When I became pregnant in 2013, I had a feeling it was twins! When that feeling was confirmed I was over the moon. I was having identical twins, something I had dreamed about since being a child. I quickly began doing some research and learned just how high risk this type of pregnancy was. I began hearing things like Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and read about a rare but potentially fatal complication that can occur, Twin Anemia Polycythemia Sequence, TAPS for short. I was quickly transferred to the care of a high risk specialist. My pregnancy was not uneventful like I hoped. I had multiple complications and was put on bedrest at 27 weeks due to preterm labor.
Despite these complications, our girls stayed put till 37 weeks. My labor and delivery was uncomplicated. But as soon as I saw my girls, I knew something was wrong. One was extremely pale and the other almost purple. I had done enough research to know my babies had undetected TAPS. They had defied the odds and were lucky they survived the pregnancy. But they had the fight of their life in front of them. My anemic baby, Alexis, began healing very quickly. Isabella, my polycythemic baby did not do well. She rapidly began losing weight and sleeping all the time. You see, her blood was so full of platelets it was like ketchup and this is very hard on a heart. We were discharged from the hospital at 4 days old. At home Isabella continued to deteriorate. I'll never forget the call from the pediatrician telling me it was time to take her to Arkansas Children's Hospital. He said he knew they could save her life. That drive to Children's was one of the longest I've ever had. I cried the whole way.
Once at Children's, we were immediately admitted to the NICU and introduced to the neo-natologist. She was so kind and explained everything they would be doing. Isabella was there for 5 days, the longest 5 days of my life. To see your baby hooked up to tubes, unable to eat, hear her cry from hunger was unbearable. To make it even harder I had a newborn at home and 2 older kids. But the love and care we received at Children's made this bearable. They have a family centered approach and they truly cared about how this was affecting everyone in my family. I can remember them telling me to remember to eat. Even the ladies in the cafeteria would tell me to go get more food. The nurses were so caring and precious to me.
To this day, I look at my girls and know they are miracles. I have no doubt in my mind without Arkansas Children's Hospital, Isabella would have died at home. She quit breathing an hour after being admitted, we could not have saved her at home. I Thank God Children's is so close to home. I am forever grateful to Children's for saving my miracle babies life!