Monday, 26 September 2011

Twin Pregnancy 11 weeks - And self doubt

11 weeks today and I feel awful.

After taking Olivia to school I spent the rest of the morning throwing up. I am shattered, my lower bump hurts and my pelvis aches............ and I am only 11 weeks.

I am going to make a doctors appointment this week as I'm wondering if my thyroid levels are right because I have been feeling really low.

I have been looking at baby clothes already and taking into consideration that they may be quite small (around the 5lb mark) Olivia was 6.8lb at 39 weeks and Charlotte was only 6lb at 37 weeks and only being 5'5 myself it's quite likely they will.
The clothes are tiny, although 'cute' it's quite scary to think at how small they could be!

I'm most certainly going to breastfeed them, to me there is no other way of feeding. It dawned on me that if they came earlier than 34 weeks and don't have a good sucking reflex (and I am struggling to express) I will need to source donor milk as it's quite likely the hospitals supply is going to be short. But I will be asking this when I first see the consultant. Also a standard practice is to use fortifiers in the human milk and that donor milk in hospitals is pasteurised, again I need to research my options on this (info found in link below).
I really do not want them having formula. My main reason for this is their 'virgin gut' being compromised and obviously nutritionally breast milk is far better for premature babies as well as preventing infections etc.

So my mind is boggled at the moment with this but I guess there's no point thinking about it too much until I see the consultant and their 'policy'.

I am still feeling quite overwhelmed about going through a twin pregnancy, because of my feelings on birth and feeding are not of the countries 'norm' I really feel this will be a huge test of my beliefs and realising how challenging this will be for me mentally.

Is having such strong views going to hinder my judgement during important times? I am in a state of self doubt about how I feel about things.
Having also come to the conclusion (after much research!) that I am no longer going to have my children vaccinated (these babies will be vaccine free) am I throwing myself into fire? With this on top of the decisions I am possibly going to have to face and fight with wanting a home birth, making sure the babies receive breastmilk and co sleeping, am I just creating more problems and stress?
Although I say I have self doubt, I do really believe this is right.
I guess our beliefs have to be challenged sometimes in order to gain strength and knowledge on the decisions we make.

Being the minority during times like this make me feel alone and like I am some lunatic doo lally parent.

But then I slap my face and think well hang on one darn minute! How many long hours have I spent researching, experiencing and learning? I have spent countless hours and time making sure that I am looking and reading the right things and that they felt true to my feelings on the subject and backed up, speaking to other parents and investigating as much as I can so I feel informed and educated enough to go against the grain. As much as I never felt I was doing it with that purpose (but it's what I have done) I always had/have the girls best interest at heart and following my instincts lead me on this path.

I do know that I am not really alone, there are thousands of parents and families who think the same way and live in a similar way, this gives me comfort that in fact I am not a lunatic doo lally parent, I just parent differently.

Ooo haven't I gone on there?!

As you can see I have millions of things wizzing round in my mind and I guess it helps to write it down!

Here are some bump pictures taken today

11 weeks exactly

Not much more to add to this today, but will likely update during the week if I manage to see the doctor and with any other goings on here :)

Natasha x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Why I want to give birth to our twins at home

when I found out I was pregnant I knew I was going to have a home birth.
After experiencing one with my second child (failed first time due to 'slow' progression) to me there was no other place to give birth.
It was absolutely amazing and everything I had imagined.

I gave birth to Charlotte in water after a very easy 3 hour labour (I will add her birth story at the end) it was practically painless until transition and the energy in the room really helped me feel calm and able to get through to the end.

Olivia's birth was far from this magical experience and totally traumatised me, not only this but I felt robbed of the right birth experience and felt that the birth was not at all how it should have been. It affected my relationship with my daughter and it took a long time to get over.

When I found out we were expecting twins horror hit me right in the face........ damn I am going to have to give birth at hospital. The fear totally spread over every bit of excitement that I had started to feel.
I read many twin hospital birth stories and most were actually pretty awful. The amount of intervention was just as much as my first birth, and then worse many gave birth in theatre surrounded by people waiting to jump on them and shove their hands and instruments into these poor women and totally take over what could have been a very normal (as in allowing the mother to birth her babies as intended) and natural birth.

Women are expected to go in and lay on their backs, have an epidural and syntocinon drip as standard 'just in case'

Now many will read that and think well I don't think it's that bad? but this is what I was given during my first birth. I nearly ended up with a cesarean section but instead was cut and she was forcefully pulled out of me with the ventouse. The pain from this was excruciating and after couldn't sit properly for 6 weeks.
I am 100% that this also traumatised Olivia, imagine coming into the world being pulled out by your head then into a very very bright room having been inside a dark and comfortable place where you felt safe?

Not only this but due to the heavy intervention (which I believe it is) I will more likely need assistance again (ventouse, forceps) or even worse end up with both or one coming out by csection.

