Birth Story #5

I have been kinda sucking about posting, but this week will be better, I promise!

Anywho, here is another birth story. A third child, a VBAC at home with a midwife.

Casey’s Birth
This baby is our third child. Rogan, now 5 yrs old, was born by caesarian. He was in the footling breech position, and after 7 hours of labour (which started with spontaneous rupture of membranes at 37 1/2 weeks), we had been stuck at 6 cms for 4 hours and intervention was necessary. Kyle, now 2 1/2 yrs old, was an attempted homebirth but we ended up transferring in to hospital (only 7 minutes away) as his head was presenting on the side and he was starting to show signs of distress. A forceps delivery was performed 2 hrs after arriving at hospital.

My pregnancy with our third baby was heaps easier than the previous two pregnancies, I had virtually no morning sickness and kept fit with lots of walking. The due date was January 15th, but our two previous children had arrived at least 2 weeks early so we were rather worriedly contemplating having a Christmas baby! Luckily that didn’t eventuate, and for the first time ever I actually managed to have some time off work before going into labour! (My husband is at home full-time, I take 3 – 4 months off when we have a baby). By New Years eve I had decided this baby obviously intended to go full-term, so we stayed up and saw the New Year in. We went to bed at 2 am, and at 4 am I woke feeling restless. I was having the odd Braxton Hicks contraction, nothing regular or painful or anything.
By 6 am I decided to wake Tony. As soon as I woke him the contractions suddenly settled to 3 minutes apart and started intensifying. Tony promptly decided to call the midwife, Margaret. I said there was no need yet as it would take all day, he made some excuse about wanting to get hold of her before she went out anywhere, and proceeded to get her out of bed at 6:15am on a holiday! I told her that it would be ages and we would ring her back, but Tony and her decided she should come around anyway. (Tony always seems to have a much better idea of when I am in labour than I do!) Tony rung his Mum at 6:30 am to say things were happening, she lives 4 1/2 hours away and it was intended that she would be at the birth. She was on the road by 7am, plenty of time. Tony also started assembling the portable birthing pool, which we intended to use for pain relief but not necessarily to birth in. It takes a good 30 minutes to assemble, if you’re concentrating on the job, and then needs to be filled and heated which takes at least 3 hours. No problem, heaps of time.
Margaret arrived at 6:50 am. Poor Tony is trying to read instructions and assemble the pool, all while answering the door, greeting people (midwife, friend, another friend to care for 2 1/2 yr old), and leaping up every 3 minutes to help me through a contraction. I’m still walking around swearing it’ll be all day. Margaret watches me carefully for a while, and then at 7:20 says ‘I think I’ll just have a little feel to see how it’s going, if that’s alright with you.’. This line we have heard before, with our 2 previous deliveries, and invariably I was stuck at 6 cms and Not Allowed to push. But this time it reveals I am a ‘very stretchy 8 cms’! We forget the pool and invoke Plan B, our awful, short, shallow, bright blue bathtub. With it full, if I lay on my side I can just submerge my belly. I am lying there enjoying the feel of the cool side of the bath on my head, meanwhile everyone keeps offering me pillows or towels to rest on! All of a sudden I just have to push, I semi stand hanging onto the sides of the tub. With the first contraction the membranes rupture and the babies head crowns. I tell Tony ‘That hurt’, and he seems at a loss what to say so says something suitably nice and encouraging. Then the next contraction hits, and Boy does That Hurt. I say to Tony ‘That REALLY hurt’, and our midwife calmly says ‘well, the head is out’! The baby opened his eyes and looked around. The next contraction arrives, and I think to myself, everyone says the head is the worst bit and body ‘just slips out’, so I give a good push, and I am highly indignant because the body hurts just as much (turns out he had his hands up by his shoulders). I turn over and lie back down, and my brand new son is placed on my tummy : 7:40 am! Casey is perfect, breathes straight away, just gives a couple of squawks and then settles down. He is coated in vernix, which soaks into his skin over the next day or so.
Ruth, who was watching our 2 1/2 yr old, brought him in immediately following the birth, just after I had laid back down and before the placenta was delivered. Kyle covered his eyes and peeked out between his fingers for 10 seconds, and then came over for a good look at his weird looking baby brother. Our 5 yr old was unfortuantely on the road returning home with Granma and missed the big event!
Unfortunately I bled a bit too much, so I received 2 jabs and the placenta was delivered smartly. My midwife gave me a shower lying down, the bath is a very convenient place to birth, and I only have to get to my bed. An hour later I had a BP of 80/30, but as my normal is often 90/60 this isn’t too bad for me.
It is a glorious sunny day, they tucked me up in bed with a very content baby, and there I stay! Breastfeeding went fantastically, I didn’t even get tender at all. Casey was, and still is, a very laid back, easy-going baby. Extremely happy and content.
Incidentally, Casey was slightly jaundiced, initially we assumed this was from being early (the others were too), but when the magical 2 weeks mark passed with no improvement we ran tests etc. The results were high, but as he was so happy and content and vigorously feeding and piling on the weight (he went from 7 pounds 6 ounces to 15 pounds 7 ounces in 12 weeks) our paediatrician felt it was just breastfeeding jaundice so there was no need to treat it. This type of jaundice doesn’t do any harm, (this was been confirmed with a hearing test) and there was no need to discontinue breastfeeding. We have some rather spectacular photos of a very yellow baby!
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Birth Story #4

