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How did you have the birth you wanted?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Some background: I'm 27 weeks along with my first pregnancy. I feel lucky to have found a MW willing to support my plans for a homebirth. My babies are both transverse, but moving a lot. I've had a healthy pregnancy, but my blood pressure keeps creeping up (140/80 at the MW's office, 130/70 at home). Most of my friends don't know about my plans for a HB, those that do think it's crazy with twins. I feel like my husband and mother are the only people around me who really support my decision.

I guess I just feel scared. I'm worried that Baby A won't go head down, that I'm not eating enough (I've gained 36lbs, putting me at over 190 on a 5'4'' body), that I'll develop pre-eclampsia, that I won't be able to handle how big my belly is getting, that the pain and numbness in my arms will drive me insane... the list goes on.

So my question is, how did you do it? How did you deal with the mental and physical aspects of your twin pregnancy?

I don't feel like I can share many of these fears with my MW because she's going out on a limb to help me. But I'm so afraid of losing control of my own experience because of complications.

Thanks for your feedback!
post #2 of 19
Share your worries here. It's tough to ride over all the mostly medically negative things you hear as a pregnant with twins momma. But focus on how you feel. Do you feel those babes growing well? Stay calm, eat well and do what you can to avoid the worry.

Read some good birth stories, here on MDC and on: http://www.naturallyparentingtwins.com/
Mine's there.

Also check out:
It's about going full term with twins, and was a real revelation when I was mid-pregnancy.

Congrats on your MW. You're not crazy to stay home. Staying home is the best way to let your twins come in their own time and have a natural birth.

Would write more but have to run. Feel free to PM me, I'm on vacation for the next week but would be happy to help when I get back!

Keep up the good growing momma!!!
post #3 of 19
For me, it was all about two things. First, research the hell out of every option, learn as much as you can about natural childbirth, twin pregnancy, twin birth. Do everything you can to ensure a good outcome (like protein, water, plenty of rest, etc). In my own twin pregnancy and birth, I worked hard at every single thing I knew was in my control to make sure it was in place like it should be.

Second, realize that may not always be enough, and be prepared to forgive yourself for those things that are truly out of your control and not your fault anyway. If you do it all wrong, you have a higher chance of things going wrong. If you do everything right, you have a higher chance of things turning out the way you plan. But there are no guarantees, so you can't exactly "purchase" the birth you want through planning and dedication. You just have to do whatever you can, and hope it is enough.

Not sure if that is any help. The links posted above will have a lot more detail so I won't just repeat it here.

Congrats on the twins. Sounds like your midwife is wonderful!
post #4 of 19
The numbness did indeed nearly drive me out of my mind. I managed to barely hang on to my sanity and deliver at home though! You CAN handle all of this but as PP have said it's one step at a time. I felt like I reached "mini goals". I wanted to make it at least to 30 weeks. I had this feeling that they could come at 30 weeks and make it. Then 34 weeks, when I really felt like they'd be OK. Then 36 weeks to get into "safe for home birth" land. Then 38 weeks which is the gestation I REALLY wanted to get to (and then I wanted them OUT OUT OUT! ) They were born at 38 weeks 5 days by my dates and 39 weeks by the calculator online. They were both healthy and we had ZERO issues even though my baby a came footing/complete breech.

But I also just got lucky. I stayed healthy, I managed to not have any of the peeing issues I'd had in previous pregnancies, I was well supported by an AMAZING birth team. Some ladies do all the things "right" and still their babies come early. That's not their fault, any more than it was "me" that got us to term. I did everything within my power to set us up for success but then I had to let go and let God (I am Christian but YMMV). Ultimately I am so, so thankful that I was able to have my babies in the comfort and safety of my home but we were prepared for a less than ideal outcome if it happened.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your encouragement!

I think that control issue is really my problem. We've already fought so hard for the birth we want, and somehow I feel like if I just keep on top of everything (eating, exercise, rest) it'll work out. The problem is that believing I have so much control over what happens means that I also feel like it's my fault if things don't go as planned.

