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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Congratulations Whitney!

The following is a story by one of our students Whitney whose decision to continue practicing Bikram yoga throughout her pregnancy with twins helped her immensely. She told us that she could not have imagined how uncomfortable she may have been were it not for the classes she took at our studio. We can attest that her body looked amazingly beautiful in class and was an inspiration to anyone struggling with the decision to continue doing Bikram yoga while pregnant. We are so proud of you Whitney, and wish you much happiness with your beautiful new babies.

Whitney's twins were born last Wednesday morning.
Hazel weighed 6.6 lbs and is 20 inches long.

Her brother Roman was 5.12 lbs and was 22 in long.
Whitney is looking forward to returning to class in a few months!

Here is her story:

It’s 6AM, light has yet to peak its way through my bedroom windows and I am wide awake. My newborn twins, Hazel and Roman, are tandem nursing before me. The sweet sounds of satisfaction they make while suckling are like music to my ears. Their little bodies are curled up closely to mine and it feels as though, at this moment, we are one. I love nursing. I’ve looked forward to moments like this for weeks.

Their birth was nothing short of the most amazingly powerful experience of my life. I want to tell every woman I see, climb to my roof and shout it out for all to hear: “I gave birth to my twins at HOME with my husband! We did it together! I am WOMAN hear me ROAR!”

Of course, an unassisted home birth had not been our original plan. I had always imagined and expected my midwife, Rachel, to be there- though she was in spirit. We had spent months planning for a home water birth. Tyler and I had taken Rachel’s birth education classes, devoured all the literature we could find on home birth and watched loads of documentaries all in preparation for our upcoming arrivals.

The day before our twins were born was just like any other day. I got up and sent my oldest son off to school, took my husband to work and began hydrating for yoga. The decision to continue my Bikram Yoga practice through this pregnancy has been one of the best choices I have ever made. My hormones stayed balanced (Tyler was super happy about that), my body remained loose and fit, and, most importantly, my soul felt at peace. My intention before class began was to bring calm to my body- to relax and prepare for a beautiful birth. I worked extra hard in all the stretches and felt great after final savasana.

That afternoon my contractions began. I wanted so badly for them to be signs of real labor as I had experienced mild contractions for weeks. Part of me didn’t believe that this could be it, but I informed Rachel anyway and promised myself not to be too upset if they stopped. And they did stop. I went to bed at midnight a bit disappointed, but not surprised. Another false alarm…

Tyler and I awoke up the next morning and it was business as usual in our house. Feed the kids, let the dogs out, get ready for work etc. At 8:40 I got in the car to take Tyler to work and on the way I started having mild contractions again. I told my husband not to worry, it was probably another false alarm, that I would call him if Rachel had any advice when I saw her for our weekly prenatal that morning. Then I drove home with my 3 year old and began to prepare for the drive to Utah County.

It was around 9:30 when my contractions became painfully more intense. I searched frantically for my cell phone so I could call Tyler and tell him to come home. Then, around 9:45, I realized he must have taken it to work on accident. Right after that my water broke during a contraction. I changed my pants, whisked Mark into the car as quickly as I could and drove over to Tyler’s work to grab him.

I had several strong contractions on the way there, parked my car in the handicapped space and, while holding Marks hand, waddled upstairs to Tyler’s office. I had to knock on the door as it is locked and I didn’t have a pass key to get inside. Once the door was opened I prayed that I have no more contractions while I was getting him. The last thing I wanted was to cry out in pain and make a spectacle of myself in front of his co workers. I rounded the corner to his desk and saw my husband. Whew. I threw him my most serious look and whispered, “We have to go, NOW.” A HUGE smile burst across his face and he packed his bag and we began to leave. On the way out we were surrounded by loving well wishers including the company CEO. It was clear that no one, including us, knew how close we actually were to having the twins.

I retrieved the phone from Tyler and called Rachel the minute we got back to the car. This was at 10 am. Our conversation went like this:

Me: “Hi Rachel, this is Whitney. I think my water just broke. I may have just peed, but I think it was my water.”

Rachel: “I’m sure it was your water.”

Me (trying really hard to breathe through another contraction and talk): “I’m having really strong contractions.”

Rachel: “Do you want me to come?”

Me: “Yes!”

On the way home Tyler called his sister to come and pick up Mark for the day. We knew that our oldest would be in school until 3:30 and by then my father could be here to watch him. Ranging from 3 to 4 minutes apart, my contractions were growing incredibly strong and painful. I remember thinking, “I don’t know if I can do this all day.” Tyler was rushing to prepare the birth tub and I was packing a lunch for Mark when I suddenly felt that I needed to go to the bathroom.

I waddled down the hallway into my boys blue bathroom and pulled down my pants, but quickly realized that my babies were on their way. I shouted for Tyler and, like a knight in shining armor, he came rushing in. He took one look at me, washed his hands and told me that Hazel was crowning. This was it. I was about to deliver my twins standing up in my upstairs bathroom. I reached down and felt her little head connecting immediately with her sweet spirit. Hazel came quickly, with only 3 total pushes, and still covered in her amniotic sack. We tore it off of her; she made a face and began screaming. She was stunning, she was pink, and she was healthy. We didn’t have more than a second to enjoy her before I felt Roman descending. With two short pushes he was born. It was his sack that had broken earlier that morning so he came out looking like most babies do and he started crying immediately. I took both babies into my arms and got into the tub.

Tyler, with masterful calm, called Rachel to tell her that our twins had been born. She walked him through what to do as I birthed their placentas and how to watch for post partum bleeding. I stumbled to take my shirt and bra off so I could be skin to skin with the twins. Tyler brought over some towels and we wrapped ourselves up. We watched as the umbilical cord pulsed and life blood flowed into our babies. We kissed and marveled at our little miracles. Tyler went into Marks room, which happens to be right next door to the bathroom, and brought him in to meet his brother and sister. He looked at us quizzically and declared, “Mommy you had the tins! Mommy you have blood.” Then he laughed and ran back to his room to play pocket god on the iphone.

Rachel arrived shortly after the birth surrounded by a peaceful glow. Her elation was apparent as she walked into the bathroom and warmly embraced me. I remember apologizing as I didn’t expect for the babies to come so quickly. She promptly brushed off the apology and told me how proud she was of us. Rachel’s partner, Ulia, arrived and they began helping me settle into bed and nurse the twins. After Mark left for the day Tyler and I were able to completely relax in bed together. He took his shirt off and held one baby while I held the other. We basked in the warmth and love from the morning and did not move for most of the day.

Words do not exist to adequately describe how remarkable this journey has been. I am so PROUD of Tyler- he has truly been present for the entire pregnancy and birth. He didn’t retreat, he wasn’t scared, he remained loving, available and open. We are now bound more strongly than we have ever been before. From conception to birth we worked together as a couple to create the most profound and meaningful experience we could. Our birth was not shrouded by fear or trauma for we both knew that everything was going to be perfect. We knew what to do, it was instinctual. We trusted birth. The lies we believe, as a culture, about birth weren’t welcome. Fear did not penetrate the love we felt. Serene, peaceful and calm energy encircled us from beginning to end. Everything was so wonderfully magical that I cannot help but think to myself, “I can’t wait to do this again.”

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