“Twice Blessed,” Liahona, January 2009, 45–46
My life changed forever when my husband and I went to the doctor to check the gender and development of our unborn baby. I cried with joy when we discovered that I was expecting twins. But my tears turned to ones of despair as the doctor explained that a series of complications made it unlikely that the twins would survive until birth. The doctor suggested terminating the pregnancy. She said proceeding would be risky and that I would have to be hospitalized at some point.
Despite the dangers, we decided to continue the pregnancy.
On the drive home I realized the severity of the situation. I wondered how I could leave my husband and our three children and stay for an extended period in the hospital. Knowing that our babies would likely be delivered prematurely—and might not live—became overwhelming for me. I wasn’t sure I could endure this trial.
Only after I received a priesthood blessing from my husband and father-in-law did I feel peace. I realized that no matter what the outcome was, my family and I would be all right. I felt my Savior’s love and knew that He would be with us in joy or in sorrow.
Some time later, I said good-bye to my family and entered the hospital for an indefinite stay. The babies’ heart rates were monitored constantly to make sure the babies were safe. It was difficult for me to see their heart rates drop, and I wondered if they would make it to the delivery goal of 34 weeks. At 25½ weeks, one baby’s heart rate dropped to a critical level, nearly stopping. The doctors decided that if his heart didn’t start beating normally, both babies would be delivered by emergency cesarean section within minutes. I panicked when I heard the nurse call my husband and tell him that I was being prepared for surgery and that the neonatal team was standing by.
I knew that to get through this trial, I needed Heavenly Father’s help. I prayed silently, pleading that our baby would recover, thus allowing both twins the much-needed time to develop in utero. I also prayed for comfort. Once again I felt peace, just as I had when I received the priesthood blessing. I didn’t know if our babies would live or die, but I knew that no matter what, if I turned to the Lord, He would help carry my burden. As it turned out, the baby’s heartbeat returned to normal, and surgery was no longer necessary.
My stay at the hospital continued for the next two months, and there were many times we worried about our babies’ fluctuating heart rates. But fortunately, neither of the twin’s heart rates dropped as low as before. Our sons, John and Jacob, were born at 33 weeks. Their cords were intertwined with eight knots, and John—the son whose heart rate had dropped so low—had his cord wrapped around his neck twice. Our twins stayed in the hospital’s intensive care unit so their body temperatures and breathing could be regulated. Despite the potential problems associated with premature births, John and Jacob were able to come home after only 19 days.
Our twins are now toddlers, and they have no negative effects from being born prematurely. I am grateful that what began as a trial became one of the greatest blessings of my life. I was given two healthy sons, and my testimony of the power of priesthood blessings and prayer was strengthened. I am also grateful to be able to recall the peace and love I felt in knowing that the Lord was aware of my situation. I learned then that, with the Lord’s help, we will have the strength to endure our trials.