Their reasoning for all this intervention?
As with all births there are risks of cord prolapse, high blood pressure and baby becoming distressed, with this their reasoning is that the second baby could experience this, could turn and/or be footling breech. The cases where intervention of csection is required is in only 5% of twin births. But I also wonder whether this 5% could be lower hadn't there been all the intervention in the first place?

So with all this and after reading about the attitude from consultants on twin birth I very much want to have my babies in a peaceful, calm and well looked after environment. Also taking into consideration that there is a real staff shortage at the hospital fills me with no hope of a natural birth there.

Of course all these plans and research may come to nothing, I may go into labour earlier than 37 weeks. The babies may become poorly, I may become poorly. All these warrant the NEED to go into hospital I wouldn't think twice if I or my babies were in danger. But as it stands I am planning to give birth to these babies in water in the comfort of my own home.

I will probably add more to this later when I get time as I have quite a few links I would like to share on twin home births and twin hospital births.

For now here is Charlottes home water birth story. (copy and pasted from a site I go on regularly. Please excuse typos and non smileys!)

The midwife turned up out of the blue at about 12ish as she had an extra box of goodies that would be needed, I told her what was going on and she said it sounded like things were getting ready, but could be like this for awhile yet.

At about 2ish I went to the loo as I felt really odd and saw I was trickling, thought maybe it was still wee and stood up and it was still trickling... thought "hmmm" :think: maybe........
Went to the bedroom and gush! they went ..... yep thats my waters ::

I rang the midwife, who I can say was very shocked and she said someone would be round to see me.

Rang Paul to get his butt home, text my friend who was alsio my birthpartner and rang Livis grandparents to come and get her.

I was feeling no pain still really, just the lower backache type pain, but certainly no contractions.
Lous grandparents got here and so did Paul, as they were leaving the midwife turned up. She was only the midwife who looked after me at the end of my pregnancy with Livi! :happydance: couldn't believe it... well neither could she as she moved to our area awhile ago.

My friend then turns up and off me and the middy trot upstairs for the checks 8-)

Bp fine, Lottie fine and then she goes to check me..............

Middy "Er Natasha, you did say your pains were irregular"
Me "yes"
Middy " well your verging 5cms!"
:: I could of cried I tell yer!

She got straight on the phone and got someone else to come out, she was laughing saying she couldn't believe it....... (neither could I!)

I went down stairs to tell Paul to get the pool filled quick as the middy said I was going to go quick . my friend (who is due her second child... well was due 4 days before me!) was totally shocked and was in disbelief I was walking round smiling and in no pain

About an hour after the midwife was here the pain was getting more frequent but it was all in my back, didn't hurt too bad but was rather peed about it considering she wasn't even back to back! (so you can still get it there even if baby is in best position! :smug: )

Started coming every 5 mins, still could cope fine with them but were starting to hurt a little.
Got the midwife rubbing my back and everyone was taking it in turns with the massage oil :smug: was rather nice!

Second Middy turned up aswell as a student middy and then two others it was like a circus it was around change over so that is why.. but I didn't mind as they were all so lovely!
Got checked again as the pain kicked in abit more and it was around the lower front too, I was 7 cms :happydance: and baby was well applied :thumbsup:

Still breathing through them fine and coping (made sure I was relaxed down below which really helped, its hard but honestly girls it makes it much less painfull!)

It was about 5ish and I got in the pool, it felt great! so relaxing!

I had middy wiping me with a flannel, everyone being lovely and supportive and was breathing through each one. It was really starting to hurt and felt abit weepy (I think I said id had enough )
Got out of the pool (have no idea, just felt like it ) but was finding it harder to cope with, so went back in

The first middy and other middies left leaving 2 plus the student, the pains were coming thick and fast now and I got the gas and air.

They were very close together and I was finding really hard. I was in transition and started to get upset and just didn't want to do it anymore!

All I could hear was everyone reminding me to breath (and I was tring to relax all below which again helped!) and had no time between contractions.

Then that totaly overwhelming urge to bare down started, it was so intense. I never experienced it like that with Olivia as it was assisted, so was a totaly new experience for me.

By now it was pretty much constant pain, everyone was being lovely and supportive and trying to get me to breath instead of moaning loadly (so moaned with my mouth shut and also the gas and air pipe in my mouth which btw didn't really do much apart from distract me a little)

The midwife suggested I sat in the pool instead as she was getting close, so I did (it felt loads better!)

I felt the urge to bare down again and could feel her coming down... wow what a feeling! she felt more like she was coming out of my bum

It was starting to hurt more and the midwife told me to put my hands down to feel her head coming ( getting teary thinking about it, was so lovely )

I could feel her head coming out and was getting told by everyone to pant (as I insisted I didn't want to tear and wanted help with this!)

My god the pain was so intense! but I kept panting and very very slowly her head was coming! :happydance:

Then it was out! :happydance: wow relief!

I would see her head was such a lovely moment! and the midwife said that I needed to wait for the next contaction as she was turning to be born (which I could feel! again it was amazing!)

