Amanda’s Story: Giving Birth to Twins During a Pandemic

October 5th, 2020

For Amanda Yoder and her husband, Justin Youk, October has always been special. It’s the month they got married. It’s also the month in 2019 that Amanda learned she was pregnant—with twins!

Already the parents of two boys—Parker, 8, and Brecken, 2—Amanda and Justin knew what to expect. But they never expected Amanda would be giving birth during a global pandemic.

“Having premature twins during a pandemic, with two other children at home, is, in a word, hard,” says Amanda, of Chalfont. “But my entire care team at Grand View Health supported me the entire time. We always felt at ease.”

Amanda’s pregnancy proceeded well, until the 26th week. “I was having contractions every three minutes,” she says. She called the team at Grand View OB/GYN Associates, who recommended she go to Grand View Hospital.

“I was going into pre-term labor,” Amanda says. She stayed in the hospital for two days, received magnesium sulfate to stop the early contractions, and returned home.

Then, on June 5, Amanda returned to Grand View Hospital, this time to give birth. Obstetrician gynecologist Sandra Bogota Angel, MD delivered the twins. Sawyer, the son, weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces, while Henley, the daughter, weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces.

An hour later, Amanda and Justin got unsettling news: the twins needed assistance with their oxygen levels and would be admitted to the hospital’s six-bed Level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which Grand View operates in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

“We expected Sawyer and Henley to be pretty healthy, so we were surprised,” Amanda says. They were also worried. But then neonatologist “Dr. Andy” (Andy Wang, MD) with CHOP Newborn Care at Grand View Health explained that it’s standard procedure for all infants born at 36 weeks or less to receive NICU care. “He sat down with us and explained everything that would happen,” Amanda says.

Henley needed a nasal canula to assist with breathing for 24 hours, while Sawyer received a medication (Surfactin) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to improve his breathing. Both twins were completely on room air within 48 hours. They spent 11 days on the NICU before going home.

NICU nurses Jacquelyn and Lisa

Of the NICU experience, Amanda says, “All my nurses were wonderful. Vicki explained the C-section to me. Barb and Lisa were beyond amazing. Laura talked with Justin every night by phone to give him updates on the twins. And Priscilla, Allison and Nancy made us comfortable.”

Now, the twins are thriving. “They have different personalities,” Amanda says. “Henley lets you know what she wants. Sawyer is more laid back. They’re acting just like ‘Dr. Anna’ (neonatologist Anna Sosnovsky, MD, with CHOP Newborn Care at Grand View) said they would.”

Amanda and Justin are so grateful for the care they received, they’re hosting a bake sale in Souderton on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. – noon and donating all proceeds to the NICU. “We were greatly supported by our team, Amanda says, “and it’s our honor to give back.”