January 31, 2010,
T.E. asks from Red Bluff, CA on January 21, 2010
First Time Mom Pregnant with Twins! Concerned About Labor and Delivery.
I would really like to have a natural birth without drugs, surgery, and many of the "routine" interventions that hospitals often put into place. I am 23 weeks along and I already feel that I am looked upont as an emergency waiting to happen. I have been reading a lot on the subject and it worries me how high the c section rate is in this country overall; especially for twins! I would love to do a homebirth but I only have MediCal insurance and can't afford to hire a midwife or a doula to come to my house. The midwives at the hospital already told me that a waterbirth is out of the question and that I couldn't even labor in the water once I get to the hospital. I would have to be in an operating room once I get to the hospital and the only other person allowed in there is my husband. . I want my sister there too.I do believe in birth as a natural process rather than a medical event but since I am having two babies and this is my first time I would be nervous to just stay home. I guess my questions are: Does anyone have any advice on what I can do in my circumstances? Is there anyway that I can still keep my birth experience as natural as possible even if I am in a hospital operating room? Would it be a bad idea to labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital to give birth?
2 moms found this helpful
N.P. answers from Modesto on January 22, 2010
My sister had twins, now 1 1/2 yrs old. She had many concerns like you :O) My response is to let you know that she carried to 38 weeks and delivered both boys vaginally without any complications. Call her lucky, or whatever, but I just wanted you to know that there are stories out there with a successful happy ending :O)
One thing that I believe helped her alot, was instead of planning on all of her help AFTER the delivery (with frineds and family) she called them in weeks BEFORE she delivered. She already had a then 2yr old daughter, and wanted help with her, so she could lay down and rest her body as much as possible to avoid early labor. She also went as far as to hire a Nanny to help her keep up with the everyday needs that a mother holds. I know this isn't possible for everyone, but I truly believe that this helped her carry as long as she did, and also helped result in a successful delivery. She was always relaxed and rested, and so were her babies :o) So, if possible, ask your friends and family to help you with errands, etc.... so you can make sure you're resting your body. If possible, maybe hire a housekeeper to help relax your mind that your house is being maintained even while you rest :o)
Try not to worry too much, just share your concerns with your Dr, so they are prepared for your delivery to accomodate your pain when it is time to deliver :o)
I'm sure everything will be just fine. Try to enjoy your little miracles that are growing inside without too much worry :o)
Again, Congratulations to you and your family. What a blessing!
1 mom found this helpful
A.K. answers from Boston on January 21, 2010
Congratulations on your impending arrivals, T.! It's a very exciting time! I didn't have any of your concerns before I delivered my twins (I'd already had a singleton); however, the circumstances of their births were beyond my control and dictated that it be in a hospital setting. I was experiencing pre-term labor and on modified bed rest from 32-36 weeks. After 36 weeks they took me off of the meds, and I went into full labor within 24 hrs as expected. I ended up having a C-section because the larger twin, Baby B, was transverse and presenting himself second. That meant that Baby A (2 lbs. smaller than Baby B) could be delivered vaginally, but there was a good chance that they might not have been able to turn Baby B into position afterward. (Plus I had a history of pre-eclampsia during delivery.) (If Baby B had been presenting first, he would've made an easy way for Baby A because he was so much bigger.) So, instead of the strong possibility that I'd end up having both a vaginal and a C-section, we all agreed that it would be best to deliver both by Cesarean. I guess my point is to be flexible and open-minded. You just never know what's going to happen.
Too bad your sister can't be there. Never hurts to ask again. As for pain medication, I wasn't interested in them with my first delivery until I actually felt the labor pains. I quickly realized that I didn't want to be a hero and had a spinal before it was too late. My sister-in-law, however, had two vaginal births (singletons) without any drugs and she did fantastic! Even after her third delivery, a C-section, she was up and about the next day almost like nothing had happened. So, again, you just never know.
I recommend hooking up with a mothers of multiples group. There are scores all across the country. The National Organization of Mother's of Twins Clubs (www.nomotc.org) can help you find one in your area. I'm not a big "club" person, but found it very helpful to listen to other moms share their advice. These clubs frequently have activities for members and their kids such as playgroups, holiday parties, field trips to the farm, etc. It's a great way to meet moms with twins near the same ages as yours. You can never have too much support! Plus, you can usually buy gently-used equipment, toys and clothing at steep discounts from other members...and sell your own stuff when you're done with it.
