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What's the likelihood I could home birth with twins or triplets?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
We are starting to get ready to do IVF, and I've been talking with my husband about how many embryos to transfer per cycle. We'd like to have a good chance for at least one of course so we're thinking we'll probably transfer two or three. We would be overjoyed to have twins or triplets (though I'm sure it would be more of a challenge than I can even imagine).

I know it's possible to breastfeed twins or triplets and there's an active milkshare group in my area so I'm not too worried about that.

The one thing I've been curious about is how likely is it to be able to homebirth with twins or triplets? You hear SOOO much about how risky multiple pregnancy is. And I'm sure it is, but you also hear so much about how risky singleton pregnancy/birth is, so I'm sure at least some of it must be hype.
post #2 of 52
You can definitely homebirth with twins, provided you have a provider who is comfortable with you as a candidate for twin homebirth. And a mom here has homebirthed triplets, although she's the only one I've heard of doing that.

Search the parenting multiples board, or the birth stories thread above, and you'll find a lot of information!
post #3 of 52
I'm planning a home birth with my twins. For us it depended on the various 'risk factors' involved with twins. My kids are di-di and have had excellent growth so we're pretty comfortable.
post #4 of 52
I think there's a thread someone around here for homebirth (or maybe it's vaginal birth) twin stories. Anyhoo, mine were born at home. One thing that makes the situation that much less risky is if your twins are di-di, which yours would have an excellent chance at being since they'd be via IVF (no guarantee, mind you - things happen, but a good chance still). Anyway, keep reading here and you'll find lots of inspiration I'm sure! Good luck!
post #5 of 52
It does also depend on where you live. In my state, homebirth midwives are licensed and multiple births are not permitted by their license. Consequently, I could not find anyone to attend me at home. I could have traveled out of state, perhaps found a midwife willing to come here and practice without a license (I couldn't, but there's always that possibility) or had an unattended homebirth. However, I do know there are many mamas on here who live in other states and had no troubles homebirthing twins. Good luck to you.
post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovelife View Post
It does also depend on where you live. In my state, homebirth midwives are licensed and multiple births are not permitted by their license. ... I could have traveled out of state, ...
That was my situation, and that's what I did. In my situation (VBAC), I *KNEW* there was no way I could get a local hospital to allow me to birth my babies naturally. I also *KNEW* (through prayer and research) that at least being allowed to TRY a natural birth was what I was supposed to do. So, I found a natural-birth-friendly homeschool mom in another state who rented me one of their rental homes less expensively for a month, relocated at 36 weeks, and had my babies there.
post #7 of 52
I had arranged for a home birth (I have twins) with the only MW in my area who would even take twins. She had various requirements, chief among them was that both babies had to be vertex (she wasn't comfortable delivering breech, not even of the second twin) and I had to make it to 37 weeks of pregnancy.

I would think most midwives would have a requirement of making it to at least 36 or 37 weeks of pregnancy. (Before that the babies are really preemies and may well need a NICU.) I'm not sure exactly what the statistics are for twin and triplet births making it to 36/37 weeks. I think it's around 50% for twins, and less than that for trips. So that will probably be a pretty big factor in whether you get to home birth.

I saw my OB and MW concurrently so that I could preserve the home birth option if I made it far enough in the pregnancy. Unfortunately my water broke at 32w and I delivered at 34w, so I didn't get to hb.
post #8 of 52
I've heard stories of twins and triplets born at home and I think if you're dedicated it to it, it can definately happen! As far as gestation, I think a lot of it has to do with diet, mindset, and sometimes just luck! There's this whole cultural expectation that twins and triplets ALWAYS come early and that's just not the case.

So good luck! If I were to do my twin pregnancy over again, I'd focus much more on my diet and then worry about everything else.
post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses! I will try to look at some birth stories too. Poppan you have a really good point about seeing an OB and midwife concurrently. I think regardless of how many I get pregnant with that is probably a good thing to do just in case so I'm fully prepared if anything requires a hospital birth.

WendyJoe what sort of diet do you think is importand and why? Currently we are eating a somewhat lazy traditional foods type diet. Gluten free, almost soy free, high fructose corn syrup free and mostly home prepared organic foods.
post #10 of 52
Licensed midwives in Oregon can legally attend a twin homebirth. I'm not sure about triplets. I know of two midwives I've personally used that will attend twins.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmide_m View Post
.

WendyJoe what sort of diet do you think is importand and why? Currently we are eating a somewhat lazy traditional foods type diet. Gluten free, almost soy free, high fructose corn syrup free and mostly home prepared organic foods.
Not WendyJoe but can answer your question -- lots of protein, lots of water. Check out Dr. Barbara Luke's book (Having Twins, Triplets and Quads, I think it's called) and she has great guidelines for nutrition and a multiples pregnancy. Some of it sounds impossible, but even shooting in that direction can be helpful, I think
post #12 of 52

Second to good nutrition! Twin homebirth is possible!

What you really need to focus on is getting enough protein. You'll need more than you feel you can eat. Dr. Luke's book is very good. Hard boiled eggs, protein shakes, milk, you can't get enough. Oh, and plenty of calcium too.

What I didn't like about Dr. Luke's book is the pressure to be inactive. If things go well, you may be able to work and walk until the end of your pregnancy. You'll hear a lot about how twins are always early and high risk. This isn't the case. Twins may average early, because some come premature. But those babies that don't prompt preterm labor may well go full term. Read all you can, and trust your instincts. If your body is telling you to rest, do it by all means. Be vigilant about preterm labor. But if you feel well, keep up with your normal activities. You'll need your strength later with those babies!

