“My sons, Max and Luca, were so small when they were born at 31 weeks, I was scared to pick them up.”
Desiree Mannino, Union City,N.J.
My husband, Anthony, and I tried for two years to get pregnant. I underwent one round of Clomid, three rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and three rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) before a fourth try finally worked. I was five weeks along when I discovered I was having twins.
I had a rough pregnancy. I started spotting at six weeks and that lasted until 12 weeks. At 20 weeks, my hands and feet started to itch and I was diagnosed with cholestasis of pregnancy, a liver condition that can increase the risk for preterm birth and stillbirth. I was immediately put on medication and, in the weeks following, the babies had their heart rates monitored twice a week. At 24 weeks, I was one centimeter dilated and my doctor recommended that I modify my work schedule so I could stay off my feet, which I did. But, at 28 weeks, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I was admitted to the hospital and put on bed rest.
In the hospital, I wasn’t sleeping. I was overwhelmed because I was having twins and didn’t feel mentally prepared to become a mother. And, I was worried about the babies. At 31 weeks, my water broke, and I had a Cesarean section. My sons, Max and Luca, were 3 pounds 2 ounces and 3 pounds, respectively. The amazing thing was that as soon as I gave birth, my blood pressure went back to normal and the itchiness subsided. I felt like myself, except for the pain of the C-section. It was hard to see my babies with all those tubes in the neonatal intensive care unit, but as the tubes were removed, I started to feel more confident as a mom. Max and Luca came home after five weeks in the hospital, and now they are as healthy as can be.