"One of my Twin Daughters Had Body-Stalk Anomaly and Lived for 3 Hours."
Mother of Eva:
I was pregnant with identical twin girls.
My Eva was diagnosed very early on my pregnancy with a rare syndrome called Body-Stalk Anomaly. She was not expected to survive.
My other baby Lucia had 60% chance of getting brain damage if Eva died inside the womb. I was devastated.
I felt my soul leave my body that day.
I cried for weeks until one day my 3 year old asked why I was so sad for the babies. We should be "happy and excited". That day my soul came back to me.
I fell to the floor and prayed on my knees.
I asked God for strength and understanding.
I want to love them as much it was possible no matter the outcome. That night was the last night I cried.
The next 2 months were very stressful but I kept my hopes very high.
I asked God for His will and to love them.
We tried to keep Eva stable to keep Lucia healthy.
Every appointment I heard Eva's heart beat slow but strong.
The girls kept growing and I kept praying and thanking God for every move and every heartbeat.
One night my water broke.
I remember I had everything ready in my car for an emergency c-section for the last 3 weeks. We took our 3 year old and rush to the hospital.
On my way there I remember my husband driving fast but my mind was on slow motion.
I felt a punch in my stomach when I realized where we are going and what was going to happen.
Our doctor tried to keep them stable until 32 weeks and we made it until 31 weeks and 6 days.
I had a cousin driving from South Carolina to stay with my 3 year old while we were in the hospital. She finally made it and my husband ran to drop my son off, then came to be with me at the hospital as soon as he could. While he was gone the pediatrician in charge of the NICU came to talk to me and told what I was going to deal with.
My beautiful Eva was very ill and it was not possible for her to live. Her recommendation was to hold her until her heart stopped beating.
Lucia would go directly to the NICU and we would see her there. I was by myself and I felt my world crash.
I cried and prayed.
My husband finally made it back to the hospital and we talked to the babies all night. My c-section was scheduled for 8am but for my surprise I went to labor and I was having contractions all night. I held onto the pain to keep them as much as I could. 7:45am: I was taken to surgery. My husband followed me. 9:05am: My daughter Lucia was born and she was not breathing. I barely saw her before they rushed her to the NICU. She was 3 pounds and 15 inches long. 9:06am: My sweet Eva was born. She weighed 2 pounds 2 ounces and was 12 inches long. They wrapped her up and gave her to my husband. I remember my husband's tears of happiness.
He was so grateful to have her in his arms alive.
He put her on my cheek and I felt her warm body breathing. They finished my surgery and sent us to recovery in a private room for privacy. We held her, hugged her, and kissed her as much as possible. We said so many "I love you's" that I can't even remember.
Eva died in my arms 3 hours later.
Then the nurse asked me if I wanted to see Lucia and took me to the NICU with Eva on my chest. I saw Lucia in a dark corner of the room and I prayed and thanked Eva for holding on for her sister. We were moved to other room to sign paperwork and say our last goodbyes. I kissed her and hugged her. My husband said a little prayer and kissed her on the forehead. The nurse wrapped her in another blanket and left the room.
I remember I died that day. I never felt a pain like that before.
I felt like I was being stabbed in my chest. I was given medication to calm down and sleep. When I woke up, I was just on pilot mode. I couldn't see my husband so then I fell asleep again. The nurse finally came to clean my stitches and my husband walked in from the NICU. He started telling about Lucia but I was just numb. He put me on a wheelchair and took me to Lucia. He pushed me to a dark corner and I just saw lights on a glass. He pushed me closer and I saw her little body. Immediately I came back to life. My heart filled of joy and happiness.
She was fighting for her life and for her sister.
Once again I prayed and thanked Eva. I was sent home after 5 days in the hospital and left my beautiful daughter in the NICU. When I got home I felt the emptiness of my belly. The reality hit me hard and I was so devastated. My little boy kept me going and moving. I had to pump for Lucia and that kept me on the move. I had to go to the funeral home to arrange Eva's service. It was unreal. Never in a million I imagined I was going to deal with something like that. Lucia was in the NICU fighting for her life and here I was trying to grieve and take care of my other children.
I never lost hope and every day I prayed God to give me strength and energy to keep going, and he did.
Lucia was in the hospital for 3 months and my son was keeping me on track at home. Every time that I looked into Lucia's eyes I could see Eva. My heart was so grateful for her. Eva kept her heart beating to keep Lucia healthy. I choose to live my life with a grateful heart and with God by my side. I remember her and honor her mission in our family. My beautiful girl changed our life.
This blog was written by Ashley Ospina in Woodlands, Texas. Ashley has been with her husband, Carlos, for ten years. Together they have three children, Gabriel, Lucia and Eva, in heaven.