I love Water Birth (that’s pretty much an awesome intro lol…)

A Water Birth

Now for a longer version of my birth story which you are welcome to put on the birth page. I will start at the beginning. I actually had thought a little about using water in my second birth, but the midwives I was using in California were a bit shy about it. They said I could labor in it but they wouldn’t let me deliver in it. The way my labor went I wasn’t able to use water anyway but that’s another story. When I found out I was pregnant with our third child I decided I was going to use water for this birth even if it meant that my husband and I would have to deliver this child alone. Fortunately the midwife we chose was game to try it. She said she had done one other and wanted more experience with it. We checked into renting a birthing pool and found the cheapest way to go was to order a pool directily from the manufacturer. The type of pool we bought has I-beam construction in the sides so an adult can sit on the side and it will support them. It is just under 4 and 1/2 feet in diameter so with all of our bedroom furnishings against one wall it fit. We bought it with about 8 weeks to go in the pregnancy and it was a good thing because within days of getting via UPS I went into premature labor. I was 2 cm dilated and 20% effaced due to a calcium deficiency that allowed contractions to begin.

I was put on bed rest and lots of calcium and magnesium. When my contractions would come in clusters that were too many, too close, or just too painful I would either lie in the bathtub (really difficult at 8 months pregnant!) or put water in the pool and stretch out in it. I did that several times over the next 5 to 6 weeks. Finally on February 18th I was 37 weeks and the midwife let me out of bed. If I went into labor, fine. If I didn’t, it was fine. I was finally past the critical point. I started to have my normal prelabor clusters that day. I used the water to help me rest, relax and focus on the job ahead. The next day I thought I was in labor actually. I went for long walks and had some very hard long contractions that worked themselves into a 1min/4min rhythm. The midwife came by a couple of times that day to see how I was and I was effacing and slightly dilating but nothing major. I was awakened at 3 am that night by another round of hard long contractions that lasted three hours. I lost my mucous plug at 6:30 that morning when my contractions fizzled out. I got up, took a hot, hot shower, ate light labor foods and grabbed my hubbie and went for another long walk. I didn’t notice too much until we were home and I was resting for a bit. I went from virtually no contractions to contractions that were 90 seconds 4 minutes apart. This was at 11 am. I had my husband and my mom refill the tub with 100 degree water and waited for the midwives. I wanted to get in that water so bad but they asked me to wait to be sure I was beyond four centimeters so that the hot water wouldn’t slow things down.

