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What's the likelihood I could home birth with twins or triplets? - Page 2

post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmide_m View Post
Wow, what an incredible video!! So inspiring!
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.
There are some very real risks to certain types of multiples pregnancies. However, once ruling that out, I see no reason to view the pregnancy as any higher risk than any other pregnancy. I avoided anyone who would try to scare me including certain books or at least sections in certain books (I did not like Dr. Luke's book for this reason). That's not to say that I was naive about risk but I wasn't interested in seeking it out either. My twins were di/di so that put me in a very comfortable position to not freak out about every little thing.
post #22 of 52
I think one of the things that can be trickier with multiple births during the actual birth is the position of the babies. Breech presentations are much more likely. Not that breech babies can't come out--they certainly can--but the "risk" level does rise a couple of percentage points. Unfortunately, for some midwives/doctors, those couple of points make all the difference in the world. I wasn't able to find anyone willing to assist me with a vaginal delivery of my breech/breech twins (they only cared about the position of the presenting twin). But I'm sure I could have pushed them out if only I'd be brave enough to trust my instinct.

The other thing is that multiple birth labors often stall out because the uterus is so stretched. Other complications are certainly more common (i.e. hemorrahge), but the chances of them happening are still not that likely (and often they can be treated at home no problem).

Good luck with IVF (which, I believe, does also increase your chance of monozygotic twins, oddly enough!)!

Lex
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
Good luck with IVF (which, I believe, does also increase your chance of monozygotic twins, oddly enough!)!
Lex
I have heard this before but I don't understand it. How would that work?
post #24 of 52
Thread Starter 
I only have a minute now. I'll try to check back in again soon.

Just wanted to say, from what I understand, identical twins (that's monozygotic right?) are more likely after a frozen embryo transfer with IVF. I think it is because of the freezing and thawing process they are more likely to split?

I think at this point we are planning to freeze all but 3 at the pronuclei stage. Hold out 3 and pray they grow well enough, and transfer all 3. So ideally I'll have triplets! Though I know the odds are that won't happen. At least trying for 3 will boost my odds of one or two. Since they are "fresh" rather than frozen I don't think they have any higher chance of splitting than a non-IVF pregnancy.
post #25 of 52
As the mother or triplets, I thought I should chime in briefly. I know you asked about homebirthing. Homebirth for triplets is extremely unlikely. The average gestational age of triplets is 32 weeks and many of the complications that can arise are things that you have no control over despite best efforts of excellent diet and good exercise.

A bunch of the moms of triplets I know transferred 2 embryos and ended up with trips. I didn't go through the fertility treatment process, so I can't empathize with your emotions completely. I can tell you than any form of natural parenting is unbelievably challenging with triplets. It is hard enough with twins.

Personally, I wouldn't transfer more than 2 embryos, but I understand that you want to increase your likelihood of a successful outcome. I wish you the best with whatever you decide.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmide_m View Post
I think at this point we are planning to freeze all but 3 at the pronuclei stage. Hold out 3 and pray they grow well enough, and transfer all 3. So ideally I'll have triplets!
Airmide - You are one brave woman. As you know, I'm going thru IVF as well, and hence the lurking on this board . We, however, are not planning on transfering anymore than two. The idea of twins or triplets, while exciting to dream about, scares the bejeebers out of me. I'd love to have all the babies I want and be done with all this ttc stuff, but after having a singleton, I now realize how much work any child is. You moms of twins (and more) are just amazing
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by hergrace View Post

Personally, I wouldn't transfer more than 2 embryos, but I understand that you want to increase your likelihood of a successful outcome. I wish you the best with whatever you decide.

Totally this :
post #28 of 52
All right - this is just my personal opinion so take from it what you will.

I used injections to get pregnant. I over respond like crazy and every cycle I got the talk - what will you do it there are multiples? I secretly wanted triplets but I knew the clinic's stance on triplets and so I'd always lie a little to be allowed to go on with a cycle (they will cancel people who won't reduce) - I would say I was not sure what I'd do with 3, but with 4 or more I would reduce.

I got triplets on, like, my 7th or 8th cycle.

I was over joyed. Then I started to look into the reality of triplets.

And sometimes it goes really, really well. And sometimes it goes really, really not well.

