Pain Free Birth Podcast Episode 22: Finding Twins At 32 Weeks & A Successful Home Birth Story Despite Baby Being Breech with Amanda Johnson

In this episode, Karen is joined by Amanda Johnson, a mama of 4 beautiful babies. Despite all odds and one baby even being breeched up until delivery, Amanda had a successful home birth with her twins for her most recent pregnancy. Today we’ll get into all the nitty gritty of Amanda’s experience with hospital versus home births, how her pregnancies varied, and how her most recent pregnancy was a massive surprise up until the very last minute of delivery! After Amanda’s first labor and delivery experience that was less than ideal in the hospital, she knew she didn’t want to experience that again. With her second child, she successfully gave birth at home and knew she would repeat the experience when she fell pregnant the third time… little did she know, this home birth experience would be quite rare and one to remember!


I’m a SAHM to 4 babes ages five and under. We are a military fam currently stationed in Monterey CA! My first birth was an induction and after that whole experience, I knew it could be better. My induction was not traumatic as I truly believe I was on the brink of labor (11 days past my guess date) but the whole process from start to end felt very unnatural. When I got pregnant with my 2nd I knew I was going to have a homebirth, this was October of 2019. Luckily my midwife (Lindsey Meehleis) and I were totally aligned and she shut her office down for maybe a month during Covid. It was crazy, my husband was overseas and I thought I was going to have to deliver without him. I had my 2nd at home at the height of Covid in June 2020 and had a totally different experience than my hospital birth in the best way. When I got pregnant in 2021, I of course opted for home birth again. I didn’t find out until 32 weeks that I was having twins and I truly wasn’t surprised – the pregnancy felt totally different! I carried them to 40w3d and had a beautiful labor and delivery under 2 hours!!!


Instagram: @therealamandajohnson

KAREN: Welcome back mamas. Today I am so excited to interview Amanda Johnson, who is the mom of four. She lives in Monterey, California, and she had a twin home birth with her last pregnancy. So welcome to the show, Amanda.

AMANDA: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to just share and, you know, just empower other moms who are expecting twins that they can absolutely have their babies at home.

KAREN: Oh my goodness, I’m so excited for this interview because your birth is one of the birth stories that I’ve shared in the past on my Instagram. And every time I share or talk about it, or reshare something you posted, it always gets so much love and engagement and support and awe and wonder and questions because it was it was just such a beautiful birth the way it unfolded.

So excited to finally have you on the podcast to share it in detail. And I know you, you had your first So your first birth was a hospital birth, actually an induction because you went 11 days over and then the next one was a home birth. So you had a couple under your belt. Tell us a little bit about those.

AMANDA: Yeah. So my first baby, my husband and I, we got pregnant our last semester of college. And so I was like, I have none of my friends were having children. I had no idea what I was doing. And I just thought you get birth in the hospital. That’s what you do, right? Like you just, that’s where you give birth. I had no women around me that had a home birth.

I didn’t have, I just. Did not know what to do. And so I went with, I was like, well, I’m just gonna go to the hospital then, I guess. I had a very normal experience, prenatal experience. I did the glucola drink, which felt very unnatural to me. And, you know, I, we moved when I was 34 weeks pregnant to a different state.

And so, It just, I just went to the hospital when I moved, right? And so when I checked in there, the, actually the nurse was asking me about my, you know, am I going to get my DTAP shot and all these things? And I’m like, no, no, no. Because at that point I knew, I knew I already looked into the vaccines and I was like, this is not for my family.

We’re not going to do this. And so she kept asking me like, okay, well, when are you going to get this? And I’m like, I’m sorry, is there a law that I have to get this? And she’s like, well, absolutely not. I was like, okay, so we’re moving on. So anyway, that was kind of like a red flag for me. I’m like, okay. But you know, I had a very normal pregnancy and my mom also went 10 plus days over her due date with all four of her children.

And so, you know, she was, they were in town and I just kind of felt the pressure, not from her, but from, you know, the hospital. Okay, like, you know, you’re 11 days over your due date. It’s time. Once I hit my due date, they actually were like, okay, so induction in a few days. And I’m like, nope, I’m not, I’m not, you can schedule me, but I’m not going to show up.

And I think that’s really, I love that phrase right

KAREN: there. You can schedule me, but I may or may not show up. You ladies write that down because that is gold. That is gold.

AMANDA: Well, I feel like women forget. They’re in charge. Yes. It’s your birth. It’s your child. It’s like the nurses, the doctors, the people that are scheduling you for induction or your c section, they’re not dealing with the aftermath of really difficult breastfeeding or a really difficult recovery.

And so you just have to be like, You are your own advocate. We all see this all the time, right? You’re your own advocate in birth and for your child. You’re the best advocate for yourself and your child. And so just trust your instinct and trust your gut. And if it feels off, then they can do whatever they want to do, but you don’t have to show up to it.

So I just, I feel like that’s, I don’t know. I love that,

KAREN: that even as a first time mom, you, you had enough gumption in you to be like, oh, thank you. Yeah. Like that, that says a lot. That’s, that’s really cool. I will tell you,

AMANDA: Yes, I will tell you, I watched The Business of Being Born and that really opened my eyes.

That was one of the few things I watched vaxed before it like really blew up, right? This was before 2020 and I watched The Business of Being Born and I was like, okay, I know what I’m going up against. I know the beast I’m going up against, right? Yes. And I’m going to push my induction out as, as far as I can.

In hindsight, I still wouldn’t have showed up to my 11 day induction and it was at night. So they induced me at 11pm. When I had not slept at all, right? Like you want to go, you want to be rested. It’s going to be, you know, crazy. And so looking back, I’m like, man, I would have just like went in the next morning or maybe not at all.

But anyway, I, you

KAREN: learned so much after that first one, even if you’re already informed.

AMANDA: Yes, no, totally. And so I go in at 11, it was like 1130 at night, Halloween. And like, just all these people start swarming me and they’re putting the IV in and they’re talking to me and they’re putting the monitor on and I just start crying because I’m like, this is not how I envisioned my birth to go.

And I just got so overwhelmed. And it was like, you’re all hooked up to the machines and all the things, right? And so they, they asked me, you know, do you want, Side attack or do you want the Foley bulb? Like, what do you want it? And I’m like, I want to go with natural as I can. So obviously now I know what side attack is and for your audience who doesn’t know, it’s like an abortion pill basically.

