twins. born at home. the birth story of Major & Wilder
Our very own Nicole Lahey had her Twin Boys at home this past week. Below is her birth story in her words followed by a few sneak peeks taken by Max Grey of Inked Doulas.
Pop. “Shit my water just broke,” was the first thought in my mind. The second was “I’m not in the mood for this right now, I’m tired.” I then turned to my sleeping husband and said, “my water just broke” “ok” he replied, and went back to sleep. I grabbed my phone, still laying down and text Maxine that my water broke. I had instinctually put on an adult diaper before bed and thank god I did because when I stood up I heard the fluids hit the diaper. I walked to the toilet and from there I called the midwife. She was staying only 15 min away. After I peed, I shifted on the toilet and another gush poured out; at this point there was no denying what was happening. This funny little thing happens when you go into labor, is this real? Can’t be, maybe it was pee and my water didn’t break. But the clear yet cloudy pink tinged fluid sitting in the toilet signaled otherwise. I called my mom, who was downstairs, and she answered the phone all chipper, she told me she’d make her coffee and start setting up and letting people in. My aunt was staying with us for the weekend because we had winter storm Harper so that was one less person to notify. I then called Michael and he answered near immediately too. Michael is the videographer who also shot Jagger’s birth story.
There was one problem; I had no contractions and I didn’t know when they would come. It could have been hours or maybe in the next 20 minutes. I put on my game day bra, a fresh diaper, and got in bed. At this point my husband got up, put his pants on, and started setting things up downstairs. As I was laying down I got a few little puny contractions, not the kind that bring a baby down, and again second guessed what was happening. It felt like only minutes from when I notified her, but Maxine then walked in to my bedroom. Next came the midwife and her assistant. She asked if she could check me: I consented. I only said yes because when she visited us the Tuesday before I asked her to check me because I felt like I was sitting on someone’s head, and I was very swollen. She told me I was a six. We laughed about it and went to eat dinner downstairs. While we were eating I had a few strong contractions and back pain and we started frantically setting up that Tuesday night thinking they were coming then. I asked for space though and told her she could leave, I did ask her to check me one more time before she left to see if I was making stuff up or this was really happening. 7cm she said. But I went to bed that night and woke up with no babies, the rest of the week leading up to my water breaking was very uneventful and it was the most peaceful week my uterus had since I was 19 weeks when the Braxton hicks started. OK I digress…
I was 6cm, so I closed up a little over the week, probably a mix of fear and my husband having loose ends to tie up before he was able to take his vacation which started Jan 20th. After she checked me the contractions really started to get stronger. I could no longer lay in bed and shot up and went downstairs and flung myself into the 4inches of water that was beginning to rise in the birth pool. Going downstairs, seeing the candles, the fireplace, excited faces, all of the supplies and just the aura made me smile and feel so good. The room was ready for us, ready for me, and ready to welcome our babies. I asked someone to get my kids. They came down ready to go and knew exactly what to do. No one looked exhausted or cranky; the time was here, the experience we waited years for, the one we were robbed of when we lost Porter. It was here and now; the day of the Super Blood Wolf Moon on 2019.
Everything was happening fast, I reached inside of myself and felt his head about a finger length away. Feeling yourself during labor is very empowering and I couldn’t stop trying to feel him. When I got in the birth pool, I put myself in a not so idea position, I closed off the exit and used my body weight as counter pressure on my bum. This made my body have to work harder to get baby A under the pubic bone. I tried to move but couldn’t. I breathed, I chatted, I floated, I kissed my kids and received their little gifts. At some point Jagger told my husband to order her food (its 3am mind you). My son handed me a clementine, just as he did so innocently during Jagger’s birth. It was just the sweetest gesture. After a few really good contractions I checked again and didn’t notice much progress, this upset me and I got in my own head at that point. This was so painful and I didn’t make enough progress to satisfy my own tolerance. When my water broke my first thought was negative. This set the tone for how I handled the pain and birthing twins in my home. I moved off my butt just enough to make a decent amount of progress, I yelled for someone to put Harper in the birth pool with me; the time had come for her to catch her first baby ever, her brother. The midwife helped guide her and I tried my best to give her a play by play. Everyone in the room encouraged her and cheered her on. She was so excited, yet so patient, so confident, so just everything. I cry writing this part because I am just so proud of her. The child sitting in the tub with me was no longer a child. I got a glimpse of her as an adult and it was incredible. She touched his head along with me as he crowned. He was trying to navigate his shoulders through and as he was doing so he kept kicking me, that was like torture. I asked the midwife to please get him out. She did. Harper and the midwife handed me baby A 3:27am. The most gorgeous little boy arose from the water and into my arms and I looked at his face and I promise we have already known each other. Then I remembered there was still another baby inside of me. I was just so happy the pain stopped. Harper made her way next to me and together we admired our baby A. We found part of his amniotic sac on him and we giggled and had a quick science lesson in the birth pool. I then looked up and said to the midwife “ I hope I get a decent break, I really don’t want to do this again” she replied “ you want me to break your water?” “No I mean I wanted a break, a rest period, I need it” then she said “ok well we will see what happens.” As we finished this very brief conversation “POP” FUCK! Baby B’s water broke.
