My first pregnancy (singleton) and second pregnancy (twins) were like night and day. From weight gain and how my belly looked to the delivery style and postpartum, it was all quite different. I thought it'd be fun and interesting to take a look back at the differences by comparing my singleton and twin pregnancy! You can watch it in a quick YouTube video or keep scrolling for the pix and details!
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Note: in all photos below, singleton pregnancy is on left and twins on right :)
Early Weeks & Nausea
Early on, you wouldn't have known by looking at me. But for my twin pregnancy, my "morning sickness" aka all day sickness started much earlier and lasted longer too.
For my first baby, I wanted as natural as possible. I chose a group of midwives who only used the fetal doplar to hear the heart beat at each checkup. I had a sonogram at my initial visit (7 weeks), the standard anatomy ultra sound at 20 weeks, and another scan around 32 weeks because they wanted to confirm baby was breech (he later flipped, thank goodness). Then I used the birthing center to deliver which again was all natural. For my second pregnancy, again I went to a midwife, however as soon as she saw twins I was told I'd continue my regular checkups with them (rotating between the midwives and doctors at the practice, since I would have to have a doctor at the delivery) but also had to see an MFM (maternal fetal medicine) high risk specialist regularly. At those visits, they did a special ultrasound at EVERY visit, which I actually loved. There's such risk of one twin absorbing the other and all kinds of scary things, so it was reassuring to see them in there doing well! They always checked the blood flow in each umbilical cord, the size of babies, and also inserted a lovely probe to measure my cervix. This stopped later, maybe around 30 weeks? I can't remember, but it was a relief to not check that anymore! My MFM wanted me to delivery at 38 weeks but my OB wanted to let me go as far as 40 weeks, to make them both happy we made sure to schedule my MFM scans twice a week for the last few weeks. This meant walking 3 miles roundtrip pushing my son in his stroller. Ouchies! But kept us fit!!
Popped & Gender Reveal
I feel like from about 16 weeks is when my twin belly started to grow a bit bigger and faster than my singleton belly, though it would be many more weeks it REALLY popped. I found out the twins' sexes at around 18 weeks (girls! YAY!!) but for my first pregnancy, we didn't find out the sex! I wanted it to be my husband's big job at delivery to find out and announce it!
Viability & Weight Gain
24 weeks was a pretty big milestone for my twin pregnancy. It marked the point at which the babies could potentially survive if born early. Most doctors and twin pregnancy books also recommend the goal of gaining 24 pounds by wee 24 - this magic number has the best outcomes for twins! In the earlier weeks I didn't think it'd be possible, as I was just so nauseas most of the time. But at week 24, I was EXACTLY 24 pounds up - it was a miracle LOL! Of course, it feels absolutely rotten seeing the numbers go up so quickly on the scale, I had only gained 7 pounds at this point in my singleton pregnancy! But... you have to think about the babies' health - gaining too little or too much can put you all at risk!
Did you know you need at least 100 grams of protein a day when pregnant with twins? 175 is a better goal, that I always struggled to get even close to, despite throwing down protein bars and protein shakes every chance I could get! The cool thing is that your babies get first dibs at the nutrients you take in, and if they don't get what they need, they'll take it out of you like the cute little succubi they are ha! While I'll never know if it was a result of my not getting enough protein or other vitamins, I suspect that my losing my eyebrows (seen below right) was due to this. Thankfully eyebrow pencil worked wonders and they grew back in full shortly after giving birth!!
From about 30 weeks, my twin belly seriously looked full term, and it was from here on out that strangers would think they were so cute with their comments like "Whoa you're about to pop!!" to which I'd answer, "Nah, about 2 more months" hahahaha by 35 weeks I was obscenely large and in charge and they would joke "What are you having twins or something" thinking they're being funny or passively aggressively trying to make fun of me perhaps? But I loved answering blankly, "Yes." So fun! What was not fun were the aches and pains. The varicose veins down under and my round ligament pains in my hips made walking downright painful, yet I still made a point of walking at least a mile a day, and even pushing my son in his stroller 3-4 miles 1-2 times a week when I had my checkups at the maternal and fetal health specialist! It wasn't comfortable, but I think keeping fit really helped me stay fit and keep those babies cooking!!
