“Finding out I was pregnant with twins was exciting news. We had just commenced building our house so had lots on our plate!
When we first met our Obstetrician, we expressed that I wanted to have a natural birth and only necessary scans throughout the pregnancy. I expected that we would be able to birth without too many complications. She explained that this would be fine, and I would be induced between 37 and 38 weeks as this is “Full-term for twins”.
Suggestions from a friend
A chance of fate happened when I was about 13wks pregnant, while having lunch with a colleague and his wife and when his wife heard my story about my plan for a natural birth and knowing that I had twins on board, she suggested a couple of things. Firstly that I contact a Doula (she gave me a list of names) to support me and secondly that I consider arranging to birth at Nambour Selangor. I thanked her for her advice, and didn’t even consider taking the second one, way too far away from home (nearly 2 hours!)
When I was around 24 weeks and starting to feel VERY pregnant, I contacted my closest Doula to have a chat about everything. Wow – my world changed! I began attending birth education classes (Birthtalk’s “Path to a Better Birth’) and learned that we needed to ask lots more questions! Armed with my “more questions” attitude, we discovered at the 29 week OBS appointment when we wanted to start talking about the birth and being active that our OBS intended for my ‘natural’ birth to be a vaginal birth with an epidural in place (from 3cm dilated) in case the second twin misbehaved. We questioned my other options (like having an epidural only if needed) and was told that my OBS “would not be comfortable birthing these twins without an epidural in place” Enough said. No considerations about me or my body. I realised that I wasn’t receiving the support that I wanted and expected.
Part of the decision-making
We looked at our other options in Brisbane and realised that our best chance of a natural birth would be at Selangor. We met with the obstetrician there and he instantly made us feel comfortable about the birth, not by denying that there were any risks, but by empowering us to be part of the decisions.
At Birthtalk we were learning how to have faith in my birthing body and also learning what to expect. It gave me confidence in the lead up to the birth to stay positive and know that things would happen when the babies were ready to come out! And patience is an important thing to learn when you are 39 and a half weeks pregnant and the size of a small house!
Full contractions – we were in business
We headed up to our final OBS appointment on Monday (39wk 3d) and I was excited to learn that I was 3cm dilated. We decided to stay locally as it was bound to happen soon! At 39wk 6d I could hardly walk due to severe sciatic pain down my leg (only in the last week and perhaps made worse by the walking laps of the beach front and the uneven sand ‘sprints’ trying to bring labour on!!) I had gel induction. Within minutes I was in full contractions gripping the door frame. We had been introduced to our goddess midwife Vicki, who was showing me how to get moving by doing this ‘shaking body dance’ (good description! But it worked!) my membranes ruptured and we were in business.
Meeting our beautiful girls
I spent a couple of hours moving in and out of the bath and meanwhile singing Norah Jones quite loudly between contractions! (I had learned that singing helps ‘relax’ things) My husband Trent was providing the most amazing support , and this was enabled by our Doula Deb (from Birthtalk). Being free to move where I felt like within the birthing suite, I progressed labour relatively quickly. However I had an intense period like pain in the front that would not subside and was becoming excruciating. Our amazing midwife (Vicki) guided me through an extremely difficult final stage as Twin 1 was presenting with her ear (as in her head was crooked!) This apparently was forcing my cervix to squish between her head and my pelvic bone (I find all this out later obviously!) and I never experienced the ‘pushing’ urge. Or as I called it the “feel like you want to do a poo urge!” All the same, with Vicki’s guidance Elke, our beautiful little girl was born with me in a squatting position hanging between Trent’s legs (and using him as resistance!) I picked her up and reached her onto my belly and once the cord had stopped pulsing I cut it.
We moved onto the bed to check out our baby girl, and when I started to contract again, Elke moved to Dad’s arms for some bonding. I moved onto a birth stool and heaved my arms under the bed as resistance – you have to push REALLY hard to push a baby out! 25 mins after Elke was born, our second baby girl Tyra entered our world. Trent cut the cord and then we had two babies! The twins were born 2 hours shy of 40weeks following a 7 hour labour. Elke weighed 3080g and Tyra weighed 3020g. We established breastfeeding successfully with only sore nipples to complain about (!). Elke and Tyra were completely healthy and voracious about life (and food!)
Elated and high
Throughout the birth, I was excited but focused on the end result of meeting our babies. I also knew that the only way through the pain was to go forward and push these babies out. I trusted that my body would know what to do to birth the twins.
After the birth, I was so elated and high and like we could take on the world and do anything! I was in awe of these babies that we had created. I also felt so proud of how Trent and I had worked through the labour together and knew that this had brought us so much closer.
I felt extremely supported throughout my pregnancy Trent and I felt relieved knowing that we had our Doula at the birth to support both us through the process.
Equipped for parenthood
I am so proud that I had the confidence to question and learn. This changed the entire course of events of our birth experience in a positive empowering way. Both Trent and I feel that having such an empowering experience equipped us for the adventures of parenthood and newborn twins!
I wish that every woman and her husband would experience this joy and satisfaction.”