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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Home waterbirth of VBAC twins.... Days apart!!

This is one of the most incredible birth stories I've ever read!!  It's a wonderful testament to the power of patience and faith in our bodies to birth our babies when and where they wish to come!!  If you read just one Birth Story this month, this definitely should be it!

This is the story of the birth of Hellena's twins.  Hellena is the 7th child of a 7th child awaiting the birth of her 6th & 7th children in Australia.  With the support of her community and her wonderful midwife Lisa Barrett, she describes the fears of a VBAC mama and the impact these fears have on the birth of her second twin when labour stops after the birth of her first twin.  Her story is an amazing insight into the strength of women and the powerful impact that our surroundings and inner thoughts and fears can play during birth.

I hope you all enjoy these incredible 2 chapters that follows the  amazing birth of these beautiful twins!!!

Natural birthing of twins

Here is a great birth story reproduced from Hellena Posts blog

My last birth taught me a lot. Not least being a deep respect for fear, and a respect for the experiences of many many women in our culture who experience medical births. I found that almost every week, another layer of my most recent caesarean birth experience peeled away to be closer examined, worked through, and cleared, to make way for my upcoming birth of twins. And I had 4 other natural birthing experiences to call on! What courage must women have, who have had a caesarean as their first birthing experience, and go on to face their fear and strive for a natural birth afterwards!?!? I was more nervous coming up to this birth than I’d ever been before, and more aware of all the things that could go wrong. The normal birthing fears (will they be stillborn? Disabled? Need intervention?) seemed magnified, not to mention a big fear that my body wouldn’t be able to travel birth’s path gracefully, and that my fear would disable my ability to cope with what happened. I was also well aware that I was entering the twilight zone, with a whole heap of wierd seven things going on…..  Being the seventh child of two seventh children, about to have my sixth and seventh children, and almost a pure Friesian, Currawong part Friesian, a country with a flag that has 7 blue and red stripes with 7 red love hearts…..  And the biggest thing that messed with my head was how I’d ‘positive thought’ my way through my previous pregnancy – focusing on an ECO or Easy Comfortable Orgasmic birth, sure I was having a girl, and we’d already named her too – Faye Wildcat. Needless to say, I got it wrong on all points, and have come to realize for myself that our thoughts really do create our reality……except for the random factor, where things happen that maybe you need rather than want. Apart from my head wounds, my body was capably and beautifully carrying twins, and I astounded my alternative health practitioners with how healthy, robust, and well my body was operating. The twins spent the entire pregnancy in Yin and Yang position – one with it’s head down, and one in breech position. From the different heart rates, Lisa predicted that one would be a boy and one a girl, which was a prediction that many people, us included, favoured. She also predicted that the baby in breech position would nicely turn over to be head down once the first twin was out. Lisa came to visit regularly, and proved a wise midwife indeed, as nearly every time she came she offered me a different way to approach my fears, or a nugget of information that helped my journey.
Late pregnancy was heavy, ponderous, and intensely inward, and a heavy case of thrush came in the last weeks making life itchy and sore. Coming up to 38 weeks I was in that weird inbetween place, where I was hoping for it to happen soon, but really glad that it wasn’t yet, all at the same time. Had a bit of a false start where I thought it was happening, and surprised myself at how well I coped when it came to it, which helped me feel better about the fears that had been plaguing me. And then came the night of the 20th, where we were both feeling ready as we could be, and I even felt well enough to indulge in some love making. Currawong reckons he knew exactly what we were doing that night, and what would be the result, but I didn’t have the same premonition. At 3am in the morning, I woke to my waters breaking, (which had never happened to me before…), got up and panicked for a minute, and then started shaking for an hour or so. Rang Lisa first thing and asked her to come straight away – I’d been worried that this birth would happen so quick that she wouldn’t have time to get here – as it was, she probably could have stayed home a bit longer…..
Currawong got the birthing pool happening, and Mum and Jess got here, and we gently labored till morning.
The kids all woke up and hung out in the birthing space, and some fellow community members were dropping in and out and keeping an eye on what was happening, and some older members even dropped in, as it was the community meeting day.
At 9.25, to chanting and humming and sounding, a baby boy was born, and he shot out like a cannon towards the side of the pool.
He was quickly passed to me and was quite blue and not making any noise, and Lisa told me to breathe in his face, which I did, and he spluttered and gave a cry.
First thing the name ‘Maxamillion’ came into my head, with the thought that having a million in your name must be a good omen. I said the name, and then Currawong said ‘Hercules’…..Lisa said “Maxamillion Hercules, what a great name!” and thus he was named.
 The rest of Chapter one can be read on Lisa Barretts blog HERE

Twins…. the story continues

So. A brief recap. We’d all got a bit stressed about the lateness of the second twin, then decided to sleep on it for a bit. I couldn’t sleep, and lay in bed listening to the sounds of Currawong clearing out the birthing pool, clearing the energy of the first birth, and making way for the second….
By the time I realized that no sleep was going to happen, I came out to a cleared and cleaned space, and a Currawong with a mission. He set about making food and starting to deal with the kids that were waking up. “Is there another baby yet?”…..”No, not yet”. Everyone slowly woke and we all hung out on the lounges chatting about what to do now. It’s amazing how a little bit of sleep can turn a desperate situation into one more manageable. Lisa decided to go off and do a bit of research on twin births and ring some old and trusted midwife friends, and we decided to give Russell Smith the Ayurvedic masseur a ring and see if he could help.

