On July 13, 2022, my husband, Daniel, and I found out we were expecting our rainbow baby. We had had two previous ectopic pregnancy’s and one early miscarriage. We were over the moon about being pregnant. Our first ultrasound was July 28, 2022. At this ultrasound, we found out we were expecting di-di twins. We were nervous about how the pregnancy may be a little more complicated, but our fear quickly turned to excitement. On October 9, 2022, we had an ultrasound that reveled our twins were girls. We were so excited. We spent lots of time trying to find the perfect names. We finally settled on Gwendolyn Kay and Loletta Nou. We use Gwenny and Lola for short, but waited to decide who was who until they arrived. We got busy preparing for our baby girls to join us earthside. We were eager and excited. We didn’t want to wait until I was uncomfortably pregnant to start preparing. 

On November 11, 2022, we had our anatomy scan. Baby A looked perfectly on track, but they were having a hard time looking at Baby B’s heart. They were concerned, but wanted us to see maternal fetal medicine for a more accurate scan before making any official diagnosis. On November 21, we had that appointment with MFM in a bigger, nearby city. This scan is where we learned our sweet Baby B had a very serious and severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Her outcome looked grim, but we tried to have hope. We also learned my cervix was almost nonexistent it was so thin. I was also already dilated to about a 3 and Baby A’s waters were bulging. I was immediately sent to an even bigger hospital, University of Iowa, to be admitted until they arrived. The plan was to try and keep the girls in for as long as we could although the doctor did not think it would be much longer. We were terrified. We knew we were exactly where we needed to be, but it was so scary. I was able to receive betamethaxone steroids for their lung development and magnesium for their brains. 

On November 24, Thanksgiving, twin A’s water broke while I was in the bathroom. I remember pulling the call light and starting to panic that I would give birth in the bathroom. The doctors and nurses were able to get me back into bed and check me. Because the bag was no longer bulging, my cervix had actually closed up some. They reassured me that the goal was still to keep them inside growing for as long as we could. Labor didn’t progress so, in the morning, they sent me to the antepartum unit. By 1:30 that afternoon on November 25th, I was having contractions. 

At 4:52pm on November 25th, we welcomed twin A, Gwendolyn Kay, to the world. The NICU staff got her intubated and taken to the NICU. My contractions completely stopped. They debated trying to tie off Gwenny’s cord and letting Lola stay inside, but I was hemorrhaging pretty significantly. They started pitocin and at 10:24pm, we welcomed twin B, little Loletta Nou, to the world. The NICU team tried to get her intubated and unfortunately we’re not successful. 

At that time, we requested she be brought to us. My husband, my mom, and I held, sung, and loved on her as much as we could. She passed, peacefully, a couple of hours later on November 26th. We got to keep her with us on a Cuddle Cot until I was discharged from the hospital on November 28th. We held an intimate funeral for her on December 2, 2022. She was so beautiful and so so loved. Lola was buried in a beautiful gown outfit donated to the hospital. There was a small heart made with the same material included as well. Both the outfit and the heart have the same small angel on them. The small heart stays with our baby Gwenny, always.  Her sister will likely stay in the NICU until early April 2023. She has done really well and we know it’s because Lola is looking over her. 

Our sweet, beautiful, 14oz, baby Lola did not live for long, but her tiny feet left enormous prints in this world, and in our hearts. 

Phetmanysay Family