It's funny, but the AA serenity prayer keeps popping into my head these days.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Maybe I should make it my mantra for the next 3 months.
post #6 of 19
Well, my certified nurse midwife gave me some good advice (although, unlike you, I am planning a natural "hospital" birth). But she did say...regardless of my plans for a natural birth, our main goals are as follows: 1) Healthy mom/Healthy baby 2) Vaginal delivery over C-Section 3) As "natural" of a birth as possible with little or no medical intervention and 4) To have my birthing experience just the way I want it. In that order. Her point was that IF anything were to go wrong, the health of mom and baby comes first. And if you were to need any medical intervention, not to beat yourself up over the things you can't control, and not to feel guilty that your birth didn't turn out just the way you "planned". The MOST important thing is to get those beautiful angel babies here safely. I am 32 weeks now and as uncomfortable as it is...I actually imagined it much worse at this point. Yeah there is quite a bit of discomfort, but it's totally do-able ya know? Just know that you can be strong for your babies. One of the things that really helps me is the "fear release" script my husband reads to me from the hypnobirthing institute. I had so much anxiety about birthing etc. with my daughter, but after doing the fear release a few times...honestly when I got to the hospital to have her, I was so calm...and I don't have "horrible labor nightmares/memories" like both my sisters, who keep telling me that they are getting scared FOR me. I'm like...why? I feel good about it. I'm excited to welcome these babies into the world...when they are ready to be here of course! :
post #7 of 19
That's a really big question. I used a lot of visualization, and trusted myself to know if I was really trusting in my choice to birth at home. I left it up to the day of the birth, and felt completely sure that morning. I also made it to 38 weeks exactly (my goal), and it was on the weekend, and the sun was shining (some small things that were important to me).
I had a perinatologist as well as a team of midwives for my care, and I asked every possible question I could think of to the peri, and ultimately decided to homebirth. I think it's important to change your relationship with your midwife at this point. I think that with midwives, they need to know EVERYTHING. They are there to monitor your physical, mental/emotional and even perhaps spiritual process in carrying these babies, and they need to know how you are feeling, and express their concerns as well.
My first birth was with my DD1, a planned homebirth, but my membranes ruptured at 35 weeks and labor didn't start for days. I was scared, and really hadn't established a completely honest relationship with my midwives, and ended up with a hospital birth with interventions that caused us much misery, and ultimately, I think were unnecessary. I am not great at the complete honesty part, but my midwife had a way of asking very direct questions. She was keeping an eye on my DD1 to see how she was doing with the prospect of mom delivering, and having twin sisters, as well as how my husband and I were doing together, as well as how each of us individually was doing. I felt very comfortable with her in the end, and really think that the way she communicated so openly really helped ensure that.
I'm a big heart and intuition person, and really did all the hoop jumping with the perinatologist to have the papers to show that everything was looking great, and I had proof (for all the people freaked out by a hb).
post #8 of 19
I am definitely in the minority here on MDC but I really didn't care how the babies got here. I just wanted them alive, it didn't matter to me if I had to pull them out my nose LOL
post #9 of 19
Yay for a midwife option at all! My options here in Asia regardless of gestation were a C-section or a C-section. So I birthed at home unassisted. Not a popular thing by any means.

BUT, my mantra was 37 weeks, 7 lb, head down. I thought that over and over and tried my best with water, weight gain, protein. And I knew full well that I could do everything right and end up with premies. Do the best you can!
post #10 of 19
Originally Posted by ApplePieBaby View Post
I am definitely in the minority here on MDC but I really didn't care how the babies got here. I just wanted them alive, it didn't matter to me if I had to pull them out my nose LOL
But aren't you aware of the RISKS of pulling babies out of your nose!?!?!?!?!


(Sorry, I kid! It just needed to be said! : )
post #11 of 19
I am fairly confident that I never would have had a homebirth with my twins, if it had not been for the wonderful ladies I met here. I read as many twin homebirth stories as I could, asked tons of questions, and of course I shared all my concerns with my midwife. It helped me so much when I found a midwife that believed in me, that had plenty of experience with twin homebirths (and breech births) and who gave me sound advice. She also has never had a twin mom who didn't go full term, so that encouraged me a ton. I think that fear is just inevitable with a twin pregnancy, especially with planning a twin homebirth. I had so many questions and doubts, but ultimately I just knew it was the right decision for us and I trusted that. Like MamaRabbit, I had a little "mantra" too. I kept saying my twins would go to 40 weeks and be 7 lbs each. That was my ultimate goal, even though at times I doubted it could be done. In the end, I went to 40 weeks 1 day and they were 6 lbs 10 oz and 8 lbs 4 oz. I feel very fortunate every day that things turned out so well.
post #12 of 19
I focused on nutrition. I love the nutritioal content in the two twin books by Barabara Luke and Elizabeth Noble. I kept a journal and wrote all my thoughts out. I read and read and read and thought through all my options, potential road blocks ect. But at the end of the day i spent a lot of time meditating on the possitive. My focus was eating 140-170 grams of protien each day. It was the one thing I could control and so I did. When we decided to fly in a MW from out of the country to have a shot at having the twins at home I was nervous as all hell. It was a lot on the line emotionally, financially, but I wanted the chance, the opportunity to realize a normal birth for my twins. My alternative at the time, where I lived was to be on an OR table in an operating room, on my back. PERIOD. medication was "mandatory" and if B was anything other than head down it was auto c/s. The setting and contraints on everything leading up to delivery, coupled with the lack of privacy was a HUGE thing for me.

