Elijah: We were excited when we found out
that we were having twins.
The complications came really quickly.
We literally went in for a check up
then an ultrasound, a regular weekly check up
and things had gotten so bad so fast
that within two hours we were on the road
up to Cincinnati.
They were a pound-five and a pound-seven
when they were born.
So you could place your hands on them.
You couldn't really touch their skin directly
because it was still very sensitive.
They had a lot of lung issues,
which ultimately led to Margot getting a trach.
So we had to wait for lung development.
They were intubated for about four months.
But, being at Cincinnati Children's,
they have such an exceptional program.
It's exactly what the girls needed.
I think it was maybe two weeks after they were first born,
that I got to hold them both at the same time.
And they were about the length of a standard pencil.
And they just fit, right.
Traci: They were 'mono mono twins.'
So that means they shared the same placenta
and the same inner sac.
And only about 50% of mono mono twins actually make it.
So at 25 weeks, actually, they pretty much told us
to choose which baby we wanted to save.
And we decided to wait to give both of them their best chance.
Which then brought us to Cincinnati.
It was two days after they were born,
on December 23rd was the first time
I got to go over and see Kinzie.
Then we got a phone call from Kylie's doctor
saying we needed to get back to the hospital for her.
So we went back and they told us
that there was nothing else they could do for her.
They had done everything they could.
So, we went ahead and had her baptized that night.
And just kept praying over her.
And they did a blood draw real quick
and her oxygen started going up.
Just kept coming through.
Kept getting better and better
and then we knew that she was stable enough
that everything was gonna be okay.
When I first was
in the hospital
and we were talking
to the nurses
about where I was going to stay
after the girls were
transferred to the NICU
and I was discharged.
They kept mentioning the
Ronald McDonald House.
And I had heard of the Ronald McDonald House before
but I had never been to one.
It's such a steep learning curve
when you have babies in the NICU.
You have to learn everything from heart rates
to pulse oximeters.
You have to learn all these different medical things
and make these decisions at a very fast pace.
You don't really have time to think about,
what am I gonna make for dinner tonight?
Or, you know, is there a place down the road
where I can do laundry?
The million things that you would never think about needing
when your kids are in the NICU for a long time.
There's somebody here who's thought about it
for thousands of families, and thousands of babies
that have been through something like this before.
Being so close to the hospital
makes leaving your babies there a little bit easier,
knowing you can come back.
Just to be right across the street
if the doctor would call, you know,
you can be there in 30 seconds, if you need to.
Gives you a big peace of mind.
I was leaving the
NICU and I noticed
Traci across in another pod.
And I thought she looks really familiar.
And then later that night I saw her and Adam
coming in to the Ronald McDonald House
and on a spur I just went up to them
and said, "Do you have a baby in the NICU?
Because I have two girls in there, too
and I just wanted to say 'hi' and give you a hug."
And she said, "We actually have two girls in the NICU, too."
And so, we kind of bonded over having
premature, identical twin girls.
It was just, it was amazing to hear
the similarities in stories
and how close they were in age, even.
So we, we started hanging out with them
a little bit more, and talking more.
And we've become great friends with them.
There were several nights
that I would come
back from the hospital
and I would be so
tempted to just go
sit in my room and go
to bed, or read a book
or be by myself and be sad
and be thinking about everything that was going on.
And I would walk to the kitchen and there would be
volunteers making dinner.
There would be people doing crafts and they would say,
"Hey, come join us. Come sit with us."
I think it helped Elijah not have to worry about me
holing myself up in the room
and becoming depressed, knowing that I had somebody
who was saying, "Hey, let's go for a walk together.
Let's eat dinner together.
Let's talk about everything that's gone on today together,
and process things."
Going through the same thing as she was.
Nothing is more difficult than seeing
your child hooked up to a machine
that's keeping them breathing.
You're helping families keep their sanity
in the most difficult period of life
that they're ever gonna go through.
If it weren't for the Ronald McDonald House,
our emotional, financial stress would be through the roof.
But because of the House, everything is manageable.
Every diagnosis that we hit,
every roadblock, every, every stepping stone
was made possible because of the Ronald McDonald House.