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Giving Birth to Twins at Home
Rebekah’s third pregnancy (twins!) came as a surprise to her and her husband, Adam; but, it was welcomed, though with some hesitation. The hesitation initially being that they lived in a very small home built by Rebekah’s grandfather. Their hesitation was eased quickly with some 2×4’s and shiplap that split their bedroom in half to create a third bedroom. Prior to the twins’ birth, Rebekah gave birth to her second child, her daughter, at the local midwife-birthing center, and she desired to replicate that experience by using the birthing center and water to relieve her labor pains, so she could again enjoy a natural birth where she felt safe and respected. So Rebekah established care with the same local midwives and attended her regular routine appointments. During those appointments, one heart beat was heard and Rebekah wasn’t measuring unusually large, so there weren’t any signs of twins, though she joked about it at each appointment.
On Christmas eve at 18 weeks, Rebekah, her husband, and their 2 kids went to her anatomy ultra sound. The moment the ultrasound tech placed the wand on her belly she immediately explained that they were her second set of surprise twins today. Rebekah was speechless, Adam attempted to hold back his nausea from the shock. They weren’t aware of any twins in their family and felt this was a joke and completely impossible. Through the ultrasound they found they were expecting fraternal boy girl twins!
Rebekah struggled with the thought of twins. Questions raced through her mind: How was she going to breast feed twins? Could she still have a natural birth-center birth? And could she handle four kids??? She was beyond upset about risking out of the local midwife birthing center and felt abandoned with trying to find new and natural care.
In an attempt to still have an epidural-free birth, she found another local midwife center affiliated with a very large hospital. She did not agree with the ethics of that hospital but felt that this midwife group was her only chance at a natural birth. She assumed “midwife” meant they would be a good fit for her holistic approach to her care and birth. Boy was she wrong. Every appointment she wore her imaginary brass knuckles and fought for freedom of birthing position, birth in a birthing suite not an OR, no epidural or IV fluids, and most importantly, to keep the intimate atmosphere without an audience of students, nurses, and doctors. But every time she brought it up she was knocked back down with their responses. She felt disrespected, belittled, and unsafe. She felt that God was calling her to look into home birth, and that particular midwife group scared her and Adam enough to make this decision very difficult. After a couple appointments and verbal beatings from the midwifes group, she finally made the decision to look hard into home birthing.
At 27 weeks, Rebekah established care with home birth midwives and the weight of the world was taken off her shoulders. She felt respected, celebrated and safe. After describing her anxiety and stress of the pregnancy fueled by the hospital affiliated midwives, one of the midwifes knocked her out of her pity-party and reminded her of how blessed she was to be carrying two healthy babies. From that point on she could actually breath and began enjoying her pregnancy. Her birth team was assembled and thanks to a generous baby shower thrown by her friends, the funds were not a burden!
Labor came on at 36 weeks and 6 days. During her 12 hour labor, Rebekah and Adam took advantage of birthing at home and together baked a birthday cake for the twins between contractions. Their home was filled with songs of praise and worship from Rebekah and her birth team. She birthed both babies in a birthing pool, in the house that her grandfather built, in the very room that the twins lay their heads every night.
Rebekah Tarbert Bio
Rebekah is the coordinator of chaos in her south-of-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home. She and her husband, along with 4 children and two dogs live together in her late grandfathers home. Before she became a mom, she received her Masters Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and worked at a local hospital as an exercise specialist in the cardiac rehab unit. Rebekah has taken that passion for exercise, holistic health and faith, and transformed it into something she is able to do in conjunction with being a stay-at-home mom. She uses her passion to fuel others through her personal training and fitness ministry. In her spare time, if she gets any, she enjoys weight training, attending bible studies, and being creative. You can read her entire birth story on her Facebook page under the name: Rebekah Ashley and also on Instagram: @rebekahashley
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