Dominique Weiss tells her High Risk Birth Story of pregnancy and delivery of twins. Dominique is a labor nurse and found out she was pregnant with twins a few months after a miscarriage. She shares her story with early ultrasound mishaps, delivering her twins vaginally, and more.
“Fulfilling my dream of full term twins” – with Dominique Weiss
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Dr. Fox: Welcome to “High Risk Birth Stories,” brought to you by the creators of the “Healthful Woman” podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Nathan Fox. “High Risk Birth Stories” is a podcast designed to give you the listener a window into life-changing experiences of pregnancy, fertility, and childbirth.
All right. Dominique Weiss, welcome to the podcast. I’m so happy to talk to you. How are you?
Dominique: I’m great. Thanks for having me on, Dr. Fox.
Dr. Fox: I love that you call me Dr. Fox. It’s adorable.
Dominique: It’s the way I’ve known you for, I think now, 15 years.
Dr. Fox: Oh, dear Lord.
Dominique: Thirteen years, I think. Yeah.
Dr. Fox: Wow. Wow. Yes. So we’re gonna be talking about the birth of your twins in 2015, but we’ve known each other, as you said, much longer than that in your capacity, I guess, as a labor nurse at first, right?
Dominique: Yeah. That’s how we met. Mount Sinai labor floor. It was around, I think, 2008 or 2009.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. Unbelievable. Wow. Well, and then here you are having twins yourself. It’s a wild ride.
Dominique: Definitely was. It felt very appropriate when we were delivering so many multiples at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. It was the heyday of our multiple births, was in that, you know, probably 2005 to 2015. We had a ton of twins coming through. We wanna thank our fertility colleagues for the business. I’m really excited to talk to you about your own birth, you know, just itself. It was really interesting and it was a lot of fun and also, of course, you know, your perspective because not only are you, you know, a mom, but you’re also a labor nurse, so you sort of know so much of what’s going on and how that potentially made it easier, potentially made it harder, and go into to all that. So let’s get rolling. Give our listeners just a sense of either right before you got pregnant or right as you got pregnant, sort of where are you in life, where you live in, what are you doing? What’s your family situation? What’s going on?
Dominique: So I was living in New York City working as a labor nurse at Mount Sinai. I had been married for maybe three years and, you know, we’d gotten pregnant once and lost one early on. So I was anxious. I was very anxious at the time and my husband and I were very goal-oriented people and we couldn’t figure out, we were doing all the right things and it wasn’t working. So I think the combination of, you know, the anxiety at home and then being so surrounded by birth and pregnancy at the hospital, it was always on my mind.
Dr. Fox: Was it on your mind in a way that it made you feel, like, saddened or just that you couldn’t avoid it?
Dominique: Thankfully, I was never sad and I’m glad I didn’t get to that stage because we got pregnant just a few months after the loss, but I could see how if we hadn’t, sadness could have crept in. I’ve always felt that I was super privileged to be a part of my patients’ birth stories and I’m just honored to be a part of someone’s birth. So I always was able to, kind of, channel that love and just all those good feelings, all that endorphin that was released at the time. So I didn’t feel sad, but it was just always present. It was just this thing where babies, I like eat, sleep, and breathe pregnancy and deliveries and here I was so, you know, wanting it for myself and not able to. But thankfully it wasn’t sad. It was just more like, “Okay, when’s it gonna happen for us?”
Dr. Fox: Right. And when did you find out you were gonna be having twins? Because that must’ve been a surprise.
Dominique: So it totally was. We actually found out that we were pregnant our first night on a vacation to Aruba and I have this beautiful little picture that we drew a heart and it said, “Baby Weiss, March 2015.” So I spent one blissful week in Aruba thinking I was having a baby. And then because I’m in the biz, I was able to talk a friend into giving me an ultrasound when we got back into the city and that was actually pretty scary because I was only probably like five or six weeks along, so you really couldn’t…there were no heartbeats yet, but she saw four structures.
Dr. Fox: Four?
