As the due date for my twins gets closer and closer as the weeks go by, I have really started to prepare myself for labor and delivery.
I wrote something towards the beginning of this pregnancy about a few fears that I have had about delivering twins naturally, which is what I really pray can happen.
Looking back on my other labors and births has really helped calm my nerves about some of the worries that are happening as the end of this pregnancy nears.
I love reading birth stories from other women and watching television shows that focus on labor and delivery. To me, they are empowering and comforting mostly because I learn from them and mentally prepare myself by soaking in as much information as possible. My husband thinks I’m crazy for wanting to watch other women go through the process, especially when they do it naturally and unassisted like I have and like I want to do with the twins.
Here are my own labor and delivery stories:) I’m also going to add in what my birth plans for the twins are. Once I have the twins, I will come back and revisit these to compare them to what the twins labor and delivery was like.
My Natural Birth Stories
Our oldest is three-years-old now, but some how the memories of labor and birth really get engrained in your mind as a mother.
My labor started with her at 6 AM on March 16, 2012. Her actual due date was March15th so she was a little bit late. I hadn’t had any contractions, hardly even Braxton Hicks, and I wasn’t dilated at all. I contracted all day, pretty normally, and we went to the hospital the first time at 6 PM that night. I was only dilated to 1.5cm and after walking around the hospital for an hour, I was only up to a 2.
Since this was my first labor, I had no idea what contractions would be like and man, did the pain catch me off guard! I was struggling at the hospital as I was walking around and it was only phase one.
They sent me home after telling me I needed to take something for so that I could get some sleep… bad mistake. I am not big on taking medications in the first place, and the sleep medication that they gave me made me so sick. We got home (25 minutes away) and I was in pain and throwing up as my husband was
getting some trying to sleep.We went back to the hospital at 11 PM and I was dilated to a 4, so they finally admitted me after telling me that I needed to get an I.V. put in place “in case” I wanted an epidural.
I remember getting to the room and having them check me. This was about an hour after we had gotten to the hospital the second time, and I was barely a 5. It was at that point that I started feeling really defeated with myself and with the process.
I had gone in there with the idea that I did not want any type of intervention or pain medication but the nurses had a different idea. We were in this little recovery room, because the labor suites were full or something. It was really bright in there and noisy all of the time.
The nursing staff kept asking if I wanted anything for the pain and they kept checking me every 30 minutes it felt like. I couldn’t move from my back or breath because I was so overwhelmed by the throwing up and the pain that I really didn’t expect.
I am a quiet laborer and I don’t like people touching me or talking to me really. I just want to be left alone. But that did not happen with this labor. Finally, I was to the point where I thought I couldn’t handle it (Hello Transition!) and told them I needed something for the pain. This was after I cussed at my husband the one and only time.
Surprise, surprise, I was at 8.5 cm FINALLY! No time for pain medication at that point, which I am so thankful for now! This was now about 2:30 AM and I had been up for 36 hours, in labor for 20 hours.
From that point, it took about 1.5 hours to get me to 10 cm. I struggled with learning to push for a little while, but got the hang of it finally after pushing for 1.5 hours. During that time, I remember having one really nice nurse that had just got on shift and who was so helpful to me. Looking back, I am so thankful that the original nurse was not there for this part because I might have said some not-so-kind words to her.
Our little Emmalee was born, looking up at the sky as she came out, at a little after 5 AM on March 17th, our little St. Patrick’s Day baby:) She was 8 pounds 6 ounces and I was in labor for almost exactly 24 hours.
I did tear a little bit, but my midwife gave me the option of being stitched or not and I declined. It healed just fine on its own. We were in the hospital for a full day and a half after she was born, and the recovery was okay but much more painful than I thought. I left this experience feeling nothing but anxious to get out of that hospital. I didn’t want to do it even again at that point.I would summarize this experience as stressful, rushed, and slightly traumatic for me, but with an amazing result at the end of course.
This sweet little girl of ours is now 1.5 years old. Her labor and delivery were much different from my first.
Her due date was October 14th, 2013. I had gone in for a membrane sweep that day to see if we could get this labor going because I had been sitting at 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced for almost 3 weeks. I had some contractions that day but they stopped.
I went in the next day for another sweep because my mom was getting on a plane that day to make the birth and I wanted things to be at least started by the time she got there.
45 minutes after I got home from that membrane sweep, I started having some pretty regular contractions. This was about noon or so on October 15th. I called my husband and told him that we needed to have someone come and watch Emmalee so that we could get ready to head to the hospital.
This time around, there wasn’t a sense of panic and fear like I had the first time. I knew that it would be time to get to the hospital in the near future but I wasn’t so overwhelmed with anxiety and worried about the pain. I knew what to expect this time and I was fully ready to birth this baby naturally and on my own. There was a lot more confidence heading into this delivery, that’s for sure!
I also called my best friend because she was also going to be present at this birth. She and her husband were a little ways from the hospital so I wanted to give them plenty of time to get there, not that I was in a rush:)
I got to the hospital around 12:45 PM that day after making sure that Emmalee was settled and had everything she needed. When I got to the hospital, I was in active labor and dilated almost to a 6. I remember waiting to be checked initially and just sitting there laughing and talking to my husband and best friend.
We were moved to this wonderful, big delivery suite at the same hospital. The nurses hardly came in, they only checked me one other time, and I was able to labor in a quiet, dim room. It was calm and I was very at peace with the entire experience.
I knew this time when I hit transition because I had gone through it before. Thankfully, it only lasted about an hour this time around. My midwife broke my water at 9.5 cm and about 5 minutes later, I told her that she was on her way out! Our midwife didn’t sense my urgency as she slowly began to get ready and our little Gracie’s head was coming out. I only pushed once with her!
She was born a little after 6 PM that night at 9 pounds 1 ounce. My mom’s flight got in twenty minutes later:) We were very surprised that Gracie had beat her grandma.
The nursing staff has just switched, and for some reason one of the nurses wanted to give me an I.V. with some Pitocin to help deliver my placenta… no thank you. My midwife was a wonderful advocate to have and she just assured them I would be fine on my own.
We were only in the hospital for about 18 hours after she was born. I felt great, my recovery was wonderful, and I left the experience feeling completely strong and full of life and love.
What do I hope the twins L&D will be like?
I hope that I am able to deliver them naturally, as I did with the other two. I just want a quiet and calm birthing experience without being pushed to have any unnecessary interventions. I have already informed my OB, as well as my midwife, that I do not want any pain medications or I.V.’s or anything like that. I understand that things can happen and have already prepared myself for the way that things might go.
I don’t think there is any reason why I shouldn’t be able to deliver two babies the same way that I delivered one. Even if Oliver, who will be our second born out of the twins, is breech, I am still convinced that the labor should be able to progress the same way as long as he is in the “safer” breech position of butt first. This is how I was born and the thought of delivering like that does not scare me.
I understand that there will be more medical staff there for the babies sake, as well as my own, and I am okay with that. I just want my wishes for a natural and unassisted birth to be heard and accepted, and not pushed back on. In the end, I want what is best and safest for the babies but I think this can absolutely be achieved in a natural way.
Don’t take any of this as me saying that I disagree with the way that other people choose to go through labor and delivery. I think all women should have the choice to do so in exactly the way that they want to, without any judgement from others. Birth has a beautiful outcome in the end:)
What were your birth experiences like, or what do you hope they would be like?
*Cheers to the delivery of healthy babies*