I consider myself extremely honoured to call Russell and Alison friends, he drums with Currawong and they inspire the hell out of each other, and is what I call a real healer. He swears, doesn’t read, smokes cigarettes, and doesn’t pull any of the ‘my shit don’t stink’ crap that so many ‘healers’ and ‘gurus’ I’ve known in my past push. He’s real, and honest, and calls a spade a spade, and has people come to him from all over the world, cause what he does really works. Alison is one of those women who makes you just wanna crawl into her lap and get lashings of mother love. She creates beautiful spaces and foods and moods, and giggles and laughs all the while. A more generous couple are hard to find. And bless their hearts, and may love and beauty rain on their heads forever more, within half an hour they were here. They just came. Russell straight away got to work on me, and Alison lay next to me chatting, spreading ease of mind like a balm. Russell started reading my body and telling me what was going on. It turns out my body had decided that it’s job was done! That was birth wasn’t it? Push one baby out and it’s over! My womb had blockages, and my uterus hadn’t contracted down, so even though baby number 2 was head down and ready to go, there was no punch from my uterus to help him out. A whole stack of fear had also locked itself in with the blocked womb, and it was all just stuck. He was massaging my feet and it HURT! And then he did all sorts of other work on my legs and by the time he got back to the bit that had hurt, it didn’t hurt anymore.

Meanwhile Lisa had come back from her research trip, Alison was pottering around cleaning the house, doing dishes and the like, and Russell got Currawong down to give him a work over too. We were all gobsmacked when Lisa reported that she’d found a statistic about the average amount of days between twins being born as 47 days….. It seems that many twins are born prematurely, and when one comes out early, they do their best to keep the second one in for as long as possible. She’d also bounced what was happening off some trusted advisors, and they all agreed that while I was healthy, and the baby  inside was healthy, there was no ‘normal’ time for twins to be born. In fact, in the days before hospital births became the norm, it was not uncommon at all for twins to be born days or even weeks apart. It’s only since birth has entered the treadmill of a hospital schedule that the second twin has only been allowed half an hour to make their own entry, before the birthing woman is induced to bring them on.
Peri-natal psychologists and midwives I’ve talked to have all found that quite often babies who are dragged into life by their legs and arms as in the case of caesareans, or induced to be born at more convenient times, set up life patterns of feeling like they’re being dragged through life against their will. Like they’re never on time to do the right thing, and that people around them are always overshadowing them and making decisions for them against their will. It seems quite stunning to me in the light of such logical conclusions about how birth sets us up for life, that we do anything apart from gentle welcomes to the world, with the mother, baby and family all being respectfully honoured in their journey.
But back to the story. I reckon I’m fortunate to be one of the few women in a western world at this point in our history, to experience the reality of having just given birth to a baby, but needing to put that baby to the side with other people holding it in the hours following the birth, because I had another baby inside me that needed to be birthed as well. I kept looking at Max and realizing that if he was a ‘singleton’ (a rather dubious term in my opinion((sounds to me like ‘simpleton’)), coined by mothers of ‘multiples’, to describe single baby’s…), I’d be holding him and staring at him and RESTING!! But it wasn’t to be. During the time that Currawong was getting a massage, my uterus started contracting. It was like the after pains you get after birthing that get more intense the more babies you have. I thought it was birthing contractions at first, till I tried moving like I did with contractions and it hurt more….I had to stay completely still for uterine contractions it seemed. Before Russell left he told me that “it would go like a bullet now..” I liked his metaphor. We were all relieved and felt like the whole experience was a lot more ‘normal’. We told Lisa she should head home and get some supplies and have a rest…none of us had expected it would be going this long! Not long after the blessed couple left, Lisa headed home for a while too. We all agreed that we were part of 2 separate births, and all was totally normal and fine.....

....And then at 4.05 in the morning of Monday the 23rd of August, 49 hours after my waters broke to begin the entry of Maxamillion, a little baby was born in the sac. Which burst just before coming out. It was like opening the most amazingly soft, velvety present I’ve ever been given, pulling the membranes from the head and trying to work out which gender we’d been gifted with. Like I said before, all the odds were on a girl baby being the second one out of my womb. Through the birth I’d been mentioning fairly solidly how my ‘little witch girl’ was on her way, and wondering what she’d look like, and telling ‘her’ to hurry up………..the first thing I said was, “It’s not a boy is it!?!?!”......
To read all of Chapter 2   Please Click HERE