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I am so happy to announce that I was able to have a successful, natural hospital birth for my twins, David and Isabella. For a little background: I was having trouble with one of the OBs at the practice, jumping right to the idea of a c-section because Baby B was “oblique” according to their definition (but definitely still head down). My next appointment with a different doc went better, and though no ultrasound that day to verify position, he agreed that a vaginal birth would be an option and not to worry about positioning because it could change the day I go into the hospital or during birthing. He made sure my next appointment would be with a doc who wasn’t going to immediately suggest a c-section, but also not get my hopes to high. So that brought me to my next appointment. I had a sono which showed both babes head down and quite cramped! The tech had a hard time getting measurements, but determined they were still both growing well and fluid levels were great.
I then went to my visit with the OB. I had seen this one a couple times and was pretty happy with everything he had to say. He did the swab for GBS and then checked for dilation. 2cm. I found that interesting, since 3 days before my first daughter’s birthing time I was 0cm. We then went to his office for a chit chat about birth options. He was completely open to vaginal delivery since they were both head down. He personally was experienced and willing to do a breech extraction if it were needed. He explained to me and my husband how things would work if it came to that and recommended (but would not “require”) an epidural just in case he needed to do that, since it would be very uncomfortable. I asked about just placing the catheter and not administering the medicine and he said that would be okay with him, though he thought I was crazy for wanting to do this natural. The last thing he mentioned was that the sono was showing the babies’ bellies being smaller than their heads, which apparently is not good. He said if I did not go into labor on my own by the time I reached 38 weeks (I was almost 37 at this appointment), and he thought I wouldn’t, that we would induce. We would make sure to schedule it for a day that he was on-call. I was okay with this, mostly because I thought my birthing time was going to start that weekend anyway (it was Friday). Anyway, I was very happy with how my appointment went, especially compared to the previous one.
That night, I went to bed happy and confident and READY. Good thing, because around 5am I felt this weird popping in my belly. I thought to myself, “I wonder if my water broke.” I did not feel anything. I thought I would just say there for a while and see how things went. But then I started thinking. **BOP** What if that popping was more than just the sac breaking? What if something is wrong? I didn’t feel that with my first when my water broke. I imagined going to the bathroom and finding blood. I decided I should get up and check. I stood up. No liquid pouring out. I got to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and fluid came pouring out. There was so much, I didn’t know if I was peeing or if it was fluid or both. I saw a little pink in my panty liner, which didn’t alarm me. I got up, turned around, and as I had feared, the water in the toilet was red. I put in a new pantyliner and decided to go downstairs to call the on-call OB so I wouldn’t wake my husband. I got about 3 steps down the stairs and felt another huge gush of fluid. I wasn’t going to make it with just the panty liner in! I went back into the bathroom. Still a lot of blood in the fluid. This worried me, as with my first it was clear, and everything the docs tell you and everything you read says amniotic fluid should be clear. I woke up my husband; we got our things together and headed to the hospital. **End BOP** I called the OB on the way to let her know the situation and that we were on our way in. She did not seem concerned but we got there as quickly as possible.
When we got to the hospital shortly after 5:30am we were brought right into an L&D room. The nurse had me change into a gown. The OB came in, checked my dilation (3.5 to 4cm) and the fluid. She said the blood was probably just from the cervix dilating. Probably?! She did a sono and determined both babes were still head down and we could go ahead with the NCB plan. Everything looked good, so she restated her thought that the blood was just from the cervix, especially since it was in the fluid and not straight blood. What a relief to hear that nothing was wrong, but I had then wished I had stayed at home!
The nurse hooked me up to the monitors. Everything was looking good with the heartbeats. She then asked me if I was feeling the contractions. I said no. She was surprised because I was contracting every minute. I thought, wow this is going to be fast then! Then it was time to get the IV catheter in. Since they had only done the GBS swab the day before, there were no results available yet (which was why I had wanted to do it the appointment before, but oh well) and I was going to have to have the antibiotics just in case. I used my light switch and directing anesthesia for the three attempts to get the IV in. After this, I listened to my Birthing Day Affirmations and some music I had selected for my birthing time.
Two hours after we arrived, the shifts changed. We were assigned the most wonderful nurse anyone doing NCB could ask for. She mentioned many different things we could try if we wanted – birthing ball, bath tub/shower, she could even perform Reiki! I had my husband give her our birth plan and the goodie basket I had prepared (she was so shocked and appreciative).
She looked through our plan and papers and saw the Hypnobabies sign for the door and immediately asked if she could tape it up. She occasionally came in to fix the monitors, but otherwise tried to leave us alone. Even better news: the next doc to come on-call was the one we had seen in the office the day before. What luck! When he came in to check on me, he mentioned that as long as everything went well and stayed that way, I would be able to deliver in the room and not the OR. I was thrilled!
It wasn’t long before it was time to start the antibiotics. The nurse explained that she was also putting in fluids to help dilute the penicillin since it can have a burning feeling and that once it was done she would not continue it. I could tell she had actually read through our birth plan and she was trying to respect it and make sure we understood she was not ignoring it, that the fluids were just for comfort. Once the penicillin started, I was very appreciative of the dilution. During this time, I decided to stay in the bed. I had to angle my hand just right in order to keep the drip going, so it was easier to keep an eye on it sitting up in the bed. I listened to the Easy First Stage script.