And so I, I opted for a little Foley bulb and they put it in and it was the most uncomfortable thing of my entire life. And you know, I was having to like, ring the monitor every time I had to go to the bathroom, which was literally every 30 minutes. When you have that Foley bulb in, right, because you’re getting the push from the baby and then the push from the bulb and so your bladder is like being squeezed at all times.

That’s a lot of pressure.

KAREN: And I just want to clarify for people too on the Cytotec, it is the same drug they use for abortions, but it doesn’t cause an abortion, if it’s a full term baby, what it does is it causes your cervix to efface and, and dilate. So before they can give you Pitocin, if you’re not dilated yet.

They have to efface your cervix. And so that’s what the cytotec does. That’s also the same drug they use for abortions to terminate a pregnancy. If you’re going to dilate your cervix, the baby’s labor will start. So it’s not like it caused the abortion, but it is the same drug they use in abortions as an induction.

But I just wanted to clarify that in case people were like, Oh my gosh, I don’t, I don’t want to abort my baby. No, that’s not what will happen if you’re ready to give birth in full term.

AMANDA: Yes, that’s right. I just, I wanted it to be as natural as possible. So putting any kind of foreign substance into my body was, I was like, yeah, no, I’m not going to do that.

And that is

KAREN: a really, it is an interesting medication. If you do the studies on it, like it wasn’t even, I think, approved for the usage that it has. A lot of birth drugs are like that. I know Pitocin is like that and Cytotec can tend to hit people really hard. after a couple multiple doses, it might not, you know, it’s really slow building.

Then all of a sudden it can suddenly your contractions hit. But so there’s lots of different forms of induction and I cover all that in my courses, but yeah, it’s, that’s a whole, we could go down that rabbit trail, but essentially you wanted it as natural as possible. It’s feeling emotional. It’s feeling medicalized.

It’s not what you wanted. What, what happened? Like, what did you take away from all that?

AMANDA: I mean, I got the Foley bulb out like seven or eight hours later, had a little bit of break and thankfully my, the midwife that was on and then the nurse, they were listening to me and if I was like, no, I don’t want to do this or, you know, I’m just going to be unplugged or whatever, they were very accommodating, but I was just like, what am I doing?

What is happening here? Like what? Because when the Foley bulb came out, I wasn’t having contraction. I wasn’t like, I was four centimeters, right? That’s the goal. But no, it wasn’t, it wasn’t really clear that labor was. Yeah. And so, anyway, we started Pitocin a few hours later after I got a break, obviously I was up all night, I had not slept, and we started Pitocin a few hours later, and I just told the nurse, I was like, don’t increase it without asking me, because that’s like you said, the kind of like, cytotoxic, the Pitocin can hit really hot and heavy, and it was just so painful.

So, so intense. It was so intense and I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy. I mean, it was so bad, you know, so anyway, a few hours later, I get, actually get a shot of Nubane because the pain was so intense and I believe that’s a form of fentanyl, correct me if I’m wrong, or they asked me, do you want fentanyl or Nubane?

KAREN: Yeah, Nubane is a, a narcotic, I believe, and it has like a two hour half life. And it kind of makes you like loopy and numb and you don’t feel all the pain. You’re kind of groggy, kind of like drunk or, you know, so to speak. And, you know, compared to an epidural, which is like, you’re fully numb from the waist down.

So it’s just another form of pain relief. And sometimes it’s the first line of defense, or women will try the new Bain before. Going fully over to epidural, which has more impacts your birth more because you’re fully like in most cases, not mobile, whereas with Nubane, you can still move around. But yes, some women don’t like it because it’s the effect is different.

It’s a narcotic.

AMANDA: I felt so tired. I was like, I need a little bit of relief. I was so tired. And so, but I didn’t want an epidural. The thought of even Like, when I went to a birth class, I saw, they showed like a graphic of the epidural, like a, an animation, and I got sick. Because, like, just seeing the, I hate needles.

I hate needles, and just seeing that and thinking about that, I’m like, that, what? Like, I, I can’t feel my baby coming out. I can’t, like, there’s no, Just that’s disconnected, right, between the mother and the baby. And so I was like, I was like not getting an epidural. And so I got the new vein and I did feel very groggy, loopy.

I feel like I passed out a little bit, like it can help if you’re really

KAREN: tired and you need to take a nap or take the edge off. It can be useful for that. Yes.

AMANDA: And then I, it kind of wore off. Right. And then I was like, okay, I need to get up. I want to, I moved to a room that had a shower. I told the nurses, you know, I want to get out.

I want to go to a different, different room that has a shower and they’re like, absolutely. And so I went in the shower and the nurse was coaching me. She’s like, okay, your baby, she was like telling me, you know, your baby’s going to drop. You’re going to grab your baby. You’re going to bring your baby up to your chest.

And I was just like, okay, like I was repeating everything back to her. She was telling me. And so I was still so in it. And then I was like, oh, it was, it was really good. But then I don’t know, at some point I went back to the bed cause I didn’t deliver in the shower, but the water felt so good on my body, on my back.

Right. And I think that’s nature’s epidural, right? The water is nature’s epidural, which is why so many women love it. Go back to my bed and I’m on my back, on my back. And, you know, it was not, it was difficult. Obviously, I’m working against gravity, I’m working against my body, I’m working against my baby.

And, you know, I didn’t push for very long, but it was extremely, extremely painful. And I didn’t tear, which was great. They had like hot compresses on, and it was, it wasn’t a horrible hospital experience. But again, you know, it was really the postpartum, the post, the like aftercare. Yeah. But I was like, you know, it was the starting and then it was, the labor wasn’t great, obviously, but it was also the ending to where, you know, we moved and then I had people coming in and they’re checking my temperature, my baby’s temperature, and they want to do the PKU test and they want to do the hearing test.

They want me to write down how long I’m breastfeeding on each side. I’m like, I just gave birth, like, leave me alone, give me some food. And don’t come in my room. Let me sleep. Let me sleep. I’m not slept. I was negative for GBS. What is it? Group B strep or whatever. Yeah. Negative. Didn’t tear. I had a daughter.

