Birth Story from Uganda: Twins

A woman from a distant, remote village came to Grace Family Clinic for prenatal care.  She was in her third trimester and near her delivery date, yet this was her first visit.  When the midwife examined her, she found 2 heartbeats.  She explained to the mother that she needed an ultra sound to confirm twins.  The husband resisted – he was concerned about the cost (we do not have ultrasound equipment at Sunrise Centre) but after much persuasion from our staff, he finally accepted.  

The mother returned two days later with the ultrasound results, which confirmed twins and revealed one baby was underweight.  The mother had not taken any prenatal or iron supplements and her diet was restricted due to lack of money.  Sunrise advised the mother to deliver at a bigger hospital as her pregnancy was at high risk for complications that we are not equipped to handle, but the husband refused. He was worried about the high cost (up to 2 months salary).  He said they would get a Traditional Birth Attendant from the village.

The mother came back to the clinic one week later in advanced labour after trying to deliver at home.  Grace Family Health Centre took her in and provided her with the compassionate care.  She delivered both babies, one was  2.6 kilos the other only 1.5 kilos., however after delivering she had post part hemorrhaging.  The midwives gave her oxytocin and then misoprostol but could not stop the bleeding.  An ambulance was called and our midwife accompanied the mother and twins to the nearest hospital, however they did not have blood for a transfusion so turned them away.  They continued to a second hospital but with the same result…no blood.  The situation was deteriorating, the smallest baby passed away and the mother was also slipping away.  The midwife continued to care for the second baby and begged the mother to hold on.

They arrived at the third hospital and thankfully were admitted.  The mother and surviving twin were stabilized, given a transfusion and survived. The father came to take the smallest baby for burial but was very thankful to have his wife and daughter in good hands. There was sadness but also celebration.

While we mourn with the family and Grace Clinic staff, we also join you in celebrating the miracle of saving the mama and one of the twins! Thanks to Nicole Van Seters for another empowering story from the field! With love as the force, Kay

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