In the spring of 2014 I found out I was pregnant with twins and started documenting my journey in a weekly post. I will be periodically posting these past writings, starting from the beginning. This was written Aug 6, 2014.
Many women around me are opting for home births or utilising alternative birthing centers. I can understand their reasons. I spent a lot of time in hospitals during my brother’s battle with cancer and it left me with some hard feelings. But when I found out I was having twins, I knew I would be birthing in a hospital. Still, I am hopeful for a natural birth. I don’t consider myself to be a hippie or anything, I just believe that our bodies are capable of a lot more than we give them credit.
On behalf of my frequent visits (I have more visits than normal because of twins) I now feel comfortable in the hands of the doctors, midwives and staff at Valley Women’s Healthcare. I have spent a lot of time reading and learning up on the process of birth. And though I’ve just scratched the surface of what these people know, I feel like I am getting the best of both worlds. I know my options, a glimpse of what I can expect, and I have a clear idea of how an ideal birth for me would go. But it’s also nice to know that should an emergency arise they have access to a plethora of equipment, tools, and experienced staff. Sure women have been having twin births out of the hospital for a long time, but there have also been many complications and deaths. Sometimes modern medicine gets a bad rap, but I am darn glad we have it.
Nate and I went in to my check up today with my birth plan in hand. Many people have told me to be open, and not disappointed when things don’t go my way with a birth plan. But I also want to be prepared in case the right circumstances are presented. The basis of my birth plan is this, “I want to have the most natural labor and birth possible. I would prefer to start labor spontaneously without induction and go at my own pace without drugs to increase the speed and under my own power without anesthetics.” There’s a little more to it, but that is the main premise.
We went over my whole list with the midwife I was meeting with and was happy to hear that she was right on par with pretty much everything I was asking for. They are very knoweldgeable and in favor of natural alternatives and will be able to help me achieve the birth I am hoping for. She said decisions will be based on discussions, giving me the ultimate choice. There was just one part I got hung up on that I wouldn’t have a choice.
I’ve known for a while that although I will be laboring in a birthing suite, I will do the final pushing in the operating room. This is standard for twin births and I’ve come to terms with that. What I didn’t realize is that I would also do my pushing on the operating table. I was hoping to have the freedom to move around. I’ve read a lot about the gravitational and physiological benefits of birthing in a squatting position but it doesn’t look like this will be an option for me. I was overcome with panic but was reassured that although I would be in the bed, they are well aware of how it all works and I would be positioned in a way that physiologically allows for a smooth delivery.
I think talking about it all started getting my emotions worked up and some of those emotions were coming from a place of fear. When you start really thinking and visualizing it all, it gets a little scary. There’s really nothing like it. In surgery, you go in and pretty much check out while they do whatever they have to do to fix you. But with labor and delivery, you play an active role. You’re in control, yet there are times when you have to give up control which can be just as hard. It’s a lot to process. You have to be prepared physically and mentally and I’m realizing I have some work to do to help me get there.
I shouldn’t be worried though. The babies are healthy and measuring great at 3lbs 8oz and 3lbs 10 oz. At 30 weeks, those are great measurements, especially since their weights are so comparable. They are positioned well (let’s hope they stay that way!) and I feel confident with the staff I am be supported by. I also know Nate will do a great job of keeping me calm and centered during it all. At the end of the day, as my midwife said, “When it gets scary, focus on the big picture.” We have two blessed babies we will be getting to meet very soon and a lifetime of love and joy ahead of us.