“We thought we were done having kids… and suddenly we weren’t.” We were blessed with three lovely children. Analyn and Raelyn, our two daughters, were 6 and 5 years old at the time. Caleb, our son, was about three years old at the time.
We thought that was a nice crew. Then the fever came again, this time it was baby fever. Jay is my name. Rayni is the name of my wife. And here is the account of how God surprised us by blessing us.
We were expecting our second child! Obviously, we were giddy with anticipation. But this pregnancy was different in every way. Rayni was ill the entire time. She was constantly fatigued. And on any given day, she would spend the entire day in bed if she could get away with it. We were, after all, in our late 30s at this point. So there was our reasoning for why this pregnancy was more difficult.
Finally, the day of the ultrasound arrived. Rayni let out a little laugh as the technician moved about her tummy. ‘What is it, exactly?’ we inquired. ‘There are two in there!’ she said through laughing as she glanced at us. I burst out laughing almost instantly. Rayni seems to have seen a ghost! ‘Are you serious?’ was the only thing she could utter. It appeared to settle in after Rayni had asked the question around five times and received a resounding ‘yes.’ Her color returned to her cheeks, and she participated in a bit of the laughter.
We are fervent believers in the existence of God. According to the Bible, God knows the number of hairs on our heads.
And He is organizing life to accomplish His goals. As a result, we realized it was a gift from Him. Because we were having twins, we knew He intended us to have twins. For us, it was as easy as that. We declined any testing that may disclose genetic abnormalities or flaws, as we had done with our previous three pregnancies. That was done for the same purpose as before. Because life is a gift from God, it is priceless. We are guardians of the environment. So that was, and still is, our mentality.
Because of Rayni’s age and the fact that we were carrying mono/di identical twins, we underwent multiple ultrasounds during the pregnancy (the babies shared a placenta but each had their own amniotic sac). For the most part, the infants were progressing according to plan. We discovered we had gestational diabetes around the 30th week. As a result, this was closely watched and eventually managed by medicine. Then an ultra sound indicated that one of the twins’ development had slowed somewhat. We were sent to a specialist who would perform a more thorough ultrasound and provide recommendations on how to proceed. (It was at this appointment when a beautiful young ultrasound technician inadvertently informed us that we were expecting twins! We had hoped to find out after the delivery. She felt embarrassed and contrite. Everything happens for a purpose, once again. We told her that it was unimportant.) The expert suggested that we be induced the following Monday after acquiring the necessary information (growth scans, blood pressure, and diabetes). We had reached the 36th week of our pregnancy.
As a result, we started making preparations. We were up early on Sunday morning, getting ready for church. Rayni came in to report she was experiencing heavy contractions while I was in the shower. They weren’t too close together, she remarked, but she wanted me to be aware. I heard a horrible cry, ‘oooooooooooohhhhhhh!!!’ by the time I had shaven.
Rayni was in excruciating discomfort on the bed. That period of contraction was over. She was sobbing at our kitchen table in tears after only 10 minutes. It was finally time! I invited my parents to stay with our children. Rayni and I took the road as soon as they arrived.
The travel from our house to the hospital takes around 40 minutes on a typical day. It takes 26 minutes while your wife is crying in the passenger seat and her contractions are getting shorter and shorter. Speed restrictions aren’t always set in stone. The hospital was aware that we were on our way. When I arrived, I honked my horn, and the personnel greeted Rayni with a wheelchair. Until we went upstairs, I kept the car running with the doors open. I returned to park the car and hurried back up when she was checked in. When I exited the elevator, I was greeted by a nurse who informed me that Rayni had already been transported to delivery and that we were at 8cm!
Even before the anesthetic kicked in, Baby Ava arrived soon! We were in the delivery room for less than 15 minutes when she was delivered. After that, there came a snag. Cora’s pulse had plummeted and Rayni’s cervix had closed as she traveled high up in the uterus. They were forced to perform an emergency C-section. They had to put Rayni to sleep since the epidural wasn’t working, and I was thrown out of the room. I was in a room with our adorable tiny twin daughters in a matter of minutes! Rayni was doing well in the recovery room. The twins were admitted to the NICU due to their size.
Rayni was pallid as a ghost in the recovery room as she hemorrhaged and drifted in and out of focus. I was in the same boat! She was able to rest when they were able to stabilize her in the room.
An hour later, a doctor we hadn’t seen before arrived. She gave her name and began talking about the twins. Except for two words, Down syndrome, I don’t recall all of the words the lady said. It was as if she walked in, detonated a bomb, and then walked out. ‘How long do persons with Down syndrome live?’ was the first question that sprang to mind. ‘Are our twins going to have to be buried?’ Those and a million other questions whizzed through our thoughts. We were stunned and speechless as we sat there. Then I got up and told Rayni that the only thing she could do in such a scenario was pray. The terror dissipated almost instantly. God had entrusted us with the care of two unique beings. We didn’t know how we’d be able to deal with it, but He did. That was the only thing that mattered. We later learned that identical twins with Down syndrome only occur once in a million pregnancies! This work had been assigned to us! We were a one-in-a-million situation. God brought us a couple who had been through what we had recently gone through through our OB doctor. ‘You’ll be alright,’ they practically embraced us and said. You’ve just received a present.’ We will never be able to fully express our gratitude for the tranquility they offered us. However, we will be eternally thankful.
Now, fast forward to the present, and they’re both healthy and gorgeous infants. They are wonderful children. They’re continually smiling at us, and they’re starting to laugh at us! And Rayni and I are ecstatic about the chance God has given us. Those lovely little women have captured our hearts! And we’re looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us and them in the future.”