Lessons in popping twins out, part one.


A lesson in twin birthing –

My hospital has ‘conditions’ for allowing a vaginal delivery with twins. In fact, most parts of the country have the same rules that mine does. Let me teach you about babies and vaginas.

With multiple pregnancies – specifically twins – you will have a Twin 1 and Twin 2. Twin 1 is the one closest to your pee-pee (aka The Exit). In order to proceed with a vaginal delivery, Twin 1 needs to be head down. If Twin 1 is in any other position, you have to have a c-section. It doesn’t so much matter what position Twin 2 is in, though we have heard some conflicting advice from the hospital on this topic.

However, once Twin 1 has come out, Twin 2 suddenly has acres of room to flail around in. This means that even if that baby is headdown, they could turn. It also means that if they are NOT headdown, they can attempt to turn it from the outside or the inside. At the antenatal class last week, the midwife said that they will deliver Twin 2 breech before 36 weeks, but after that Twin 2 needs to be flipped.

This means that if I have the babies at 38 weeks (another blog entry in its own right), Mano may pop out head down – and Torre may not oblige. This means I may have to have a c-section for her. Two-birth-experiences-for-the-price-of-one. Obviously this is something I am keen to avoid. The midwife said that with twin births, they recommend the pregnant woman have an epidural from the minute they are in hospital.

Leaving aside how I feel about epidurals, the idea is that if the second twin needed a c-section it would need to happen FAST – no time for an epidural to be put in once the first baby is out. This means that Torre would not only be born c-section, but I would have to be under general anaesthetic (ie totally knocked out) and TMD would not be allowed in the room. So both mummies would miss the birth of Torre. I find this unacceptable.

To a certain degree, the position of the babies makes the c-section versus vaginal birth choice for me. I have been told that by about 32 weeks, there will no longer be enough room for the babies to change position. As I said yesterday, both babies have been in good positions all along – until this new, horrible level of pain that requires me to be in a reclining/semi-upright position 24 hours a day. Reclining is a no-no if you want head down babies, apparently. And, indeed, the babies have gone from being in a goodish position to being in the top part of my bump.

In one way, this is good as it means no little baby heads engaging (this means Twin 1’s head moves down in the pelvis and rests on the cervix. This can happen much earlier with twins than with a singleton pregnancy) – and no baby head pushing on my cervix means my cervix can stay nice and firm. On the other hand, it means I can see a c-section creeping closer and closer.

I know there is a lot of talk about being ‘cheated’ out of a birth experience. I suppose in the final assessment, a good birth experience is one that leaves both babies and the mum healthy. If that is a c-section, then so be it. But there is no denying that while I am not hardcore anti-drugs, I would prefer a vaginal delivery – and indeed, would like to try a natural delivery. With just gas and air – and of course TMD – offering me support.

I know this will all work out, because things always do no matter how much I worry they won’t.

Anyway, more on this later.



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4 Responses to “Lessons in popping twins out, part one.”

  1. Tatiana Says:

    So I was making breakfast and thinking of this post.

    Labour is EXHAUSTING. I was extremely lucky and had a short one, too, but by the “end” of it my mouth was dry, my chest was heaving, and I felt like I could have fallen asleep between contractions.

    I know you know what you want. Remember the limitations of your body, though. You can be as mentally strong as you want, but your body, after all these months of pregnancy and then labour, may not be able to keep up. It’s not a flaw, it’s nature. Be ready to bend if you must!

    Which is all a fancy way of saying, girl, don’t be your own worst enemy. If you need that epidural when you arrive, then TAKE IT.

    I really hope everything goes the way you want it to, though. I would love nothing more than to read that you were totally satisfied and had the labour/birth that you dreamed of.

  2. Jinxy Says:

    I really hope you get the whole experience that you want, you deserve it.

    I know what its like to want your birth and breastfeeding to go one way but it all goes south in a heartbeat. They say that a good birth is one where everyone is healthy in the end and that is true but I sometimes still wish things went different. What I’m trying to say is do what you have to to get those kiddos out and know you’re not alone if things don’t work out like you had planned them (sorry I’m tired)

    • existere Says:

      Thank you! I am just trying to be proactive now – asking lots of questions, getting the multiple birth policy from the hospital, talking all the options through with TMD as she will be making decisions if I get too crazy in labour. It’s nice to know other people are so supportive – ie YOU! 🙂

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