In November of 2020, we finally got a positive pregnancy test. We were over the moon! By 6 weeks, we found out we were having di-di twins. I had a relatively smooth (+ boring + easy) first trimester.
At 12 weeks, things took a turn, I woke up to bleeding. From there, our whole pregnancy and world changed. By 14 weeks, I had premature preterm rupture of membranes or PPROM, in other words my water had broken. We learned, Baby A, now known as Liam, had multiple abnormalities in the womb. I was told to expect to go into labor within 2 weeks and to prepare for the worst- the loss of both babies. However, they did give us a sliver of hope - if we were able to make past those two weeks without going into labor, our babies could hit a viable gestation. Unfortunately, due to the PPROM Liam’s lung would likely never develop past 14 weeks gestation thus he wouldn’t live long once delivered. Our sweet, Liam was a fighter, though. He fought and he grew for another 14 weeks!
I delivered the twins on April 30, 2021 at the Umiversity of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics at 28 weeks and 6 days gestation. Liam weighed right at 3 pounds and Charlie (baby B + girl) was 2 pounds 13 ounces. They were perfection.
We got 10 days with Liam and he fought the entire time. He was our little fighter. Ultimately, his lungs were just too small and they couldn’t handle life outside the womb. Painstakingly, we made the decision to remove all life supports on May 10, 2021. He passed peacefully in our arms. Charlie spent 55 days in the NICU and we made it home in time for the 4th of July.
Shortly after being discharged, the pangs of isolation. I felt so alone with a new baby at home, yet deep into my grief of the loss of her twin brother. I was barely functioning + surviving day to day. It wasn’t until an old coworker and dear friend of mine mentioned No Foot Too Small and the Moms Groups she attended. She encouraged me to lean in. While my pain was still very fresh + raw, I did just that...I leaned in. I attended my first group and I was hooked. It was exactly what my heart needed. A room of other loss moms who just 'got it' and totally understood the enormous amount of pain and hurt I was feeling. I don’t think I have ever cried in front of strangers until that day. It was exactly the support and love that I needed during those first months following our NICU discharge + settling in at home with only one of our twin babies. Since then, we have attended many No Foot Too Small events and activities in the Des Moines area. The events are amazing ways to celebrate our angel baby, Liam, + also to help support an organization that has truly impacted and changed my life.
IN HONOR AND CELEBRATION OF LIAM, DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE. ON BEHALF OF THE AHRENS FAMILY, THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFT.