I recently interviewed a former fertility patient about her vaginal birth with twins. Here is another mom who had her twins vaginally. I know from personal experience that labor does not always go as planned. The best you can do is have a birth preference, learn everything you can about the birth you desire, and then find the support you need to make it happen. I present this interview to facilitate that process.
Q: Did you know early in your pregnancy that you desired a vaginal birth with your twins?
A: In the beginning I thought that the possibility of a vaginal delivery for twins was a long hope. Both my husband and I assumed that we would have to have a c-section whether we wanted one or not. I preferred a vaginal delivery, and learned later that the delivery method would really be decided late in the pregnancy by the position of the babies, my doctor, and us.
Q: What kind of opposition did you face, if any? Was it hard to find a doctor/hospital that would support you?
A: My doctor had twins by c-section. In the beginning, she was vague about the possibility of a vaginal delivery because she wasn’t sure how the babies would be positioned. By the end, she made sure to discuss my preferred methods including delivering the second twin from a breech position if that was the case. She said that only some of the doctors were trained on this delivery method, but that she would make sure to have a doctor come in who could deliver a breech twin or she would come in herself if she was able.
One doctor in the hospital opposed my desire to birth naturally. I had induced unnaturally, so he didn’t understand why it was sill important for me to birth naturally. He didn’t listen to me at all and I definitely didn’t want him to deliver my babies. This was my show and he was lucky to be a part of it! Luckily his shift ended before I delivered.
Q: How were the babies positioned by delivery time?
A: By delivery time, I was over 38 weeks along and ready to have the babies. Both babies were presenting head down (vertex) and had been that way for over a month. No signs of labor were coming and I was only a 1.5 cm dilated. My doctor brought up the option of inducing a little early, which had to be backed up by an amniocentesis to ensure the girls’ lungs were fully developed. At the time of the exam, my fluid was a little low and no pockets were big enough to safely test. My doctor and perinatologist decided that it was time to induce.
Q: Who supported you the most in your decision and during the labor?
A: I had a doula, a friend of mine from high school, who was enlisted to be my voice for my desired labor while in the hospital. My husband also knew of my desired method to birth vaginally. We would defer from the plan only if a presenting health risk developed. The staff at the hospital was mostly behind our plan. We knew that they wanted to place an epidural catheter in case of an emergency c-section came up. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have to use it unless I had to. The labor and delivery wing was so busy that day that they didn’t come in a check me very much after they broke my water. As a result I never had an epidural placed and luckily never needed a c-section. The babies were born vaginally and without the use of medication except for the initial induction with pitocin.
Q: How did you feel afterwards?
A: Tired and sore. I had a stage two tear which is not uncommon when having babies. I was lucky and didn’t have to push very long, only about 20 minutes. The labor was long at 36 hours though! The first baby took a little work to birth, but the second came very easily. Mostly I was tired and starving. I wanted to eat all the time after I gave birth!
Q: Do you have any advice for a mom wanting to birth her twins vaginally?
A: Have several plans. I didn’t get too caught up in one method, but hoped for the best and was lucky. Staying relaxed and open really helped us. I found I had strength I never knew I had. Having twins is a great feat in itself and if you lucky enough to be presenting for a vaginal birth then go for it! The rewarding feeling you have afterwards is a glow you can bask in forever. I was so pleased with myself. My husband still laughs at me for saying only hours after the birth,
“That wasn’t too bad; I could do that again!”