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Twins and how to deliver them

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by sammi73, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Hello

    I haven't posted on here before but reckon here is the best place as you've all been through the birthing process! I'm nearly 36 weeks pregnant with twins and have had to make a decision about how to deliver them. I always thought I'd have a c section and that it would be safer for the second twin and avoid the risk of having a long labour with one twin and then having to have a c section with the second. Then I started thinking about vaginal delivery and how the recovery would be so much quicker (I'm dying to feel relatively 'normal' again as i'm really suffering with these two body snatchers) I spoke to the cons yesterday who reckons I need to 'man up' (not his words) a bit and implied that I should go for vaginal and that it would be perfectly possible despite twin 2 being breech and me having SPD and being on crutches. I wouldn't normally be swayed by this as hospitals nearly always seem to have some kind of agenda to push when it comes to birth but I can see how a quicker recovery would be a great thing with two new born babies.! So, my question is: if you've had a caesarian, would you recommend it? HOw was your recovery? How long was your recovery? I just basically want some feedback. BTW: I am provisionally booked in for a C section in 2 weeks time if I don't change my mind. Thank you.
  2. Wow, 36 weeks already!
    I had an emergency section with my 1st and an elective with my 2nd. The planned section was a really nice experience and in terms of recovery, the first few days are the worst. For 12 hours I could hardly move, by the evening I was sat up in bed and the followuing morning I got up for a shower. When I went home after a couple of days I was walking (slowly!) and able to get in and out of bed, pick up baby etc. OH was home for 2 weeks on paternity leave and I was fine on my own when he went back to work.
    If anything I think having a section slowed me down enough to just focus on my baby in those early days. I didn't stress about the house or going out a lot, I just spent my days cuddling my baby, sleeping when they slept and establishing breastfeeding. I got an infection both times which is obviously one thing to consider but I really don't feel that having a section made it particuarly hard in those early days. Of course a vaginal birth would be a much quicker recovery but I have never had one and so don't have anything to compare it to and neither will you.
    I have no experience of twins but I would be a bit worried about the 2nd one being breech so would probably go for the c-section too in your position.
    Good luck with whatever you decide x
  3. Thank you pink. This is really helpful and reassuring. Most people I've spoken to about electives say the same, that they are calm experiences. People's experiences of recoveries tend to vary though. LIke you, I plan to spend the first two weeks in bed being a milk cow as I don't see how I'm going to be able to do anything else with two babies! Was breast feeding more difficult because of the cut?
  4. Breast feeding certainly wasn't easy to establish but not sure if it was any harder than it would have been without the c-section. The practicalities of holding baby on the scar was fine with a pillow as protection and I often fed lay down or with baby under my arm rather than across my stomach. It is good practice to swap positions in those early days anyway as it helps with painful nipples if the baby comes at it from a slightly different angle and also makes sure the breast is emptied properly. For the first few weeks I used to feel a pulling in my scar at the start of feeds but nothing too painful. Involve OH in BF so that you learn together. I would position myself first and then he would pass baby and help me keep him in position while he latched on.
    However bad you feel in the first couple of days just cling to the thought that tomorrow you will feel better and the next day you will feel better still. On day 1 after my 2nd when I still couldn't move and felt really rough I had moments of thinking "why did I chose another section?" but you really do feel noticably better each day and chances are within a week you will feel a million times better than on that first day. The key is to not start acting like normal when you get to this point and remember that you are healing inside too not just in the cut you can see. You don't want to risk doing any damage internally for the sake of spring cleaning the house!
  5. I had an emergency section and hated staying in hospital, even though it was good for me because I could ask for any help needed and just focussed on LO. The first few days moving around was really painful especially after getting home because the pain killers they give you are not as strong as they give in hospital. I found it hard to sit back and realise that I couldn't do as much when I got home and it took me a couple of weeks to get back on my feet. 7 weeks later I'm still waiting for my postnatal appointment and to be told I can drive.
    I wouldn't recommend it and the next time would like a vaginal birth.
  6. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    My mum had my twin sister and me without a C section. She didn't even know she was expecting twins! We were only born 3 minutes apart. She is physically disabled. I was first born and my sister was breech. I think they did use forceps to help her out in this case.
    I think it would be really hard not to be able to pick up your babies after they are born. I've heard that this can be a problem after a C section, but I've never had one so I don't know if this is true.
    Good luck and best wishes whatever you decide.
  7. No personal experience as I only gave birth to the one, but my mum had twins and had a vaginal birth - they were 20 minutes apart and had a combined weight of 15lbs but as far as I know were both head down so don't know what complication being breech would add. Could you get some advice from TAMBA? http://www.tamba.org.uk/
  8. Hi
