38 Weeks

Van Zante TwinsThere weren’t any twins in Tiffany and Jeff Van Zante’s immediate family. At least, not until Feb. 21 when Breanna and Brooklyn made their appearance at Pella Regional Health Center during an Iowa winter snowstorm.

Most births of multiples do not happen at Pella Regional, primarily because most twins deliver early and are considered high risk pregnancies. A normal single birth is about 40 weeks. A healthy mom who makes it to 36 weeks can consider Pella Regional for birth.

For the Van Zante’s, Pella Regional was the preferred option.

“Dr. [Galyn] Vande Zande set our goal at 38 weeks,” said Tiffany. “We said it every time we went in to see him. He was a great doctor! I loved him from the first appointment. It was overwhelming to find out we were having twins, but he was very good about telling me what would happen at my next appointment.”

As the duo reached the 38-week mark, arrangements were made to induce pregnancy. Tiffany and Jeff headed to the hospital to begin their labor and experience the very special care provided by Pella Regional’s obstetrics nurses.

Pella Regional has nearly 40 nurses and aides who work with women in labor. All have had specialized training to help with obstetrics. A huge part of their job is to help educate new parents, not only with what is happening during labor and delivery but also with what they need to know as they head home with their new baby (or babies).

“Pella Regional’s OB nurses who are caring for laboring women are empathetic, helpful and professional,” said Dr. Richard Postuma, one of Pella Regional’s eight family practice physicians who deliver babies. “They are a pleasure to work with.”

Tiffany’s labor was induced on Wednesday evening, Feb. 20, and progressed normally throughout the evening and next day. Despite labor contractions that increased, her cervix did not dilate.

Dr. Galyn Vande Zande consulted with a prenatal specialist from Mercy and brought the Cesarean section option to Tiffany and Jeff.

“I thought it was good that Dr. Vande Zande consulted with the prenatal specialist from Des Moines that we had been seeing regularly in Pella Regional’s specialty clinic,” said Tiffany. “Dr. Vande Zande made it clear that he didn’t want to make the C-section delivery because of the snowstorm or because I was tired but that it really was the best option.”

As soon as the C-section decision was made, nurse Connie Gordon took on the job of making sure the soon-to-be-new-parents were well-informed on the next steps.

“Connie was absolutely great,” said Tiffany. “She explained everything in depth, answered our questions and made sure that Jeff was ready. She even made sure we had our camera as we headed to the operating room.”

With twins, there were about 15 people involved in the delivery, including nurses, surgeon Mike Thompson, additional doctors for immediate care of the newborn infants, and nurse anesthetists. Everyone in the operating room has a specific job.

“I remember watching all these people – each with their own job – it was so incredible,” said Tiffany.

Jeff added, “Walking into that OR and realizing that I’d have two babies in just a few minutes, everything hits home at that moment.”

Following a C-section, most new moms can expect to stay in the hospital for an extra three days to help with the recovery. Throughout those days, the OB staff is working to ensure the health and recovery of babies and mom.

“Our nurse aide Ruth [Johnson] was phenomenal,” said Tiffany. “On my last day there, my hormones were crazy! I was bawling and didn’t know why. But Ruth came in and told me, ‘I can already see that you will be great parents.’ It was very memorable. She is a truly special person.”

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