Best wishes with your little ones!
1 mom found this helpful
M.E. answers from Redding on January 23, 2010
So T., you know my opinion (I'm her sister!) I think that women know their own bodies. The United States is one of the only countries to not have a midwife standard of care and not Doctors. We also have a higher infant mortality rate.. coincidence?Doctor's aren't TRAINED to deliver babies breech... but it IS possible..I am so happy that we found that birting center a little over an hour away that will let me in!!! Kasey (her husband) will be supportive, but out of his league.. and he probably won't like seeing you in pain.. (ya big baby) I've been there... AND with the DEVIL juice(pitocin) so I will be able to empathize with you! I like that they have a private tub fo you and you can walk around or dim the lights! yay!
1 mom found this helpful
I.G. answers from Seattle on January 22, 2010
Please do not let anyone tell you that you cannot give birth to your twins naturally and unmedicated. It is true that the experience is different for everyone, but you will not know, until you try.
If I had listened to all the naysayers that told me I was crazy for not wanting an epidural, I would have missed the most awesome and empowering event of my life. Yes, giving birth hurts, but for me the pain was absolutely manageable and not bad at all.
As for your dilemma, do yourself the favor and speak to a variety of providers, even those that may not be covered by MediCal. Many midwifes and doulas have sliding scales and payment plans. You would by a car on a payment plan - investing in a positive birthing experience is certainly worth it!
If you are not opposed to finding a doula who is still in training, you may get someone doing it for free (they have to attend a certain number of births before they can become certified). Ask your family for donations instead of presents (though I am sure you could use those too...).
Having twins is a little higher risk than having a singleton, but if you have an experienced midwife and a good plan and remain open to react to whatever the situation requires you will not only be fine, but you will also have a birth experience that you can be satisfied with.
Good luck and congratulations.
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R.K. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
wow! you've gotten a lot of different answers. i didn't read all of them, so i hope i don't sound redundant. first, you are on the right track! you have educated yourself about hospital birth and you are skeptical of what they consider "routine" interventions. you are halfway there! what that means is that you trust birth, and you trust your body. that will make whatever outcome you get a lot more positive. second, maybe some readers don't understand that trusting our natural birth process actually produces better birth outcomes. could you take a poop if someone was prodding, poking, and sticking things up inside you without your input? that being said, i know your options are limited. but at least you know you HAVE options! my advice so you can move forward is to try to find a birth center that accepts your insurance. and there may even be homebirth midwives that accept medical! there might be ways around this horrible insurance thing many of us find ourselves in. remember, this is YOUR birth, and the hospitals and doctors work for YOU, not the other way around. many of them have never even seen a normal birth; how could they be expected to help you have one? read up on twins born at home or at least born naturally. it happens all the time. make sure you follow your gut and do what YOU want to do. you know best.
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D.T. answers from Seattle on January 22, 2010
If your pregnancy is going along healthy there is no reason you couldn't labor at home for a while before going to the hospital. Twins existed on the planet before C-sections were invented. :-) If you are having any complications or high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, then I would go to the hospital right away when you go into labor. But, otherwise, hold back and let your body labor naturally in the peace of your own home before you get thrust into bright, fluorescent lights and a cold operating room. Is there any way you can hire midwife? or at least a doula for laboring at home and she could go with you to the hospital?
1 mom found this helpful
L.O. answers from Detroit on January 21, 2010
I totally understand you wanting to have as natural of a birth as possible.. But twins make some thing just too risky..
If the first babies head is down.. they will let you try for a vaginal birht. if the first baby comes out nicley.. that does not guarantee the second one will. so you might get a vaginal birht for the frist but still have to have a csetion for the second.
the most improtant thing is you and the babies are safe and healthy.
I had ideas about how I wanted my birht to be too.. but the reality ws my daughters head was sideways so the dr had to physically turn her head she was a vaginal birht .. but it involved forcepts.. that was not my plan..
I wasnt sure I wanted an epiduaral.. but believe me labor hurts.. I am so glad taht I got the epidural..
So dont have your heart set o one type of birht experience.. you have to be flexible ad do what is best for the babies.. and yes a twin birht is way to risky for home .. or anyplace but the operating room -- remember you want to take home 2 healthy babies..
