& Andrea Miller
Our identical twin girls, Alexia and Andrea were both born at 9:48am on November 27, 2011 by emergency c-section at Allen Hospital in Waterloo. They were 26 weeks and 3 days. Alexia weighed 2 lbs 0.3 oz and was 13in and Andrea weighed 1 lb 12 oz and was 12.5in. Alexia needed CPR resusication right after birth and both girls were intubated for breathing support. Once they were stabilized they were airlifted to Blank Children's Hospital NICU. The girls were closely watched day and night. It was so scary having not only one, but two miro-preemies. There were days we didn't know if they would survive or not because of the apnea (not breathing) and bradycardia (decrease heart rate) episodes they had so frequently.
On December 4, 2011, one week old, Alexia had a chest x-ray done to check her lungs. It showed a tiny bit of her abdomen and that caught the doctors' attention so they did a side view which showed large amounts of air in her abdomen, not in her intestine/bowel where it should be. She was prepped and rushed for emergency surgery for a perforated bowel, in which 1/3 of her bowel was removed and she was given an ostomy. She weighed 1 lb 13 oz.
In January 2012, both girls developed infections. Andrea had an infection in her lungs and Alexia had an infection in her blood. Both girls were put in different rooms and put in isolation. Both were still having periods of apnea and bradycardia. There were many times they would go from the ventilator, to CPAP, to vapotherm, back to CPAP, back to the ventilator. It was a never ending cycle it seemed like.
On February 8, 2012 Alexia went back to surgery for an ostomy takedown. It seemed we were back at the start. She was kept on the ventilator after surgery, she couldn't eat, and had more apnea episodes. She got so swollen and her belly was so distended. Eventually, the swelling went down, her bowels started working normally for the first time, and she soon got to where she was taking a bottle like her sister.
On March 2, 2012 (Due Date) after 96 days of being in the NICU Andrea was able to come home. Alexia would have been able to come home the same day but she had an apnea spell and needed to stay another week. (The girls could not have any apnea or bradycardia episodes for 7 days for them to go home). Alexia was transferred back to Allen Hospital NICU for the one week of observation. After 103 days in the NICU Alexia was able to home. Both girls were sent home without any monitors or oxygen, only oral vitamins.
The Chief Medical Neonatologist of Blank Children's Hospital NICU was at Allen Hospital the day our girls were born. He stabilized them and we cannot thank him enough for the compassion, dedication, and extremely important care he gave our girls when they first arrived. We were so blessed with the AMAZING care our twins received while in the NICU. It is such a stressful and overwhelming time having your child/children in the NICU.
Today our girls are strong, happy, energetic, thriving 18 month olds. Alexia weighs 19 lbs 9 oz and Andrea weighs 19 lbs 5 oz. Both girls are 29.5in long. Other than being petite they are meeting their milestones. They are our miracle babies.
Alexia and Andrea's Grandparents Ed & Julie Koenigsberg are from Sheffield, IA.