Special Needs Awareness and Advocacy 

Princess: person who has great power, many possessions

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I recently met a twin’s mommy and we were trading war stories about being a mom of twins, the birth and all that other stuff that comes with having and raising multiples and she asked me how much my girls weighed.  I remember when they were babies, I was always annoyed at this question, like why does it matter how much and how long babies are when they are born. I knew if I answered the question, I would have to recount their birth.

When she asked, we were at the dinner table at a restaurant, it was a lot of us having dinner, including my daughters.  I answered and recounted the story of their birth.  It doesn’t bother me anymore, as a matter of fact, it is a miracle and worth telling. When I look at them now and think about the uncertain look in my doctor’s face, I feel the story is worth telling.  When we got home, Nikki said I didn’t expect you to tell it again.

I found out I was expecting twins at 13 weeks.  We were very surprised. I had suffered several losses prior so being pregnant again was very scary.  Because of those losses, I was closely monitored and had many ultrasounds. The technician said while completing the ultrasound, “what’s the reason for the ultrasound, is it because you are expecting twins?”  I’m like “no, I’m not expecting twins, do you have the correct chart?” she said, “I’m not looking at a chart, I’m looking at the screen!”

I tried hard not to get too excited because of the hurt of the past losses, but to remain prayerful. I only told my immediate family. Surely, the same symptoms I experienced in the past showed up around 16 weeks and this time my doctor suggested a cerclage to hold my incompetent cervix. A cerclage or cervical stitch is used when the cervix starts to open to early during pregnancy causing either a late miscarriage or preterm birth. I was put on bed rest for about two weeks and everything was looking great.

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Around 23 weeks, I had tickets to see Puff Daddy or Diddy as he’s called now, along with Lil Kim, Junior M.A.F.I. A., 112 and Faith and some other folks.  I had been going to work sitting all day and coming home laying down, and after much discussion, we felt the concert would be okay, because I would be sitting, and I hadn’t had any problems.

Half way through the show I felt something wet and realized my water broke. I told my then husband lets get to the ER asap.  When I arrived, the doctors said that it couldn’t be embryonic fluid, that I was way too early for my water to break.  But after tests they determined it was embryonic fluid and sent me by ambulance to another hospital with a Neonatal intensive care unit.

It was determined that Jasmine kicked a pin sized hole in her embryonic sac and I was leaking fluid very slowly, she was also down in the birth canal and an ultrasound was unable to detect her heartbeat. Dominique’s embryonic sac was intact, and she was laying cool as a cucumber across my belly.

After asking me if I wanted them to do everything to save my babies because they didn’t know what the outcome would be, they immediately began steroids to mature their lungs and medications to hold off the labor. Still in the hospital on bed rest, leaking fluid and still not able to determine what Jasmine was doing, we could no longer hold off labor and I delivered two crying babies, one naturally and one by Cesarean Section at 28 5/7th weeks, Jasmine at 1lb 8oz and Dominique at 1lb10 oz.

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They were tiny little fighters in the NICU with no medical problems outside of apnea because they were too immature to remember to breathe. One of the saddest days of my life was at two weeks old, they released me from the hospital and I had to leave them, this was the only time I cried. I was so confident that they would live and be okay, to this day, I know a higher power instilled that in me. Thankfully I was able to remain on leave from my job and my Mom, Dad, and I were there every day all day, and their Dad would arrive after work.  At night when I left the NICU, the nurses took videos and pictures of them and called me with updates. When they went home, they presented me with videos of each. I will never forget the NICU nurses, they cried when we left.


Jasmine remained in the NICU for 10 weeks and Dominique for 8 weeks. We were trained in CPR and they came home with heart monitors and no illnesses.  We were told Cerebral Palsy could be a diagnosis, but it didn’t matter to us.  Once they both got home, and I laid them in the crib together, it was the happiest day of my life!

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