The Births of Anderson and Everett
Before I was even pregnant, I knew that I wanted to have a home birth. I had already had three hospital births, two with a CNM, but still was not satisfied. My first pregnancy and birth was totally medicalized. I was 17 and with an HMO, which meant that my birth was going to be the way they said. I had a sonogram every week (because they thought my daughter was too small). I had Demerol and an epidural. And I had an episiotomy, because the doctor had another woman who was about to deliver and she did not have time to wait for me to stretch. I also got a terrible post-partum infection and I had to be hospitalized for 3 days without my baby. Needless to say when I got pregnant with baby #2, I was looking for something different.
Baby #2 and #3 were both hospital births with a CNM. At the time she was just what I wanted. She knew my body could birth a baby, but was willing to give me drugs to help it along. My issue with these births was not so much the birth itself, but the hospital stay after. I hate sharing rooms, especially with the C-section mom that was bleeding all over the floor. I dislike nurses, especially those that think they can take care of your baby better than you. And I just dislike hospital protocol. But nonetheless, these two births were necessary steps for me to take in order to really be able to embrace the idea of homebirth.
As I said, I had my heart set on a homebirth before I got pregnant with #4. This was going to be our last baby, so I wanted it to be my way. At about 5 weeks, I had a sonogram because I was bleeding, and it was then that we found out we were having twins. Wow! On top of all the normal feelings you have when you find out you are having twins, I was really sad because I thought that my homebirth was not going to happen. I thought that my only option was to go to doctor, be labeled high-risk, and have a C-section.
I called every CNM in the phone book to see if they would attend a twin birth. Even most of the local CPMs would not attend a twin birth. So I sucked it up and went to a practice that had both CNMs and physicians. The first visit was fine and I felt reassured that maybe I could have my non-medicated birth in a hospital. The second visit was not so great. I had the nerve to come in with questions about how the birth would go. I was told that if I wanted my babies to live, I had to let the doctors do whatever they wanted. And when I mentioned that I would not be having the recommended tests,( sonograms every week, glucose tolerance and non-stress tests) I was again warned that my babies would not live if I did not let the doctors monitor them. I knew that the doctor was trying to scare me and I knew she was wrong. That was not the type of environment I wanted to birth in, so we did not make another appointment.
So there I was 4 months pregnant with twins and no one to attend the birth. That was ok, because I decided (and my husband reluctantly agreed) that I would have them at home unassisted. At that point I was ok with that decision. My only fear was that I would hemorrhage (all the books say it’s likely to happen with twins), but I figured I would buy some pitocin over the internet, just to have on hand.
Luckily, a friendly midwife, Tammi, heard about me and my situation through a mutual friend and offered to take me on as a client. I agreed to meet with her because it made my husband happy. He was really nervous about the whole unassisted thing. After meeting with Tammi and Karen, we decided to hire them for our birth.
Tammi was really supportive and was willing to let my pregnancy and birth be my way. She really stressed that in order to keep my babies from being premature, I needed to eat lots of protein…130g a day.…And to keep from hemorrhaging, I needed lots of alfalfa. Oh, and to keep the membranes strong, I needed lots of Vitamin C. It was all very different from my other pregnancies. No doctor ever mentioned any of this. They are always about looking for problems, not really preventing them.
The last part of my pregnancy was lovely. I was not worried about anything. My babies were both head down and ready to come out. At 38 weeks and 6 days I went into labor. It started in the evening and progressed through the night. Baby A (Anderson) was born at 4:10am in the birth pool. He was 6lbs 14oz. Baby B (Everett) was born at 4:30am in the pool. He was 7lbs 5oz. I got out of the pool to deliver the placenta, which came with minimal effort. There was no hemorrhaging, no drama at all. By 5am, I was laying in my OWN bed, with my husband, enjoying our new babies!