Even if I had a son, I was not going to circumcise. And so I was, it was a very. Great, you know, labor and delivery, and I was like, I want to get out of here. And they’re like, oh, you have to stay for 48 hours. I’m like, says who? Get me the heck out of this hospital. Let me go to my bed. So that was really the first, you know, I was like, okay, I don’t want it to be like that ever again, which is why I opted for a home birth for my second child.

KAREN: Nice. And what was that, how was that experience? What was that like for you?

AMANDA: It was everything I envisioned. So I found my, at the time, so I had my daughter in Virginia, we’re a military family, we move a lot. And so we were moving to Southern California and I found Lindsay Milas through one of my friends, Shauna Cernovich.

And this was before COVID. She’s amazing, I love Lindsay. I know. She’s so good, you guys. She’s like, she, she is like, She’s amazing. I feel like

KAREN: half the birth videos I share on social media are from her, somehow. Yes. Like, how are you at all being proud of a birth?

AMANDA: I know, of course. Yours being proud of them.

Yes, right. So I found Lindsey, connected with her immediately. It was January 2020. I had just moved to Southern California and it was before COVID. Wow, good timing.

KAREN: Great timing. You arrived to California right before COVID.

AMANDA: Yes, and I found a good, because like, you know, COVID happened and people wanted a home birth, right?

Like we saw a surge in home birth and she’s getting booked up. And so I’m like, thank goodness I have my spot. I got my midwife. I’m going to be home. And it was amazing. It was everything that I, I envisioned, right? Like going into labor naturally, putting my daughter down for bed. And then my labor starts picking up at 7 30 at night.

And then I deliver 7 30 in the morning. So it was a very like, And I just remember, like, I, I was like, okay, I know I’m in labor because I’m having contractions every four minutes, every three to four minutes, but I wasn’t like, you know, like crying or even like, I can’t do this, or, you know, not until I was actually pushing, right?

That’s all, that’s how we all feel when we’re pushing. We’re like, we can’t do this anymore. But the actual labor, right? I was like, this is what natural labor feels like. Yeah. And so it was just how it

KAREN: must have been so different than what you experienced in the hospital with all the, the Foley bulb and the Pitocin and all the hookups.

AMANDA: Yes. I told Lindsay, cause she came over around midnight and I was like, I feel bad because I thought I was going to give birth sooner, but it’s just like. It was just so natural. It was just so natural. She’s like, no, you’re fine. Just go sit on the toilet, reverse cowgirl it, and like, your baby’s gonna come down.

And, you know, but I just, it was, it was so slow and anticlimactic in the best way. It was like nothing, nothing really, like, it was just, it was just such a good progression, right? And then, you know, I go to push, and I’m pushing, and the baby comes out, and I don’t tear again. And it was just, I was like, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

That this is how it is supposed to be. So that was a huge, like, not the craziest redemption birth, but it was like, this is what I envisioned. And this is what I knew birth could be like, and the care could be like, right. And you know, Lindsay came to my house a few days later to check on me. And I’m like, this is what it’s all about.

You know, like, just, Coming and supporting the mom and supporting her decisions and something I love about Lindsay’s care specifically is that it’s very individual, very, very individual. As it should

KAREN: be, because

AMANDA: you are an

KAREN: individual body in person.

AMANDA: Yes, yes, exactly. And so it was, she just, she was awesome.

She was supportive, she listened, she never questioned me. I would, I would ask her a question, she would be like, well, what do you think? And I’m like, No one’s ever asked me what I thought when it came to my care. So, um, And that’s such

KAREN: a shocking thing for a lot of women who’ve never experienced midwifery care or who’ve only given birth in hospitals with OBs when they experience a midwifery appointment with a midwife who actually practices the midwifery model of care.

Not all of them do. Um, but they’re like, well, Oh, I didn’t. I feel so taken care of. I feel this is so different. Like, it’s hard to communicate without actually experiencing it. But once they make that switch, it’s like night and day. There’s no comparison.

AMANDA: Yeah, it’s like you’re building a relationship. Like, this person cares deeply about you.

They want to come see your home. They want to know your kids. They want to know your family. They want, like, they just want to know everything so they can understand you better, your baby, your family. Like, it’s just, it’s just incredible. It’s like a little village, right? Whereas, you know, the hospitals are really like turn and burn.

You know, you got They only have so many hours in a day. They got to make sure they’re given their epidurals, they got to make sure their anesthesiologists are paid and so, you know, they’re just, it’s very like, it’s like, it’s almost

KAREN: like it’s not a medical event. It’s a natural process. Yes,

AMANDA: exactly. And that was the biggest thing I was just like, wow, like, this can be really beautiful, actually.

And this is how it’s supposed to be. And anyway, at that from that point, you know, So I gave birth in June 2020, so literally like the height of COVID, everything shutting down, mask, all the whole nine, and here I was in my home with my, you know, family, with my midwife, and she’s not yelling at me to put a mask on, and you know, because a lot of people were getting separated from birth, right?

Like their husband couldn’t come with them, their doula, their whatever, and I had just, it was a crazy

KAREN: time for sure. Yeah, it was nuts.

AMANDA: So I was so grateful, I was so thankful that I was able to have that experience, you know.

KAREN: So when you, when you got pregnant with your third, you’re obviously like, okay, I’ll do that again, like book the midwife, have the whole birth, like no regrets.

And then when did you find out you were having twins? So I found out when I was 32

AMANDA: weeks pregnant.

KAREN: Oh, that’s so late. So you didn’t have ultrasounds before that?

AMANDA: No, I did not. And, you know, again, that was something that didn’t feel aligned with me. I had done a little bit more research and, you know, I, I encourage everybody.

I’m like, do your own, look into your own stuff. And so, With my second with my second baby with Lindsay, I had a, you know, ultrasound, I think that’s 20 weeks and I just it didn’t feel right to me. And I think that’s something that women really have to tap into and birth and their pregnancy and their care.

It’s like, yeah, you know, your, your provider can say one thing, but like, how do you feel about it? And so I just told Lindsay, I’m like, you know, I’m just, I’m not going to do the ultrasound. And she’s like, Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. No worries. You know, I was a repeat client, third time mom, And she’s like, absolutely.

