Birth Stories

Birth story: doctors told me one or both of my twins would be born with sickle cell disease but….

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Mom’s name: Sherylton Green
Twins names: Oliviah and Octaviah
Date of birth: September 30, 2018

“On March 27, 2018, I found out I was expecting twins with my then fiancé (now husband). We were both shocked and excited. He was in Africa at the time working and thought I was playing a joke on him when I said there was more than one baby. Never in a million years did I think I would be a mother to twins. I always loved seeing twins but it would never happen to me. Yet, I was so wrong. It was a lot to absorb with everything else going on in our lives.

Fast forward a week later, the doctors would tell me I was considered a high risk pregnancy not only because I was carrying multiples but also because I was over the age of 35. I would have to have biweekly scans done to make sure the babies were developing and growing correctly. Around nine weeks I was told Baby A (Oliviah) was measuring smaller than Baby B (Octaviah) and that there was a possibility she would not make it. I was horrified. I was already so in love and attached to them. I will never forget those fateful, devastating words spoken to me. “You should think about terminating the pregnancy”. I cried and cried. Not only did I have that to think about, but both I and my husband carry the sickle cell trait. We were told there was a twenty-five percent chance one or both of our babies would be born with sickle cell disease. I just wanted our babies to be healthy and given a chance to make it here with no issues.

That night we prayed and decided to leave everything in God’s hands. When I went back to the doctor I told him I would not give up on my babies and I was going to continue with my pregnancy. As time went on, Baby A began to grow more and more. Our little green beans were thriving and beating the odds set against them. All of their scans and appointments came back negative and I was in perfect health. The only thing I dealt with was very swollen feet and melasma, both side effects of pregnancy that would disappear soon after delivery. Oh yeah and Baby B decided she wanted to be breech. She would not flip. I was told as long as Baby A stayed in position I could have a vaginal birth. The goal was set for me to make it to 38 weeks. Because they were on the smaller side they needed to stay in as long as possible.

At 32 weeks I began to have contractions that were four minutes apart. I went to the emergency room and was placed in a room. One of the nurses brought in the ultrasound machine to peek at our babies to make sure everything was okay. She listened to Baby B’s heartbeat and gave us a thumbs up. When she went to listen to Baby A, I saw a terrible look on her face. She paused and then screamed for the other nurses to come into our room. Before I could figure out what was going on, there were about six nurses rushing in our room stating that I would be having our babies that night.

After all of the commotion settled, a head nurse came in the room to check me again. I was on edge and was still not told what was going on with the babies. She listened to their heartbeats again, took a deep breath, closed her eyes and walked out. Soon the first nurse came back in and told me everything would be okay. She stated initially she was unable to hear Baby A’s heartbeat and panicked. She apologized profusely but by that time I was in tears. After I calmed down, I was given a steroid to stop the contractions and another for the girls’ lungs in the event they decided to come early. The steroid was to help develop their tiny little lungs for breathing. My contractions slowed and finally stopped. I was put on bed rest for a week. I went in for a follow up the next week and was in the clear to return to work.

On the early morning of September 30, 2018 as we were turning in for bed, I was talking to my husband about this such thing called leaking amniotic fluid and how I thought I was experiencing it a few days prior. I went to the restroom to pee and I’m still talking to him about how leaking amniotic fluid happens and how dangerous it can be for the babies. When I went to get up from the toilet a sprinkle of water came out. I thought okay I’m apparently not done. Mind you, my water has never broke with any of my other children so I didn’t know what it felt like. So I sit back down to “finish”. When I get back up again a large gush of warm water comes out. At this point I know what’s up. I tell my husband I think my water just broke. I take a few steps and more water comes out! I’m 35 weeks in. They are not due until October 31st. This it it. It’s time. We finish my half packed bag and rush to the hospital.

I get all checked in and the nurses are asking me a thousand questions which I have no answers to because all of my medical records were not with this hospital. I give them what info I could and they draw lots of blood and hook me up to an IV. All I could tell them was that one of the babies was breech. I was given a final scan to confirm what I just said. Then this nice little man who I find out is my anesthesiologist comes in talking about possible death, a cesarean, what he was going to do and all of this other medical language. What? A cesarean? Wait a minute. What is going on? I’ve had all of my children naturally with no meds. I’m not about to do this or so I thought. Oh yes you are. You have no choice. Baby A is also breech and they need to come out. If you understand, sign here, here and here. I sign and before I know it I’m being shaved, yes TMI, given a fancy hat for my hair and my husband looks like a doctor after putting on the protective gear they give him. I’m walked out and guided into an operating room with a bunch of bright lights. I am helped onto the bed.

A doctor walks in and introduces himself and his team to me. Everyone is pleasant and reassures me all will be well. He tells me the babies look great and asks if am I ready to meet them. Soon after, my belly is being scrubbed down and I’m asked if I can feel my legs. They feel like two tons. I can’t move them. Great they say! They bring in my husband and is given a chair next to me. All I can see is the makeshift curtain in front of my face. My hands are to my side. I hear let’s get started. I close my eyes because I know what’s coming next. Tears began to fall down my cheeks because I am so terrified. I can not feel a thing but am told to stay still and calm. Then when I open my eyes again all I can hear is suctioning and small conversations amongst the team. I’m being wiggled, tugged and pulled on while my anesthesiologist and nurses keep talking to me as a distraction to what I’m experiencing. I’m exhausted, scared, nervous but really excited and anxious to see my babies. All the while, my husband is by my side grinning, recording, comforting me and taking pictures at the same time.

At 310am Oliviah Jayde Green made her entrance into the world. A loud and strong cry. Two minutes later her sister, Octaviah Joy Green came. They were beautiful and tiny and small and perfect. Oliviah weighed 3lbs 12oz and Octaviah was 4lbs 11 oz. Our girls were here! Despite everything I endured, our girls arrived safely. After three days, we went home without Oliviah. Octaviah spent one day in the NICU for monitoring since they were preemies. Oliviah had to stay an additional three days until her little body made it to four pounds. It seemed like an eternity. But the golden news came. Their blood test results came back and both girls were negative, absent of sickle cell anemia! They were given a full bill of health. We could take both babies home for good.

All I can do is smile ear to ear as I watch these two little girls today. They are trying to walk, have their own little twin chatter, and both have two bottom teeth and are getting two more at the top. They are full of life and promise. Their bond is already so close but yet beginning to learn how to share and not fight. They are truly a blessing and I wouldn’t change one thing about how they came into our lives. I’m so glad I didn’t do as my doctor suggested. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on them.”

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