When they arrived at 12:00 I was 5-6 and 90 % effaced. The pool was filled at about 12:15 or so, but the baby seemed to be a bit high so the midwife asked me to let her really assess the baby’s position through the next couple of contractions. FINALLY at about 12:30 or so they let me in the water. I never felt anything so relaxing! I felt just like I had slipped into a hot bath during one of my rare alone moments for mommy. Within 15 minutes I was fully dilated and was waiting for the urge to push. I had never felt that sensation with my other two babies and couldn’t believe the surging power going through my body. I held on to the side of the pool as my baby’s tiny head emerged without any additional pushing from me. She had a tight double loop of cord, so it had to be cut for her to be born. It was cut and she was quickly pulled out and up onto my chest. She needed a tiny bit of help breathing because the cord was so incredibly tight around her neck and right arm. While one midwife was stimulating the baby to breathe a bit more regularly, I put a birthing stool on a towel in the pool and sat up to deliver the placenta.

After the placenta, the midwife checked me and said that I didn’t appear to have just had a baby. The water made my tissues so soft and pliable that there weren’t any “tread marks”. I healed incredibly fast.

The whole birth experience sold me on the use of water. I will never birth without water again!

Pregnancy and Labor on TV

I think one of the main reasons pregnancy, labor, and delivery have taken such a ‘hospital’ turn is because of celebrities and TV shows.

I don’t really think about it much, but tonight I was watching Friends, and the episode was when Rachel goes into labor.

The minute it came on, I just saw it how certain pregnant women would see it.

From the second she goes into labor, it is a look of complete pain on her face. She never once works through the contractions. They are talking and happy, then the next minute she grabs her belly, says “Here comes another one” and she fights it the entire time, and then it passes.

She isn’t hooked to any monitors, she is lying on a bed, and all she can think is how long her labor is taking and how many more women have had their babies before her.

17 hours later… she is only dilated to a 3. There is no way the hospital would have even let her stay if she was admitted at a 2, and there is no way they would let her labor for 17 and not even be in active labor yet (4 for first baby, 6 for subsequent). All the while, she is crying in complete pain during every contraction.

48 hours later, she delivers a breech baby with no epidural. A hospital would not let a woman deliver a breech baby (all are now mandatory cesarean), let alone labor for 48 hours.

It brings up every other show I have seen where a woman goes into labor. Everytime, her water breaks, and she instantly is siezed by a giant pain she can’t work through.

NO WONDER WOMEN ARE TERRIFIED!!

I wish just once they would show a labor where a woman was happy and worked with her labor and showed that it isn’t just a big ball of pain and there is no escape.

But that isn’t very dramatic…

Birth Story #3

I am a FIRM believer in VBAC, and even though this story is short, I just love VBAC stories. And I love that she had a doula 😉

48 Hour VBAC HomeBirth
Brandon Michael made his appearance at 6:59pm Thursday, October 1, 1998. He was born via VBAC at home after 48 hours of labor including 5 hours of pushing. It was a lot of HARD work, but I did it!!!!!! His head was acynclitic, he was 10 lbs 2 oz and 23-1/2 inches long and had a 15-inch chest, but HE CAME OUT!!!!!!! It was sooooo amazing watching his head crown and then come out. I got to hold him immediately, Daddy got to cut the cord, we got to see the placenta (we’re planted it with a tree), I got to be the first to dress him. MUCH better than my cesarean experience with my first child, who was posterior and 8 lb 14 oz!

I started having contractions on Tuesday September 29th (a day after my due date) but really didn’t realize that’s what it was. It felt totally different from my posterior labor. They progressed during the night, and we called our midwife at 4 am when contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds. When she got there, I was 3 cm and 90% effaced. She went home.
Labor slowed considerably during the day on Wednesday, but picked up again Wednesday night. We called the midwife again and at 5 am, I was 6-7 cm dilated and 95% effaced. Labor slowed again during the day, but still progressed. At 10 am, I was at 8-9 cm and the bag of water was bulging, so the midwife and I decided she should break it. It worked! At 1:30pm, I was at 10 cm but had an anterior lip. (Boo!) I was ready to die at this point and tried to talk the midwife and doula and dh into going to the hospital. Thank goodness, they didn’t let me! The midwife had me get in the tub at 2 pm and she held the lip back while I pushed, even though I didn’t have an urge. Soon after, I got the urge and was ready to get to work.