She wasn’t like trying to scare me. And I feel like that’s where a lot of Like, that’s where moms get freaked out, is their providers scare them into getting ultrasounds, into induction, into an elective C section. And it’s like, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. This is not, this is not a medical event, or you know, this is, it’s birth.

KAREN: And every decision should be mother led, not like, we’re going to control you and strong arm you into doing things according to our protocols. It’s like, if you don’t want to do an ultrasound, great, like, I love her response, like, okay, you do you. So what made you, like, find, decide to get an

AMANDA: ultrasound or how did you find out?

Yeah, so from the be I will say from the beginning, I kind of questioned it. I’m like, am I having twins? You know, my first trimester I was vomiting, very abnormal for me. I usually just had, you know, I’m lethargic, tired. I was vomiting, I couldn’t keep anything down, and I was just barely keep my eyes open. I had two toddlers right under two, and I’m like, man, this is really I don’t remember it being this hard.

And so there was that red flag, and then there was another one where, you know, my pelvic floor felt so heavy, but again, I just chalked it up to, you know, This is my third pregnancy in less than three years. My body’s been a lot, you know, kind of be like, Oh, they’re close together. Wow. Yes. Yeah. My first two are 20 months apart, and then my second and my twins are 23 months apart.

So, you know, I did have back to back pregnancies. And so I just kind of wrote it off. My twins are in my family. Like, this is crazy. What are the odds? And so it, At 32 weeks, I went for my checkup with my midwife, and I just come in with my big ol belly, and I’m like, Lindsey, I feel like I can give birth any day.

She’s like, okay, I’ll just like hop on the table, you know, let me measure you. And she pulls out her tape measure and measures my fundus, and she’s like, you’re measuring like you’re 38 weeks pregnant. And I’m like, that makes sense. That makes total sense, because I feel Full term. I feel everything. It just, I felt it.

I felt it, right? And so she takes out her little ultrasound on her phone and she’s like, do you want me to check for twins? I was like, please. She can only see one baby, but you know, as the babies get bigger, yes, with the Doppler, but as the babies get bigger, It’s harder to see, like, especially if there’s twins and you’re not, you know, you’re not an ultrasound tech.

And so she’s like, I can only see one baby. And so we call baby be our ninja baby and ninja hiding in there. Yes. And she was actually the bigger twin, which is funny. But anyway, I go that night to get an ultrasound and immediately the tech is like, well, you’re measuring big because there’s two babies in there.

And I was like, How did you feel when she told you you have twins? So I was relieved, honestly. I was honestly relieved because I thought, oh my goodness, my intuition failed me. Like, you know, I just, there, there was something wrong. I have a lot of fluid. There’s, you know, You’re like, oh,

KAREN: everything makes sense now.

AMANDA: Yes. So yes, it was confirmation. Like, okay, everything makes total sense. There’s two children in there. And I, Did you have a

KAREN: freak out moment or were you like, All right, this makes, this is all, checks out.

AMANDA: I was like, I gotta hire an OB now, I guess, because I’m still having these babies at home, right? Oh my gosh, that’s

KAREN: great.

So yeah, in California, legally, you can’t deliver twins, or I should say a midwife is not legally allowed to deliver twins at home. You need an obstetrician. So they have some strict laws in your state. So were you just like, okay, I guess I gotta find an OB, or did you consider going back to the hospital?

AMANDA: We weighed our options for sure because, you know, Lindsay was 8, 000, which I, she was worth every single penny. But then to hire an OB as well on top of that, it was going to be an extra 10, 000 at least. And so my husband and I were like, okay, can we make this work? What would it look like in a hospital?

And I just, I just told him, I said, like, you know, I feel like men are very, like, money minded. And they’re just like, they hear 18, 000 and they’re like, that’s a car, right? But I was like, I was like, look, like, Yeah. It might be, you know, free in the hospital and covered by insurance in the hospital, but I’m going to pay for it via trauma, via stress.

And having to explain myself to people, no, this is why I’m doing this, this is why I’m going to, you know, I can carry my babies, I can’t, I don’t have to do ultrasounds, and you know, I wanted to breastfeed, so I breastfed my first two babies, and I, that was something that was so huge for me, and so I’m like, you know, I’m not, I’m not adding anything to the equation that’s going to potentially you know, hurt my chances of nursing my babies.

And right, and obviously if I get an epidural, if I get a c section, like, it’s very clear. There’s a million studies out there about how that can impact breastfeeding. And so, you know, my husband was like, all right, babe, like, he just got behind me fully. And he was really shocked. He was like, oh my goodness, can’t believe we’re having twins.

That was

KAREN: like some hard conversations and, and just even for yourself, like facing that kind of investment. First of all, like most women or parents would balk at like, Oh my gosh, I can’t spend that much money. You know, even if you can afford it, it’s, that’s, it is home birth is in many cases, for many people, a big investment.


AMANDA: it is. And I didn’t, you know, I didn’t tell you this before and it just, I just remembered it, but here’s the thing. God is so good because Several weeks after we had the twins, there was someone from our church who came by, and I didn’t really know her that well. I knew her, like, you know, I knew her kids, and saw her at church and stuff, and she messages me at, like, a Wednesday night at 6 30.

I’m like, twins are cranky, toddlers are cranky, everyone’s trying to go to bed, right? We’re on a military base, and so we have to go down to the gate to get her, and she’s like, I need to bring something by for the twins, and I was like, oh my goodness, this girl’s coming by the worst time. She comes to my home, and I just thought my husband’s gonna grab something from her, he’ll come back up, whatever.

No, she comes to my home, and she’s like, I need to give you this. I just God told me to do this, so I need to do this for you. I said, okay, and so I, she gives me a card and I open it. It’s a check for 10, 000. What? She had no idea that I had my twins at home. She had no idea that I had to hire an OB. I said, Jenna, did you know I had the twins at home and did you know that it cost 10, 000 to hire this OB?

She’s like, I had no idea. God told me to do it. He probably told a lot of other people to do it, but I, he knew I would look then. And so I was obedient. And I did it. Wow. Oh my gosh, I’m, like, crying. That’s amazing. It’s, yeah, and, like, God doesn’t always provide in that way tangibly, but I was just, like I said, I just, from when I found out I was having twins, I knew that it was going to be okay.

