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  • Writer's pictureJen Chappell

Share Your Story Tuesday- Hanlee Jade and Harper Ann

“I think I see another baby...” the ultrasound technician told us.

“Another WHAT?” I was thinking... There is no way there were TWO babies. The ultrasound tech asked me to go to the bathroom so we could do a vaginal ultrasound to see if we could get a better look... Sure enough, there was another baby that popped up immediately. All I could do was laugh.

My favorite game to play as a child was LIFE and I remember always paying people to let me land on “twins” and I would always pick twin girls. And sure enough, baby A and baby B were both girls... And we were excited... Scared, but very excited. My due date was May 14th, 2018 and I knew I wouldn’t make it that far with twins because they always come early...

I wish I would have known just how early they would have actually come.

I woke up at around 3 AM on January 14, 2017 at 23 weeks pregnant, stood up and felt a huge gush… Me being naïve, I thought I just peed myself. I went and changed clothes and felt the most excruciating pain that would come and go. This was my first pregnancy, and I had no idea at the time that I was experiencing pre-term labor.

My husband and I went to the hospital and we were sent home... My contractions (I didn’t know at that time those were contractions) weren’t showing up and they told me everything was normal. It started to get worse that night, and we went back for a second time and this time they checked me and I was dilated to a 3.

There was a flood of nurses running in my room... Everything happened so fast, it’s all a blur now. I was hooked up to magnesium to stop the contractions and wasn’t taken off of it for 2 more days. I was bedridden and wasn’t allowed to eat. After the 2 days were up, I was taken off and I was on hospital bed rest. I was able to enjoy one full day before I woke up with contractions again on January 19th and there was nothing they could do. I was 23 weeks and 4 days… “Viability” was 24 weeks.

Long story short… I developed HELLP syndrome on top of everything else and was put back on magnesium (which wouldn’t be turned off for another 24 hours.)

Hanlee Jade & Harper Ann Gentry were born that night. Hanlee was 1lb 6oz and Harper was 1lb 7oz. When I was being rolled into the OR (just in case I needed a C-section- thankfully I didn’t) the doctor asked if we wanted them to try everything they could. I remember thinking that no parent should have to be asked that question…

When I was first hospitalized, I was told there was really no hope before 24 weeks. They both lived for 2 weeks. During that time, I witnessed two amazing girls fight as hard as they could for their life. Life in the NICU was a constant battle… There were good days, and there were bad days. We lived 2 hours away from the NICU, and I was trying to recover physically and mentally from all that happened.

They died two days apart, and were able to be buried together. We love and miss them more than anything, but we are grateful to have their sister, Ella, with us… who was born a little over a year after we lost them.

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