I carried both pregnancies full term. My son was actually overdue at 40 weeks and 2 days (I gained 26 pounds and he was 8 pounds 1 ounce). I was so nervous because I was planning to deliver naturally at the birthing center, and you aren't allowed to deliver there if you go past 40 weeks 6 days! I made it just in time! Twins are considered full term earlier at 38 weeks which is when most doctors want to deliver them by (risks go up quickly after that). My team was confident to let me go as far as 40 weeks as long as I was getting twice a week ultrasounds and everything was going perfectly! So at 39 weeks and 6 days they finally induced me. I had gained 43 pounds and my girls were 6 pounds 11 ounces and 5 pounds 9 ounces. So I gained 17 pounds extra for the twins!
For my son, I labored at home for 43 hours (ohhhh the pain) and then spent the final 10 hours of labor at The Birthing Center at Roosevelt Hospital. It's a special unit of just a few beds separate from the regular OB floor. No drugs, just a midwife and a nurse! I thought this was perfect for me, not wanting meds pushed on me, but was just 1 floor away from doctors and surgeons should something scary happen. Thankfully it went perfectly - had him on Christmas Day 2012 and spent just 1 night in the same room where we labored and delivered him, in a regular queen bed (not an adjustable one). (See his full birth story here).
For my twins, we scheduled an induction at 39 weeks 6 days. They started an IV and put me on pitocin, broke my water, and let me labor a few hours (so painful, pitocin is NOT fun). When I got to 9cm I finally broke and got the epidural they had been pushing me to get - my doctor wanted me to have one in place just in case I needed an emergency c-section for the 2nd baby, that way they wouldn't have to knock me out. I got the epidural AND the drugs and it was so wonderful. Pushed them both out painlessly a couple of hours later in the OR - yes, all twins and multiples must be delivered in the operating room, even if vaginal! I believe it's related to the number of people who must attend the delivery, at least 6 (mom, partner, OB, anesthesiologist, a pediatrician or neonatologist for each baby, at least 1 nurse, likely a handful of med students, and more doctors and nursees depending on how many babies ). I was really nervous about what a horrible situation it would be, on a cold flat operating table with bright lights. But honestly, in the moment, I couldn't have cared less! (read the twins' full birth story here).
My son stayed in the room with us the entire time in the hospital - he got cleaned up and got his shots and everything right by my side. My girls were whisked away several times to be cleaned and once because they wouldn't stop crying and poor mama just wanted to sleep! It's funny how different I felt the first time and the second time. The first time, I probably would have fought any soul trying to take my baby away! The next time around, I was like, whatever, please take them for a bit, I need to sleeeeeep!!!
At the birth center, we had a private room, just part of how things were different from the regular OB ward and it was one of the reasons I chose to deliver there! The next time around, we also lucked out with a private room because moms of twins and multiples get a FREE private room!!! Because they need the space for 2+ bassinets! This meant my husband got to stay with me, although not too comfy on a fold out chair!
I was lucky that, while painful at first, breastfeeding was pretty easy for us. The first time around, I suffered through EXCRUTIATING latch, baby overfeeding (like 45 minute feeds), and usually tons of spit up. But he porked up and we just chugged along! I ended up breastfeeding him til he turned 2 years old!! For my twins, it started out alright but Emi didn't gain any weight over 2 weeks after her initial 10% weight loss (which is totally normal and fine for new borns to lose that much right after birth but they're expected to start gaining quickly). I saw a free lactation consultant at our pediatrician and she saved us!! She confirmed my milk production wasn't the problem, it was just Emi was so weak and not able to nurse efficiently. So basically I bought a scale, weight her before and after feeds, and pumped and bottle fed her at least once a day to make sure she was getting enough milk. At the end of 2 weeks of doing this, she had caught up to her sister's weight and was able to nurse well. From then on the girls were within an ounce of eachother for the next 2 years or so!! Now at 5, Emi is about 1 inch taller and 2 pounds heavier LOL! I breastfed them for 1.5 years - at home using My Brest Friend Twin Deluxe nursing pillow, and even out in public single or tandem under a cover!! Oh the stares we would get, never once got a mean comment, I think mostly people were stunned... or I like to think, impressed!
For my son, I used a Mei Tai Carrier and a Britax single stroller. For my twins, initially anyway, we used the StrollAir MyDuo stroller with the Englacha ride on seat (affiliate link) behind it. My son still did stroller naps so I could throw him into a seat and wear a baby if we needed to. When we had to take the subway into the city, I would usually put Kenzo in the stroller and wear the twins in our WeeGo twin carrier (under 4 months) and later the TwinGo carrier. Later we loved the StrollAir Solo to Tango and Evenflo Pivot stroller with the Buggy Board Maxi+ sit/stand ride on behind it. Reviews linked above and videos below!!
