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For our twins, Nicolas and Adrian

By Mayleen Garcia Habib

Blessed with twins

Posted by Mayleen, Friday 12th May

We were ecstatic when we found out we were having identical twins!

My pregnancy was going smoothly and we were having ultrasounds every 2-3 weeks. We got to our 23 week scan with absolutely no issues. A normal twin pregnancy. Then it came time for our 25 week scan and everything changed. We left being diagnosed with a condition called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). I was graded with stage 1 TTTS (there are 4 stages of severity).

My husband and I were in shock, our smooth sailing pregnancy was about to start getting complicated. The next day our OB called to inform us that we required specialist treatment and that the best place for me was The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick.

We arrived at The Royal and met with Professor Alec Welsh and his team who came to examine my condition. TTTS was taking hold and had progressed to Stage 2. In our case, the twins were sharing the same placenta but each in their own ‘sack’ so the TTTS meant that one of the babies was taking nutrients and food from the placenta but instead of eating himself to make him big and strong he ‘transfers’ it to his twin and consumes nothing. As a result, one of the babies had an enormous amount of amniotic fluid around his sack whilst the other baby had none. 

The panic started to set in. And then the next day arrived, at 12:04pm Nicolas was born and a minute later Adrian arrived. Nicolas weighed 764 grams and Adrian 955 grams.

We were the proud parents of identical twin boys! We were able to see both of our tiny miracle babies very briefly before they got whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The next time I saw them they were in a humidicrib, covered in wires, tubes and medical tape, their tiny faces covered in a snorkel-like mask attached to their head and mini sunglasses covering their eyes. They were so small. Their skin seemed so paper thin. Their arms and legs so small and fragile. It was heartbreaking and we were so scared.

Everything seemed to be going fairly well in the first few days, it was a tense time but we were very hopeful. We sat by each of their humidicribs and watched as they were pricked for countless blood tests, given x-rays and ultrasounds, wired up with cannulas, IV’s and feeding tubes. And as hard as it was to watch, I can only imagine what they were both feeling and going through, having to be so brave and strong through it all. They were in a critical condition, but stable.

Then sadly, that awful day arrived. We were informed that Nicolas’ condition had worsened, his fight for survival had become too much for his tiny little body to handle and we needed to prepare ourselves to say goodbye. The discussion was hard, it was the worst experience of our lives and we could not believe it was happening. We tried to pull ourselves together and we began preparing for his Baptism, which was arranged beautifully for us by the wonderful NICU team. Following this special time with his closest family members, my husband and I were finally able to have our first cuddle with Nicolas.

The next few hours were the most memorable for us. The time we shared with Nicolas will always hold many special memories for us, and we are so grateful to his incredible nurse Regina, Dr Umesh and the entire NICU team who made all of this possible for us.

Nicolas stayed with us for much longer than we all expected, another sign of what an incredible fighter he was, and how selfless he was in allowing his Father, his twin brother Adrian and I precious time with him. Nicolas passed away peacefully in my arms on March 29, he was 8 days old. Our beautiful baby boy is now our angel. He will always be a part of our family. We will always love him and miss him dearly.

I’m sharing our story because I want Nicolas and Adrian’s lives to make a difference, even if it’s as small as they are. It would be a great honour for both of our boys to know that their story touched your heart and in doing so that future miracle babies and fighters will have the best possible chance of survival and the highest level of care here at The Royal.

With your help we can assist with funding world-leading research and vital equipment that will ensure the best level of care for premature and sick babies with serious conditions. Your generosity could also contribute to special support services for women and families who are grieving.

Here are just some of the items that Nicolas and Adrian required in order to keep them alive, and how you can help contribute:

  • Many tiny babies need gentle breathing support because of their fragile lungs. The UltraBlender provides an accurate mix of oxygen and air to the exact concentration of oxygen required by the baby. The Ultrablenders are $3,500 each.
  • The Connex Spot Monitor provides accurate vital signs monitoring for premature and critically-ill babies. The device is designed to help eliminate data entry errors in a patient chart and improve efficiency by providing wireless data transfer from the monitor to patient records. Connex Spot Monitors are $3,800 each.
  • Almost 1 in 3 premature babies cared for in the Newborn Care Centre are twins and triplets. After the initial intensive care period, they are often cared for together. A Hard Crib allows for this. Hard Cribs are $11,000 each.
  • The neonatal ventilator provides life-saving support for newborn premature babies who are unable to breathe as their lungs are not yet fully developed. Ventilation is reduced and removed as a baby’s lungs develop and become capable of natural breathing. The Neonatal Ventilators are $50,000 each.

