My babies are three weeks old now and I am just starting to wrap my head around our wonderful surprise twin home birth. For me, their birth is a story of incredible love, patience, empowerment, and support.
My first birth had been an unplanned cesarean, and this time I was preparing for a home VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. I started having birth sensations two weeks before they were born and I called my mom to come into town to be with us as I felt like we were getting close. Little did I know that I would have to endure two weeks of ‘labour’ starting and stopping- 10 minutes apart for two hours, then 8, then 5. My anticipation, excitement, and fear built every time that the birth process appeared to be starting only to feel huge disappointment and growing discomfort when things inevitably came to a halt.
After two weeks of this anticipation, around 10pm one evening labour really got going and things progressed really well early into the morning the next day. I was mostly able to rest through the night and the early birth sensations.
By mid-morning, I had progressed well and was starting to feel pushy and then things all slowed down again again. The next 6 hours were probably the worse part of the birthing process for me. The contractions were incredibly painful but did not feel like they were doing anything to move labour forward. I felt like I was never going to meet my baby.
Finally, after hours of feeling so stuck, I’d had enough and wanted to discuss all of my options. My biggest fear was that after two weeks of waiting and all of the work I’d done to progress to that point, my body was going to fail me and I would end up with another c-section.
Not 10 minutes after that discussion, I felt like pushing again. I pushed for 3 ½ hours to get my baby out, although it didn’t feel that long at all! I swore, yelled at my partner and pushed that baby out! Even though it was painful, it felt so much better to feel the baby moving than that horrible “stalled” labour that I had just moved out of.
Finally, our baby arrived. My partner says that my face lit up as I exclaimed “I did it!” This was probably the
proudest, most empowering and triumphant moment of my life. I had worked so hard to birth her vaginally. She was born surrounded by love, caught by her dad, with my mother and our older daughter as witness.
Her cord broke while she was being born and it had to be clamped right away. She latched immediately and we enjoyed 30 minutes of snuggles before I felt like pushing again. As I was pushing out what I THOUGHT was my placenta, I heard someone say “there’s another bag of waters”! and “Are we having another baby?!”.
Holy shit! What?!?!?!!!!!….. And then 3 pushes from my body and a second by girl came flying out still in the caul – our little miracle baby! She was also caught by her dad, and again she was born with so much love around her.
I felt completely supported and surrounded by love throughout the birthing process. It was such a different experience than my first birth where I felt bullied and traumatized by my ‘lack-of-care providers.’
In the end I’m so happy that my second twin was a surprise! I think knowing about the twins would have changed the birth and would have definitely increased my anxiety about the whole process. The girls were born at home in such a calm and loving environment, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Shortly after they were born, I had to transfer in to the hospital to get some oxytocin and fluids as I’d had some blood loss. Otherwise, everyone was happy, healthy, and completely in shock.
I still can’t believe that I was carrying around 16 pounds of baby (the first was 8’14” and the second was 7’2″!) It kind of makes me feel like wonder-woman!