On August 10, 2016 at 12:36 pm, identical twin sisters, Lilah and Briar were welcomed into the world. Born prematurely by emergency C-section at only 26 weeks, they were fighting for their lives.
Over the next 103 days their family and caregivers would witness many miracles. The girls would thrive and hit milestones then, face devastating setbacks. Their mom, Tessa, described it as a an emotional roller coaster; experiencing A multitude of emotions during their stay in the NICU.
At 16 weeks gestation doctors found indicators that twin to twin transfusion syndrome was developing. This life-threatening condition of the placenta is found only in pregnancies involving identical twins. The condition caused a dangerous, uneven, distribution of amniotic fluid. If there was any chance of even one of the girls surviving, surgery would be necessary at 21 weeks. In addition to the danger to the twins, Tessa's health was also compromised and she became severely ill. This was frightening for their family as they calculated the risks of possible pre-term labor and other complications. Surgeons would need to sever any blood vessels that were shared between the twins as well as drain as much of the excess fluid from Tessa's body as possible. The surgery was a success. After an extremely stressful time, the family's prayers were answered and the girls survived the critical first 24 hours after surgery. Their next concern was the increased chance of pre-term labor during the initial two weeks after surgery. After that, the odds of Tessa carrying the twins to term would be greatly increased, helping to ensure the safety of her babies.
Exactly 2 weeks after surgery, Tessa's water broke and she went into labor. She was rushed to the hospital and given medications to stop labor. Her doctor prescribed bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy.
3 1/2 weeks later, at just 26 weeks, labor started again. Tessa and the babies were facing their next challenge. Their only chance for survival was to have an emergency c-section.
Lilah and Briar were born fighting for their lives. They would call the NICU home for the coming months. The nurses who cared for the twins would become like family as they walked with Tessa and her husband through many exhilarating highs and heart-wrenching lows.
As the days turned to weeks, Briar began to grow strong and experience a lot fewer setbacks then her sister. Lilah faced a much more difficult journey. She had a tougher fight ahead of her. She faced and overcame numerous life threatening obstacles. She had high blood pressure, two collapsed lungs and an adverse reaction to some of the vaccines that she received. She spent time on the ventilator and C-PAP (an air pressure mask to assist breathing). She faced each peril with strength and overcame many obstacles in her first months of life. Finally, after almost 15 weeks in the hospital, the twins were released to go home.
Today, Lilah and Briar are thriving and growing bigger and stronger each day. Their parents are Thankful to God for the multitude of miracles, the dedicated doctors and nurses of the NICU and all the love and support they have experienced along this journey.
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