Thursday, September 17, 2009

'Drive-through' birthing

Several followers of this blog have asked me how the mother and her twins are progressing, since their story was shared a few weeks ago.

I have the mother's permission to share with you the news of spontaneous labour and birth of these two babies. Our hearts are full of praise to God the giver and sustainer of life.

Labour commenced at about 7am, and was stronger than what the mother was used to for any of her previous births. We went to Box Hill hospital, and the obstetrician who had supported the plan for vaginal birth (twins, first breech) came in and worked with us.

Membranes ruptured spontaneously for Twin A, who progressed quickly to breech vaginal birth. Baby experienced some respiratory distress for most of the following hour, and we are thankful that the paediatrician kept the baby in the birth room after special request.

Twin B had turned to cephalic. Mother gave birth to the second baby about an hour after the first.

The family went home a few hours after the birth. Mother called it 'Drive through' birthing.

I have told this story as an example of a complex decision making process between woman, midwife, and hospital - without bullying or coercion, even though the 'hospital' advised elective caesarean surgery. I am glad I was able to work with the hospital in this birth, disagreeing with expert advice at times, and supporting the woman in her desire to give birth when her time was accomplished.

There is no 'one size fits all' in birthing. These births included some features which are categorised 'high risk'. Those risks were present, in slightly different ways, regardless of the birth plan. The plan to proceed under natural physiological systems was made after considering the risks and benefits of spontaneous birthing, and the alternative - planned, elective surgery. Another alternative was to change the plan at some stage in the labour, but that option was not needed.

With the benefit of hindsight I am sure that there was no better way to negotiate the uncharted and unpredictable journey of these births. In fact I think if there had been delays – such as epidural, stirrups, or a trip to operating theatre, the story could have been very different. The mother knew her babies needed to be born, and she just got down to the job of birthing – something she is very good at.

[For the birth plan, click here.]

1 comment:

Juniper said...

Fantastic news Joy! It sounds like things went exactly as they should - doing things "normal" until circumstances show another way is necessary.

BTW, for the record, my breech baby had some "rattly" sounds and shallowish breaths for the first hour after birth which righted themselves reasonably fast - I guess this may be more common with breech?