New Dads Recount Their Twins' Difficult Stay in Intensive Care
"It was probably the hardest thing we've ever had to do," the dads said.
Husbands Matt and David were together 11 years before they became dads.
"We discussed kids pretty early on after we met, but we waited a long time before actually pursuing it," said Matt.
They initially signed on with a private adoption agency but quickly recognized how poorly managed it was, and were unsure if it would be a good fit for their family. After a bit more research, the decided to pursue surrogacy while remaining as clients with the adoption agency. Not long after, the agency filed for bankruptcy.
But surrogacy came with its own set of hurdles: Matt and David experienced setbacks and loss along the way, including a miscarriage.
"All of this was sad and disappointing, but we never thought the door to fatherhood was completely closed, just that we'd have to keep looking for other doors."
In June 2017, they found out their surrogate was pregnant. The dads-to-be were ecstatic! The following week they learned that they were expecting twins.
Matt (left) and David holding Cecilia and Gabrielle
"We were excited, terrified, and over the moon, all at the same time," said Matt.
"Since our surrogate had experienced a prior miscarriage, we were cautiously optimistic, but something in our gut told us that this was it," said David.
Cecilia and Gabrielle came into the world on January 8, 2018, two months early and weighing only 3 and 4.3 pounds. They were admitted to the NICU and stayed there for 4 weeks.
"Seeing our kids in the NICU was probably the hardest thing we've ever had to do," said David. "They were so tiny and connected to so many wires and machines. They needed oxygen support and they weren't able to eat on their own, and one of our daughters developed sepsis."
For the dads, it seemed as though their daughters would make two steps forward, and then one step backwards. To further complicate things, the girls were not born locally, so the dads decided to do an air ambulance transfer back home so they could be closer to family and a larger support network. They were discharged 4 days apart, leaving the hospital weighing 4.8 and 5.7 pounds.
Even when they came home, the dads still had to take extra precautions seeing as the twins would have only been 36 weeks of gestation.
"Their immune systems were still poorly developed for newborns, and they came home in the midst of flu season," said Matt. "Infection was a serious concern."
"We also had to make sure that were maintaining their body temperatures, taking their temps every 3 hours," said David. "We received breast milk from a milk bank, but they still required supplemental support from high calorie formula."
Despite all this, the dads are very aware just how lucky they are. Many other babies, both multiples or singletons, are born earlier and can require much more support.
"We are fortunate to have two healthy, growing daughters who are doing very well for their adjusted age."