My doctors were really pressury about reducing. Of course they said there's no right answer, blah blah blah... but behind that was the message "if you're smart, you'll reduce." No one forced me to reduce but DH thought it was best and the doctors really made it seem like if I didn't reduce, I was going against medical advice. I didn't really feel supported to keep all 3. Plus I had a TON of bleeding (heavy) early in the pregnancy - I'd already had 3 mc and been through SO much to get pregnant again, I was terrified of losing the entire pregnancy. The night before the reduction, blood literally poured out - I was sure it was a sign. It's hard to describe, I didn't want to reduce but i was terrified not to. I cried for so long in the doctor's office when i went in for the reduction, the procedure usually takes 15 minutes and I was there for 3 hours.

So I reduced - and I had no more bleeding - but I had tons of grief, regret, depression, etc. I HATED myself for reducing.

Skip to nearer the end - I developed severe pre-eclampsia with high blood pressure and liver and kidneys failing. I was soooooo sick and I didn't even realize how crappy i felt until I delivered and my kidneys started to work again. Delivered babies by c/s at 35 weeks - blood pressure continued to sky rocket up into the 190s. I was in danger of having a stroke. Had I kept all 3... who knows? (It is the extra placenta that puts moms of multiples at greater risk of pre-e etc - the more placentas, the more the risk)

Now that we are home - 2 babies is way harder than I imagined. I am not quite making enough milk for 2 despite all you read about it being possible. The best times are when DH is home because I really think a 1:1 adult/baby ratio is best. When we're going through the evening feeding frenzy and I am nursing one and he is bottle feeding the other and we just keep passing them back and forth - all i can think of is if we had that 3rd baby he'd be sitting in the corner crying with no one to hold him. Yes you can get outside help but... we have no family in the area, can't imagine hiring someone, friends can only do so much...

I NEVER feel like I am giving each baby the attention she needs. I can't imagine if there were three.

It's HARD. It's hella hard. I have an older son and I really thought I could imagine it, thought oh it won't be so bad... ha. I love my twinkies but damn is it hard! (right now they are sleeping in their swings which is when I love them best LOL)

Anyway.

Are there risks? Twins usually turn out fine. Triplets turn out fine more than the infertility clinics would have you believe but there are some sad, sad stories out there. (On another board I read, two women got pregnant with trips around the time I did. Both kept all 3. One lost all 3 at 20 weeks or so. The other delivered at 23 weeks, one died, the other two have all the tough road challenges of mircopreemies to deal with) I do think the pressure to reduce is heavily money motivated as well as clinics not wanted to have HOMs on their records. Triplets are really a gray area - there is more risk than twins. Is it worth reducing? I don't know. For so many months, I regretted it and was so sure i did the wrong thing. Now... I can't honestly say we would have all survived the pregnancy if I hadn't. Maybe, maybe not. I started the pregnancy a 30 year old woman, young, healthy, no pregnancy complications with my son - I was blindsided by how things went so sour. I will never know if I did the right thing but I came too close to the risks for comfort in the end.

I do know I will never put myself in that position again. I have entertained the thought of one more child after this but I will NEVER go down the route of injectables again. I respond too crazily and there are too many risks. I would either hope for a miracle unmedicated pregnancy... or go IVF. And if we did IVF I personally would not put back more than 2 embryos, not for a first cycle at least. Even with two there is a chance of triplets - IVF results in identical twins slightly more than occurs naturally.

That's my 2 cents.

As for home birth - it has been done with triplets but I personally would be scared. I'd be OK with trying with twins if there were no other complications and twin A at least was head down. I would not try home birth if A was breech but again that's just my 2 cents.

