Currently, I am 36 weeks pregnant with twins. The last trimester of this particular pregnancy has been filled with a lot of emotional ups and downs, along with a flood of anxiety about how the birth of my beautiful babies is going to occur.
If you have been following our weekly updates, you may know about our “situation” regarding the position of our twins and the assumed birthing practices that go a long with it. If not, I’ll catch you up quickly:)
At about 31 weeks or so, our Baby A (Annabelle) flipped to a breech position. From the beginning, our OB had said that she would deliver the twins vaginally no matter what position or Baby B (Oliver) was in, as long as the lowest twin was head down. It almost never even crossed my mind because my first two births were always head down, no issue.
It almost seemed like the instant she flipped the “wrong” way, my OB immediately went to scheduling a C-Section. While I do like our OB as a person, this did not sit well with me. It began a flood of anxiety and panic surrounding the fact that I may not have a natural birth or be all but forced to have a C-Section.
I have very passionate feelings about my own right to choose how I birth my own children.
Right to Have a Choice in Birth
There are plenty that will say there are risks involved with delivering a breech baby, especially when it involves a multiples birth. But, there are PLENTY of risks involved with having a Caesarean as well, so that argument does not persuade me in the least.
My belief in and desire to have a natural labor and delivery stems from my mother, who birthed 10 children naturally. I was a breech baby myself. I have also delivered two perfectly healthy little girls naturally and basically unassisted in the hospital.
I know what my body is and is not capable of doing.
I don’t understand why having a c-section comes into play so quickly, when women have been birthing their babies naturally for so long. It seems like for whatever reason, women are pushed into making decisions when they are in the hospital out of the fear factor… the “this could go wrong and it would be your fault for not making a better decision” argument.
Again, that argument does not sit well with me.
I believe in a women’s right to be empowered through her laboring and birthing choices. If she wants drugs, give her the drugs! If she decides a C-Section is what’s best, then it’s best for her. If there is an emergency, thank goodness for the lengths that can be taken. If she wants to have her baby without any assistance, medication, or interventions, then LET HER DO IT!
I have spent so much time reading and becoming educated enough to make informed decisions about my own birth. Hours have been spent researching, reading, watching, and learning about all of the various factors surrounding my own type of birth; breech twins, risks of delivering breech, risks in c-sections, actual videos of a c-sections… the list goes on and on.
When I was told that I “had to” have a c-section, I realized that I did not HAVE to do anything if it was not medically necessary. Babies can still be born breech and be just fine. There are so many factors that come into play on either side, vaginal or surgical, and it is not the right of the doctor to decide that one path is best purely because it is “easier” for them, for the hospital, or for the insurance companies.
I am not claiming to be a doctor or know even remotely everything there is to know about the area of pregnancy and birth. But, I have learned enough to know that I have choices and a right to make my own decisions about my body. Unless it comes to saving the life of my babies or myself, the choice is mine. Not the hospital’s, not the doctor’s, just mine.
Thankfully, throughout all of this, I have found such strength in prayer and such a strong support system in my husband and my wonderful sister. I also find it so comforting to read and follow the testimonials of women on the Birth Without Fear website.
Their quote, “Vaginas do open, babies do come out“, is one of my favorite birth mantras.
To a lot of people, it seems strange that I have no fear when it comes to pushing out two babies without any medication, on my own, pain and all… but when it comes to c-sections and all of the interventions that come with that, it throws me into a panic.
With all of that being said, I also think that there is also a right to choose how a C-section goes if that is how a women needs or chooses to give birth. Whisking the baby away, not letting there be skin-to-skin or those crucial bonding moments is not at all what should happen.
Because I may be faced with a c-section, I have looked a lot into “gentle c-sections”, which is something that is actually really huge in England. The mother has her arms free, she is only hooked up mostly on one side so that she has room to hold her baby immediately, there is the option to breastfeed right then if the baby wants to, and she doesn’t get her child taken away for 30 minutes while she just lays there feeling quite helpless, I’m sure.
If this is what is meant for my twin birth, my right as a woman to choose this birth experience stands just the same as it would for a natural birth.
I feel like all women should have the choice to research for themselves and figure out what the best plan is going to be for them. They should not be pushed or bullied into giving birth a specific way just because the United States is so prone to automatically going the c-section route or just practicing a standard c-section that does not allow for a mother to bond with her child immediately. Unless there is an emergency, don’t tell me I “have to” or “need to” give birth a certain way.
Going into my own delivery here in the next week or two, I know that it will be somewhat of a battle to birth the way that I feel is best, but I am prepared to do it because I think it’s what is best for my babies and myself.
*Here’s to having the right to choose and empowering ourselves with the knowledge to do so*