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Doctor Having Her Own Baby Delivers Someone Else’s Baby First

Photograph by Twenty20

If you love stories with a happy ending, you’re going to love this story twice as much because it has two of the happiest endings possible. Dr. Amanda Hess, an OB-GYN from Frankfort, Ky., was at Frankfort Regional Medical Center to have her own baby, not to deliver someone else’s, but she managed to do both.

On July 23, Hess was in her hospital, gown complete with that indiscreet opening in the back because she was about to be induced, when her husband pointed out that a woman was screaming. Immediately, Hess switched from being a patient to being an OB-GYN.

“I just put on another gown to cover up my backside and put on some boots over my shoes, to keep from getting any fluid and all that stuff on me, and went down to her room,” Hess told WKYT.

As luck would have it, the woman screaming, Leah Halliday-Johnson, was a patient that Hess had seen the week before for a final prenatal checkup. Halliday-Johnson had arrived at the hospital about an hour earlier and was only 1 centimeter dilated, but things got real REAL fast. So fast that there wasn’t any time for pain medication even if she wanted any.

The on-call doctor was not back from a break when Halliday-Johnson started to feel the urge to push. To further complicate things, the baby had its umbilical cord loosely wrapped around its neck.

Nurses asked Halliday-Johnson to try to not push. “I was not being quiet about the fact that it was difficult for me not to push,” Halliday-Johnson said.

Enter Dr. Hess, like a hospital gown-wearing superhero! Halliday-Johnson didn’t even know that Dr. Hess was actually about to give birth to her own baby. “I said, OK, it’s great to see you. Can I push now?” Halliday-Johnson recalls. “She was in complete doctor mode. She just heard somebody needed help.”

With no time to spare, Dr. Hess stepped in and helped deliver Halliday-Johnson’s fourth child, a healthy 8-pound baby girl. When the on-call doctor arrived to finish things up, Dr. Hess headed back to her own hospital room, switched back to patient mode and later gave birth to her own baby girl, Ellen Joyce. Dr. Hess has an older daughter as well.

How many women do you know have a birth story that involves not only them giving birth, but also delivering someone else's baby before they give birth? We’re thinking something like this doesn’t happen very often. Talk about being a multitasking mama!

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