The Birth Story of Ottilie and Delilah

It’s difficult to know how to start this birth story. I still can’t believe I only gave birth to the twins just over 2 weeks ago. If you’ve followed this blog you’ll know this was no easy pregnancy, there were so many uncertainties; the horrendous morning sickness, the scary bleeds in the first trimester,nthe reality of going from 2 children to 4, both babies being breech for what seemed like ages and the fear of Obstetric Cholestatis returning.  Well it did with a vengeance. In brief I had bloods taken at around 28 weeks into the pregnancy to have a look at what my bile acids and liver function tests were doing (I hadn’t started itching at this point) and they were already abnormal. After an initial wobble my amazing midwives and Consultant calmed me down and a plan was made to repeat the bloods in 2 weeks. By the time those 2 weeks came I was already itching on my hands and feet so I was started on lots of medication, creams to sooth my skin and Piriton to help the irritation. When people ask what it’s like to have OC, the only way I can describe it, is like ants biting under your hands and feet and no scratching will ever ease the itch. And the itching isn’t just on your hands and feet it’s everywhere. Legs, arms, bump, boobs. My skin was so damaged I was covered in bruises and scratch marks I looked like I’d been in a fight. It’s worse at night and some nights I wrapped cold wet flannels around my hands and feet to relive the burning sensation. The one thing that kept me sane was the amazing online support charity ICP which had a Facebook page where sufferers can post questions and receive help and advice. At 5am when I hadn’t slept this was a life saver.

By 34 weeks I was at breaking point, I was hardly sleeping and nothing was helping with the itching. I took myself off to see my Consultant full of tears and worry and begged her for an elective section. I could see no way of carrying on until 37 weeks feeling so tired, so I figured it was best to deliver the babies early to put me out of my misery, plus they were still breech and transverse so a vaginal birth was not recommended. Again my amazing Consultant calmed me down, talked me through the options but did a quick scan just to check their presentation. And guess what, they were both head down and twin 1 was engaged! I was shocked, I hadn’t even felt them turn. So it was decided to induce me at 36 weeks, have some steroid injections to help mature the babies lungs and she prescribed me some amazing sleeping tablets (which are safe in pregnancy) to ease the nights. I went away feeling calm, confident and for the first time excited to birth my babies.

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We had a date for the induction so over the next 2 weeks I listened to my Hypnobirth relaxation MP3  every night, stuck my YESMUM to be cards all over the house and had weekly massages from my wonderful doula. I could do this and everything was going to be fine. A few days before my induction date I had lots of early labour symptoms, a bloody show, loads of period pains, cramps and back ache but no babies. I felt confident that my body was getting ready for Friday and carried on practising my breathing techniques with my husband.

The day came to meet our little squirrels and we headed to the hospital at 7:30 am to meet my midwife and consultant. I was sneaked into a birthing room (I didn’t want all my colleagues to know or see I was on labour ward) and the plan was to have my waters broken and hopefully get things going. By 8:30 my waters were broken (I was already 4cm dilated) and I went off with my husband and doula to walk up and down 4 flights of stairs. My doula had my squatting, walking sideways you name it we did it. I felt like I’d done a Zumba class. My doula brought a wet flannel with her which had lavender and clary sage oil on it and I sniffed it like mad woman, I actually felt quite high. After 2 hours nothing was happening and we went back to the birthing room to talk through my options. My midwife head came into play and I knew the next stage was having the hormone drip. I wasn’t scared or worried about what this would mean but I knew time was ticking on and I wanted to get on with the labour, I even said ‘I want to feel these contractions now’. I was aware I was clock watching so my husband suggested taking the clock down from the wall.

