My 24 Hour Long Natural Labour Challenge and Birth Story

My baby girls are finally here. After full doubt of 9 months here, we are. My angels; Aybike Luna and Umay Bellatrix were born in Presbyterian Downtown on September 1st at 11:18 and at 11:19 am.

So my birth post is another long story I had to get through at the end of my pregnancy. Even though I have all these struggles, It totally worths to have these babies in my life.

Since the beginning, I always said I am gonna go with whatever best for my babies. But my heart was always with the natural (vaginal) birth. Because I believe that our bodies created as suppose to carry a baby and give a birth to that baby. And the woman is doing that for thousands of years. But I ‘ve never been rigid about c-section as well. If you have serious condition what else you can do.

Even though my heart wants the natural birth, I was always full of suspicion because of my babies are the twin. This was probably one of my first questions to my doctor. “Is it gonna be C-section since they are twins?” She said: “No, not necessarily” and told us so many successful natural twin births she delivered.

Next time, when we learned about they are mono-di twins, our physicians told us they might be not the same weight etc because they had only one placenta. This condition sometimes gets serious for babies’ health. They might have the twin to twin transfusion. When this happens one of the twins gets very little of what she needs to grow and the other one gets bigger. There shouldn’t be a difference of %20 of weight between each other.  We are already in high risks pregnancy with the twins and with this new situation seems even riskier. Then I asked again to my doctor. “Is it gonna be C-section”. Nope! The same answer. Not necessarily.

Time went away, we came to 30th week and we learned that I have pregnancy cholestasis which is a very serious condition for the babies and a very disturbing period for the mom with all the itching and discomfort for the body and nightmare sleepless nights for thinking about babies’ health. I asked my doctor again. “Is it gonna be C-section”. The answer was still the very same. “No, not necessarily!!”

Luckily, my blood level was stable for cholestasis and babies seem fine in our week by week check-ups with ultrasounds. But my doctor didn’t wanna risk it and decide to deliver them on the 36th week which is one week earlier than our original plan. (Twin babies’ full term is generally counted as the 37th week.)

I love my doctor. She is always very respectful and has this calming nature and she always gives you that space to think about your options. She explained us everything about both choices. But I always get this vibe from her that she supports the natural ways to do this job. She never told me that she prefers to deliver them naturally. The choice was always mine. Fatih and I talked about it so many times. Our biggest concern was the Baby B (Umay). She was breech since almost the 6 months. She turned upside down couple of times but she ended up breech while we were going to labour. My doctor was confident she is gonna be turned around once we deliver Aybike.

After we decided to go with natural, all of a sudden everybody became an expert of child delivery. Especially our friends from Turkey. Everybody keeps saying that: “Oh, twin babies are risky, I think you should go with C-Section.” I understand where they came from. Turkey is one of the most C-section deliveries happen countries. So everybody thinks C-Section is the best option to not risk it. We stayed true to our decision and defended it because we trusted our doctor and we were gonna deliver at the hospital. If something happens I have so many doctors that gonna help us.

So I checked into New York Presbyterian Hospital downtown on August 31st. Since we were at 36th weeks, my cervix was still closed we had to go with induction.

I thought I have a capability of taking the pain in high levels. I had the most terrible contractions after the first hour my doctor started induction. The problem was It was constant. It wasn’t like a natural way to get contractions. I had the contractions in every 1 or 2 minutes according to the machines they put me in. If It was come and go kind of way, I believe I could have handled it. But the pain was never going anywhere. I took all the pain around 2 hours long.

After the total of 3 or 4 hours, my doctor removed the shoelace-like thing from me, so I could get epidural. That’s the thing, she had to remove earlier than It tends to stay there because I couldn’t handle all those contractions. I was yelling like put me in medicine. I was only dilated 1 cm at this point.

So they put me in a private delivery room to give me epidural. This was very intense because I was kind of afraid of the epidural that I needed so badly. According to my epidural doctor, I was so still, he has never seen a patient like me. First half an hour was great but then I started to feel the contractions all again. My doctor came to my room and she saw me I am still crying from the pain and she said I should definitely get the epidural again.

So I got the second epidural. It was a very scary thing that needle again on my back again. They removed everybody from my room but I was kind of need a support from a familiar face while they put me in an epidural. But It was a BIG “no” that anyone aside from crew stays in the room while this procedure happens. I generally stay calm and cool-headed in these kinds of situations if It’s serious about my health. I was even calmer because I’ve already experienced the process one time.  Finally, It worked. I didn’t feel any of the pains. If I start to feel the pain I simply push the button to give me more of that painkiller.

The time must have been 4 or 5 pm when I got my epidural. We started to wait if I could get dilated naturally after one cm opening. It seemed not gonna happen that easily. So my doctor came back and put a ballon to help me to get dilated. With a help of this medical balloon, I reached five cm in a few hours. I was so hopeful after I heard this news around 10 pm. My nurse thought I might give the birth around 4-5 am next day in the morning.

So my night nurse kept coming and check my status but my dilation kept the same, nothing was happening after my five cm. So my doctor came and she broke my water to help dilation. I stayed like this until maybe 3 or 4 am. It’s all so cloudy now, I can’t remember what happened in what time. And I was still at six cm. My process was very very slow.

Meanwhile, my crazy mind started to think all the negative stuff. What if something happens to my babies while I was trying so hard about natural birth. They might be in a stress of birth that they weren’t ready. I wanted this natural labour challenge both for their own good and mine. I wanted them to get all the natural bacterias they supposed to get through in the birth canal. We could have had collected these bacterias and gave the babies afterwards but my doctor told us that this was a very new method that there was not enough proof yet that this process helps. If we insisted to do that, I don’t know if are gonna find someone to help us in our hospital.

When It was about 7 or 8 am, I got a fewer. All my nurses started to keep coming and going back to check all my levels and babies. They had to give me antibiotics to lower down my fewer. And meanwhile, they put me in something else that I can’t recall now to fast forward my dilation. And I started to feel my contractions again even though I was in epidural. I don’t know what was happening and I started to feel so frustrated.

It’s almost 24 hours since I checked into the hospital and my dilation was seven cm when my doctor came into my room for the last time. I couldn’t believe that I only dilated one cm after I don’t know how many hours later. And my doctor told me that she couldn’t force me more for the sake of both my babies’ health and mine. We decided to go with C-Section. This talk was around 10 am.

My anesthesia doctors came and started to talk about what was gonna happen during the C-section. They told me that I could think that I had the feeling but those are all pressures and the other stuff… I adored one of my anesthesia doctors. she was incredibly supportive when they put me in the bed of procedure. She was like my mom that giving me all the support I needed after 24 hours of waiting and frustrations.

I swear that I felt all the pains and everything. It wasn’t huge pain but I definitely felt a pain. I keep asking for more medicine not to feel that. When finally they remove that curtain between me and my belly and I saw my Aybike Luna while our dad Fatih was anywhere to find. I learned later. He actually cut the cord and he was hesitant about this before. Seconds later, the curtain dropped one last time to show me my Umay Bellatrix.

They gave me Aybike first while they still working on Umay. She was so soft and warm. She stopped crying as soon as she touched my face. I didn’t enjoy my baby as much as I wanted because of the pain I was in. Seconds later I finally got Umay.

All my doubts, fears, worries went away.

I was finally with my girls.

Months of wait finally ended.

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