 

We could not be more grateful and thankful that we have found ourselves in the care of The Royal Hospital for Women. The NICU team of doctors and nurses are amazingly passionate and dedicated individuals, who we could never properly thank enough. And though we never knew this place existed before this experience, and never imagined we would be here, we feel so blessed to now be in their care.

Today Adrian is doing well. He has overcome so many obstacles and we could not be more proud of him. He still has a few more battles to fight but we look forward to bringing him home in the not too distant future. We are soon approaching our 100 day milestone at the NICU and we are excited to celebrate Adrian’s progress, say thanks to all of his fantastic Nurses and Doctors, and genuinely celebrate his amazing fighting spirit!

To our precious baby Nicolas

Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure.

You are loved beyond words, and missed beyond measure.

 

Thank you to my Supporters

$330

G K & A

Love you guys!!!! Always!!! "The Farags"... Xxx

$250

The Abbouds($200) & Carl H($50)

Hi May, Thinking of you & your family. Hope Adrian continues to improve with every passing day. Can't wait to meet the little fighter.

$200

Caroline Khalil

Proud of you my dear sister and with you all the way. Adrian and Nicolas are extremely blessed to have youas their mum xxxxx

$200

Liliana Makari

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard" ~ Winnie the Pooh Always in our hearts baby Nicolas "All footprints start small. The footprint of a premature baby starts smaller than most. Have patience, watch them grow, because in years to come, their footprint may be larger than yours." We cant wait for kisses & cuddles baby Adrian. To our beautiful friends/family Chris, May & Yvonne. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you. Your always in our thoughts. Love Ben, Liliana, Jordan, Noah, Gisele & Adrian xox

$200

Anonymous

We wish you, Chris, Yvonne and Adrian, many blessings. We will continue pray for Nicolas. Thank you for sharing your story and remember your family will always surrounded by love from us. Love from Ada, Sun and Justin xoxo.

$200

Karl

So sad to hear of your loss. Your strength in the face of such adversity is amazing and the money you raise will definitely be put to good use. The RWH is a fantastic hospital and the staff second to none. I hope Adrian continues to improve and you can all be at home together someday soon. Much love from my family to yours. Out thoughts are with you.

$200

Anonymous

My prayers and best wishes are with you , Chris and the kids. Stay strong ! Love always, Natasha

$200

Joe Boulous

Stay strong Mayleen. It is inspiring that you are making a positive difference out of such a difficult situation. You have my full support.

$200

Mark Abdelmalek

Hi, I am a long time friend of Chris who recently heard your story. May God bless, support and strengthen you always and your beautiful family, and fill your life with His peace and joy. Xox

$200

Felipe Loyola

Forever in our hearts ?? For my two strong nephews who I will forever look up to and their even stronger family, Mayleen, Chris and Yvonne who I am proud to call my cousins and niece.

$150

Cheyney Family

with love from the cheyney family xxx

$150

Millertafe"friends And Family "

Dearest Chris,May and Yvonne, Sending you all our love and support. Thinking of you all. We send all our love and strength to little Adrian and our deepest sympathies for the loss of little Nicolas. Forever in our thoughts and prayers xxx. Take care,stay strong, Love from Miller"friends and family" xxx

$120

Blazquez

Mayleen & Chris. All our support and best wishes. R&E

$100

Prashant Risbud

Hi Mayleen & Chris, Thanks for sharing your story, I can only imagine what you guys are going through. Good to hear that Adrian is doing well, hope he comes home soon. Yvonne & Adrian are lucky to have strong & courageous parents like you two. Take care. -Prashant

$100

Susana

It is a Great Hospital that do so much or the premature babies. I am eternally thankful to them and I wish they can keep helping others .

