The Two Week Wait
10 Questions To Ask Your Care Provider
Pregnancy After Miscarriage: How Long to Wait Before Trying Again
Bleeding In Pregnancy
Birthing Your Placenta : Active Management versus Physiological Management
When To Stop Breastfeeding | Australian Birth Stories
5 Common Postpartum Experiences
In this week’s episode I chat to Dani Loxton about her fertility issues and the journey to conceiving her daughter and her twins. As a yoga teacher and a doula-in-training, Dani knows what it’s like to balance a natural lifestyle with the reality of a PCOS and endometriosis diagnosis. She required fertility treatment for her pregnancies and medication for nausea but then experienced quick and smooth deliveries for all three babies. We chat a lot about her twin pregnancy, the shock of discovering she was pregnant with twins, antenatal depression and her empowered delivery despite the unwelcome presence of an obstetrician demanding a cesarean.
“I remember thinking that there was something wrong with my cycle before Colby and I got married. I wasn’t feeling right and they weren’t regular…I would bleed for five weeks at a time with only a two week break in between.”
A fertility specialist diagnosed her with PCOS and endometriosis and mentioned that while she may still fall pregnant naturally, she may also experience years of struggle. A few months after their wedding, Dani and Colby decided to give fertility treatment a go.
“There were a few months where they checked everything out and they realised that I was not ovulating at all. They prescribed clomid and it was really simple for me; we fell on the first cycle. It was a big shock”
She was sick for the first half of her pregnancy and despite her passion for healthy living and her career as a yoga teacher, she craved KFC. “I moved a lot but I also put on a lot of weight; towards the end I was really uncomfortable. I remember thinking I should have taken more care of myself.”
Late in her third trimester she slept in front of the fire for an entire afternoon and when she woke to go to the toilet, she realised her waters had broken. She presented to hospital and after checking for amniotic fluid, they encouraged her to go home, rest and come back in when labour was established. Dani laboured for most of the night between the shower and the bed and called her mum at 6am for support.
“She arrived about 7am and I was sitting on the toilet and I wasn’t moving. I just told her I wanted to do a poo and she said: right, let’s go! We got to the hospital and I was fully dilated so I started to panic a bit when they told me it was time to push because that’s when I realised that I couldn’t have the epidural. They gave me the gas and it helped me check back into my breathing; it was a good reset.
“Ivy was delivered easily with no tears or grazes. Colby got really emotional and was really happy she was here and I was happy too but I remember thinking that I should be more excited that she was here. I felt a bit of guilt about that but then I talked about it and so many women agreed that they had the same experience. It was a few days afterward, just me and her without interruptions, once it was finally us without any visitors, that I felt that love and bonding and excitement.”
Dani had a challenging time with breastfeeding because of inverted nipples so she fed with a nipple shield for six month and in the first few weeks, she fed Ivy stored colostrum through a syringe.
“I actually fell pregnant when Ivy was two years old which was a massive shock. I remember going to the ultrasound by myself with Ivy in the pram; it was an early dating scan because I was so unsure of my dates. The sonographer said that it was either too early to tell or a blighted ovum. It was after that when I realised that I could fall naturally but after a few years we decided to go back to the fertility specialist.”
It took Dani four cycles on letrozole to fall pregnant. Early on, when she hadn’t yet told Ivy the news, Ivy casually mentioned that there was a brother and a sister in Dani’s belly. The twin jokes began and yet when Dani went for her first ultrasound and discovered that she was carrying DCDA twins (two amniotic sacs, two placentas), she was in absolute shock.
“I was ridiculously speechless. Colby laughed and we went out for lunch afterwards and I still wasn’t talking that much. The shock took a really long time to wear off and it triggered the beginning of a period of antenatal depression. I went into the pregnancy expecting a singleton; I knew so much about singleton pregnancy and births and I was worried that my choices would be taken away from me with twins.”
It was the immediate challenges that worried Dani; the difficulty of a twin pregnancy, keeping the babies in for as long as possible, living in Mildura which is so far from Melbourne and Adelaide, the birth and then towards the end; the reality of postpartum with twins and the practicalities of the most simple things…how do I even hold twins at the same time?
Twin A was head down which was all that was required for a vaginal delivery. Induction was planned for 37 weeks but the night before, Dani started to experience productive contractions. This wasn’t new; she had been contracting most nights since 25 weeks and had presented to hospital on three different occasions.
“When I had seen the OB that day she did a cervical check and I feel like that started things…it was after that that I had a tiny bit of bleeding at 3pm, I got into bed and by 11pm I decided to go to hospital as the contractions were quite regular and intense. It was so busy there; the midwife walked me through to the birth suite and left me there as she didn’t think I was in labour. The babies heart rates were being monitored and I just expected to go home. At about 12:30-am a midwife came in and told me I could go home because my contractions were so irregular but I insisted on staying.
“When one of the midwives came in I was on the toilet and then the OB came in and he asked if I could do a cervical check and I was 8-9cm. The obstetrician on duty announced that he was taking me to theatre for a cesarean but then the female OB that I had seen earlier that day came in and supported me through a vaginal birth.
“I was advised to have an epidural in case she had to put her hands inside to rotate Twin B. She broke my waters and Fred was born shortly afterward. He was put on my chest for a little while but I wasn’t comfortable holding him so Colby held him and ten minutes later Birdie was born. I had them both on my chest but Birdie did have to go to special care for a few hours as her breathing was quite rapid.”
Dani had stored colostrum from early on in her pregnancy as she was leaking quite regularly and was able to collect it without hand expressing. The twins didn’t feed well in those early weeks so she embraced mix feeding and she used the nipple shield when she was breastfeeding. Fourteen months on and they’re still feeding with no signs of weaning.
Twins, Inverted nipples, Fertility treatment, PCOS, Two Vaginal Births, Endometriosis
You can connect with Dani over at Instagram HERE and her business Hymm To Her.
Today’s episode is brought to you by The Pregnancy Posse. The Pregnancy Posse has been designed to help you have a healthy, active and pain-free pregnancy, smoother birth and faster post-natal recovery. Created by Physio Laura, a women’s health physiotherapist, The Pregnancy Posse is an online exercise-based platform designed specifically for pregnant women to ensure that you can exercise safely from the comfort of your home. All too often, Laura treats women in the clinic who are suffering from issues post-birth that might have been easily avoided with some simple advice during pregnancy. Laura has made it her mission to help pregnant women avoid these complications by creating The Pregnancy Posse.
So that you can get a taste of all the pregnancy goodness inside of The Pregnancy Posse, Laura is kindly offering all Australian Birth Story listeners a free pelvic floor workout video and a coupon code to trial the Pregnancy Posse for 7 days for just $1. To access these bonuses and learn more about The Pregnancy Posse, just head to physiolaura.com/abs
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