Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mya and Lyla's Story


     We found out we were expecting early June. I scheduled a doctor's appointment for the next week hoping to find out how far along I was, that is not all we found out! While getting my first ultrasound the woman played the baby's heartbeat, she kept staring at the screen not saying any words so I asked if that is indeed the heartbeat. She told me yes it is...and here is the other one. I began laughing while my fiancĂ© asked if she was joking or not, she informed us that she does not joke about twins. She kept looking at the screen after we heard each heartbeat and then told us the doctor would want to speak with us.

     The doctor came in and proceeded to tell us that they did not see a membrane dividing the twins and there is a small chance they could be monoamniotic, but majority of the time they are able to find a membrane later on.  I went home to Google "monoamniotic twins" (big mistake) and really scared myself.  All I was able to find is that this occurs in about 1 of every 60,000 twin births and that my babies only have a 50 to 60% chance of survival.  I knew the girls were monoamniotic but Chris kept trying to make me feel better by insisting that they will find a membrane. Our next appointment we were able to find out the gender of our babies but also our last chance to search for that membrane.  I was ecstatic to find out we were having girls but that was quickly trampled when we were ensured that there was no membrane making my pregnancy extremely high risk.

     Our next step was to make a plan because that doctor could not handle such a high risk pregnancy.  After seeing a few doctors, all telling me to not get too attached because there is a 50% chance I will not get to have my girls, I settled on a doctor in Pennsylvania.  We made a plan to go inpatient at 26 weeks  and to be monitored 3x daily for an hour.  Getting to 26 weeks was extremely difficult.  I was skeptical about having a baby shower because I was afraid of my girls not making it. I was afraid to sleep fearing I would wake up and not feel any movement.

     Finally 26 weeks came and I was ready to be admitted. Being inpatient was hard to say the least.  Chris was finishing school so he could not be there as much as he would have liked which was hard for me. I cried every night I was in the hospital, I felt isolated from the world and everyone was going on about their life without me. I especially hated getting my IV switched every other day. One member of my family would visit every day and that was what I would look forward to every day.

     I had one major scare during my late night monitoring where Baby B's heart dropped into the 70s for a few seconds. I was so scared and pushed my call button 100 times. The ultra sound tech came running in and could not find my baby's heartbeat, finally my doctor pushed him out of the way and found it. Words cannot describe my relief.  I was given oxygen and they kept me strapped up all night. Between the straps being so tight, my tears and my fear I did not get one minute of sleep that night. A few weeks went by with no major issues and other than being in a hospital for five weeks I was doing well.

     My doctor gave me the option of delivering at 34 weeks or 32 and I did not want to take any risks so I chose 32. Thanksgiving rolled around and Chris was finally able to stay for a while. November 26, 2013 I was on my last monitoring session of the day when Baby B's heart dropped into the 70s. I was given oxygen and my doctor told me he was just going to keep me on the monitor for a while longer and told the nurse to give me another round of steroids.  Her heart rate went back up but I would not take my eyes off of that screen. Twenty minutes later her heart rate dropped again, this time to the 50's.

     My doctor ran into my room and asked "Can I deliver your babies today?" I was so scared I could not even speak. I looked at Chris and he responded "Let's Go!" Everything after that happened so quickly. I was rushed into a bright room and Chris was told to stay behind. They put me on the operating table and everyone was scrambling around me. My doctor was yelling that the anesthesiologist was taking too long and getting his instruments ready which did not help my nerves, finally it was time to put me under.

 
Mya and Lyla

     I woke up asking the nurses if my girls were ok and if they had hair, she responded yes to both questions. I was sent to recovery and was dying to meet my angels. When I saw my girls for the first time it was like a dream. My girls, my sweet babies who I had been told might not make it were finally here. Lyla weighed 2lbs 14 oz and Mya was 2lbs 15 oz. Their cords were not only tangled but Lyla's wrapped around Mya's neck. After four days we were finally able to hold Mya and the next day Lyla! I thought being inpatient was hard, but that was nothing compared to leaving without my girls every day which never got easier.

