The Twin Home Birth of Kennedi and Kamari
My story is not ordinary. In fact for an African-American inner city woman it is quite unique. I married my sweetheart whom I’ve loved since the age of fourteen and we decided we would have a very normal size family of four, two children (one boy, one girl) and a dog. Well, God had other plans and we now have nine! All ours by birth, all vaginal and two wonderful opportunities to have three of them at home. Yes, I counted right, first I had a singleton home birth in water and next a planned home birth with my twins, yes, vaginally and no operating room!
As I said, my story is unique. I was sitting at home relaxing when God told me I would have another pregnancy, not just one but one with twins! My husband has a career as a barber and we home-school our children so when I called to inform him of God’s vision he thought I was insane. Eight weeks later we had a positive test but didn’t think about God’s plan. Ten weeks into the pregnancy the doctor’s office could not find fetal heart tones and I was told to go for an ultrasound. I cried all the way to the appointment and had to wait hours to be seen. Finally, the technician came and spoke to me and tried to calm me down, she turned on the machine and as I took a deep breath… I saw there were TWO HEARTBEATS! I still remember God telling me to prepare myself, and then my twin pregnancy journey began.
I’m not a normal sized woman, as a matter of fact, medically, I’m considered morbidly obese. Having a twin pregnancy was going to be very challenging in the medical world, but not for my midwife, she embraced my pregnancy and advised me nutritionally as well as emotionally. Even after my wonderful first home birth my family was very nervous about delivering twins at home. Sooo I went to an OB and told him my history of childbirth and he said I was negligent to have had my previous baby at home and he thought I should go elsewhere because our birthing views were different. I was shocked to find that he would not hear of me laboring in a regular room, but I had to go in the OR. He then said the words that sent me running… “most of my twin births are premature and by c-section”… I ran out of the office and never went back. I called my midwife and we came up with my twin birth plan. I ate what she told me to eat and I blocked out negativity.
We were a team and I had total confidence in her abilities. My twin pregnancy went to 39wks, nowhere near premature status. I continued with an OB just to be sure nothing odd might happen and they started talking induction at 36wks, I refused because of no valid medical reason. They were surprised that I didn’t have high blood pressure or gestational diabetes considering I was already overweight. I kept my focus on the words of encouragement spoken by the midwife and we got to the time of labor.
At about 11:30 I called my midwife and told her my water broke. She asked if I had any contractions and I told her no… but then I got a pain so hard I hung up on her, this was it. Contractions went from five minutes down to -two minutes apart, I couldn’t get on top of them and I was about to lose it! Our midwife seemed to had gotten there fast, like in 20 minutes. When she arrived I was telling my family to fill the tub with warm water. The hot water ran out and my mother-in-law had to boil water. My husband rocked with me through contractions and our midwife Charlotte checked both babies heart tones, all was well. I got so desperate I climbed into a lukewarm partially filled birthing tub to take the edge off.
A quick cervical check found me at 9cm with a lip, she moved the lip during a contraction and helped guide out her hand that was coming alongside her head, and my first baby came out like a torpedo! I was basking in the glow of my newborn daughter when I realized I had to deliver another baby. I had no contractions and my cervix had went down to 6 cm. Charlotte quickly checked for the heart tones while an assisting midwife tried to feel my abdomen for my baby’s position or a presenting body part. She couldn’t find anything so Charlotte took over and every time she touched the baby it floated up higher in the uterus.
A vaginal exam confirmed the baby had turned transverse and the heart rate was now dropping really low. So she directed me to get out the tub because we were going to have a breech delivery. So I stood up and went over to the bed moving quickly as I listened to my midwife. She then asked that my legs be open and back so that baby can be maneuvered. I looked down and my midwife’s arm appeared to be all the way up to her elbow trying to get my baby out. When she finally had a part it was the feet! She guided them into my vagina and then removed her hand while asking me to push harder than I ever had before. I did, and my son was born breech and healthy!
Some of you may be thinking this seems to have been a rough birth, however I feel that there is a huge difference between mean and competent! On my end people seem to feel all midwives are full of fluff. My twin birth was not that way, it was intense and we needed a competent skilled midwife, not a timid please and thank you lady. The twin labor was two hours from start to finish and I didn’t even need stitches, imagine that! It was really neat to see that my normal placentas had grown and fused together during pregnancy. Home birth is different and I know if I had been in a hospital my birth would have surely been by cesarean. First of all just because it was twins, secondly because of my weight, and third because my son had turned transverse during the birth!
My beautiful healthy twins weighed 7lbs.14oz and 6lbs.12oz and went straight to the breast for feeding. I was able to deliver a set a twins at home with many odds against me. I had a water birth and a breech presentation in the same night. We were healthy, safe and grateful that we had the option to birth with midwives. This birth experience has taught me so much about standing strong. We chose our midwife because she is very knowledgeable and skilled with twin birth but more importantly God’s hands are upon her.