I have decided to write my birth story because I hear so many negative experiences related to delivering twins.
At my three month check-up, my midwife thought my uterus was a little big for how far along I was, so I was sent to get an ultrasound a week later. My sister went to my ultrasound appointment with me because my husband was out of town. As soon as the technician started the ultrasound we saw two heads. I was shocked! Twins don't run in my family and I wasn't on any fertility drugs.
The next few months flew by in a blur of ultrasounds and prenatal appointments. I found out at 26 weeks that my twins were a boy and a girl. We chose the names Zoë Ryan and Liam Alexander. I had decided to continue seeing the midwife since I was not having any complications and I still wanted a completely natural birth.
At 33 weeks, I started having contractions and was placed in the hospital and pumped full of magnesium sulfate. My labor stopped, and a week later I was allowed to go home and resume my normal activities (which was good, because I was pretty active). Over a series of ultrasounds during the next couple of weeks we were told that Zoë's head was down on my cervix and was so low that the doctors couldn't even get a picture of her head.
At 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7, 1999, I was seeing my husband off to work when I had my first contraction. Another one followed five minutes later. My husband and I were scared; my contractions started at five minutes apart and by the time I called my midwife, Fay, at 6:30 a.m. they were two minutes apart. She told me to leave right away and meet her at the hospital.
Gary and I met Fay at the hospital at about 7:15 a.m., and I was sent to triage to determine if I really was in labor. When Fay checked me I was already 5 cm. dilated and 90 percent effaced, and Zoë's head was at "0" station. They transferred me to the twins' birthing room (it's equipped with two warmers), and I called my sister and my dad. About that time my contractions started to get further and further spaced apart. Fay suggested I walk. I walked and walked for nearly three hours without any progress. Fay decided around 3 p.m. that we should break my bags of water to see if that would speed things up. That didn't work like they had hoped, so I stuffed a towel between my legs and started walking again.
Finally, at about 5 p.m., they decided to start Pitocin to get my contractions going again. Fay never left my side during this whole time. By 6:45 p.m. the contractions were coming strong, and I was in serious pain. I kept asking myself why I wanted to do this naturally. The next couple of hours went by in a blur. At 10:40 p.m. I started pushing, and Zoë was born at 10:51 p.m., weighing five pounds, eight ounces, and measuring eighteen and a half inches long. At 10:57, just six minutes later, Liam was born, weighing in at five pounds, ten ounces and measuring nineteen and a quarter inches long. Both babies were born healthy, just small. Neither one had a problem breastfeeding and both were allowed to come home with me 36 hours later.
Thanks to my midwife's help and support, I had the great natural birh experience I had wanted!