Giving Birth during COVID-19 with Preeclampsia, Cholestasis, & Terminal Diagnosis of One Twin

After naturally conceiving twins, Alina and her husband were told by doctors that one of their twins would pass away shortly after birth. This terminal prenatal diagnosis led to many difficult conversations and decisions. The pregnancy came to a close when at 31 weeks pregnant, Alina developed severe preeclampsia in a matter of days. This led to the early delivery of her twins, which ended up being more complicated than they could’ve imagined.

twin loss birth story

Alina Bazyler Bio

Alina and her husband have been married for eight years and have three children. You can find Alina on Facebook.

trisomy 13

Resources

  • Book: Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby’s brief Life
  • Article: Delivering a Stillborn Baby Taught Me the Transience of Death
  • Bible verse that was helpful to Alina: 1 Peter 5:10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Crane

This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced, 1 gallon, adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH20 at www.crane-usa.com. Check out their new top fill drop humidifier here or via Wal-Mart.

Disempowering Cesarean Followed by Twins VBAC

After a disempowering birth with her first son that nearly ended in tragedy, Erica vowed to have a different experience when she got pregnant again and planned to have an unmedicated VBAC with her twins. With the help of the Birth Hour, doulas, and a supportive practice after a switch of providers at 28 weeks, Erica successfully had the VBAC she worked so hard to get. As a black woman navigating the healthcare system, Erica is excited to share her story in the hopes that it may help some other mom or mommy-to-be.

Erica Beal Bio

Erica is an educational consultant located in Greenbelt, Maryland. She lives with her husband and three wonderful children, including an inquisitive (perhaps maniacally so) three-year-old and her 9-month-old twins that are starting to get into everything. Erica enjoys Rose, Netflix, reading, and cuddles on the couch with her hubby. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.

erica beal pregnancy

Resources

DC Birth Doulas (my doula group)
GW Obstetrics
La Vie Breast Massagers

8 Sheep Organics

Today’s episode was brought to you by 8 Sheep Organics. Did you know, over 78% of pregnant moms have trouble sleeping at night? If you’re lying awake in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, unable to sleep, then you should check out the “Sleepy Lotion” from 8 Sheep. It’s a body lotion specially formulated to help pregnant moms sleep better. It also helps with common pregnancy pains like restless legs, leg cramps and back/ hip pain.

Over 40,000 moms have used this lotion and rated it 4.8 stars!It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee too! If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can return the jar for a full refund! Go to 8Sheep.com and use the code BIRTHHOUR for 10% off your purchase!

Twin Birth at 34 Weeks + NICU Stay

Laura and her husband got pregnant the first month they tried, then were shocked to discover that it was twins! Her pregnancy was pretty easy aside from a subchorionic hematoma in the first trimester. Laura was able to continue with midwife-led care and was planning to give birth at a local hospital without a NICU as long as she reached 35 weeks gestation before giving birth. That went out the window when her water broke at 33 weeks. She was transferred to an academic medical center with a NICU, and spent a week in the hospital receiving antibiotics; at 34 weeks, she had her labor induced. The induction was long and difficult, and she ended up delivering both babies vaginally but with forceps. 

Lola and Phoebe spent 2 weeks in the NICU/Continuing Care Nursery until they could maintain their body temperature and take feedings from bottles. Laura had really wanted to breastfeed, although knew that with twins there were many possible challenges. She pumped exclusively for the first several weeks, then worked on getting the babies to latch. Lola transitioned to breastfeeding at 2.5 months, but Phoebe didn’t start breastfeeding until 5 months!  Laura is really glad that breastfeeding worked out, but also realizes that it was only possible because of the many supports she had, including a long parental leave.

Laura Attanasio Bio

Laura is a faculty member in public health whose research focuses on quality and equity in maternity care. She and her husband, Adam, have fraternal twin girls, a dog, and two cats. They live in Western Massachusetts.

FamilyAlbum Photo Sharing App

Today’s episode is sponsored by FamilyAlbum. FamilyAlbum is a family-focused photo sharing app with over 5 million users worldwide. FamilyAlbum helps you save, share, and remember the special moments in your baby’s life. You can even get started before baby is born and document your pregnancy. 

FamilyAlbum app offers unlimited free storage, is completely ad-free, and provides smart, automatic organization. But my absolute favorite thing is that you can invite friends and family to view your photos privately and securely.  You can even specify which family members see which photos. Your family will be notified when new photos are added and they can leave comments creating a fun conversation! You can also use suggested ideas for monthly photobooks, or create your own and then have them shipped straight to your door. The app keeps your memories safe, allowing you to recover them even if your phone is lost or damaged. To download this fun app head to the apple or google play app store and search for FamilyAlbum, or go to family-album.com!