Good luck!!!
post #29 of 52
I don't think that homebirthing triplets would be a good idea at all. Average gestation of triplets is around 32-33 weeks, and even if born successfully, many would need NICU care. Doesn't seem like a safe plan to me. Twins? I wouldn't do it at all (I'm carrying twins now, 32 weeks..and one is breech and one transverse) but I know there are people that have and have been ok. Good luck!
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by scd1978 View Post
I don't think that homebirthing triplets would be a good idea at all. Average gestation of triplets is around 32-33 weeks, and even if born successfully, many would need NICU care. Doesn't seem like a safe plan to me. Twins? I wouldn't do it at all (I'm carrying twins now, 32 weeks..and one is breech and one transverse) but I know there are people that have and have been ok. Good luck!
Fyi, I don't think anyone would proceed with a homebirth of either twins, triplets or singleton for that matter unless they reached a minimum of 36, sometimes 37 weeks (of course the number varies but it's roughly around that mark). That doesn't mean one doesn't *plan* for a homebirth and work towards that goal. If it doesn't work out, bummer, but that doesn't mean it can't or won't (so says one of the twin homebirth moms ).
post #31 of 52
And, it's good to know that we DO have a mother on this forum from time to time who DID homebirth her triplets successfully, just as we have MANY moms of twins who have homebirthed without complications. It might be outside of the comfort zone of a particular mother (we're all unique with different backgrounds and perspectives), but that doesn't make it a bad idea in and of itself. Let's be careful not to inadvertently insult any mothers who made a choice of where to give birth after a healthy pregnancy and safe length of gestation.
post #32 of 52
Before I got pregnant the first time around, much of my focus (beyond achieving the positive pregnancy test) was on giving birth. It was actually one of my main reasons for getting pregnant when I did (I wanted to be a homebirth midwife, but I wanted to experience pregnancy and birth first). I was 22 years old. I also had some idea of the kind of parent I wanted to be (I knew I would exclusively breastfeed, use cloth diapers, co-sleep, wear my baby, etc.), but the birth was the BIG THING.

In the end, I didn't get my dream homebirth (far from it, sadly), but I did get two healthy babies. Two healthy babies who needed to nurse around the clock and who I really struggled with caring for the way I wanted to in my heart (we were successful in exclusive breastfeeding. cloth diapering, co-sleeping, and baby-wearing, but none of it was easy like it would be with one baby). Birthing multiples is one thing, attachment parenting multiples is a whole other much, much BIGGER THING. The impact on your body is huge. The impact on your marriage is huge. I don't know a single mother of multiples in real life who is not envious of the ease in which friends with singletons move through their days.

If I were you, I would not be going into the embryo transfer thinking about "what will twins/triplets mean for my chances of a homebirth?" but rather focusing on what comes after the birth. I don't mean to downplay the importance of birth at all, and I do believe that a birth experience can have a very long lasting impact on a mother's life. But I think that most mothers of multiples, a couple weeks past birth, will be thinking more along the lines of "birth shmirth . . . OMG I have two (three, four, etc.) babies!"

I didn't fully appreciate all that I missed out on with my twins until I had my singleton. My experience may be extreme, but I still have yet to have a day go by where I don't wonder about what it would have been like if my twins had been born one at a time. And I do have a lot of sadness about the way things turned out (birth and beyond).

I took clomid to conceive my twins, and I admit that the increased possibility of twins was somewhat exciting and fun. I was thrilled to find out we were having two babies at once. But I really was very naive about it all, and I had no idea what having twins would really mean. Now I always cringe when I run into someone on the street who says, "oh, I wish I had twins!" Because I really doubt that they know exactly what they're wishing for.

HTH!

Lex
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
Fyi, I don't think anyone would proceed with a homebirth of either twins, triplets or singleton for that matter unless they reached a minimum of 36, sometimes 37 weeks (of course the number varies but it's roughly around that mark). That doesn't mean one doesn't *plan* for a homebirth and work towards that goal. If it doesn't work out, bummer, but that doesn't mean it can't or won't (so says one of the twin homebirth moms ).
: No one is going to be homebirthing their 32 weekers, that is for sure. My twin homebirth was contingent upon making it to at least 36 weeks. I've thought alot about whether or not I would homebirth triplets and I'm not sure. It would depend on a lot of things, including making it to at least 36 weeks, which is much harder to do with triplets. But still possible! In the book Having Twins, there is a triplet homebirth story and the mother made it to 41 weeks and all 3 of them were close to 7 lbs.
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by christyc View Post
And, it's good to know that we DO have a mother on this forum from time to time who DID homebirth her triplets successfully, just as we have MANY moms of twins who have homebirthed without complications. It might be outside of the comfort zone of a particular mother (we're all unique with different backgrounds and perspectives), but that doesn't make it a bad idea in and of itself. Let's be careful not to inadvertently insult any mothers who made a choice of where to give birth after a healthy pregnancy and safe length of gestation.
presumably these women all knew of the increased risk associated with home birth of multiples and weighed the pros and cons of attempting a home birth based on their own situation. i would hope they would not find offense in others discussing this risk and voicing their opinion as to whether or not they are comfortable with it. any pregnancy may or may not ultimately turn out such that conditions are ideal for attempting a home birth. when you are talking about a hypothetical multiples pregnancy, though, chances are attempting a home birth will be riskier than average.

