Author: Jemma Lichtendonk
I went into spontaneous labour at 36+6 and had a natural monochorionic twin birth. Our boys were both head down and arrived after only 2 hours of established labour.
My husband and I had been ‘training’ for this day
My husband and I had been ‘training’ for this day spiritually, physically and emotionally since we found out we were having twins at our 20 week scan. Twin pregnancy is so full on, especially being so ‘high risk’ with babies sharing a placenta, we prayed for a natural monochorionic twin birth.
On Sunday night we had a long prayer meeting with friends and committed all our fears to Jesus, it was hard, but we had to let go of what we were worried about, especially the timing of when I went into labour.
I feel like I spent most of my pregnancy worrying about pre term labour
Through God’s divine intervention we were able to escape induction talks twice and thankfully, Monday morning at 36+6, less than 10 hours from releasing our fears, my waters broke in bed at 6am. I was so over the moon! We had been told to call an ambulance as soon as I went into labour. My second birth had progressed quite quickly so the hospital staff weren’t interested in mucking around this time, especially not with monochorionic twins. Despite this, I felt totally at peace and knew we had enough time. I had a relaxing shower and prayed over what was about to come!
It was so bizarre being in a delivery suite and not being in active labour
I was pretty much just walking around trying to get things started! Not much was happening, I was being looked after and intermittently monitored by a beautiful midwife who kept very calm.
I had been praying that the right people would be rostered on for our birth. And this midwife was definitely hand picked by God. At 10.30am a team of doctors came in. We had a long, serious and scary talk about the need for an epidural again. It was so hard to hear. And quite exhausting trying to respectfully listen to all the risks but also not let the fear take over. The desire of our hearts was to have a natural, intervention free birth, but everywhere we turned we were told it was just too risky and just not possible.
After the doctors left I burst into tears wondering what decision to make.
I felt in my heart of hearts it was not right for me to have an epidural. But I was also so scared that if I said no and something terrible happened it would be all my fault. It was such a big call!
I asked to have a shower to clear my head and to think and pray. After about 30 mins under warm water, singing worship songs and praying. I knew I wasn’t at peace with the idea of an epidural so I decided to take a leap of faith and go without. I said ‘God I still don’t know if this is the right choice, but I’m jumping off this cliff and I trust you’ll catch me!’
The next thing I know I have 3 very strong contractions in the shower about 5 mins apart!
I hopped out, got dressed, told my husband about my prayer and kept labouring as best I could. I was breathing and praying through each contraction, doing figure-eights with my hips, listening to my music and having my husband rub my shoulders and remind me of the promises of God. How blessed I was to have such a supportive birth partner!
By then, it was close to 12pm and my contractions were getting stronger and closer. I looked at the clock and wondered how long it would all take. I heard God gently whisper that I would be done by 2pm. Ok, I thought, we can do this.
The doctors walk back in and start talking about the epidural again. I knew it was now or never, time to stand my ground. I pulled up all the courage I could possibly muster and told the head OB that I had decided to go without. To my utter dismay and shock the OB completely ignored my words. He said he would be back soon with the anaesthetist and the equipment for an epidural.
By this stage I can feel I’m transitioning and ready to push!
I was shattered, how was I going to stand firm in my beliefs and manage these contractions at the same time? Labour was hard enough without having to engage in serious discussions like this!
I cried out to God in my head, asking for courage and strength. His answer was almost immediate. I suddenly felt that I was transitioning and ready to push! The team of doctors came back in with the trolley of epidural equipment, but it was too late! My midwife had a quick check and I was fully dilated, in fact she could see baby A’s head right there.
The birth of Baby A
I hopped on the bed as swiftly as I could and kept pushing until our first little boy made his appearance and cried beautifully! I had a little bit of skin to skin, although his cord wasn’t super long so it was a bit tricky to hold him. We left his cord to pulse for a good 10 minutes before Rob cut it and announced that we had another boy! (We had opted for a surprise and were thrilled to add 2 more boys to the 2 we already had!)
The birth of Baby B
They checked Baby B’s position, which was still head down. So we decide to cut baby A’s cord and try to get things moving before a potential flip! I change onto all fours to help a bit with gravity. My midwife, who I have trusted the whole time, suggests a whiff of syntocinon just to help with the next lot of contractions. We also decide to rupture Baby B’s membranes. Neither of these decisions were in our birth plan. But I had total peace about it and felt it was all part of God’s plan, especially to humble my heart. 25 mins later our second son arrived screaming and came straight to me. It was 1.55pm, I was done just before 2pm, God always keeps His word.
God answered my prayer for a natural monochorionic twin birth!
My husband and I now had one each and we could NOT believe it! As I came out of my birthing zone, I scanned the room. I then realised that there had been 15 medical staff there all along, silently watching the whole thing unfold. Amongst the group were 2 first year midwifery students who were very surprised to see a natural monochorionic twin birth. They couldn’t stop gushing about the experience and said that no one at uni was going to believe it!
Once I had birthed the placenta and had been checked, the whole room clapped and cheered! I had only lost 250ml of blood and didn’t even have a graze! It was clear that everyone had just witnessed something very special. What an incredible miracle from God, one we will never forget.
TWIN A: William Joshua born at 1.31pm weighing 6lb9oz
TWIN B: Tobias Caleb born at 1.55pm weighing 6lb1oz
Photos courtesy of Bec Matheson Photography
Click HERE to read a natural triplet birth story