Natural Birth for Multiples
- Editors of FitBump
- Oct 15 2013
- 0 comments
I first met Heather at a local moms meeting. As we went around the room to introduce ourselves and share how many children we had, I heard this peppy and petite brunette say, “Two” as she touched her belly. A belly, by the way, that was equal to mine after having one too many burritos. But she was growing twins! I am so fascinated with the whole journey of pregnancy; it’s why I became a doula. Not only can a woman’s body grow a human being and nourish it, but it can also do the same for two (after all we do have two breasts!) I didn’t know it then, but a few months later Heather and her husband would hire me to take part in welcoming their two daughters into this world. Heather was very clear about the type of birth she wanted to have. She was informed and determined to deliver her baby girls as naturally as they were conceived. Women who are pregnant with multiples are often categorized by the medical profession as “high-risk” and with that comes a slew of extra precautions and a 75 percent rate of cesarean sections.
Over the last 20 years that rate has been on the rise, so much so I think people assume that it is impossible for a woman carrying multiples to give birth vaginally, and certainly not without drugs. In reality, for healthy women, giving birth to twins is no different than to a singleton, except the fact that you get to experience two-times the joy. Once it was clear Heather would not be opting for a C-section I prepared her for the climatic event of pushing. Nothing breaks the ice more than telling my clients pushing is like pooping, except the result is much more rewarding. She understood the risks of introducing narcotics into the girls systems and wanted to avoid it all costs. Therefore having an epidural or any drugs for that matter was not an option for Heather either, so we also went over ways to manage her pain.
We talked about techniques that would help her stay focused, practiced optimal laboring positions, and had her husband learn comfort measures, like applying counter pressure on her hips. I read up on twin births and prepared myself for all possible outcomes. It was truly a team effort. Just as I was closing my eyes for bed one night I got the call from Heather. It was time! We had an hour drive to her hospital so once labor started, we were on our way. When we arrived you could tell that the nurses had been briefed on how important it was for Heather to deliver her girls naturally. There was no mention of pain medications as the staff really respected her wishes. For the next few hours they monitored the babies, allowing Heather to intermittently walk the halls. She swayed, she breathed, she let out low moans (which actually helps babies move down into position). She was a birthing rock-star! Around 1:00 p.m. it was go time, and Heather had that look of fear like she was second guessing this whole natural route. She looked at me and said, “I can do this right?” I held her hands, looked into her eyes, and told her, “You ARE doing this.”
After less than 12 hours of drug-free labor, Heather pushed out not one, but TWO babies, only nine minutes apart from each other. It was seriously one of the most powerful and amazing things I have ever witnessed. Usually a rush of emotion comes over me when I see a woman give birth. It is witnessing a miracle. This time it was quite different because as soon as I felt that rush of joy, a few minutes later I got to feel it again. It was like riding a roller coaster, and once the ride was over, hopping the line and doing it all over. I watched as the two girls were placed in their mother’s arms and knew I had just been a part of something truly special. Heather trusted her body. She knew that if it created these two beautiful children, it wouldn’t leave them without a safe escape route. She also trusted herself. She believed in her ability to do the thing that we, as women were created to do. That was the true miracle.
Nacia K. Walsh is the Founder & Editor of Granolaville.com and the President of The Granolaville Group, a company's whose mission is to empower mothers with the support, tools, and "crunchy goods" they need to create a life that nourishes them. Nacia has written for various local and national publications including Babble.com and the Sesame Street Newsletter. After 3 natural births of her own, Nacia decided to put her experiences and passion for natural birth together by creating SoulFueled Mama, a full service birth support company. This fall she will be launching Ready To POP!, a dance class designed for pregnant women that allows them to shake their booty, connect with their baby, in a fun total body workout. Have a question you want answered? Is there a topic you can’t find a post about here? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you want to see and hear more about. We love hearing from you!