Dominique: Four. Four structures.
Dr. Fox: All right. I’d even know that. All right. Here we go.
Dominique: Oh, yeah. So then obviously she’s like I need to come back next week. I’m like…
Dr. Fox: Sorry I did that ultrasound.
Dominique: Totally. I think she was very sad that she did that ultrasound. So we came back the next week and we identified at least two cysts. I think that’s what they were. And then I had two gestational sacs but only one heartbeat. So then we had a whole conversation about vanishing twins and I was shocked to learn how common that was, where so many pregnancies start off as twins and then before, you know, the mother has her first ultrasound, the first one actually just, kind of, dissipates, I guess. So by that point, I think I had called your practice. I remember my first call to Michael Silverstein that I was crying so hard that he couldn’t understand me. And then I came in to see you guys. And by the time I saw you, I think we had the two heartbeats at that point. So I knew that we were having twins.
Dr. Fox: You went from thinking when you started it was four, and then it was two, and then it was one, and then it was two again?
Dominique: No. It went from being one to four to one to two. So it was like a roller coaster month.
Dr. Fox: But we settled on twins, right? That’s what ultimately what we ultimately decided. All right.
Dominique: We settled into…Totally. Thankfully that’s all that came out.
Dr. Fox: All right. For the record, in our ultrasound, we just had twins. That’s it. We didn’t do the one to four to one thing with you.
Dominique: Nope. That was not you guys. Definitely not you.
Dr. Fox: Free us. All right. Got it. All right. So, twins. When you saw two heartbeats and it was, you know, we’re having twins, what was going through your mind at that time? Was it, “I’m gonna have two babies” or, “Oh, my God, I’m gonna have a twin pregnancy,” or, “How are they gonna deliver?” I’m sure it must have been all of that, but how did it enter your head?
Dominique: So I started laughing and crying and shaking all at the same time. I distinctly remember my husband saying, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” And I was like, “Did you just quote ‘Jaws?’ What is going on here?” That’s how surreal this whole thing was. I’m like, “Where am I? What’s going on? What do you mean there’s two?” And it didn’t happen that night, but I think by the time, maybe like the next day or the day after, I started processing the fact of twins, and you and I’ve seen so many high-risk twin pregnancies and deliveries that that’s immediately where my mind went. I was afraid of twin to twin transfusion. I was afraid of mono-mono twins. I was afraid of preterm. I was afraid of losing them. Oh, my gosh. It was a very fear-based first trimester for me.
Dr. Fox: So that that’s where your being in the biz was not so good for your mental health?
Dominique: Exactly. Totally. I had seen too many things.
Dr. Fox: Did you know before you were pregnant that you were gonna come to us for your pregnancy or was it, “Oh, I’m having twins, I should go to these guys?”
Dominique: If I had been pregnant with one baby, I think I would have looked for a birthing center.
Dr. Fox: Got it. There you go. All right.
Dominique: Yeah. I didn’t wanna be at work having my babies. You know, I didn’t wanna be analyzing my own tracing or like flipping myself if I saw a decel.
Dr. Fox: Right. No. We don’t mind being second fiddle. That’s okay. No, that’s fine.
Dominique: Well, listen, as soon as I found out that it was twins, you guys were the only practice that I would have gone to. There is no one else…
Dr. Fox: These guys are just crazy enough to do what I want. All right. Got it.
Dominique: …for a vaginal delivery.
Dr. Fox: So you come to us and you’re having twins and you have all these things going on in your head. Obviously, some of them must have fallen by the wayside as the pregnancy progressed a little bit because you realized, “All right. They’re not mono-mono. They’re not in the same water bag. They’re not even identical, so that’s not gonna happen.” So some of that must have gotten a little better, right?
Dominique: Yes. After the first trimester, I felt so much more comfortable in the pregnancy. And I think that first loss, I lost at nine weeks with the first pregnancy. After I cleared that hurdle as well, I felt much, much better and more comfortable and confident that the pregnancy was gonna stick.