I knew that financially we were going to be taken care of. I knew that I was going to have a beautiful birth. I knew. I couldn’t explain why I knew, but I knew. And so after we got that check from this amazing family that we hardly even knew, I was, like, God, that, that was really when I started trusting God with my womb completely.

I’m like, okay, God, like you do, you bless me with however many children that you want to bless me with. And the Bible says, like, you know, the fruit of the womb is a reward and children are a blessing. And so I was like, okay, God, I’m going to completely trust you to provide. And, you know, with, with children, if we have more children, if we don’t have more children.

And so that was just like, I kind of got ahead of myself, but like, that was just. Such a powerful moment for, for me.



KAREN: didn’t know I’d need tissues for this one. It

AMANDA: was, but it was, I just, you know, I’m just so glad my husband got behind me and was like, yeah, like

KAREN: he trusted you. He trusted your intuition and you did too.

Like you were like, no, I just know, I just know it’s going to work out. Like that takes faith. That takes Courage. And then for your husband to get behind you, even though he’s probably scared as a provider, like how are we gonna afford this? Is this gonna work out? Like, holy cow, I could buy a new, you know, a car for this

Like he said, literally much . He’s like, okay, we could buy a new car. Low birth of twins, .

AMANDA: Yes. Well, actually, thankfully we got a minivan even before we found out it was twins. So you know you’re

KAREN: gonna need that minivan. I love the minivan. Yes. Fellow minivan. Mom over here. I don’t even have four. I have three and I love it.

Oh my gosh, yes. We could go on about that. So amazing. It’s so beautiful how God provides, how he led you. You trusted him. You just went with your intuition. I was like, this is what I want. This is my desire. And it’s going to work out and God’s going to take care of us. Like that’s, it’s so, so beautiful and stunning.

I feel like so many women need to hear that whether they’re having twins or not. Maybe they’re facing that decision of should we invest in a home birth and knowing it’s going to cost money and maybe insurance doesn’t cover it, but I just, I, or, or the postpartum and how do we get enough support? Like there’s so many women, I think that needed to hear that.

So I thank you for sharing that. And tell us about the birth and you, you, you hired your midwife, you had Lindsay there, you hired your OB, um, Victoria. You know, I, she’s amazing. You have a dream team. So like, how does this unfold?

AMANDA: Yeah, so actually, this was the first birth that Dr. Victoria and Lindsay collaborated on, because usually it’s Dr.

Stu, everyone’s, everyone in the birth world is very familiar with Dr. Stu, but he was on sabbatical. And so I hired Dr. Victoria Flores. And, you know, this was the first time her and Lindsay were in a ribbon on birth together. So it was kind of crazy. It’s like, okay, this is kind of like a riveting, like thing happening, you know, so many firsts, some, you know, we’re having twins and Dr.

Victoria and Lindsay are working together Navigating all of that, right? And, yeah, it was, it was awesome. It was amazing. How did

KAREN: your family and friends, like, react to you deciding to have a twin home birth? Because that is, that is unusual. Yeah. Even in the, even like, in the natural birth space, like, that’s only really been happening or seeing it on social media, like, Recently, it’s not, that’s, and that’s kind of a nerve wracking thing I imagine for people who are unfamiliar with even the natural birth space.

AMANDA: Yes. So my dad is an ER doctor and he’s very medicalized. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Look, if you, if I cut a finger off or something, I’m so glad that the doctor is there to like, fix me. But the thing is, you guys with, especially, you know, and I don’t, I don’t doubt my dad, you know, you know, just how smart and capable and able he is in his opinion.

But here’s the thing, especially with ER doctors, is that they only see the bad. They only see the bad. They see, you know, just the worst of the worst situations most of the time. And so he was like, well, and that’s true for almost

KAREN: any career in medicine is you’re seeing sick people, you’re seeing emergencies.

It’s this very, it’s a, it’s a medical mindset of we’re going to treat the problem. We’re going to intervene. We’re going to manage. And so anyone who works in the medical field tends to see more of the bad cases, not the ones that go well.

AMANDA: Yeah, it’s definitely skewed for sure. So. You know, he just told me, he’s like, well, you know, he mentioned something about, you know, failure to progress is a big reason why, you know, twins need to be born in the hospital.

And I’m like, well, just let them come then. Let it, let it progress as it wants to. Because, you know, I don’t, I actually had, It was so crazy. There were actually two girls in my neighborhood who actually found out they were having twins, too, and they had them in the hospital, and they had them vaginally, and I feel like, you know, we can get into Oh my gosh, there’s something in the water.

Something in the water. On Camp Pendleton, if you’re in St. Honor Free 1, be careful if you want twins, if you don’t want twins, you know. But no, I just, and this is something that’s kind of different, but it’s just like, I just feel like, I feel like God was using me in my experience in my birth and pregnancy and all the things to like speak life into these other women that were going to go through what I was going through and to encourage them, you know, these women, they didn’t have them at home, they couldn’t afford it, but they were like, you know, I just feel like me just encouraging them and supporting them, like, you know, you don’t have to do that, you don’t have to get your cervix checked, you don’t have to go to that ultrasound, you don’t have to do all these things, and I just feel like it really built them up, and they’re like, you know what, I don’t have to, and you just had twins at home, and you’re, you know, you’re doing great, and you know, so I just feel like, you know, it was just crazy how God has used this whole thing, but yeah, but my, but my dad was like, No, like you, you cannot have them at home and I said, I’m going to and I, you know, not everyone is going to support your decision to birth your baby or your babies at home and you just got to lean into your intuition and here’s the thing too, I’m just like, You know, God created us so perfectly and, you know, do horrific things happen in home birth?

Yes, of course. But like, that’s the only certainty in life is that we’re going to be born and we’re going to die. And so it’s not, it’s not for us to, you know, figure out why I think, why certain tragedies happen. But I just trusted God. I trusted God. I trusted my body. I trusted the babies that he gave me.

And I just leaned into that deep knowing that I couldn’t even explain that I was going to have this beautiful birth and prove all these people wrong. And show them. That it can be done and it can be natural and it can be, the outcomes can be way better, way better than anything that they’re expecting, right?