C.C. answers from Fresno on January 21, 2010
There's so much unknown when you are pregnant with your first child (or in your case, children). I understand your wish to have as little medical intervention as possible. It's not a pleasant prospect, that's for sure! Nobody loves the idea of needles and scalpels when it comes to our babies!
I think it's important to discuss your wishes with your doctor, and if you feel like you are not being heard, then find a different doctor. You need to know going into this that your doctor is at least listening to you. However, at the same time you need to realize that doctors are trained to think of the worst-case scenario, and at all costs they want to avoid that situation. Their primary goal is keeping you and your babies healthy at all costs, and unfortunately we live in a society where they can and will be sued if everything doesn't turn out perfectly. Especially since multiple births are considered higher risk, it may be difficult to find an OB who will work with you on the water birth.
All that said, keep an open mind going into this. You will not be awarded a medal for going through labor and delivery without pain meds. Even if you have an epidural, you'll still feel plenty of pain! (Yes! It's true!) You will still be a mom no matter how your babies arrive into the world. What really matters is the loving care you will give them once they're here. So keep your options open, and don't beat yourself up if you do decide to have pain medication, or if a c-section is necessary. You may be surprised at just how intensely you feel everything once you're in labor! =) I remember how I thought that I would go through labor and delivery without any medication - took all the classes, did maternity yoga, etc etc. Well, let's just say that lasted until I arrived at the hospital, at which point I practically tackled the anesthesiologist in the hallway and demanded an epidural. I don't think my husband has ever been so afraid of anybody as he was of me at that moment! =) Anyhow, my girls arrived into the world without incident, as will yours.
Best of luck with everything - communicate with your doctor. It will all turn out fine, don't worry!
E.B. answers from San Francisco on January 24, 2010
As a mother of 7yr old twins I thought I would share my opinion...abd some of my background. My sister delivered 2 of her 4 kids at home & loved the experience. I witnessed one of them & it was a beautiful thing. I had no desire to have a home birth or non medicated birth. I don't like pain! But I see nothing wrong w/ homebirths or no medication just sharing what I want w/ my body.
Ok, so I had an easy pregnancy, pretty much no complications & was induced at 39w2d as baby B heartrate was too low. At my hospital it was mandatory to have an epidural put in...but my choice as to when & if medication to relieve pain was administered. But they want to have it in in case of an emeergency c-section being needed.Only my husband was allowed in the room....and I was seriously saddened about this. Luckily for me my mom was a nurse in the hospital at the time & knew my OB & so she & my sister were allowed to watch thru a window---all decked out in gear even tho they werent in the room. The room is very small & w/ all the equipment & the OB, my hubby, anesthesioligist & 1 nurse for ea baby it was full...that's the reason behind the rule.
My delivery went ok, baby A came out head first but banby B weas breech. They tried rotating him but he kept flipping back so the OB asked my wishes - suction or pull out feet 1st & I opted for the safest but preferred no suction. He reached in & pulled him out - I ripped alot but it was ok.
Ok...so now my opinion. Delivering twins is more risky than a singleton. Delivering at home would be nice but the babies lives are not worth the risk. To me it really doesn't matter how they come out...it's more important that they come out safely. Make your wishes known to your OB & nurses but they usually only want what is safest for you & babies.
YES, people had twins before hospitals...but the maternal death rate was much higher then. Not a risk worth taking IMHO
J.A. answers from Sacramento on January 22, 2010
Congrats...you are in for the ride of a lifetime. It is so much work, but oh so worth it. My twins are almost 6 and have a great relationship.
Just to echo what others have said, with twins it is really hard to know what to expect. All twin pregnancies are different, but definately higher risk then singletons. My water broke at 33 weeks and my twins were delivered natrually, but yes in the OR. I know it doesn't sound ideal, but it really is for the health of you and your babies. My sister in law had twins and delivered the first one naturally and then the 2nd one turned and she had to have an emergency c-section to delvier the 2nd. I did not labor in the OR. They didn't take me to the OR until it was time to push. So I labor in a regular labor room like other mom's. Once we got to the OR the dr. and nurses tried to make it as homey as possible. They brought in music. I will tell you there were A LOT of people in the OR...probably about 15-20 people...all there to make sure me and my babies were ok. So there really isn't room for extra people.
I would let your dr. know as soon as you are in labor and let her/him make the call as too when you go to the hospital. Only your dr. will know what your risks are and when you should be at the hospital.
