How We Got Back Home

When we found out we were expecting a baby last summer, my husband and I decided that we would pursue a homebirth. It seemed to make sense for us. I had a very straightforward birth with Vivi and was committed to doing it again without any interventions. Plus, with a $10,000 deductible for our health insurance, it would save us a whole heaping pile of cash. (And who doesn't love a bargain?)

The discovery of twins at the end of November threw us for a loop. Our homebirth midwife begged off and we found ourselves negotiating a medical system with the label "high risk" stamped on my forehead. The fact that I had already birthed a nearly 9 pound baby smoothly didn't seem to matter. Nor did it make a difference that both of my grandmothers had twins vaginally at full-term. I was simply a uterus with two babies with the potential for a host of problems.

Although I wanted to give birth in the comfort of my home, I had no one to attend it so I returned to the hospital-based midwife I had for Vivi's birth. I knew she would support my wish to have a natural, vaginal delivery and I was more than pleased with the care she had shown me in the past. When we met with her again, six months into this pregnancy, we learned that I would need to follow hospital protocols for high-risk pregnancies. This meant that I would be stuck in a bed with continuous monitoring, have an IV, and would be moved to the operating room when it came time to push. Our midwife's hands were tied.

I felt incredibly depressed in the days that followed. I knew that movement and access to water (either a hot shower or a birthing pool, both of which were not allowed) were critical for me to cope with the pain and I couldn't face the fact that I would have to be on my back in bed. I felt like I was being fast-tracked to a c-section by these one-size-fits-all policies and I just couldn't face the possibility of major surgery. My husband, a physician, agreed and we began calling every birthing center in New England to see if they would take us. (They would not.) Then we found S.

S. is a professional midwife who travels across the border into RI to (illegally) deliver babies. Until recently, homebirth was officially illegal in Rhode Island and the state still does not recognize professional ("lay") midwives-- only licensed certified nurse-midwives. Upon meeting S. we learned that she was just as competent and even more experienced than our previous nurse-midwives. Her intelligence and wisdom thoroughly impressed us as did her requirements for a twin homebirth.

For S. to deliver our Turtles, I had to commit to a high-protein diet and have no abnormalities in my blood work, urine, blood pressure, or ultrasounds. Additionally, I had to carry the babies to at least 36 weeks and the presenting baby had to be in vertex position. Our preference was for both babies to be vertex which turned out to be the case.

When week 36 came and went, I felt a huge relief. When S. declared that I was the healthiest pregnant woman with twins she had ever seen, I felt like I had pulled one over on her. Sure, I felt good but all the twin horror stories that I'd read and heard about still made me doubt my own ability. Could I really have the birth I wanted?

Well, I did but the birth story will have to wait for a future post. Right now, I'm trying to nurse while typing one-handed. Extreme multi-tasking is my new reality...

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you had a wonderful homebirth with your twins and a wonderful, supportive midwife! Vermont doesn't allow my midwife to deliver twins but I did jokingly tell her that if I had been pregnant with twins, she could help deliver the first one and I could deliver the second one by myself as she waits outside of my house. LOL. If I ever become pregnant with twins, I would have to find a midwife like yours willing to illegally help me with homebirthing twins. There is NO way am I giving birth in a hospital if the pregnancy was going perfectly well like yours did. Looking forward to read your birth story! Hope your multi-tasking skills improve leaps and bounds to make your day-to-day life easier! ;)

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  2. A little bit late, but Happy Five Weeks Old to the littlest cutie pies! They must be so grown up now! How is it going? I remember my five weeks-ish time as being both lovely (I was getting used to them; they were getting used to being alive) and hard (the sleep deprivation was starting to get to us). But spring is such a glorious time to have 5-week-olds! We celebrated our twins' 8th birthday yesterday - great day, and they planned it all. One day that will be you! How is Vivi these days? Hope the entire family is adjusting well.

    Aina

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  3. Congratulations on your twins' birthday!

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