#130 | Krystle's Twin Home Birth with Dr. Stu of Birthing Instincts

October 20, 2021

It is a rare OB or midwife who will support a twin home birth. When Kristle learned she was pregnant with not one but two for her fourth and fifth babies, and after having her third baby at home, she knew she was not going back to hospital birth. Instead, she found Dr. Stu Fischbein of @birthinginstincts to assist her in birthing her twins in the comfort of her home. Today we share her inspiring twin home birth story, where Kristle shares how she educated herself on the knowledge, risks, and safety of twin birth and why she was adamant about doing it at home.

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View Episode Transcript

Both the doctors in the hospital said, Well, you're going to be in an OR, we're going to induce you at 37 weeks, you'll probably have a C section. And so like, Okay, well, and so then I met with Dr. Sue and he said, there's no reason you need a C section. There's no reason you need to be in that oh, are your body made these babies, you're you're capable of birthing these babies. There's just nothing convincing me enough that my body could do this.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

Crystal Welcome to the downtown Brooks show. It's so great to have you here today to tell us your twin home birth story. This is such a this is such awesome timing, because we just released and just interviewed in episode with Dr. Sue, who was the obstetrician at your home birth, so you are lucky to know him and very lucky to have had him he's fabulous man. Yep, him along with the rest of the team was perfect, wherever.

So tell us about. Okay, I'll just give you a little background of my birth stories. The twins were my fourth and fifth birth. And my first and second birth I had at a hospital, I had an intervention free birth, you know, getting pregnant with them, I thought I would go the route that everyone else wouldn't have the epidural and go to the hospital. I just thought that's what we did. And I learned about Bradley method got into Bradley method and was able to have intervention, free vaginal birth in the hospital, great experience nothing. That was really negative. And you know, a little bit of pressure on things maybe I didn't want to do, but overall just a good experience. And I was able to vouch for myself, my husband and I he was a great team. And then when we got pregnant with our third, I thought, hey, I could do this, my body is completely capable of this. Let's do it at home. And so we hired our midwife, Lindsey, me, Liz. And she is just amazing. She was actually the midwife for my best friends and two children. And we knew that it was going to work out great. And it did with my third birth. It went extremely fast. But I had just the best experience. Because I was able to be home with my kids. As soon as he was out. I mean, he was there they were, they were sleeping. He was born at three in the morning. But as soon as they came out in the morning, we were all together, I never had to leave them. I never had to say goodbye. So it was just super wonderful to be at home for my third birth. And for my once we got pregnant again, we knew right away that we were going to do home birth. So once I was pregnant, for the fourth time, I had to convince my husband I had always wanted four kids, and and finally convinced him that, okay, we're doing this, we can get rid of all the stuff in the garage, we can get rid of everything. Let's let's have this fourth baby and be done. My oldest was six at the time. And so it was it was great timing. And so we got pregnant really quick. We went and saw the midwife and we heard a heartbeat. And actually we have a video where we hear the heartbeat. Suddenly we don't hear the heartbeat anymore. She moves the wand and we hear the heartbeat again. We still don't know if that was one heartbeat or two. But at that time we just said okay, one baby, we heard a heartbeat. Everything's great. And so we went Asha was another 12 weeks before we had our 19 week ultrasound. From the day one I thought we were having twins. Number one peed on the stick and it was a bright pink right away. My I was super sick right away. My belly started showing very quickly. As soon as I could start feeling the baby's move, which I thought was just one baby. I could feel it on both sides of my stomach. It felt almost like the baby was stretching. You know, I was feeling ahead and some feet one on each side. And by that time I mean I had comparison pictures of how big I was for number one, two and three. And I definitely was was bigger But it was I was older. It was my fourth kid, you know, there was so many things that were saying no, maybe it's not. But in my head, I kept thinking, it's twins, it's twins. So I went to the midwife appointment, where we had the ultrasound at night in weeks. And I walked in, I said, Okay, let's see if it's twins. And this nog refer says, Oh, I hear that all the time, you know? And I thought, Okay, we'll see. So, I lay down, she put the ultrasound one on my stomach, she took it off right away. And my husband looks over at me and looks at her and says, Did I just see two heads? And she goes, You sure did. So sure enough, and then he added, and I hope there are two bodies in there.

