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Unassisted Precipitous Twin Birth

Tara and Philip’s Unassisted Twin Birth
The day before…

I had slept very poorly and came to realize I was not getting any deep sleep due to discomfort and my temperature being either too hot or too cold despite various blanket changes. I went in to the birth center and had a blood draw to check blood sugars, which had also been being wonky for a few days, and just to check in with my midwife. I left feeling better and came home, got dinner figured out (PIZZA!) and then got the kids in bed.

That night R and I started making plans to tempt Murphy, as I put it. We planned that sometime that week they were going to go out on a date, possibly with my doula watching their little girl so they could get to know another, and I would go on one with Kurtis. It was just left to be decided what day it would be on, but was left for morning to decide. That night when Kurtis came back from his social gathering we had some fun, and I finally went to bed at 1:30am. Unfortunately due to discomfort I didn’t really fall asleep until 3am.

Birth Day

At 5:31am I was awoken by an intense and strong contraction deep in my pelvis. I lay there for a time afterwards waiting. In that time the babies started moving, adjusting themselves into new positions looking back on it. Ten minutes later another contraction hit, just as intense as the first and I was very uncomfortable laying down on my side through it. I rolled on to my stomach with my large body pillow under me, on my knees, and lay there waiting. The next contraction told me I couldn’t stay laying down, so I got up and went to the bathroom. They started coming very close together, but not seeming to last super long though their intensity was increasing.

I decided to get in the shower to see if that helped things at all, but it really only helped a very little. I got out within ten minutes and was sure; at that point, this was it. I called my midwife at 6:04 to let her know. Then I called my doula, and finally I called the dads, “I hope you got some sleep. I’m coming over.”

Over the course of the next 20 minutes I came to realize I wasn’t going to make it out the door, let alone down the street, before a baby was going to be coming. I went to the bathroom again, washed my hands, and checked myself. There was no cervix, just the descending baby! I started having the urge to push at the end of contractions, the burning sensation of the babies descending through my hips had begun, and there was going to be a baby in the next few minutes I knew. I called my midwife saying, “I’m not going to make it.” In the middle of a contraction and found I was grunting at the end with a need to bear down. “Are you pushing?!?” Was the answer on the phone. “Um, at the end of them, yes.” Was my rather weak answer. “I’m on my way!”
Next I called the guys and said, “You need to come here. They won’t wait.” And it was 6:27am at this point. The urge to push was getting unbearable by now. I was in a dress with my sandals on, but nothing else. I had grabbed a towel for the car, but now I threw it on the floor by my bed and got on all knees. Kurtis entered the room and I told him to clean up, we’re not going anywhere. At 6:31 a strong pushing contraction came and out came the amniotic sac, which burst, and…a foot! Kurtis says I sounded mighty indignant when I discovered this stating, “It’s a foot!” And then I had him call my midwife who was on her way. She apparently was trying to not have a heart attack after hearing that the little boy had decided he was going to be born breech after all. I was trying to resist the urge to push and then was told to get into knee/chest position. That was NOT happening! The pain when I tried was too much. The next thing relayed over the phone was to only push when I really had too. I remember thinking, but don’t know if I said, “I –know- that! I’m –doing- that!” In two minutes little Philip was born, Kurtis catching him. I am so proud of him. This is not something he has ever wanted to do, and has vehemently avoided with our own children. But he was there for me when I needed him and didn’t panic or faint or bat a lash.

At this point my Ama (My mother’s partner and my second mother) came in to help Kurtis who was feeling a little flustered. She got down on the floor (and with her arthritis that is hard!) and helped with the little boy since I was told to stay in the all fours position. So there I stayed while they saw to his needs, covered him with a blanket, and made sure he was breathing nicely. It was right around then that my doula and good friend Nichol walked in. She was somewhat, but not really, surprised to see we already had a baby out. I asked someone, at this point, to help me remove my sandals as I had already tossed my dress aside. It had gotten soiled when Philip’s water had broken.

Not ten minutes later but another strong contraction hit and I pushed. I reached down to feel and see if we had a head, a butt, or what coming down. I was relieved to feel a head behind the amniotic sac. With the next contraction I just pushed as felt comfortable and little Tara rode a wave of amniotic fluid of out me into my hand and my Ama’s hand. At that point I was going to turn over. They were both out, both breathing/crying/gurgling and I wanted to assess them myself.

So there I sat, on my bedroom floor, holding these two babies and feeling totally taken by surprise. Philip became much more alert once his sister was near him, though both of them seemed to want to take a nap right after they established their breathing. But for my sanity, I wanted to hear a few more good cries and see Tara pink up.

Looking between them I was amazed to see that Philip had next to no vernix, while his sister was absolutely coated in the stuff! It made it hard to tell if she was really that pale, or just cheesy white. Despite that we got them both wrapped up in blankets and against my skin. Not too far along into this we put the heating pad to use for Tara and found one of our hoodie blankets that was Alaric’s as a baby. That combo perked her up. About 15 minutes after her birth the placentas came and my Ama caught that once again. We put it in a bowl between my legs. I was barely bleeding at all!

Ten minutes or so after the placenta arrived two of the midwives arrived, Jesica being one of them. It was good to see them, but I was also feeling great if a little shocked still by the rapidity of it all. At this point Philip had been making it known he was interested in nursing, and that his hand was not going to cut it much longer. So we got all set up on the floor and I got them both onto the breast with only a minimum of fuss and muss.

Later on we moved to my bed, once the Chux pads arrived with Jesica’s apprentice, and we were all much more comfortable. Jesica checked me for tears and found NONE! I was a little surprised given how Tara had flown out of me all in one fell swoop, but happy as well!

At this point the dads arrived having had trouble getting their Zipcar to work; they had opted to take a cab instead. The cords had been cut by then, but cut long so that the guys could cut them again to an appropriate length. Our reasoning was to make it easier to assess the babies and so the placentas could be examined.

Not too long after this, with everyone gathered around, we sang Happy Birthday to Tara and Philip. We had done this with Eleanor, their big sister, and it is something special and magical for our surrogacy journeys now.

This was my fastest labor and delivery by far, but certainly not my most comfortable. In fact it was very uncomfortable and I think I would have preferred to have had several hours of build up. Waking up in transition with no time for endorphins to build is something that I cannot describe. I am glad it was as fast as it was, because I don’t know if I could have handled it being too much longer. I am calling this birth my Supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus birth.

Unassisted twins born at 38.6 weeks gestation.

Baby A (Philip) was a footling breech born in two minutes. He weighs 7lbs 5oz and is 19” long. Baby B (Tara) was vertex, born 9 minutes after her brother and riding the wave of her amniotic fluid out of me. She weighs 6lbs 10oz and is 19.5” long.

My labor was an hour long total and I bled less than most moms with a singleton baby.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
littlravn
Sep. 29th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
What an awesome story! I didn't even know you were pg again. Congrats to all involved!

Awesome about the lack of bleeding...I haven't given birth this week but I've bled plenty enough for both of us! (and a few other people too)
littleowl
Sep. 29th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Congrats to all of you and you go, you birthin' woman you.

This reminds me of Vic's birth. Sudden onset, very rapid, strong, painful contractions. Three hours start to finish.

I'm with you on preferring the slower build up. Julien's birth was so much 'easier' by comparison even if it was twice as long.

And I think that the all-fours position really really helps with preventing tears, I wasn't strictly all-fours with J, but I had my hands on the bed and pushed my hips up behind me for that big gushing push out with lots of water and had no tears either where I had skid marks with Vic sitting in a classic-C-sit position.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )