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Twins/Toddler Tuesday

What Is It Like To Give Birth To Twins?

stork 1Obviously, there are as many different answers to this question as there are people, but since I get asked this a lot I thought I would share my answer with you.

Background: The twins were my second pregnancy. With my first pregnancy, I carried my son to term, and then some (he was over a week late). I gave birth to him vaginally and he weighed almost 9.5lbs. I required 8-9 stitches due to tearing, and I he also broke my tailbone (which is something I didn’t find out until I was in labour with the girls). My labour was slow so they gave me drugs to help speed it up since 24hrs after my water broke nothing was happening. It was a normal delivery, I was in a lot of pain after and it was difficult to sit, but I guess I had good reason.

My Situation: My twins were di/di. That means they were in their own sacs with their own placentas. This is considered to be the safest type of twins meaning if all went according to plan I could deliver normally. Baby A finally turned head down around 37-38 weeks and baby B was transverse.

Vaginal Delivery vs. C-Section: Towards the end of the pregnancy, I did

The ultrasound picture from 38 weeks.  I was so happy she was head down!

The ultrasound picture from 38 weeks. I was so happy she was head down!

a lot of fighting with my doctors because they were pushing me to have a C-section. Baby A was not head down, in fact, both babies were constantly moving around.  I am very strongly against elective C-sections (but I will not go into that now, since it is a separate post). I felt like since it was the holidays they just didn’t want to be called in if I went into labour, and I also thought that she just needed more time to turn head down. Regardless, I was very stressed out at the thought of surgery, and so when I went for my 38 week ultrasound and she was head down I was ecstatic (read more about it HERE). Don’t get me wrong, of course if it was for the babies I would have the surgery, but it was not at that point yet.

This is me at 36.5 weeks.  I didn't take any pictures at the very end (now I wish I had).

This is me at 36.5 weeks. I didn’t take any pictures at the very end (now I wish I had).

D Day: Where I live the doctors do not let you go past 39 weeks with twins because their mortality rate goes up. So, since baby A was finally head down I agreed to be induced at 38.5 weeks.

I felt a little guilty, like I should leave them longer since, as studies show, every day in the womb is beneficial but I was exhausted, huge, I couldn’t eat or sleep, and we had babysitting for the week, that we wouldn’t have if we waited. Plus, the babies were measuring 8.5lbs and 7lbs on the ultrasound so I figured they were cooked.

When we got to the hospital we had to wait a long time because they were busy with emergencies. It worked out for me because I didn’t like the doctor who was on duty, and he was off shift before I was in labour.

Around 5pm we finally got started. It was trickier than they thought since  I was locked up tight, no dilation or anything. I think I probably would have carried them another week at least.

Induction: They gave me an insert to get things going and it was horrible. I went from 0-10 with the contractions and I was in intense pain. You are supposed to work up to that level over time. I was upset. I wanted an epidural and they said no. I had three monitors hooked to my belly and I was so uncomfortable I kept telling them, it wasn’t supposed to be like that. The babies kept slipping out from under the monitors sending off alarm bells, and I writhed in pain.  Thy said I could continue for 12 hours like that.  I called for the doctor.

Finally, around 6:15pm the doctor came and she agreed to reassess after she checked the babies.  However, she could not find baby B so it wasn’t until an hour later, with her almost having a panic attack trying to find the baby with an ultrasound machine, that she relented.  She told me she was in distress and they would take the medicine out.

Told you so.

By 7:30pm they took it out, and things calmed down.  I fell in and out of sleep until about 4am when my water broke. Then they agreed I could have my epidural (you must have one with twins in case they need to do an emergency c-section). And while you can labour in a regular room, you have to deliver in an operating room, which was definitely the worst part of the labour since the room is not designed for giving birth.

Around 9 am our doctor came to meet us and she was great. I had the twins at a teaching hospital so it was actually a resident who was delivering the babies, with the doctor overseeing.  She was very experienced and all the staff spoke very highly of her.  She was also not so fond of sections like the other (male) doctors I had dealt with.

The girls in their hospital "crib".

The girls in their hospital “crib”.

Delivery: Around 11:00am I was in a lot of pain and called the nurse because my epidural wasn’t working. She checked and said that’s because the baby A was at zero station (they didn’t expect me to get there until around 4:00pm). All of the sudden I needed to push, and they wouldn’t let me because they weren’t ready.

So, I battled the urge while they scrambled to get an OR ready. Finally, they got me in there, with a group of about 10-12 people (doctors, nurses, students, helpers, everyone was excited because it was twins).

It was so uncomfortable because I couldn’t get myself into a good position to push from and I was almost falling off the narrow table. Plus, by then I was feeling everything (which I had only felt the tearing with my son) and the anesthesiologist was busy in the next OR.

