My Positive Twin Birth Story
Bec sent me this story a while ago, I of course read it and sobbed my heart out cause it was so lovely and then forgot to post it! Which of course is terrible as it is so amazing. Bec and Ash were complete hypno-superstars bringing their gorgeous girls earthside. Enjoy this beautiful birth - Nic x
I had a really positive experience with my twin labour using hypnobirthing.
On Monday 18th February at 35 weeks and 2 days I had some bleeding so we went up to hospital for a check up. We had a normal CTG, a vaginal exam showed my cervix was closed and the bleeding subsided so I was sent home.
Later that evening I had heavier bleeding with clots so we went back to delivery suite for another CTG and examination. There was no clear reason for the bleeding and in addition to this I had increased blood pressure, oedema in my lower limbs (and entire body!) plus abnormal bloods- all of this was thought to be possible early signs of pre eclampsia so I was admitted to the maternity ward to be monitored.
The next morning, Tuesday 19th February 2019, the discussion of a possible plan for induction that day was brought up then I had an ultrasound and we saw the babies looked good. Following this my obstetrician, the Dr, did another vaginal examination and discovered I was already 4cm dilated! I’d felt tightenings through the night but not any stronger than what I’d been regularly experiencing since 26 weeks of pregnancy.
At midday I was transferred back to delivery suite. We were given one of the large rooms and there were two cot areas set up for our babies. Each cot had a label on it ‘twin 1’ and ‘twin 2’. There were cute little wool beanies laid out ready for when the babies were born to keep them warm since they were coming 5 weeks premature.
Once we were in the room the waters of baby A were broken to place a foetal scalp monitor on the baby’s head. The wireless CTG was placed on for baby B (I hadn’t realised it would be wireless and was so excited by this after having approximately 12 CTG’s through my pregnancy!).
We put clary sage in an oil burner and I played the tranquil chambers track from my hypnobirthing playlist- on repeat! Ash put our hypnobirthing sign up on the door and he went through the birth partner cheat sheet and acupressure points as a quick refresher.
About an hour after my waters were broken the syntocin drip was started to increase the intensity/strength of the contractions I was already having. I was comfortable lying on my side on the bed through the surges and I felt like I needed Ash right beside me- I had to touch his skin through every surge. I kept my eyes closed and for every surge I listened to Ash prompting me to breathe, relax my jaw and focus on the babies. I found looking at the cribs set up for my babies was very motivating throughout the surges. It helped me visualise my babies joining us soon. The delivery room also had some hypnobirthing positive affirmations on the wall and these were great for reminding me of my own affirmations that I’d practiced throughout the pregnancy.
At some point I needed to use the toilet so Ash stayed with me and I had several surges sitting in a reclined position on the toilet. After this I couldn’t get back on the bed and stayed standing holding onto Ash and rocking my hips. I felt like I was moaning very loudly but Ash and the midwives assured me later that I was not loud at all. Ash also used some of the pressure points my acupuncturist had identified and my student midwife, provided lots of deep pressure on my lower back which I really liked. I also had to hold onto my pelvis on the right side throughout every surge and for some reason this helped me through the pain.
At some point in the afternoon my midwife did a vaginal examination and told me I was 8cm dilated! They asked if I still wanted the epidural because we’d need to do it very soon. I’d made the decision prior to labour to have an epidural due to the risk with twin pregnancy that baby B might flip and change position once baby A was delivered. An epidural is strongly recommended by the obstetricians for twins as an internal manoeuvre may be needed to pull twin B down. I remember saying to them that yes I suppose I should have it since I’d decided to do it. I definitely felt like there’s no way I would have wanted one if I wasn’t carrying twins. I remember hearing them page the anaesthetist and when they arrived I had to sit on the edge of the bed while they set everything up.
The only parts that bothered me about the epidural were the fact that I couldn’t move and they put some plastic stuff on my back which I found very irritating and hot. Once the epidural was administered I had to stay lying on the bed but the midwives were great at setting up the bed position so I had some control. They lowered the bottom portion of the bed so I was in a somewhat seated position.