We tried many different positions, including squatting, but he just wasn’t getting past that lip. I again tried to talk them into going to the hospital. They told me to try the McRobert’s position (supine with legs WAY up to chest) for 20 minutes (at 4 pm) and if nothing worked, then we would decide. Well, it worked. He started coming down a lot faster and easier. I got my confidence back and worked really hard.
They kept showing me the mirror so I could see progress. I recommend this to ANYONE. The more I could see, the harder I pushed!! His head was born at 6:57pm but was slow to come out. Then his anterior shoulder was VERY difficult to get out and the midwife had to assist in the delivery. He was just so darn big and was snug all the way! Those last couple minutes happened so fast! But, at 6:59 pm, he was out and on my chest! I did have a second degree tear that needed repair. His apgars were 8 and 9. No problem delivering the placenta, which was ENORMOUS!
My doula was WONDERFUL! I’m so glad that I had her there and encourage ANYONE to use a doula. She really kept my head on straight and didn’t let me give up. I also have everyone on the ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) e-mail list to thank for all the encouragement and support. Without them, I could never have had the birth I wanted. I recommend homebirth to anyone who believes that birth is a natural process and that our bodies are created to give birth. Had I been in the hospital, there is no way an OB would have let me push for 5 hours or let my labor drag on the way it did. I would have had Pitocin or ended up with a forceps delivery or a repeat cesarean, which I did NOT want.

VBAC

This topic is one I am a VERY strong supporter of. I plan to have one of these with all of my children from now on.

1 in 3 women have a Cesarean Section every year. This is just for a first Cesarean. Not subsequent ones. 90% of women choose to have an elective Cesarean with all of their children after they have their first surgery. Most of these women can have safe and successful vaginal births. The VBAC percentage fell 67% in the last ten years.

In a normal, low risk pregnancy, birth by Cesarean puts healthy pregnant women at risk for medical complications. What women don’t seem to understand is the a Cesarean is a major surgical proceedure. You are being cut open like any other surgery. It is the #1 surgery for women in our entire country. How is this safe?

Cesarean is a risk factor for the initation of breastfeeding. Medications and procedures administered during labor affect the infant’s behavior at the time of birth, which in turn affects the infant’s ability to suckle. And it doesn’t help that they are not allowed to nurse for at least 6 to 24 hours after their birth if they are healthy and there are no complications.

And then women get pregnant again, and doctors refuse to do VBACs since the lawsuits are higher, even though that’s mainly from stupid women that just want money…

The truly sad thing about VBAC is that the morbidity rate is 1/5 less than that of elective cesarean, but doctors only tell you about “uterine rupture”. The chance of uterine rupture in a VBAC is about 2%. It increases when the women is induced with pitocin, since it causes stronger contractions and increases the need for pain medication which can hide the pain from a rupture.

Uterine Rupture is less than 1% in low transverse incisions. And ruptures have been to known to occur in someone who has never had a cesarean. T or J shaped incisions is closer to 4-9%, verticle incision is 1-7%, a verticle incision in body of uterus is 4-9%. The symptoms of a rupture are bleeding, sharp pain between contractions, contractions that slow or become less intense, abdominal pain or tenderness, recession of baby’s head, bulging under pubic bone from the baby’s head leaving the uterus before the birth canal, and sharp onset of pain at site.

These are all terrifying. It does happen. But the risks of a repeat cesarean are far worse. Babies are more premature and need more oxygen at birth, you will have pain at the incision site for weeks or years, your postpartum is harder, less chance of successful breastfeeding, neonatal death, and maternal death.