Dr. Fox: Right. Okay. So how was it physically for you? I mean, listen, people don’t know you, you’re young, you’re fit, you’re positive. How are you feeling?
Dominique: I felt great. I was constantly tired. I distinctly remember coming home one day and I think I was about eight or nine weeks and I sat down on my bed to take off my shoes and woke up hours later with one shoe still on. So I was exhausted. I didn’t really have terrible nausea or any vomiting. I was just really tired. And I remember one of the first signs of the pregnancy was how terribly my breasts ached. They were just so achy and sensitive and heavy from the get-go and that stuck around for most of my pregnancy. So I feel like that was one of the lesser-known or lesser, you know, kind of, discussed symptoms of pregnancy. But for me, it was so like in front of everything else that was going on with me, especially that first trimester.
Dr. Fox: And you were still working full time throughout?
Dominique: Yeah. I stayed working full-time until 27 weeks when I started developing preterm contractions. Thankfully my cervix was never involved with, like, with any shortening. So we just decided to put me on modified. I stayed home from the hospital. I was still doing classes and I was still, you know, up and walking around and you guys gave me permission to still do yoga and exercise, but I was just trying to take it easy.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. I mean, it’s hard to work a 12-hour shift. Forget about twins, just being pregnant in the third trimester, it’s physically taxing, and then with twins, all the more so. At what point did everyone at work know that A, you were pregnant, and B, it was with twins?
Dominique: I took that old traditional route and kept it to myself the first trimester, which I kind of question myself about now. You know, I think I was so scared that I was gonna lose again, that I didn’t wanna have to share that process with my colleagues. But I think hindsight, they would have been so supportive through it.
Dr. Fox: Right. And they wouldn’t complain, why are you falling asleep on the job and throwing up or whatever?
Dominique: Exactly. Exactly. It would have made it so much easier to explain those things.
Dr. Fox: Why is Dominique got partying every night? She’s so tired and hungover every day. My God.
Dominique: She’s really got to grow up, that one. One day I’ll grow up.
Dr. Fox: What about your family and friends? Did you tell them around the same time?
Dominique: Yeah. So after we got that big blood work, what I think…I think it was around the anatomy scan that we told our parents. We had them over and they were very suspicious. Like, I think they knew we were gonna announce the pregnancy, but I spend…
Dr. Fox: Suspicious of what?
Dominique: I don’t know. Like…
Dr. Fox: This one is sneaky.
Dominique: Yeah. Look at her inviting us over for lunch. Weird. I spend entirely too much time on Pinterest and I had found this very clever way of announcing. I carved a pumpkin to look like a baby carriage and then I filled it with all these different fruits and I took two peaches, carved blueberries for eyes, and then put paccies [SP] in their little peach mouths. And when they all came over, I said, “Hey, does anyone want any fruit to start?” And we turned the watermelon around and the grandmothers just shrieked like for a while. And we actually have twins on both sides of our family. So my husband had…his sister had identical twins and I have cousins, I have several cousins with twins, fraternal twins on my side. So I think everyone was all thinking the same thing. “Oh, no. There’s two of them,” but like in the best way possible.
Dr. Fox: Did you know that what you are gonna be having in terms of boy-girl?
Dominique: Yes, I definitely found out early and I could not believe it. I had wanted boy-girl twins from the moment I found out I was pregnant and I was so, like, in disbelief that I was getting the boy-girl that I made the sonographers check my daughter until I think she was like 22 weeks along. And then I was like, “Can you just make sure it’s still a girl?” I remember Nick, looking at my husband and saying to him, “You’re either having a son, or a daughter, or a really awkward conversation in 10 years.” And just cracking up about, you know, just how I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I’d gotten so lucky to be getting exactly what I want.
Dr. Fox: And other than the contractions and the third trimester. How, how did the pregnancy go for you?
