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?
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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!
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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!
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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!
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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?
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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!