I saw focus in on what you can control.
nutrition, exercise, rest, mental preperation, meditation, prayer (whatever works for you). I decided to worry less about the birth (once I had my options in place) and really hone in on full term, full size babies and a healthy mamma!
post #13 of 19
i didn't have a choice (apparently) baby b was breech and wayyy up practically under my ribs and i was scared by doctors that if i gave birth naturally to baby a then the placenta could become unattached from the uterus and then risk baby b's life. uh, so i freaked out basically and had a c section. that was 4 years ago. i also had a really rough pregnancy (gestational diabetes, preterm labor at 25 weeks, put on bedrest in the hospital from then until 32 weeks and 1 day when the girls just wanted to come out) they were both born 4lbs each and 16 1/2 inches (yes, exact same size!) and absolutely no health problems at all..they only needed to gain weight to leave the hospital. i breastfed them completely (we just weaned at 37 months) and now i'm expecting #3. hoping for a vbac and have found a very down to earth midwife that fully supports me. i think my twins birth would've gone better had i done more research and had a doula, along with a better person as a midwife.. its hard but there are very supportive people out there that will help you as much as they can for you to have the experience you want-- but then again not everything is in our control- sometimes our desires need to be put aside if health issues come into play.
post #14 of 19
I really focused on one thing -- for me, that was a vaginal birth. I was a first-time mom and my twins had TTTS, and because of that I gave birth in a hospital. I was laser-focused on vaginal birth. I thought about it, talked about it, prayed about it, wrote about it, dreamed about it. I was obsessed! Sure enough, I had a vaginal birth with a vertex baby A and a foot-first baby B.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
I must have been terribly naive, but I never expected pregnancy to be so hard mentally... and I think I'm doing well!

I know the babies are growing well (ultrasound and gut feeling) and I'm doing the best I can as far as rest, exercise and eating. I've really been focusing on optimal fetal positioning this past week. My husband has been doing the rebozo jiggling thing on me and I've been doing a lot of inversions. The babies have responded with a lot of movement, but no major flips yet. (Oh how I wish for those stomach turning flips they used to do!)

What I'm wondering is whether or not you guys were able to tell how your babies were positioned? I'm trying to belly map, but I just feel like there are kicks and wiggles all over the place with these two.
post #16 of 19
It's amazing how much I can relate to some of the posts here! I fear that I am jumping into the middle of someone else's thread so that I can reap the benefits!

I am at 25 weeks with my first pregnancy. I quickly learned that my only hospital option was delivery on an OR table on my back with something like a 90% likelihood of c/s. Birth centers won't work with me. So, I am opting for HB. I haven't had the nerve to tell most friends and family (including my parents). DH is good with it, and I have a couple of friends who are, but I found most people freaking out at the mention, so I now keep quiet about it.

I have similar fears. I wonder if I am doing the right thing in being so adamant about a natural birth. I wonder if I will be able to manage how huge I will be. I guess that I am grateful that I continue along in good health, no matter how uncomfortable I am. I figure that I will focus on making it through one week at a time. I suppose that at some point, my focus will become one day at a time, but so far, so good.

I love the serenity prayer! I think I will write it down and keep it handy.

Nanasi, it sounds like you are doing well!
post #17 of 19
I could never keep my babies straight. My MW was often tricked as well. There were just SO many booties and heads and arms and legs. We opted for a late term U/S the day before I went into labor so we could be SURE of what we were feeling. We tried and tried to get them to flip but they wouldn't budge (and I KNOW they could because they were flipping all over the place as late as 37.5 weeks). I went into labor with both of them breech and I was FINE with that presentation. I had to let go of my fear and uncertaintly and trust my babies. I am confident Claire needed to be that way.
post #18 of 19
I didn't, but I had extenuating circumstances. I did find a doctor that would be fine with an unmedicated vaginal birth with twins, so it can be found! I'm still proud of the fact that at 33 weeks I was showing no dilation or anything.

Even though my birth was nothing like what I wanted, I'm still proud of myself. I had big babies for 33 weeks (5lbs even and 6lbs even) which I really believe helped them out in the NICU. If I hadn't had a 5 week and 7 week ultrasound I'd be questioning the dates!!!

I got through the bedrest and pre-eclampsia and everything else by realizing that if I did everything I could to make the healthiest babies possible, then I had to let go and not blame myself for the things that went wrong.
post #19 of 19
I didn't.
Had an emergency c-section at 32 weeks after 5 weeks of bedrest. DD's BPP was getting scary, she had lost all her fluid, and I had already clotted off 2 placental abruptions. It was a mess.
BUT - though I did mourn the loss of a "normal" birth for my guys, and felt like I had failed on so many levels, I have come to realize that though we all may not get the birth we wanted to have, we all have the birth we are meant to have. I was (am) very much a control freak, and losing control over the birth ended up being a good thing for me. It taught me coping skills and an internal strenght I didn't know I had. It taught me to trust my instincts as a new mommy.
My twins are now 6 and a constant source of joy and happiness (yeah, frustration too LOL!) Unless it comes up, I don't think about their rocky start anymore.
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