Dominique: Super smoothly. You know, I had to go to the bathroom every hour. That was definitely challenging, especially at nighttime and then getting back to bed. I am short and I carried to term, so physically that last month…I delivered at the end of January and I called all of January Jabba the Hutt January because I felt like Jabba the Hutt. Like, walking outside to take my dog for a walk was challenging. Getting my shoes off, from like the fifth month, was challenging.
Dr. Fox: Wow. How much weight did you gain?
Dominique: I gained 58 pounds, I believe.
Dr. Fox: Every single one of those pounds was perfect. Throughout the pregnancy, you know, we’re monitoring you and you’re going great. And they were growing…and we knew that they were a little bit different in terms of size. I think ultimately we were a little bit surprised at birth at the difference in their weights, but we knew that the baby A was a little bit smaller than baby B. Yeah?
Dominique: Yeah. I think we overestimated Roman by a few ounces and underestimated Allegra by a few ounces.
Dr. Fox: Right. Right. So that we knew there was a difference, but it turned out being more. Did you ever think you were gonna make it to 38-and-a-half weeks pregnant with twins? I mean, were you sort of like there’s no chance I’m going this far?
Dominique: No. Not at all, especially when the contractions started at 27 weeks. And I remember your team telling me, “Just make friends with them. Make friends with the contractions. They’re here to stay. They’re gonna help us deliver these babies when it’s time.” And like every time I felt a contraction, I remember telling myself like, “Don’t be scared. This is normal for your pregnancy.” And then I would sit down and drink a ton of water, just like keep myself super hydrated.
Dr. Fox: Right. Which is also probably why you had to pee every hour.
Dominique: Probably. More than likely on top of having two babies bouncing on my bladder.
Dr. Fox: You’re getting through the third trimester, you’re coming up on the end, how much did you think about the actual birth, about what was going to be?
Dominique: Oh, my gosh. I fantasized about it every day. Having seen so many, I think, at that point in my career, I delivered over 600 babies. So I had seen so many different, you know, emotions and outcomes and tears of happiness and tears of sadness and I just wanted to know, like, what was mine gonna be like? And I remember, I’d started my meditation practice at that point. And whenever I had the negative thoughts, like, “Oh, my gosh, what if something like sad happens during my birth?” I remember spending extra time meditating to try to like put those thoughts out of my mind and tell myself that A, I was with a team who was so skilled and was going to make sure that my babies and I came out healthy through all this and that my body was capable and my body was strong and that we were gonna do this together. And just kind of putting all of that trust in my team and in my body really helped to minimize some of those worries that were popping up in my head, especially when I was fantasizing about the births. I wanted to really focus in on the love and not the fear.
Dr. Fox: Right. And how much were you set on them being born vaginally versus a C-section? Was it like absolutely positively has to be that way? Or were you like, “Well, whatever?”
Dominique: No. Absolutely positively has to be that way. But having said that, I do believe that a parent’s best friend is flexibility. So I always wanted to, kind of, give myself, hey, as long as I get two healthy babies and I’m healthy at the end of this, that’s what matters. But when they presented that my son was head down, Allegra was breech…she was baby B. Roman was head down. Once I saw that happening, I was like, “Oh, it’s a go. We’re doing this.”
Dr. Fox: Right. Meaning if Roman were also breech, if they were both breech and we said you need a C-section, it would have been like, “All right, bummer. Okay. Let’s do it.” But since it was an option and you knew that it was an option, you were very gung-ho.
Dominique: Very gung-ho.
Dr. Fox: Got it. Okay. No. Listen, I think that makes a lot of sense. And when we’re talking to twins about, you know, delivery, there are some women who,coming into it, are very, very motivated for vaginal delivery and there’s others who are not, which is fine also. But for those who are, I think for the majority of them, if it’s not an option, right, baby A is breech or just not a safe thing for whatever reason, I think most of them have the same attitude you do. Like, listen, I just want healthy babies and me to come out of this okay and that’s fine. But for those who really wanna do it and it is an option, they’re really excited about it.