   I visited my girls every day sometimes up to 5 hours a day. The girls spent about 5 weeks in the NICU with only a few minor setbacks. Lyla came home January 11 and Mya the following day. My girls are 6 months old now and are absolutely perfect.  I love them more than I knew I could. I still stare at them in disbelief the same way I did when the night they were born.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Dad's Perspective

The story in the link below is a dad's perspective of a monoamniotic pregnancy that was published on Esquire.com. We just had to share! It's a great read about a mo/mo pregnancy and life after babies come home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Triplets with a Momo Pair


In November 2012 my husband and I decided to try for our second baby. Our daughter McKenna was almost 4 and really wanted a baby brother or sister. She prayed everyday to God to put a baby in my belly. In march 2013 her prayers were answered. We received our positive pregnancy test. I was 4 weeks pregnant and immediately started my prenatal care. McKenna was overjoyed and started praying daily for twin girls. She named the babies she prayed for Mallory and Celery. I had a normal singleton pregnancy besides terrible morning sickness. It was much worse than with McKenna. Maybe we were being blessed with a boy this go around, we thought. 

At 19 weeks we went for our routine ultrasound. I asked McKenna if she wanted a brother or a sister. She replied she was going to have both. Before we began the ultrasound the tech asked if this was our first ultrasound and If we wanted to know the gender. It was our first ultrasound and we were going to have the gender put in an envelope to be revealed later. We started the U/S and the tech immediately stopped and asked again if this were my first ultrasound. I said yes. She then asked if I were taking fertility treatments. My reply "NO. WHY? IS THERE 2?" She responded, no there's 3. McKenna was right she was having a brother and Identical monoamniotic sisters. We were shocked. It's the only way to put it. 

I had no idea what having monoamniotic babies meant. I went home and googled. I was scared to death. My ob told me statistically there probably was a membrane and they would surely find it at my MFM appointment. At 23 weeks I headed to my anatomy scan. Knowing in my heart my girls were momo. It was confirmed that afternoon. That scan also put my son in a high risk category for Down's syndrome and told me one of the girls had a issue where her cerebellum was not formed correctly. I was urged then and there to terminate my girls. To sacrifice them for my son. No way, I loved them, all of them. 2 weeks later I went for another scan. No markers for Down syndrome and my daughters brain looked perfect. By this point I had disconnected from the pregnancy. I didn't believe I would bring any of my babies home. 

I went inpatient at 27 week 2 days. I would have went sooner but my baby B was suffering from IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) and wasn't at a viable weight. I checked in to the hospital expecting to deliver at 32 weeks. But at 29 weeks 2 days I had developed preeclampsia. We did our last ultrasound that morning to find out my sweet baby B Marissa was having reverse blood flow. We delivered that afternoon. Mallory and Marissa (no we didn't go with Celery) were born at 3:33 pm and Maddox arrived at 3:35. Sept 9, 2013. The day of their great grandpas birth and their other great grandpas death. Mallory was 2.5 lbs Maddox was 3.5lbs and my tiny Marissa was born with the smallest cord the Drs had ever seen at 1.15lbs. The doctors couldn't believe she was alive. They even cried with me.

 My triplets spent 7, 9, and 11 weeks in the hospital with little hiccups. They were for the most part healthy feeders and growers. Marissa, the last to come home came home, on her due date November 22nd. Today they are healthy, happy 6 month old's reaching all milestones for their adjusted age. They are my miracle babies.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Monoamniotic Twin Boys Success Story


      My name is Abby and I delivered mono mono twin boys on November 26 and wanted to share our story.  I found out I was pregnant on Mother's Day 2013 after going through a miscarriage. I went in to see my OB a week later and had an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. At that ultrasound the tech saw one sac, one placenta, and one heart beat, so we assumed there was one baby-little did we know there were actually two, one just hiding behind the other! I continued going to my regular appointments throughout the summer and each time we listened to one heart beat! I thought I was having a normal singleton pregnancy except for the fact that I had such horrendous morning sickness and I was showing much faster than I did with my first son, Jack.

     At 20 weeks I went in for the big ultrasound-my husband and I were so excited to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl! That's when we got the surprise of our lives! And by the look on the ultrasound tech's face so did she! We were actually expecting twin boys! I didn't have a doctors appointment scheduled until the next week so we went home and were shocked, but so happy to learn we'd be adding two more bundles of joy to our family!

     We had a wonderful weekend celebrating and then on Monday, my doctor called and explained that she could not see a membrane in my ultrasound photos and what that means. I was devastated. I made an appointment with a perinatologist and after several more ultrasounds it was confirmed that our boys were definitely monoamniotic. I was so scared, especially having had a miscarriage right before this pregnancy!

