Four years ago I gave birth to identical twin boys. I was in the final week of my second trimester when they arrived by emergency c-section.
At 18 weeks pregnant, one of our twins did not look good and we were sent to specialists in another state for a second opinion. There, we were given no hope and told to terminate our smaller baby. The doctor said that if we chose to do nothing, when our smaller twin passed in utero that his death would either cause his brother to also pass, or if he survived, he would have severe brain damage. We were devastated.
My husband and I would not choose one of our children over the other. We knew it was in God’s hands and told our docs back home that we were putting our faith in God and wanted to give both boys a fighting chance.
We were monitored closely, and at 27 weeks my boys arrived at 1 pound 12oz, 12.5 inches long and 2 pounds 5oz, 14 inches. They spent 10 and 13 weeks in the NICU before joining their 2 year old big sister at home.
The first two years were the hardest. Our boys were tiny and fragile, with what seemed like countless follow up appointments with specialists, biweekly blood draws, and surgeries related to prematurity.
We had weekly physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to help close the gap in milestone delays. My boys did not sit up unassisted until 12 months, and didn’t start taking steps until 18 months. Receiving these services is a big reason my boys are doing so well today and we are so grateful to our therapists at Cleveland Clinic and our Help Me Grow therapists for helping our boys achieve so many milestones.
Now at four years old, their prematurity is no longer “visible.” We no longer get confused or concerned looks when strangers ask how old our twins are. We now give a quick single digit response instead of a 5 minute explanation.
As they continue to grow older, most will forget their early start, but as parents this is something we will never forget. Being told to terminate Leo, praying for each week of continued pregnancy, and then the weeks that turned into months as we prayed for the boys to grow healthy and strong enough to bring home from the hospital.
My boys are wild, healthy, and full of life. We are forever grateful.