Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine | Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Edition October 2021
My Perfect Identical Twins
Written & Photo by Natalie Abbey
I planned my pregnancy in May 2020 and I eagerly awaited to take a pregnancy test on June 12th. Positive! My first appointment was July 6 and I found out that I was expecting twins! I was so shocked and happy. My first baby died in my womb at 19 weeks two years prior so I was feeling a little scared as well. At my 20 weeks scan, my identical baby boys were so perfect and healthy. I was so excited and relieved to have made it past the gestation of my first son. Oh my boys were due on Valentine’s Day and I was over the moon.
Suddenly at 21 weeks my water broke and I was immediately hospitalized. Five days later my perfect first twin Benjamin was stillborn. This was my first time giving birth and with just one doctor and one nurse I didn’t know. I felt his head suddenly when I was in the restroom. We tried to wait to save my other twin and give him time to grow, but two days later at 22 weeks they told me I had to be induced. I was told that it would be a life or death situation for me. I tried so hard to make it farther, babies aren’t considered viable until 24 weeks.
However, at 22 weeks my brave NICU warrior Roman arrived weighing one pound and six ounces. He was whisked off by the neonatology team and I was rushed to life-saving emergency surgery. I met him three hours later in the NICU. He was so tiny but perfectly formed. I was scared to touch him at first. He was in an islet and I had to reach my hands through these tiny holes to him.
The first time I got to hold him he was 11 days old. They were switching out his bed because he was coming off of humidity. It was amazing. He opened his beautiful eyes for the first time at 14 days old. I pumped milk for him and he exclusively consumed breast milk, like all micro Preemies. He was so stoic.
The night he turned 28 days old, I was informed that he had NEC. I eagerly agreed to the surgery and stayed with him until the OR. I went home to pack a bag so I could rush back and be there before he came out of surgery however the doctors called me too soon. They said I need to come back right away and to bring a support person. I knew that was a bad sign. My best friend and I arrived and they told me that his entire intestines were affected. There was nothing they could do. I held him for seven hours that night, and he died on my chest at 28 days and one hour old.