The real reasoning most women have about trying a VBAC is a failed trial of labor, concerned about the ‘dangers’ of vaginal birth, fear of pain, and the convenience of scheduling their delivery. I don’t understand how these can be real reasons not to trust your body, but in our culture I can see why women would choose to schedule.

I truly blame this on celebrities. All of them have scheduled c-sections, followed by a tummy tuck since the doctor is already in there. If these women were having home water births, the cesarean rate in our country would plummet. It’s depressing how much control they have over what women want in their lives.

VBACs should be recommended for women who have a lower segment transverse incision. This is an incision that is horizontal in the lower part of the uterus. Even some women who have verticle lower incisions can have a VBAC without any trouble.

IS THIS NORMAL? If it isn’t normal for an animal, why is it normal for us?
So, if you have had a previous cesarean, please don’t give in to an elective repeat cesarean. The risks far outweigh the benefits.
FOR MORE INFO, visit:

The Farm


“Who are these people who have managed to live so well on so little while contributing so much to vegetarians and others worldwide? In truth, they’re a bunch of aging hippies.

This community, so far ahead of its time, is the Farm, an experiment in communal living that began in 1971 when most of the current residents were still college students in San Francisco.”
–Sharon BLoyd-Peshkin The Vegetarian Times

The very first book I got on my list was Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. We went to Barnes and Noble, and I remembered a few books off the list (not that they had much of a selection there), and I saw this book. I thought it would just be ridiculous, even though it said on the cover it was written by the #1 midwife in the States.

But, something drew me to this book. I bought it and I read it twice in the weekend I got it.

Ina May Gaskin is absolutely amazing. Her books always start with the first half being birth stories of people from The Farm (will explain in a minute). I absolutely love birth stories. Especially the upbeat, natural, and completely holistic ones. They leave me happy, in tears, and I just love them.

I guess I should explain a little about The Farm before I go any further.

Stephen Gaskin started out on a ‘tour across America during the hippy revolution’. They toured in old school buses. There were about 50 buses in total that drove around from college to college.

They delivered a few babies along the way, since hospitals were part of the ‘establishment’ and they knew they could do it themselves. Along the way, they got some training from doctors, nurses, and by reading books on birth. This was during the time there were NO midwives in our country. They single-handedly brought this back to our country.

They set up camp in rural Tennessee after they bought some property, where it is still located today with all the modern convienences of a doctor’s office. They decided to live amongst themselves and fend for themselves. They helped each other give birth, and they earned the trust of the community and the hospital that was close to where they were.

They are completely vegetarian and completely self-sufficient. There is no money required in their community. You bartered for what you needed and helped others by living the golden rule.

The main view on the farm is that men and women have different types of energy. They have to work together to accomplish the love the society needs to have to survive. If even one person is off, the whole society suffers.

Abortion is prohibited in the community and they have an adoption program at The Farm. You have free care provided by trained midwives, then you hand your baby off to someone there you trust, and you can come back at any time to take your baby back. It is not done in courts, and the parent has the rights to come back when they are ready, if they come back at all.

The view I love about The Farm is this : “If you’re sleeping together, you’re engaged; if you’re pregnant, you’re married” (Stephen Gaskin). Sex is not about gratification. It is a holy experience between two souls that cannot be taken lightly.

Birthing on The Farm is a physical, emotional, and spiritual ritual at the heart of the community. ‘Spiritual Midwives’ help the couple achieve higher levels of intimacy and a deeper sharing through natural childbirth. They represent the entire community at the birth and bring the entire community to a higher spiritual plane.

“To be a real midwife, it is necessary to be spiritual. Compassion has to be a way of life for her. The midwife must be able to consider someone else’s viewpoint, and in her daily life take care of those around her” (Ina May).

One person that was more than helpful in making The Farm what it is today is Dr. Williams. He was an OB/GYN that helped train and advise the midwives as they were starting out. Eventually he was able to come to The Farm to help with births instead of having them come to the hospital. As he did this, he was also able to see what a loving environment can do for a woman in labor. They were the first place to show that you didn’t need anaestetic and an episiotomy to have a breech baby. Women trusted their bodies to do what they knew they could do, and he was able to see this and help them achieve what they wanted.

