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Matthew James and Noah Ryleigh


Matthew James and Noah Ryleigh, identical twins with anencephaly

These are my baby boys! Matthew James Brown and Noah Ryleigh Brown, born August 3rd 2012 at 26 weeks and 3 days. 1lb 1oz and 1lb 2oz...

At 6 weeks I found out I was having twins :) due to some pain I was having I had to go back at 8 weeks for another ultrasound and that's when I found out they were identical twins in the same sac with one placenta which is called monoamniotic twins. The doctors told me I was at a even higher risk because I was having twins who share everything, and as I'd get further along it would get more dangerous because cord entanglement and compression can happen. So I would have to be put on bed rest in the hospital at 24 weeks until delivery... That was a lot to take in, so many things were going through my mind I just wanted them to be okay and agreed to whatever the doctors recommended.

At three months into the pregnancy I found out both had anencephaly.

I must say finding that the doctors believed there is no hope and I should terminate broke my heart. By far the worst day of my life. It felt like a bad dream I couldn't wake up from...

Most of the people I talked to agreed I shouldn't continue with the pregnancy. It was very difficult having most of my friends not understand why I didn't want to do that. I couldn't abort though. It's my personal belief that abortion is wrong, however just because I didn't think it was best for me or my babies doesn't mean I look down on others who choose to terminate. It is a very tough choice and I no one should be judging people on their decisions.

Matthew James, identical twin with anencephaly

At 16 weeks I finally was able to find out the sex! From the first day I found out I was expecting, I swore they were girls, I would have bet anything in the world I was right. Well thankfully I didn't because at the ultrasound visit I discovered they're boys. LOL. I was shocked but unbelievably happy.

That's about the time morning sickness kicked in and lasted til about 22 weeks. That was just terrible. Also preterm labor started and continued til they were born.

I had to be admitted probably at least 15 times due to severe committing and dehydration. And from than til 26 weeks I was admitted several times for contractions and labor pains.

But put aside all the troubles and sickness I loved feeling them move around inside, kicking and turning. Having them recognize my voice and other voices made me smile. Part of me knew that they still had their brain. Regardless of what doctors said, I disagreed. I knew they could feel and think at least to a point. When I went into water they'd freak out and start getting crazy, when I sang to them they settled down, when I went to action movies in theaters they did not like the loudness at all. They had a sleeping pattern. I just felt in my heart that they had feelings.

I cherished every moment I had and did my best to have a positive outlook.

Noah Ryleigh, identical twin with anencephaly

Every two weeks I had doctor visits and ultrasounds, and each time something else was wrong and one of them was sicker than before and other issues aroused. I prayed everyday for a miracle.

On August 2nd of this past summer I went into true labor, in the morning of the 3rd, I naturally delivered my baby boys.

Matthew passed away while I was in labor and Noah passed right before birth.

Being able to hold them was the best feeling in the world!! I had people tell me not to see them when I delivered and if I looked at their heads I would be traumatized. But honestly, when I saw my sons, i didnt care that they looked a little different than most babies.

To me, I gave birth to two perfect beautiful boys. When I looked at both of them I could tell they were at peace now...

Even though I wasn't ready to let go, it was their time to go. And it made me happy knowing they didn't have to hurt anymore. They fought hard for every day with us and I'm proud of my boys. They were strong little fighters.

I am so thankful to have had carried them, bringing them into the world, even though it was for a short time, was a miraculous feeling.

I had amazing nurses and a fantastic doctor to help me through the delivery, the hospital was extremely caring and supportive.

Matthew James, identical twin with anencephaly

Words can't express the love I have for my sons. They taught me to never take anything for granted, to cherish the little things because before you know it it could all be gone in a blink of an eye...

Becoming a mother is beyond amazing, I had no idea that I would experience such joy and happiness being one and I can't wait to have another baby/babies when it's time.

My advice to parents who have been struck with this devastating diagnosis is to do what's best for you! I choose to carry to term because I felt in my heart it's what I needed to do, I wanted to fight for them as long as they continued fighting.

Cherish the moments, take hundreds of pictures and videos, make memories because you dont want to look back and regret not doing enough.

I am so very sorry that you've had to come to this place but I hope you find some peace in this. Feel free to email me if you'd like to talk more, I would be more than happy to do whatever I can to help.

This is my story. I would like to say to all the families on here who are going through this now or have gone through this, I am deeply sorry for your losses. Nothing can replace your babies and each and every one of them are special and will always be a part of you.



Last updated July 10, 2019