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Mom couldn’t stop screaming when she realized what she gave birth to She Was Left In Shock

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Rebecca Dando, 37, had always dreamed of being a mother but thought it wouldn’t happen after she rushed to the hospital when she hemorrhaged due to a miscarriage in February 2021. The café owner suffered multiple miscarriages from the age of 18, despite doctors telling her nothing appeared to be wrong.

But after meeting her partner Christopher Thomas, 26, in April 2019, Dando decided to try for a baby again. After no luck for a year, she was surprised when she found out she was expecting in September 2021, and this time the pregnancy progressed.

The baby, Lowry Joan Dando, was born on May 23rd, 2022, weighing 7 lb 6 oz at the Gra University Hospital Quam Brand Wales in the UK via C-section. Now, home, Dando is enjoying her bubble with her newborn and loving every minute of being a mom.

Dando, a café owner from Eale Wales, said, ‘I cried when I got past 12 weeks with Lowry, as I’d never made it that far in a pregnancy before. I was terrified every day that something would go wrong. It was such a relief when she was out, and I could see her mop of hair. She’s safe and absolutely perfect. It has taken 20 years and several miscarriages to have a baby, and I’ll never forget each loss, but I’m so glad I never gave up hope.’

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Dando was shocked when she fell pregnant at 18 but heartbroken when she lost the baby before her 12-week scan. ‘I was very young, and I hadn’t even told my parents. It was horrific, and I’ve never forgotten being alone in my room and knowing I’d lost the baby,’ she said.

Dando fell pregnant again with her previous partner when she was 26. ‘I was really happy when I found out; it seemed like the right time. But at the 12-week scan, she was told the baby’s heart had stopped beating. ‘I’d been really excited to be a mom, so I was crushed. It took a long time to get over,’ Dando said.

After spiraling into depression, she didn’t fall pregnant again until December 2018. ‘I had just split from my partner, but I knew I still wanted to be a mom. But in February 2019, I was told I had lost the baby at my 12-week scan. It was a miscarriage, so it was only the sack that remained. I had lost all hope that I would ever be a mom.’

A few weeks after the scan, Dando started bleeding but was told it was nothing to worry about. ‘I was told it would be just like a heavy period, but it started up again when I was at work. I had to run out to get pads, but it was gushing; it looked like a murder scene.’ Dando was rushed to Prince Charles Hospital, where she then passed out. She was told afterward that she had extremely low blood pressure and hardly had any pulse. ‘They told me that I was nearly dead and I had suffered a hemorrhage. I nearly had to have a hysterectomy when they couldn’t stop the bleeding. After that, I thought, ‘That’s it; I’ll never be a mom,” she said.

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But when Dando started dating Thomas, whom she knew through work as a catering supervisor, in April 2019, the pair quickly hit it off. The couple moved in together in September 2020 and decided to try for a baby. Dando continued, ‘We decided we would try for a baby together. My hopes were low because it hadn’t happened for me yet. We tried, and nothing happened, so I put it to the back of my mind.’ But to her surprise, she discovered she had fallen pregnant naturally in September 2021.

‘I had just opened my cafe, as I didn’t think I’d fall pregnant, so it was a big shock. I was terrified because I didn’t think it would stick again. I thought I just had to make it 12 weeks, but I was scared the whole time that I would lose her.’ Dando suffered from preeclampsia and couldn’t relax for the whole pregnancy. ‘I couldn’t relax until she was in my arms,’ she said. After a checkup showed her blood pressure was up, she was admitted to Gra University Hospital in Wales for monitoring at 37 weeks and 5 days. ‘My face was swelling to the size of a football; I was so worried for myself and my little girl,’ she said.

Doctors tried inducing Dando several times before they had to take her for an emergency C-section in the early hours of May 23rd. ‘I was really out of it when they were cutting into me; Christopher had to nudge me when she was coming out. I saw her mop of hair, and I fell in love immediately; I cried my eyes out. I just can’t believe I’m a mom after all these years. Lowry is just perfect; she’s starting to smile, and she’s so spoiled by all the family. It may have taken 20 years of trying, but I couldn’t be happier,’ Dando said.

