Originally Posted by Mama~Love
I'm expecting my 7th & 8th live babies in October. I've been reading books about twins, and twin births, and the complications that could happen. All my other births have been vaginal. I have an OB that's supportive of a vaginal birth this time, as long as Baby A is head down. I'm worried about what my birth will be like, and how it will affect me.
How can I make this a good birth?? I'm worried that things will be out of control, and procedures done against my wishes, my babies taken away from me unneccessarily, and the impact of all this on my mental health. I'm at a great risk for PPD. I suffer from depression as it is, and I think a traumatic birth will really make things worse.
A doula would be great, if I knew there were some around here. I don't have any female friends that I'm really close to, and a few are so anti-hospital that I don't think they'd even come see me. My mom is out, I can barely stand her, and the thought of her there makes me even more tense. DH wouldn't stand up for me either, he's too medically minded being an EMT, and was freaking out at our last birth which was a homebirth.
What can I do? I'm so tired of hearing "as long as the babies are healthy, that's all that matters.". Of course I want healthy babies, but my mental & emotional health means nothing? Is there anything I can do to prepare myself for a less than ideal birth?
MamaLove, my sympathies. I hope you can at least find someone good, supportive, and comforting to be with you at the birth.
Having actually tried to pin my doctor down about standard practices, yesterday, I am feeling a lot like this, today. On the one hand, I have a slim hope of trying to find someone who will approach the birth differently; but it's just that, slim. On the other, I'd be glad of feedback or good advice.
My babies' health matters to me more than anything else, but it is not the ONLY thing. That's one reason I'm scheduled to deliver in a hospital with a level-3 NICU. My own physical survival comes second - as these babies need a mother: my husband can't be left to care for them, all alone. Yet my mental and emotional well-being matter also; my ability to be an active part of this birth, to allow my body to function properly, and not let others take control of a process my body is made for, and is doing so well, MATTERS TO ME. I cope best with stressful or painful situations when I retain the ability and volition to respond to them. And I am becoming angry at the suggestion that - just because it's riskier - the carrying and delivery of spontaneous twins, or that conception, are somehow wrong. We're not talking about quadruplets, or more; or a mother with a long history of loss or difficulty sustaining a pregnancy, suddenly faced with several babies. No doubt that needs more care, more pure carefulness, to see through. Yes, one baby at a time is our bodies' basic pattern. But too many twins are conceived spontaneously for me to feel it's some aberration, far outside our body's ability to do well, with minimal support. (- As, enough food, enough rest, reasonable caution.) Nor do I believe that all their precautions are necessarily much safer for the babies than NOT being exposed to drugs, NOT having my low blood pressure drop, NOT adding stressors or medications that can stall the labor.
As long as my first twin is head down, they'll do a vaginal birth (and, as of yesterday - at 28 weeks - both twins were head-down). Most twins delivered in this hospital ARE vaginal births. I do have a doula lined up. I am fine with a c-section for genuine emergencies; and I know that the hospital tries to limit separation from the mother to a few minutes of checking, unless the babies are very unwell & need NICU care. The minimum I would get was a moment with them, on the way out. They give twin/multiple mothers a big corner room, so all the babies can room in with you. Once I get to the hospital, in labor, I can stay in a labor room, until delivery, when they will move me to the O.R. (Not done for singelton mothers.) I really don't like that move, but I can accept it. I have tried to think about how to stay calm and relaxed, in that transition to a bright, public, very medical space. Earlier on, they'll have me on continuous monitoring, but it will be via telemetry, so I will not be confined to bed. Only - they're adamant, utterly adamant, that I must have an epidural, if I am to deliver there. And though, at first, it may be a 'walking epidural', it's obvious the doctor wants it heavily dosed, by delivery, so they can a) stick a hand in and feel/move the second baby (which I was told is unbearable, despite people thinking they can manage it), and b) cut me open AT ONCE, if necessary. The only comfort there at all is that this particular OB has never delivered a second twin via c-section, when the first was a vaginal delivery. That's something. And I've had a former student of hers tell me she's 'amazing'. But she may not be on call at the time, so it's not all THAT comforting. If my twins are doing well, not in desperate need of surgery, I want to be able to feel and participate in the process of birth, not as some incapacitated person, but in conscious, powerful cooperation with my body and the process at work in it. I don't want to be unable to feel enough, don't want to be reduced to obeying directions given by someone else. Anyway, my doctor clearly was both mildly offended (or irritated), and totally inflexible. Bursting into tears may have conveyed my strong feelings, but it certainly did not help.
Also, if we get to 38 weeks without delivering, they will induce me. I would much rather be closely monitored, but no dice.