My Twin Birthing Experience

29 September 2017

Many of the initiatives that Maternity Services have been working on came together for Jess Claffey when her twins Patrick and Myah were born at 34 weeks.

Photo of Jess Claffey Pregnant with twins

"I became a maternity consumer leader for Hauora Tairawhiti in August 2016, I was already a mum to a 2 year old little boy but we were planning on expanding our family. At the end of September 2016, we found out we were pregnant and we were all over the moon as we had a lot of fertility issues previously. We had a scan in October 2016 to find out I was 7 weeks pregnant with fraternal twins. We were both shocked that there were 2 babies, but we were so happy that we could give our little boy Finn 2 siblings.

"I then booked with the same LMC who I had previously had with Finn, and she referred me on to an obstetrician at the hospital. We chose not to find out the sex of our babies at our 20 week scan so we had something to look forward to. Every four weeks we had a scan (once we were past 20 weeks) to see the position of each baby and there weight and body measurements. I had scans done by the Hauora Tairāwhiti ultrasounds girls, and our obstetrician always had the results back by the time I went in for my appointment with her in the afternoon.

"I got to see my LMC and Obstetrician once a month to check protein levels, blood pressure and tell me what was happening with the scans, and informing me about whooping cough vaccine and flu vaccine (I got them both). I would get bloods taken every few weeks too. I was about 32 weeks and was low in iron, so I booked in and went into the maternity ward to have an iron infusion done. The midwives were amazing. They told me step by step what was going on and made me feel very comfortable. I had started to leak colostrum from around 32 weeks, so my LMC suggested that I collect it ready for after the birth. I managed to collect 200mls in syringes ready for our babies.

"At 34 weeks I had a scan that showed both babies were breech and it didn’t look very promising for a vaginal birth. Both my LMC and the obstetrician gave me a lot of information and pamphlets on having a C-section. I was then booked in for another scan in a couple of weeks’ time to see if there was any change. At 36weeks 4 days I had my ultrasound to find out they were still breech and baby A was 7.5 pounds and baby B was 6 pounds. I then went onto see my obstetrician and she recommended that I have a C-section as the risks involved with a vaginal delivery were too dangerous for myself and the babies. I consented to this.

"I asked to have it in 2 days’ time as I was a little concerned about the difference in the babies weights and I didn’t want to take the risk of needing an emergency C-section as we lived a good distance from town. We did our paperwork and had a good chat on what would be happening on the day and then she asked me to come in the day before my planned C-section for pre-op. At 36 weeks 5 days I was feeling very nervous about what tomorrow was going to bring. I headed into maternity for my pre-op and got told everything I needed to know, got given my time, I was to be first on the list, and got given my body wash. Then I had to whip down to the lab to get bloods taken.

"The day had finally come and I would get to meet my babies. I woke up at 2:30am so excited and very nervous about having C-section that I couldn’t get back to sleep. We got into the maternity ward at 6am and got my IV line put in, catheter put in, and my bits shaved. I had 2 obstetricians come in and tell me all about C-section and they informed me that they were the ones doing my C-section. The anaesthetist came in and asked me a lot of questions and told me step by step what he would be doing. My LMC came in to tell me she would be coming with hubby and I into theatre along with 2 of the hospitals midwives (1 midwife for each baby).

"I was dressed all in my wonderful looking gown and all ready to head into theatre to meet our babies, my heart was racing and I was feeling very nervous. I got wheeled into theatre and my hubby (Mike) and LMC had to wait in the waiting room while I got my epidural done. One of the obstetricians stood in front of me and chatted to me while the anaesthetist and his assistant explained everything very thoroughly to me and inserted the epidural. Once this was done my LMC and Mike got to come into the room, I couldn’t feel anything from my breasts down and it was a very weird feeling but I kept thinking I’m going to get to know the sex of my babies soon. I could feel tugging and pulling, it felt like the whole table was moving but it wasn’t. Baby A was out and I heard a hospital midwife say it’s a girl, then 2 minutes later we had our second baby and Mike said it’s a boy that looks just like Finn.

"Our little girl went to the neonatal unit with a few minor breathing issues and our little boy soon followed his sister into the neonatal unit. Mike went with our LMC to the neonatal unit to check on the babies whilst I stayed in theatre until they had finished the procedure. It was a very hard time lying on the bed, not knowing what was going on with my 2 babies. I then went into recovery for half an hour, which felt like forever. I finally got wheeled back down to the maternity ward, where my hospital midwife told me what was happening with the babies and took me into the neonatal unit to see them both. Our wee girl was on c-pap and our little boy had just had 10mls of my colostrum. I got to take him back to the ward, and have cuddles and we named him Patrick and decided our daughter was going to be called Myah.

"We had a great 3 night stay in the maternity ward, wonderful staff that told us everything and helped me out lots with breastfeeding and gave us lots of information on everything. I was so pleased I had my colostrum that I had been storing during my pregnancy. We spent our last night in the neonatal mother craft room. We can’t thank Gisborne maternity and neonatal staff enough. It made our second pregnancy lots easier knowing we had so much support around us from all the staff that helped and our wonderful LMC. Thank you to all involved in our wonderful pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. Our babies are now 4 months old and are very content.

"Thank you to all involved."

Jess Claffeys children Patrick, Finn and Myah

Pictured: Jess's beautiful children; Patrick, Finn and Myah Claffey