When I found out I was expecting my first child in 2015, I began to research anything and everything I could think of. I learned a lot about the birthing process and was dead set on being as natural as possible which included a vaginal delivery. After 25 hours of labor I was able to deliver all 9.4 lbs and 22 inches of her vaginally! I had such an amazing midwife, I didn’t tear at all. I did however have a retained placenta which caused me to hemorrhage. I remember they drew a tube on the white board and put a line through it. They told me if I got past the line that means I’ve lost too much blood and would need a blood transfusion. Thankfully I stopped bleeding just as they colored up to the danger zone line.
My second pregnancy, I had some bleeding and went to see an OB early. He did an ultrasound to find out if the fetus was ok. Everything was fine, but we did discover we would be having TWINS. Two babies at once is a lot to process. The OB I saw was incredibly insensitive and informed me that he didn’t think “that one would stick around”. I saw him one more time to see if both babies were present and they were! He was unable to determine what type of twins we were expecting and referred us to a specialist early. This meant biweekly ultrasounds and lots of visits. That first visit was incredibly overwhelming. A lot of scary information was provided on all the complications that a Mono/Di pregnancy could include. Mo/Di meant our twins were separated by a thin membrane but shared a placenta.
I went on to have the perfect twin pregnancy. I had not one complication or issue. I did have “morning sickness” the entire time just as I did with my singleton pregnancy. I was incredibly exhausted and would have pains if I was too active. Other than that, it was an easy ride! Mo/Di twins are always induced by 37 weeks. If you go any longer ,you risk the placenta failing and losing both babies. When I found this out, I was a little upset. I wanted things to happen naturally but I knew it had to be this way for their safety.
At 16 weeks, in June of 2017, we had a small gender reveal and discovered we would be adding 2 little boys to the crew. I was excited about this since we already had a daughter. At my last OB appointment, the date was set: November 16th would be my induction date. When you give birth to twins you must give birth in the operating room in case an emergency happens. Only your partner can be present and the room is packed with hospital staff. Your OB, a team from your specialist’s office, the NICU, and anesthesia are all present, waiting in case they are needed. I was told if I didn’t get the epidural they would have to put me under general anesthesia to do a c-section if it came to that. I didn’t want that, so I let them know I would be getting the epidural. My OB did try and push for a scheduled c-section. He informed me I could end up having a vaginal birth with baby A and end up in a c-section with baby B. I knew it was a risk, but one I was willing to take.
The early morning of November 16th, 2017, I cried as I kissed my first-born goodbye before leaving for the hospital. It was 11 days before her second birthday and I knew her life was about to drastically change. I had never been away from her at night or longer than an average work day. I carried my hospital bag and My Brestfriend Twin Deluxe Nursing Pillow in to get started. I was set up on the Pitocin around 8 am and waited for something to happen. A few hours later, not much was going on. My OB came in and broke my water. That was a gross experience but got my contractions going. It wasn’t until about 10 pm my nurse decided to try and help me dilate by moving the small piece of my cervix over baby A’s head. It worked! They were ready to wheel me into the OR.
I was so nervous and did not want to do this without my mom by my side, but it was how it had to be. They moved me from the large comfortable bed I had labored in to the narrow OR bed. With only a few minutes of pushing, baby A, Luke, was born at 6.9 lbs. after they cleaned him up, I was able to hold him while we got ready to do it all over again. They took him away once the ultrasound tech came in to see where the other baby was positioned. We watched the screen as he fell right into place: head down in the birth canal. Twenty minutes after his big brother, baby B, Dominic, was born a healthy 6.2 lbs. Neither needed any NICU time and were perfectly healthy babies. Christopher said something along the lines of “the birth could not have gone smoother.” The nurses joked that he shouldn’t jinx us because we weren’t done yet.
At this point my body was done and no longer contracting. Once again, I had a retained placenta that resulted in a hemorrhage. Because of my history they were prepared and started giving me injections in my legs and even suppositories. The anesthesiologist was giving me more anesthetic to help with the pain and they were pushing Pitocin. Nothing was working. The doctor ordered Chris out of the room and my babies to the nursery. I hadn’t even met Dominic yet. In that moment the mood in the room shifted and I saw the medical staff start to lose their confidence. My body was violently shaking and I could feel myself start to pass out.
I remember thinking “If you close your eyes, you’ll never wake up again”. I thought of my kids and knew I needed to stick around. They need me, I need them. I fought for my life as I repeatedly said, “I don’t want to die, please don’t let me die”. I had the most amazing nurse who comforted me the whole way through. They finally got the IV placed and started squeezing bags of blood into me. I had a major blood transfusion before they wheeled me to x-ray to get an emergency surgery to clot the bleeding. On the way, I hear “There she is”. It’s my mom and mother in law. They had been trying to find out where I was. I was too weak to speak at this point.
I think it was around 2 am when I finally made it to my ICU room to recover. My family came in and I lost it. I sobbed as they all leaned in to hug me. I couldn’t believe I was so close to not being here. I would spend that first night away from my brand-new babies. The next afternoon, my nurse arranged for me to go to the nursery. I held my second born son for the first time. It was a short visit, but later that evening I was transferred into my regular room. I still wasn’t allowed to keep them overnight but they came to visit. The 3rd day I finally got to keep my babies with me. I was on iron and pain medicine but healing well. I had some strength back and we were able to start incorporating breastfeeding, but that’s a story for another time!
There you have it – my vaginal twin birth story. Many people are in shock when I say I delivered my twins vaginally. Most didn’t even realize that is an option. 56.2% of planned vaginal twin births are successful. If you are a pregnant twin momma and wondering if it’s possible, it is! And it’s amazing. Me hemorrhaging had nothing to do with having a vaginal delivery and can also happen with a c-section. Having twins does increase these odds. I was also more at risk because it had happened before and it is more common in Hispanic women. While compiling photos for this post, I am sad to say I don’t have any pictures of me and the boys from their birth.