Postpartum Belly & Weightloss
I was lucky that my weight was back to pre-pregnancy within 6 months for both singleton and twins, without any effort of my own. I chalk it up to good DNA and breastfeeding. Did you know breastfeeding twins burns about 1000 extra calories a day!?? The tricky part was weaning them and not gaining a ton because I was used to eating as much as I could through pregnancy and 1.5 years of breastfeeding LOL! They did leave me with the dreaded stretched out wrinkly #twinskin though - come see that here!!
What your belly looks like after twins!!
My twin pregnancy, delivery, and recovery couldn't have been more perfect. Seriously, it was about as good as it gets! But when people congratulate me and say they're proud of how well I did I have to say I'm a bit uncomfortable because I really feel like I can't take any credit. If you ask me, it really comes down to something like 30% educating yourself and making smart choices, and 70% pure dumb luck! I'll elaborate...
Educating Yourself & Making Smart Choices:
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, I say! This included finding a birth team I trusted and who had experience with birthing twins, reading books (I highly recommend When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, and Quads as well as What To Do When You're Having Two), taking classes, and of course Googling (a lot!!) and taking what you find with a grain of salt. I ate reasonably well, gained the recommended 24 pounds by 24 weeks (research shows it gives you the best chance of carrying twins to term), and stayed active walking about a mile a day and up to 4 miles a day - right up to delivery at 39 weeks!! (See my post on how to prepare for twins).
Pure Dumb Luck:
How did I avoid Gestational Diabetes, Preterm Labor, Intrauterine Growth Restriction, side effects from Pitocin and Epidural, etc etc?? How did I luck out with twins who had their own placentas, were both head down, and Baby A was bigger than Baby B? Well, it certainly isn't anything I can take credit for!! Everything went smoothly and I am so incredibly thankful, but it really was just luck!!
OK, so now that we've covered that, let's get on with my birth story!!!
Leading up to D-Day (Delivery Day):
38 weeks is considered full term for twins and most docs won't let you go past that. Mine, however, were cool with letting me go til 40 weeks and were monitoring us accordingly. I had several weeks of labor-like Braxton Hicks which were annoying because you would time them, thinking THIS IS IT, only to realize hours later that nothing was progressing and it was time to just go the heck to sleep. When I hit 39 weeks, my MFM (high risk specialist) expressed her concern about me going any longer (risk of still birth!!) and I started to question my OB team, but they encouraged me to keep waiting, which we did! My parents drove up from North Carolina to help out "as long as I needed" and we were all sure that their arrival would give me peace about what we were going to do with our toddler during delivery and things would get rolling, but my girls were simply not budging (I made such a comfy home for them in there??) so we finally scheduled an induction and we went in at 39 weeks 6 days.
Induction with Pitocin:
My son was a 53 hour all-natural labor and delivery, no drugs, it was grueling and horrendously painful, but pretty amazing. I was hoping to go drug-free with the twins as well, but as soon as induction was inevitable I threw my plans out the window and decided to just play it by ear. We had induction scheduled for 11AM on October 6, and waited 1.5 hours to be seen in triage. That was really frustrating, but gave me a chance to scarf down a big lunch down before all food and drink became off limits. We then spent another hour and a half being monitored in triage. I was 100% effaced and 3cm dilated, so thankfully my doc said we could skip the cervical ripening part of induction and go straight for Pitocin. I got a room around 2PM, got my IV in place, and just before 4PM we got the show started with the Pit.
They start your drip with the smallest amount of Pitocin (a synthetic version of Oxytocin, the hormone that gives contractions) and crank it up a level every 15 minutes until you are having strong contractions every 2-3 minutes, but this takes a while. At 4:30pm I still wasn't in any pain and we decided to kick things up a notch by breaking the water of Baby A. Because they weren't able to keep both babies on the external monitors (babies kept moving and both monitors kept honing in on the same baby, leaving one not being monitored), they went ahead and reached up there and placed an external monitor IN BABY A's HEAD!!! Wahhh, this distraught me quite a bit, but it was reassuring to have both babies being continuously monitored finally, and especially so to see them both doing so well through contractions.