So he was sort of keeping an eye out for two forms in there. Yep. Yeah. And I wasn't even looking at the screen. I was still talking and which is kind of funny to think back on. Because when I came back, when we came back home, and you know, we had every emotion in the book at that time, we were excited. We were scared, we were nervous. It was just like, what was going to change. And anyway, to go back to that day, so I just on the, on the table there laying there, I just I had every emotion from from crying and, but excited. And I talked to my midwife after my midwife ran in. And actually one of her students at the time was a twin. And so she ran in and one of the other midwives ran in, and everyone was super excited. But then I looked, I go, well, now what do we do? You know, and Lindsay looks at me, she goes, we hire Dr. Stu. And we have a home birth. Like, that's what we're gonna do. Yeah, no, and it was kind of no question. He said, Okay, well, I'm going to do my research. I had Kaiser insurance at the time. And I said, I'll do my research. And we'll make this decision. And so we did a zoom with course, during COVID. So we made a did a zoom appointment with Dr. Sue. I went and saw my Kaiser doctor, I actually went and saw my old doctor that I was with at, at the hospital with the girls birth, and both the doctors in the hospital said, Well, you're going to be in an O R, we're going to induce you at 37 weeks, you'll probably have a C section. And so like, Okay, well, and so then I met with Dr. Sue, and he said, there's no reason you need a C section. There's no reason you need to be in that or your body made these babies. You're you're capable of birthing these babies. And we did talk about concerns, you know, and it seems like all of the concerns even that Dr. Su came up with were things that happened prior to being in labor. You know, my concern was, what if I'm in labor and something happens, you know, what could happen? What are those concerns? Every all of the concerns that I had heard about where higher blood pressure, that's something you know about before you go into labor, and there was the concern of breech? Well, if we had Dr. Stu, he's fully capable of breech babies. But that's not even something if we were in the hospital that we wouldn't know ahead of time, you know, there's just nothing convincing me enough that my body couldn't do this and that I wasn't capable of it and that the babies wouldn't be you know, that they would be okay. We had about two days to decide, like what we're going to do. And I said, the only way I'm going to get the birth that I want that's going to be great for for the babies and great for our family is by having these babies at home. I just knew that there was any anything that happened, somehow I was going to end up in an or whether it be with a C section. And that's not what I wanted. You know, it may work for people, but that's just not what was right for me. So we hired doctors to we drove out to Calabasas a couple times to have some ultrasounds with him. We had a great relationship with him. But we continued our care with our amazing midwife. And she just continued on like, you know, there wasn't really anything different. There was certain teacher she had me take and like a couple of things to make sure my blood pressure stayed down, but I have normally really low blood pressure. So I had no issues with that. Then we were on our way. So we one of the big weeks you want to get to is I think it's 35 weeks in two days. And I happen to be 35 weeks, two days on my 35th birthday. And we went to dinner, and suddenly the contractions began 35 weeks, two days and so called my midwife called Dr. Stu and they said get in the bath have a glass of wine with some Epsom salt in the bath. I know it sounds crazy, but it really helps you at all know.

Exactly. Midwives are really into that glass of wine and labor. I need someone to explain that to relax you. Yeah, okay, and it can't hurt to relax your body and hurt the babies at all.

At that point, I think they're so fully developed and there's so many filters. It's just like, please, it's good for them.

I mean, that's not you know, that's not going to cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Right, right.

I write I write so many clients that we don't promote drinking in labor. I mean drinking in pregnancy, but one year in labor at the end of pregnancy, a glass of wine is not going to hurt anything. Yeah. So.

So at that point, so when I contacted them, I was on a text message with Lindsay, my midwife and doctors do and they were kind of going back and forth. What should we do? They said, just let chill, just go in the bath, relax, like, let's see what happens. And sure enough, they stopped. Within two hours, I was in the bath, they stopped. And so from that day, for 35 weeks, two days, every other day, I had multiple hours of contractions at night, every night. So it was kind of one of those things at that point where it was like, Alright, when is this going to happen over and over again. And really, they didn't want the babies to come that early. They wanted the babies in as long as they could. But that was an I'm such a person that's in my head. So as soon as I think in my head, it was like, once I got to that day, my body was like, there you go. You can do it. You made it, you can do it. But yeah, they wanted every minute I could so every every day, every minute that the babies would stay in there. They wanted that. So I took a lot of Epsom salt bath. I didn't drink too much wine. I just continued to, you know, try to still live my life. I had three older kids, we had to move on. But we knew that at least the babies would be healthy when they were ready to come. And so for three weeks, it was 38 weeks and one day is when I finally went into labor.

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You kept them into 38 weeks.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Cuz it was just I think it was just what do they prodromal labor? Right, that it's just a kind of lags on for weeks at a time.