With my son, I only spent about fifteen minutes pushing and he was out. So you can imagine how frustrated when I had pushed for over 30 minutes and no baby. Turns out when he broke my tailbone (surprise) it healed curled up making it hard to push the baby’s head up and over.Finally, after about 45 minutes if pushing she was out. Immediately my belly deflated…and there was still another baby in there.

The girls sleeping in our hospital bed after nursing .

The girls sleeping in our hospital bed after nursing .

They told me to rest while Baby B turned and made her way down. It took about a half hour until she was in position and they broke her water.

I pushed for another half hour and I was so exhausted. The doctor was very kind and experienced and said she would give me some help, so they used a suction cup to help her head out.

Finally, by 1:30 PM both girls were out. June was 7.5lbs and Sansa was 6lbs. They were both a pound smaller than the ultrasound predictions, but looking at them I could see why, they had not an ounce of fat on them.

Aftermath: My doula told me it is better to rip that be cut (episiotomy)

Me, just a week after giving birth, and already seeing a huge difference.

Me, just a week after giving birth, and already seeing a huge difference.

since skin is like cloth and the fibres weave together to be stronger, whereas if you are cut they can’t do that. I guess she was right because I didn’t tear anywhere that I had before, instead I needed two stitches at the top.

Once it was all over we were sent to recovery, where I already had family waiting for me. I should have slept but instead I was trying to be social which resulted in me puking everywhere and passing out, but stuff happens.

Oh, I should mention that the twins ended up being born on hubs birthday. That’s right. All three of them now share the day, so people were also there for his birthday.

After delivery I nursed them right away and continued breastfeeding. Luckily, they had no health issues (unlike my son who was on the verge of jaundice) and so we were home in 48 hours.

Discharge: By the time I was discharged, I had already lost THIRTY pounds, and with every step I felt like I was walking on the moon. I was also feeling good and ready to go way before I was with my son, I guess your body bounces back quicker the second time?

Exhausted but excited, we got home, put them in their swings and just stared. They were here and now there was no looking back.

The girl's looking so tiny in their car seats.

The girl’s looking so tiny in their car seats.

So if you are pregnant with twins good luck, you can have a regular vaginal delivery.

If anyone has any questions about specifics or things I didn’t cover, feel free to ask them in the comments section and I will answer them..

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “What Is It Like To Give Birth To Twins?

  1. So awesome! I bounced back a lot quicker after my second as well. Except I totally overdid it once I got home. I was chasing Cooper around because I felt fine and then ended up really hurting. I think it is so amazing that you vaginally delivered twins!! You are a rockstar!! My epidural process was much like yours too. Once my boys dropped low enough I felt every singe pain. And I know that I will NEVER EVER forget it.

    Posted by findingcoopersvoice | December 10, 2013, 10:20 am
    • Lol. With my son all I felt was the tearing so it wasn’t so bad, but that hurt like hell (and is still sensitive to this day). Way to go for you as well. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? All the best.

      Posted by Shannon | December 10, 2013, 12:42 pm
  2. What an inspirational story! It sounds like it was tough, but well worth it to advocate for your vaginal birth. I can’t imagine birthing twins, so I think you are just amazing! Did you have a lot of lower back pain with the tailbone thing? I was actually wondering if my daughter could have fractured my tailbone when she was born. She was 9.7 lbs and came in only 45 minutes of labor- super fast, with three pushes. But ever since then I’ve had nearly debilitating back pain that does not go away with exercise, stretching, ice, heat, you name it… just curious about how you found out yours was broken.

    Posted by momasteblog | December 10, 2013, 7:44 pm
    • That sounds like me, only 10-15 minutes of pushing and he was out. I had no idea it was broken until I was in labour with the girls and they told me it had been broken and healed curved so rather than just push the baby’s heads out I had to push them up and out, which was much harder. After I had my son I was in excruciating pain sitting down, especially with his weight on me nursing. I was in so much pain I ended up using these hot cold packs that were for sore breasts and freezing them and sitting on them (and believe me, my boobs hurt too, but I needed the help down there). At the time I assumed it was from the stitches (8-10) and the hemorrhoids from delivery, but now it makes sense. That was 2010 and now I don’t feel any pain from it, except skin is still sensitive from the stitches (in fact, it hurt to do #2 for almost a year!) Sorry if TMI but I am just trying to be helpful. Maybe if you have a gyno they could check, but I had a million people look at my vajajay and no one caught it so I’m not really sure. Thanks for reading, I have never been much of a “birth story” person, but since so many people asked. Cheers!

      Posted by Shannon | December 10, 2013, 9:05 pm
  3. I am honored to nominate you for the Sunshine Award!! 🙂
    http://kcaloia1007.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/sunshine-award/

    Posted by Erowyn | December 11, 2013, 12:07 am

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  1. Pingback: Sexy Saturdays: Trying To Concieve Twins | A Game of Diapers - January 18, 2014

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