Premature twin girls who were born three days apart and spent over 130 days each in the NICU have finally come home from the hospital to be with their grateful mom and dad.
Mother Taylor Davis, 27, gave birth to Avery Reign Davis and Emersyn Gray Davis on October 29 and November 1, respectively, after she went into early labor at just 22 weeks and three days gestation.
Their labor and delivery were traumatic for Davis, who told doctors at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, Florida to do everything they could to save her babies — even leave her laying at an upside-down angle for an entire week to delay the births.
But after over four months in the neonatal intensive care unit getting intubation, oxygen, and medication for various health issues, Avery and Emersyn were finally well enough to go home.
She was told that her cervix was shorter than normal, which could mean an increased risk of premature birth.
To prevent this, her doctor told her to go on bed rest at the hospital for the last 19 weeks or so of her pregnancy, but as she prepared to be admitted, she went into labor.
In the ER, she was already completely dilated, with Avery already in her birth canal.
At just over 21 weeks, the fraternal twins has a very low chance of survival. Viability is generally 23 or 24 weeks, and babies born this early may have serious health issues, if they even survive.
But she and husband, Mark Davis, 29, wanted to take every measure possible to save the babies.
To delay delivery, Davis was put into Trendelenburg position, in which she laid down with her head tilted below her feet at an angle of about 16 degrees. She had to stay that way, tilted backwards, for a week — and even ate, slept, and use the bedpan in that position.
‘I cried the whole time and I wasn’t crying like happiness,’ she admitted, adding that she was crying out of ‘fear’ over her babies’ survival.
After five days, the first twin, Avery, was born on October 29 weighing exactly one pound.
She was intubated and put on oxygen, but suffered from sepsis and bilateral brain bleeds.
‘Just the fact that she made it in the first 24 hours with having such a bad blood infection, from being in my birth canal for so long, is a miracle in itself,’ Davis said.
The medical staff hoped to delay Emersyn’s birth even longer, so Davis’ placenta was left inside her, and Avery’s umbilical cord was stitched up and pushed back inside as well.
Because of this, Davis developed sepsis, a blood clot, and an infection called chorioamnionitis, inflammation within the amniotic fluid.
Still, Davis stayed in her titled position for three more days until Emersyn was born on November 1 via C-section, which Davis said was ‘traumatic.’
Emersyn, who was born weighing one pound, one ounce and also suffered bilateral brain bleeds and sepsis.
Finally, last week, Avery and Emersyn were discharged, after 137 days and 134 days in the NICU, respectively. They joined three older siblings at home.
While they’re in relatively good health, they do have some issues. Avery has bright red birthmark called hemangiomas near her eye and is on medication. Emersyn, meanwhile, will need hernia surgery at six months and is also suffering from retinopathy, in which disease damages the retina and can mean partial or complete loss of vision.
But Davis is thankful her girls survived, and said she sees what happened as a sign from the universe to slow down and enjoy each moment.