When she is sixteen weeks pregnant, she is told that the smallest child could possibly die in her womb. “If that were to happen, there would be a good chance that the other one wouldn’t survive either. We were given a choice: did we want to have the umbilical cord of the little one closed and thereby terminate the pregnancy? That would ensure that the biggest one would live.”
“It was a tough decision. No one could tell us what the right choice was, no one knew what would happen. But we quickly decided to give both children a chance.”
When Ashja is 24 weeks pregnant, she is admitted to hospital. “The chance that I would give birth prematurely was very high, because the difference in growth between the two babies was so great. The smallest one did not grow well enough. Sometimes the blood flow even stopped. My husband and I were scared and sad. We were lived, went from one ultrasound to another. We lived in a haze.”
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Emergency caesarean section
It is difficult for the expectant mother that she cannot do anything for such a large part of the pregnancy. “We wanted to finish the nursery together, enjoy the two of us, and quietly prepare for parenthood. But suddenly I was in the hospital and ECGs were being made every day.”
When Ashja contracts an infection and blood flow becomes too minimal for the smallest baby, the doctors decide they can wait no longer. “I had an emergency caesarean section at 28 weeks and 1 day. An epidural was given, but it did not work enough, so I had to go under general anesthesia. I found that frightening. I thought: soon I won’t wake up and I will leave my husband behind with two small children.”
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In the NICU
When she opens her eyes again, Ruby and Jade are born. “Ruby weighed 870 grams, Jade 1150 grams. They were both immediately taken to the NICU and received all the support they needed. I did my best to wake up as quickly as possible so I could go to them. Two hours later my bed was wheeled to them. They were on oxygen. I was allowed to touch them, but they were protected in an incubator.”
Ruby and Jade have been in the hospital for a total of 56 days. “Mentally and physically we were through it. That’s why we slept at home at night, tried to rest and sort out the events, so that we would have all the energy for our children when they came home.”
The babies were actually not supposed to be born until October 8, but the babies are now almost four months old. How are they doing? “When they first got home they got Covid and had to go back to the hospital, but now they hate it very well. They drink well, they grow well, they are happy at home. Ruby and Jade are two happy girls.” And Ashja and her husband? “We are still in the processing process, but we talk a lot with each other and with people who have been in the same kind of situation. That is very nice.”
Do you also have a special birth story? Email your name and story in a few sentences to [email protected], stating ‘Special deliveries’ and who knows, you might soon read your story on LINDA.nl.
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