Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weston and Isaac's Birth Story (Part 2: Delivery)

I decided to break the twins' birth story into two parts (read part one here) because there was such a night-and-day difference between the labor and delivery, they just didn't belong in the same post. 

While my labor was calm and peaceful, with me being completely in-tune with my body and in-control of what was happening to me, the delivery was chaotic and stressful, with me being so distracted that I couldn't even tell when contractions were happening. I felt out-of-control to the point of panic at times. It was not at all what I had envisioned when I pictured the delivery of my sons, however I believe it would have been far worse had our midwife Belinda not stepped in to fight for us amidst the chaos of doctors and hospital politics. (I should mention here that the OB practice we went with offered something called "collaborative care" with twins. We were to be cared for and delivered by midwives, but a doctor would be available should an emergency arise.)

Chronologically, I can piece together very little of the twins' delivery besides the fact that Weston was born first and Isaac second. Things were so crazy in the O.R. that it's hard to remember what happened when, but I'll do my best. 

When I was wheeled into the O.R., I was trying so hard to stay focused and retain the calm that I had experienced in the labor room. However, the mood in the O.R. was full of nerves from the start and it was hard not to let that affect me. From what I can remember, there were somewhere around thirteen people in the room and they seemed to all be talking at once. The lights were fully up, and even though I asked (as did my midwives) that they be dimmed, the doctor (who suddenly felt she was in charge) refused. She also refused to let us video the birth, which was a part of our birth plan that her boss had signed off on. 

As I mentioned, this doctor started taking over immediately, without even introducing herself to us, without any respect towards us or our birth plan, and without any kind of emergency at hand. She poked and prodded me and made me feel like a lifeless specimen that just happened to be in the way of her and the babies. She broke my water too soon and without my permission. Oh, and did I mention that at one point she was sitting by my... ahem... while talking on her cell phone (loudly) about another patient? Um? Seriously? At that point I still wasn't sure who this woman was (again - she never introduced herself) and was just about to yell at her to get out. 

The difference between the doctor's "care" and that of the midwives was jarring and caused me great anxiety. There was a panic-inducing moment for me where I could not even see our midwives as they had basically been pushed to the back of the room. I asked Devin, "Where are Belinda and Diane??" and he made eye contact with Belinda with a gesture of "What on earth is going on?" She gave him a wink and literally elbowed her way back into position to catch the first baby.

I had a difficult time pushing Weston out. Partly due to the stress I was suddenly under and partly because, well, I've never pushed a human out of my body before and not only was it difficult, I wasn't sure how hard I actually had to push. Very hard it turns out. 

After a little over an hour of pushing, at 7:46 a.m. on October 17th, Weston Scot was born. He was pink, crying and perfect. Belinda put him on my chest immediately and I started nursing him. He was warm and gooey and wonderfully wide-eyed. Devin was right there by my side and we couldn't seem to grasp the fact that we were suddenly parents. I wish I could remember what we said to each other in that moment, but it is all so blurry.

Too soon, this sweet moment ended as it was time to get baby number two out. Weston was taken from us and examined just a few feet away. It was difficult at first to pull my attention away from him and the nurses surrounding him in order to focus on delivering his brother, but it quickly became apparent that getting "Baby B" out would take not only an incredible amount of focus on my part, but a major battle against a nervous doctor with a scalpel that she was itching to use.  

The tension in the room between Belinda and the doctor grew as Belinda tried to fight for the natural delivery she was confident we could achieve. But amidst her confidence and ours, was the doctor's constant flow of negative, stressful commentary.

"Baby B is getting tired!"  "She doesn't have an epidural?! Then we'll have to knock her out if she doesn't deliver him soon!" "Prepare for a c-section."

This of course caused me incredible stress, which in turn caused the baby to dip in and out of "distress", which caused the doctor to panic more, which caused me to panic more, etc. She said again and again, "Baby B is getting tired," and I asked her, "What do I need to do?" Her response was, "Nothing." It became clear to me then that this doctor was not interested in anything but a cesarean and wouldn't be helpful in achieving a vaginal delivery for the second baby. In a panic - I looked at Belinda, who again, gave us a confident wink and, again, elbowed her way back into the catching position. 

Belinda told the doctor, "You need to give her a chance to labor him down. He's in position, you just need to give her body a little time."

To which the doctor responded with something like, "He's too high for me to use forceps." 

At that point, Belinda made eye-contact with me and said, "Jen I need you to push as hard as you can." Though Belinda had to tell me when to push (as mentioned before, I was so stressed I couldn't feel the contractions), I pushed hard and brought the baby down. Belinda threw a saucy look towards the doctor as if to say, "You think you need forceps, huh?"

From that point on, the delivery consisted of Belinda fighting off the doctor while trying to get me to push as hard and as often as possible. We were in a battle against time and knew that if I didn't push this baby out soon, I would be knocked out and cut open. I honestly believe that if I had allowed an epidural to be placed (which Diane did not require of me even though her boss had recommended it "just in case"), I would have ended up with a cesarean for Baby B. As it was, I didn't have an epidural placed and therefore it wasn't as convenient for the doctor to default to cesarean because she knew she'd have to completely knock me out. This, and Belinda's determination, saved us from something that was not needed or wanted.

Belinda did everything she possibly could, including asking permission to give me a small episiotomy. I allowed it, as she and I both knew that because of the pressure from the doctor my choices were a small cut there or a giant cut across the belly. That cut was the only pain I remember from the birth - it was piercing and I know I screamed from the pain. The doctor remarked, "That's not an episiotomy - it's too small." To which Belinda retorted, "It's all she needs."

Things were incredibly tense and dramatic in that room and during this part of the birth was the only time Devin cried as we both prayed over and over again, "Lord please help us." We both felt so confident that this baby could be delivered vaginally and were so fearful that we would be given an "unnecesarean" because of a nervous doctor who didn't understand or believe in the process of natural birth. It had been clear from the moment we arrived in the O.R. that a cesarean was this doctor's assumed outcome for our delivery - she seemed to be looking for an opportunity the entire time.  

For about 30 minutes or so, I pushed intensely (I knew how hard I needed to push now) while the entire room screamed at me to "PUSH!!" While it was so frustrating to have so many people yelling at me, the baby was coming down and making progress naturally. Still, the doctor was on-edge (or perhaps just angry at this point that Belinda had been right). She put me on oxygen and I could still sense her pressuring Belinda. But God bless her, Belinda stood her ground (and ours) and at 8:41a.m., Isaac Knight was born. He was bright-eyed, crying robustly and latched on like a champ. (Belinda told me later, "When he came out like that, I thought, 'Ha! That baby's not in distress!'") He was perfect and healthy and we had achieved our natural birth safely, despite the many obstacles. Pulling down Devin's surgical mask, I gave him a big, grateful kiss on the lips. I then looked a Belinda and mouthed, "Thank you!" and in response, she winked.  

* * * 
Admiring Weston shortly after his birth 
Our new family of four
My husband, my coach, my encouragement, my hero

* * * 
(L) Belinda with Isaac
(R) Jacqueline with the boys 
Devin and I can not express enough our thankfulness for the thoughtful care we received from our midwives throughout the pregnancy and during the birth. Thank you ladies for believing in us and in the natural design of pregnancy and birth. 

We are also grateful for the sweet, calming presence of our doula, Jacqueline.

Additional thanks to our Bradley instructors Crystal and Paul for all the great knowledge about the natural birth process. 

There were so many answered prayers throughout this pregnancy and all the way through the birth - to those of you who spent so much time in prayer on our behalf - thank you, we were amazing at how God answered so specifically.

We are so grateful for the incredible support-team God provided us through each of you. 

And certainly, we must express our praise to God for His incredible design, for a safe pregnancy and for allowing us to take part in experiencing the miracle of birth. Praise You above all.


  1. :) Great job, Momma!:) I'm also a twin momma and stumbled across your blog through your infamous youtube video:) So glad to see that God blessed you with a vaginal delivery for both of your boys:) Kind of jealous of your laboring process, but greatful that my own delivery process was not as stressful as yours :).

    :) My boys were born vaginally at 1:47am and 3:20 am :) So, I know the stressors of "the wait". God is good though,to not give us more than we can handle, yes? :)

  2. Wow! What a story! I read it through gripping at the details! :) You are truly a warrior-woman! You have really encouraged me to have a natural birth when that moment comes. You are awesome and such an encouragement to those of us who are thinking about becoming moms :) Love you lots and congratulations!!!!

  3. What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jennifer,

    Thank you for posting this. I'm a little bummed we aren't doing the midwife thing for this kiddo. This post made me confident that we can and will stand up and fight to the final push for the natural birth we are planning. Sheesh! If your tiny frame can push two babies out with no drugs, I'm sure I can get ONE out! :-)

    Thanks again and congratulations on the beautiful boys!!

  5. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing such a beautiful story! I firmly believe that with the proper support, natural labor is possibly the majority of the time! Enjoy those babies!
    Christine - Doula

  6. Beautiful birth stories. I feel honored that you shared them. And I wish you all the best with those babes.

  7. Loved your story - I had no idea that you were a fellow "Valley Women for Women" client when I originally watched your youtube video! Now I am VERY curious as to who the doctor was in the OR with you! I gotta know! ;)

  8. Fantastic Job! I am so glad you had the support of Midwives.
    I have had three home births and am so saddened by the unnecessary stress birthing moms must deal with in hospitals.

  9. Thanks for sharing, mama!! You are a rock star!!

  10. Thank God for midwives who stand in the way, protecting moms from unnecessary intervention!

  11. Thank-you so much for sharing this. I cried while reading about that horrible doctor, and then I cried some more when I got to the end and read about how well your midwife had advocated for you, and how beautiful the outcome was. I, too, love my midwives and am sad that they are only really in my life for such a short period of time.

    Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful sons. You are so amazingly blessed, and have a perfect family. :)

  12. I didn't know you had them naturally! That's amazing! I am so sad to hear of your bad delivery experience. Your midwives however, sounded like God-Sends.

    I had a non-medicated water birth with a midwife, and it is how I will have all of my children. I love how God designed our bodies to be perfect for such an huge task! One day we will have to meet those little guys.

    -Meagan Moldrem

  13. God bless you mom and your wonderful Midwife. I wish "doctor present in case of emergency" had meant waiting in the hallway for your sake.
    Did she say anything to apologize for causing so much stress?

  14. That is amazing! Omg! The midwives at VWFW are awesome. I wish I had the chance to work with Belinda! She's a tough fighter!

  15. Thanks for posting this moving story!!! I found a link on, I had never been to your blog before. WOW. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Of course I am a hormonal pregnant woman, but this was really great.

  16. Beautiful! I'm crying and actually said "Go girl!" out loud to which I'm sure my hubby thought I was nuts from across the room.

    Good job, Mama! And how awesome for that OB to finally see a *real* birth! ;-)

  17. I just randomly stumbled on your awesome labor-inducing dance video on pintrest tonight, and saw a comment that linked to your blog. You are awesome, and what a testimony to God's faithfulness, and your trust in him through the whole process.
    Congratulations on your beautiful boys!

  18. i first saw your video, and was fascinated, then found your blog. you're quite brilliant, with God's love surrounding you. i too am a mother of twins but i must say, i feel my dr cheated me. i was 19 when i had twins and was told a c section was really the only option. i stayed w the same dr, who delivered my next 2 children the same way, saying she didnt do she tells me after 3 c sections, i shouldnt have any more so disappointed with myself but feel maybe God has something different planned. Anyway, thanks for a great blog to read!

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your doctor's advice. His/her opinion on vbacs shouldn't detirmine if you have more kiddos or not. I would really encourage you to seek out another opinion from a doctor who does support vbacs. Even if a vbac isn't an option for you, a supportive doctor might at least give you a more encouraging option in regards to having more kids. Best of luck!

  19. I came across your video and birth story and I love it! Your belly looked totally fake on tiny little you. :) Congratulations on getting the natural birth that you wanted. My third baby was delivered at home at 41w 6d and weighing 10lb 12oz. I definitely understand the wait! I know had I gone to my previous OB, I would have been induced or sectioned because he was "too big" or for being "overdue". And, I too, prayed, "Lord, help me" while I was pushing! I've never felt so close to Him as in that moment. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Robyn! Devin was just telling me that you had found his photography facebook page through our video and this blog. Toooooo funny! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

    2. Great job God bless you and your family. My daughter is pregnant with twins now and I'm scared to death.

  20. I just watched your video and stumbled upon your blog. I applaud you for holding your ground and having the delivery you planned (give or take a few obstacles). Labor with my first child took two hours (ten days early), the second child was eight hours (eight days late), and the third (and last!) child was 40 and a half hours (seven days late). After the last birth, I feared how long a fourth labor would be, so I stopped having kids. Your sons are gorgeous, and by now I'm sure they're keeping you overly busy. Congratulations.

  21. Well done! I don't know too many women who go overdue with twins. Your video is awesome. I love your enthusiasm and the freedom you show to be yourself... and not be strong armed into something you didn't want. Birth is definitely meant to be a "natural" process. Seems like the medical system has forgotten that in your case. Granted... your obvious fitness level was a huge plus and definitely made it possible for you to labour so long and hard. Many women would not be strong enough to do what you have done. Congratulations and may God continue to bless your beautiful, joyful family!

  22. Congrats on the birth of your boys. I loved your video and your birth story is fantastic. As frustrating as it is to hear another mother aiming for a natural birth being pressured into medical intervention, I'm so glad to hear about the positive outcome. Midwives are the best and you are a CHAMP!

  23. Congrats on your babies. I am happy you made it without a c-section. I don't know why Doctors bully, scare and pressure moms into C-sections.
    My first daughter was an emergency C-section with a knotted cord. My second daughter three years later was a fear induced c-section. The Doctor scared me and I abandoned my birth plan. I still regret the second c-section. I know they have a place in medical emergencies, as my first daughter would have either died, or been brain damaged; but they should not be the preferred method of child birth.

  24. Amazing, what a blessing! For your future reference, you don't have to have anyone in your room you do not want. Before I went in for my first, I made it clear to my doctor and the hospital staff (and put a note on my door) that no intern, resident, or student was allowed in my room. I meant business- only my doctor could enter. During my 36 hour labor, my doctor wasn't there, and they made a comment about the resident might need to examine me, to which I said, "no". Simple. No one other than my nurse or my doctor were in my room for either of my births. This was the only thing I can honestly say I was thankful for during our horrible hospital experiences of birth. I commend you so deeply for keeping to your plan.


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