As many of you know, our first son was born nearly two years ago and we welcomed him earth side via a water birth in our living room after 30 hours of labor. This story, like that one, is written with as many little details as I can recall because I want to remember it -- all of it -- as long as I live. If you're not into blood and poop and well, birth, please don't read on.
When we found out that we were pregnant again, it was no question that a homebirth was exactly what we wanted to do again.
We went to our prenatal appointments regularly and were happy with how quickly and easy this pregnancy seemed in comparison to the first.
At twenty weeks along we went for our first ultrasound and were completely shocked when the tech showed us TWO babies. We cried tears of shock and joy and fear and love all day.
I remember being scared upon finding out I was pregnant with twins because I knew it meant I could have to transfer my care to the hospital. Fortunately things continued to go really smoothly with my pregnancy and we were able to stay under the care of our trusted and beloved midwife as well as go forth with our planned homebirth as long as we made it to 36 weeks and the babies were in good positions for it.
Fast forward to Christmas. My family was dreadfully sick and bed ridden, but we made it to 36 weeks. Despite how hard pregnancy began to feel, I asked the babies to wait to come until I was healthy again.
Pregnancy became harder and harder each day in those last weeks. My belly grew, my feet and legs swelled, my body ached, my appetite dwindled, my toddler needed me, I wasn't sleeping, I was constantly in false labor, and the anticipated twins weren't coming. As my due date approached I began feeling desperate for them to make their arrival.
After a sleepless night of painful contractions, I got up on January 26th both grateful and sad that I had made it to 40 weeks gestation.
The family got ready for the day, headed to our favorite local coffee shop for a little pick me up, then to Costco for a speedy and much needed grocery run, and finally to what would be our last prenatal appointment.
On our way home my contractions picked up in intensity but were still irregular so I just assumed more false labor, although I vividly remembered the tightness I felt in my back from my labor with Mattheus.
At that point Miles headed to work and I made Mattheus some lunch. We played for a bit and the contractions stayed. I put him down for his nap and the contractions still persisted. I began to time them and they were a consistent ten minutes apart and about a minute each. I brought my sleeping boy to my room and cuddled him through his nap. My contractions stayed. I asked Miles to come home, called my mom to ask her to come get Mattheus when she got off work, and let my midwife, Diane and doula, Ashley know what was going on. The babies were coming. They had to be.
Contractions stayed consistent and by the time my mom left with my Bub, they were about 5-6 minutes apart and 45 seconds in length. Diane came over around 6:30 and advised me to rest, so I did for a few hours. My contractions dissolved away nearly completely. Diane left and I let Ashley know she didn't need to come over.
I felt sad and discouraged. I showered and got back into bed around 10:15pm.
An hour later, things picked up fast. My contractions came back stronger, closer, and more consistent than before. Miles called Diane and Ashley and told them to return.
I continued to labor in my room on the yoga ball as our assistant midwife, Suzanne, and Diane's assistant arrived. Miles and the midwives prepared for birth and Ashley stayed by my side as labor progressed. Every few contractions the midwives would have me lay on the bed to check babes' heart rates. This was probably the worst part of my labor as my contractions would suddenly become very intense and cause me to vomit.
After a few hours of laboring there Miles asked again if I wanted to get into the tub. I avoided it the first time for fear that I would become too relaxed and things would slow down again, but I did want to at this point. The water felt SO good. The immediate relief you feel when your body enters is so amazing. An immense amount of pressure is taken away from your aching torso as being in the water lifts your belly and body. Plus, the warmth of the water is both soothing and relaxing.
I continued to work through contractions as calmly as possible with the help of Miles and Ashley. I don't think any of us realized how far along I had progressed because of how much more peacefully I was able to deal with my contractions this time around. Whenever I would start to breathe too fast Ashley would remind me to take slow, deep breaths and instead of trying to say anything or make any noise this time, I remembered to save my energy for the pushing. I sang hymns in my head through labor (Great Is Thy Faithfulness, How Deep The Father's Love For Us, and Jesus Paid It All), visualized my contractions as mountains I was able to scale, and repeated birth affirmations in my head. There were even small moments that I would realize I had fallen asleep and been dreaming!
As with Mattheus' birth I was really afraid to poop in the tub and so the point came again when I had Miles take me to the toilet so that I could try and go. I finally had some bloody show and I knew I had been feeling pushy for a few contractions at that point but that it wasn't time. Diane asked if I wanted to be checked and by then, I was ready.
Miles was nervous that like last time, I would still be only a two or so and become discouraged by the lack of progress, but I was already a nine and my cervix was mostly gone. Since I was out of the tub the midwives checked fetal heart rates again and I puked for what I think was the last time.
Back to the tub.
I contracted only a couple more times before becoming really pushy. In the middle of one of my contractions I suddenly REALLY had to push and so I did and with the pop of broken waters, Kuyper's head was nearly born. Everyone rushed to the tub at that point. Diane asked if I wanted to feel his head, so I did. With the next push, his head was born.
