“Feeling doubly blessed this Mother’s Day after delivering twins early – and two weeks apart.”

by LaTroya Woolridge

In September 2016, I found out I was expecting not one, but two babies. The news filled both me and my husband with an overwhelming sense of pride and joy. We knew my pregnancy would be considered high risk because I was 35 and pregnant with twins. With that knowledge, I made a point to follow my doctor’s orders and enjoy every moment of my pregnancy.

We announced our blessings to our family and friends a few months later. I will never forget the love that was shown to us that day, as well as the tears of joy. At that point, my husband and I had been married for seven years, so finally being able to make a pregnancy announcement was a BIG DEAL.

Fast forward a few months to Jan. 17, 2017 – a day that changed our lives forever.

At 24 weeks and four days into my pregnancy, I began experiencing excruciating pain like I’ve never felt before. I knew the pain was an indication of something serious, so I immediately got up and drove myself to the hospital. Despite a rain storm and my husband being out of town for work, I made it safely to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital.  I was immediately sent to triage, which is where I found out I was in active labor.  At that moment, I was afraid. I could not wrap my head around what was happening.

When I saw my OB-GYN enter the room, I knew delivery was inevitable. As she calmly walked me through what was happening, I followed her lead and together we made a decision that would be in the best interest of both babies.

I delivered Amara vaginally on Jan. 17 at 7:40 a.m. She was so tiny at just 1 pound, 3 ounces, but the sight of her small feet moving gave me temporary relief. I was happy my baby girl was born alive, but I was afraid of the road ahead.

Once Amara was delivered, we waited for Arthur III to make his debut. After waiting and waiting, he never came. I was immediately placed on hospital bed rest and continued waiting for his arrival. Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, days turned into weeks.

Since Amara’s placenta remained attached to my uterus after she was delivered, I was monitored very closely while I was on bed rest.  Eventually, my doctor gave me permission to see Amara in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 15 minutes each morning and 15 minutes each evening.

Seeing Amara fight for her life was very painful, but it gave me the strength I needed to continue resting so Arthur would have a better chance of survival. Two weeks later, on Jan. 31, I delivered Arthur via C-section after developing a slight fever. Arthur was born weighing 2 pounds, 2 ounces. When I saw him, it was evident how vital the two additional weeks in the womb were to his development.

I was discharged from the hospital on Feb. 4. From that day forward, my husband and I made a point to be at the children’s bedside each day. Most days, both of us were there, but there were times when only one of us could be there. During our visits, we were constantly updated on the babies’ treatments and were encouraged to get involved in their care. Initially, the idea of changing the diaper of a micro-preemie was intimidating, but their nurses had a way of making us feel comfortable and confident during the process.

Eventually, something switched in my head and I said to the twins, “I’m no longer afraid of you.” Linda Harper (their primary day nurse) laughed out loud and after that, I made it a point to be actively involved in their care without needing direction. I found great joy in changing their diapers, taking their temperature and eventually giving them baths (with Janet Paskow – their primary night nurse).

For nearly four months, I watched them fight for their lives. Even during the most devastating times, my babies inspired me to be a stronger person. There’s something about watching an innocent baby fight daily that makes anything we had to complain about seem completely trivial.

Arthur was released from the NICU on his daddy’s birthday – April 30.  Amara was discharged from the NICU on my original due date – May 5.  She continues to be on a low flow of oxygen, which she will use until her lungs fully mature.

The babies are doing a great job at home. They are sticking closely to the schedule that was established while they were in the NICU and have managed to sleep pretty well most nights.

Although this is something I would have never planned or wished to go through, if my pregnancy had to turn out this way, I am so thankful I delivered at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands. Every doctor, nurse, therapist and hospital staff member we encountered provided high-quality care that exceeded our expectations. I cannot thank the NICU staff enough for saving our babies’ lives.  Our eternal gratitude goes to the nurses who cared for them so lovingly – Linda and Janet, as well as Courtney Grant and Elissa Gentry. They will forever have a special place in our hearts.

As I reflect on our journey, I want to be a source of comfort to other families who are experiencing a similar situation.  If I could give any advice, it would be to keep the faith, take one day at a time, celebrate every milestone and surround yourself with positive people who genuinely care about you.

And, to all the moms out there, I celebrate and honor you.  Thank you for being the strong backbones of your family. I specifically want to honor my mother from whom I learned the importance of strength and resiliency – two qualities I leaned on heavily after the birth of our little miracles.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To learn more about high-risk pregnancy care, visit Women’s Memorial Hermann.

