About 10 days after losing one of our twins, I wrote a blog post about changing my perspective and focus to prepare for our Holland’s arrival and eventual final farewell to Madeline. Our strong little girl Holly was coming to join our family and we were so proud of all she had overcome so far. What I knew would be a hard day turned out to bring even more tragedy…and came much sooner than expected.
I went to sleep that night and awoke the morning of Sunday, April 17, around 2 am and realized my water had ruptured. Ryan quickly gathered the essentials and loaded our almost 3-year-old in the car as I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way. Family members started making arrangements to get down to Houston from Oklahoma in anticipation of an extended hospital stay.
Once admitted to Labor & Delivery my contractions escalated to 3 minutes apart and we started medicine (“mag“) to stop the contractions in the hopes it wouldn’t progress further and we could hold off delivery at least another week. Just prior to 24 weeks with a very small baby we were given our options and prognosis from neonatology in case birth became imminent in the next 48 hours. She was only in the 5th percentile for her gestational age and the odds were not good for our sweet girl if we couldn’t delay the process.
Contractions decreased but still continued and early that afternoon we realized that despite the medication I had dilated and delivery would need to happen very soon if Holland had any chance of survival. Thankfully, our family arrived to take our daughter Campbell away just minutes before we had to start that process. She had been a trooper sitting with us in the hospital for 9 hours working off very little sleep and too much chaos and tears for any child to understand.
Our stillborn daughter, Madeline Reese, was born around 2 pm. Her sister, Holland “Holly” Sophia, was born shortly after that at 2:22 pm.
Holly was born alive and I even heard just the tiniest sound as the doctors carried her away (but I realize now that probably wasn’t possible). Despite her small size they were able to administer the breathing tube but realized almost immediately that her heart would be too weak to sustain life. Knowing the prognosis we agreed to give up the fight and she died with us peacefully a few hours later with no tubes or wires obstructing her tiny, beautiful face. We are so grateful for that small amount of time we had to love her while she was alive.
Due to delivery complications I went into surgery immediately to avoid hemorrhaging and thankfully was able to come out without any permanent damage. My sisters found some matching outfits for them and I got the sweetest experience dressing and swaddling them both that one time. We were able spend the rest of that evening and the next morning holding and loving our beautiful, perfect daughters that will forever be part of our family.
We have chosen to keep other special moments and photos private but are incredibly humbled and grateful for all the time we had with our girls and are so honored to be their parents. They have changed our lives and will forever be missed in our family. We have a long journey ahead and are so thankful for the support and love from our family and friends as we figure out this new phase. Although this pain is all-consuming, a dear friend has given us some comforting words that this tragedy will not always define us as we feel it does today. We will have fun and laughter in our lives again.
Kyla & Ryan Davis