     My husband and I met with my new high risk doctor and we decided that I would check in to the hospital at 24 weeks for my inpatient stay. It was unbelievably hard to leave my son who was then 18 months old, but my mom took a family medical leave from the university where she works and took care of him! I was lucky enough that I was able to work from the hospital, which gave me something to do while I was there. I also finished writing my dissertation while inpatient. I have to say that I really learned what amazing people I have in my life during that hospital stay! I didn't go one day without a visitor in 10 weeks and people brought me books, DVDs, and crafts to keep me from going crazy! My sister came up every Friday night and we'd have a slumber party-eat pizza and watch movies! Between my husband and my mom, they got my son up to see me almost every day!

     I was on intermittent monitoring (1 hour out of every 4) with ultrasounds every two weeks right up until the very end. Two days before the boys were born, we finally had some bad tracings on the monitor and I was kept on 24 hour monitoring. It was very scary-twice during the middle of the night doctors and nurses rushed in and rolled me over onto my side. Both times the boys heart rates recovered, thank god! The second time they actually put in an IV and got me into a hospital gown!

     The next night I started having regular contractions. They started getting more painful and were coming every 2 minutes. I called my husband who got my parents over to our house to stay with Jack and he made it to the hospital just in time. Since we were trying to get to 34 weeks and we were 33 weeks and 5 days, the OB didn't see any point to stop my labor and they went ahead and prepped me for my c-section. They wheeled us down to the operating room and they were all so calm-it was very reassuring! Plus, I knew all the doctors and nurses so well by then that they were more like friends than doctors!



     The boys were born within one minute of each other-Henry at 4:57 and Oliver at 4:58 AM and they were 5 pounds 1 ounce and 5 pounds 6 ounces respectively, which I'm told are great weights for that gestational age. Their cords were a mess-they were all braided around each other with one true knot! They did absolutely wonderful! They were off oxygen by the end of the first day and needed no other interventions-they just had to learn to eat and grow. They came home exactly two weeks later. The NICU stay was the hardest part of the entire ordeal-it was very hard to leave the hospital without my babies. Luckily they did so well and we had them home for Christmas! They are such blessings and this has truly been the best holiday season ever!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rare monoamniotic twins delivered at Packard Hospital

A momo  mom contacted me to say she had been in the news! She wrote this introduction and the news story and pictures are below! (source:  http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=27924)

You're about to embark on a crazy, stressful and oftentimes scary journey with a momo pregnancy. I was inpatient and delivered my twin girls at a very reputable hospital and I was lucky to have wonderful, experienced care. My best advice is to educate yourself and be your own advocate. And remember, you're now part of a very exclusive momo- mommy club! And we are all here to support you!



Palo Alto Online News, Uploaded: Friday, December 14, 2012, 10:34 AM     


Rare monoamniotic twins delivered at Packard Hospital
Kate and Annie Carlson shared same amniotic sac







"A dramatic delivery at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital has saved the lives of twin girls who might not have survived to their first Christmas, the hospital has announced.

Kate and Annie Carlson were born Nov. 7, but they shared the same amniotic sac in their mother's uterus, which is a rare and dangerous condition, hospital officials said.

The twins, who were born to first-time parents Kevin and Allison Carlson of Menlo Park, underwent an emergency cesarean delivery after their umbilical cords had created a knot. The infants were only 30 weeks old, 10 weeks before a full 40-week term.

In normal twin pregnancies, a thin membrane forms to separate the twins; less than 1 percent of U.S. twin pregnancies are monoamniotic. Cord entanglement and compression and resulting blood flow problems kill 20 percent of twins with this diagnosis, hospital officials said.

Allison checked in to Packard in October as an inpatient. With no membrane dividing the twins, Dr. Jane Chueh and her prenatal diagnosis and therapy team balanced the risk of Kate and Annie being born prematurely with the risk of a cord entanglement. Doctors delayed delivery as long as possible to prevent the twins from developing lung disease and other complications associated with prematurity.

The girls were tiny: Kate weighed just 3 pounds and Annie weighed three pounds, two ounces.

"It was a testimony to the skill of the obstetricians to allow the twins to grow in the womb as much as they did, so that their lungs were able to mature," said neonatologist Dr. William Rhine, whose team cared for the twins in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The twins could soon be released from the hospital and their parents have their room ready at home.

