I remember the day as if it were yesterday. We were on vacation at my In-laws timeshare in Virginia Beach in June 2015. The whole trip I just felt off. I was getting headaches and severe nausea. We had only been trying for a short time, so I didn’t think it was possible to be pregnant. I figured it would be a good idea to get a pregnancy test since my period was also a week late. We stopped at a Rite Aid and I grabbed a test and headed back to the hotel to determine if pregnancy was the culprit for feeling so terrible. I took the test and couldn’t believe the results, I WAS PREGNANT! Brandon and I were so excited, that we immediately called my parents to tell them and ran down to tell my mother in law who was at the pool, the amazing news!
That afternoon my mother in law and I were chatting in the pool and she said, “Can you imagine if it is twins?!” Although I didn’t think it was a possibility, I secretly prayed it was twins. Having twins was something I dreamed of since I was young. I used to tell my mom I was going to have twin girls when I was older and she would say with sarcasm, “Yea sure you will Jen!” as twins did not run in our family. My friend and sister in law both told me they dreamed I was having twins too!
Six weeks later was our first ultrasound at the doctors office. My husband and I were so excited to see the baby for the first time, when the ultrasound tech said to us, “Well I have some news for you guys! It’s BABIES!” We looked at each other and were in complete SHOCK! We were so happy and giddy and could not wait to tell our families!
Fast forward to 20 weeks at our anatomy scan appointment. The gender reveal party was all planned for that weekend. We were so excited to be finding out the genders of our babies! The ultrasound tech was so talkative and chatty the entire time. She told us we were having two GIRLS! I was so happy and she joked with Brandon about being out numbered. Suddenly she got quiet and wasn’t talking much anymore. I was getting nervous that something was wrong but then I just thought maybe she was concentrating and I was thinking too much. She said she was going to get the doctor and excused herself. A few minutes later the doctor came in and we were not prepared for what he was about to tell us. He told us that our “Baby A” Mia was showing signs of absent blood flow through the umbilical cord and was measuring a week behind “Baby B” Lola and it usually doesn’t correct itself. He said that they usually see this happen with twins, however not until the end of a pregnancy and at 20 weeks was too early for this to be happening. He said to prepare ourselves that our daughter may not have a heartbeat within the next few weeks. He told us that we are very lucky to have another baby (Lola) that appeared to be doing well. That was not what I wanted to hear! This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be! This was my worst nightmare come true! I felt my world shattering around me and felt like I could not breath. We were heartbroken but kept praying and keeping hope that a miracle would happen.
I was being seen 3 days a week at the Hospital to monitor Mia’s blood flow and because I had developed gestational hypertension. The doctor also wanted to make sure that the absent blood flow and growth restriction wasn’t effecting Lola. I was given two rounds of steroids so Lola’s lungs would develop in case we needed to deliver early. On November 17th I was 27 weeks pregnant and we went to one of our weekly appointments at the hospital and Mia’s blood flow had gone from absent to reverse and her heart beat was half of what it normally was. The doctor said he gave Mia two days at most to live. That afternoon we went to my OBGYN appointment and the ultrasound tech told us she was sorry but there was no heartbeat. I carried Mia in my womb lifeless for three more weeks until I delivered them.
After Mia passed we continued to go to the hospital every other day to monitor Lola and make sure she was doing ok. The morning I was 30 weeks pregnant we went to the hospital for my ultra sound and to be put on the monitors. Since my blood pressure was so high that morning they admitted me to Labor and Delivery so they could keep a close eye on it because I was developing preeclampsia.
That night they moved me into a delivery room so I would be more comfortable and put me on Magnesium to help the baby’s brain development. For those of you who don’t know, magnesium makes you feel terrible. You feel like your entire body is on fire. They had a huge fan blowing on me to help with the symptoms. Not long after I was given the magnesium, I started having intense contractions and then my water broke. The babies were born on December 10 2015 at 30 weeks. Mia was born sleeping at 3:01 am. I was able to hold her for a brief moment and say goodbye before they rushed me in for an emergency c-section to deliver Lola since she was breech. Lola was born at 3:31 am at exactly 2lbs. They rushed her up to the NBICU. I was not able to go up and see her until 10 pm that night.
That night Brandon wheeled me up to the NICU to see her. I will never be able to erase the image from my mind of seeing my 2lb underdeveloped baby for the first time, fighting for her life. It was highly emotional. I was still heavily medicated from the morphine from my C-section but still remember it like it was yesterday. The nurse asked me if I wanted to hold her and I was so excited and nervous to be holding this tiny miracle that was MINE!
Lola remained at Bridgeport Hospital NBICU for 9 1/2 LONG weeks. She was under the lights on and off to adjust her bilirubin level, she was on oxygen for half of her stay, had all kinds of IVs and lines, a feeding tube and received 3 blood transfusions. She had her ups and downs. The NICU is best described as a roller coaster ride. A roller coaster ride of emotions and ups and downs for the baby. Lola was so strong and the doctors couldn’t get over her strength. She was a true miracle!
Seeing your baby that little and fragile fighting for their life breaks your heart. You feel so helpless. The amazing nurses, doctors and PA’s were so supportive and encouraging to Brandon and I. They were our rock! Going back and forth to the NICU twice a day was extremely hard and draining, but they gave us comfort in knowing Lola was in the greatest care with them and we could call them at anytime of day or night to check on her. They quickly became like a family to us. The NICU staff are truly angels on earth!
Lola was discharged at 39 weeks and weighed 4 lb 15 oz. Brandon and I will be forever grateful to the staff at Bridgeport Hospital NBICU for saving our beautiful baby. Even when we go back and visit they still make us feel at home! We look forward to going to the NICU reunion each year. Today Lola is a 2 year old happy and healthy big sister to Everlie!
We still celebrate Mia’s memory. Each year on Lola and Mia’s birthday we get a small cake for Mia and let a bunch of balloons float up to heaven for her. On Christmas we put out a stocking with her name on it in memory of her. Not a day goes by that my husband and I don’t ache for her and wish she was with us.