The parents at The Farm had to be completely in sync for the birth. The midwives helped them through problems and in some instances where they couldn’t work through it, the husband was banished from the birth until he could calm down, or even permanently. ALL energy had to be focused on the baby being born to reinforce the communal value of self-transcendence. The midwives dual process of criticism and enlightenment is what makes this happen. Many times they would tell a woman to ‘stop being self-indulgent’. It drains the community and can inhibit labor.

The Farm is definitely more female oriented. It brought back the family identity as a midwife and also put the woman in charge of pregnancy and conceiving by having them use basal body temp and cervical fluid to decide intercourse and such. (If confused by this, you can read “Taking Charge of My Fertility” by Toni Weschler).

The Farm is a natural birth haven which single-handedly brough back midwives and natural birth.

Even as I think now about The Farm, this is how I want my practice to be and how I want my birth to be.

Her books are so informative and they don’t hide the truth. The Farm has a c-section rate of less than 2%, when the national percent is almost 40%. There has to be a reason for this.

That reason is the love and support women get in labor. If they have someone who they trust and who is supporting them, they are more likely to have a shorter labor, and have a better delivery. You can have what you want!

Before I die, I want to meet Ina May Gaskin. I even bought her second book, even though it isn’t required, but I love the first one I read more than this. I love how she describes how holy birth is, and it should be a place you are comfortable. Not in a place that has lights and sterility, and not somewhere your choices are taken away for a time constraint.

I want to be able to give people the kinds of birth experiences she describes in her books and the feeling I get when I read the stories of positive and upbeat births from The Farm.

Wouldn’t you want a birth your way with people who love and support you?

Birth Story #2

This week’s story I thought was pretty interesting. I have always been told that twin births were high risk and they had to be in the hospital with an IV, just in case the second twin needed to come out in a hurry, being an emergency c-section.

With all the reading I have been doing, most books say that twins are no different than single babies if you have a professional that can handle them. Twins can come in a VBAC without problems, they can be carried full term, and you do not have to have a c-section and induction with twins.

I also think this story shows that not all labors are the same, even if this is your third or fourth labor.

–Just as an FYI: this story is kind of long, so if you don’t want to read it, you don’t have to 😉 —