"We're really grateful. Despite the chaos surrounding our delivery and pregnancy, Packard Children's really put us at ease with their experience and expertise, and it's one of the best holiday gifts a family could ever ask for," Kevin said. "

"Kevin and Allison Carlson with their twin daughters, Kate and Annie, at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The twin girls were born Nov. 7, but they shared the same amniotic sac in their mother's uterus, which is a rare and dangerous condition, hospital officials said. Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

4tunate: Quadruplets with a Momo Pair


**The following entries are taken with permission from www.4tunate.net.  Please visit that blog for updates on the family as well as frugal living, faith journey, family-friendly foods, and finding joy in the every day!***


On February 2, 2007, we became parents to quadruplet boys: Henry, Brooks, Clark, and Isaac. Originally, this blog started as a way to keep family and friends on board with updates and prayer requests during our extreme high-risk pregnancy. Since then, it has “multiplied” into a collection of our family adventures, frugal living on a “quad budget”, our faith journey, family-friendly foods, and finding joy in the every day.
We thank God for His immeasurable blessings and hope that our blog can be a source of encouragement to your faith as well!



From http://www.4tunate.net/2009/03/keepin-it-real-rewinds-10/
I don’t know if I’ll get through this post without fighting back tears, but I’ll give it my best shot…
Two weeks after the shock of our lives, (finding out we were expecting triplets), I found myself back on that same cold table, staring blankly at the black and white screen.  I immediately saw the three oval-shaped sacs, and watched breathlessly as she examined each one closely for a heartbeat.  Tiny little blips flashed on the screen proving life still existed. We knew that during the first trimester, there were certainly no guaranties. As she scanned the final sack, something caught my eye.  Before a word was spoken, I saw it.  I knew with certainty that this sac was not like the other two. Time stood still in that defining moment. There were two flashing heartbeats in one sack. 
All 4 babiesc

History was written in a conversation that went down something like this:
Me: "There’s two in there, aren’t there?"  
Nurse Lisa: "What?"
Brad: "Huh? What? Are there? Are we talking four babies?"
*Blurry screen*   
Our Doctor took over the ultrasound from there…
He examined it closely in what appeared to be disbelief.  He confirmed soberly there were indeed four and waited for me to get dressed to meet with him in the conference room.  
I remember looking at Brad who was standing behind me, making sure he wasn’t going to pass out.  He looked so dismayed and distraught. I was instantly flooded with emotions and ten thousand questions.  I felt overcome with guilt, fear, panic, grief, pain, disappointment, and disbelief; Yet I remained emotionally unresponsive in appearance.  I couldn’t cry… I couldn’t laugh a nervous laugh… I couldn’t scream… I just wanted to pull the white sheet over my head, and disappear from this new reality. 
Instead, the nightmare worsened. We learned that not only did we have an even higher risk pregnancy by the increased number, but we were facing, (I quote), "Pretty much the worse case scenario".  Our worst case scenario involved a rare form of twinning, called mono-amniotic twins. Monoamniotic twins are rare identical twins that occur in approximately 1 in 35,000 to 1 in 60,000 pregnancies, but had not been documented to exist within a quadruplet pregnancy.  
A complicated pregnancy lends itself to a complicated explanation. (For the record the incidence of mono-mono twins or even having identical twins for that matter were unrelated to the mild fertility treatments we underwent.) Without getting too ridiculously medical, let me try my best to explain monoamniotic twins through a compiling of these resources, for those of you who may not be familiar with this terminology. (Illustrations can be found here.)
Monoamniotic twins are identical twins that develop inside the same amniotic sac. They share a placenta within their mother’s uterus, but have two separate umbilical cords for nourishment. This means that both babies share the same living space. They don’t just share their house, they share a bedroom, bathroom, and playroom! Where as other identical twins share an outer sac, but not an inner sac.  They are separated by an important membrane. Unfortunately, monoamniotic twins are at great risk for health complications due to the close proximity of the two umbilical cords in the amniotic sac. This makes it particularly easy for the twins to become entangled in each other’s cords, or to compress one another’s cords, endangering their oxygen and food supply. The survival rate for monoamniotic twins is approximately 50%, but incalculably less within a quad pregnancy scenario. 
We walked out of our 8 week appointment in anguish, after what seemed to be a death sentence for our four little heartbeats…
But God had other plans.



