MY BIRTH STORY
I recently shared my birth story on Instagram, the video is embedded below if you have the time to watch it. To be completely honest, I never gave much thought to sharing a birth story and I think it’s because I assumed that women have been giving birth since forever, what on earth could I possibly have to add to the conversation. But that’s exactly it, everyone’s specific experience is so unique, or at the very least unique to them and there’s something to be said in finding not only where we differ but maybe even more importantly, where we are alike.
Before you watch the video, I just want to provide context as to the specifics of my pregnancy. My pregnancy was considered high risk for the following reasons:
Multiples: Twins runs in our families, so I should have seen it coming but was proper surprised when I found out about our spontaneous twins. Twin pregnancies are automatically considered high risk. WebMD shares: Twins are at higher risk of preterm labor and delivery and have higher degree of respiratory issues.” As a result of being born too early, twins may be born at low birth weights, and such babies tend to have more health problems than babies born weighing more than 5.5 pounds. Additionally, as many as 37 percent of twin pregnancies involve Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), which is three to four times the rate in singleton pregnancies. Left untreated, it can lead to premature labor, a baby who doesn’t grow well, or a stillborn baby. It can also be a serious threat to the mother’s health, especially if it develops into preeclampsia.
Geriatric or Advanced maternal Age pregnancy: Yup, it took my husband and me forever to decide to have babies. And while many women are delaying pregnancy well into their 30s and beyond — and delivering healthy babies, you should be aware, as I was constantly reminded, that there are some risks and special care that needs to be taken. There’s also a higher incidence of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, chromosomal abnormalities, c-sections, and an increased risk of pregnancy loss.
Short or Incompetent Cervix: It was around week 20 when the OB-GYN shared that my cervix had been shortening pretty fast, it was at 1.9 and an immediate cerclage was needed to avoid pre-term labor. The procedure was a little more involved than I imagined and I ended up getting a double cerclage (double stitched). All-in all, the cerclage did the job and kept until week 36. More on the cerclage removal if you watch the video.
Transverse Baby B: with Twins, you get Baby A and Baby B. If you’re looking for natural childbirth, you want Baby A to be bigger then Baby B and you want both babies positioned down and not across. As the pregnancy progressed, it became clear that Baby B was staying transverse the entire time. I’ve heard of repositioning that sometimes happens with singleton babies but that really wasn’t an option for me.
Enlarged Uterus & Pressure on Vena Cava: The first time I passed out during an ultrasound, the Nurse and Sonographer thought I hadn’t had enough to eat, they advised me to eat more protein and sugar before next appointment. The 2nd time it happened, I had made sure to eat properly and knew it wasn’t my diet. By the third time, the doctor spoke to me about the babies position on my vena cava (the large vein carrying deoxygenated blood from lower and middle parts of body to the heart). Because they had me laying down flat during the ultrasound, the increased pressure, was blocking blood flow and causing me to pass out. Moving forward, we had to take great care with my body position and also take multiple breaks to avoid another incident.
Pandemic Pregnancy – Birth during COVID: the main thing here was having to take several Covid tests, having appointments without my husband and some general stress around being super super careful with quarantining and social distancing. I literally didn’t see any family or friends for my entire pregnancy and that afforded some additional mental stress that I
When I read all of above, it would seem that my pregnancy was complicated and/or difficult. But I have to say, it actually didn’t feel that way on a day to day basis. I received so much social support even when physical in-person support wasn’t an option. I didn’t suffer from nausea and I didn’t have to run around the city or on the subway because of Quarantine.
And it’s in that spirit that I made it to the end of my pregnancy. It’s with that not altogether stressed attitude that I headed to the hospital – week 36 for cerclage removal and possible labor/delivery. Watch the Video for what happened. It was absolutely therapeutic for me to share as it was nothing like I expected or planned for.