Beautiful birth

When I was pregnant with Little DG, one of the very first things I started to worry about was the birth and whether I would need to go into hospital. Things were no different this time. When we discovered it was twins, my emotions were a mixture of huge relief that the bleeding I’d had wasn’t a miscarriage, and a realisation that my hope for a home birth with a pool was probably out of the window – as it was in the end with Little DG due to my thrombosis and treatment with blood thinners. This time round, though, I knew that it wouldn’t be possible to arrange an independent midwife to deliver me in hospital, as the rules have changed.

You might think that having been through so much to get pregnant, that I’d be happy just to know the babies would be born safely, but things just aren’t that easy for me when it comes to hospitals. For a start, I do doubt whether a hospital can be relied on in that respect… but also I feel terribly stressed at the thought of being in the clutches of the medical establishment especially relying on the random allocation of a doctor and midwife, subject to the vagaries of hospital policies, let alone at a vulnerable time like being in labour.

So despite the cost, I went ahead and arranged an independent midwife to at least act as my friend and supporter throughout the whole process (and I suspected I’d get my money’s worth from the post-natal support and help with breastfeeding twins, if nothing else!) I chose the midwife who had taken over from the one who delivered Little DG (now retired) and I also got myself referred to an obstetrician recommended to me as progressive, by another independent midwife.

So the pregnancy progressed with me going regularly to see my haematologist (on blood thinners again) and for scans (monthly from 20 weeks then fortnightly once twin I’s growth and low fluid began to be a concern) but with my ante-natal care carried out by Rene and her partner, another midwife called Sally.

I found things surprisingly easy, no doubt helped by me working at home from about 28 weeks. And maybe I was less inclined to complain about inconveniences like swollen legs, because I was just so happy to be pregnant with no complications. I was lucky though, to escape many pregnancy ailments, with the exception of killer heartburn/retching and feet that seemed to get bigger by the day.

With the support of Rene and Sally we planned for the sort of birth I wanted. I was very concerned that I should have a natural birth with no unnecessary intervention, and we therefore sent my birthplan to the supervisor of midwives and discussed it with my consultant as well as meeting with the manager of the labour ward. We obtained the twin guidelines from the hospital and discussed my desire not to have continuous monitoring.

My other main concerns were about no unnecessary induction, being able to use the pool, letting the cord stop pulsing before cutting the cord, and letting twin II come naturally in their own time, plus DP taking twin I skin to skin while I delivered twin II. As well as no unnecessary staff in the room, paediatrician called in only if needed, etc. I did have some very anxious moments and bad dreams about the whole idea of going into hospital which culminated in me basically sobbing my way through a consultant appointment a few weeks before the end but Rene and Sally did their best to reassure me that they would be there and nothing would happen to me without my consent. My consultant was on the liberal end of the doctor spectrum and agreed with my requests, although she did keep reminding me of hospital policy to induce twins at 38 weeks.

I did acupuncture to prepare for birth as well as hypnobirthing and had an mp3 made for me by my hypnotherapist.

Everything was fine, apart from rather low fluid on twin I and slower growth than twin II, until just over 37 weeks when I had some visual disturbances one evening. Rene came to check me, my blood pressure was fine though there was some protein in my urine. We decided it was hopefully just a migraine. However at 37+2, the symptoms came back and when Rene same to check me, my blood pressure was up, not dramatically, but combined with +3 on the urine dipstick, it was enough for her to suggest we went into the labour ward to be checked.

They decided to keep me in for monitoring in case of pre-eclampsia and a 24 hour urine collection. I took this news quite well, considering. The 24 hour urine collection showed I had mild-pre-eclampsia but my blood pressure stayed stable, albeit elevated. I declined to be induced, and agreed that I could go home, after my regular scan, scheduled for 37+6.

Rene and Sally came with me. Twin I was still something of a concern, but now at almost 38 weeks and with the pre-eclampsia, they scrutinised blood flow to the placenta and the baby’s brain etc much more thoroughly. They then declared he had pretty much stopped growing, that he was estimated at 4lb 8 while twin 1 was 6lb 14 and that he was beginning to suffer.

So we agreed to be induced. But then it turned out not to be such an emergency… in fact they couldn’t find a slot, right off. After I’d had the fear of god put into me by the scan dept, my own consultant came to see me on the ward and reassured me that the baby was only showing the very early signs of difficulty. We agreed I’d go home, be monitored the next day, and come back probably the day after for induction.

I was so relieved to get home and into my own bed and bath … I’d been in hospital from Saturday/Wednesday and not slept more than an hour in one go.

However I woke up before dawn struggling to breathe and nothing seemed to help. When Mr DG got up we decided to go back to hospital and called an ambulance. I was admitted again via the labour ward and they checked my heart via an ECG as well as testing for pulmonary embolism (due to my history) Mr DG had to leave me there alone as Little DG was off school ill.

At teatime they took me back to the ante-natal ward, with induction planned for the next day, 38+1.

I spent the night pacing the floor, interspersed with hot showers to relax my stiff neck.