From http://www.4tunate.net/2007/02/page/6/

QUAD DAY – Birth Day x4

Hello everyone,
Our boys are here and doing really well. The birth went very well and Jen is recovering in our room again now. They all came out crying and breathing room air on their own.
One of the boys is now on ventilation as he was not able to continue to breath without assistance. The other three have continued to breath without a vent, but they all have a long way to go before we can breath a sigh of relief. But, God has given us five hours of life with our little boys already, and we are thankful to finally get to meet them.
Okay, here are the names and weights that you all have been waiting for in the order in which they entered the world:
Henry Samuel Murray
Born at 12:33pm
2lbs. 12oz.
Brooks Layton Murray
Born at 12:34pm
3lbs. 0oz.
Clark Thomas Murray
Born at 12:34pm
3lbs. 7oz.
Isaac Edward Murray
Born at 12:35pm
4lbs. 0oz.
Here is a picture of the boys just minutes after they were born, right before being hurried off to the NICU.
Left to right: Henry, Brooks, Clark, Isaac 
 
















(Post copied from www.triplet-update.blogspot.com)



From http://www.4tunate.net/2007/03/page/2/

Our Family of 6 is Complete!

Friends and Family,
Wednesday evening we finally went up and got Clark and brought him home! We are so excited to finally have our family at home complete. After over two months in the hospital, we finally have no reason to go to St. Vincent Women’s Hospital anymore. We want to thank everyone at the hospital for the amazing care that Jen and the boys received.
We took our first trip out with all four boys yesterday since Clark got home. The boys went to the pediatrician for a check-up and weight check. Our boys are thriving and continuing to gain weight.
Updated Weights:
Isaac: 6lbs. 13oz.
Brooks: 5lbs. 11oz.
Clark: 5lbs. 1oz.
Henry: 5lbs. 3oz.
This will be the final post for this blog. We are so thankful for everyone who has followed our progress here for the past 7 months. God is so gracious and continues to provide in amazing ways for our family. If you would like to continue to follow our family, please check out our new blogspot, I will be posting pictures there in the near future.
(Post Copied from www.triplet-update.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Aeden and Noah's Story

     I found out that I was pregnant New Year's Day.  We were surprised and excited and anxious.  Of course, we had to wait several weeks before we actually got to see a doctor, so 28 days later we made our way to the doctor excited to hear our baby's heartbeat for the first time.

      At our first appointment we went in for the sonogram and it was very exciting until the technician said, ,"Oh...wait a minute..."  It got very scary for a few seconds until she identified a second heartbeat.  We were having twins.  Next the technician checked for several other things and was worried that she could not find a septum (the line between the babies indicating that they were in two separate amniotic sacs).  However, she and our doctor assured us that they would probably be able to see it at our next appointment  and scheduled a follow up for one month later.

     At our next appointment, one month later (13 weeks gestation) they were only really concerned with finding the septum.  I was amazed at how my little beans had turned into little people and looked like they were boxing each other.  When the technician excused herself to get the doctor we got worried.  It was kind of like one of those moments in movies when the doctor gets a concerned look on their face and give the parents terrible news.  The doctor came back to the room with the technician and started giving her instructions.  After a few minutes the news came..."We can not find a septum between your babies.  Let's go over to the exam room so we can talk about what this means."

      The details were scary.  Mono-amniotic/Mono-chorionic twins happen in only one in 10,000 twin pregnancies.  There was a 50-60% chance that one or both babies would be still born.  In addition, because they were split from one egg, there was a high chance that one of the babies would be born with some sort of defect ranging from heart, lung, spinal, renal, or brain defect.  It was a lot of scary stuff to hear, but there was still a chance that there was a septum and the ultrasound equipment was just not advanced enough to locate the divide.  We were referred to a perinatal specialist in Shreveport, LA (which was two hours from our home) first in hopes that their advanced equipment would find the septum, and second to give us a physician would could properly care for our very high risk pregnancy if they did not find the septum.

      The following week we made the trek to Shreveport to find out for sure what we were dealing with.  They did not find a septum.  The doctor also gave the ultrasound technician a series of directives, "check the hips, check the stomach, check the back, check the chest, etc." and then finally informed us that he was worried that they were conjoined based on the photos he had been sent.  What?!?  We had no idea that was even a concern.  Immediately following the ultrasound we met with the doctor where he gave us all the gruesome details again.  He also offered a selective termination in which they could terminate one of the babies in order to give the other a better chance of survival.  No Way!  I responded by simply saying, "no...that's actually isn't an option."  He warned us of the tough road ahead.  I would see him in Shreveport monthly, unless something more serious arose, I would see my doctor at home every two weeks.  I would go on bed rest at home at 20 weeks and begin seeing my home doctor every week.  At 24 weeks I would be admitted into the hospital for continuous monitoring and would remain there until the babies were born.