Finally, another incredible survival journey on Thursday, December 2nd, as Ana sat at home 9 months pregnant, the phone rang. It was her obstetrician wanting to know where the heck she was. Did Ana forget that today was the day for her cesarean section? How could she have forgotten? No, Ana hadn’t forgotten; she hadn’t shown up intentionally. She told me, ‘You’re being irresponsible; your baby could die, you could die,’ Ana recalls. Then the doctor hung up. Ana, she doesn’t want her last name used, had already resolved to not have a C-section, even though the doctor told her it was absolutely necessary. She wasn’t going to be opened up surgically, no matter what her doctor said, no matter what any doctor said.

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In some online communities, Ana was a hero who defied the obstetrical establishment and gave birth her way. To many doctors, however, she’s a risk-taker who put her and her baby in peril by giving birth at home. ‘No, no, no, you can’t do this,’ Ana’s story begins nine years ago with the birth of her first daughter, Nia. After 10 hours of labor, her doctor told her she wasn’t progressing quickly enough and she needed a C-section. ‘I didn’t know any better, so I said okay,’ Ana said.

In a postpartum visit 6 weeks later, the doctor told her she needed the surgery because her hips were too small to pass the baby. ‘I thought to myself, ‘What’s she talking about? I don’t have small hips,” Ana remembers. Four years later, doctors told Ana she couldn’t deliver her second child vaginally since Nia had been delivered by C-section. Studies show when a woman gives birth vaginally after having a previous C-section, there’s a higher chance her uterus will rupture since she’s pushing against scar tissue.

Then again, when Ana

was pregnant with her third child, son Adan, she had a C-section for the same reason. When she became pregnant with her fourth child, a boy named Anan Neam, she expected to have a fourth C-section. But about 7 months into her pregnancy, Ana started to read more about childbirth online and noticed the documentary by actress Ricky Lake called ‘The Business of Being Born,’ a film released in 2008 that questions the way American women have babies.

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‘I was a little bit angry after watching the documentary,’ she said. ‘It made me realize I’d been robbed of the birthing experience. If possible, all women should be allowed to birth naturally.’ Ana asked her doctor if she could try delivering vaginally, and she said no. Ana says, ‘I called the hospital, and they said they wouldn’t allow it. I called three other hospitals, and they wouldn’t let me deliver vaginally either. The closest hospital that would let her try to deliver vaginally was in Manassas, Virginia, about 90 minutes from her Maryland home. She and her husband, Al, decided that was too far.

So, just weeks away from her December 1 due date, Ana contacted the International Cesarean Awareness Network, an advocacy group that promotes vaginal births after cesareans or VBACs. She asked me if I could find someone who would deliver her vaginally, remembers Bobby Humphrey, who works with ICAN. She started to cry because she heard, ‘No, no, no, you can’t do this’ so many times. But Humphrey told her yes, that she knew of a midwife who would be willing to deliver her baby at home.

An article in Midwifery Today written by Barbara Stratton, the national VBAC ban chair for ICAN, lists several approaches women have used to protest a VBAC denial. On December 5th, 3 days after the C-section that never took place, Anan Neam was born at home. He weighed 9 lbs 6 oz and was delivered after 20 hours of labor and, she says, just four minutes of pushing. He was completely healthy.

‘We were all crying at the delivery,’ says Humphrey, a doula who assisted the midwife at the birth. ‘It was very emotional; I was just so proud of Ana.’ Soon, words spread on email lists and chat rooms about the healthy delivery. People were emailing Ana saying, ‘Congratulations, you’re a role model,’ Humphrey says.

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Potential for catastrophe
Vaginal births after cesarean sections pose some risk, but so does having another C-section. After weighing the risks of each, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists came out with a statement earlier this year saying it’s reasonable to consider allowing women who’ve had two C-sections to try to have a vaginal delivery. The group added that there’s limited data about what should happen with women like Ana who’ve had more than one previous cesarean.

Despite the ACOG statement, many doctors in hospitals refuse to do VBACs because of the risk. Women who try to deliver vaginally after cesarean have between a 0.5% and 0.9% chance of having a uterine rupture, a potentially deadly complication for both mother and baby, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Women with two previous C-sections have a 1% to 3.7% risk of a uterine rupture, according to the ACOG.

