Sunday, July 24, 2011

From Pregnancy to Birth

I was/am very hesitant to share this story, but Brandon, being the kind hearted person he is, thinks that it would be a great story for other families to read that may go or have gone through the same or similar situation.

Being my first pregnancy, you can all imagine how excited Brandon and I were!  After we got over the shock of having twins were walking around with open arms for the two babies I was carrying.  During my first trimester, our specialist suggested getting a few tests done, including the Nuchal Translucency Test.  Our test results came back that there was a 1 in 16 chance that Lorelei would have Down Syndrome.  After we got these results, we had our "mourning" period.  During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, our doctor couldn't see anymore signs for Down Syndrome.  At the very beginning of my 7th month, I was placed on 1/2 day bedrest because my cervix was weak.  This worried us because we didn't want me to have to use the days from work because we couldn't afford for me to have to take days without pay.  A week later, I was placed on full bedrest because I was already dilated 1 cm and Mikaela's amniotic sac had lost some fluid.  I stayed in the hospital overnight after that appointment so the girls could be monitored and had to go in twice a week for a non stress test.

7 weeks out from my due date, I had a full day of appointments.  I had a non stress test at 11 AM and then an appointment with the specialist at 1 PM.  Brandon took the day off and went with me to both appointments.  The OB told me I was still only 1 cm dilated but that my cervix was extremely weak and that she didn't have to see me again.  I was only 33 weeks along.  That night I was having contractions and the girls were born the next afternoon....what a whirlwind that was!

Mikaela was born at 3 lbs 9 oz, 17 inches long.  Everything was great with her! She was under the lights for a little bit because of jaundice, but all we had to wait for was for her to feed from a bottle for every feeding for 24 hours.  Mikaela was in the Winchester NICU for 4 weeks.

Lorelei was born at 4 lbs 7 oz, 17 inches long.  In the OR, the neonatologist came to us and told us that Lorelei was having difficulty breathing and that it seemed like her nasal passage was blocked.  Lorelei's nasal passage never opened completely.  There was still bone and tissue blocking the passage.  Two days after the girls were born, Lorelei was transported from Winchester to UVA, 2 hours away.  Brandon and I left that night and met her at UVA, leaving Mikaela in Winchester......My cousin and his girlfriend were gracious enough to pay for a hotel room for us that night.  The next morning, Friday, Lorelei had her first surgery.  The ENT cut out the tissue and bone and inserted stints into the passageway.  She was doing really well.  The following week, Lorelei was transported back to Winchester to be with her sister.  The stints stayed in for 2 weeks and were then removed.  Shortly after the stints were removed, Lorelei became very sick with a virus and a bacterial infection and was in the isolation room in the Winchester NICU.  During her sickness, scar tissue built up in her nasal passageway.  There was one very bad night where she couldn't breathe and the doctors and nurses worked faster than ever to get her on a ventilator.  Lorelei was transported back to UVA to get the same surgery done again.  The stints were to stay in for 4 weeks this time. Lorelei was in the Winchester/UVA NICUs for 8 weeks.  She came home while the stints were still in, so Brandon and I had to suction them with the tube every 4 hours or so.  After she got the stints out the 2nd time, everything healed correctly! :) She is now doing wonderfully!  We know that in the future Lorelei will have other issues that we will have to deal with and may even have to get stints in her nose again, but we are so thankful that is all we had to deal with in the beginning as hard as it was for us!  We are lucky enough that Lorelei's heart is perfectly normal and she did not have to have a heart surgery at such a young age.

The doctors and nurses at the Winchester NICU were such a blessing! There is no way that Brandon and I could have handled everything as calmly as we did if it weren't for them!  They will always have a special place in our hearts and we will be thanking them for the rest of our lives!


  1. Nicely put into words. Everyone that has touched those angels lives have been a

  2. There are so many special people in the medical field. They are blessed angels that are there to provide you with surprising support, encouragement, and love at your most desperate time. When Amelia was in MUSC with pertussis and she would go into a breathing fit, stop breathing, and turn blue-I would thank God that there were so many people there to help her and love her through her time in need. It's so wonderful to hear that you had so much love and support during this time. You two are very inspiring. :)Kat