Your Twin Birth Experience: C-Section or Vaginal Birth? What You Need To Know, BEFORE Labor!
Birthing Twins. Your Birth Plan & What you Need To Know, About Delivering Two Babies!
I remember my entire twin pregnancy, people would say to me, ‘you are having a C-section right?’, and I couldn’t understand, why everybody simply assumed, that two babies meant an automatic section. I was dead set on the exact opposite. I have been in crazy situations before and managed a vaginal birth. My 1st son’s entire labor and delivery, which lasted over 20 hrs altogether, was a nightmare. He was in distress for a while, and then he had gotten stuck in the birth canal, at his shoulders (should dystosia), and then my second child, 13 months later, was born, bum first. Yup a breech baby, and for both of those labors ZERO pain meds, something always happened, so I couldn’t get any, but I avoided a section against all odds in that situation.
Might they have cut me, if they knew my baby had flipped to breech, all those years ago? I can’t be sure, all I know is the stupid Dr. thought a rear was his head. I was not feeling the pushing urge, and after hours, and hours passed, they finally did an ultrasound and found out he was breech. I was petrified, but birthed him. Mikayla was a breeze in comparison to those, and I was induced to prevent another shoulder dystosia, so after going through these crazy birth experiences without going under the knife, I didn’t want to start now. Not on my last child(ren). Not if I could help it. Of course the babies’ health came first, and if they needed to take them, for that reason fine, but I didn’t want to become another Cesarean section statistic, just because the hospital felt it was easier that way, so I wrote out a birth plan.
It’s extremely important to discuss with your Dr. well beforehand, your wishes for your birth. Anything can go wrong, and plans can change, but you still have a good chance of getting the birth you want, just make sure to make your wishes known, and really fight for them. Don’t simply have an unnecesarean, just because you are carrying two babies. One thing you should know for sure though, is that with twins, you most definitely won’t be getting a home birth, if that was your desire, so prepare yourself for that, and it won’t be a very ‘modest’ experience, birthing twins, as they roll you into the big, bright operating room, regardless of how you might deliver, because there is always a risk of an emergency section. But there will be a ton of people around. With my last it was simply 1 nurse and 1 Dr. This time I sware it looked like a super bowl party. More then 1 Dr., many many nurses, and spectators. (I had baby B breech, so It was a rare experience, for them to see a vaginal twin birth. I can be pretty shy, it’s a good thing I had my mind on other things at the time, HA HA).
Your BEST chances for a vaginal delivery with twins, is for sure, the head down position (vertex) on both of the babies. That is the best possible scenario, and while granted anything can happen, and needing a section after going through a vaginal birth, was my absolute biggest fear, I mean I was petrified about that, it only happens in 5% of all twin birth cases, so I knew odds were on my side, and clung to that. 5% means 95% chance that would NOT occur.
Two vertex babies, is the easiest delivery for twins, and if you are on the fence on whether to just give up and schedule a c-section with twins, really give it some thought, because it is very possible, that you can have a very easy, uncomplicated vaginal birth.
Now, second best scenario, is when baby A is vertex (head down), and baby B is breech. I was told nowadays they don’t do breech deliveries anymore, and I was really worried when I found out she was breech, at my 28 week scan, and she never moved (that does NOT always happen, though they do get into their position sooner, due to lack of space, so they usually don’t turn as late as a singleton with all the space, can).
I remember searching for Dr’s who might do breech deliveries, and talking with my OB who was no longer delivering, and he knew so badly I wanted to avoid the cut, since I had so many times prior. I mean if I had ever had a section, I would not want to attempt a VBAC with twins, I would opt for a section, but if it was my 1st, or my 4th and 5th, like it was, and I never had a section before, I was fighting for a natural birth, as best I could.
Anyhow, my Dr. told me they don’t do external version on a breech twin, but they can do an internal one. He said they could guide the head down, just make sure I let the Dr on call, know my wishes, but then he ended up telling him for me in advance, when he knew I was in labor. He sadly no longer delivered, which was such a huge bombshell when I was pregnant. I had such a great experience with him, and REALLY wanted him, but alas there was no way, so if your ob is delivering you, make sure you tell them your plan, and if it’s possible that another Dr. in the practice may be delivering you, you MUST tell all of the possible on call Dr’s, so make appointments to meet with all of them, and spread the word, but if you don’t get a chance to see the Dr’s that you could have, like me, have your ob try and contact them for you in advance, so they know. Bring a written birth plan to the hospital, and be vocal about your desires.
If there is distress or any emergency, then you may need a section, so mentally prepare yourself beforehand, that there is a possibility, no matter how good thins have been going, just don’t assume you can’t deliver naturally. My twin birth experience was an amazing one. I birthed baby A, and minutes after, (my least favorite part they went up in there and brought baby B’s feet down). If I had still had my epidural, which I only had for about 40 minutes, then it was turned off long story), you can read my birth story here in my blog, but if I had had it still, it wouldn’t have hurt at all, but it honestly was OT so bad, and it was fast, he grabbed and baby B made her way into the world, feet first, without complication. I never expected they would allow me to have a breech baby, but if the Dr. is a bit older and experienced in breech delivery, which is DEFINATELY something you want to find out from the get go, if you are dead set on a twin vaginal birth. That makes all the difference. If I were in any other place, with any other Dr. I’m sure, I would have ended up with a Section. You got to take charge, be on the ball, and let everybody know, this is what I want, IF it can happen. The babies health comes first, then your desires come second, but they are still VERY very important.
so see, it is possible to have twins vaginally. I had no tear, no stitches, not even an abrasion, and the girls are perfect & healthy. The only time where you have ZERO choice, on how you will deliver your twin babies, is when you have both in the breech or transverse (sideways) position, or if baby A is breech and baby B is vertex. That is too risky, and I don’t know of any Dr’s who would risk that, so be prepared if you are in your late 3rd trimester and both babies have not been cooperating, chances are that you will have to under go a c-section. If you have the both head down, or baby B’s head down, you got a real fighting chance, don’t let people just assume, you will be going in for a section.
Statistically, Csection rates are higher among women having twins vs. a singleton, but it’s definitely doable, happens more then you might think, and here is one success story for you to keep your faith in.
FACT- More then HALF of twins will be born vaginally
FACT- 40% of twins at delivery time will be both head down
30% will be first baby head down, Baby B, breech
(Both scenarios are acceptable for a vaginal delivery)
The remaining 30% of twins, will be both breech, or baby A breech, baby B head down
(Not acceptable for a vaginal birth)
So you have a 70% chance there, you can try for the vagina Al birth that you seek. Odds are in your favor, so don’t panic!
Just know, no matter how your twins come into the world, (and they will come into the world, one way or another), be prepared for a sudden change in your life. Be willing to accept any and all help, when offered, and take the time to enjoy your sweet little bundles of love. Being a mommy of multiples, is unlike any experience you will ever know of again. Enjoy it, from the pregnancy to the beyond.
See Ya Soon!!