So my, my babies weren’t in the NICU. They weren’t, you know, we’ve been nursing on demand. I’m still nursing them. They’re almost two, right? And so we’ve had these beautiful outcomes. I didn’t tear again in this, you know, that labor and delivery. It just, it was such a positive experience that, you know, not everyone’s going to have the same outcome as me, but it.

It, you, you can’t, God wants, yes, it’s possible, exactly. So anyway, it was just, yeah, it was amazing. What happened at the birth?

KAREN: How long, how far did you go?

AMANDA: Yeah, so I went over my due date. I went three days over.

KAREN: So 40 weeks and three days, not the twin due date that’s like 36 or 37 weeks.


KAREN: right.

AMANDA: They’re like, oh, people are like, oh, twins come early.

I’m like, nope, they don’t know. And a lot of times I feel like that, you know, just get bigger. You just get bigger and then eventually your body is like, okay, that’s quite enough. Yeah, I went over my due date. I went a little crazy. I remember one of my friends telling me, she’s like, you know, I just feel like you’re gonna go over your due date.

And I’m like, don’t tell me that. I want to like, I want to like hit you because it’s just so, it’s physically so, so mentally, emotionally, like, People say like, Oh, I want twins. I want twins. And yes, they’re amazing. But you know, it was hard. It was very, very, very hard.

KAREN: I believe it. So how big were you at 40 weeks and three days?

AMANDA: So my fundus measured 50. 5 50 weeks. But yeah, I was gonna

KAREN: say that’s the equivalent of 50 weeks for those of you who don’t know, so imagine being 50 weeks pregnant, that’s essentially what you are carrying.

AMANDA: Yes, and I remember, you know, with my second baby, I was at our neighbor’s kid’s birthday party when I was in labor and I was running around the block and like I was, I’m a very physically active person, and so to be like debilitated that much, it was kind of, it was humbling for me, but I just had to, and we don’t have any family around, we don’t have help, and so, you know, like I said, we’re a military family, we move around a lot, there’s a lot of change in our life, and so it just, it was very, very, very difficult.

So I will say, you know, if you are pregnant with twins, have someone come out and help you around 36 weeks, I feel like that’s when it gets really gnarly, and yeah. And it’s not

KAREN: uncommon for twin moms to go to 40 weeks. I think we just induce everybody in the medical system. They’re just, if you hit that 37 week mark, you’re, you’re going to get induced, whether your doctor is like pushing for it or you’re just done being pregnant.

And they kind of, so you see the stats and the averages is like this, these early labors. But actually, if we let moms go until 40 weeks, many of them do go that long. And it makes sense because. The babies still need that growth and development. It doesn’t, it just because there’s two of them in there doesn’t mean they don’t still need to gain that, that, you know, extra their head sizes and their lungs develop and we’re inducing so many twins earlier, weeks earlier than what they’re developmentally ready for and when they would naturally be born.

AMANDA: Yes, I will tell you I connected with so many moms on Instagram that were like, you know, I went to 39 weeks. I went to 40 weeks and still moms to this day reach out to me and they’re like, you know, I, I carry them well past 38 weeks. So I think like on average, I think it was Dr. Stu who was talking about this, you know, the average twin mom will naturally spontaneously go into labor at 39 weeks.

So it’s like, it doesn’t just because it’s common. just because it’s normal doesn’t mean that that’s how it should be, right? And so I couldn’t imagine, look, at birth, my twins were six pounds, 12 ounces, and then seven pounds, eight ounces, and I, I could not imagine if we try to take them out for a whole month earlier, a whole month.

Yeah. Can you imagine?

KAREN: And then we wonder why all these twins end up in the NICU, and they’re induced, they have all these interventions, now they’re in the NICU, they’re, they have trouble breathing, it’s like, well, yeah, they came out a month earlier, two or three weeks earlier than they normally, naturally would have.

What a beaut, like, it’s so, Incredible. I am just in awe of every twin mom truly like the fact that you did all that going through that you’re measuring at 50 weeks like that’s a sacrifice that is a like if there is a mother hood sacrifice to carry multiples past their, you know, quote unquote twin due date it is that and but you also that you know, And you valued that you valued them getting their full development.

You valued the natural birth and you were willing to make those sacrifices and not everyone is willing to make those sacrifices. It’s really easy. I’m sure you probably might have had some moments where you’re like, listen,

AMANDA: I was doing everything I could. I was doing acupuncture. I was getting adjusted every two to three days by the chiropractor.

Uh, we did, we did do a few membrane sweeps, you know, 39 weeks. And then over my, you know, I think what it was a week before I gave birth. And then the day I gave birth, we also did a membrane sweep and just to get some things going, you know, and, and. You know, I will say, no, no

KAREN: shame in that. I would have done it too at that point.

AMANDA: Yeah. So I was definitely trying to encourage them to come out, but yeah, but, but yeah, I, I just, I knew, I knew, I just knew the statistics. I knew what it would look like in terms of the success of nursing them. Like I said, that was really, really important to me that I was able to breastfeed and not just for a few weeks or a few months, but for well over a year and I’m just so glad that I have accomplished that.

KAREN: That is truly incredible and definitely defying the odds to still be nursing twins at two years. I think the stats on breasts, exclusively breastfed twins are like, like dismal. Yeah, I mean, so did you struggle with your first after having an induction with breastfeeding?

AMANDA: No, she latched on immediately.

Luckily, she now that I you know, but my second baby that’s born at home, he had a lip and tongue and lip revision. And you know, because he was just so tight. And there’s lots of other things, right. And so she now that I know what I know about the mouth and everything and the anatomy, she was severely tied.

But she was able to compensate for her bad anatomy around that and she nursed great. And, you know, she, you know, I nursed her even at 22 months, I think I’m nursed her. I gave birth and then I nursed her a few months after I gave birth. And then, you know, my son was having kind of issues nursing. I, I didn’t experience that before.

And so I’m like, okay, I’m going to cut her off. I don’t know if she’s taking too much of the milk, whatever. But yeah, so she was, my first was able to compensate for the bad anatomy for sure. But my second who was born at home, it was actually harder to breastfeed him, shockingly.

KAREN: Interesting. Yeah. So tell us about the actual labor of your twins.