Once the antibiotics were done I decided it was time to get out of the bed and get on the ball to get things rolling. With every pressure wave, I allowed it to take over and open, open, open. If I ever tightened up my muscles, I would notice it almost immediately because of how different the PW felt – much more uncomfortable – and I would just loosen up and imagine my cervix opening. I started feeling the pressure in my back so I had my husband massage it for me.
After having to adjust the monitors several times, the nurse was able to convince my OB to agree to take me off them for a while. After being on the ball a while longer, I decided to get up and walk around. I think the gravity helped, but it was much harder for me to concentrate on the PWs while standing.
Before I knew it, it was time for another dose of penicillin. Four hours had passed already. Around this time, the pressure waves started to become much stronger. My OB came in to check on how things were going. He was asking me about how much pain I was in, to try and get an idea of how things were progressing. He began talking about something and I found myself turning my light switch off. He stood there to watch, but I remember him talking to my husband joking about how some patients find it a good thing that he will let them do NCB. But the bad part is, he will let them do NCB. I wasn’t finding it very funny while I was trying to focus! He left, but it wasn’t long after that the PWs were getting much stronger. The nurse asked me if I was feeling any pressure. Told her I could feel the pressure moving downward, but I was not feeling pushy yet. She called the OB to come check me quickly.
I had my headphones on, so I thought I heard him say I was 5cm. Later, my husband told me he said 5, 6, 7. Which was it? Doesn’t really matter. He suspected it wouldn’t be too much longer. He was about to go perform a c-section, would be done in 20 minutes, and then would be back.
**BOP** At this point, the PWs were really hard to focus through. I felt like I was losing control. The pain in my back was very strong and I was shaking throughout the waves. I kept telling my husband this because I wanted him to massage, apply pressure, do something! The nurse at this point was busy trying to get everything in the room set up since I would be delivering there. I think I only had about 4 or 5 of these PWs, and then I got this sudden feeling like I could rest for a minute. And then I felt like I was going to be sick. The nurse grabbed a bag and handed it to my husband and I vomited. He commented on how well the popsicles I ate kept their color. Another very un-funny moment.
I began to heave again but then started to push involuntarily. The nurse asked if I was pushing, since I was letting out a big grunt. She checked me and could feel the baby’s head. She sent another nurse to get the OB. He was not done with his procedure and I was going to have to breathe through the urges to push. Once he got in the room, he got my feet into stirrups. I thought “oh no, this isn’t how I want to push!” And I told my husband. He was never very supportive of Hypnobabies or anything that wasn’t procedural for the docs or hospital, so I knew I wouldn’t have him to help me on this one.
I eventually decided to just go with it so the doc could have a better chance of maneuvering the second baby into the pelvis. At least I was sitting reclined and not flat on my back. With that, I just let my body do what it felt was right. In between pushes, the OB’s cell rings. He answers it, I hear him telling a patient how long to wait before coming in, and then I start to push again and the nurse yells at him and he says something to the person on the phone and then hangs up. It must have been the same person calling back because very soon after his darn phone rings again. This time a nurse answers, tells the person that the doctor is busy and will call back ASAP. All this time, my first baby is on his way out.
Thankfully, there was no coaching or counting involved during pushing. I was so focused and it came so quickly, I never listened to the Pushing Baby Out script. I just listened to my body. I would bear down and let out a grunt several times during a PW. At one time I even let out a roar. But as many others have described it, it was not out of pain, but of exertion. As the baby was crowning, the OB started to try to guide me a little bit. “Another good push… give me a little push… good.” At this point it was actually helpful. And he told me when I needed to stop so he could unwrap the cord from around my first baby’s neck. And then it was okay to push again. **End BOP**
The next thing I knew, I had a little boy on my chest. He was quiet for several seconds, then let out a little wail. Then he was quiet. He just opened his eyes and looked at me, blinking. As this was happening, starting from the very moment he was plopped on my chest, I immediately felt the urge to push again.
The OB promptly had his hands in there trying to guide my little girl’s head down into my pelvis so she would not turn into a transverse or breech position. Once she was in proper position, they had my husband cut the cord of our first baby and he was taken over to a warmer while his sister made her entrance. The OB ruptured the sac and after a few short pushes and some more grunting, a little girl found her way onto my chest. The nurses commented, “Another big baby!” They were surprised to see twins of such healthy weight considering my small size and that they were born at 37 weeks. They were both in great health and no need for the NICU; they had Apgar scores of 8 and 9 (boy) and 9 and 9 (girl).
So here are the stats:
David Robert, born August 21, 1:50pm, 5lb 12oz
Isabella Caroline, born August 21, 1:54pm, 5lb 8oz
I am so happy I was able to have a wonderful, NATURAL hospital birthing experience with twins!! And I know it was because of Hypnobabies. My first birth was not a Hypnobabies birth and it did not take long to give in to the offers for pain relief. Interestingly, both birth experiences, in terms of length, were very similar. First birth: began with water breaking at 5:05pm, daughter born at 2:07am. Just over 9 hours. Second/third births: began with water breaking approx 5am, babies born just before 2pm. Just under 9 hours. Even the times were similar, just a difference in am vs. pm. But the two experiences as a whole were entirely different. It was absolutely amazing to be so in tune with my body and to let it do what it was made to do without anything interfering. I am very excited to be able to start recommending the Hypnobabies program to other people I know. Thank you all for your support!