June 05, 2021

the pech twin homebirth story: one by sea, one by land. one vertex, one breech

the pech twin homebirth story:
one by sea, one by land
one vertex, one breech

oh boys! pandemic babies

before i tell my twin homebirth story, i must preface you with some general insights about twin pregnancies & births. more often than not, twin pregnancies are highly encouraged to be induced several weeks early and most likely require nicu time because the babies are premature. i was warned by every nurse, obgyn and maternal fetal specialist that typically twin births are risky and most times better off just scheduling a c-section. because, why would you push baby A out and risk having to end up getting your breech baby B out via c-section after all that hard work pushing, creating more trauma and a harder recovery? i would also like to clarify that babies who are breech, are absolutely a form of normal! there is so much focus on how complicated breech babies are when really there is a lack of training, experience and confidence in OBGYNs. there is a lot of fear mongering and a push for convenience versus a ‘you can do this’ and ‘take all the time you need’ attitude in hospital settings. with anything, complications can and do arise. there is always going to be risk involved no matter who you are or how many babies you’re having. i’m aware that many women choose to schedule an induction and/or c-section and more power to you! that is why i love informed consent. you have the power to weigh the risks and facts and make choices about your body and your experience to get them safely out πŸ’ͺ🏼πŸ’ͺ🏼

although i was and am considered ‘advanced maternal age’ because i’m over 35, i was overall a healthy candidate for a homebirth, which i greatly desired. i didn’t have high blood pressure, i didn’t get gestational diabetes, my glucose levels were fine and i ate protein like there was no tomorrow (a popular diet for twin pregnancy is the ‘brewers diet’) i felt completely confident in my body and it’s ability to naturally do what it was designed to do. i was informed and made all medical choices on my own. some things i flat out refused and other things i advocated like hell for. i had a backup plan if things went south, but more importantly i had entrusted an incredible team of people that were supportive and that i was confident in their abilities, skills, experience and decision making. ok, whew. are you ready for the story now?

on a summer night during a true full moon (and a pandemic πŸ˜…), just 2 days shy of my official due date at 39.5 weeks, thunder rolled and lightning clapped while rainfall pitter-pattered on the roof and down the windows.

i awoke suddenly at 4am sharp with a very strong and powerful surge (contraction), another followed and another and i knew it was go time, the twins were coming!
i achingly crawled down out of the bed (i was dealing with major SPD or ‘symphysis pubis dysfunction’ which hurts like hell. i literally was unable to walk the last few days of my pregnancy and had to use a walker!πŸ˜†) and knelt on all fours rocking and swaying to get through each surge, visualizing and mentally encouraging myself with the mantras i’d been utilizing from birth bubble. using my contraction app to track my progress, i fumbled to enter the stats and hit the timer accurately. the surges were intense and rapid, going quickly from 6 min apart to 3min. i gave luke the go-ahead to alert my midwife at 4:30am and she arrived around 5am. (little did i know that she had just laid her head down on her pillow to rest after getting home from attending to another homebirth. bless you amber!) in the meantime luke started filling the birthing tub with scalding hot water. in the haste of the excitement he forgot to put the liner in and had to finagle putting it in with water already filling up. at this point i was just trying to get through the back-to-back contractions. jude had woken up (from our bed) and was so attentive and encouraging, patting his little hand on me and telling me it was ‘okay’ mom. we had discussed this scenario with him several times in preparation and that mommy would probably be making loud noises and that it was OKAY and totally NORMAL to behave this way when the babies were ready to come out. we had watched several videos of peaceful homebirths with him. he showed no signs of distress, only genuine curiosity and mild concern for his laboring mama.
i suddenly felt the urge to vomit so luke quickly grabbed a wastebasket for me. a brief moment of panic flooded through me, as i had vomited multiple times while laboring with jude in NYC which ultimately led me to be admitted to the hospital for an IV, which then snowballed into several (unnecessary) ‘interventions’ that i was not thrilled with and didn’t have the wherewithal to advocate strongly against at the time.

i did not want that to be the case this go-around. luckily my labor progressed so rapidly that there wasn’t time for that to be an issue. thankfully, i didn’t need to vomit again for the duration of my labor.
at some point, the rest of my incredible midwife team had quietly arrived. i was surrounded by a calm quiet energy in a cozy environment. soft dimmed lights. no cold sterile hospital equipment glaring or me having to (gasp) wear a mask while laboring (um yeah, hell to the no on that!)
just me and luke and jude and the midwives around me.

by 5:30am my water had not broken yet and with contractions back to back, someone suggested getting into the birthing tub and i could not have been more elated at the thought! i needed assistance and a step stool due to my SPD. for those that don’t know (i sure didn’t!) symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), or pelvic girdle pain (PGP), happens when the ligaments that normally keep your pelvic bone aligned during pregnancy become too relaxed and stretchy soon before birth (as delivery nears, things are supposed to start loosening up). this, in turn, can make the pelvic joint — aka the symphysis pubis — unstable, causing some pretty strange sensations, including pelvic pain. the most common symptoms are difficulty when walking and wrenching pain (as though your pelvis is tearing apart). πŸ˜£πŸ˜–πŸ˜«

the day before i gave birth with my sexy walker πŸ˜… grinning through extreme discomfort with my SPD!

