The Boys

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My name is Whitney, I am 26 years old, and now mother to 2 beautiful little boys, Alexander and Benjamin. I found out I was pregnant while my fiance was away for a weekend. When he got back I told him and we cried and laughed and were so excited. 4 weeks later we had my first ultra sound only to find there were 2 babies! Twins. My mother is a twin, everyone always joked that I was next in line for twins, as the old wives tale says it skips a  generation- never thought it could happen to me! But it did, and I wouldn't change anything for the world. My OB referred us to a specialist, because my twins were in the same placenta, known as "mono-di" twins. There is a higher risk for mono-di twins. At the MFM (specialist), we were told by the doctor so many risks with our babies, one big risk including Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Because of this we had an ultra sound every 2 weeks through my entire pregnancy. Things went well and I had all the normal bloodwork and testing done once in a while. At my 20 week anatomy scan the doctor told us that the babies weren't growing as big as she thought they should be, so we were transferred to a different MFM specialist that had a better NICU, just incase we needed it. Our first appointment at the new doctor went well, the doctor said he didn't have as big of a concern, and that the babies would just be little peanuts, and to follow up in a week for another ultra sound. My fiance was at every appointment besides a few, and unfortunately didn't make it to the week follow up with me, but my mom was able to be with me instead. At that appointment, we had a different doctor in the practice. She expressed a great concern with the growth and wanted us to drive to the Columbian hospital in NYC the next day for another opinion. The Columbian hospital is where we would be treated for the Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome, if that were to be what it was. The next day my fiance and I drove 3 hours to NYC, and I was trying to be positive about the situation. I thought maybe the doctor we had seen previously was overreacting, I thought we could make a day of it, go out to dinner after, enjoy our day together. The ultra sound went well, so I thought. The doctor came in and told us that it definitely was not Twin Twin Syndrome, and I was SO relieved! Then she said "But...", and my heart sunk. She told us that the baby's umbilical cord wasn't transmitting oxygen to the babies like they should. Instead of the oxygen going to the babies, it was having back flow, back up the umbilical cord, not making it to the babies. She told us we could lose one or both of the babies. I was devastated. I don't think I have ever cried so much, so hard, in my life. I was so scared and all I could think was "why me?? I'm a good person, why does this have to happen to me?" This was my first pregnancy and I was just so heartbroken. The doctor gave us a minute to catch our breath and then we sat down and talked to her in the office. She gave us 3 options. Our first option was to be admitted to the hospital we were in, in NYC, 3 hours away from our families. Our second option was to drive back to Albany NY, where we live, and be admitted to the hospital. And out 3rd option was to not do anything, and go to our follow up ultra sound that I had already had scheduled with the doctors back home- the risk with that being we could lose one or both of the babies. We immediately ruled out waiting until the following week, and decided we couldn't be away from our families, so we took the 3 hour drive back home and went straight to the hospital. We were admitted and I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, my blood pressure was 180/120 when we got there. They put in an IV, and 2 heart monitors on my big belly to monitor the babies heart rate. 3 days went by and they decided they needed to deliver the boys. So in I went to the OR, got an epidural, and delivered my baby boys at a mere 25 weeks and 4 days gestation. Alex was born at 1lb 4oz and Ben 1lb 3oz. My fiance did not leave my side throughout this whole process. He didn't even want to leave the room not even for an hour to go and get something to eat with his family. I was in the hospital as a patient myself for 6 days after they were born. We haven't missed a day seeing them since I was discharged, and they will be 14 weeks in 3 days. They are both still on respiratory support, just put on high flow 4 liters today. They both just had ROP surgery on their eyes in the last 3 weeks, and will have to have hernias repaired before they are discharged. We have been through a roller coaster ride together over the last 3 months and today we have two 5lb baby boys. I have never seen such strong babies. I can't thank the hospital and all the nurses and staff for keeping my boys alive when my body physically couldn't. Sometimes I get the feeling of guilt that my body couldn't handle the pregnancy but I am so grateful that they are making progress and will hopefully be home with us soon.

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