What did they wait on earth before you tell us the birth story? What happened?

610 and 615. Okay, wow. Yeah. Yeah, that's awesome. That's crazy, because my third was six 613. So I mean, I had one in there that was bigger than her and then a whole nother one that was almost the same size. So um, so at, I am, to give you a little background, I'm a CPA, my tax accountant. So I have a big deadline, October 15. And the babies were due October 21. And so had it been one baby would have been great, I would have been my deadline, everything would have been fine. So I kept pushing and pushing like, alright, if I'm this close to my deadline, I'm just gonna keep working. And so I kept working. I think my last day in the office was October 6. And I could hardly sit up anymore. I mean, I was I was very uncomfortable getting big. And then on a gosh, I can't even remember what day it was now. But all of a sudden, I went to bed, I had a couple of contractions. And I thought, okay, is this the real thing? Or is this the same thing I've been having for the last three weeks. And at 1:30am. I was I think I got up to go the restroom. And there was my mucus plug. There was a big huge area go, here's your mucus plug. I think this is finally happening. So I sent a picture to my midwife. And she said well, yes. Let's see what happens. So that was 1:30am. And then I had contractions, maybe every eight to 10 minutes, nothing big, nothing happening super fast. And then my daughter woke up and I went and laid in her bed and all of a sudden I heard I felt a little pop. And so um, this was my first time and that I thought was that water breaking? I had never broke my water before except for when I was pushing in labor. So my waters broke. I got up I texted my midwife. And okay, now the water broke. This was at 3am I was texting with her for 45 minutes contractions weren't picking up all that much to 3:45am I finally said okay, it's happening. It's happening. My midwife came It started coming at 4am. They got her about 415 Her and her team. And then I got in the bath at 430. So I was having some contractions outside the bath and I thought, oh gosh, she's coming. She's she's really coming. And I knew baby was a girl and she was first. So I remember saying she's coming in Lindsay's like okay, get in the bath. Dr. Sue wasn't here yet. And so I think in my head, I was kind of worried about that. But I mean, there was no reason that he had to be here, you know, but it's just everything's in your head while you're in birth. And so I got in that tub things slow down, or I'm sorry, I was in a pool in our living room, I wasn't in the bathtub. Then I began pushing and I pushed one big time, Dr. Su came in the door, and she was born two minutes later. So one huge bush and she was literally there. Two minutes later, and we were just make sure you pushed your first baby out before doctors to arrived as he was he, he arrived at 455. She was born at 457. So he arrived with two minutes before he was there for her birth.

I just want to pause and have our listeners consider the lunacy of how most obstetricians claim to have, quote, delivered any woman's baby because, you know, if most random OB were there, they would say, Oh, I delivered that baby at this time of day. But doctors still would never presume to speak that way about your birth. But I think it just it just shows that it's always the mother birthing the baby. It's it's never the provider, great when the providers are all there, and they're attending your birth. But I just I can't believe that language has held. And we just have to make sure that we're not reinforcing it. So if you've had a baby and you're listening by C section with epidural natural, you are always the person birthing your baby. Never your provider. Agree.

