An Unintentional Unassisted Twin Homebirth

I held out for a homebirth until 34 weeks and after talking to the consultant and the community midwives, found little support and I felt that I would rather have a hospital birth on my terms with their support than risk having inexperienced midwives at home- as I’d probably end up in hospital anyway.

At 34 weeks I talked with the midwife and told her I’d be happy to labour at home and then transfer to hospital when in established labour, but I’d like midwife support at home- as I believed as this was my 3rd pregnancy that it could all happen fast. The supervisor of midwives approved this plan and put it into action that the whole team knew about it, and we then waited.

At 39 weeks and 1 day (Thursday) I felt baby 1 clunk into my pelvis and felt ‘weird’ so called the hospital to ask for my midwives to come check me over and the hospital advised me to go in for the check as the midwives weren’t there at that moment. 10 minutes later the midwives called me to tell me that the labour ward was closed to new admissions and they’d come to me after all.

I felt better after eating something and my blood pressure checked out okay but a little high for me, my urine had a little protein in it — they said they’d come back the next day. At about 8pm I started to have contractions about every 10 minutes apart but not very intense and not very long. I rang my Doula who said she’d come over (she lives 1 hour away from me, and by the time she arrived the contractions were getting more intense but I could still talk through them. By 2 am they’d eased off again, so Doula went home and I went to bed; by 4 am they’d stopped.

On Friday the midwife came to check me again and as my blood pressure was still up (hardly surprising as I’d had little sleep and my big two kids were bouncing off the walls), so she suggested that I go for monitoring at the hospital, especially as I’d not felt movement from the babies as yet.

Monitoring went fine and I came home.

All weekend I had no signs at all — only a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions.

At 1.15am on Tuesday the 30th September (39weeks and 6days) I stopped moaning to my online friends that my babies were never coming- and that I was ready and they could come out now, I signed off my computer and stood up, my waters broke. I signed back on and told my friends and then called my Doula to put her on standby. I went upstairs to toilet and bed and then realized that in the previous 10-20 minutes I’d had 4 contractions! I called my Doula again and told her to get here. I went to the toilet again and felt a clunk in the back of my pelvis and as I stood up I felt Baby 1 slide downwards (hindsight is a fine thing and I now understand that it was entering the birth canal), I came downstairs and called the hospital for my midwives. I had 3 contractions whilst waiting on the phone. I moved to the living room, slightly panicking because it was so fast and so intense and I couldn’t think what I needed for the hospital.

The midwife called to say she was on her way and asked me how far apart the contractions were, I told her they were back to back. It then dawned on me that this was it—and that I probably wasn’t going to make it to the hospital, and once I realized that and got into hypnobirth mode I felt more in control and actually started to enjoy it. I moved to my birthing ball and after 2 more contractions I felt the baby’s head appear at the exit of my birth canal, and I shouted to my husband (Marc) that baby was coming now.

Marc grabbed the picnic blanket and put it under me and a big pile of towels from the airing cupboard, and then helped me remove my panties. I rocked to and fro on my knees as he held my back and I breathed baby 1’s (Zac) head gently into my hands. He had the cord around his neck but it wasn’t tight and then his body slid out and I laid him down and unraveled him and rubbed him briskly to get him breathing. He was very purple and took quite a lot of rubbing to keep him breathing- but then suddenly he pinked up and I wrapped a towel around him and cuddled him.

My Doula arrived and told Marc to call the ambulance as there was still no sign of the midwives, she started to rub my back as the contractions had started up again, and Zac’s sac appeared. She asked Marc to ask the ambulance control what to do about the 2nd twin—she was worried that he’d turn. But ambulance control wanted to know my age for some reason and Marc was asking me, suddenly I felt baby 2 slide down the birth canal and appear at the exit, I told him I was 34 (I’m 35 lol) and said to the Doula that it didn’t matter baby 2 was coming.

Baby 2 started to appear in his intact sac which burst as he crowned, I breathed him into my hands, whilst kneeling forward, and laid him down on the mat and rubbed him to get him breathing. The Doula told me he had a hand up to his face AND elbow up! I was then sitting there with two babies still attached, with just my Husband and my Doula, in the room, it was lovely.

Zac Brandon was born at 02.05 30th September 2008.  Ryan Dane was born at home at 02.22 on the 30th September 2008. I had no tears, only some slight grazing and a nick, therefore no stitches. 6 minutes later the Midwife and Ambulance arrived closely followed by another midwife and another ambulance. The midwife asked if I wanted to cut the cords- I said “no, I’ve done the best bit. “ The placenta arrived naturally at 02.43.

We transferred to hospital to be checked out and Zac did have to have some Oxygen and air, and I had to have the syntometrine as my bleeding didn’t slow down enough- after the syntometrine a large lump was passed and the bleeding slowed. We were home by 8pm that evening. In all the birth was everything I wanted – I just didn’t plan to go unassisted. I caused quite a stir on arrival at the hospital.

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