There are women who successfully homebirth twins or triplets - but there are also women who plan for it and don't get to go through with it, or who have excessive bleeding or other complications who need hospital transport afterwards. Again possible with any home birth but more likely with more babies, and admitting this should in no way be insulting to women who were able to pull it off.

lexbeach that was a great post.
post #35 of 52
Well, I kinda knew that already, because (like most of the twin moms on this forum) I spent HOURS and HOURS reading studies on pubmed during my twin pregnancy, and accurately assessed my risk status to be relatively small due to my own personal history. BUT my problem wasn't with stating perceptions of risk (like you did in your response-- stating what you personally would or would not do), my problem was with declaring something "not a good idea" instead of respecting the reality that it isn't whether it's a good idea or not, it's about each of us knowing our own course of pregnancy, our own background and expectation, and making the best decision that is right for each of us. A planned hospital birth for my twins was not the right decision for us (although we were certainly comfortable with transferring care before or during labor if there was a true complication), but I'd never dream of saying that a planned hospital twin birth is not a good idea, KWIM? Because it IS NOT about what's a good idea or not, it's about the fact that there is no one size fits all approach to childbirth that is "right," multiples or not.

For similar reasons, I'd feel jumpy if someone were to make comments about whether or not they think reduction from trips to twins is a "good idea"-- it isn't about "good idea" or not, it's about personal history, personal situation, what you're facing, what your goals/expectations are, and I'd be sensitive to the fact that we have mothers on here who have experienced these things we're talking about and it isn't just hypothetical for everyone here.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
If I were you, I would not be going into the embryo transfer thinking about "what will twins/triplets mean for my chances of a homebirth?" but rather focusing on what comes after the birth. I don't mean to downplay the importance of birth at all, and I do believe that a birth experience can have a very long lasting impact on a mother's life. But I think that most mothers of multiples, a couple weeks past birth, will be thinking more along the lines of "birth shmirth . . . OMG I have two (three, four, etc.) babies!"
I feel this cannot be emphasized enough.

The process of birth lasts at most for a week or two.

However, you will have two or more newborns for months. You will likely be pushed to the brink in a way that you cannot even begin to imagine by what that demand will do to your body, mind, and soul unless you are extremely fortunate.

I cannot imagine that someone would *try* to concieve triplets. Or that it would be their goal. I'm sorry, but when I see that...I am speechless because it really speaks to me of ignorance about what life with multiples is like.

You need to be putting plans into place about support system, finances, help, meal stockpiling, free/reduced cost resources in the community, saving for unanticipated medical and supply costs, if your "goal" is higher order multiples. You need to be shoring up your relationship (divorce/separation rate is high and gets higher as you move up the chain of higher order multiples). Getting into the habit of frugal living if you're not already. That seems to me to be just as important, if not more important from a long term survival standpoint, than worrying whether or not you can have the type of birth you envision. Most people can, some people can't. Regardless of how many children you birth at the same time. It's not totally in your control.

It's like when people focus on the wedding to the exclusion of preparing for a healthy long term partnership/marriage. There's nothing wrong with shooting for a dream wedding, but if that's your primary concern you're heading into dangerous territory when reality comes crashing in the next day or week.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

The process of birth lasts at most for a week or two.
Ha! For you perhaps, birth is limited to the event itself and a brief period of reflection which is apparently unimportant in the overall scheme of things. This couldn't be further than the truth for myself and for many other women. Of course I can't speak for all, but downplaying the experience of birth is crushing to many, many women, even those who have had wonderfully positive experiences. My birth experiences are with me each and every day - I think about them a LOT. And I am fortunate that these reflections aren't filled with negativity and regret. For a lot of women, that is the reality. I'm not going to gratify anyone anymore with the "of course a healthy baby(ies) is the most important thing" - do I really need to say that? But it does NOT take away from the almost equally important to many experience of the birth itself. Sorry but remarks like these really rub me wrong.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
Sorry but remarks like these really rub me wrong.
Frankly, the assumption that if birth does (or does not) go exactly the way one hopes and dreams, so goes the rest of reality rubs me the wrong way.