Studies show the risk for a uterine rupture goes up if the woman’s labor is induced; Ana’s was not. Dr. Jeffrey Ecker, a spokesman for ACOG and director of Obstetrical Clinic Research and Quality Assurance at Massachusetts General Hospital, warns against reaching too many conclusions from Ana’s successful VBAC at home.

‘An anecdote is no way for folks to make plans,’ he says. ‘Just because something turned out well for one patient doesn’t mean that there are no risks and it will turn out well for you,’ he says. There’s a reason that uterine rupture is more likely when a woman has had a C-section. ‘You cut into the muscle of the uterus during a C-section, and it heals with a scar that is often weaker than the muscle that was there before surgery,’ he says.

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The scar can be weak enough that contractions cause it to separate. In that case, blood flow to the placenta can be interrupted, and the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen. In its latest position paper, ACOG recommended that VBACs be attempted in facilities with staff immediately available to provide emergency care. ‘There is potential for catastrophe if a uterine rupture happens in a home environment,’ says Dr. William Grobman, an ACOG spokesman and associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

Grobman says he understands Ana’s desire not to have another C-section. ‘This was a last resort; this was a choice because she had no other options,’ he says. But Ana says if she has another child, she’ll give birth at home. ‘Once you’ve had that experience, there’s no other way to go, being in the comfort of your own home without any unnecessary interventions and feeling like you’re in charge,’ she says.

One girl was born on a Tuesday, and another was born on a Wednesday. A woman who was born with a rare condition known as a double uterus is speaking out after giving birth to twin girls whom she carried in each of her uteruses during her pregnancy.

Kelsey Hatcher of Dora, Alabama, delivered her daughters Roxy and Rebel on two separate days in December over a span of 20 hours of labor. Roxy was born, and everybody cheered, and it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we did it,’ and then the reality set in of like, ‘Okay, we have to prepare for the next one,’ she told Good Morning America, adding that Rebel took a little longer to arrive. ‘She was not quite ready yet, so it took about 10 hours in between the two.’

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While Roxy was delivered vaginally at 7:45 p.m. on December 19, Rebel was delivered via C-section on December 20 at 6:10 a.m. Both girls were born healthy, according to Hatcher, with Roxy weighing 7 lbs 7 oz at birth and Rebel weighing 7 lbs 3.5 oz.

Hatcher, now a mom of five, said it’s fitting that her twin daughters, who are fraternal, each have their own birthday. ‘They each had their own home while growing, and now they each have their own birthday,’ she said. Hatcher was born with two uteruses and two cervixes, a rare condition also known as uterine didelphys or double uterus. The condition, present in only 0.3% of people with uteruses, develops when the reproductive organs form differently in an embryo.

People with double uteruses can experience pain, fertility issues, or sometimes no symptoms at all. The odds of being pregnant at the same time in each uterus are about one in a million, according to Dr. Richard Davis, a maternal and fetal medicine specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Women and Infant Center where Hatcher was treated during her pregnancy and delivery.

According to both Davis and Dr. Scha Patel, the OBGYN who cared for Kelsey Hatcher, the two babies are considered fraternal twins. Patel previously told GMA, adding of Hatcher’s specific case, “Most likely what happened is that she ovulated separately and had one egg come down each fallopian tube, meaning coming down on each side of the uterus, and then sperm traveled up on each separate uterus, and fertilization occurred separately.”

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Hatcher said she learned she had a double uterus at age 17, but with each of her three previous pregnancies, she had a single baby carried in one uterus. Hatcher’s due date with her twin pregnancy was December 25th, Christmas Day.

The unique circumstances of her pregnancy and the birth of her twin daughters have brought attention to the rare condition of double uterus, as well as the incredible journey of carrying and delivering twins with distinct birthdays.

While Hatcher’s experience with her double uterus and the birth of Roxy and Rebel is extraordinary, it highlights the diversity of reproductive health and the remarkable possibilities that can occur. The story of her twin daughters having their own birthdays reflects the uniqueness and complexity of each individual’s journey through pregnancy and childbirth.

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