I am going to write this story exactly the way I see it. Some people may not like it, some people may be offended but this is my story and this is how I want it to be told. As I type my fingers are trembling, I have a lump in my throat and my eyes are watery.
When I look back at my birth with Henry and Theo it was one of the happiest days of my life but it was also a day that broke my heart. My heart didn't break then and there it was a very slow progression. It took time and realisation to come to the understanding of what truly happened that day.
Lets start from the beginning, the day I got induced. We were excited, beyond excited. I had decided that I would be induced at 37 weeks and 3 days because our boys were high risk. They shared a placenta and had their own amniotic sacs which was great but there was always the risk of twin to twin transfusion syndrome and the risk got higher the further along you got. So for me it was the right choice to finally welcome them into our world.
When we arrived at the hospital the Obstetric team came to visit us informing and explaining all the risk factors and their processes. As a first time Mum and Dad this was extremely over whelming for us it was only us there at the time. All of the things we talked about and discussed were now in question. What were we going to do?
There was a lot of discussing, questioning and wondering if it was going to work or if I was going to just end up having a c-section. My Mum ended up having an emergency c section with me so the thought of it happening to me also was something that was in the back of my mind. Before we got there I was so sure of so many things, throughout my pregnancy I had practiced meditation almost every single day in the shower and focused on my breathing and positive thinking I knew I could do it.
I had decided I wanted to birth naturally with no drugs and I was going to have my Husband, Mum and Sister in the room with me as my support people along with my midwife and the Obstetric team. It took three very long, exhausting and emotional days to get me into a labour but I finally did it. I was one step closer to having our babies.
As soon as I started labour a bit more intensely the doctors came into the room and even after already discussing and hearing our decision to have no drugs we were told to get an epidural. This was our third day at the hospital so we had seen so many different doctors and told them the exact same thing. In the moment it felt like our power had been taken away, these strangers were telling me if I didn't take their advice that terrible things could/would happen. I began to question my motherly instinct, I looked at my husband and he looked scared and it made me scared. They began to push it on us even more and wanted us to make a decision while they were in the room so we just went with it.
For me having an epidural meant feeling no contractions which felt horrible I wanted to feel my body work towards getting my babies out, labour is the most natural thing in the world and not being able to feel it made me feel like I had no control over my body. I had to stay on the bed with a catheter which I fucking hated because up until that point I had been so active using the swiss ball and doing lots of walking and now I didn't even have the option to go toilet. They wanted me stuck there so they could medically manage me because it was safe and convenient for them but to me the whole experience was demeaning because its not what I wanted. Of course I could have said no, don't worry I beat myself up for so many months asking myself why didn't you just say no? But in the moment I felt like I couldn't I had already said no so many times. If I had made the decision myself without being bullied and pressured into it I would have been okay with it but because I was being made to do things I didn't wanted to do it just made the entire experience horrible.
It took four tries and two different anesthetists to get the epidural working in hindsight that was the universe trying to say to me its not for you. In the end it worked and I got to spend some really nice quality time with my Hubby, lots of laughs and excitement as time went on I just decided to get on with it. My sister did my make up for me which made me feel amazing, my Mum was there right by my side giving me encouragement and making me feel loved. Then my midwife arrived she started getting everything ready and it was almost time to start pushing. In waltzed the Obstetrician she literally walked past my midwife and ignored her sat down told me she was going to check me and just like that I was 10cm.
Can you believe it it was time to start pushing. She didn't ask me how I wanted to deliver my babies she just told her team to get the stirrups and said we are going to put your legs in these okay? And I just said okay and my legs were strapped in and in that moment I just put my entire trust in her, I didn't have a clue what I was doing this was my first time giving birth so I just went with it, all that mattered now was getting our boys here safely. This Women wasn't even meant to be helping deliver my babies my midwife was but again in the moment we didn't even realise everything happened so quickly.
I started pushing and it such a weird feeling, I had to push like I was taking a poo and it was so hard because I couldn't feel anything and I had no idea when to push I just listened to the obstetrician. She was telling me to push even when I wasn't having any contractions. After just ten minutes of pushing she asked for the ventouse and the scalpel. I just stopped pushing and said "NO, DO NOT CUT ME!" she just glared at me, my midwife was right next to her advocating for me and telling her that everything was fine babies heart rates were perfect and I was doing great but honestly it made no difference. This woman took my birth and made it her own, she took it upon herself to give me an epsiotomy in the end which I did not want and after only 20 minutes of pushing Henry was born. He was so beautiful it was such a surreal moment I remember staring at him thinking OMG you are my baby I finally get to hold you in my arms. I wanted delayed cord clamping but was told I wasn't allowed it and that they needed to get Theo out incase he turned. So Hubby cut the cord and they just took him from me they didn't even ask.
All while this was happening someone was literally holding my stomach and holding Theo in place. Just 8 minutes later he was born it only took a couple of pushes and he flew out. I held him in my arms and didn't let him go. Then the Ob went to cut his cord and I had to tell her three times "NO, MY MUM IS CUTTING IT STOP!" again she just glared at me. No delayed cord clamping the cord was just cut. I didn't even realise at the time but Hubby missed Theo come out because they were busy giving him Henry.
Can you believe it? Just like that I birthed our boys vaginally I did it, I got to birth them naturally just like I wanted and I was so so happy. Honestly at the time I didn't feel all the horrible things I felt after my birth because we were so in the moment I just went with it because I was scared and we felt like we had no other option. In hindsight I look back and it hurts, it hurts that all these things happened and I did nothing to stop them. Its taken me a very long time to get to a point where I don't think about it and get upset or cry. You might be thinking well you got to birth your babies naturally with no complications and your babies are here and they are safe and sound but its not about that at all. As a women and as a mother it is my right to decide what is best for my body. I don't care what anyone else says no one has the right to try and change your mind, their right is to inform you of all the risks and then for you to make an informed decision on whats right for you. Once you have all the information and have made a decision you give them an answer, that is called INFORMED CONSENT.
That day my rights were violated on so many different occasions and it left me feeling powerless and traumitised. I cried for a very long time and grieved the birth I didn't get. It consumed me for the first few weeks and I had to deal with two newborns and recovery on top of dealing with the trauma of my birth. I stayed in hospital for two days and then went to Helensville birthing centre where I finally got to relax and started to heal. When I saw my midwife and told her how I was feeling she told me that after my birth she left the room and just cried because of everything that had happened. She had tried her hardest to advocate for me but the Ob just didn't give a shit about what anyone had to. After a couple of weeks I wrote a complaint to the hospital which helped me with healing but in the end I had to forgive her for how she had handled the situation and so I could finally move on.
When I look back at my birth I feel peace. It is what it is, I can not change it but I can change the way I look at it and I have decided to focus on the positives. I may not have had the birth I wanted the first time but don't you worry my second twin birth was all me! I didn't let anyone tell me shit about birthing my twins, I did it my way and it was the most incredible and empowering birth! It was hard but it was worth it. Lets save that story for another day though.
I hope you don't feel scared reading this, I want you to read this feeling empowered. I have become the woman I am today because of what happened to me. And I want you to take control of your body and not let anyone bully you into doing something you don't want to do. Do your research, have your support team ready, write out a detailed birth plan of what exactly what you want and what you are willing to compromise on, make sure every single person that walks through the doors to your birth reads it and knows exactly whats happening. Make decisions for yourself using that motherly instinct. You are fierce, you are brave and you are strong.