The Homebirth of Twins
Ah, where do we begin along this wild road? Maybe it’s when I came to realize that my period was late. Though I didn’t really believe it was possible for me to be pregnant, I thoroughly enjoyed teasing my husband about it. He was calm, cool, and collected. I finally broke down and bought a pregnancy test, just to tease him! (HONESTLY!)
So, as I took the test, I just knew it was going to be negative. I remember running out to show the test to Kevin. He was on the phone with his mother. I’m waving two fingers in the air and screaming, as quietly as possible, “There are two lines!”
Kevin swears he knew what it would show. I was totally shocked! I couldn’t be pregnant yet!
So we did wat every parent of four other children does upon hearing number five is expected — we ignored it. Finally around week seven we decided to go in for our ultrasound to rule out ectopic pregnancy. After several previous pregnancy losses, including one that cost us my left fallopian tube, we wanted some reassurance all would be well.
The ultrasound did nothing of the sort. It showed a fetal pole, no heartbeat, and an area of bleeding. A week later, at a follow up, we saw our beating baby’s heart and were thrilled! Then I said that teh bleed looked bigger. Kevin and I looked at each other and exclaimed, “It’s another heartbeat!” And so this pregnancy began.
Our last three children had been born at home with midwives. WE had a lot of questions about this with twins, including would it even be a possibility. There were so many variables. Could we go full term? What positions would be safe to attempt a vaginal birth? How big would the babies be? How would I feel, physically? Mentally? Emotionally?
We eventually decided to seek dual care. We saw our homebirth midwife just as often as if she were our only practitioner. And we saw a doctor the same amount of visits. We had ultrasounds galore to track their growth. We even had a short scare for preterm labor.
In the end, it was decided; homebirth would be our safest choice.
The weeks immediately preceding the birth were filled with holiday happenings and wonder. We had spent so much time being told that twins were always early, that we began to believe it ourselves. Though we laughed and told people that meant I’d go 40 weeks, at least. I was always late.
The first baby, Baby A (Owl) was head down and vertex. The second baby, Baby B (Nose) was breech. Because I had previous babies, and Nose was not first, it was safe to attempt a vaginal homebirth. I’d spent many a night trying to figure out all the posibilities of potential complications. I weighed risks and benefits. I plotted and planned. I worried. Eventually I simply prayed that there would be a clear sign that I would know where I was meant to give birth. I’d have to trust my body, my babies, and my team.
About two weeks before my due date, a few friends organized an awesome Blessingway. (This is kind of like a baby shower, but is all about the mother and helping her through her fears and doubts of becoming a new mother, or a mother of more babies). It was so empowering. I really needed to feel the uplifting strength of my friends and other women. THey even gave me a great necklace with beads that each told a story of a baby.
At 38 weeks and 5 days, I started having contractions. They were painful and I had to work with them, but I knew it wasn’t time to call everyone. I call our head midwive, who had a drive ahead of her and I called Denay, our doula for the children to help with them. All night long, Kevin and I worked with the contractions. The next day, no real progress and the contractions ceased. I was horribly disapointed.
The midwife said she’d go with me to my last scheduled ultrasound. Kevin was actually going to go as well. Denay took the kids to school so we could do all this. When we got there it was the surprise of our life. Our first miracle – baby Nose had turned head down! Those contractions had been helping the baby turn. We were all on cloud nine.
All was quiet, except my horrible cough, until my due date. Again, contractions started in the middle of the evening. We called the midwife and her assistant. They both came and stayed the night along with my sister. Once again, morning light brought an end to the contractions. I couldn’t even face work again. I stayed home.
The midwife and my sister joked that they were moving in until the end. I just smiled and wondered if there would ever be an end. I was not as calm and peaceful about being overdue as I had been with Lilah, nor as calm as I desired to be.
My sister took the kids under her wing and let Kevin and I go out alone. The midwife went shopping and to the movies. Kvinand I went to the office holiday party. Have you ever tried to attend a holiday party overdue with twins, when you work with a group of OBs? LEt me tell you, it was an interesting night. They were all so thoughtful and sweet. It’s nice to have people care.

