Birth Story: Twin Vaginal Delivery
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
I was on holiday in America with Mike (my husband) and my parents when I was 23. I was feeling very bloated, sick and tired but it hadn’t occurred to me that I could be pregnant.
I have PCOS which means my periods were so irregular, my period being a few weeks late meant nothing. I was on the flight back to England when it dawned on me that I could be pregnant. As soon as I landed in I took a test and it was positive. Even though we were young, we owned our own beautiful home, we both had good jobs, savings and were engaged. When I told Mike he was absolutely over the moon, I felt like I was on cloud nine. Because of my periods being so irregular, the doctor had no way of giving me a due date, so we were sent for an early dating scan Whilst having the scan the sonographer showed us a beautiful baby on the screen, then our hearts sank as her face dropped and she said ‘oh I am sorry, I nearly sent you away thinking you had one healthy baby' I was absolutely petrified, after what felt like ages (yet not ever two seconds) she said ‘look, there is another baby hiding behind, congratulations, you are having twins!’ We broke down in tears, I have never felt so happy. I was thirteen weeks pregnant with twins. It wasn't the pregnancy I was hoping for though I was so young and did not many friends with babies at that time so no experiences or advice (except a couple of horror stories). The doctors and midwives were all very negative towards my pregnancy, constantly reminding me that I was high risk and made me feel like I should be hopeful at each scan that I still have two healthy babies. Croydon University Hospital had just opened a new birthing suite and I was silly enough to approach my midwife about the possibility of having my babies there. ‘Absolutely not, it has just opened and they need good results so no one high risk is allowed there...plus you will be lucky to have a natural birth, a caesarean is more than likely' The ironic thing is, my pregnancy was great. I had very few negative symptoms (although while I was in America I was 9-11 weeks and did feel incredibly tired, it also explained my bloat!) I flew through my pregnancy no problem, just a little low iron towards the end. I felt great about having babies and loved being pregnant, despite my 56 inch waist! I just hated the feeling of being out of control and constantly worried about whether the babies would be ok. At just over 34 weeks I was getting ready for another scan (after 30 weeks I had weekly scan to check the growth of the babies). Mike was shaving my legs because I couldn't even reach my calves!
Then...a gush of water between my legs, we couldn't stop laughing, i didnt known if i had wet myself or it was my waters.
I had no idea so I rang the delivery suite, she told me to pop a pad on and walk around and If it kept leaking it was my waters. We headed to the hospital for our scheduled scan anyway and as we pulled into the car park I had my first contraction.
As we pulled into the hospital car park i had a couple of niggly pains,
'My pain threshold must be so high because this is no problem, i can do this!' - if only i knew! Still young, naive and uncertain we went for the ultrasound. As soon as the lady checked she told me there was no water around the babies and my contractions were getting stronger very quickly, she called for a wheelchair to take me to delivery. This was approx 4pm.
I was taken into a delivery suite and told to lay down and not get up.
My contractions were still growing quicker and stronger in no time. The pain was so intense and I felt absolutely out of my depth, unprepared and totally petrified. By 4.30pm I was begging for an epidural but the midwife said the anaesthetist was on the other side of the hospital so I would have to wait. When he finally arrived and tried to explain what he was going to do he told me that there was no way he could give me an epidural as I was moving too much. He was concerned and asked when I was last examined. He took one look in between my legs and told me he could see a head and he ran an called a midwife. Within 30 seconds the room was filled with 7 or 8 people, some just standing watching (I later found out they were students who were asked to come and experience a ‘multiple birth') I tried the gas and air but after one suck I felt sick. Within just a couple of pushes my son Michael was born at 5.05pm weighing 5lb10. No sooner had a delivered Mikey , twin two was ready to make his appearance. I cant remember Harrisons delivery but he was given a little help with ventouse. I don't know why, whether it was just to help an exhausted mum out or whether there was another reason but he was born at 5.10 weighing 6lb1.
In hindsight, if i had prepared properly, done my research or been told by the time the contractions are that intense you are in transition and yoir baby is coming, I could have dealt with it so much better. It was the thought that....how long will this pain last? Some women are in labour for hours/days! Actually, the intense pain was only for an half an hour to an hour.
I also now know that my positioning had a huge effect on my pain level. During my next labour i stood up and walked through every contraction. The pain was entirely more bearable and when i was asked to lay down to be examined, that pain I had experienced with the twins rushed back.
I was so relieved it was over and that the babies were healthy and proud that dispite what HCP had predicted, I managed to give birth vaginally. However, it did have a huge impact on my long term view on childbirth and my subsequent births. I was determined never to feel so out of control and uneducated again. Visiting times at the hospital finished at 7pm so it felt like Mike and I had no time together before he was ushered out of the hospital and I was alone, in a ward with my two babies. It was a huge anti climax and a very daunting time. I felt sad and lonely and totally out of my depth again. No one showed me how to breastfeed, in fact I think, looking back, it was assumed perhaps because of my age, the trend or because I had twins that I would use formula. I sat and tried to breastfeed Mikey but I couldn’t get the hang of it, I tried Harrison as well but it was the same again. I asked a midwife to help but she said that it was important that they feed so just to give them formula, which she got for me. I hated being in hospital. Until that night I had never stayed the night in a hospital. The following day I just wanted to get home and start our family life together. After what felt like endless paperwork I was finally allowed to leave.
We were inundated with visitors and the more people that came to see us the worst I felt. Then on day ten I broke. I left the babies with Mike and drove to my mums, I laid on her sofa and cried all day. I didn’t know why but I knew ‘baby blues ‘ could hit and put it down to that. Now, after experiencing my next births I strongly believe my labour experience contributed to my mini break down. Thankfully, with the amazing support from Mike and our family it only got better from there.