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The Stephanie Kase Podcast, Ep. 3: Our Twin Birth Story (Planned home birth turned pre-term hospital birth)

July 12, 2022

In this episode, my husband Michael and I are sitting down to share our twin birth story! So if you love birth stories, or you’re just super curious how it went, you are going to absolutely love this. Michael and I are talking about our planned home birth turned pre-term hospital birth – how it went and how we felt. We actually talked about this on our family YouTube channel (if you prefer to watch that here), but we thought it would be fun to do a podcast episode about it all! We’re really spilling all the details about our birth experience. To preface this story, we were always told that going to into labor is kind of uneventful, and it’s going to be probably pretty long. And it’s not going to be like the movies where your water breaks and you like rushed to the hospital and all that stuff. But for us, that’s kind of exactly how it happened. Literally every time I’ve told this story, someone looks at me and tells me it’s just like a movie scene! 

 

Our Pre-Term Birth with Twins

We had a pre-term birth with our twins. Originally, we had planned to have a home birth but it turned out that the hospital birth was still a really positive experience. I was 34 weeks, 4 days pregnant and almost midnight on the night that this all started. I was sitting in bed looking up pregnancy stuff (instead of being asleep like I should have been!). As I was setting my phone down to go to sleep, I heard a really loud pop. It was so different than anything I’d heard before and low in my stomach.

So, I got up and found out that I had bloody show. I quickly googled what it meant, even though I was pretty sure I knew, and I was right: the babies would be coming within 24 hours. We had really been planning for a home birth and everything had looked perfect for it – we just weren’t 36 weeks yet, and I had to be for home birth. So, I woke Michael up and he basically told me to take a breath and relax, that our home birth would happen. I also texted our midwife and she said the same kind of thing – that sometimes this happens and you won’t have the baby right away. 

And then about 5 minutes after I texted our midwife, my water definitely broke. Well, it started leaking I should say! I wasn’t having any contractions, so it was surprising that my water broke but that’s where we were. I called my midwife and asked what to do but I knew I was going to go to the hospital at that point. We were pre-term and I just didn’t know what could happen, I felt safer with that option. Michael was basically throwing stuff in suitcases while I was calling her. We hadn’t prepared because we weren’t supposed to be going! But Michael managed to pack everything we needed – even my fuzzy robe and slippers – and it worked out. 

Getting to the Hospital

Within about 5 minutes of my water breaking, I finally started to have contractions. I honestly didn’t realize what they were at first. But then I began to time them and they were a minute and a half a part, each lasting about a minute. If you know anything about labor, you know that that usually they start much more slowly than that. I’m a first time mom but I knew that we were closer than we originally thought to those babies coming. I managed to change and grab my camera before we were off to the hospital. Thank goodness for Michael packing everything else! When we had called our midwife, she told us to try and get out the door within 30 minutes. I think we maybe packed for 15-20 minutes of that and the rest was me trying to get my shoes on. I would have to stop and take a break in between for contractions because they were just so intense. 

To be clear, I honestly didn’t think the contractions were that bad though. If we had been able to do our homework, and I was relaxing and using other techniques, they would have been even more manageable. But, I was also pretty far into labor already and by the time we got to the hospital, I was already pretty dilated. When we were at home, I would get into a kind of weird sitting position every time a contraction hurt, but in the car, I couldn’t do that. I just remember feeling how intense it felt during the car ride. 

Finding Peace in Childbirth

Our midwife met us at the hospital and I’m so happy she was able to be with us. She could advocate for what we really wanted from our birth – and she even took photos for us! You can see the whole post here with her amazing images. Once we arrived, they got me into a room and cheeked how dilated I was. I was already to 6cm (out of the 10 needed for birth) and we knew it wouldn’t be much longer. We had some conversations with the doctors about what they wanted to do and what we wanted to do. We really wanted a vaginal delivery unless it was dangerous. Around this time, things start to get kind of blurry for me because I was in a lot of pain and things were pretty intense. But, our midwife continued to advocate for us and the doctors decided they wanted me to get an epidural if I was going to go for a vaginal birth. 

So, I felt a lot of peace about that, even though at that point and everything felt so intense and different than what we planned. I was absolutely freaked out about the epidural because I hate needles, but honestly I was in labor and I just wanted it to be done. My midwife continued to check in with the doctors about delivering a breech baby, but he’d done it many times before so I felt even more confident about going with what they were suggesting. During the births, I couldn’t feel much until Annabelle began to crown – and that was some intense pain. But I wasn’t completely numb and I’m grateful for that so I could experience the birth, still. 

Welcoming the Girls

They put me into the room in case we had to do an emergency C-section and I’m still so grateful that they really helped me during the contractions. Since I couldn’t feel everything, they guided me through them so I wasn’t pushing non-stop and wasting energy. I pushed for about an hour with the help of Michael, our doula, and our midwife. We honestly hadn’t even managed to call our families or anything – so it was just us and them. 

Around 3:49am Annabelle was born and then around 3:54am was Felicity. Annabelle came out smoothly. And then they did attempt to flip Felicity before she came out because she was breech. At one point, I had two different doctors trying to help me and I got a little scared that something was wrong. But after a few good pushes, Felicity came out! In the process of her coming out, her leg did get broken, but it healed nicely and hasn’t bothered her since. 

I was able to hold both girls briefly before they had to be checked out. Annabelle needed oxygen right away. It’s the only thing I would have changed about the experience: asking for more skin-to-skin time right after birth, but there was also so much going on, too. They had to take the girls to the NICU and I just remember watching Michael decide what to do. He was amazing through the whole process and I’m so happy he was with me. 

Their NICU Stay & The Emotions

Both girls were born 4lbs, 9oz, which is funny. They’re not identical but they were born at the same weight which is funny to me. They wound up staying in the NICU for two weeks after birth and that was the hardest part. It was an emotional roller coaster for so many reasons. Obviously, the birth wasn’t what we planned but I’m grateful that it worked out the way it did. The doctors didn’t know me from a stranger, but they worked with me anyway. I was able to have the vaginal birth I wanted and our midwife was there advocating for us, too. Our birth went so smoothly because of that, even though it was preterm and out of hospital. My recovery was pretty easy too, which I think helped a lot. If it hadn’t been so easy, I think everything would have been even harder to deal with. 

Their NICU stay is definitely another subject, but it was really hard. I wanted to breastfeed so I had to be there pretty much all the time. We stayed there pretty much 24/7 and would only leave the hospital every few days. The girls are still exclusively breastfeeding so I’m really glad that I fought for that – it mattered to me. Being able to make that happen, even with them coming early is really cool to me. After about 2 weeks, they came home! We wound up having our birth photographer (who didn’t make it to the birth because I totally forgot to call her) come do a lifestyle session when we brought them home. It was really special. 

If you’re expecting…

So, I just want to throw this out there: if anyone is planning for a birth, just take the time to educate yourself. You don’t have to know everything, but know the basics and make decisions that feel right for you. When I got to actually delivering the girls, I knew what to expect and what they were saying to me. I felt empowered instead of afraid, especially when things didn’t go as planned. Personally, the book Mama Natural was so helpful for me! I want you to feel as confident and know that you’re going to be okay! 

Thank you so much for listening to our birth story!

You can see all of our other videos and posts about our pregnancy here: 

Announcement 

First Trimester Must Haves 

Our Birth Story

Welcoming the Girls Home 

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