One Mama, Two Labors
I met Amanda and Matt at a Speed Date A Doula event, a few months back. I was excited to learn that they were expecting twins in the next couple of months, and that they had chosen me to support them.
Amanda had what most would describe as an "easy" pregnancy. It was actually quite surprising considering she was carrying two babies. Her labor though, would prove to be more difficult...
She had to be induced due to pre-eclampsia, but was in fantastic spirits. Her husband slept through the night, while I supported and helped her stay as comfortable as possible. Eventually, the labor became painful enough that we headed down to the spa room at Manchester Memorial Hospital the next afternoon. Her husband watched, learned, and took over every time I found a pain management technique that helped Amanda. Water, neck massage, and hip squeezes seemed to provide the most relief.
Michelle kept reassuring Amanda (during both labors) that a vaginal delivery was what everyone was aiming for, and there was no need to discuss a cesarean at all. Every thing was still in the range of normal and her babies were as happy as could be.
After a full day of labor, being up overnight, and 3.5 hours of pushing, their first little one came earthside at 4:20am, into the hands of their patient and supportive midwife, Michelle of With Women's Wellness.
Amanda was quickly given an ultrasound, to make sure baby #2 was head down and in position.
Baby #2 was still pretty high up in the uterus and was stretching out after his sisters exit, taking full advantage of all the new found space. He had his hands above his head. This meant that we would have to wait for his arrival, hoping that he tucked his arms back in, rather than breaking his bag of water, to hasten things. You can see his little hand here on the ultrasound.
Everything then slowed way down, including labor and contractions. Many people are not aware, but the cervix even starts to go back after delivery of the first baby, and Amanda would have to have a second labor to get back to full dilation.
It had been more than 30 hours, since the start of the induction, and at this point, rest was neccessary for everyone. Even their new little lady took a quick nap.
Eight hours later, Amanda didn't need anyone to tell her, she was ready to push again. One hour later baby #2 made his arrival earthside, at 12:58pm.
I have never seen so much vernix! It acted like glue and we kept having to peel him off of his mama, to readjust their skin to skin position!
I often discuss the strength of my clients in posts. I am usually in awe watching these people dig into the deepest parts of themselves to find little bits of strength to get through that next contraction, push, etc.
What happened with Amanda though is pretty rare and unique. I watched this woman have 2 seperate labors and births in one day. Knowing how sore she was from her first birth, and having to then give into that pain enough to push another person through it, was inspiring to say the least.
She even managed to keep her great sense of humor during the entire experience. This mama is a true warrior in every sense of the word. It was an absolute honor to witness such strength, control and perseverance.
Thank you Amanda, Matt, Scarlett & Martin for letting me be part of such amazing moments!