Dominique: Yeah, totally. And it’s thrilling. It’s thrilling to witness a twin birth and it was…Like, thrilling isn’t even a strong enough word for having delivered my babies vaginally.
Dr. Fox: Yes. I wanna talk about that. So let’s talk about going up to that moment. So did you go into labor or were you induced?
Dominique: I was induced. Those puppies did not…
Dr. Fox: You didn’t even go into labor by 38-and-a-half weeks.
Dominique: Right. Totally. you had to pull them out.
Dr. Fox: You’d have been pregnant now.
Dominique: Oh, my God. Imagine. That’s how I felt. At the end, I felt like every day was a year. I was like, “Really? Nothing? Today, nothing?”
Dr. Fox: How am I still pregnant?
Dominique: I know. And I was still having contractions and my cervix was like, “No, we’re good here.”
Dr. Fox: You have a very strong cervix. It hung on. And so you got induced. I mean, you knew what that process was gonna be like, obviously, because you’d been a part of it so many times on the other end. But going through, you know, the induction, the labor and you’re there, how surreal was it, number one, just in general because you’re gonna have your babies, and number two, to be on the other side, so to speak, as opposed to being the labor nurse and caring for you, you were being cared for?
Dominique: First, I was so glad that I was delivering where I had worked. You know, I had really mixed feelings about that because, let’s be honest, we’re not dentists. You guys weren’t all looking at my teeth. So there was that kind of, you know, anxiety that I experienced a little bit, but I prepared for it, thinking about how I would have prepared a patient. And then coming into it, once I was in my room, all of my colleagues stopped by to say hello. And there was so much love in my labor room that it really helped quench any of that fear that I might’ve been feeling. So the support was amazing. I remember just Dr. Zhan, my anesthesiologist, holding me for the epidural. He wouldn’t even let my nurse hold me for my epidural. And just how tenderly everyone treated me felt so…it felt so special, you know, to have these people that I’d worked alongside with.
And then just being on my end of things, I was so glad that the twins’ tracings behaved because it let me relax. Like, the babies had very stable tracings, always reassuring. I don’t even think we had like a decel where you guys had to run in and flip me or anything. So that let me relax. But I wondered to myself if I had had, you know, a tracing that required some interventions if I would have been more freaked out because I know what could have been happening or what it could have led to. But thankfully the twins behaved so well that I was able to really just enjoy. I slept through like the better half of latent phase labor. And then I just remember it was a really busy night on the labor floor and starting to feel rectal pressure and Dr. Silverstein coming in and checking me and being like, “Yup. You’re nearly there.” I was 9.5 centimeters for two hours and just being like, “Okay. Okay.” But feeling that super intense pressure of the baby’s dropping, but just also being happy to be in the game. You know when, like, the actors say like, “It’s an honor to be nominated,” it’s totally how I felt.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. It’s an honor to be fully dilated, Dr. Silverstein, under your care. Thank you. Thank you, everyone.
Dominique: Exactly. That’s exactly how I felt. I felt like I was winning the Oscars.
Dr. Fox: Right. I mean, and having Mike there, that’s its own experience. That’s like a wild ride with Mike.
Dominique: Totally. Totally. And, you know, it was even more appropriate because Dr. Silverstein was the first doctor, like the first solo delivery I did as a new nurse, you know, when they hold you, kind of, on like…
Dr. Fox: Oh, really?
Dominique: Yeah. They hold you…When you first graduate from nursing school and you get your first job, you’re, kind of, on supervision for six months or so with another nurse. You’re shadowing her and then little by slowly, she has you, you know, take over and do most of the case. But my first case by myself without anyone else was with Dr. Silverstein. And I remember telling him like, “Oh, my gosh. I’m by myself.” And he goes, “What am I, chopped liver?” I was like, “Okay. Fair enough. I’m not alone.”
Dr. Fox: And he’s the best to do that because like he’ll go swaddle the baby and do the heel stick and probably, you know, he’ll take care of the nursing.
Dominique: Yeah. Totally. I was still shadowing.