My husband took a nap while I enjoyed cable TV from my bed. Pretty ironically and much to my amusement, the Friends episode where the woman giving her baby up for adoption to Monica and Chandler had a surprise delivery of twins! Ha! I took it as a good sign :)
By around 5:30pm the contractions started getting strong and I was having trouble enduring them (picture me groaning and cursing and writhing around like a possessed woman!). Oh yeah, I was also puking my guts out and going through major bouts of shivering, like I couldn't control it at all, my whole body was shaking! Our midwife was amazing, giving me back rubs and putting hot packs on my back, she was just so calm and encouraging! So great! The Pitocin had made it's way up to "8" and my midwife decided that my contractions were unnecessarily overwhelming so she turned it off completely and to our surprise my contractions kept on going with no need for the Pit boost.
Heaven Sent Epidural:
At 7pm I was 8-9cm dilated and the anesthesiologist popped in saying he was about to go into surgery and if I wanted an epidural it was now or never. Well, I think I thought it over for all of 30 seconds before screaming "I WANT IT!!!!" to which my husband and midwife asked "Are you sure?? / You're almost there, you can do this" and I was like screw you guys, give me the damn drugs!!! It took him a while to get all of his stuff ready, and the worst of it was getting into place on the bed and not budging while bent over hugging a pillow through a couple of contractions. The shot with the local anesthetic was not much more than a pinch, and I don't recall if I even felt the actual epidural being placed. I mean, when you're in the middle of ridiculously painful contractions, every other discomfort pales in comparison! Once it was in, they had me lie flat on my back so the drugs would disperse evenly, this was tough too because it hadn't kicked in yet and laying on my back through contractions was HELL!!
But sure enough, within a few minutes the pain started fading and eventually all I felt of the contractions was painless pressure. I never lost sensation or control of my legs, I could wiggle my toes and pick my legs up, etc (though they wouldn't let me get out of bed). I was absolutely giddy that I felt so amazing, on top of the world, epidurals can be amazing!!!! I had such a fear of them because they can be a slippery slope to distress in babies, contractions slowing, and c-section, but in my case it did exactly what it was supposed to do and made me one happy mama!! The puking and shivering stopped, and I was able to relax again. Bliss! I questioned why I didn't do this hours ago, but reminded myself that I had wanted to know just how bad Pitocin-induced contractions were, and also that starting epidural too early could have slowed or stopped progression and caused many problems.
Ready to Push!
By 8pm I was fully dilated but not feeling the urge to push. My doc let me go another hour to see if the urge kicked in... It did not, so we did a practice push and I guess I passed the test cuz he said let's head on over to the OR (twins are required to be delivered in there due to the risk of emergency c-section, and also so they can fit the dozen or so people required - OB team, nurses, pediatrician for each baby, anesthesiologist, etc.)
It was odd to be in the OR. Very bright and sterile, many people but it didn't feel crowded or circus-esque surprisingly. I was on a flat surgical table, though the were able to tilt it a bit so my head was higher. Still, not as comfy as the bed in the labor room! We jokingly placed bets on how long it would take to push out the twinkies. I thought at least an hour and my OB bet me a sushi dinner on it being quicker, thank goodness that was a bet I didn't win haha!
They removed the bottom half of the bed and had my hubby holding my left leg and a medical student holding my right leg. I guess this is much better than stirrups? I got over the awkwardness of it pretty quick!
Once everyone was in place (my midwife was delivering with my OB next to her), they said I could start pushing with my next contraction. It was really odd to feel absolutely no pain and not really feel the need to push, but I have to say it was really really great!! Birth with no pain, yes please!!! They guided my pushes just like with my previous birth, telling me when I was pushing effectively and when to take a deep breath and keep going. It was extremely helpful! My OB asked if I was a swimmer (I'm not), he was apparently impressed with my breath control?? Ha!
Well, in about 15 minutes at 9:56pm Baby A (Emi, 6 pounds 11 ounces) popped out and was placed immediately on my chest and my hubby was instructed to cut her cord. I tried to stop them because I wanted to delay clamping til the cord finished pulsating, but they said they can't do this with twins because there's no time. They weren't joking either... After a few minutes of bonding and taking photos, Emi was taken to the bassinet behind me to be checked by the pediatrician and my OB "guided" Baby B down and into proper positioning with gentle massage on my belly. Just 6 minutes after Emi's debut (in just TWO PUSHES), Baby B (Mia, 5 pounds 9 ounces) was out at 10:02pm!! I simply couldn't believe how easy delivery of these girls was, I didn't realize a birth could be so easy and painless!!! I laughed, a lot, and cried. The joy and surprise was just overwhelming!!