    I have delivered twins after a pretty awful pregnancy at just before 34 weeks. You have done really well to get so far. My birth story is not a good one and I am not wishing to scare you but to give you a real life scenario so you are more able to decide what is best for you. Both my babies were cephalic (head down). They let me labour for 5 hours, things were moving very quickly. I had always asked for a section as I had never really felt well or in control throughout the pregnancy. They refused and told me to "give it a go". I knew it wasn't right, my body couldn't cope with the twin pregnancy. Twin one went into fetal distress and his heartrate accelarated so quickly they couldn't track it on the monitor. So, chaos broke out, loads of nurses, doctors etc shouting and running around. It was petrifying. Ended up with an emergency section under general anaesthetic. Twin 1 needed resusitated at birth. Because they were premature they then spent over a month in special care. The whole birth experience for me has had long term repercussions in terms of bonding etc.
    When I was pregnant with my little girl last year I knew from the beginning the birth would be different. I knew I could deliver her. They booked me in for a section at 38 weeks due to restricted fetal growth (I'm not good at being pregnant!) but I went into labour a week before and had a quick, natural delivery. It was a totally different experience.
    My advice is listen to your body but with twins everything is much more risky, and complications are more likely. The fact that twin 2 is breech may swing you in favour of a section. A nice controlled elective section so you can enjoy and be there at the birth of your babies ( If you know what I mean). Twins are such hard work you will need all your energy, and although recovery is longer, emotionally you may be stronger with a section.
    Lastly, my big fear was to deliver one twin naturally and then need a section for twin 2.
    I wish you the best of luck with your decision and your babies.
  9. Thank you for all your helpful advice.
    Lucejuce: I'm sorry to hear your birth story was so awful. That's just terrifying. I've been thinking long and hard about this and complications are definitely more likely with twins and this makes me nervous especially as it's my first birth,. I dread the thought of labouring one and then needing a c section with the other. I think birth can be pretty awful whatever way you decide to go and I've heard horror stories from both sides. However, from what I've heard, electives are much calmer and controlled and despite the physical recovery, I think it's so true what LUcejuce says about being left emotionally stronger after an elective. Anyway, I'm booked for an elective C section on 26th Jan but who knows, they'll probably arrive early and i"ll end up giving birth on the kitchen floor or something!
  10. Best of luck sammi- I'm not in this position and haven't ever been (although I would LOVE to have twins so congratulations!) but I would probably go for the elective C-Section. Less chance of something going wrong if you ask me, and at least being housebound for a few weeks will help you establish feeding etc. All the best x
  11. I gave birth to my twin daughters with a vaginal delivery. This is all I ever wanted to do. Would recommend an epidural! They were both head down. My first daughter arrived at 20.08 (facing the door!) and my second daughter arrived swiftly after at 20.14.
  12. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    It will prob be ok if you have support, I wouldn't want a cs second time just cos of having an active toddler and few freinds/family who could be around all the time in the early weeks. Noticed that people who have planned cs seem to recover much quicker than ecs. Especially private ones, but maybe that's cos they get to rest more than us nhs ers!
  13. Oh a private one would be fantastic! The prices are pretty unbelievable though. 7 grand for the whole 'c section experience' from start to finish. i've just been googling reviews of my hospital and post natal care sounds horrific. Still, I'll go in there expecting it to be awful and I might be pleasantly surprised. I'm not going there on holiday after all. I've been reading that arnica and some other homeopathic medicines are supposed to help with the pain and the healing. Does anyone know if I can just buy this over the counter without consulting a homeopath?
  14. You can buy Arnica in Holland and Barrett - no idea what effect it really had, but I had a very straightforward recovery after having our baby a month ago and would definitely take it again.
  15. Hello. I had an emergency c-section after 36 hours of labour and failed forceps delivery. I had a full blood transfusion. The result was four more nights in hospital and a very long recovery. It was a bad time for me.
    From a very personal perspective, the idea of having a possibly long labour with one twin, birthing vaginally and then having to have a c-section for the second sounds awful. Only because of my own experience. I listen to stories of 4 hour long labours and still feel wistful 17 months on.
    I think I would be angling for an elective c-section (I know - I'm a wuss) Electives are much easier to recover from. The ladies who had them in my ward were very jolly, able to move around ok and left before I did. And they'd given birth after me! Jealous.
  16. Usually I would say do it vaginally - better recovery etc. Your situation is different though.
  17. Can't give any advice re. twin births, but don't blindly accept the 'quicker recovery with vaginal birth' line. I was desperate to avoid a section, right up to the moment my son was born by forceps delivery. More than half of the muscles in my sphincter were torn, and I also had an episiotomy in a different direction. Don't wish to scaremonger, but I was still under consultant care for unhealed wounds six months later - during which time I thought wistfully of the six week recovery time for a section.
    A section is not the end of the world, and elective ones can be very calm and much less scary than the emergency ones.
    Best of luck whatever you decide x