Yep. Yep. And so Blakely was born at 4:57am. And she just it was really interesting. You know, once when you give birth, you give birth to one baby, and you did it and everything's so exciting. And everyone's just in awe looking at the sweet baby. And it was like, we were so in awe. She was just she looked like a danger look like the rest of my kids. It was it was just so fitting. Everything was perfect. I was like, Oh my gosh, we have a whole nother baby to deliver, you know. And I was just in the moment, I wasn't worried I wasn't having any more contractions. I was just living it up with that sweet girl. And just trying to enjoy that moment, not even thinking about the second baby at the time, just kind of knowing that. This is her time. This is her time. And this was my time. And she had I remember she had her eyes closed for a long time she was covered in vernix. Vernix is a nice thing. Yeah, her next almost like so much on her face that it was like almost looks seemed like heavy on her eyes. And she just had her eyes closed and I held her close to my chest and on top of my belly. We had to lean back in the pool and my husband was holding her as I was just starting to get a couple more contractions. So as soon as Blakely came out, right, immediately after my midwife took the Doppler and try to find Brookston when on the other side where he had been the whole time. And you know, you're kind of in that moment with a baby, but you're also listening for a heartbeat. Anytime you have Doppler on you. You're like, Alright, where's that heartbeat? Where's that heartbeat and we didn't get that heartbeat right away. And so Stu came over with his ultrasound machine, I had to kind of get up out of the water a little bit. And he basically Brooks and had just fallen over into where Blakely Liske into that space. And so we got the heartbeat right away people the ultrasound machine away, and just let me have my time. And so that's when it was we had basically only 15 minutes before I had any more contractions and we just enjoyed that time, as I said before, and then all of a sudden I could feel okay, distractions or contractions are coming back and I could feel that he was ready. He was engaged. He was down there. He was ready to come out. And I was not ready. I was like, I just did that. Every other time. I've had two years to forget about that pain in between. I am not ready to push another baby out you know and so I looked at my midwife and I can't do it. I'm not I don't know. I don't think I can do it. I'm sure you're gonna do it. Just do it when you're ready, you know, and sure enough, I felt it in me like alright, let's just do this. Let's meet him. Let's get it done. I had a couple big contractions. One of the things that was interesting with the home birth is where do you put the other baby I never thought about that before I thought that she would come out and you know, but her placenta she was still attached to the umbilical cord. And so my husband was holding her for a while until he was planning to catch Brooks and so our midwife said okay, you're gonna hand over to Ashley who's our other midwife. And she is going to hold her. She's gonna hold her right here really close to you. And then you can push and my husband and Lindsay would be able to textbooks in, I pushed again, one really good solid push. And out came Brooks in, he was wrapped in his umbilical cord over his shoulder around his neck, which I actually did know about. From the ultrasound. I think doctors too had let me know, which was a little bit concerning to me. But my midwife continued to say like, it's not a concern they're not breathing through. Even though the baby's not breathing through their lungs, they are getting oxygenated through the umbilical cord. And so there's no concern that they need to, there's no concern with the cord being wrapped around their neck, because they still are getting oxygen through that cord.

We were actually just discussing this with Dr. Sue in our episode on breech birth. Because it is a very common misconception that if the court and you hear moms all the time, say the baby had to be born by emergency cesarean because the cord was around the neck. Your baby can't be strangled in utero, because they're not breathing through the lungs in the normal airway through the mouth and nose to lungs, they are getting oxygenated all the time, from the placenta through the umbilical cord. And so even if that cord is tight around their neck, the risk is not asphyxiation or not being able to breathe. The only real risk is one accord accident where to the cord being too short, because it's wrapped. And so I think you kind of alluded to that, that that was a little bit of your concern. What if it's, what if it's not long enough for the baby to be born? Right? Exactly. That's really unusual. Yeah, well, it is interesting. But my first baby, I had a very short cord, and they couldn't put the baby up on my chest. But I was in hospital. So it was a little different. My third baby home birth, the cord snap. So as soon as baby came out, I mean, my husband was holding him right next to me. And the cord was so short that it snapped. So I did have a little bit of concern that it would be too short. But again, we were reassured that just like you said, it's that shouldn't be a concern. And we don't have to be worried about that. So when he did come out, and he was wrapped in that umbilical cord all around, and Lindsay's kind of turning him to the side and unwrapping him, and she just finally said, Who does he look like? He doesn't look like any of you guys that like that was the first thing she said. And it's so funny to me. Because now every single time that someone sees our family, they're like, where did he come from? You know, I mean, he's just looks so different. But now looking back at pictures of my husband as a baby, he does look a lot like him. So yeah. And then they handed me Brookston and actually handed me back Blakely. And I had both of them on my chest. And I got to lay there for about 15 minutes and just enjoy that moment and just take it all in. You know, I mean, the fact that anybody can give birth no matter which way they give, it is amazing. But to be able to do it two times 20 minutes apart, was just a dream come true. It was just so amazing. Everything went perfect. There was no concerns whatsoever. And I just enjoyed that moment until they wanted to take me out of the bath just to assess blood and birth the placentas and so got up on the couch started breastfeeding and birthing the placentas. My midwife does a massage leg massage with Cypress oil to try to get the placenta going and slow down the blood a little bit. And so for the placentas and that was it.

So Krystle, what would you say to the woman who is contemplating home versus hospital to end birth?

For me, I wanted to have the birth that I wanted. So if a woman is having twins and was already contemplating having a home birth 100% If you can do one you can do to it. For me, it was two births 28 minutes apart. I mean it there was no concerns. Nothing, no safety concerns whatsoever. And it was the most magical experience to be at home and to have the faith and the commitment of my birth team. Knowing that I was capable of this and that I was safe with them. They completely took all my fear away and I was able to divert the way I wanted to birth and that my body's capable of birthing and I think that everyone should know that women's bodies are made to differ.

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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