Dr. Fox: He could do everything. Yeah.
Dominique: Totally. I thought it was like just a very beautiful circle that we’ve come to where he had been there for my first and now he was there again for my, you know, first and second.
Dr. Fox: Did you pick a playlist for the delivery? Was there music playing?
Dominique: There was music playing. Michael commandeered the speaker as he normally does. To this day, I still don’t know the song. I have like a 20-second clip of those live pictures, but I can’t pick out the song, but I do remember have commandeering our playlist.
Dr. Fox: I bet there’s a greater than 50% chance that if I asked him he would know the answer to what…
Dominique: Oh, we should.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. He would look it up. I mean, he probably has as notes somewhere. He keeps very detailed notes on his deliveries, it’s an interesting thing.
Dominique: I love that.
Dr. Fox: Okay. So you’re there, you’re just about ready to go. And I assume they brought you into the operating room. And how many people are there with you, 50?
Dominique: Oh, my gosh. That’s what it felt like. No joke. I remember when I was like getting moved to the OR table, I looked out of the door and our operating room doors have almost like windows. And I swear I saw three med students arguing over who was gonna go in and watch. And in the end, I told Dr. Silverstein, they can all come in because I understood, you know, I was having not only just a twin delivery, but we were also gonna have to do a breech extraction on Allegra, and like how often do you get to see that as a med student? So I think in the end, yeah, 50 is about a good estimate of how many people were in there. Honestly, it was me. I was in there. I can’t tell you, once I started pushing, it really was like me and my body.
Dr. Fox: And how long did you have to push?
Dominique: I pushed for 20 minutes. The twins were three minutes apart. Yup.
Dr. Fox: You pushed and you delivered Roman. And tell me about that, right at that moment.
Dominique: Oh, man. My husband took a picture and Roman and I are making the same face, which was like screaming in ecstasy. It was the biggest surge of love I’ve ever felt in my entire life where I just felt like my body saying, like…how do I put that feeling into words? It was beautiful. I felt so strong, I felt so happy, I felt so capable, I felt so proud. And then to have this little tiny guy on my chest and to see my son for the first time after having, you know, fantasized about it for, you know, months, if not years, it was a really, really special moment followed very quickly by a plummet in blood pressure which left me super dizzy to push Allegra out.
Dr. Fox: Why did your blood pressure drop?
Dominique: I’m not entirely sure, but I just remember…I think the anesthesiologist said it, like, “Her blood pressure’s dropping,” and just the baby getting whizzed off, and then Dr. Silverstein saying, “Okay, time to do it again.”
Dr. Fox: And so, obviously, it’s breech extraction. He had to reach in to grab Allegra by the feet. So what was that like physically? Did you feel that? Was it painful? Was it just intense? Like, what was going on?
Dominique: Yeah. Honestly, I don’t remember. I think the body is so kind to you in those moments that I don’t remember any pain from him reaching in to grab her by the feet. I do her being born and I couldn’t…at that point, my blood pressure was so low. I was so dizzy.
Dr. Fox: I wonder if they gave you a bunch of epidural beforehand which dropped your blood pressure. It’s a possibility.
Dominique: Yes. I think that’s what happened because my epidural bag had run out. The cocktail had run out in the room so I was feeling so much…I started to feel my contractions. So I think that that’s what happened, that I got a dose when I got into the operating room. And so Allegra and I couldn’t even do skin to skin when she was first born because I was so dizzy. And I always mention this because I feel like some of my patients get disappointed if they can’t do skin to skin with their babies right away. And so I always say, “Listen, I get it. I didn’t get to do it with my daughter, but I did it with my son. And I’m happy to report that I’m equally emotionally bonded to both of them. I’m not more bonded to my son because I did skin to skin with him following birth and like less so with my daughter because I didn’t get to do it.” Because I feel like sometimes as a nurse you get these experiences and it helps you be a better nurse and to be more compassionate when we provide care.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. No, I think that’s a great point. In terms of the breech extraction itself, did you have any hesitation about that or fears about that, or were you like, “Oh, no. I’ve seen this, this is gonna be great?”
