"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Friday, September 15, 2006

Our Birth Story
September 14, 2006

Kevin and I are proud to welcome Jake Francis and Benedict William into the world!!!!!! We are so happy to report that the boys are doing very well. Jake was born at 4:37 p.m. weighing 3 pounds two ounces. Ben was born at 4:39 p.m. weighing two pounds on the nose. It was truly the most wonderful day of our lives!!!!!

The birth of our boys may be a shock to most of you as it was a snap decision made on Wednesday afternoon. We are so sorry that we have not been able to call or email anyone till now. We always had this vision that on the night of their birth we would spend the evening calling friends and family…but with the way the day went we were lucky to get a minute in edgewise to do anything. We are hoping things will settle a little so we can catch up on some calls and chat with some friends.

RECAP: Wednesday we went to our routine ultrasound and we found continued reversal flow of Ben’s umbilical artery. We also did two other Doppler scans (DV and MCA) that showed Ben was not getting what he needed and time was running out. Our doctor pulled us into the conference room and said Thursday will be the day!!! He wanted to give us one more steroid shot to further the boy’s lung development, which needed a 24 hour period of time to go into full effect. At this point, delivery was planned for 1:00 p.m. on the 15th.

We were feeling very good about this plan until late Wednesday night when we were doing our routine NST (Nonstress Test) when we saw Ben have a significant deceleration. His baseline also went from 150/160 to 120. Kevin had just stepped out to get dinner for us when the nurse asked me where my husband went. I asked her why and she replied, “Can he get here as soon as possible?” At this point, I started to panic. I called Kevin and told him not to panic but to get back as quick as possible.

They moved us back down to the high-risk floor where they prepped us for delivery. They set me up with the I.V. and all the monitors. They said if we don’t deliver tonight, you will need to be on 24 hour monitoring all night just incase we have an emergency. At this point, I felt it was time to deliver and did not want to put these boys in jeopardy any longer. I tried talking the doctor on call and Kevin in to delivering these babies NOW. They both calmed me down and said if we can make it to Thursday morning, the babies will have received that extra boost they need from the steroid shots, plus Kevin and I desperately wanted our doctors and nurses there that we had hand picked for the surgery. The plan at this point was to try to make it until morning, but if something comes up…we were going to go for it.

Wednesday night was the most challenging night of my life. I was either starring at the heart rate monitors or the clock all night. I just kept praying that God would give us those few extra hours we so desperately needed. Time went so slow. Finally, at 7:00 a.m. I heard my nurse and doctor’s voice in the hallway and started crying because I knew we made it!!! Plus Ben’s heart rate looked great so the team was comfortable waiting till our scheduled time at 1:00 p.m.

Our immediate family arrived around 10:00 a.m. We all sat their anxiously awaiting the nurse to come in and tell us it was time. Unfortunately, because of a backed up schedule we did not get called back till 4:00 p.m. They got us prepped for delivery and we began the c-section. My very good friend Amy, a new mom herself, told me not to let my nerves get the best of me and to cherish every moment of this miracle. I did just that! I loved every minute of it! After being told such tragic news at week 17, we couldn’t believe we were going to see our little miracles for the first time. Yes, it was painful at times but as soon as I heard each of the boys cry I became overjoyed with happiness. Kevin was soooooooooooo strong!!! He actually videotaped the entire procedure…a video I am not quite ready to see yet!

The doctors showed me Jake but could not show me Ben, but just hearing his little cry I knew he was ok. The boys were rushed to a room where they would get stabilized and then off to the NICU. Well the boys were being treated, the doctors told us something we had been waiting to hear for so long…the answer to this entire mystery. Why had Ben not grown appropriately and why had we experienced so many complications during our pregnancy. Pathology still needs to do their report, which can take 6-8 weeks, but at first glance of the placenta and the cords, the doctors were able to tell us a lot. They said Ben’s cord was extremely narrow at the umbilicus insertion. Initially, this probably caused the growth discordance between the boys. By the way, Dr. Sue (A.K.A. mom/our case manager) predicted this complication before a doctor even suggested this could be the case. The latest decline in Ben’s restriction was probably due to IUGR. It looked like about a 65/35 split at first glance. This means that Ben was getting approximately 35% of the placenta and Jake was getting 65%. Ben was starting to outgrow his portion of the placenta. This will all be confirmed after the pathology reports come back. We will also know what sort of TTTS connections Jake and Ben were sharing. Our neonatologist told us if you have a growth restricted baby, this is the best kind to have. Ben’s slower growth was most likely due to the placenta insufficiency and cord narrowing versus a chromosomal problem or infection.

