You are not bread dough: How to advocate for yourself and your twin birth plan

Hey everyone,

Surprise! You’re getting a new blog post on a Wednesday. Don’t worry, Friday is still are “go-to” day, but this week is just a bit different! Two reasons: 1) I have the amazing Amanda Fagan with us on Friday as a guest-writer and 2) I thought this post had been published already when the site launched. Oops! As you can see, it wasn’t, so now you have a bonus post for this week. Hope you enjoy it!

“You’re having twins? Okay, I will plan to SECTION YOU.”

The amount of ease at which that floated off my doctor’s tongue made me feel as though he was simply preparing bread dough for a dinner party. No big, just going to slice and dice you. Our twin birthing class was also chalk full of c-section videos, and I frequently was asked if I had my “section date” on the calendar yet. Hmm, Monday I will get my nails done, and then Tuesday I will have my abdomen cut open and my organs displaced.

 Maybe it is because of how much that scene from Alien freaked me out, or maybe it is because I have always balked at the “one size fits all” approach, but I never felt peace about the magnitude of pressure to have a c-section.

 The ultimate goal should always be what is safest for Mom and her baby/babies. I completely see the need for c-sections and was 100% prepared to have one if either of my daughters were ever in danger. However, should c-sections be the “go-to” across the board? As someone who delivered her twins vaginally, it is obvious that I believe the answer is “No.”

 DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional and I am in no way trying to tell you to go against what your doctor has determined to be medically necessary. I am merely trying to equip you to have a thorough discussion with your medical team and I encourage you to explore all of your options.

  • Do your research: You have to go into this with confidence in yourself, or a vaginal delivery will never work. There is a lot of research out there, but a good place to start is this WebMd article: Don’t Rule Out Vaginal Delivery for Twins
    Recent studies are showing that the differences in vaginal and cesarean deliveries in the United States do not account for the actual risks and adverse effects associated with either. Said another way, vaginal deliveries are not as risky in most situations as we have been led to believe.

  • Know ALL of your options: There are ways to attempt vaginal delivery if both IMG_0081twins are positioned correctly that are very safe. I delivered my twins in an operating room, with everything ready to go for a c-section, just in case conditions changed during delivery. I felt that my daughters and I were completely safe the entire time, and the whole medical team worked smoothly and effectively. It was quite beautiful, and I am so grateful that I was able to deliver them vaginally after being in labor for an entire week. Yes, you read that correctly. I had contractions every 5-7 minutes for a week, but more on that later.

  • Find a confident doctor: This is key! If your doctor is nervous then you will be nervous. God brought me a doctor that was confident AND had an accent, yippee added bonus! I was so relaxed! I did not get to deliver with my regular OBGYN, nor in the hospital I had planned on delivering in, so this was a blessing. Pick a doctor and a location that fits your needs.

  • IMG_0061Monitor their positions: Flexibility is the name of the game. Twins have a way of changing your plans at the very last minute. They continue to do this after they are born, so it is good practice to just embrace adaptability now! Know the game plan for each scenario depending on how Twin A and Twin B are positioned, and have them recheck their positions right before you deliver. Mine flipped head down at the last minute, so I am so glad we checked them again!

    Here we are holding Lani (Twin A) who is a IMG_0657whole ten minutes older than her sister. We did not get to hold our Libby for 56 hours post birth due to the state of her health, which is another important reason I am SO thankful I did not have to recover from a cesarean. My girls were in two separate NICU units and I needed to be able to walk between them quite often.

 Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! I will get our birth story up as soon as I can to give you further details.

Last note to wrap this up: Silly as it may seem, I will stick with my bread dough analogy. Do not be flat bread either, and let people walk all over you. The birth of your child/children is about your immediate family. You will be in the most vulnerable state you have ever been in, and it is okay to set boundaries to help you stay fully present. You will always have people who unintentionally, or intentionally, try to make it about themselves. Social media adds some pressure for others to take the “Look at me! I was here for this big event!” approach, but you do not have to cave just to make other people feel “involved.” You will have to occasionally disappoint people for the sake of your children from this point forward, so why not start now? It is more than okay to kindly say “I only want my husband there with me,” or “Please wait until tomorrow to show up, and please call beforehand.” This is about your family, and YOU are in the driver’s seat when it comes to these decisions. You’ve got this, sister!

To read more twin specific posts, click the links below.

Top 10 Items for the First Year with Twins

Diary of a Twin Mom: Outnumbered and no sight of Captain Technology