Good luck and enjoy...it goes by so fast!!
S.M. answers from Cincinnati on January 21, 2010
hello.. i just want to let you know that i have twins that are almost six now. i have an eleven year old boy as well. i had to have a c-section with my first pregnancy because i wasn't dialating; at least, not fast enough for the doctor. i don't know. i was i labor for hours, so he decided to give the c-section. because of that, they already thought best to give a c-secton for the twins. i think it is definately the safest, and least painful way to go. i know that you probably aren't afraid of the pain, but you have to think of the stress you put yourself through,as well as the stress it could cause the babies. mine were born one minute apart and were 6 pound babies! i am very thankful for the care that the doctors and nurses had to give to make sure my babies were born as healthy as possible.
i am only giving you my personal experience as something to look at as a positive thing. i don't know anything about giving birth the natural way. i do know what kind of hell i put my mother through though! :) Nature vs. technology or nature and technology teaming up!
hope i didn't say anything to upset you... i'm only trying to help.
D.K. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
Best of luck to your and your babies! Remember the MOST important thing is healthy babies and mom. You may very well get your vaginal birth with both babies and no drugs or you may end up with a c-section for both or something inbetween. No one knows what you or your baby (babies) may need until that time. I would mentally prepare for delivering vaginally both and delivering vaginally one and c-section for one and delivering both by c-section. All are possible. I work in a NICU and have attended many twin births. There are many good reasons for the above possiblities. You need to choose a provider that you trust. At some point that provider is going to recommend the option that he/she believes is best for you and your baby. You can read up on all the possiblities, but until you know exactly what the circumstances are (which will be when you are delivering or shortly before)the decsion can't be made on how to deliver these babies. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. Most institutions want a mother delivering twins to deliver in the operating room. It's because you can't predict which baby might get into trouble (the are higher risks with twins, like cord intanglement). In certain circumstances having to move the mother into the operating room can significantly delay delivery which can (not always) have severe consequences for the baby.
J.B. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
I would interview a few midwives. Many do have experience with twin homebirths, and some offer reduced rates / sliding scales / payment plans for women whose insurance won't cover a midwife. A suggestion for affording a homebirth midwife: Instead of a traditional shower, ask your friends and family to contribute to a midwife fund, to help you have the birth you want. You can get all of the baby supplies and clothing you need in the form of hand-me-downs or from resources like freecycle or thrift stores. That is exactly what I did, and I will be forever glad that I birthed my boy at home!
D.H. answers from Sacramento on January 22, 2010
I am a mom of twins. I carried my twins full term, both were over 7 pounds and 20 inches. As such, I had a lot of baby in me. My doctor would only deliver via C-section because when birthing multiples even if both are head down at time of delivery, the second one can get twisted in the cord during the delivery of the first one. It is vey dangerous having more than one baby at a time and you should consider a c-section in a hospital with proper medical care available for your children. Please put your children's safety concerns first, it is much more important than the desire to experience a "natural" birth. Being the mom of multiples is such a blessing. You have so much joy ahead! Congratulations and God bless you!
J.K. answers from Sacramento on January 22, 2010
I have not had experience with twin births, but I do have two children, both of whom I delivered vaginally and without drugs or epidural. I just wanted to say that this is your experience and not your Dr.'s. I would become really educated and open to a. what *could* happen, b. what you would like to happen and most importantly of course, the well-being of you and your babies.
It's great to have a birth plan of exactly what you want, but sometimes things happen that are out of your control and you have to let go of the way you wanted it to happen. I would talk at length to your husband about what you want and be sure that he understands what is ok to say "no" to and what is not, and let him know that you need him to be able to support you during labor. You will be in another world and may not be able to advocate for yourself.
Good luck! Childbirth is an amazing experience no matter how it happens!
L.G. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
Talk to your OB/GYN and assess if he or she is open to vaginal birth for twins. Mine was very much supportive of doing it -- **provided** Baby A was heads down when it was time to go.
At my hospital (CPMC in San Francisco), you labored in the labor room like any other mom-to-be, but when you were fully dilated and ready to go, you delivered in the OR. And this is for your own safety and that of the babies, believe me. There is a higher rate of something going wrong for twins during a vaginal birth than a singlet, and the doctor needs to be ready to perform an emergency C-section if the situation calls for it. As a mom of twins, I can tell you, it took me a good 20 - 30 minutes to get from the labor room into the OR so there would be no time to move you if you needed a C-section and did not start out in the delivery in the OR.
