Anna had a homebirth for her second baby and was hoping for the same outcome next time round - then she found out she was expecting twins. Archie & Kai were born at home, in water, in the UK in 2009.
Having recovered from the shock and elation of finding out we were expecting twins, I soon felt that all decisions about my birth were out of my hands and that I no longer had much of a say as to how my birth was going to be. Having had my last baby at home I was very sure that I wanted to give birth to my twins at home. This did not appear to be an option with the NHS and so that is when I started exploring the option of hiring an Independent Midwife and 'found' Eleanor May-Johnson.
Eleanor was very knowledgeable and understanding of my situation and was confident and happy to be my midwife should I decide to have my babies at home. From about half-way through my pregnancy Eleanor took over my midwifery care and accompanied me to the extra scans and appointments with the obstetrician.
Although my obstetrician did not advise me to have my babies at home because of the increased risks with a twin birth, I felt confident in myself and Eleanor that if things were not going as they should, we will transfer to hospital. In fact I felt my chances of a natural twin birth were increased by staying at home and not being continuously monitored etc.
At just over 40 weeks I went into labour, following a sweep (I'd really had enough by then!) and was attended to by Eleanor and her 'back-up' midwives, Sharon Eccles and Kathryn Weymouth. It was a long slow labour but at 5.28am on 7th February 2009 I gave birth to Archie, in the birthing pool weighing 6lb 8oz.
My 2nd baby was breech throughout my pregnancy so we were prepared for a breech birth, however he turned after Archie had been delivered and, in his own time, Kai was also born in the pool at 7.47am – 2 and ? hours later, weighing 6lb 14oz.
I'm sure that if I had gone into hospital they would not have allowed such a long gap between births. However all was well and there was no reason to hurry. Soon after the births I was snuggled up in bed with my two babies – perfect!
As Eleanor is qualified to perform tongue-tie division, she was vigilant enough to notice that both babies were tongue-tied to some degree. So the day after their birth, she carried out the division procedure on both boys – it very quick and painless. I do not think that this would have been picked up on immediately by the NHS until problems arose, so I am very grateful to Eleanor for noticing and rectifying this so as to prevent any feeding and speech problems that may have arisen otherwise.
I would highly recommend hiring an Independent Midwife, although it is a shame one has to in order to get a better level of care or the birth of your choice. However this option did enable me to have the birth I wanted with the support, knowledge and understanding of a caring an passionate midwife. I am so glad I trusted my instincts not to have my babies in hospital and instead had a perfectly natural birth at home – a wonderfully gentle way for my boys to enter the world and the perfect way to start life with twins!