Monday, March 5, 2007

Miracle Monday!

Olivia was 1 lb. 13 oz. and 13 1/4 inches long BEFORE

Ava was 1 lb. 12 oz. and 12 1/4 inches long --- BEFORE

Ava & Olivia AFTER 11 lb. and 11 lb. 12 oz with their big sister Allyson.
I am going to be doing a series of miracle Mondays featuring some of the woman that I meet in the Intensive Care Nursery at the WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh... here is my first.

My identical twin girls, Ava and Olivia were born via emergency c-section on Aug. 15, 2006 at 27 weeks 3 days - three months before they were supposed to enter the world. Ava was 1 lb. 12 oz. and 12 1/4 inches long and Olivia was 1 lb. 13 oz. and 13 1/4 inches long. It is still unknown why I went into labor early. They were born at Raleigh WakeMed hospital where they spent the next 135 days (over 4 months) in the Intensive Care Nursery. They were very sick when they were first born and we didn't know if they would even survive. Ava and Olivia both had severe lung problems, suffered from apnea and bradycardia episodes, had several blood transfusions, developed infections, were on several courses of antibiotics and other medications, Ava had two spinal taps, and they both had a variety of other preemie problems. Towards the end of their stay in the hospital, they developed severe feeding problems. Nothing we tried seemed to help. They both ended up having a surgery to insert a gastrostomy tube (feeding tube) into their stomachs. This enables us to give them the nutrition they need even if they refuse to eat.
On December 28, 2006, Ava and Olivia both came home from the hospital. It's been quite an adjustment to say the least! We have been very fortunate to have our families who have stayed here for extended amounts of time to help out. Big sister Allyson loves her baby sisters and is always wanting to help push them in the swing or unexpectedly wake them up from naps.
Ava needed an additional surgery on Feb. 6th to repair a hernia. Her right ovary had become trapped in the hernia and needed to be fixed. When the surgeon went in, he discovered that the ovary had come out of the hernia on its own, but that Ava had an additional hernia on the other side. So she had two hernias repaired.
They still continue to struggle with their feedings. It looks like this may be a long-term problem that will take some time to overcome. However, with the gastrostomy tubes, they get the nutrition that they need and are gaining weight. They are both around 12 lbs. now. We feel so very fortunate that they are still here with us and that we're able to finally see them smiling and cooing at us. It's so wonderful to have our whole family together and complete.

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