I was almost three months pregnant when we found out we were having twins. That was the most emotionally overwhelming moment of our lives. I almost fainted and Maurice cried. On September 18th, 2011 our lives changed forever. In very early labor with contractions three to four minutes apart, I was airlifted from Mercy Regional Hospital in Manhattan to Stormont-Vail in Topeka. The twins were twenty-five weeks along, just old enough to survive if they needed to be delivered that day.
For the next month I stayed in the hospital on bed rest. Maurice came to see me occasionally but needed to be on base at Ft. Riley most of the time. I was lonely, my parents were stationed in South Carolina.
On October 19th I went into back labor, I had no appetite and was in excruciating pain all day. Dr. Evans didn’t make the decision to take the babies by c-section until 9:30 that night. Maurice arrived at 9 pm and was in the delivery room when the babies were born.
The doctors said that Elliott had good lungs because he was crying loudly and Anyla was a fighter because she was kicking. These are traits for life that will see them through.
Maurice went with Elliott and Anyla from the operating room to the NICU while they sewed me up. We couldn’t hold the babies until the next month but because of the Ronald McDonald House we could be there with them everyday.
We lived at the Ronald McDonald House for two months while the twins grew. They were healthy preemies being born two months early. They did not need transfusions or extra breathing treatments while in the hospital, only the Bubble C-Pat while their lungs developed. The nurses marveled at their robust health. I guess we were lucky and continue to be lucky all the way around.
I loved staying at the Ronald McDonald House. We were close to our children and became closer to one another. Maurice had to pull me away from the hospital for date nights, just our time together. I’m glad he did, it’s really important when your loved one may be deployed.
We developed friendships with other families staying at the Ronald McDonald House who were going through the same thing. Just being able to have a place to go everyday and not be too stressed out about your children or your relationship is a blessing. When we come to Topeka for check-ups we often stop by the Ronald McDonald House to say hello.
Maurice stayed with me at the Ronald McDonald House until December 7th when Anyla was discharged. Maurice came back on December 19th when Elliott was discharged and we all went home together for Christmas.
As a military family our lives are subject to change but this has been a happy time. In March Maurice was deployed to Afghanistan until the beginning of the next year. My father was re-assigned to duty at Ft. Riley, he and my mother moved back from South Carolina in June.
Maurice’s grandmother lives in Junction City. So we’re waiting for daddy to come home for our second New Year’s celebration. Maurice and I complete each other, the circle is larger now as our family has grown both in size and commitment.