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So we started the drip on a low dose which meant I had to be continuously monitored on the CTG machine. This wasn’t a problem as I sat on the ball leaning over the bed (still with my Hypnobirthing MP3 in my headphones) so I didn’t feel restricted or confined to the bed and could still be upright. I managed to totally switch off from everything around me, it felt like it was just me and my husband in the room and the calm voice in my ears from Hollie de Cruz.  After about half an hour the contractions were very mild and didn’t seem to be building into much so my midwife slowly increased the dose and I carried on rocking on the ball. I breathed through every contraction imagining a wave breaking gently on the shore ‘inhale peace, exhale tension’. *Just to say at this point, this was the first time I’d practised hypnobirthing techniques during my own labour so by no means was I an expert but I just kept the breathing techniques as simple as possible.*

After another half an hour the contractions had picked up and felt I needed to work harder to focus on my breath and not tense my shoulders or jaw, this is when the breathing really helped to keep everything soft. I took my husbands hand during every one of these contractions and held the wet flannel to my nose to inhale the lavender and clary sage, still keeping my eyes closed throughout. After a pretty intense contraction I walked to the bathroom to try and have a wee (my doula had been giving me sips of coconut water after every contraction which was just brilliant). I couldn’t manage a wee and stood up and had a really strong contraction which was horribly fierce and took me by surprise, I leaned onto my husband  trying to get back into my breathing and said ‘I can’t do another contraction standing up ‘. We walked back to the ball and it was clear the drip was definitely working as the contractions were really regular at this point, maybe every 2 minutes. I picked up the gas and air and rested the mouth piece in my mouth, not inhaling it just having it there as a comfort. The next contraction came and I instinctively knew I wanted to get on the bed (I’ve never birthed on the bed in my other labours) I turned onto my right side and felt a change in my body, a sensation I knew yet still couldn’t believe I was at that stage. Pressure. It was in my lower back right on my sacrum and there was no ignoring the different sounds I began to make.

My midwife head popped back on as I heard the paper of delivery packs being unwrapped and opened my eyes to see my midwife had changed out of her own clothes into scrubs and my consultant standing there smiling and looking pleased. ‘I’m not at that stage yet it’s way too soon’ I declared and they all reassured me that twin 1 was on her way. I suddenly felt scared and told my husband who calmed me down and told me l was going to be fine and brought me back in the zone ‘inhale peace exhale tension’. I still insisted on keeping one of the ear pieces from my headphones in one ear as I couldn’t bear not to have those sounds keeping me calm.

My body then took over and I began to feel twin 1 moving down in my pelvis at quite some speed because before I could even think ‘I can’t do this’ her head was crowning and my midwife asked me to slowly breathe. I don’t recall waiting for another contraction because a few seconds later she was on my chest skin to skin and screaming. I couldn’t really believe how quick it had been but was well aware there was another baby to birth.

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My midwives kept the hormone drip running so that my uterus continued to contract and within 5 minutes I felt the next wave of contractions building and asked for her cord to be cut and clamped and my doula took her for a cuddle so I could concentrate on the next bit. Another moment of me being a midwife crept in as I recall looking at my midwife as my consultant quickly scanned the second twin to make sure she was still head down. ‘I’m not having a forceps!’ I declared as I heard the sound of the metal instruments being tided away from a delivery pack. ‘No you’re not having a forceps you’re having a baby’ my consultant said to me. The contractions were strong very quickly again and my midwife broke the sac of water of twin 2 and I felt her begin to follow the same journey her sister had only made a few moments before. I was still on the bed but had rolled onto my back, one midwife encouraged me to rest my leg onto her to ‘make more room for baby’ a phrase us midwives say a lot! ‘God I hate it when midwives say that’ I announced to my midwives, they all laughed. And before I even had time to think about the ‘what ifs’ I felt that same sensation of her head emerging, followed by her body. I had done it.

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The placentas came out fused together one significantly bigger than the other but both looked healthy. My blood loss was minimal and I didn’t have any tears or grazes! (good old perineal massage). We spent the next hour munching on delicious goodies from the snack bag (thanks Jo) drinking tea and trying to master the skill of tandem feeding. After a quick shower (best feeling ever) and freshen up we were transferred to the postnatal ward where I was lucky enough to have a private room. My husband and I stared at our new baby daughters, both completely elated and exhausted at the same time.

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We named them Ottilie Pearl and Delilah Iris just in time for their big sisters to meet them the following day.

