Ever since I gave birth to the twins I have wanted to write my birth story. When I was pregnant I turned to the internet to find stories of a twin birth that didn’t scare the living daylights out of me. There were hardly any! I thought it must be rare to have a straightforward birth with twins and that scared me. After the birth I felt so strongly that I wanted other twin mums to read about how my birth did go to plan and hope it would give them encouragement that they might have a positive birth as well.
Our journey to our second baby started just after our first child (Alfie) turned 2 in April 2017. It took about 4 months for us to fall pregnant and we found out we were expecting in very early July. The pregnancy seemed normal and my sickness was not nearly as bas as when I had Alfie. I was showing a little earlier but I just put this down to second pregnancy!
When I found out I was having twins at our 12 week scan, the main feeling that consumed me was fear. Not fear of what having twins would be like, but fear of the pregnancy and birth. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I am a bit of a hypochondriac so to be facing a high risk pregnancy was a scary thought. I hoped for non identical twins as they were less risky but after three further scans we were told we were having identical twins who had their own sacs but shared a placenta.
Fortunately my pregnancy was pretty straightforward considering. With fortnightly scans and appointments with our consultant, I felt well cared for and reassured everything was going well. A small stay in hospital at 30 weeks when my heart seemed to be struggling with the strain was the only blip, apart from of course the intense discomfort, restless legs and heartburn!
Leading up to the birth my consultant, midwife and obstetrician discussed the options for the birth. I had the choice of a planned c section or a natural birth. I was petrified of the idea of a c section but a natural birth also scared me. My eldest son was born in a midwife led birthing suite in a water pool with no pain meds and I so wished for the same with my next pregnancy. Obviously this was not going to be possible and my consultant seemed keen for me to have an epidural.
By the time I was 36 weeks both my boys were head down and looking great. They were similar in size and I had luckily not developed any problems that would interfere with a natural birth. I was however still so undecided. I would spend days swaying between natural and c section. It consumed my thoughts. At my 36 week scan my obstetrician examined me and said I had already started dilating. That solidified my decision to go for a natural birth. I had such a straightforward first birth and felt I would regret not giving it a go when everything was looking so good. I was not keen on an epidural but thought i’d have to get one. I was given a sweep that day and sent away to hopefully start labouring.
Over the next 4 days I felt twinges and some mild contractions but nothing earth shattering. I turned up 4 days later at the hospital for my planned induction. Upon examination I was already 5cm and luckily would only need my waters broken. Before this was done the midwife discussed pain relief and I explained that I did not like the idea of an epidural. I was so surprised to hear her say that she understood and that we would progress with the induction in the way I wanted.
By 11am they were ready to break the waters around twin 1. We got comfortable as we were told it might be a long wait. However our babies had other plans and my contractions ramped up a notch straight away. I wanted to stay on my feet as much as I could so I had two heart monitors strapped to my stomach to keep track of the babies heart rates. I gave a tens machine a try but found that as my contractions progressed, it got in the way of my focus. I had used hypnobirthing in my previous birth and found concentrating on my breathing and blocking everything else out helped so much.
It didn’t take long till we realised that I was nearly ready to push. The room gets very busy at this point during a twin birth. A third midwife, sonographer, surgeon and paediatric doctor all need to be there before you proceed. The next bit is a bit blurry for me as it all happened pretty fast. Noah was born first at 1:57 pm weighing 5lbs 7oz. Once he was out the third midwife held my stomach firmly to keep twin 2 in place while the sonographer checked that he was head down. Noah was handed to Tony after a very quick cuddle with me. Unfortunately I went back to 6 centimetres after this so the midwife had to break my second waters. After this there was no stopping Flyn and he came into the world at 2:26pm weighing 6lbs 3oz. Both were handed to Dad while I delivered the humongous placenta. From start to finish it had taken 3 and a half hours which was pretty fast and furious! Flyn needed a small stay in neonatal but we were all home safely together by day 7.
Writing this I realise how lucky I was to be able to birth my babies in the way I wanted without complication. It was such an empowering experience but I would not have had the strength if it hadn’t been for both the midwives and my husband. They backed me and put trust in me that my body knew what it was doing. I am a strong believer in trusting our bodies to do what they were designed to and am proud that mine did just that. Having said that, I went into the birth knowing that the medical professionals know best and that getting those babies out safely whilst also keeping me safe was the priority. I have so much respect to all mamas out there, no matter how they birth their babies and I just feel grateful to have had three healthy babies to take home.
If you have any questions or want to talk to me about twin pregnancy or birth, fill in the form on the contact page and I will get back to you ASAP!