AMANDA: Yeah, so, you know, I was 40 weeks and 3 days. I just went to my midwife’s earlier that day, and I go You must have been ecstatic. Yeah.

KAREN: When you

AMANDA: went into

KAREN: labor.

AMANDA: Yes, I was. I just, I, I knew, though. I kind of had this, like, knowing, I’m like, okay, I think today is the day. Because I had gotten adjusted, got that membrane sweep, and I’m like, oof, that, you know, You just, you feel, you feel it, right?

So I, we go and I go out to eat with my husband. I eat like, I swear, I eat like seven oysters. I like just go down oysters, . I’m like, get some ice cream. Like I’m just loading up, right? And, um, supply resource, I’m like so depleted at this point, right? I, you know, I was taking beef organs throughout my pregnancy and, you know, I got to a point, even, you know, my midwife, she tested my.

blood and she’s like, no, you’re, you’re kind of low. Like you need to go get some real legitimate liver. And so, you know, I was getting my liver, taking my beef liver shots, all the things. And I just was like, okay. You know, I put my son to bed. Well, both my kids put them to bed, but my, my son was still not even two, so I was laying with him and rocking him.

And I, like, almost kind of, like, throw him on the bed, because I’m like, Oh my goodness, something, like, I gotta get him, I gotta get to the bathroom. You knew, yeah. Yes, and my husband, my, you know, my mother in law was there, and she went out to the grocery store for something super late at night, and my husband went down to the, the gate.

I had to let her back on base, and I’m like, I’m Like, this is happening and no one’s home, and so I’m like, babe, I’m in labor, like, get home. And it was, you know, we’re a quick drive from the gate, but still, I was like, okay, something’s happening. So, you know, I was texting one of my really good friends, Jen Miller, who’s really good friends with Lindsay, actually, they’re like childhood friends, and Jen was 39 weeks pregnant at this point with her fist, and, you know, I like, drop on the floor and just pee all over my bathroom floor, and I’m like, I think I need to call Lindsay.

Like, I think she’s like, yeah, no. You peed or your water broke? I peed. I think, like, I was just having a contraction. I was so relaxed that, like, I just peed. Like, so you’re like,

KAREN: okay, I think I need support now. Yeah. And so I call, I call, generally call Lindsay. That’s certainly a sign something’s going on.

AMANDA: Yes. It was, my body was trying to get rid of, like, all the things, right? So.

KAREN: Anything, anything. in the way because you have no more room in your body. Zero.

AMANDA: Zero. I am max and look I’m tall I’m 5’8 and my belly was still like super huge ginormous. Yeah and so the birth team call the birth team they get there they’re setting everything up and I’m just kind of like on my My head and my pillow and my bed on all fours and I’m just breathing through it and it was really intense.

And so my first home birth was a 12 hour labor and I just keep thinking, I’m like, I cannot do this for 12 hours. This is like, I couldn’t even talk in my, like, I just, I was so focused. Yeah, like, so they’re

KAREN: intense. And isn’t that crazy how your brain goes there and like, thinks, okay, wait, if this isn’t this intense now, how, I can’t do it for 12 hours.

That’s wild. Yeah, because I,

AMANDA: I hadn’t, you know, I did not have Lindsay. I didn’t ask her when she would sweep me, like, how dilated am I? What’s my cervix look like? Because you, it doesn’t matter. You could go from zero to ten in an hour or five minutes, right? And so I’m like, well, even if my cervix is at four centimeters, I could sit there for two weeks, right?

KAREN: Four centimeters. Totally.

AMANDA: So I never, I never knew what. What it was looking like down there. So when labor started, I’m like, Okay, this is, I don’t know how dilated I am, but this is, this is intense. And so, the birth team gets there, they’re literally just moving around me, they’re setting everything up, and then by the time I feel like pushing, the pool is up, and I hop in the pool, and I’m on all fours, and I’m just breathing, and I’m like, And, you know, baby A comes out at 1035.

So nine o’clock, I would say everyone got there. 9 p. m. at night, everyone got there. They set up really quick. I got in the pool probably 10, 15, and then 20 minutes later, the first baby comes out and When did your water break? Right before. Right before

KAREN: the, wow, before the

AMANDA: first one came. Yes. So it was like water broke.

I felt that relief and I was like, and then a few more pushes and baby A was out with my boy. Um, and I’m holding him and I’m like, Oh man, pretty much immediately. I was like, I need to push again. So my hand, the baby to my husband and you know, his, his cord stopped pulsating right away. So he comes out. The court, you know, we want to, Lindsay, that’s kind of like her, I mean, it should be everybody’s, but Lindsay wants to let the cord pulsate for as long as possible, right?

And when it stops, we’ll cut it. But it, he came out, I mean, look, the placentas were like, okay, we’ve been 40 weeks and three days. That’s, that’s enough. We don’t have anything left. And so it stopped, we cut it. We cut it pretty much right away. My husband’s holding coast, our boy, and then I go back on all fours.

And at this point, my baby B is breach and we were prepared for a breach birth. My, my team was, and you know, I’m, I push water breaks and there’s a head. So, Lindsey’s like, you know, at my perineum, and she’s expecting to see like a little butt, a little bum, and it’s a head of hair, and she’s like, oh, I guess this baby flipped, and so, I also wonder, Karen, like, how many people, even for singletons, how many people get induced or do C sections because a baby is breech, and then not realizing, you know, the baby can flip in the last second.

Literally, last second, just what happened to me, right?

KAREN: Especially with twins, because after that first baby’s out, there’s a lot more room in there all of a sudden. And baby V is like, Oh, I think I’ll go this way. And it can often happen where they’re head down and then they flip breech, which is why you need a breech trained provider if you have twins, 100%.

Because chances are, you don’t know, like those babies can flip around in there.

AMANDA: Yeah, so crazy. So she, you know, she flips really quick. She flies out of me practically about, I think, not even two pushes, because I’m just like, get out of my body, like, let’s get out. Were they really strong contractions? Like, that’s a short labor.

So strong. They were so strong, but I was working with them, not against them. So, like, I just didn’t, You know, I feel like just envisioning, I never took any birth courses and I’ve heard amazing things about your birth course, but I just, I, I visualized, I just envisioned like the contraction pushing my baby and then kind of like releasing my baby down.

