In November of 2013, this family was blessed with the news that they would be a welcoming not one, but two lives. The joy that filled their homes was overwhelming.
On February 5, Erika (mom) and Travis (dad) went in to get a routine ultrasound and found out the genders of their children. Unfortunately, what should have been a day of celebration turned to a day of worry. Erika was 3 centimeters dilated and had gone into preterm labor. She was only 20 weeks pregnant.
After rushing to the maternity triage, the couple was told that Erika would have to undergo surgery in order to stop the labor. The situation continued to go downhill. While in the operating room, the doctor told her that the surgery could not be done due to the fact that Travis Jr was already so low in the uterus that any stress could rupture the membranes. Hospitalized bed rest was prescribed.
Erika lasted only 20 days. Bed rest was very difficult. Erika went from working two jobs, seven days a week to watching life fly by through the three windows in her hollow sterile box of a room. Travis was left to care for their three year old son, carry the burden of all the finances in the household, and work almost every day. Yet, he daily visited his fiancée and unborn children. Most nights were spent with him reading to all three kids while Erika memorized the moments and imagmend their life after delivery. They did everything that was asked of them to prevent labor. Still, 20 days was all they got.
The labor lasted a little over 24 hours. The contractions started as just back pain and progressed to intense contractions. A neonatologist was brought in. The expecting couple was told that because of the gestational age of the twins, there was nothing they would be able to do for the babies. The hospital did not resuscitate children at 22 weeks because they more than likely would be stillbirths, would be too small to use any equipment on, and would not survive. This destroyed the family. They felt they were being told the lives of their children were not worth saving. So they fought. They spoke to different hospitals and other doctors until they were finally told that the hospital would do all they could to keep the babies alive.
26.5 hours after labor began, the twins were delivered.... ALIVE, BREATHING, AND CRYING! Their cries were so small, yet sent a message of hope to not only the parents, but every nurse, doctor, and tech in the room. They were 150 grams bigger than expected. They were able to be stabilized with the proper equipment and were rushed to the NICU.
Travis went to be with them while Erika recovered. A few hours later, Erika was rushed down to the NICU. Travis Jr. and Lillian Rose were not going to make it. Though everything possible had been done, God needed these two angels. Their last few hours were spent in the arms of their parents while Mom sang "You Are My Sunshine" and Dad read them their favorite book. They were surrounded by loved ones and were comfortable as they passed.
As if the loss of their children was not stressful enough, the trauma and difficulty of the labor and the raging hormones have caused Erika to have a hemmorage in her right eye causing her to partially lose her vision. She will not be able to work until a series of procedures are conducted.
Family and friends are trying to help the family through this time. Due to Erika not being able to work prior to surgery, the expense of her hospital stay, the cost of the twins' life saving efforts, and now the inability of Erika to work, we are hoping to raise funds to help them through this terrible time. Thanks to the kind hearts of many, we have been able to raise $470 thus far and hope to continue assisting. Please consider making a difference and helping this family.