i felt instant comfort and relief slipping into that perfectly warm water enveloping my whole body. i laid slightly sideways on my left backside after trying a few (painful) positions because of my pelvis issue. i closed my eyes and surrendered to each wave of my body contracting. jude was quite insistent to get into the ‘swimming pool’ too! i said sure whatever makes him comfortable and happy πŸ˜… he quickly got his swim trunks on with luke’s help and hopped into the birthing tub with me. he was very sweet and curious, just standing next to me. he eventually got out (which is a really funny story for another time)

we knew that baby A was head down for the whole duration of my pregnancy and i could feel that he had started making his way out, still en caul (inside an intact amniotic sac) we have it on video thanks to one of the midwives (which i’ll probably never share because boy was i a noisy birther! i guess i could dub it with music) before his head slipped all the way through, the sac tore open and the rest of him just burst right out at 6:35am. i wasn’t able to catch him myself because of the SPD, so Amber handed him right to me and they covered him with a warm wet receiving blanket. he seemed so tiny and fragile and...slippery πŸ˜„ i held him up briefly to double check that he was in fact a boy lol i held him close in the water and we left his umbilical cord as i wanted delayed cutting (some people are confused, as was i, of the order of how things come out. so typically baby A comes, then baby B, then both placentas follow. not baby A, placenta, then baby B, placenta. does that make sense? placentas come out at the end! 🀷🏻‍♀️), but i started contracting again almost immediately and i could barely hold him so we cut his cord and i quickly but carefully passed him off to luke while i got into position again for baby B!

baby A, born vertex in the water

one down guys, one to go πŸ˜… are you still with me?

at this point, jude was by Luke’s side, standing and watching next to the birthing tub, curiously admiring his new baby...

before i knew it, the surges were back-to-back again and we knew that baby B was on his way out, breech! he had flipped to vertex halfway through my pregnancy, so  both babies were head down at one point, but he eventually flipped back to breech and decided to stay there! cozy. comfy. upside down πŸ™ƒ again, my midwives were comfortable and experienced in delivering breech babies so i was confident in the outcome. they have studied and been trained by dr. ‘stu’ as they call him or dr. stuart fischbein an expert OBGYN in educating safe ways to deliver breech babies, VBAC, vaginal twin births and normalizing breech deliveries. he is highly sought after in the LA area! his story is really awesome if you ever look him up.

anyway, so i could tell baby B was coming, the only problem was, i no longer had the urge to push. like, all of a sudden, i just didn’t feel like i could anymore. the water was still nice and warm and i was encouraged to just wait until my body told me to push. pretty quickly a foot popped out! then a leg, then another foot and leg and then...boop, a little tooshie appeared. so literally half of baby B was out in the water, kind of swimming about πŸ˜… quickly after, his torso and arms were out in the water. i was encouraged to stand up (with assistance because...SPD) and as soon as i did, gravity did its thing and out popped his head, body and all at 6:56am, free at last in mid air!

baby B, born breech partly in the water

i held him close and he looked snd felt much bigger than baby A. we left his cord attached for awhile and one of the midwives handed baby A to me so that i was holding both of them (awkwardly!) together in the birthing tub. i was in a mystical daze! what had i just accomplished?! was this real life?!

my little dumplings

ahh...this! THIS is what i had dreamt of and imagined and quite literally manifested into existence. this moment of peace and gratefulness and a huge HELL YEAH I JUST FREAKING DID THAT, TWICE!!! my body had created and nourished and birthed these two perfect little living breathing humans. no drugs, no interventions, no tearing (hallelujah!), no stress, no negative energy. it was raw and messy and wonderfully magical. 
did it hurt? you bet your aunt fanny it hurt pushing them out! (hello ring of fire times two!) not going to sugarcoat it and tell you it didn’t. 
would i do it again, 1000% yes! πŸ‘ŠπŸΌ


πŸ’Ÿ 6:35am Thomas Whitney
6lb 1oz 19inches
vertex, water birth ‘by sea’

πŸ’Ÿ 6:56am Winston Patrick
6lb 12oz 20inches
breech, 1/2 water birth, 1/2 ‘by land’

so many things aligned for these babies to come earthside in the manner that they did. i ditched my OBGYN and my MFM once i felt pressured and backed into a corner during the pandemic and because i was having twins. i stopped telling literally everyone that i was planning a homebirth. it was a sacred choice. i felt strong and able. healthy. determined. confident. at peace.

i did it! love this keepsake birth bubble card

eternal thanks to kara and julie from the midwife partners, gloria and jana and the incredible amber walla of sacred song. also to dr. stu for his advocacy in normalizing safe breech births. πŸ™πŸΌ 
thank you to the universe for these incredible gifts of life!


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