One year into our marriage, my husband and I decided we were ready to start our family. To our surprise, we were having identical twin girls! My pregnancy progressed normally and I felt great. We had even named the babies. “Baby A” was named Lora and “Baby B” was named Lilly.

At 32 weeks gestation, I went into the hospital because the babies didn’t seem to be moving as much as normal. An ultrasound was done and to our horror, Lilly’s heart was not beating. I can’t even begin to describe the raw,deep pain my husband and I felt at that moment. Like we just fell off the edge of the tallest cliff. Our lives flashed in front of us. I can remember thinking and I may have even said it out loud, “No, this is not happening….if I close my eyes, I’ll wake up from this nightmare.”

After repeating the ultrasound numerous times and staring at that one little heart that was just as still as the air in the hospital room, it was confirmed. Lilly had died. Those memories are so vivid. My doctor put his hand on mine and said, “I’m so sorry….” And, the tears rolled from my eyes. Just as they are now, four years later. It was December 22, 2001. My world was torn apart. We had to make a decision. Deliver now through emergency C-section, wait and give me steroid injections to help mature the surviving twin’s lungs before delivery, or just wait for my body to go into labor. My words were, “Take her out now, we can’t lose her too….please…please save her”. So we did.

I remember the nurse asking my doctor if she should prepare for two babies and the knife that was in my heart turned a little deeper when I heard him say, “No, that won’t be necessary.”

My doctor performed the C-section. Lora was born first–2:49 PM. Barely breathing. The delivery room was so quiet. She didn’t even cry. I wanted to die. I really did. I couldn’t imagine myself making it through this. So many thoughts were in my head lying there on the operating table. My doctor let me know he was now working on getting Lilly out. I have never prayed so hard in my life….”Please God, please let her be alive…please let me hear her cry…PLEASE GOD…PLEASE GOD…PLEASE GOD…PLEASE GOD!” Silence. The most horrible silence. It was really true. Lilly was gone–2:51 PM.

In recovery, through tearful eyes, we met Lilly for the first time. We met her first, the nurses and doctors were busy trying to stabilize Lora enough to have her transferred to another hospital better equipped with a NICU. Our family met Lilly too. Everyone cried so much. We all loved her so much.

Two hours later, Lora was stable enough for the transport. We got to see her briefly just before the team took her into the ambulance. It was a very short 1st meeting…some alarms went off just before they slammed the incubator shut and stormed out of the room hurriedly. Lora was “crashing” again. In all of this horror, all I could do was pray. One of my babies had died and no one was sure if the other would make it either. The ambulance had to pull over twice to stabilize Lora on the 30 mile transport.

Lora was put on the ventilator for 4 days and stayed in the hospital for about a month. We made it through another hospitalization about 2 weeks after she came home. It was rough. But, we made it. She is now 4 years old, healthy, and functioning normally. Lora knows all about Lilly. We speak of her often. She is very much a part of our life.

Two years later we were blessed with the birth of our second set of twin girls. Both survived and are doing fine. Lora is 4 years old and Lauren and Lindsay are 2 years old. Both pregnancies were conceived naturally. The second pregnancy was extremely stressful, of course, but everyone made it through just fine.

We are blessed to have our own little Angel watching over us. God, I wish she were here, but…she has gotten us through many of life’s whirlwinds. We owe it all to Lilly.

Love your children. Tell them everyday how much you love them and how lucky you are to have them. They are such precious gifts.

In loving memory of our little “Lilly.”

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