With a total of 21 minutes of pushing, despite it being 2 babies, the recovery from this birth was WAY easier and quicker than my previous, which was 2 hours of pushing out an 8-pounder followed by pretty bad bleeding. Within 2 hours of this birth I was up (unassisted) and using the bathroom, pretty amazing for post-epidural! The after pains (especially when nursing) were much worse, but only lasted a week. The only pretty bad part was some back/hip pain that started while pregnant. I ended up seeing a chiropractor at 2 weeks postpartum, but it didn't help and at around 3 weeks it went away on its own, which was a huge relief!
In a nutshell...
Just because you're having twins does not mean you will have tons of problems throughout the pregnancy and deliver preemies via c-section. Yes, these can all happen, but there is no point in freaking out about the possibilities that hopefully will never happen (and even if they do happen, chances are mama and babies will all be perfectly fine in the end!). It is completely possible you will have a kick ass easy pregnancy, quick and wonderful birth, and amazing ride into the world of being a twin mama!! Good luck to you!!
And in case you missed it, check out my baby bump progression video, followed by the video recap of their birth!
I'm so excited to start posting birth stories I've received from mamas from around the world who were lovely enough to share some of their most personal moments with us! I had a wonderful (but looooooooooong and painful) natural unmedicated vaginal birth (you can read my shortened birth story here, longer one here) and love to hear the good the bad and ugly of all the different births out there!
Just a warning about the birth stories in this series - some will be wonderful and inspirational, others will be all of your birthing fears wrapped up into one horrific account... If you are currently pregnant, you should consider whether or not reading these stories will benefit you. For me, I liked to know all of the possibilities - you know, prepare for the worst, hope for the best! Others find it makes them have irrational worries and anxiety. If the latter is you, I will put a little warning on the "negative" stories and you should consider bookmarking these and come back after your little one has arrived safe and sound ^_^
Without further ado, let's kick off the series!
Here is our first birth story guest post from Aussie mom of 2, Gaye in Gifu, Japan.
**Forewarning - this could be an anxiety triggering story for currently pregnant women. Consider bookmarking for after your delivery!
Well, when I was pregnant with Emily I was told by the doc, that I was "big" yeah well, surprise, surprise. I am not anorexic-size like most women in Japan! I must admit that I am big. And a lot heavier that people think I am, thanks to muscle...
Anyways, getting to when I was in labour with Emily, I was taken to the General Hospital, where i was due to give birth. I was in labour for 36 hours, and in Japan they dont believe in any pain killers! I was having contractions less than 2 mins apart, and after being induced twice, there was still no luck. I had remembered that my SIL (my brother's wife) had a still birth when she had been in labour for 36 hours. Unfortunately for her the blood clotted in the umbilical chord, and the baby didnt make it... I could not see myself going through that, so I demanded my doc give me a C-section. He wanted me to have a natural birth, and I asked if I did, how much longer would it take... "Oh, 2 more days or so!" WITH NO PAIN KILLERS??? NO FKUCING WAY!!!!" Anyways, we finally all decided it was better to have C-Section. So, they took me into surgery and got me prepped with an Epidural. Actually 3 of them!! It was so strong, that I couldnt even get a big enough breath to say that I couldnt breathe!
Emily was born with no probs what so ever!!
Then it came to number 2!
When I found out I was pregnant with number 2, I also got in biiig trouble from the doc and was given a very serious warning about my blood pressure, which was over 210 at the time! This pregnancy became a very high risk and I was on medication and had to visit my doc on a weekly basis. Usually when you see a doc when finding out that you are expecting, they usually say "Congratulations!" etc. I was told "If you don't consider terminating this pregnancy, it could cost you and your and baby's lives."
I guess I can say thank you to my extremely stubborn husband for not wanting to give up the pregnancy, and wanting to fight for us. One night I had been feeling really sick from an ongoing headache I had for a few days, and I asked hubby to take me to the hospital. (I had grown up having migraines, but this was different to usual.) We went to the hospital where they checked me out, checked my BP, and told me that they have to send me to another hospital to give birth straight away, if not we could both lose our lives in a matter of hours. It turned out that my BP rose to 250/160!! (I eventually found out that high BP was in my DNA, and that was the cause of it!)