Good news for me is that I did not need a C section, I delivered to healthy 5 lb 5 oz girls who went directly into the nursery and did not spend a minute in NICU.
So net, talk to your doctor and make sure you two are on the same page, vaginal birth if Baby A is heads down. (BTW, keep in mind that there is still a chance of an Emergency C if they have trouble getting Baby B out.) Then, my recommendation is to trust the medical professionals to do what is safest for your babies and for you.
It will be great! Good luck!
M.F. answers from Salinas on January 22, 2010
Congratulations! It is an experience like no other raising twins. So fun. My twins are 13 - 1/2 months old. I wanted to go full term and deliver naturally. My wonderful doctor expected this throughout the process also. He sat me down at 36 weeks to tell me my son breeched and that this is the most difficult situation for delivering twins safely. We talked about delivering baby A naturally and a C-section for baby B if he did not flip back to avoid serious dangers. My doctor is a friend and so sensitive to the heartbreak I felt. Unfortunately at almost 37 weeks there was too much iron in my blood. So I had an emergency C-section for both babies that day. I thought from all I heard I was going to miss out on the experience, but I did not. It was the most wonderful moments in my life. Because I have had previous abdominal surgeries, I believe the recovery process was easier for me. (appendix & ectopic surgeries).
Just stay healthy and positive and experience the journey. It is a fabulous one. You will get lots of pictures, as they watch twins very closely towards the end. It's amazing how their personalities can be seen in reflecting back on those pictures after the birth.
You have so many new roads coming your way, as I still do. Seek out help and ask questions from parents with twins. These people have been invaluable to me. As for myself, I am still new to this journey and daily full of questions. But it is all wonderful!
I can also tell you I had a wonderful nursing pillow that I was able to nurse both twins on. Check a website called Double Blessings. It was very helpful to me once I returned home from the hospital.
I hope you get your wish for delivery. Either way, it won't matter when you look at those beautiful babies! God bless!
D.Z. answers from Yuba City on January 22, 2010
Congrats on your twins! I had twins, they were babies #4 & 5, so I wasn't first time, but certainly first time with multiples! For me, I had hoped to deliver vaginally, (after having 3 I'm in complete favor of epidurals), however, my twins were in a 'locked' position with baby on bottom frank-breech position and baby on top in transverse (sideways). Therefore, for us external manipulation wasn't even an option, only a c-section. It was fine, not as much to worry about as I had thought,though I was pretty sore and taking care of 2 newborns with 2 toddlers and an older one at home was difficult, we worked through it all.
My point is, don't stress on it too much. You don't know what position the babies will be in when you are that far along, just keep yourself healthy and in good shape, exercise cautiously as advised by your doctor and stretch your muscles regularly. You can have all the birth plans in the world and they can get thrown out the window when you are in full labor.
Yes, you do have to deliver in the OR and your sister won't be allowed in most likely, but it will be okay. Remember that, it will be okay.
The mortality rate is higher for twins as you already are aware, so the doctors and nurses are there to help keep them safe, don't resist their help and advice. They will do their best, even if you don't like what they are doing at the time.
Best of luck to you, enjoy your time, I'm excited for you!
C.R. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
My suggestion would be to get the best nutrition possible. For the birth of my sons, I had the goal, like you, of a natural birth without drugs. I located a birthing class using the Bradley method. The biggest benefit I got from that was the nutritional advise offered. I believe you can find his book in the library. I also swam three to four times a week at a public pool to keep my stamina and breath strong. I would strongly push to have your sister in the room with you to act as your advocate. Husbands are important, but if you can have another woman with you who you completely trust it is soooo helpful. I labored at home as long as possible with my first birth but it was almost too long, I barely made it to the hospital and had to be transported by ambulance. I wanted my baby to be born in the hospital in case of complications. I felt strong and healthy and the birth happened without drugs. The part that hurt the worse was when the head stretched through the opening (it's relatively quick), the rest was muscle work and breathing. There are so many variables when giving birth that your experience will be unique. Your decisions will be right for you and I wish you a healthy delivery.
My boys are now in high school and I remember their births like it was yesterday.