$100

Alli Scheffer And Gerard Sharpe

In loving memory of baby Nicolas

$100

Fabian, Anna, Sofia And Eva

For our beautiful nephews and Sofia and Eva's cousins. We will honour Nicolas' short life every day by making the most of every moment and cannot wait to have Adrian home so we can smother him with kisses. May and Chris your strength is inspiring and we love you guys (and Yvonne) more than you know. Love and hugs Tia Anna, Tio Fab, Sofia and Eva xxxx

$100

Simon Loyola

Love you guys ???

$100

Carlos Garcia

I am very proud of you two for been so strong . It was very sad to say good bye to Nicolas, I hope I will see him again.

$100

Gabriela Loyola

For my gorgeous nephews Nicolas and Adrian, who are the strongest & bravest boys I know!! Love you all! Forever in our hearts xx

$100

Mariela & Ivan

The least we can do for our family who has been touch with this heartbreaking event and we only thank our creator that gives you Mayleen and Chris the strength to overcome this and we are positive sure that you will have a reward. We're here for all of you. We'll always love you Mayleen,Chris,Ivonne,Adrian and Nicolas.

$74

G K & A

🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄

$51

G G Ravi & Jyoti

Mayleen, Little did we know what was going on in your life. It is inspiring to see you and your family emerging with strength, love and courage.

$50

Jason Rophail

All our love xox

$50

Rajiv Nadkarni

Hi Mayleen, It takes great courage to share your story. I hope Adrian comes home soon and leads a long healthy life. Take care, Rajiv

$50

Martha Kouts

In honor of all the miracle work performed at this special institution. So glad to hear Adrian is doing well. Hope you can bring him home soon. Martha xxx

$50

Jennifer Riedel

Mayleen and Chris, your family has been in my thoughts and prayers since the beginning. It takes great courage to share such personal and heartfelt words. I was both devestated and happy for you when I heard the news. I'm so glad you had such precious time with Nicolas and will have many more with Aiden. Donating a little to help such a wonderful cause is the least I can do. Much love xx

$50

Archana Salgaonkar

Hi Mayleen, You have been so brave and courageous. My best wishes for Adrian to come home soon. Keep up your positive approach!! -Archana

$50

Roger Iamamoto

Thank you for sharing the amazing work performed by The royal hospital for women, very touching and inspiring. Karina is missing Yvonne at childcare.

$50

Shannon Kliendienst

With much love, Shannon (Anna's work mate)

$50

Nishant Dubey

Mayleen you are an amazingly strong person and an inspiration. Hope Adrian is home soon healthy and happy. Take care. Nishant

$50

Shilpa Narasimhan

Stay strong mayleen ! Your strength is inspiring ! Hope Adrian continues to improve. Our prayers with you and your family.

$50

Karen Blazquez

Thank you for sharing your story Mayleen. Thinking of you and Chris xoxo

$50

Philip Spender

$50

Bernice Richards

Sending you all so much love, Bernice

$50

Anonymous

For all the babies who need a little help

$50

Anonymous

Hang in there guys. You are all loved very much

$50

Triana Hope

$50

Brian & Jacqueline Lorenzetti

One of our favourite shows "This is us" has a line after a couple loses one of their babies. The doctor tells the father "I'd like to think you can take one of life's worst lemons and still find a way to make something that resembles lemonade." You are doing that by supporting this wonderful hospital in honour of your sons. The strength of your family is inspiring. Lots of love.

$50

Eduardo Loyola

For my beautiful niece, Mayleen , Chris, Yvonne, Adrian and my beautiful angel Nicolas always in my heart ?? love you all

$50

Gab, Mish & Isla Salinas

Sending our love & support xxx

$40

Melissa Mackenzie

So happy that Adrian is doing well and is now past 100 days. Lots of love Melissa xx

$25

Basavaraj Tukkannavar

Hi Mayleen, it's heartbreaking to hear about, but we all are with you and stand by you in this situation. You are an inspiration to all of us and have showed us how to help other by donating to hospital despite the situation you are in.

$25

Anonymous

$25

Anita Burton

$10

Paula Geary

In honour of your little boys? , keep up the great work you all are amazing and strong ,I've had the pleasure of meeting your little Yvonne and husband and little Adrian from a far ,thank you to you both also for being a great support to Danielle ,Keith and baby Zara All my love an best wishes Paula