  18. You poor thing, sounds awful.

    But best of luck, everyone is different, and having your lovely babies makes everything worthwhile.
  19. I had my twins in Mexico (I'm an International teacher) which has one of the highest c-section rates in the world. I was desperate to avoid having a c-section and changed doctors because of this. In the end I had to have a c-section as they weren't in the right place and my waters broke. C-section went fine, all rather strange really, then while in recovery my kidneys weren't working to the level they were expected to. Eventually I was wheeled to my room and hooked up to umpteen machines, we were told I had high blood pressure and they were very worried about me. I narrowly avoided the ICU and a blood transfusion. Thankfully the boys were both healthy and just lovely. Recovery from the c-section was fine, recovery from the complications were not so. I was on drugs for ages afterwards and was told to take my blood pressure every day (which I didn't in the end). I was left with skin discolouration from the broken platelets from my belly button to half way down my thighs and felt very weak...but was desperate to get out of the hospital as nurses and doctors were in and out every hour and I just wanted to get on with looking after my babies and recovering.

    4 months on the boys are a bundle of joy. I would not be able to cope with them if it wasn't for my husband. Thank goodness he works from home. Neither of us have family here so we rely on each other. He does ALL the supermarket shopping and cooking. I make a pot of soup every now and again! I breast fed them together for about a month and a half, then one of then had difficulty latching on so I found it easier to do them separately. One refuses to drink from the Avent bottles that I have, the other one takes top up bottles and a bottle at night of half breast milk and half formula. Going to try the other baby on a Tommee Tippee bottle when my parents bring them out at the beginning of next month. Generally out of the 2 hours they are awake at a time I am feeding for 1 hour, which gives me 1 hour to change / top and tail / play with them / go for a walk. It is all consuming, but very rewarding when they are both smiling and giggling with you.

    Good luck with everything and I hope you have a support network in place and a freezer full of food!
  20. It's a very personal decision, and a very hard one to make, but could I just point out that elective CS is not always a 'calm' and lovely experience. I had an elective at 36+5 with my twins (they were both breech, but I was put under a bit of pressure to have the cs at that time and not to wait), and had many complications in theatre, to the point that I nearly had to have a hysterectomy and had to have 5 blood transfusions, spent 3 days in ICU and then two weeks in hosp getting over a post-op infection.

    Generally speaking, less than 1% of twin births end up with 1 vaginal/1 cs delivery.

    But, I would also talk to others who have delivered at your hosp and ask about their experiences too. Look on the TAMBA website (in particular the message boards are very supportive) and look at the Multiple Birth Foundation as well. Also, are you having id, or non id twins? This will make a difference too...

    Good luck making your decision - but make sure you go with whatever you feel most comfortable with.

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