The blunt truth is that you can (and most people will) have a beautiful birth with multiples, but unless you devote EQUAL or greater time to prepare for life afterwards, you're likely to find yourself with a reality roadrash.

But sure, assume that birth isn't important to me. Whatever makes you feel better about dismissing the idea that birth isn't everything, when it comes to preparing yourself for multiples.

Though on second thought, CAN one ever truly be prepared in advance? I'll have to think about that one.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Though on second thought, CAN one ever truly be prepared in advance? I'll have to think about that one.
I'm not sure!

I think that preparing for the actual multiples and preparing for the birth go hand in hand. Obviously, we can't guarantee that the birth will go exactly according to plan, and honestly, even though I got my twin HBAC and it was wonderful, I wouldn't say everything about that birth went exactly the way I had imagined it anyway. But I do know that you're more likely to have the birth you want, or something closer to it, if you plan for the birth you want. Does that make sense? I mean, I know birth is unpredictable, but so is, say, marriage, and that hasn't stopped me from enjoying that process as well and planning for certain aspects of our future. Anyway, preparing for the birth and preparing for the babies aren't two mutually exclusive things, and in many ways preparing for the birth IS preparing for the babies and their health and getting off to a good start.

Which reminds me of one of the big things that gets lost in the shuffle when we talk about this stuff is that those people hoping for a natural birth don't do so just to have the dreamy birth experience-- I've heard from so many women who have had bad birth experiences go on to have problems with breastfeeding, babies dealing with iatrogenic prematurity complications, or moms dealing with PPD or PTSD more frequently who are then in a less ideal situation to care for the new babies (and any others they have). So, a big part of why the birth actually matters is because we all want our babies (and our relationships with our babies) to get off to the best possible start. Obviously, there are no guarantees, but why not go for whatever it is you believe, in your unique situation, will make that good start more likely?
post #40 of 52
I had a horrific, traumatizing experience with my boys' birth. (including but not limited to lactation consultants who gave me advice that had I followed it I would not have been able to breastfeed successfully) Having a cesarean or traumatic birth does not sound the death knell for being able to nurse and AP parent--it was easy as pie for me to nurse my boys, despite one being in the PICU we never had nipple confusion, and I successfully advocated to keep the formula away from him, even though it took one of us being in the PICU with him 24/7 (a very horrible strain on our family, since we weren't allowed to have the other baby in there with us, I was recovering from cesarean and exploratory abdominal surgery, ect.) I think that gets lost in the shuffle too. I have seen a lot of people who have been frightened by the idea that if they don't have that "best birth" that it means that everything else will go wrong as well, and I think sometimes that is unintentionally promoted...which makes me very sad.

I think that when you're dealing the multiples, especially higher order multiples, it's in your best interest to make contigency plans and not get so hung up on one aspect that you're going to be demoralized if it doesn't come to pass exactly as you wish.

Incidentally, I also know people who homebirthed and who had problems with breastfeeding, because they just happened to have some of the very uncommon organic problems that can interfere with nursing (2 on the babies' side, one on the mom's).

I am not saying don't strive for the birth you want. Do. But don't get so hung up on it that A) if it doesn't come to pass through no fault of your own you're going to throw in the towel...you can't afford to do that with newborn multiples and B) you don't also spend as much or more time getting your support system into place. The support system will be there for you regardless of what kind of birth you have (unless you pick really horrible people). It's also going to be there during the times when you are so bogged down that your beautiful birth seems a distant memory lost in the fog of extreme sleep deprivation, and physical and emotional stress.

So sorry that people get annoyed at the "you'll deal with it even if it's not ideal". IME, that is reality though. And it's especially reality with multiples, because I think that most people find it's really not as they expected and/or dreamed. In some ways it's better, probably for some folks it's worse...but I don't think that you can afford to be inflexible if you want to keep your sanity.

For me, the birth part was a million times worse than I anticipated...but to be honest, having multiples was a lot better. (I was not one of those people who dreamed as a girl about having twins and how wonderful it would be, what I said when we found out would probably be considered a UA violation by most people.) Just because my birth was a truly horrific experience didn't mean that I couldn't do everything else I wanted to with my multiples--I exceeded my own expectations there. And just because someone has a great birth doesn't mean they won't be knocked flat on their rear end with the sheer enormity of the task that comes afterwards, and what it's like to go through the very long winter spell that is the intense first year parenting of multiples.
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