We told them it couldn’t be much longer…
Amanda (my sister) and I went out to pick up a game table for her kids that they had on hold. I drug y body back to the house exhausted and discouraged. Another usual night – up and down to the bathroom. Left hip, right hip, laying on the pillows – just a few positions I’d try every night. It was while I was lying over my pillows that I awoke to the feeling of water pouring between my legs. Ugh, I thought, more coughing leads to more peeing on myself.
Then I looked at the clock – 4:30 am. Deep down I kenw it was my water breaking and I felt relieved. I laid there a minute and then got up to go to the bathroom. Everything I did pointed to it being my waters. Finally I looked in the toilet and saw a few chunks of vernix – definitely not my bladder.
“My water broke,” I told Kevin. “That’s nice,” he said as he rolled back over. I went to my sister’s room, “My water’s broke, but I don’t need you yet, just wanted to let you know.” I went downstairs, “My water’s broke,” I told my midwife. “Are you having any contractions?” “Not yet,” I replied.
She suggested we got up and listen to the babies to see how they were doing. She said she’d meet me up in my room after brushing her teeth. I had a few minor contractions as I made my way upstairs in the dark. I went back to the bathroom to change my pad.
The midwife listened to the babies and they sounded good. I had her confirm that they were both still head down. She said she was going to go wake my sister and make the bed for the birth. She also suggested we call everyone.
By now I was having a couple of contractions that hurt much like Lilah’s labor. I was fearful for a minute. Kevin had gotten up while we listened to the babies; he came over and calmed me down. He reassured me that I’d do a great job and that I shouldn’t fear labor.
I really went inside myself at this point. I was aware that there was a flurry of people being called and arriving. I was asked to make a couple of decisions, like should we wake the kids. I was feeling a lot of pressure with the contractions and figured that, like Lilah’s birth, once I really started pushing that would be all she wrote — it would be over soon.
The bed was made and I assumed my position that I usually assumed. After testing around the pushing sensations, I said to the midwives, “Maybe youshould check me. While it feels better to push than not push, I could still be three centimeters.” (Sounds really level headed and cool, huh?) They agreed. But as luck would have it, I was 9 centimeters dialated, 100% effaced, and baby Owl was at -2 station.
I remember feeling smugness at this point. It was almost over. I’d give little pushes through a few contractions. The lip of the cervix would disappear and soon, I’d be holding the babies. HA! About 15 mintues later (6:15 am) I asked them to see if the lip was gone. A different midwife checked and it was still there and felt like more than a lip. My spirits sank.
I wanted to know if we could be more agressive about the lip and move it. They said sure thing, whatever you wanted. One midwife suggested a position change. I knew she meant hands and knees, but I just didn’t see myself moving int hat position, given how my body felt size wise and mobility wise. I opted to push with someone pushing the lip. A few pushes later it was gone.
NOw for the show! Once again I was wrong. I pushed for about 15 minutes semi-sitting on my bed. I was being praised and told that it was bringing the baby down, but where the heck was the baby!? I’d never pushed this long. I finally opted to move to the side of the bed and sit on my aerobics step.
During my pregnancy as I’d tried to imagine giving birth to two babies, I’d often imagined using the stool on the side of the bed. Mainly I choose this image because I kept thinking I’d be having a breech baby and need to squat or stand for that birth. So it felt instincively right to go there.
As I got down on the floor, I noticed Isaac and Lilah asleep on a couch pillow in the corner of the room. I saw that my friends, family, and support team were all gathered. I’d really been oblivious before. Everyone was sitting quietly on the floor waiting, even the kids.
Because of the slower pushing phase, I was actually able to really feel the progress of the baby. It was really neat. I felt when baby A slipped righ tunder the pubic bone and stayed. I was very aware of my body. Kevin and one ofhte midwives were sitting by my feet, awaiting the arrival of the first baby. We had hoped Kevin would be able to help catch the baby as he had Lilah.
After the head was under the pubic bone, it was just a few more pushes and the baby was born very quickly, probably due to the small size in comparison to my other kids (Owl was 8 lbs). Kevin handed the baby to me and I started crying right away. We turned the baby over to see if it was a boy or girl. It was Isaac’s job to tell us, he just stared at the baby. He finally said, “It’s a boy!” The midwife said, “Are you sure?” “No, it’s a girl!”
I just sat there and cried and cried over my baby girl. Kevin cut the cord fairly quickly so that we didnt’ hav eto worry about baby B not getting enough blood.
After a few mintues I felt like I really needed to focus ont he next baby so i handed my girl off to a friend. I felt I would crush her if I held her while pushing out baby B.
The baby spent a few minutes on my pubic bone. The head midwife was awaiting the baby with Kevin and the other was listening for heart tones. I lifted my semi-deflated belly up so she could find a good spot. When I did that, the baby started to move off my pubic bone. So I kept doing it.
The baby sounded great and there wasn’t any hurry. I was worried. All along I knew there would be more potential problems with baby B. It had been 15 minutes since Owl was born, so I started to obsess.
Finally I could feel Nose moving down more. My water broke with a HUGE EXPLOSION. Everyone was covered in amniotic fluid. They had to wipe my midwive’s face and glasses off.
I finally felt the baby move to my pubic bone and past. I began pushing with all my might, while belly lifting with one hand and doing fundal pressure with the other.
There was no ring of fire with the second baby, and the baby went from partially visible to born in about 20 seconds. Another baby girl!
Baby Owl weighed 8 lbs and Baby Nose came in at 7 lbs 8 oz. Fine sized twins!