Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Twin Delivery
When I had my daughter, my singleton, I took Hypnobirthing classes and was ready to give birth to her completely unmedicated. The epidural FREAKED me out, and there was NO WAY someone was going to touch me with that needle. Nope, absolutely not. Never, ever happening. I had seen my friend get an epidural TWICE because the first one wasn't placed right, and the second time sent her into some kind of episode where she now needed to have an oxygen mask placed. NO THANKS. So, I prepped, I took the classes, I spoke only positive things to myself and to others about birth, and was convinced everything would be fine. She came three weeks early, I got to the hospital at 8 centimeters, and had her an hour later, completely unmedicated. I did not hypnobirth as well as I could have (there was a lot of screaming versus deep breathing, haha!), but it was basically an in and done type of delivery. It was perfect, and everything I could have hoped for. I was up shortly after, bathing her, and eventually getting her settled in the NICU. You can read the full birth story here.Upon finding out that I was expecting twins, you can only imagine the thoughts I had. I would not be getting an epidural, I would not be induced, these babies would come on their own and everything would be fine. My first daughter came three weeks early on her own, and her birth was so wonderful, this would be exactly the same. Twins come early, that's just what they do, so this would be fine. For months, I explained to my doctor there were three things that I did not want to happen: no epidural, no c-section, and no tearing. At 38 weeks, I sat in my doctor's office in disbelief. For real? BABIES! What are you doing in there?!!? GET OUT!!! GET OUT!! She told me it was better to be induced this week, and get those babies out because the chances of fetal demise for twins goes up significantly after 38 weeks. So, against all of my cares and desires, we scheduled an induction. I was so sad. Why weren't they here? Why weren't they coming on their own? I was huge, and miserable, and ready to have them. They were both already 6+ lbs (my first daughter was 6 lbs 15 oz), so what was the problem? For the next two days, I tried everything I could to get them to come. Exercising like a crazy person didn't make them budge. And why would it? I had been exercising my whole pregnancy. Eating spicy foods didn't do a thing, or any other self-inducing thing I tried. I woke up on Wednesday morning, still very, very pregnant, and headed to the hospital. We started my induction which meant starting Pitocin which I had heard was HORRIBLE for contractions. And IT IS. Absolutely horrible. I know what contractions feel like from start to finish, no medication. Contractions on Pitocin are AWFUL. And I didn't even have that much of it. I didn't want a lot of it. Truthfully, I didn't want any of it, right? The contractions were so awful that I requested an epidural. They waited an hour just to make sure I was absolutely sure because I am COMPLETELY against having someone touch me with one, and I got the epidural. Just a little bit after receiving the epidural, it was time to deliver, and I was taken to the operating room. It's just something they do when you're having twins: deliver you in the OR. The chances of having a C-section with twins is greater, so they just start you there. I had Baby A vaginally, with no tearing, and no issues. Baby B was breech, and the plan was to flip her so I could have her vaginally as well. They successfully flipped her around. HURRAY! And then I went to push, and everything changed. Baby B prolapsed her cord, meaning she got her cord stuck between herself and me, and the probability of her dying was EXTREMELY high because, well, she was cutting off her oxygen supply. My doctor called a crash C-section. I had an epidural, but my anesthesiologist didn't think I could have a C-section without being put under. My doctor touched me and asked, "can you feel this?" I could. She said, "but does it hurt?" No, it did not. She touched two more places, asked again, and I responded no. And then she sliced me open. Less than a minute later, Baby B was born and the first thing my husband heard was, "we have a live baby." Traumatizing? Absolutely. Hindsight, there are so many things I would have done differently. I mean, hindsight is 20/20, right? So instead of letting you suffer through a crash C-section, (which is MUCH different than an emergency C-section, but we will get to that in a minute), let me lay out lots of different deliveries that can happen when having twins.
Vaginally:You could have both babies vaginally. Yes, this is absolutely possible. And probably, depending on the situation, the best outcome you could ask for. Whenever you cut into your body, it will never be exactly as it was. Having both babies vaginally would be a dream come true.
Vaginally with a breech delivery:This is where your baby is breech, usually the second baby, and the doctor will have to quickly reach up and grab the baby out.
Caesarean section:Because there are different types of twin pregnancies, there are different times where a C-section is advised over having the babies vaginally. The higher the risk of your pregnancy, the higher chance you have of having a C-section.
Planned C-section:You can have a completely planned, scheduled, however you want to say it, C-section. This depends on so many things, like how high-risk you are, if you've had a C-section before, etc. If you're going to have a C-section, this is the best kind to have.
Emergency C-section:An emergency C-section happens when giving birth vaginally can't wait, and a C-section needs to happen. Usually having an emergency C-section means "hey, guess what, you're having a C-section today," and you're prepped for surgery, instruments are counted, and you have a pretty straight-forward C-section.
Crash C-section:As my doctor puts it, "you have one minute or less to get that baby out, or someone dies." With one minute or less to perform MAJOR surgery (a human is coming out of your body afterall), no instruments are counted, no planning happens, just one very quick cut is made, and that baby is pulled out. If you do not have an epidural already, you will be put under general anesthesia immediately. After they close you up, you'll have an x-ray to make sure nothing was left inside of you since they didn't have time to count the instruments they used. Any of these options will go MUCH better if you have worked through each one, and know they are a possibility for you. I was convinced the babies would come on their own, both vaginally and unmedicated, that I didn't even entertain that there were other options, or prepare myself for the possibilities. If I had been better prepared, I think I would have handled things a little differently.
Know that any of these deliveries could happen to you and research them! I've now learned that delivering the second baby breech is better than flipping the baby. Then, make a plan for each outcome. Discuss each one with your doctor. Know what the possibilities are and be open to the fact that almost any of them could happen to you. When you've explored your options, write down your wishes for each one, and be prepared for anything! You'll have two of the most beautiful babies when it's over.
*The “Two to Kiss, Two to Love” series is a helpful series for all you twin mamas out there! If you have a twin related question, comment below, and I’ll answer it for you!*