Once I got stitched up, it was off to see our little guys for the first time. They are so beautiful!! They are so tiny and so perfect!!! Sadly, we could not hold them but we could stick our hand through their isolates and touch their cute little bodies. We still can’t believe they both belong to us. It was so hard splitting our time between the two of them. Jake has a lot of hair and is our big boy. Ben, our little guy, is just as feisty as we imagined he would be. Actually, the nurses said they both are very active.

We were so happy to hear that the doctors said “they had a perfect start into this world.” That was probably the best news we have ever heard. We know that things can change, but we were so happy our boys had the best start possible. In fact, Ben actually went off the vent only four hours after delivery!!! He is now on a c-pap and doing well. I could not believe it when they told us that. He said their lungs are in excellent condition and Jake should be off shortly too. The boys also got an 8/9 out of 10 on their Apgar test, which we were really pleased about also. It was good news after good news last night.

It was so hard to leave them last night. We actually did not sleep well again and called down to the nursery several times to see how they were doing. I can’t wait to go see them again today!!!

For the first time, we feel at ease. We know our boys are getting exactly what they need and are being monitored 24/7 by an excellent team of people. We pray to God they continue to do well. The first week is really important and indicative of their prognosis. Again, I have a great feeling they are going to do very well!

Now for part two of this journey. We are ready to embrace the NICU. It is now time to move on from pregnancy 101 to NICU 101. Lots of studying to do!!

Thank you very much for everything and we will keep posting to update you on the boy’s progress.

Kevin, Danielle, Jake, & Ben


FEDS said...

Dear Kevin and Danielle, Congratulations on the birth of ben and Jake. Really exciting stuff.

I came across your blog by accident and really enjoyed reading it, especially the C-section, as we are about the experience the birth of our non-identical twins in early October.

We'll be watching your site with interest, especially how you cope with the sleeping issues.

Enjoy your boys!

Stephen and Fiona, Johannesburg, South Africa

denise said...

you made it and Ben and Jake are sounding so good, healthy and happy. My mom has been saying a novena for all of you and when I told her yesterday that they were here and doing good she was so happy and had a little tear run down her cheek and said to tell ya that she knew they would be o.k. cuz the Blessed Mother was looking after all of you. keep us posted just can't wait to see the pictures.
love Denise

Samantha said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! I am soooo happy for you guys. Your new journey begins...you have so much to look forward to. I hope everything goes well on your NICU journey. It sounds like Ben and Jake are in good hands! You guys have already shown you are going to be great parents!!

Anonymous said...

YEAH!!!! I have been checking this blog non-stop all day for updates and am sooooo happy to hear GOOD, GREAT, FANTASTIC NEWS!!!!!!! Also, how cool that your story is an inspiration and gives hope to people all over the world....like the family who commented from South Africa!

Happy Birthday to the Kovachevich Boys! Love, Maria

Shannon Cirella said...

I am extatic! I have been traveling all day and have been calling my sister constantly to check the blog for me. I am so happy to hear the boys are doing well! As anxious as I have been the last twodays, you would thought that I was the one having the babys. Touch the boys for me and as soon as you can hold those little guys, give them a kiss for me. Danielle, I hope you are doing well and I can't wait to talk to you. Enjoy parenthood and cherrish every moment.
Love, Mark, Shannon, Kyle and Ryan

Kara said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I couldn't stop crying. It is amazing what prayer, medicine, and love can do!! I am so happy for you and Kevin. Ben and Jake sound so perfect and they have proven time and time again that they are fighters. It is truly wonderful how well they are doing in the NICU. I pray for an uneventful NICU stay and look forward to your next update.

Congratulations again!!

Prayers -

Christine said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEN AND JAKE!! So wonderful to hear this great news!! Our prayers will continue through your new NICU journey. I love you both.....
Christine and Aaron

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Danielle and Kevin!

Jeannette has told me about your site a couple of times, but this is the 1st time I've logged on to it. What a great surprise!