Comments

  1. Come and See; Come and See; Come and See what the Lord has done…! God is love and He has proven His love again and again in your testimony and those of many others including myself! Congrats my dears. I pray that the lives of Amara and Arthur will bless the Almighty God who gave them to you and also bless you and all who come in contact with them. Amen. Congrats!

  2. Beautiful story!! What a blessing!! Congrats to the both of you on your beautiful babies!!

  3. Thank you for that story. It was very touching to me and encouraging. My husband and I have been married almost 8 years and is trying. But, we keep the faith and don’t give up on what GOD can do!!

  4. Inspiring birth, awesome faith and family. Enjoy each other, and your babies and praise God forever

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. You can’t imaging how many families you have encouraged. May the Lord continue to bless your family.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. You can’t imaging how many families you have encouraged. May the Lord continue to bless your family.

  7. What an inspirational story. Thank you for sharing your journey. Many blessings to you and your lovely family.

  8. thanks for sharing your story. I’m happy that you have an happy ending. your story gives up and I can truly relate with you. may the lord continue to bless your family.

  9. This is amazing and made me cry at work… Congrats on your two beautiful blessings!!! You are doing a great job Mommy and Daddy!

  10. God is Good ALL THE TIME. Congratulations and well wishes for you, husband and bundles of joy. Stay faithful and grateful!!!

  11. You have an amazing story. I delivered my daughter here at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands where I also work. We as nurses strive to give you the family along with our patients all that we have everyday. It is very evident both as a nurse and a patient. Thank you for sharing your story!

  12. This is so amazing. My prayers and thoughts are with the both of you. God has given you both these angels, Please continue to Pray first and take care of them.

    Toni

  13. Praise the Lord!! Thank you for sharing God is GOOD!! May he continue to bless your family and the twins with great health.

  14. Praised the Lord! Your testimony is evident that his mercy and grace still reign supreme.

  15. What an amazing story! Your little miracles have one amazing and tough Mom! They are beautiful 🙂

  16. Thank you so much for sharing such a hearth warming story! Such a testament of your faith …. “Strength and resiliency” indeed. Thanks to your Mother and others like her who instill such great qualities in the daughters who have been blessed with the miracle of childbirth. Congratulations to you and Happy Mothers day!!

  17. So funny Amara can brag that she is indeed his Arthur’s big sister, by a week! Arthur is going to be a great sport about it though, letting his big little sister shine. #Squirt and #Pop Congrats mommy and daddy! You started your year off with 2 heart beats of love!

  18. This testimony really touched me, because about 2 years ago I was in the same situation with my sister’s son ( my God son ). He was born 3 months premature, and he only weighed 1lb 2 oz. It was a struggle for baby and mom. He was in NICU at Memorial Hermann Medical Center, the doctors and nurses there were spectacular. With prayers, and the staff at Memorial Hermann his life was saved. There were a lot of times it didn’t look so good, but the nurse’s were always there with encouraging words, a big hug, and a shoulder to cry on. My godson is 2 years now and doing great. My family will always be thankful for the doctors and nurses at Memorial Hermann. God, may you continue to Bless the two twins and the parents in this story, Amen

  19. Had the pleasure of seeing the twins on the day Amara was discharged from the NICU. They are both adorable and looked so cute and healthy. This story is pretty amazing and it’s always wonderful to see a family on the road to a wonderful, healthy future together.

    I bet these two will be the talk of all their classmates in the years to come – imagine growing up with them.

    Best wishes to the family.

  20. WOW! What a touching story…Miracles indeed! They’re both so precious… little but, mighty fighters! Congratulations to your family on the arrival of two wonderful blessings! They will forever change your world…. Cherish every moment.<3

  21. Thank you for sharing! Your family is beautiful. I thank God for the strength and grace He bestowed on you and your husband through this journey, and may He continue to strengthen you and encourage you. Congratulations Mama!

  22. Before reading the story I just knew it was a girl that came out 1st! Amara is going to be your biggest risk taker your son Arthur my follow her or try to be her voice of reason. LOL Congrats on the twins and what an amazing story you all have to share.

  23. That was a very touching story and I really understood what you went through.

  24. OMG, look how beautiful they look, I’m sorry that you had to go thru’ all that, BUT what a joy it will be for you both, Congratulations on your new journey.

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