Dominique: I felt good because I’d seen Dr. Silverstein do it before. My fear was the episiotomy and that’s something that like, I often think still like, I could have lived a happy life without that. But I got what I wanted. So I always tell my patients, especially my twin patients, you know, if you get what you want, just remember that there’s parts of it that you might not be aware of the side effects of, and the episiotomy was definitely one for me. But I felt comfortable and I felt confident in Dr. Silverstein’s skill, I think more so because I had seen him do it. So I wasn’t so nervous about that. It was the episiotomy.
Dr. Fox: Okay. And she was…I mean, she was much bigger. I mean he was 5 pounds and she was 7-plus.
Dominique: 5.4. Yeah. Exactly 2 pounds over.
Dr. Fox: It’s interesting because, you know, in hindsight, when you look at those weights, it probably just would have been fine, but it would have been bordering on the weights where we wouldn’t have attempted a breech extraction. I think if I do the math, it was close enough that would have been okay. But we were getting there and it’s yeah, it takes skill to do that second twin as a breech. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, and obviously, Mike’s done a ton of them and you’d seen him do a ton of them, so that’s great. But, you know, some people have a lot of fear going into that and some people actually don’t even want us to do it and they just do a C-section and…not so much in our practice. I think a lot of people come to us specifically to deliver twins vaginally, but some people are very uncomfortable with that. And when you’re done and you have these two babies sitting there and…how was that?
Dominique: Oh. It lwa like my every dream come true. Like, have you ever wanted something so, so, so bad and worked so, so, so hard on it and then you get it and it’s as delicious, if not more so, than you thought it was gonna be? I feel like I only have a handful of examples of that and the twin’s birth is that where it was just…I was so happy. I was like blissful, honestly. I have this one picture of me in the recovery room with both of them on my chest and the smile on my face, like I feel like I’m, like, right up there with Monalisa. I can see the, like, happiness oozing out of me.
Dr. Fox: It’s amazing. Wow. So this is six years ago now. Looking back on all of this, right, because you’re not in the moment, but you’re looking back, what do you take away from the whole experience of, you know, having a twin pregnancy, having it, thankfully, just go so well and having, you know, the birth experience, you know, essentially what you wanted and what you’re dreaming for and it just worked out great? How do you, sort of, process that?
Dominique: You know, I subscribed to this thought of life that you can manifest things, right? Your mind is so incredibly powerful that if you want good things to happen, you look for the good things, and then when you find them, you’re so focused on them that the negative parts, kind of, melt away, they take, kind of, like the backseat. And so my whole life I’ve been like terribly optimistic, probably annoyingly so to some of my closer friends and family, and that’s just how I approached my pregnancy. Like, yes, there were the discomforts of a twin pregnancy, but the excitement of it all was what I focused on so much, right? Like, I was always looking for the silver lining in things.
And I think that that’s what helped me…you know, first, two babies, that’s a lot. There’s some women who just wouldn’t even want that from the get-go. I got the two babies, I got the vaginal delivery, we were all healthy through it and just the gratitude that I experienced then and every day since then for having these two little people in my life is just, you know, the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about when I’m…you know, maybe not the last thing, but when I’m putting them to bed, certainly I think about how lucky we all are to live this life and to be able to live it together.
Dr. Fox: That’s amazing. And how has it affected you professionally? Because, you know, you’re in this world, the fact that you had your own birth and your own twins.
Dominique: I think that I have a very strong connection with my twin patients. So in the hospital, like when we got to choose the patients we worked with, I would always choose the twins because I knew that I could bring my experience, my strength, my hope to them, and help give them maybe a more loving experience versus a little bit more fear-based. So I would always choose a twin. And now with lactation, you know, I was able to breastfeed those babies for a year. I feel like I have so many tricks up my sleeves for my twin clients that it’s just, kind of, given me this like niche and in our industry where I can relate so much to them and having walked in their shoes, I can, you know, hear their experience and say, “Okay. Well, let’s see. If that’s what you’re struggling with, let’s get creative. Let’s think about ways that we can work with this.”
And then, again, I bring back that optimism and, you know, my patients just, kind of, sometimes like turn their heads and look at me funny where they’re like, “I never thought to look at something that way.” But I really do try to find, like, the good in everything, you know, even in the bad, there’s silver linings to every situation. And, again, I feel like if we focus in on all the good things, sometimes the not-so-great things or the not-so-positive things don’t seem as bad.
Dr. Fox: Wow. That’s an amazing outlook. And I mean, listen, obviously you were a really positive person coming into this experience and just by nature. But I do think that having that reinforced that you had such a, you know, potential for things going in so many different directions when you first got pregnant and it’s not like you didn’t worry about them, right? You said you worried about a lot of things, and they just sort of, you know, for, you know, good fortune fell by the wayside, and then you were left with just this twin pregnancy that, you know, never ended. And you had the delivery. I just think it is an amazing thing and it is a reminder, you know, with every birth and every baby, when it goes well, it’s like a miracle. It’s an unbelievable thing when everything goes well because when we’re in the business, we know all the horrible things that can happen.
And, you know, we tend to focus on them because them, you know, they stick in our memories like, oh, my God, when that bad thing happened, when that bad thing happened. But most of the time, it just goes really well and everyone has a wonderful birth and a healthy kid, and an amazing experience. And that’s such a blessing that we take for granted so frequently because it’s human nature to take it for granted, but we do. And, you know, to sort of hear all these stories just reminds us really how blessed we are that it usually just goes amazing.
Dominique: Yeah. Totally. Absolutely. And, you know, I challenge everyone to think about the positive, find the positive, especially when you’re feeling negative or when there’s so many challenges around you. You know, make that gratitude list, three things in your life that you’re grateful for. It could be your morning cup of coffee. It could be anything. But when you really focus in on the good, it can be really life-changing.
Dr. Fox: Dominique, thank you so much for telling your story and obviously for helping women through their own pregnancies and through their own stories. But getting to hear from you is really cool. It’s also great because obviously I and my partners, we got to have a small part in it, which was pretty awesome to watch someone who you know, and you respect, and you like to go through this, it’s a pretty cool thing from our end as well. It’s a lot of fun, you know, to be involved in your pregnancy in whatever capacity we can. It’s just pretty awesome.
Dominique: Yeah. I was so thankful. And I actually give you guys huge parts of that pregnancy. You guys did not play a minor role. You guys were the ones who reassured me. Every time I went in, everyone was so reassuring and everyone explained everything to me. And anytime there was something that didn’t align the norm, you know, it was explained until I felt comfortable understanding it for myself. And I remember you always coming in with the ultrasound and saying, “A-plus,” or, “Eggs of a 23-year-old.”It’s just so funny. So it was, you know, your team played such a huge role in my ability to settle in and enjoy that pregnancy.
Dr. Fox: All right. Well, thank you for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it.
Dominique: Oh, it was my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Dr. Fox: Thank you for listening to “High Risk Birth Stories,” brought to you by the creators of the “Healthful Woman” podcast. If you’re interested in telling your birth story on our podcast, please go to our partner website at www.healthfulwoman.com and click the link for sharing your story. You can also email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you liked today’s podcast, please be sure to check out our “Healthful Woman” podcast as well where I speak with the leaders in the field to help you learn more about women’s health, pregnancy, and wellness. Have a great day.
The information discussed in “High Risk Birth Stories” is intended for information and entertainment only and does not replace medical care from your physician. The stories and experiences discussed in our podcasts are unique to each guest and are not intended to be representative of any standard of care or expected outcomes. As always, we encourage you to speak with your own doctor about specific diagnoses and treatment options for an effective treatment plan. Guests on “High Risk Birth Stories” have given their permission for us to share their personal health information.