You have been in my thoughts and prayers for quite a while now! I'm so happy everything is going well with the boys!

My brother-in-law is a neonatologist @ Oakwood. If you ever need another doc to talk to, I'm sure he'd be happy to listen.

Congratulations on the birth of your boys!

Jamie Smythe

Kathy said...

CONGRATULATIONS MOM & DAD!!! I can't even begin to tell you how overjoyed I am for you. What a wonderful thing to be able to meet these little guys face to face. Such wonderful news that they scored well, cried and are off the vents already. No surprise, though, since they have been over-achievers since day one! Enjoy every moment now that you can touch them and see them. Time may seem to go slowly at times, but when you look back it will seem that time flew... I can hardly believe that it's been almost 16 years since I was looking at my two little precious girls in the NICU. Take care of yourself and the boys. Again, congratulations!

Anonymous said...

God bless all of you. Congradulations!
My prayers are with those little guy's and mommy and daddy. You really are very strong parents. The rest will be a peice of cake. I have a great deal of respect for the two of you.
Mary Margaret

John said...


We are so happy for the both of you. We are happy to hear no major complications with Ben and Jake. I hope mommy and daddy are doing well also. The NICU journey begins. Enjoy every moment.

We have big smiles of joy.

Still praying for a healthy hospital stay.

Take care,
Proud Dad of TTTS survivors,
Brooke Emily and Rachel Morgan

(Brooke and Rachel say "HI" to Ben and Jake)

jenny marie said...

Oh my goodness, what wonderful news! Congratulations!

I am praying for the healthiest NICU stay possible. Keep your chins up and try not to worry, as your boys continue to be in excellent hands. Take it day by day and you will get through. This will all one day be a distant memory. We are 6 months out of the NICU and it already seems like a really long time ago.

Thinking of you often!

Anonymous said...

My heart is overwhelmed with joy for your beautiful family. Claire has kept me posted over these past months. I sent out a prayer request for all of you on Wednesday. What a majestic God we have. Looking forward to seeing pictures. May God continue his abundant blessings on all of you.
Claire's mom
Mary Beth

Kelly said...

Congratulations guys!!! WOW! What a story! I am so happy to hear that Ben and Jake are as spunky as ever and sailing through the NICU! I can only imagine the emotions you are going through! We will continue to pray and send lots of good thoughts for a speedy and healthy NICU stay. They will be home with you before you know it! XOXO
Kel, Mike, Syd and Ian

meg said...


Amanda B. said...

I am so happy that Ben & Jake are doing well. God sure had a plan for them :) One day your boys will realize what great parents they have....and what a great story they have made so far. They are definitely some fighters. I can not wait to meet them someday. They are going to grow like weeds in that NICU. I look forward to hearing about your future NICU experience. Good luck and enjoy those new babies!!!

Amy Olenech (Miller) said...

Kevin and Danielle,

I have had you in my thoughts and prayers. You have two very strong little guys in your life. With all of the love that you have for those two boys I have no doubts that they will grow and become stronger each day.
Enjoy being parents and take in each moment.
Amy Olenech (Miller)

Anonymous said...

Hi, guys!
All I can say is that I have tears in my eyes at this very moment from reading your blog and hearing all the details! Thank you God for blessing us with the birth of these two boys!! Thinking of you and hope to see you soon.

Beth Troost said...


I am so happy for you all! Nichole has kept me informed...I was at East on Friday morning and I got to see her photo's of the boys, they look great! I hope all four of you get some much needed rest in the next few days. Best wishes and blessings to you all! Beth Troost

Anonymous said...

Those two boys are so cute and doing awesome! I am so proud to be thier aunt! I cant wait for them to come home.

Kevin and Dani,
You guys have been amazing during this whole long road. These are two lucky boys


Claire said...

Congratualtions!!! Your sons are so adorable, and I can not wait to meet them! I will continue to keep your entire family in my prayers. Hope to see all of you soon.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!!! We are so happy for you! We can't wait to meet the boys and to introduce Bella to her new cousins! We will keep you all in our prayers! Congrats on your new family!!!
Love, Angel, Paul and Bella

Anonymous said...

Kevin and Danielle -- CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

This is really a nice blog and you guys have been through an emotional roller-coaster. The beauty is that now you get to enjoy these 2 little boys.

Can't wait to see you and them.

Cavitt and Kim