Once the epidural was in place I could still feel my contractions but the intensity was far less and I could shift my legs around on the bed.
The syntocin needed to be increased at this point because the epidural had slowed the contractions down.
After some time the doctors did an ultrasound and examination to determine when I could start pushing. Around 7pm they told me I could start pushing so my legs were placed in the stirrups and my midwife started giving me some cues to help breathe the babies down.
I remember finding it challenging because I couldn’t feel the full strength of the surge so I wasn’t pushing hard enough to bring baby A down. I didn’t have a good concept of how to effectively breathe them down. I pushed for 2 hours and needed lots of prompts and guidance with this stage of the labour. I remember vomiting uncontrollably not long before baby A was delivered.
I moved baby A right down, however the heart rate dropped so ventouse was used to assist with the very last part of the delivery.
At 8:57pm my baby A was born! They held her up in front of me as she was being passed to me and that’s when I saw she was a little girl! I didn’t trust what I’d seen until someone else confirmed she was a girl. We had a short skin to skin cuddle together for less then a minute and Ash got to cut her cord then she was taken to her cot for the paediatricians to assess her and give her oxygen.
I remember being surprised at her smell- it was different to what I expected. The next few minutes were strange because I was worried about my baby but I needed to focus on pushing out my next baby. I remember I kept asking if baby A was ok and told Ash to go and check on her but he told me she was fine and he needed to help me.
The next stage of pushing was easier because I had a better concept of what I needed to do. Baby B was delivered in the same way- I pushed her down low and then her heart rate became low so ventouse was used again. Baby B was passed to me for very brief skin to skin contact and cord cutting then she was taken straight to her cot for the paediatricians.
Following delivery of both babies I had the shot to assist in delivering the placentas and during this stage I also had a 1 litre post partum haemorrhage. I was then able to cuddle baby A again so we enjoyed some beautiful skin to skin time together. Once baby B was stable the doctors gave me a 1 minute cuddle with both my babies on my chest. This was such a special and magical moment I felt like the luckiest person in the world to have these two beautiful babies. After this both babies were taken to the NICU and Ash went with them while I had a grade 2 tear stitched up in the delivery room while the epidural was still effective. One of the midwives helped me by hand expressing colostrum. I was pretty excited to see we could express some because I hadn’t managed to express any while pregnant.
I developed a fever in this time and also had uncontrollable shaking of my whole body from the epidural medication. I needed bloods taken but my veins were flattened so it took a few attempts by midwives and the doctor to get some blood out. By about 2am I finally had a shower and a midwife then took me across to NICU to see my babies.
Baby A was sleeping peacefully in an open cot when I got there. Baby B had cpap on in a humidicrib and she was very unhappy. She was screaming and looked so sad. The nurses let me place my hand in the crib so I gave her ‘hand hugs’ by holding my hand on her body firmly and talking to her. I was so happy when this settled her and she was then able to lie there and tolerate the cpap better. After an hour of sitting with my babies and the midwife helping me express more colostrum I was transferred to the maternity ward to finally get some sleep. I could have happily sat beside my babies all night if they’d let me but rest was definitely needed.
I am so proud of the birth of my baby girls and felt like I could take on the world for days after the birth. Hypnobirthing was extremely successful for us and allowed my husband to have such an important role throughout the entire labour. I couldn’t have got through it without him or the hypnobirthing skills.
Twin 1/A- Aleah Jean Smith
19/02/19 at 8:57pm.
Head circumference- 32cm
Gestation- 35 weeks and 3 days
Twin 2/B- Zoe Joy Smith
19/02/19 at 9:21pm.
Head circumference- 32.5cm
Gestation- 35 weeks and 3 days
The hypnobirthing affirmations, meditations and visualisation strategies all helped me stay calmer and deal with stress more effectively during my pregnancy. Since having my babies I’ve been using the breastfeeding relaxation and positive affirmations tracks, which have been great in my breastfeeding journey.