      Then the fun began.  We continued living our lives knowing that one way or the other our lives were going to change.  We both still had the stress of our jobs, preparing and taking bands to contest, in addition to the stress of the pregnancy.  Everything went along without a hitch until our appointment at 20 weeks in Shreveport when they began to check out organs.  The organs looked fine, but they did discover a single umbilical artery in twin a which could be a sign of defects that could not be detected on the ultrasound.  We would just have to wait until they were born to find out.  (This is probably the reason for Aaden's hemi-vertebrae and horseshoe kidney)

      I also began bed rest at home at 20 weeks and so instead of my days being filled with the stress of my job it was filled with the what ifs of my pregnancy.  The only thing that kept me sane was feeling them move and the security of having weekly appointments to be sure they were both okay.

      At 24 weeks I was admitted into the hospital where they monitored the boys twice a day for a few hours.  At first they were still small enough to move around quite a bit so it was very difficult to monitor them effectively so many times the monitoring sessions took quite a long time.  Things went along nicely for two weeks, then one night, right at 26 weeks, the boys began having issues.  Twin A's heart rate was dropping pretty low and staying down for too long so they began to prep me for surgery and gave me the steroid shots to speed along the boys' lung development.  For about a week I stayed hooked up to an IV while they continued to monitor the boys 24 hours a day.  I also began having contractions during this time so they gave me all sorts of drugs to try to keep them at bay.  When I was finally taken off continuous monitoring and allowed restroom privileges again (and allowed to take a real shower!) things seemed better.  I was at 27 weeks and had only 5 weeks left until they would take the boys.  Things seemed fine.  My parents came to visit and my mom was going to stay with me for a couple of weeks.  She just had to make one trip back home for a doctor's appointment and then she would be back for the long haul. Josh was busy doing drama camp in Henderson during this time so the plan was that mom would keep me entertained so that Josh wouldn't have to travel back and forth so much.  Mom left on a Sunday for her appointment (Father's day actually).  The next day I was feeling down so I called Josh to ask if he would come for the night.  He agreed without any argument and I immediately felt better.  He brought me food (it's difficult to live on hospital food) and I enjoyed that before I began an unusually late monitoring (there had been a ton of births that day so I didn't start my first monitoring until late, moving my second monitoring back later).  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  About 8pm Twin A went into distress and stayed that way for too long.  The next hour was one of the craziest hours of my life.  People were in and out of my room, nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, all the while all I can think about is my baby being in distress.  I was finally wheeled (ran really) down to the operating room and within 15 minutes my babies were born and I entered the most stressful time of my life.

 Noah at 28 weeks gestation


Aeden at 28 weeks gestation


      Aaden was born with an APGAR of 0 and had to be revived. His umbilical cord was completely white and the doctors had no idea how long he had not been receiving blood. His 5 minute APGAR was a 3.  Noah was born with an APGAR 3 and his 5 minute APGAR was an 8.  Noah was only on the vent for a few hours, Aaden for a few days.  It was so difficult to see my babies hooked up to so much equipment and not be able to hold or comfort them in any way.  The first week was pretty uneventful until Sunday.  We had just left the hospital for the night and decided to go to Henderson and stay with Josh's parents.  We got a phone call from the NICU before we got there telling us to come back immediately.  We got no other info except to come back.  I have never prayed or cried as hard as I did during the 45 minute drive back to the hospital.  We called once during the trip to get the same info, keep coming.  When we arrived we ran to the NICU and the doctor met us at the door.  Aaden had been in distress.  He had fluid on his lungs and he had almost died.  He was stable, but still considered critical.  I'm still unclear as to what happened, but it had to do with his pic line.  He was returned to the vent and that was how we experienced our first thrill on the roller coaster ride of the NICU.  I still get teary when I think about it.

      Noah had a similar scare later that week, but it did not escalate to the same level that Aaden did because the nurses were much more attentive because it had happened to Aaden.  The boys continued to slowly improve.  They had good days and bad days and our days directly correlated with theirs.  The were in the NICU for three months and came home one week before their due date.  They were still on heart monitors when they came home, but they were home.  Besides some developmental delays they have been great.  They are perfect.

      This is why I march for babies.  If I can help prevent even one family from experiencing the same scary things we went through then it is worth it.  Since the boys were born, just three years ago, they have upgraded the percentage from 50-60% chance of stillbirth to 70-80% chance of survival in mono mono twins with proper care and monitoring.  March of Dimes helped with that and so I will continue to march so that one day maybe mono mono twins will no longer be a high risk pregnancy.

     I never thought I would experience something like this, but it happened to me and it could happen to anyone.  I am thankful for all the people who donated and marched before me, and I will continue to pay it forward as long as I am able.