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33 thoughts on “The Birth Story of Ottilie and Delilah

  1. Brimming over with happiness for the 6 of you – wow Clementine what a journey – you are an inspiration, so wonderful that you share it lots of love Jo B x x

  2. What a brilliant and moving read! Congratulations on your two new beauties, and well done you! You’ve made me all broody. Hope all are settling in okay as a family of 6 xx

  3. Thanks for writing this Clemmie. You actually delivered my friend’s twins and I’m currently pregnant with twins myself (I already have 2 girls). It’s nice to read a positive birthing story, fingers crossed mine will be the same! X

  4. Wow Clemmie, what a story! You’re amazing and I’m so pleased for you that you were able to experience it that way, after all the support and reassurances you’ve given others. Well done you! Xx

  5. Your birthing story bought a little tear to my eye. You’re amazing. I’ve always wondered how on earth anyone delivers twins naturally. Can’t imagine having to do it twice in one sitting! Makes me wish I’d done more hypno birthing before all of mine. Anyway, sorry for the waffle. But have loved following your blog and your story of having twins. Hope it’s all going well. Clem xx

  6. Such a legend πŸ’ͺπŸ‘ŠπŸ‘ beautiful story & against all the odds….. You absolutely nailed it!!
    Well done Clemmie & Simon xxxxxx

  7. so lovely to read this. Similar in many ways to my boy’s birth…brought back some special memories. thank you for sharing & congrats! x

  8. What gorgeous twin girls and beautiful names. I too suffered with Obstetric Cholestasis (hope you don’t mind me pointing out to check your spelling of it above!) / Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. I was thoroughly miserable with the overwhelming itch. Lovely to see your precious photos.

  9. What a lovely birth story! I got shivers whilst reading that. I am a midwife and practiced the CBS breathing techniques in my second pregnancy. A lot of the things you described in your birth were very similar to mine. Especially the part about the midwife unwrapping the instruments and not quite believing you were in second stage even though you recognised the change in labour sounds. It is the best feeling to have a calm normal birth. Congratulations

  10. That’s absolutely amazing to read, a natural delivery of twins. How beautiful! Lovely story, it’s so moving to read a birth story…always makes me think of mine and also broody for more! Haha, good work Clemmie, hope to meet them soon. Xx

  11. Clemmie you are so amazing! I’ve been following your blog since before I started my training as a midwife and I still love reading every single one! This has got to be the best so far though! πŸ™‚ I qualified in September and am definitely feeling the first year blues/don’t know anything stage that a lot of midwives feel but this has made me realise all over again what an amazing job I have! πŸ™‚ thank you! And well done for producing those gorgeous babies!

  12. Absolutely loved reading this, felt like I was there! I’m preparing to birth our fourth baby in nine weeks and I’m just hoping I’m as relaxed as the previous three. πŸ™‚ lavender oil is amazing! My sister in law was massaging it into my back with my last baby and I was almost falling asleep despite pushing! X x

  13. How lovely! I love a good birth story 😍 Can I ask why you were adamant on no forceps? Just out of curiosity like. I had them with my twins but I’d had an epidural so was none the wiser πŸ˜‚

    You have four beautiful girls, your heart must be fit to burst πŸ’•

  14. What an amazing birth story! You make me feel confident that my hypnobirthing will be worthwhile! Beautiful names for your girls. You have such a beautiful family xxx

  15. Congratulations! Well done, im a bit jealous as your story is exactly what i was hoping for. My twin girls arrived at 35+5 on 16th Jan. Wish I’d invested in a Doula- nearly 6 weeks down the track & im still struggling with feeding.

  16. Amazing birth story, thank you for sharing – I am also doing my hypnobirthing with Hollie. I am 33 weeks with twins and if the babies are all okay I will try for a vaginal delivery. You didn’t mention having an epidural in your post, did you not have one? My consultant said they would consider it wreckless of me not to have one and I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. Any advice would be appreciated X

  17. I love this post! Totally emotional reading it. I had twins on Feb 9th, boy & girl, Conor & Evie, by emergency section. You are amazing to have delivered your beautiful girls naturally. X

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