Twin Birth during Covid-19 in UK

After a very early miscarriage, Melanie was surprised to find out she was expecting twins shortly after. She spent her pregnancy focusing on preparing for postpartum, both nutritionally and emotionally, and she struggled with SPD pain (Pelvic pain) and trying to decide on the best way to birth her girls. Towards the very end of her pregnancy, COVID-19 began to spread, adding a new layer of anxiety and uncertainty to Melanie’s birth and postpartum experience. She elected for a C section, which went incredibly well, and is now one-week postpartum. 

cesarean birth covid 19

Melanie Hadida

Melanie is a Canadian who’s been living in the North of the UK for 8 years. She’s a nutritional consultant and focuses primarily on Ayurvedic cooking, women’s hormonal health, and more recently, pre and postpartum nutrition. She also owns her own small, specialty food business. Connect with her on her Website: www.melaniehadidanutrition.com or on Instagram: @melaniehadida and @spiecandgreen

weighing baby in food scale

Resources

Kindred Bravely

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely.  From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered.  See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum), the comfy Jane pajamas, and their high waisted underwear! Listen to this episode for a special coupon code!

Twins Born on Different Days Birth Story

Jackie and Albert tried for a year to get pregnant before they had a successful IVF transfer. Jackie had a pretty good pregnancy until the end when she had kidney stones and then the wild ride of the twins’ birth! 48 hours from beginning to end, baby A came vaginally on September 10th, and 15 hours later, baby B was born on September 11th from an emergency C section. The babies were in the NICU for about a week before they got to take them home and they are now happy and healthy!! 

identical twin girls

Jackie Laino Bio

Jackie lives in New Jersey and works at a medical device company as a Marketing Manager for the US Region. She is happily married to her husband, Albert, who is a solutions consultant and they’ve been married for three years. They have identical twin girls named Amelia and Shea, and a 90lb fur baby named Gus. You can follow their life with twins on Instagram @jakk__ & her husband @all_day_alay, or you can join her twins community @tipsfortwinning.

March of Dimes

Today’s episode was sponsored by March of Dimes. March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. They support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. March of Dimes is partnering with the CDC to generate awareness among women of childbearing age, families, and health care providers about things they can do to help prevent birth defects. At the end of this episode we’ll be discussing 5 main tips from March of Dimes and the CDC to help your baby have a strong start. You can also find out more at marchofdimes.org/TheBirthHour.

Navigating Husband’s Cancer Diagnosis and Starting a Family

Jennifer’s husband was diagnosed with cancer two months after they were married. They were able to bank his sperm before he started chemotherapy and knew that IVF would be the only way to have children in the future. After years of battling cancer they decided they didn’t want to let cancer hold them back from living life. They implanted one embryo through IVF and were shocked when they found out their one embryo had split into two. They were expecting twins! 

twin birth

When Jennifer was seven months pregnant, her husband got very sick and was admitted into the hospital. They weren’t sure he would make it to the twins birth. Miraculously he made it home and was able to be at the birth with is wheelchair and oxygen. Jennifer’s birth was not easy and she decided she wanted to try and have her babies vaginally. The first baby came vaginally, but the second baby’s heart rate started to drop. They had to do an emergency c-section. Baby B came out blue and they rushed him to the NICU. Thankfully he was only in for the evening and Jennifer was reunited with both babies in the morning. They were able to spend a couple months together as a family of four before her husband passed away in July 2018. 

father cancer after babies born

Jennifer Hanks Bio

Jennifer recently lost the love of her life to cancer. She is now a single mom of IVF miracle twin boys. She hopes to help others as she shares her journey as a new widow and mother of twins. Connect with her on Instagram @cocoscaravan or on her website cocoscaravan.com.

FamilyAlbum Photo Sharing App

Today’s episode is sponsored by FamilyAlbum. FamilyAlbum is a family-focused photo sharing app with over 5 million users worldwide. FamilyAlbum helps you save, share, and remember the special moments in your baby’s life. You can even get started before baby is born and document your pregnancy. 

FamilyAlbum app offers unlimited free storage, is completely ad-free, and provides smart, automatic organization. But my absolute favorite thing is that you can invite friends and family to view your photos privately and securely.  You can even specify which family members see which photos. Your family will be notified when new photos are added and they can leave comments creating a fun conversation! You can also use suggested ideas for monthly photobooks, or create your own and then have them shipped straight to your door. The app keeps your memories safe, allowing you to recover them even if your phone is lost or damaged. To download this fun app head to the apple or google play app store and search for FamilyAlbum, or go to family-album.com!