I caught a unicorn. No really. I swear.
Ok, it was a unicorn in my profession. A vaginal twin birth.
So many times, and for legitimate reasons I might add, twins are born via c-section... as a near default. "Twins, ok lets schedule your c-section." But this doesn't always have to be the case. Yes, the stars do have to align, you have to want it, to fight for it, knowing you'll be pushing not 1, but 2 babies out, you have to have the right team fighting along side you, and of course medically you have to be having a healthy pregnancy and labor. That last one is the variable that can change at any moment along the way.
Eliza went into her labor with the perfect mindset. She knew with every inch of her soul that she wanted to delivery vaginally. But she also knew all the factors that would have to go just right for that to happen. There were lots of prayers. Prayers for the many months leading up to the big day. Prayers in the 24+ hours of induction/labor she endured. Prayers between Baby A and Baby B being born. Then... then we sang praises. Praises for SO many answered prayers.
As you watch you will see my dearest friend experience the highest high of the ultrasound that showed her baby B (who had previously been breech) was now head down, then just a few hours later after her epidural, you'll see the tears of the realization that Baby B must've flipped back to transverse breech. That could've been it right there. Call the c-section. But it wasn't. Her support team charged onward.
Eliza labored in the OR for safety, just in case of an emergency. If you've ever had the pleasure of laboring and pushing a baby out, you most likely did so on somewhat of a comfortable bed. Sweet Eliza, rockstar Eliza, my spirit animal, pushed for over 2 hours (you heard that right), on that awful brick of an OR bed. Her strength and determination, was quite honestly primal. Her mind and body were on autopilot. You'll see the sheer exhaustion her body must've succumbed to in the images after delivery. I love the one of Eliza, barely awake, with Melissa her midwife, her nurse, and her husband all trying to get the two boys latched to breastfeed. They knew it was important to Eliza, and even though her body had reached it's last ounce of energy, her team worked to establish that crucial first latch for the boys.
A little backstory on her providers. Melissa, her saint of a Midwife took Eliza on, listened to her desires, calmed her fears, and leveled her expectations with reality. And then there was Dr. Cheek, a veteran in his field, there to help in case of an emergency, and ultimately the hands that guided Baby B out, head down and safe! Watching a midwife and and OB work together, side by side, rooting for the same cause was more than inspiring, and encouraging. It gave me such hope and pride in the community we live in. To see outcomes like this, heck to see a scenario like this even being an option, much less a tangible outcome. It may not happen this way for everyone, statistically the likelihood is probably not in mosts favor. But it happened. In our town.
So any nay-sayers in our area, those I've heard be critical of the physicians/facilities in our area... I pray you take hope from this story. I pray you think twice before bad mouthing doctors you've only heard antidotes about, scenarios that were nothing more than here say. There are great physicians and midwives in our community, doing great things, and fighting for you and your wishes.
A word from Eliza herself, straight from the source... no better testimony: When Mike and I first found out we were expecting twins, we were in shock. “So, you know there are two, right?” said the ultrasound tech. “WHAT?” I asked. “HUH?!?” said my husband. Shock. And then laughter. A LOT of laughter.
Only minutes later, we were told that we should expect to have a c-section. At only 8 weeks along, our doctors told us that that was our best option. We were confused. How, at only 8 weeks along, could we know that? Even though we loved our physician and office staff, that statement didn’t sit well with us. So, we started doing some research. Turns out that most physicians aren’t too keen on the idea of anything other than a c-section when it comes to twins. But Melissa Terry Fish and Dr. Ben Cheek are anything other than ordinary. Melissa and Dr. Cheek were honest with us from the very beginning. They never promised us a vaginal delivery, but they DID promise us that they’d do their best to try—and that was good enough for us.
Throughout my pregnancy, Baby A was happy and head down, but Baby B was breech and comfortable. Though he flipped several times, when it came time to deliver, he was transverse. We were devastated. But, when most healthcare providers would have told us that a c-section was our only option, Melissa and Dr. Cheek agreed to let us go ahead and try to have them vaginally, in the hope that Baby B would flip. We knew that the chance of having to take him via c-section (and then having one vaginally and one via c-section) was possible, but we agreed to move forward. After two hours of pushing, Baby A (Mills) made his way into the world. Immediately, they began working on Baby B, who was still transverse. Dr. Cheek performed both and external and internal version, using his hands to guide Baby B down, and he was born 7 minutes later after two pushes.
To this day, I still can’t believe that it happened the way we always wanted it to. As with any pregnancy, we had ups and downs, but I will always be so thankful that we did our research and moved forward with health care providers who invested in our story and our wellbeing. Truly, we are our own best advocates. I would urge other women to do their research and trust their instincts. Columbus is blessed with an incredible network of midwives and physicians, and chances are excellent that you will find a healthcare provider willing truly try and honor your birth desires, barring any unforeseen issues. With that said, I cannot sing enough praises for Melissa and Dr. Cheek! They were encouraging, supportive, and truly amazing. We will be forever grateful for their gifts to us!