I worked up until 2 days before my twins were born at home, and tried to walk every day. They were born at 39 weeks exactly. Be warned, if these twins are your first, as mine were, there's a good chance your labor will be long and hard. But that doesn't mean you can't be at home. Do your research, have faith in yourself.

Birthing your twins at home is your best way to protect them and you from interventions you don't want. Almost all OBs will try to induce or section you early. Don't give in, your babies will come when they're ready!

Go for it! I'm thrilled I did.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppan View Post
I saw my OB and MW concurrently so that I could preserve the home birth option if I made it far enough in the pregnancy.
This is what I'm doing. I started off in a high risk group in PA, and when I moved to OR 2 months ago, just transferred to MFM (maternal fetal medicine) here as well, hoping for a better experience. My risk factors include treated hypertension, "advanced maternal age" (gasp - I'm 35), and twins. The practice basically insisted on a c-section, so I went elsewhere to find out what my options were.

In Oregon, twin births at birth centers are not legal, but midwives can attend twin homebirths, just not before 35.5 weeks. As DID mentioned above, there are many midwives here in portland who are experienced at twin homebirth.

I decided to continue to be monitored by MFM, even though my twins are in the lowest risk category (dichorionic, diamniotic). I will warn you, though, it's not necessarily a comfortable arrangement. The docs here can't "approve" a homebirth for twins, period. If they know what you're planning, they may employ more fear tactics than usual to scare you into keeping them as your primary doctors.

Good luck with your IVF. My babes are also from fertility treatment, though not IVF, following 8 years of TTC and treatment. Had I gone the IVF route, or if I take it in the future, I personally would NOT transfer 3 embies, but that's just me. Twin pregnancy is hard enough, believe you me.

ETA - just realized that this thread was started a few months ago! Hope your process is going well, in case the OP checks in.
post #14 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the updates and information!

We are going to be doing our first IVF in a couple weeks or so. We are still trying to decide exactly how we want to do it. I think at this point our plan at least for the first cycle is to fertilize all eggs with ICSI, freeze at the pronuclei stage, and hold out 3 embryos to grow to day 2 or so and transfer back. We're still considering our options but that feels the most right to us at least for now. And maybe after we've gone through one cycle we'll change our tactics if we have to go through another.

I'm already getting started on the high protein and tons of water! I'm drinking about 4 liters of water a day, 2 of milk and eating as much protein as I can. I do still need to cut down on sugar and eat more eggs.

Oh speaking of eggs why do I keep reading about hard boiled eggs? I kinda hate hard boiled. The only way I can eat them regularly is scrambled/omelet/fritatta
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmide_m View Post
Thanks for the updates and information!
Oh speaking of eggs why do I keep reading about hard boiled eggs? I kinda hate hard boiled. The only way I can eat them regularly is scrambled/omelet/fritatta
I think it's mostly for the convenience of them. Eat eggs any way you prefer.
post #16 of 52
There is a beautful video on youtube made by an MDC mom. IT is all about myths of multiple births...I'm gonna go look for it.

PS I don';t belong in here but I saw your post from the front page and I wanted somoene to tell you about the youtube video
post #17 of 52
Here it is:

youtube
post #18 of 52
When I made that video, none of the participants mentioned IVF, but I hear ALL THE TIME from moms who say that can't natural birth because they had IVF, and I just think it's a load of crap. I can understand that if the medical model brought you your babies that you might lean toward the medical model of birth, but if your pregnancy is healthy enough to carry the babies to term, and in the absence of any other complications, wouldn't it be possible to have a natural birth if you wanted? Am I missing something?

Anyway, all of that to say that if you have IVF and you DO end up carrying twins, and you DO go on to have a natural birth (home or otherwise), I'd love to have you in a sequel to that video!!
post #19 of 52
Hehe...we transfered SIX embryos with my surrogacy. Six. Do you know how freaked out I was?!? The doc obviously was right in his decision, as I had triplets, which turned into twins, which turned into a single, now bouncing 4 year old, girl. But still!!!

Anywho-yes, lots of mamas on here have had hb with twins. As it was already said, you need to be far enough along that the babies hopefully wont need any help and you need to be in good health yourself, along with the babes. Also, yeah, IVF means di/di twins are waaaay more likely. I'd just be careful with excess monitoring towards the end and make sure you ask these mamas for advice when you arnt sure My friend had an idiotic doc who insisted her di/di twins had TTTS and she had a cesarean at 30w for it-and he was wrong. But would she listen to me? Nooooo.....

Finding a midwife to deliver twins at home will be more difficult, but I bet you can find someone. You might want to ask in the tribal area. I know my midwives refer out to a CNM who does twins but I cant remember if she does homebirth.
post #20 of 52
Thread Starter 
Wow, what an incredible video!! So inspiring!

I'm thinking I may not have *too* much trouble finding a midwife in our area. Unless it's triplets, I don't know about that. I am planning to see a traditional doctor and a midwife at the same time and probably not tell them about each other, or at least not tell the doc about the midwife/homebirth. I want to know where I'll be and have a birthplan set up ahead of time no matter how many babies I have.

You know, ideally I'd love to do UC. But I figure for my first birth I should have some help, especially if it's multiples.

My doctor gave me a big spiel about how horrendously risky multiples are. I'm just wondering how much of that is true vs. hype. Seems to me like people have twins all the time and everything goes fine. But maybe the statistics are worse than I think. Only real concern I have with multiples is their health during pregnancy and birth, and then that I probably would not be able to do elimination communication as much as with a singleton.
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