In May 2008 I got pregnant. My husband and I were ecstatic but nervous. This was my third pregnancy. We set up the usual doctor appointments and everything checked out great.
In July I had my first ultrasound. We were both very excited! The ultrasound tech nearly gave my husband a heart attack when she informed us there was more than one baby. We were having twins! My other two daughters were thrilled! Every month I had an ultrasound and routine obgyn appointments.
In September everything started to change. We went for my ultrasound and were told I needed to see a specialist at hospital that was 45 minutes away from our home. My husband and I were scared and nervous as we made the long drive. The specialist did another, more high tech ultrasound. They informed my husband and me that our baby girls had one placenta and one baby was getting more nutrients than the other. This is known as Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).
I was put on immediate bed rest and given an amniocentesis. They put a huge syringe in my uterus and pulled out two litters of excess fluid. My husband and I were given two options.
1. continue getting amniocentesis every week, possibly more than once a week.
2. See a specialist in RI who specializes in correcting TTTS.
We had a lot of thinking to do and had to decide quickly.
The next day my husband and I packed and made the 2 1/2 hour drive to RI. I was not fond of getting a huge syringe every week. I was checked into the hospital and the procedure was performed the following morning. In recovery, the unexpected happened. I was having a lot of trouble breathing and my vitals were dropping. No one seemed to know why. My husband was terrified. He started to call everyone.
Finally, a doctor came over and said that I had fluid in my lungs. They gave me some medication through my iv and my vitals started improving. The doctor informed me they removed another two litters of excess fluid from my uterus during the procedure. The next day I was released to go home but remained on strict bed rest.
About three weeks later I was 22 weeks pregnant, and my water broke! It was October 24, 2008. I called my doctor and was informed that I had to go to the hospital that was 45 minutes away from my home. At this time the 12:00 news was on and a breaking story of a man who stole a mail truck was shooting a gun on I95. I95 just so happened to be at the entrance ramp for my husbands job. So not only did I have to worry about getting myself to the hospital and keeping my babies safe, but I had to worry about his safety as well! I called for an ambulance, packed a bag for myself, and quickly wrote a note for my two daughters, who were in school at the time.
We all made it to the hospital safely. I was surprised to find that my husband had made it there before me. I was admitted and immediately placed on the fetal monitors. The doctors came in and informed us that the our twins survival was highly unlikely and we should terminate the pregnancy. My husband and I were extremely upset and this doctor was demanding an immediate answer. I made her leave the room!
I told my husband that if we do not try to save our daughters I will regret it for the rest of my life. I needed to try to do everything to save them.
And that’s what we did. We called the doctor back into the room and informed her that we will be saving our girls! They immediately gave me steroids to help strengthen their lungs. I had the last of the three doses on Monday, October 27. I had had nothing to eat or drink since the Friday morning before. I was getting very upset. I felt that I was not being allowed to eat and feed these babies I was carrying. I was finally allowed to eat something on the 27th.
Early in the morning on Tuesday October 28th, I had developed an infection. They had to perform and emergency C-section to deliver our identical twin girls. I was only 23 weeks pregnant! Amberly was born second just a few minutes apart from her sister, weighing 1lb 6oz. Arianna was born first weigh only14 oz!
(Picture: Amberly on top, Arianna on bottom)
We were called down to the NICU a couple of hours later. The informed my husband and I that they had tried everything and there was nothing more they could do to keep our sweet, tiny girl Arianna alive. It was time to hold her, and help her pass on. Our family came to the hospital to meet and say goodbye to her. Arianna passed away after 14 hours of being born.
As Arianna was passing away, Amberly’s vital signs decreased a lot! As soon as Arianna was gone, Amberly’s vital signs came back to normal.
Amberly spent four months in the NICU. She survived all the odds, and there were many that were stacked up against her. She is small for her age, but she is very smart. She can run, swim, talk, see, and she is even reading. She will be starting kindergarten this fall!