Originally Posted by Karen Gromada
Karen (who had an unmedicated birth with her vertex A and surprise vertex B -- surprise as he'd been obviously breech up to within hours of birth and we have no clue as to when or how he turned; can't believe he found room!)
Is it likely he turned after baby A was born? My two were vertex, but there was concern that after A was born, B would turn breech, so I am guessing it could work the other way. At least there would be a lot of room after A was born!
OK, now back to the OP. I have been hesitating to post just because it is going to be long and maybe not really even directly answering any of your questions. But here goes. I hope something in here my help you, even if only as a way for you to prevent having to fight some of the same battles.
I had a hospital birth. In my case I would have been comfortable with a midwife attended homebirth, but couldn't find someone who would do it in this area. I was not comfortable with an unassisted birth though, so ended up planning a hospital birth when I found out about the twins at 34 weeks. Up to that point I was planning a homebirth with a midwife.
Anyway, my OB is very natural birth friendly, but the hospital really isn't. So the difficulty was in my OB having to basically walk a thin line to keep the birth natural but also to not cause problems at the hospital. If the birth had a negative outcome, and he was considered by the very conservative hospital to have not intervened enough, then he probably would lose his ability to practice there.
So, when I talked with my OB initially he told me that I would not have to be in the OR. Then at a later appt. he said we would have to move to a bigger room for stage 2. Later after that, I realized he probably meant the OR, but just honestly didn't have the energy to contest it any more.
There were a few "battles" at the hospital.
The nurse doing my check in claimed that baby B was showing stress, based on heartrate, and she thought I must be dehydrated. She wanted to start IV fluids. I showed her my water bottle, and said I would drink more water, and I would be okay with a heplock but not actually starting an IV. When I thought she was setting up a heplock, she actually started IV fluids. I did not want that but didn't know I could unhook it. When the nurse left, my husband unhooked it for me. Later they did put a helplock on instead, but I did not have an IV connected throughout.
During stage one labor, the staff was trying to maintain continuous monitoring with external fetal monitors. It didn't work very well, because whenever I moved, one of the monitors would lose a heartbeat. At any rate, someone on the staff suggested baby A was experiencing delayed accelerations, meaning the heartbeat was accelerating after the contraction was over. There are a lot of reasons I question whether that was a problem (I don't completely believe the contraction monitor to be accurate in the first place), but that person was using that to pressure my OB to use an internal fetal monitor. He basically gave in, and even my midwife said it might be a good idea. I was completely against it and so negotiated to start pushing early instead. The OB checked how things looked and thought that would be okay. So the internal monitor was never used.
One other note about stage one. I had brought food to eat, but did not eat anything. I also do not remember drinking water. I think at home I might have done these things. It just was that in the hospital I felt like I had to spend all of my energy keeping the staff from escalating things. I don't remember really having a moment where I could just kind of retreat for a bit an take a drink of water. Either the anesthesiologist was giving me a long talk (through transitional contractions) about what he would do in the case of an emergency, or they were fussing with the monitors pushing them hard to try to pick up baby A, or etc.
So then we moved to the OR. I am not sure if it would be possible to just refuse to move into the OR at that point. It sure didn't seem like it at that time. My husband then had to do a lot of negotiating to get my midwife and doula to be allowed to come into the OR with us.
In the OR, I had to lay on my back while pushing. It hurt alot. I don't know whether this was because I was pushing a little too soon, or because I was on my back, or because I just truly did not want to be there, or because it would have just hurt regardless. At some point I did insist on trying to stand/squat on the OR table. My husband supported me. But it really was not a good enough arrangement, in that I really could find a position to relax between contractions and soon my legs were tired and I was on my back again.
At this point monitoring was with an ultrasound. They were pushing hard on my belly to see the babies. That hurt a lot too. So between pushing I didn't really get a rest from pain...just more pain of a different sort. Also, some people were kind yelling/coaching "push" which really irritated me and made be feel like I was being attacked.
I also felt a lot of stress that if I took to long with pushing they would pressure a c-section. So I feel the whole pushing stage was really poorly managed.
Baby A was born three hours after I checked into the hospital. I think it was only an hour of pushing, but am not sure. (I had second degree tearing from her birth, but again don't know if it was because the pushing stage was rushed or because her hand was up by her face, or because it just would have happened anyway.) Then I think my OB used an amniohook and baby B was born three minutes later. Both were vertex.
It was the first natural birth of twins witnessed by everyone in the room except my midwife and my OB.
My midwife and doula helped get both babies nursing before we even left the OR.
The way to the recovery room passed by the nursery. Even though from the start we made it known that we did not want our babies in the nursery, I guess the head nurse did not know in advance. She tried very hard to get the babies and was very upset when she didn't. I think if I did not have my midwife, my doula, my babies' pediatrician and my husband surrounding me and the babies, she might have got them. Later my husband talk with her to smooth things out.
After being in the recovery room for a bit, some nurses came in and said I should try to pee. I heard them talking about smelling salts but didn't really make the connection. I made it to the bathroom and then started to pass out and the smelling salts appeared. Turns out they were insisting I pee because they assumed I had an epidural. Because I felt so weak after that I decided to stay overnight. Otherwise I had really wanted to go home. My husband was not allowed to stay overnight in the room with me.
The next day we let them do hearing tests on the babies in the room. In retrospect, I think I should have skipped it. It took a lot of time with one baby, who basically cried the whole time.
Then we checked out and went home.
The big picture is that I did manage to have a natural birth in an OR. My OB supports natural birth, the hospital does not. If I had time to search for another OB, I would have tried to find one at a hospital that was more supportive of natural childbirth. I felt very violated after the whole experience, but I am pretty sensitive, and I think another person would really have not had any problem with any of it. I think it also would have helped if I could have somehow come to better terms with the fact I was going to give birth in the hospital beforehand. With only four weeks to prepare, I just never really accepted it, so the reality hit kind of hard.
Hopefully that was not more than you wanted to read. I am very glad to read about people who had a better experience. I guess I just wanted to post my experience so maybe at least if you run into any of these things while you are in the hospital it might help.