Why should I kill the babies on the onset rather than give them a chance to live. As a person who believes in God and His grace, I believed that God would care for them.
My husband and I had been together for eight years and had one son. We decided that it was time for our family to grow and that same month I became pregnant.
I went to my first ultrasound exam when six weeks pregnant and could hear and see the heartbeat of one baby. I thought that this would be a normal and calm pregnancy, but then I became very nauseous day and night. I recalled that when I was pregnant with my older son, I hadn’t been nauseous at all. At 11 weeks, it was time for my second ultrasound exam. The technician began the ultrasound and we saw something so strange – lots of hands and feet. I was asked, “What’s this? Are you having twins? “ . I strongly responded, “What?! I don’t think so! It just can’t be. In the first ultrasound, we only saw one baby.” They decided to check better and clearly saw two fetuses, one next to the other. When I saw this, I started to cry from all of the emotion and the hormones.”
Right away, I heard the technician throw into the air the words, “Mono mono”. At that point, I didn’t understand what that meant and wasn’t worried. I didn’t know anything about twins and had never in my life imagined that I’d have twins. I was referred to the doctor who was on call in the clinic that day. He briefly explained to me that it was too early to know what would happen and advised me to go to a doctor who specialized in high risk pregnancies.
I was very emotional, but very quickly the doctors to whom I went caused me to be more than emotional and to become deeply worried and stressed. They explained to me that the two fetuses were sharing one sac without any membrane separating them. For this reason, there were many dangers and risks that this pregnancy would end suddenly with the death of the fetuses. They explained to me that it would be best to abort them so as not to take these risks. I was in shock. Why should I kill the babies on the onset rather than give them a chance to live. As a person who believes in God and His grace, I believed that God would care for them.
Every other week I went for checkups and would see the hopelessness in the eyes of the doctors. At week 16, I did a more advanced ultrasound examination and saw that the babies were boys. As the test progressed, the doctor explained what we were seeing and showed me each of the various body parts of the boys. When he came to the face of one of the babies, the doctor became very quiet and started mumbling to himself, while moving the instrument back and forth over the baby’s face. He informed me that the baby had a cleft lip and cleft palate. He ran to grab his cell phone so that he could show me pictures of babies with this condition. He told me that the best thing to do would be to abort this baby. I tried to begin to understand how anyone could make a decision like that. What are the considerations this way or that way? This is a life and death decision. I thought to myself, NO MATTER WHAT, I will love these babies and God will take care of me and these children.
Slowly the weeks passed and we had more and more ultrasound exams. The hearts were beating and the babies were gaining weight very well.
“This is the type of pregnancy that should be aborted.”
“We’re walking a fine line.”
“We’re playing Russian roulettes here.”
“There is every chance that both of the babies will die suddenly”
“Don’t develop expectations”
These are the sentences that I heard until the final weeks of pregnancy.
At week 30 of the pregnancy, I was hospitalized for observation. A monitor was done three times a day to detect fetal heartbeat and ultrasound exams were done twice a week. I was given shots so that the babies’ lungs would develop. Sabbaths and Passover seemed an eternity.
At week 34, I gave birth by Caesarian section surgery.
Finally, we did it! The boys weighed 1840 grams and 2140 grams. Thank God they were both breathing and healthy. We named them Elroy (God is my Shepherd) and Elchai (God Lives) because God took care of them. Elroy was born with a cleft lip, not with a cleft palate as the doctor had predicted, which was much less complicated required plastic surgery at five months old. We went home after only two weeks in the neo-natal preemie ward. That’s when the real adventure began!
Update: Elroy and Elchai celebrated their first birthday in May 2020. They are healthy, active and fun loving boys. They have brought much joy and laughter to Miriam, her husband Henry and their big brother.