was feeling ahead.
At 807:00 p.m. In one gentle push, six pound 1oz Scout drifted towards us, headfirst completely enclosed in her bag of waters. She had turned just like we’d hoped. Amazing. Heather gently opened the bag with her hands and little Scout took her first breath before being handed to me.
I know birth is a loaded subject for many women, and I know it can be painful when it doesn’t go as imagined or hoped for. I certainly felt that we needed to be ready for any change of plans, and we were. But I’m so grateful that we took the time and energy to really wrestle with what was important to us and what we knew was important for our babies. I’m thankful we listened to our hearts and went with our gut. I also wanted to mention that we had a plan in the event of complications.
Heather would only be able to deliver our babies if I reached 37 weeks, so that was a big goal for me, not to mention avoiding the NICU. As I prepared for the birth, I wrote up a hospital birth plan in case we needed to move to the hospital at any point. I talked at length with my midwives about any risks of birthing out of hospital. Many complications could be managed at home, but midwives are trained to spot early on those that couldn’t in order to transfer before an emergency. I felt very comfortable with transferring if necessary.
This wasn’t about my pride. We wanted the best for our babies. I did, in fact, hemorrhage after the birth, but I was never frightened because I knew my midwives were ready with all the necessary medicines and IV fluids. It was all resolved beautifully. Twins clubs are also a great place to take any older siblings for a visit to get them used to the idea of two more arriving clubs, usually go out of their way to make expectant parents welcome.
And once your babies are here, they will offer a haven of friendly and understanding company. Find Your Nearest Multiples Club Pregnancy is a good time to think about how you might feed your babies. If you want to breastfeed and lots of multiple mums do, then it can help to attend antenatal classes specifically for twins, triplet or more pregnancies, as they usually have a session on breastfeeding.
Contact us at Twins Trust to find out more about our own Antonatal classes for those pregnant with twins or more. If you’re not sure about the relative merits of bottle feeding breastfeeding or a mixed approach, it can help to talk to other parents who have been there.