The birth of two beautiful baby boys without any interventions was all this mama wanted, and she worked so damn hard to make it happen!
Diana has had time to gush over her strength and felt empowered to share more about her birth details. If you’ve read the blog about their Fresh 48 photoshoot, you know a tidbit about their birth story, but here’s how it all unfolded.
Preparing for Scheduled Induction:
Diana and Blake were 39 weeks and 2 days at their scheduled induction on 2/19/22! When I arrived at Diana’s home, they were gathering the last of their things. This was my first time meeting them in person, but it was more like friends at first sight! I love to laugh, and Blake wasn’t short with the puns. We enjoyed a mini photoshoot in the nursery, loaded the car, stopped for snacks, and arrived at the hospital around 4:15 pm.
Getting Settled at the Hospital.
Once we arrived, it was the usual. She got checked in and settled into the labor and delivery room. The staff did not wait before getting her hooked onto the baby’s heartbeat monitor. They were able to locate both heartbeats and start the induction process with Pitocin.
She labored from 6 pm until around 2 am when she finally received an epidural to relieve some pain as contractions were starting to pick up. She graciously works through them. I was able to capture this image before both her doula and I were whisked away to the waiting area. The room needed to be completely sterile and only hubby could be there for support.
She continued to labor all night and into the wee morning hours.
She was starting to feel so much pressure and nausea, even vomiting. In one of the photos above you can see the main nurse, her doula, and her husband surrounding her. We had just learned that she is showing signs of preeclampsia. The news didn’t interrupt her focus, however, she was concerned. As a mama who had to have an emergency c-section due to having preeclampsia with severe features, I offered her my solace and experience to keep her mind at ease. As a precaution, magnesium through the IV was started to help with preventing seizures if her blood pressure were to get too high!
Many hours passed. After she was checked this time around 2 pm, it was time to head over to the operation room where she’d deliver. She had to deliver in the OR in case a c-section was needed.
The Operation Room for the Twin Birth
Things are intense; she’s complete and ready to birth her babies! The OR staff was welcoming and supportive. There was so much room and light to capture the birth of these beautiful babies. Diana was the calmest birther! She pushed for about 15 minutes before Baby A was born.
Baby A is born! 6lbs 15 oz
In between babies! Diana expressed to me that at this moment, she was completely depleted of energy. She had emotions of happiness, joy, and relief as baby A was born. However, as she prepared to push Baby B out, she felt exhausted, nearly weak!
The staff supported her theory as she trusted her body. She was persistent that Baby B would flip because he had been so agile. You can see the staff checking for baby B’s heart rate. They offered her an option to use forceps or c-section as his heart rate started to dip. It was at this moment that her husband’s touch gave her the strength she needed. Before we knew it, Baby B had flipped and was head down, as Mama said he would. With that last surge, she gave it her all, and Baby B was born.
He weighed more than his twin at 7lbs 2oz! They were born 15 minutes apart.
Baby B sweet details!
Check out their placentas!
You can see the exhaustion and relief all over her face. She did it! I was immensely proud of her.
Dad is super proud too. This EPIC shot is so frame worthy!
After the Twin Birth in the OR
Staff placed both her babies on her chest and wheeled her away to postpartum. Immediately in the postpartum room, Dad soaked in those intimate skin-to-skin moments while Mama took a quick break before nursing her boys for the first time.
The twins are together for the first time outside of mamas belly and into Daddy’s arms.
I spent 25 hours with this family from start to finish, which was incredible to watch. She was heard, and her choices were respected. I was happy to see her fully supported by her husband, birth doula, and the magnificent staff at the University of Michigan Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. I truly believe her success in birthing her twins vaginally was because not only did she have a HUGE support team, but she had a mountain of staff who not only believed in her but who also wanted her to succeed!
That’s not always the case when it comes to maternal care for women of color.
“Much has been said about my efforts bringing our boys into the world but I wanted to take time to honor my husband. Finding out we were having twins threw us both for a loop but by the end we did what we do best — come together in the most difficult times. Indeed one of the strengths of our relationship is that we just know how to be there for each other and support each other when life hits us with adversity without discussion or prompting. So in this both difficult and miraculous time, my husband had my back. His gentle and kind nature came out in his ability to tend to me from the time we left the house through his gentle touch through contractions. His ability to stand by me was evident in the solid strength he showed when things got dicey like when I developed severe preeclampsia at the induction (that doctor steadiness of nature) His sense of humor lightened the mood through his funny comments throughout (because he’s really a jokester). His recording it all and checking my makeup was a highlight I won’t forget!”
Most importantly, in a room full of cheering and rallying, I could hear only one voice. His. He motivated me to dig deep cause we both ran track and we know what that’s all about. He also was not just there for me but he was there for these boys”
While I do not take on births regularly, this was a birth that I couldn’t be more thrilled to have witnessed and documented. It matters who’s in your birth space, so to be handpicked to photograph this milestone was no small feat! We’ve become such good friends through this experience and these sweet twins will forever hold a space in my heart. I can’t wait to watch them grow up now, that’s always the fun part!