Saturday, November 8, 2008

Natural Birth of Twins!

I have been meaning to start a conversation about birth in general, and twins in particular. I have had three of my four children drug free; the first birth ended with an epidural after 12 hours (during which I should have been at home, ignoring what were very early signs of labour). I've been asked many times why one would choose to labour naturally, and honestly, I have to say that, in some bizarre way, it's easier. I (being a major control freak) would just rather choose to be aware and present and deal with what is actually going on with my body -- the whole needle-being-put-into-my-spine thing didn't really inspire confidence for me.

Here goes the Readers Digest version of what I did to facilitate my desired vaginal birth of twins (I had two other children and no time to recover from surgery; I knew natural would make returning to my older kids easier):

  • Barbara Luke's twin book and Elizabeth Noble's twin book both had info on the importance of natural birth and some links and stories that were helpful.
  • I gained twenty pounds by twenty weeks of pregnancy (not as easy or as fun as it sounds -- I had to work really hard, as my single pregnancies totalled 25 pounds max!)
  • I think Mothering Multiples (or one of the previously mentioned books) had a section with affirmations I said every day -- like, "my babies are born naturally weighing over 6 pounds each after April 1st" (I needed it to be that date or after in order for my higher-grade insurance to kick in!).
  • I wrote to people online in natural birth groups (try babycenter.com), looking for support. Only got back stories about people who had one baby vaginally and a c-section for the second. NOT what I wanted at all! ONE lady wrote with a link to a site that had several stories of natural solo homebirths of undiagnosed twins. If I had printed it out on paper, it would be in tatters, because I read it nightly and about twenty times during early labour, rocking back and forth on my giant birth ball.
  • Another inspiration twin birth collection that I perused is here.
  • I did yoga weekly (Kundalilni) and swam at the Y every other day or so.
  • I told the babies "head down, back to belly, easy out" every day. Out loud.
  • I told April (baby B) that she couldn't just hang out after Georgia was born, that there would be a lot of space and it would seem like fun, but that if she didn't engage right away, the doctor might not let her come out naturally. In fact, after Georgia's birth, I grabbed April's butt so that she couldn't flip.

I was also overdue (they ended up being born a couple hours shy of 39 weeks) and fighting induction, so I did permit my doctor to artificially rupture my membranes, or break my water. I had agreed to an epidural catheter in case of emergency, but we never ended up putting it in. More on the actual birth later!

1 comment:

Alisa N. said...

Good for you. I can't wait to hear the rest of your story. We had a natural delivery of our baby girl. BTW I love your daughter's names!