TOM & POLLY'S BIRTH
Birth Story : As I was carrying twins the obstetric team were keen to induce me between 37 and 38 weeks. I however, was keen to allow things to kick off on their own. I really wanted to avoid any potential instrumental deliveries and also Caesarian as life with twins and an almost 3 year old was going to be challenging enough.
I saw the obstetric team again at just 37+5 and they offered to break my waters the following day (Friday). I was 2cm, with a short soft cervix. I said I would prefer to wait until Monday and reassess the situation then. I was hoping things would progress over the weekend but they didn't. I telephoned the labour ward as requested on the Monday am and was told they were full and someone would call me later. Monday and Tuesday came and went without a phone call. Wednesday am I was 38+4 and getting larger and more impatient by the day. Archie was going to be in nursery all day and we had cover arranged for someone to collect him if need be.
I called the labour ward and explained someone should have been calling me on Monday. It seems they overlooked calling me. It gave me an extra couple of days reprieve though. The doctor examined me and I was still 2 cms but very soft. I decided to agree to have rupture of membranes to see if that would start things off.
I was moved to a room on the delivery suite with a lovely senior midwife called Louise. We discussed my ideal birth plan and Louise highlighted situations where my wishes may not be possible to be accommodated.
Around midday Louise ruptured my membranes. She then said she would leave Nick and I for a couple of hours to allow things to progress. She took me off the monitor so that I could be mobile around the room.
During Pregnancy I had attended a hypnobirthing course taught by Crystal Miles in Harrow. During this couple of hours I walked around the room with the hypnobirthing CD on and listened to the affirmations and doing visualisations and relaxation scripts. Louise returned after a good couple of hours (she had been in and out of the room periodically but I was just calmly listening to my cd). Nick had been recording my surges by me either tapping him or me humming at the start and end of each surge. The surges were about 5 mins apart and lasting about 45 seconds. I was comfortable breathing through them. I was examined again around 2.45pm and was 3cms but "very stretchy".
After discussion we decided to start the synto infusion. It is preferred in my hospital that twins are delivered in theatre with a epidural in situ should any complications occur. Louise figured it would be a quick delivery and reassured me that she had delivered twins without the need for an epidural, she even hinted that if it was very fast we may not even get into theatre.
The synto infusion was started around 2.45 pm. I was put back on the monitor but I was told I could be mobile. I was able to sit and chat with Louise for good while inhaling clary sage on a tissue and occasionally popping the cd on if the surges were feeling powerful. After a while I went to the loo and then when getting back on the bed and leaning over the back of the headboard the surges became very intense. Louise was having trouble picking up the fetal heart rates due to my moving around on the bed. I agreed for a clip to be attached to the head of presenting twin. While trying to attach this the registrar came in and actually attached it herself although they were still having difficulty monitoring. The registrar reported that I was 5 cms but "very stretchy". At this point the reg stated to discuss the benefits of an epidural in twin labours. I had just gone on the Entonox at this point so we needed to break off the conversation between contractions. I also explained my reasons for not wanting an epidural and also suggested that the anaesthetist may struggle somewhat as I wasn't exactly still!
During this conversation which I don't even think was 10 minutes, I suddenly shouted out "I'm going to poo, I'm going to poo!" Now as soon as I said this I knew my babies were coming as I remembered the sensation from my previous birth. As I heard the midwife ask Nick to pull the emergency bell as they needed lots of people in the room for twins and felt the bottom being pulled off the bed and my legs being put in stirrups. I knew that it was suddenly going to get very busy and very panicky in that room so I turned the volume up on my hypnobirthing cd and phased everyone out. I was able to hear instructions but I was visualising my baby being passed onto my chest and after what seemed like a couple of minutes there she was. I was able to hold Polly for a few minutes and then Nick did skin to skin while the consultant palpated to see what position Tom was in. Tom was head down so the consultant instructed the reg to gently rupture the membranes. I felt a slow trickle of warm fluid as I continued to listen to the cd and before I knew it Tom was in my arms.
Approximately 90 minutes following the start of the infusion Polly was born weighing 6 lb 13 oz with Tom arriving 7 mins later weighing 7lb 13 oz. I birthed them in the room with Entonox. It wasn't quite the completely natural twin birth I dreamed off, though it was a very positive experience and in the same way it was encouraging for the medical team to see an uncomplicated twin delivery it was also encouraging for me to have been able to have a lovely experience even with induction and so many people in the room.
Following discussion with Nick afterwards it appeared there was a little panic as they were unable to monitor heart rates of each baby so were essentially " working blind". I was oblivious to this and had no doubt that my babies were anything but safe. I thank the hypnobirthing for this as I was able to visualise a safe happy place with my babies. I am certain I would have been in a state of panic myself had I been aware of the panic in the room.