A.K. answers from San Francisco on January 31, 2010
I am a doula and work in the San Mateo area. I would advise you write up a very specific birth plan to help avoid medical intervention like c-section. Usually with twins there is a breech baby. I know one hospital in SF that delivers Frank Breech babies (baby touching his toes with his forehead). I would advise to labor at home as long as you feel comfortable. Since this is your first childbirth it probably won't go super fast. Also twins are term between 34 and 37 weeks but doctors often still give you a 40 wk due date. Talk with you midwife about laboring in the shower. Usually when health care providers dont want the woman in a tub it's because there's an increased risk of infection if her water as broken.
Laboring in the shower and getting a heplock (IV that can be disconnected form the pole in between monitoring), I think could really help prevent interventions.
Hiring a doula really helps as well. Having someone facilitate communication between medical staff and the laboring woman makes a world of difference. No one wants to have to fight for the gentle birth they want while they're in labor.
Good luck and congratulations!
J.C. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
I think you'll have to wait and see. It's impossible to control your labor and know exactly what's going to happen during your labor until it happens. Please try to keep an open mind and do what's safest for your babies. Good luck to you!
B.C. answers from Norfolk on January 22, 2010
My sister went the natural birth route and totally hated it. The pain was just too much for her. (Cavities are totally natural too, but would you have a tooth drilled and filled without some pain relief?) I did an epidural and was glad I could rest enough through 36 hrs of labor so I had the energy to push to deliver my 9 lbs son vaginally. My Dr and I had a conversation about what I'd like for a birth plan and I told him it would be NICE if I didn't have to have a C section or an episiotomy, but the goal is to have as healthy a baby as possible and if anything looks like it's going badly - do what you have to do.
K.G. answers from St. Louis on January 22, 2010
congratulations on your twins, mine just turned 5 this past december. I would say that you should hope for the best but be prepared for all possibilities. I went to the hospital early becuase of massive water retention. I labored in the room for most of the delivery and only went to the OR at the last minute. It was a good thing, I had a vaginal for the first twin but twin 2 got the cord wrapped around him and I had to have a c-section. Not ideal but I was glad to be where my little one could get the help he needed immediately. Hope everything goes well for you.
T.S. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
First of all, congratulations on your two little buns in the oven!
I completely understand where you're coming from, my advice is to keep your mind and your heart open.
I don't know if my experience is typical, but I'll share it because I feel as someone who has never labored and delivered before, you're probably looking for as many opinions as possible.
No one tells you this, no one, not the books, your doctor, nurse or midwife: childbirth hurts like nothing you've ever exprienced! Hurt is not even a strong enough word, it is a pain so deep in your core that it is indescribable. I'll probably get some flack for saying this, but I felt so angry and let down after my many, many hours of "natural" birthing. It was NOTHING like I expected, I felt like I had been sold a bum bill of goods by the entire natural birth movement :(
Yes, yes, I know many women birth at home, go without meds and they are glowing happy people. But that just wasn't my personal experience, even though I wholeheartedly believed it would be. And as far as the medical community goes, I would say that over six years giving birth to three babies, I always, always felt cared for. Those people are amazing. Believe me, if something goes wrong with your babies, God forbid, you will be at that hospital begging them to do everything they can, and they will!
Best of luck to you and your new little family :)
H.P. answers from New York on January 22, 2010
I gave birth to twins and was lucky enough to have a vaginal delivery. However, I was very lucky to be in an operating room because even though both babies were head down and the first baby came out with no problem, the second baby suddenly had a rapid decrease in his heart rate. They were prepping me for an emergency c-section but somehow, I was able to push him out fast. Many times with twins, even if their heads are both down when you go into labor, the second baby will turn once the first baby comes out. If that happens, you may not be able to deliver the second one vaginally and then if you are at home, it is a problem.
There are just so many variables with twins that I can't even imagine delivering at home. Also, in light of the fact that they may be premature (many twins are), you may want to be at a hospital that can get them medical attention right away if necessary.
That being said, you can still opt for a natural (i.e. non-medicated) child birth. I did not go that route, but you could do it. As you recognize, they usually deliver twins in an O.R., so it's not as cozy and intimate as a birthing room.