For some reason my urge to push disappeared at that point. I felt the burn of having a baby exiting my body and when my next contraction came, instead of pushing into it, I breathed through it. After that my birth team began to encourage me that my baby was almost here and that I needed to push him out. With the next contractions that came, despite not really wanting to push, I did, and at 3:38am on January 27th, Kuyper Shea Brazil was born into his dad's arms. He was 7lbs 11oz. His cord was fairly short so dad held him on my tum until it stopped pulsing and he cut it.
I held Kuyper on my chest for a couple of minutes after that. It was special to hold my sweet son, but I was also still in pain and needed to birth his sister. (This is a complete tangent, but it is the strangest thing to only have one baby in your belly after you've seen and felt it with two for the last nine months!!). Suzanne listened to Kinsley's heart tones. She sounded great and for a moment, everyone thought she had turned to a vertex presentation. We all got excited to potentially have a second water birth, but a quick check from Diane determined that she was still breech.
And a contraction. It was a great thing that they came back so fast and that Kinsley was ready to be born, too.
Miles took Kuyper and the team helped me out of the water. As I walked back to the bedroom I started to have another contraction and wanted to stop but Suzanne told me I was so strong and to power through back to the room to meet my baby girl. I remember wanting to laugh and cry as I waddle "ran" to my room with the help of so many AS my body was trying to work another baby out of it.
When I made it to the room they asked me to lay on my back and, despite that being the plan all along, I wanted to cry. Laying on my back hurt and made me throw up every time I had done it previously in the night. I did it anyways. Then things became serious.
Although Kinsley's heart tones sounded great, my urge to push had disappeared completely. With one tiny contraction I was able to give a little push.
I heard Miles ask my midwife, "Is that okay?"
Diane responded, "Yes. She (Kinsley) has pooped in the sack."
I trusted Diane but also knew that Kinsley pooping could be a sign of distress and became anxious. Diane asked if I was ready to push. I wasn't.
With my next contraction, despite not wanting to push, I was able to a little bit.
Suzanne checked Kinsley's heart - she sounded good.
However, there was a pause from Diane and my husband. Diane said, "Okay Jordyn. I'm seeing the cord now..."
I deflated into the pillow. The one scenario that called for a hospital transfer was if the umbilical cord prolapsed. Ashley put her hand on my head and told me everything was going to be okay, and Miles reassured me as well.
Diane was serious. "Jordyn, we need this baby out in two pushes. Okay?"
I had no urge. I was scared, and I didn't know what to do in that moment. My fear turned to confidence when Ashley began telling me how to move forward. She said, "Jordyn, when your next contraction comes don't let the air out. Take a big breath, hold it, and I'm going to count to ten. Push the entire time, then let the air out."
In the next few seconds my contraction came. Miles and Suzanne held my legs. Ashley helped me hold my chin to my chest, counted me down from ten, and told me what to do and that I COULD do it. Diane told me I was doing well and to keep doing it. Without feeling any more contractions, we did it over again one more time. With no contraction and no urge to push, Ashley repeated her 10 second count and I pushed as hard as I could. That moment, Kinsley Joy Brazil entered the world via a footling breech birth at 4:30am. She was 6lbs 13oz. I cried and praised God for safely bringing my daughter into the world. She was placed on my stomach. Miles (who was crying uncontrollably at this point) held me and kissed me over and over. Everyone in the room was relieved. A huge, tense blanket was lifted and everyone celebrated. Kinsley cried. She didn't need oxygen. She was so, so good.
After delivering the babies I delivered two placentas that were just slightly fused and slightly calcified (When I delivered Mattheus in 2015, his had just started to calcify as well). It didn't hurt at all like it did with Mattheus' birth. I was relieved.
I had quite a bit of bleeding immediately afterwards but two shots of pitocin, apple juice, and a yogurt helped stop the bleeding and put some life back into me.
I tore again this time, although not as bad, and so Diane stitched me up while I held Miles' hand and gazed at my babies.
I remember feeling like a million bucks immediately after Mattheus was born and into the next day still riding that high. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus this time and was even a little sad that I hadn't really had a chance to hold and bond with my babies yet.
But that came.
When I was done being stitched up, Miles helped me shower and then crawl into bed with my two newborn babies. I nursed them and got to really see them and hold them for the first time. They look completely different. Kinsley looks exactly like a smaller version of newborn Mattheus. Kuyper is all his own. I am smitten.
I feel extremely blessed to have had my babies at home. I know that under the care of the hospital it's likely that I wouldn't have carried my babies to term or been able to have a vaginal birth at all. I praise God for the experience and wisdom of each of the women on my birth team and all of their hard work in safely bringing my babies into the world. Mostly I am thankful for a husband who encourages me, supports me, and believes in me more than I do myself.
If you have any questions at all about the births of any of my babies or any of my birth team, go ahead and email me! I do have two newborns and a toddler so it may take a bit to get back to you, but I promise that I will.
My doula sent this to me and I'll end with it too. I hope that my birth story has encouraged you in "proving that when birth is uninterrupted anything is possible:
You CAN carry twins full term
You CAN have twins at home
You CAN have a water birth
You CAN deliver a breech baby"