I was rushed to another hospital via ambulance, that deals with high risk pregnancies and also has an NICU.
They prepped me for an emergency C-section and I was given about 7 or so epidurals? None of them worked, and I could feel about everything!! They didn't use the old time scalpel, they used a laser scalpel, and I could feel it all!! It burnt like hell!!!! Apparently, the doc who stitched me up when Emily was born did a crappy job, and the scar tissue was really bad, and it took them over 45 mins to get Natalie out!! That 45 mins I was going through the agony of the laser scalpel. Man, that is hotter than getting a tattoo!!!
During this time, my hubby was snapping away, taking pics on my mobile phone! I had no idea he was doing that until I saw the "detailed" pics on my phone lol.
So my tiny little girl was born at 30 weeks, weighing 1127g (2.5 lbs) and 35cm (13.8 in) long. She has 2 tiny holes in her heart, and was in the NICU from Sep-Dec. At almost "9" months, she is still as tiny as ever, at 60.5cm (23.8 in) and just over 5kg (11 lb). But I am so very proud of her and what she has overcome!
We had ourselves a little Christmas baby just over 2 months ago. Little Kenzo arrived at 1:19 PM on Christmas day after a grueling 50 hour labor. With the help of Hypnobabies, I labored at home with my husband until hour 40, when I finally reached the point where contractions were close enough by the midwife's instructions (2-3 minutes apart for a few hours) to head to the hospital. We delivered at Manhattan's St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital's Birthing Center which was a wonderful experience!! You labor, deliver, and stay one night postpartum in a private room with a jacuzzi and queen size bed where dad and baby can stay with you the entire time. It's natural births only there, so there wasn't even a suggestion about pain meds and the midwife and nurse were AMAZING at getting me through the labor and getting my little one to progress down and out. They had me (and my husband!!) doing lunges and squat/sways up and down the hallways. That was TORTURE but I guess it did the trick. After breaking my water (the only intervention) and 1.5 hours of pushing, out he came and straight on my chest for kangaroo care. We both got the OK from the professionals and were discharged a mere 28 hours after birth.
Yes, it was incredibly painful. Yes, it was exhausting. But I am glad I went the natural route and it was a truly empowering experience. I knew the pain was productive and not due to sickness or injury (well, maybe the pain immediately AFTER the birth was injury-related pain, haha), and I knew it had a definitive end point. Each "pressure wave" (what hypnobabies moms call contractions) worked its way up to the intolerable point, but only stayed there for about 30 seconds or so and then eased its way back down and gave me a minute or two respite before the next one. Anyone can get through 30 seconds of excruciating pain, knowing it will go away (and come back, yuck), especially with wonderful and patient coaching.
If I could have had an epidural with the 100% guarantee that it wouldn't slow down my progress and lead to the need for pitocin, wouldn't hinder my ability to push, wouldn't take away my right to eat and drink and move about on my own, and wouldn't ultimately end in a c-section, then yes, I most definitely would have gone for it! And it seems most women in America do go for it (and most doctors and nurses encourage or even push it). Unfortunately, the risks I mentioned are quite frequent with epidurals (if you haven't seen it, watch "The Business of Being Born" - an amazing documentary about childbirth in America). I do not judge anyone who goes that route, in fact, up until a year ago when I watched that documentary I had no doubt that it would be epidural city for me!! But in the end, it just wasn't worth the risk for me and luckily I was able to endure the "discomfort" (another hypnobabies term, which looking back, is freaking HILARIOUS).
I could not wrap my head around was the price tag associated with this natural birth and short hospital stay. A whopping $25,000 was billed to my insurance company!! After paring that down using their "contracted rates", $15,000 was paid out by my insurance company to the hospital and my midwives' practice, and $3,000 was owed by my own little pocket. My city/county/state employed teacher friends like to brag that they paid a mere $25-100 for each of their births. My UK friends brag that it's entirely free over there!! In Japan, childbirth is not covered by insurance, but your city pays you a healthy stipend after you report the birth (part of their attempt to reverse their ever decreasing birth rate), usually around $3,000 I believe, which basically covers prenatal visits, birth, and ONE WEEK (luxurious and relaxing) stay at the birth clinic. But America's ridiculously problematic health care system is no surprise, after all...
So, what was your birth experience like? Gimme the good, the bad, and the ugly!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!