Next contraction and out the rest of her came, I grabbed her and brought her straight up was such an overwheming beautiful moment and was grinning like a cheasure cat :smug:

I got her on the boob and we left the cord and then waited until I felt the urge to expell the placenta ( had a natural 3rd stage :happydance: ) it was still attached to her aswell which was fantastic! and within 5 mins the placenta was deliverd! :happydance:

Paul cut the cord and then I was helped out of the pool as it was getting cold for her.

Got me bits checked and thank the flammin lordy I needed no stitches! I hadn't torn or anything! :happydance: :happydance:

It was amazing! I felt (and still feel) fantastic and feel like I have achieved the most wonderful thing in the world! I got exactly what I wanted, my birth plan WENT TO PLAN! and everyone there was absolutly brilliant! the atmosphere was just the best!

Fed little one for awhile and then went for a bath... even had the midwife scrub me back :smug: now thats service!
Charlotte was weighed and came in at 6lb apgar 9

Found out today that the reason she came early is the placenta was greying and was more aged than it really should of been! so she knew it was time 8-)

Booby feeding well except she has a dyson suck but otherwise its just perfect... shes perfect

Heres a picture of my last bump pic the day before

We do have some pictures taken just after but I want them for us Very Happy

Yes we are expanding and Yes we are having TWINS! 10 weeks 4 days

I have been considering doing a blog for sometime about the goings on of family life and the pregnancy of our twins.

I started a blog back in 2008 when pregnant with my second child, but after so much going on around that time I just couldn't focus on it. So here I am again pregnant and starting a blog again!

I am currently 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
We didn't find out I was pregnant with twins until around 7 weeks, I had a scan prior to this at 5 weeks due to bleeding and one sac and yolk was seen. The sonographer said it was too early to see much else and I was to come back in two weeks time.

From that day I had the most awful sickness, greasy skin, hair and spots. I was absolutely shattered and so bloated. Having had a very easy pregnancy with both girls (barely any sickness, skin looked amazing and felt healthy!) this was quite a shock.
I then had it in my mind that maybe I was carrying a boy? Maybe this is why I feel so rough.

As the week passed I started feeling worse, food became unappealing and the nausea was nothing like I have ever experienced before. Almost like I was on a boat and it was coming in waves.
I had no reason to suspect I was carrying twins, it never entered my head that I could be.

Finally It was the day for the scan. I went to our local EPU (early pregnancy unit) and got seated in a little room........... waiting........... feeling sick and just hoping that everything was alright with the pregnancy.

The midwife/nurse came in and said that I didn't look too peachy......... well no I certainly didn't feel it! She went though my notes, told me I was having another transvaginal scan (looks like a dildo he he) and that I would be going through in a little while.
Off she went and there was me sat armed with ginger biscuits in hope it would curb the sick feelings just enough so I didn't feel like I was going to vomit during the scan.

She came back and took me over to the sonographer.

Told to take off my bottoms, get on the bed and put my feet in the stirrups. This then reminded me how undignified your life becomes when you are pregnant!

She begins the scan and as she does I eagerly watch her facial expressions thinking and worrying that shes going to say "sorry but you have miscarried"

What feels like a lifetime she says "Well everything looks fine but there are two here"

I then had a rush of adrenaline and felt in total shock, my first words were "Oh my fu**ing god!"

She said that she just wanted to check my ovaries but everything looked good and the babies looked like they were progressing well. I was still in shock and just kept saying Oh my god........ oh my god... oh my god.

The sonographer gave me a picture so that OH wouldn't think I was fibbing and after a little talk about bleeding and making sure I rest I was on my merry way.

This is the scan picture 7w 3days

After telling family and friends it still didn't feel real, even now at 10 weeks it's still sinking in.

Since that scan I had another at 9 weeks due to a bleed, but both were fine and growing well.

I am apparently having Fraternal twins (ovulated twice) as they have a separate sac and placenta.

Since the second scan I bought an angelsounds doppler as the spotting I was getting was making me worry and thought it would help ease that. I found one of the heartbeats just after 8 weeks and found them both at gone 9.

Now at 10 weeks I am able to be certain its both (and not the echo of one) as they are on either side below my tummy button.

I made a recording of them

I listen to them everyday and it helps give that peace of mind.

I am also looking very pregnant and my uterus is already a few inches below my tummy button. Sickness is still there and I am still sick most mornings, I hope this goes by the magic 2nd trimester when I apparently bloom!

10weeks 5days uterus just a few inches below tummy button

I am pretty sure I have felt slight flutters too, as my uterus is high up already I think I can discount it being 'bowel movement' and having had two children already who I felt early in tri 2 I really think I can feel them already!

The cravings haven't been to obvious until now and all I want is fatty foods, chicken and roast dinner. I am yet to curb the roast dinner one, I have been gagging for a roast dinner for WEEKS!
So today I am making it my mission to do it and an apple crumble to top it off! :) (of course Olivia is extremely happy at the thought of apple crumble which I haven't made in months!)

Will update again on Monday when I am 11 weeks!

Natasha x