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Oran and Jude


Oran, baby with anencephaly

January 1, 2012, my husband and I found out we were pregnant for the fourth time! Having lost all 3 pregnancies before this one, we were excited and terrified!

I decided that as long as the baby and I were healthy, I wanted to do a home birth with a midwife. I started seeing the midwife right away and everything was going great. I was healthy and the baby sounded healthy too!

At 20 weeks I went in for an ultrasound to make sure everything was growing right and to find out the sex of the baby. We got in and right when the woman put the monitor on my belly she said "I think there's two". We were both in shock! The girl went and got a more experienced tech and she confirmed we were pregnant with twin boys! Identical twins! We were so happy!!

The tech left the room to talk to the radiologist and make sure she got the pictures of everything she needed to. She came back about 20 minutes later and said we were good to go and that our midwife would call us with the details.

We walked out of there and called our parents immediately to share the news.

About 5 minutes after we got off the phone with our families, the midwife called. With bad news. We were indeed having twin boys but one of them had a neural tube defect called anencephaly. His brain wasn't completely formed and he wouldn't survive outside of my womb. Good news was that the other baby was 100% healthy!

I felt like I had just had my heart ripped out of my body! For a few days we couldn't talk to anyone. It was the worst day of our lives.

After it sunk in a little, we needed our questions answered.
Would our baby be stillborn?
Would he live for a few minutes or hours after birth?
Would my other child be ok?

I obviously couldn't use my midwife anymore so it was time to find a doctor that would take me thus far along! Luckily I found a great OB and he referred me to an equally as great high-risk doctor.

I continued on my pregnancy journey with hope and tried to be as positive as I could be.

At 32 weeks, I went in to the ER because I hadn't felt my healthy baby (Jude) move in a few hours. Once I got there, they hooked me up to the monitors and realized I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart! They did lots of tests and admitted me. I was in active labor and it was way too early! I stayed in the hospital on strict bed rest and magnesium sulfate to try and stop my labor. After 3 days it stopped and I was sent home on bed rest.

For the next two weeks I went to my OB once a week, to my high risk doctor twice a week and to the ER twice a week for non-stress tests.

Then at one of the ER visits they noticed I was having contractions again. They admitted me and I stayed overnight. I hadn't dilated any more the next morning so they sent me home.

Two days later I woke up having contractions. I stayed home until they were about 2 minutes apart and then we went to the hospital. They put me on the monitors and confirmed my contractions were 2 minutes apart. Since I hadn't dilated anymore and my water hadn't broke, they were going to send me home again when all the sudden both babies' heart rates dropped super low. The doctors and nurse came running in and we did an emergency c section.

Oran and Jude, identical twins discordant for anencephaly

On August 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm Oran Jr. (anencephalic) was born first. Seconds later, Jude was born. Oran was 3 lbs 2 ounces 15 1/4 inches long. Jude was 4 lbs 8 ounces 17 inches long.

Jude was sent to the NICU and we got to hold and love on our sweet Oran for 8 hours! It was the best 8 hours of our lives. He passed away in my arms very quietly. It seemed very peaceful.

We held him and kissed him for another 20-30 minutes knowing that would be our last time with him.

Jude was in the NICU for 2 weeks. Once we got him home it made it a lot easier.

I think of my precious Oran every single day. Every time I see twins or hear about twins I get upset. I wonder what it would be like to have him here with us. We are very lucky to have a happy healthy boy at home and we will never forget his twin brother.



Last updated July 10, 2019