March 17, 2000

Nurse midwife program delivers first set of twins

Featured Image

Holly Byrd holds her newborn twins, Catherine Loraine and David Tyler, deliverd by VUSN’s Certified Nurse Midwife Practice. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Nurse midwife program delivers first set of twins

Multiple births are not a rarity in the Labor and Delivery units at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

But delivery here by a certified nurse midwife is, due to the sometimes high-risk nature of such births.

Last week Holly Byrd and her newborn twins, David Tyler and Catherine Loraine Byrd, changed all that when they became the first multiple-birth delivery for Vanderbilt University School of Nursing's Certified Nurse Midwifery Practice.

Certified Nurse Midwife Lori Cabbage delivered the twins.

"What made it so awesome was the collaborative relationship with the physician," said Cabbage, M.S.N. "The mom was able to have the best of both worlds. She had a terrific low-risk pregnancy and birth with the potential for back up care if needed.

"This was a great example of how nurse midwives and physicians work well together as a team with matched philosophies, trust and expertise to bring about good outcomes. Good intensive prenatal care kept her low risk and her care included consultations with Dr. Connie Graves throughout her pregnancy," Cabbage said.

In the five years the certified nurse midwifery practice has been available at Vanderbilt, this is the first set of twins born to the practice. In the past, multiple births have been turned over to the physicians who serve as back-up for the midwifery practice. N

ormal protocol called for the group to see the women throughout the entire pregnancy until the time to birth.

Although Holly Byrd was a first-timer in giving birth to twins, it was her second time using a nurse midwife. Two years ago, she came to the practice when pregnant with her first child.

"I kept in touch with the group and had no doubt that when I became pregnant this time, I knew where I wanted to be," Byrd recalls.

"But when I discovered that we were having twins, I remember asking if I could please stay with the group. It was great the way they set up my care and they covered all the bases.

“I really wanted to use nurse midwives, but I was afraid that the twins would put me into the high-risk category and they would have to send me elsewhere.

"I was glad it all worked out."

David Tyler was born weighing in at 6 pounds and 4 ounces, while his sister, Catherine Loraine, arrived five minutes later weighing 4 pounds and 8 ounces.

"I had two healthy babies and I know it was due to the great prenatal care and the supervision I received. I feel really strongly about midwifery services at Vanderbilt," Byrd said.

"I would not have known about this option if my primary caregiver had not told me. The advantages are great, including one-on-one care, less expense, and less intervention.

"One of the best things was that when I had them, I did not feel alone. Lori was there."