Round two. I wasn’t ready, I didn’t want this, but I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t run, there was nowhere to go. Baby A had a short cord and I couldn’t hold him and handle the pain the way I needed to, I needed to turn and try and move a little bit but couldn’t. I asked someone to take him from me and I think it was first my husband and then my aunt. The midwife asked my husband if he wanted to catch and he said “no ill stay with Nicole” and that he did, he handed me wash cloths, encouraged me, hydrated me, and rubbed my shoulders. She then asked my mom if she wanted to catch and my mom threw off her PJ top and said sure. The funny thing is I usually like to catch my own babies and planned to be the one to help Harper catch the first but I just couldn’t do it. Logistically baby As cord was so short and I wasn’t ready to separate him yet, and I was in too much pain. Baby B’s head began to crown and it I hear everyone say he was posterior and they could see his whole beautiful face. Again, as he was trying to get his shoulders through and rotate, he was kicking me so hard I actually screamed. I cursed, I yelled, I lost my mind for a bit, and then I screamed for her to take the fucker out of me. She helped and I pushed hard, something I don’t normally do, to get him out. I just wanted it to be done and it was. My mom guided up baby B into my hands and I placed him on my chest with my daughter right next to me. It was magical. 3:44am. Another little Aquarian boy arose from the depths of the water with a trail of red blood behind him. He too is someone I’ve surely already known.
Baby A was placed back in my arms. I did it. As baby B came out he brought with him the most beautiful blood red wave that quickly filled the pool. The flecks of vernix amongst the red blood looked like a painting to me. Harper said “ mommy there’s blood” and I reassured her that it was okay, I was okay, the babies are ok, and she was ok. She took my answer without question and went back to admiring baby B, the closest baby to her. I sat there in shock for a bit, studying my two little boys. They each had so much vernix, it feels like velvet actually. Harper got another science lesson on vernix. Immediately they looked different to me. They were so handsome and so cute I just melted for them.
Baby A’s cord was getting white and I was hoping to deliver the placenta’s quickly because I was getting cold and just wanted to snuggle my babies. The time came and when I was pushing I could tell it was much larger than I expected. Half came out and then the midwife said stop pushing. The placentas fused at some point during my pregnancy therefore two placentas became like one. The second one needed another minute as we were careful not to tear it or leave a piece behind. With another tiny push the second part came out. SWEET RELIEF. I handed my babies off still attached to their placenta in a bucket, and waited a minute to be helped out of the tub. I usually just get up and move, but I was a little concerned with bleeding this time and hypovolemic shock. Help came, and I moved over to the couch where we were covered in towels, fed peanut butter, and drank some juice and water. I managed to tandem nurse them immediately with some assistance.
We sat there for about a half hour and then moved upstairs. I couldn’t wait to get in my bed and snuggle my babies. But first; a shower. Standing up felt like my organs would fall on the floor. I think that was the hypovolemic shock I was warned about. I felt a little nauseous, weak, and like my lungs were being pulled to the floor. I finished showering, got dressed and got into my bed. The babies were wrapped in towels at the end of my bed still attached to their placenta siting in a Tupperware. The kids were put in bed at this point and sadly missed the cord cutting. But my husband cut both cords and my squishy vernix covered babies were handed back to me. We got under the covers and laid down together; with both babies back on my chest; they drifted back to sleep.
It took us 18 hrs to pick names but baby A Is Major Vaughn 6lbs 10oz and baby B is Wilder Cole 7lbs 2oz. January 20th 2019 Born 37 weeks 2 days at home.
Here are a few sneak peeks from my birth. I will be sharing more as I get them. Questions always welcome on FB or instagram @inkeddoulas @ready.set.chaos