And so I just, you know, I would just close my eyes and every time I had a contraction, I was just trying to relax and, you know, contractions are like muscles, right? And so we want to tense up and be like, it’s like, no, no, no. Relax, relax and let that contraction do the work of pushing the baby down and out.

And so it was, it was, yeah. And so I just leaned into that. I’m like, okay, I got it. I’m trying to work with baby. I’m trying to work with my body and just, yeah. So push as hard as I can, but also be mindful to not be tense and like, you know, it’d be great. And that’s, yeah.

KAREN: Yeah, that takes a lot of focus and intention to do that, to not fight those surges.

So that’s amazing.

AMANDA: I felt like after going over my due date, I was like, this is nothing. Like, let’s get these babies out, you know?

KAREN: Like, whatever it takes.

AMANDA: Like that, like I was prepared. Like that birth, the, the, you know, being so pregnant really prepared me for that, that birth, I feel like, you know? So yeah, so baby B comes out 10 minutes later and looks great.

She’s a little purple cause she flew out super fast and she is my firecracker twin. So it just makes total sense. Like just her whole birth just really aligns with who she is. I was going to say, it’s in her personality too. 100%. I love it when that happens. Me too. And Coast, my boy, he’s just like, he really didn’t even cry.

He just kind of like looked up at everybody and he was just, he was adorable. So cute. But yeah, so she’s the baby A, 1035, baby B, 1045, and I’m in my bed by 11 o’clock just laying in bed with my babies. Wow. It was so uneventful, but like in the best way, you know, like, hey, I gave birth, now I’m in bed, you guys clean up the mess, get on out of here, and I’m just gonna lay with my babies, you know, it was just, it was so, so, so beautiful, and so I just really want to encourage women who are transcribed.

Thanks. you know, expecting twins. It’s not a death sentence. I feel like so many women just, they let the world and they let people on social media and they let their family or their friends kind of instill this fear into them. And it’s just like, it really is so beautiful. And you’re so blessed that God has trusted you to raise up not one baby, but two babies.

And I just, I want another set of twins. Okay. I see you heard it here first. I want another set

KAREN: of twins. Stop, really? Yes. Oh my gosh.

AMANDA: That says everything

KAREN: right

AMANDA: there. I know the odds are more likely, number one, as they get older, and then number two, you know, after you have, and they’re fraternal, they’re die die twins.

So they were separate sacks, separate placentas, but yeah, it was, it was amazing. It was beautiful. It was a dream. It was everything that I envisioned and more.

KAREN: Oh, that is so incredible. And I just love your affirmation for women to encourage them that, like, this is possible that they can do this, that it doesn’t have to be an emergency.

It doesn’t have to be this scary thing. And that’s unfortunately what so many doctors put in mother’s heads of moms of twins or really any kind of variation, you know, in pregnancy. And there are many, but it’s just, there’s so much fear. surrounding birth, especially twins. And I think that’s why I have such a heart.

And I’m so passionate about sharing breech and twin birth stories is because women just get bamboozled and fear mongered when they’re carrying twins or they have a breech baby. And it’s incredibly difficult to advocate for a natural physiological vaginal birth. In those situations in the hospital. And I think just your story and your admonition to women, that this can be such a natural, normal process.

It doesn’t have to be filled with drama. And all the tests and all the interventions. Like, what an incredible testimony. And I just want to normalize this. Like, I love this story because It can be so simple, like what if, what if it could be that simple and twin birth was just simply one baby is born and then the other flips around head down or butt first and is born right after.

What if we didn’t need all of that Like nonsense and chaos that you typically see in, in a hospital twin birth. So thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey. Your faith and your strength is just like inspiring to me.

AMANDA: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. It was just, it was just amazing. It was amazing.

I would, you know, I would relive that night over and over and over again. And yeah, it was just, I’m happy to share. I’m so happy to share and encourage.

KAREN: Oh my gosh. And if you have another set of twins, we will absolutely have you back on. You’ll be teaching courses by then.

AMANDA: Listen, God has been putting a lot of women around me who have multiple sets of twins.

And so I’m like, okay, Lord, I hear you. I see you. I’m going to be, I’m going to be praying about that. But you know, I don’t, and you know, this is kind of just like family planning, but like my husband and I don’t prevent pregnancy. And even with nursing the twins, I still haven’t got my cycle back yet. So it’s just like, Really trusting God.

Like, if you’re feeling that pull, you’re like, you know, I want to have more children. I want to expand my family and, you know, I want God to bless my family. Like, just lean into that because by now, you guys, I, you know, my twins are almost two. I usually have a newborn right now or I’m usually super pregnant.

And I’m not. And I’m, and I’m not. I’m trusting God. And like I said, you know, earlier on the episode about that woman coming to my home and giving me, giving our family that money, I’m just like, I trust you, God. I trust your timing. I trust your plans. And I don’t want, I don’t want to block any blessings. So

KAREN: that is so beautiful.

And what a word of faith for women who are trusting God in their pregnancy journey and their infertility journey and their family planning journey. Like there’s so much to be said for like, God truly does bless our wombs. He blesses our families. He blesses the desire for children. And I just feel like, can you pray over our listeners right now for anyone who’s believing God for twins or to get pregnant or is struggling with finances over birth and trying to decide home birth or hospital, like whatever.

That is, I feel like there’s so many takeaways from this interview. I would just love if you could like pray over any listeners right now.

AMANDA: Yeah, absolutely. So Father God, I just lift up every single woman listening to this podcast right now. God, I pray that you put women in their circle, in their social media, wherever they are.

God, use them, use them and use the women around them to encourage them, support them, inspire them. And God, I just pray You know, away from any, any, anything that’s from the devil, anything that’s not from you, God. Any fear, anything that’s questioning your power, your authority, your goodness, God. The Bible says that you are a good God and the plans that you have for us are for us to prosper and not to hurt us.

And so God, even if The timetable is not what we want. Maybe we’re praying for a baby. Maybe we’re praying for another pregnancy, but God, we relinquish our will and our ways to your will and your ways. God, we know you are a good God. We love you so much. And God, I just prayed like your blessing over every single woman listening to this podcast right now.


KAREN: Amen. Oh, thank you so much for coming on and sharing, and that is the perfect place to wrap it up. Thank you so much.

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