Yesterday we celebrated our twins 13th birthday.
They were very sick when I was pregnant with them.
They had what is called “Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome” that only affects identical twins. They shared a placenta and when their umbilical cords attached they attached too close together. Feeder vessels grew and shunted blood from one twin to the other. 40% of twins that are diagnosed with this condition, at the stage our twins were diagnosed in utero, do not survive.
They told me at 13 weeks I was on strict bedrest and about all I could do was to lay on my left side.
They told us not to give them names yet.
We went every three days for an ultrasound and I shocked everyone by making it to 34 weeks.
They were born at 34 weeks and 5 and 6 1/2 pounds.
When they were born my mom’s sister asked the nurse when they would be able to see and hold the boys.
They told her they weren’t sure.
Then the nurse whispered to the other nurse that no one would be holding these babies.
My aunt couldn’t tell anyone. She prayed.
I didn’t get to hold them when they were born.
They were shuffled away.
There was a weight difference of 1 1/2 pounds.
That discrepancy in weight for identical twins is often fatal.
That meant one twin was severely anemic and has a high probability of having cerebral palsy, if he survived.
The other twin usually doesn’t survive due to so much blood in the babies system that the heart is overworked, their organs cannot process, and they start shutting down.
The doctor came into my room and told my husband and I that one twin was suffering from failure to thrive. The other baby had to have a breathing tube because he had developed a condition called respiratory distress syndrome, RDS.
I knew what RDS was.
My mom died after having her appendix removed from RDS.
My mom’s birthday was October 11.
I had just had my boys on October 11.
The doctor began to explain what RDS is and I went preeclampsic.
I didn’t even know you could get preeclampsia AFTER giving birth.
They sedated me and my poor Jim didn’t know if he was leaving the hospital alone.
Seven days later…
we were all home.
I love telling this story.
I love to share with people how things can turn around.
How when all seems lost and probabilities are poor that little blessings, or gifts, or miracles, or whatever you believe…things can work out gloriously.
I feel as if all of those descriptions are fitting when I tell this story.
How fast things can change for the worse can also apply to how things can change for the better.
My beautiful boys are healthy and only know what we went through because of stories we tell them.
We tell them so they know how special they are.
So they know they have purpose for being here.
So they know how much we loved them before we even knew them.
So they know how strong they have been, even when they were so small.
So they know that even if you suffer loses, like losing your mother as a teenager, you still have a beautiful life to look forward to.
So they know that older generations loved them and want them to have happiness in life, even after they are gone.
So they know that maybe God does exist and that guardian angels may be grandmothers that cannot be here with them.
Happy birthday to our beautiful, healthy, kind, smart, sweet, funny boys!
Mitchell and Avery
Are you fascinated at the process of a brand new baby being born?
Every story of a person coming into the world is amazing to me.
If you need a funny story head on over and read about my next, (and last) pregnancy with Peter who thought he needed to be as big as TWO twins before he was born and how giganto baby turned me into a stark raving lying lunatic. You may also giggle at the picture of the twins IN THE ROOM WHEN HE WAS BORN…by accident and poor planning and because Peter refused to exit my womb until he could hold his own with two big brothers.