Dear Bluebonnet Babies readers,
This month Bluebonnet Babies is accepting guest birth story submissions. Sharing your birth story with others is incredibly valuable to both you and the audience. It’s a cathartic and powerful personal process to write and it’s beneficial for pregnant families and parents to read. Submit your birth story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org subject: birth story. Please keep submissions to 1000 words or less and include a photo, if you have one. Thank you. I hope that our readers are fortified and educated by reading these incredible stories. Stay tuned for more birth stories throughout the month. I’ll also be posting an article soon with tips on writing your birth story.
Molly England, Founder
A Twin Birth: Full Term, Vaginal, Unmedicated, Hospital By Kimberly Wilutis
I agreed to do an induction of my twin birth on my due date. 40 weeks is considered long for a twin pregnancy and despite all three of us looking good and feeling good, my doctors were nervous about letting the pregnancy go much longer. Several doctors that I trusted assured me that it would not take much to put me into labor since I was already 4cm dilated. It wouldn’t really be an induction, only a “nudge”.
We started in the morning with nipple stimulation and lots of walking, but it failed to start any contractions. At around 2pm, when the Pitocin was started, I cried. I felt defeated, like I was giving in. I was in a way, but in my mind it was part of the compromise that I was making with the doctors and medical system in general. I would have the Pitocin and the monitors and the hep lock, but they would give me freedom of movement, the ability to eat and drink, and the option of staying in the labor room for the birth. That last bit became a point of contention from the moment I was admitted. Several different staff members including my nurses, the charge nurse, and several shifts of doctors had made special trips into my room to try to convince me to move to the operating room for delivery. I could labor in the labor room until the first twin was crowning, then they would hurry me down the hall and transfer me to the hard operating table where I would deliver my twins under the harsh light and cold air of the surgical suite. In my mind, this was an unnecessary inconvenience as long as I was having a complication-free delivery and being in the OR brought me within a razors edge of a cesarean. The charge nurse, during her petition claimed that in all of her 17 years at the hospital, she had never seen a twin birth in the labor room.
Early in the morning on the second day when the Pitocin failed to induce any strong contractions, we decided to turn it off and get some rest. We had been at it for about 18 hours. My doula had some experience, which suggested that giving the Pitocin a second chance after a rest sometimes works. Immediately after ramping down the drug, the mild contractions I had been having ceased. We slept from 2am until about 6am with plans to restart the Pitocin at 7am.
After waking, I took a shower and my husband brought us up some breakfast. While gulping down some eggs and toast, the nurse burst in and asked accusingly “Who said you could eat during labor?” “Am I in labor?” was my reply.
By 11pm on the second day, I was dilated to 6cm, but still not in active labor. Now was decision time. I had just undergone two full days of labor induction using Pitocin to no avail. Having resisted breaking the bag on the first twin in order to avoid hospital timelines, we decided that it was our only option to get things going. Boy did it ever.
Almost immediately I started having strong contractions. My awesome doula, Jessica helped me out of the bed and raised it so that I could stand while resting my arms and chest between contractions. My husband, Erik, stood across the bed from me, holding my hands and talking me through the pain. Jessica stood behind me applying pressure to my back and helping me vocalize with the contractions. We made a good team.
The nurse flitted in and out, constantly adjusting the external fetal monitors, which NEVER stayed in place. After about one and a half hours of pretty strong contractions about 1 minute apart, I could feel the urge to push. Still standing next to my bed, I did not resist. I surrendered to my body and the event that was about to commence. Even if I wanted to, I could not stop the ball from rolling down hill.
Following a particularly strong contraction accompanied by a strong push I could feel my perineum retreat back into its original position. Jessica told the nurse that she thought it was time to call the doctor since she could see quite a bit of perineal bulging with the last contraction. The last time the resident had checked me I was 9cm dilated. That was about 20 minutes earlier and she seemed to be in no particular rush to get the doctor. After Jessica’s warning, the nurse leisurely called for the doctor.
Two residents arrived and were casually putting on their gloves and observing me as I coped with a contraction. When my son’s head was born, they all quickly dropped to their knees, as I was still standing and leaning on the raised bed, to literally catch my baby as his body came out. The nurse called for a “code insert color here” and in an instant, my darkened labor room was lit like the sun and chock full of more residents, the attending physician, nurses, and other support staff.
I was elated. I turned around to see my beautiful baby boy, Hayden, crying out at his new world. My heart was absolutely overflowing. I looked at my husband just in time to see his overjoyed expression and I had to laugh at this marvelous thing we had done.
The doctors spent quite a long time holding my son while on their knees. I was fine with that since I was enjoying the moment. Then I realized the delay was the result of the nurse having to run to the operating room to retrieve the scissors to cut the cord. The OR was staged for the birth, but for the first time in 17 years, twins were born in the labor room!
I gingerly moved up onto the bed so the ultrasound tech could determine the position of the second twin. After a bit of searching in the void, he found twin B head down, but his heart rate was somewhat low. With a concerned face, the attending physician told me that I needed to get the baby out. After what I had just accomplished, I felt that I could get this baby out no problem. In fact, during the entire birth, I never had a nervous or fearful thought. I trusted myself and I knew that I could birth those babies.
I think I was the calmest person in the room. Everyone anxiously awaited baby number two as I once again began to push. With three pushes, beautiful Ben was born. The umbilical cord was in fact wrapped around his neck, perhaps lending to the lowered heart rate. He was a bit blue at first, but in no time let out a wail and pinked up quickly. Ben was a bit smaller, 6lbs 10ozs to his brother’s 7lbs 3ozs, but he was just as noisy and perfect.
As I nursed my boys I could hardly contain my happiness. What started out as a stressful and high pressure situation turned into the most amazing experience of my life.
For more from Kimberly Wilutis – Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth Educator visit www.childbirthbydesign.com