Truthfully, you need to do whatever you can that is safest for the babies. Delivering twins at home is not something I'd even consider. Talk to your doctor, though, about natural child birth and perhaps not having a team of people in the O.R. I had tons of people in there. A pediatric team for when the babies arrived, a sonographer (and assistant) so they could see the babies' position and whether either or both had turned breech, the anesthesiologist and then a bunch of residents. It didn't bother me to have all the people there. I had been in the hospital for weeks before delivering, so it was nice to see the whole team there routing for me!
S.B. answers from Redding on January 22, 2010
Congratulations on your double blessing!
I think it's wonderful that you have a pretty clear plan about how you would like your birth experience to go. Be sure to make your wishes clear to your ob/gyn. However, realize that you have to be prepared for Plan B as well. That goes for ANY pregnancy. I know you feel as though you're "looked upon as an emergency waiting to happen", but the truth is, especially with twins, it's more a matter of being prepared IN CASE OF emergency.
My neice had twins that will be a year old March 1. She was adamant about having zero medication and refusing a c-section because she had a fairly easy birth with her first child. This delivery was more difficult than she anticipated. She was able to have one of the babies vaginally but the other one became too distressed and wasn't descending and had to be delivered by c-section. She had labored in a regular labor and delivery room with family present until it was clear the second baby needed help. It was only then that she was taken to the operating room and at that point, things happened pretty fast so I believe it was just daddy in with her for that part.
Be firm about your wishes but try not to be too rigid in your expectations because if things don't go the way you anticipate, you may become upset as opposed to staying calm and appreciating your experience for the sacred event that it is, regardless of how it works out. Be assured that all anyone at the hospital cares about is you, and helping you bring two healthy babies into the world. That is the ultimate and shared goal.
I wish you the very best!
Be sure to let us know how you're doing and when the babies arrive.
J.C. answers from San Francisco on January 23, 2010
Sometimes you can find a doula who is newly trained who will help you out for free, because they need a certain amount of births before they can charge. This is what we did with my daughter, who i had at a hospital, but completely naturally. Our doula was AMAZING! I feel like it was incredibly helpful to have one. Look at the birth centers and ask them if they can recommend anyone. Sorry I know nothing about twins, but good luck with your delivery!!
T.D. answers from San Francisco on January 22, 2010
I had twins. I had an epidural but did NOT have a c section. They were delivered in a operating with my husband at my side. They had a set of nurses and doctors for each baby. The doctors are not trying t take your experience away from you but you are considered high risk when you have multiples. With one baby, and a healty pregnancy you can have home births, etc. but with two, you should listen to the doctors and have the babies how they recommend. Going against doctors orders and risking the life of one of your babies isn't worth it.. Sorry for not encouraging to birth at home, I just feel your babies have a better chance of healthy delivery at the hospital. For instance, my daughter was born first, healthy and crying at the top of her lungs. 20 mins later my son was born with the umbilical wrapped around his neck, poor little guy was having trouble breathing. The doctors and nurses were there to provide him with the help he needed. I just feel like you need to rethink your wants and think about the babies needs... Good Luck!! My twins are 6 yrs old now! It's a rough road but well worth it!
R.S. answers from Redding on January 22, 2010
My sister had her twin boys (first babies) vaginally without any medication. She said she felt like a lioness and was very happy with her decision. She lives in Santa Cruz and I'd be happy to give you her number if you want to talk to her about it. I know mothers, and especially mothers of twins, like to stick together.
I would look very hard at my options if I were you and see if there is any other place to give birth that is more accommodating to your need to have your sister there. My sister was very helpful-- more willing to press harder on my back (even causing bruises but relieving the back pain) than my dear hubby.
H.D. answers from San Francisco on January 21, 2010
Well, first of all, the things you are feeling are natural both as a first time mom and one that is having twins. =) I think I would discuss with my doctor several things. Make him/her aware that you want to have the babies as naturally as possible. Is there a reason why you have to have a C-section? If it is just "procedure" then I would question it. If they are worried about the health of the children then I would learn more about it. How long you stay at home when in labor is also connected to how you have the children. If you have a C-section you probably will be scheduled for it so labor is a moot point. Ask questions! If your doctor isn't willing to answer them then find one who will!
I personally am a twin. I was first in the birth canal and came out fine but my brother was breach and came out with one foot down. 44 years ago the doctor pushed him back up until he could grab both feet and pulled him out. Somehow I don't think they would do it that way now. =)
Remember, what is important is not HOW your babies come out but that they are healthy when they do. Rest, try not to worry too much, take lots of pictures and happy pushing!