Mr DG came to the hospital mid-morning, but there was no space in the labour ward. It was late afternoon before we were taken up. A lovely hospital midwife checked me, Doriscilla, and she said I was fully effaced and 2-3cm dilated. She suggested not having the pessary they had prescribed, but instead having a sweep and waiting for a few hours. So she gave me a sweep and I got into the pool to read my book. Sally and Rene arrived a few hours later and at shift change we got a new midwife, Harriet. I was visited in the pool by the consultant covering that night and her team, including her SHO Ranjit. The consultant was very keen for me to be continuously monitored but I reiterated my wishes and we came to a compromise for occasional monitoring via the CTG. (In the end , noone really came in and pushed monitoring on us, a couple of times Rene had to go and remind the midwife that I needed to be checked)

We relaxed for a while, and I had a few twinges, and possibly some leaking fluid, but nothing much happened despite Rene doing reflexology on my feet. I was enjoying having access ot the pool, and was tempted just to wait for nature to take its course and not have any further intervention, but in fact, I was keen to go ahead and have the babies during the night, and Sally and Rene were there… I wasn’t sure if we’d get kicked out of the labour ward if we refused any further induction!

So just after 10 when Harriet came back, I was quite happy to have my waters broken. It was quite painless, and Mr DG and I walked about for an hour or so. Contractions started at about 10.30 and by 11 o’ clock were 1:5. I was on the birthball, listening to my hypnotherapy MP3 and very relaxed.

At about 11.30 I started to want to get in the pool, which I hoped was a good sign. I got into the pool, by midnight the pains were quite intense. Rene called Harriet to say she thought I was close to transition. Harriet was surprised but checked me and I was almost fully dilated. I was finding the pains quite hard and I hoped I’d get the urge to push soon. I remembered from Little DG’s birth that the time just before pushing was the hardest. 00.45am and I felt the urge to push.

There was a rush to get me out of the pool, I chose to kneel on the bed leaning forward and got a bean bag to lean over. A doctor appeared at 1am, hurrying to place a cannula in case I needed any drugs. I was pushing. Tor.en was born at 01.10, and I took him in my arms. Mr DG cut the cord when it stopped pulsating.

Twin II was monitored via the CTG and scan, and was still quite high.

I relaxed, Tor.en fed and we enjoyed meeting him. At 1.50 the doctor came back and suggested a drip, but I refused. Mr DG took Tor.en under his tshirt and I tried various positions to stimulate contractions. At 2.30am I got back onto the ball and took Tor.en to feed, which did stimulate some contractions.

At 2.55 the doctor examined me again, Mair.ead was still high and seemed to be coming feet first (legs over head) This was confirmed by a scan.

The doctor managed to turn Mair.ead to head first, while I had a quaff of the gas and air, which made me feel quite spacey. The doctor suggested I have the syntocinon drip to bring Mair.ead down and keep her head down. At 3.30 Mair.ead still hadn’t descended. The doctor then suggested going to theatre to rupture her membranes, which I agreed to.

I was quite upset to hear that the journey from the labour room to the theatre (although not far!) would need to take place without gas and air… as the supply was not mobile… I recall taking several deep breaths and chucking the mouthpiece at the midwife and shouting “Go, go!” The drip was so much more painful than my natural births with Little DG and Tor.en had been!

Anyway, just before 4am we were in theatre, Sally, Rene and Mr DG were all allowed in, Tor.en was there in a cot. Being the middle of the night the place was very quiet. Mair.ead’s waters were broken at 3.57, I started to push and she was born at 4.11 – just over 3 hours after her brother. If we’d have started earlier, they could have had different birthdays!

I remember just carrying on pushing until someone told me it was all done and the placenta was out. It was such a relief it was all finished!

In recovery both babies were weighed – Tor.en was 5lb 5 rather than the estimated 4lb 8 and Mair.ead was 6lb 4 rather than 6lb 14.

1st stage: 2:45

2nd stage (Twin 1) :15

Mr DG came up to the postnatal ward with me at 7am and refused to leave. It was so lovely to have him there with me and the babies. I dozed off, feeling so happy and amazed that we had finally done it.

Two beautiful babies, and a beautiful birth. It wasn’t without complications but I knew that nothing happened that didn’t have a good reason.

NB Mr DG and one of the midwives took it in turns to text Hobbesy and send her pictures as the night wore on, so she had a sort of ringside seat!


~ by drownedgirl on April 25, 2008.

12 Responses to “Beautiful birth”

  1. Thank you for sharing your birth story. I’d never heard about waiting to cut the cord until it stops pulsating before. You’ve made me curious as to why. I hope all is going well as you adjust to the shape of your new family!


    Maximises blood supply

  3. This is such a lovely story – thanks for sharing.

  4. thank you for sharing this, it sounds like you had a great birth experience. Congratulations again!

  5. I loved reading your birthing experience of the twins. I am looking into home birth, too. I’m sure I’ll be getting some flack and concerns from my family. Congrats on your twins!

  6. It sounds like you got a lot of what you hoped for. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  7. Wonderful!

  8. wow! what a birth that was! You & Mr DG did so great.
    sending love all around.

  9. holy moly that is one amazing story. congratulations!

  10. Thank you for sharing your birth story huge congratulations! x

  11. Only just got around to looking up your birth story, and I’m so glad I have had the privilege, I’m so pleased for you. Much love and happiness to you and all of yours – from one mum of three, to another!

  12. I think you’ve just given me a to-do list for birth, if I ever get there. 🙂

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