High school sweethearts Kristen and Ian Miller found out they were expecting twins just a few months after they celebrated their first wedding anniversary in the NICU of University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
One day, while they attended a church service, Kristen started feeling contractions during the service—she was 22 weeks into her pregnancy.
When she went home, her water broke.
Kristen told Epoch Times that she and her husband were “very scared” when her water broke at only 22 weeks, adding, “the doctors told us we needed to get to 24 weeks for the babies to be viable.”
Since Kristen was extremely early into her pregnancy, it was reported that doctors used treatments and a variety of drugs to hold off the labor for two more weeks in order to give the babies more of a fighting chance.
“Our goal, before he was born, was, ‘we’ve got make it to 24 [weeks]!’ Sure enough, he made it to 24 and one day,” Ian told WBIR.
On Valentine’s Day, Micah was born nearly four months before his June due date—without the other twin.
Dr. Shumard, a Maternal Fetal Medicine obstetrician at UT Medical Center, was able to stop Kristen’s other baby from coming so that she could have time to grow and get stronger.
Kristen was put on bedrest to improve her baby’s chances of survival.
Kristen’s babies had separate sacs and placentas, hence she was able to have a delayed interval delivery.
According to the Washington Post, delayed interval deliveries are rare and complicated affairs:
Babies born about 24 weeks into a pregnancy have a survival rate of about 50 percent, and those who do survive are at risk for complications, according to Sabrina Craigo, the chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Tufts Medical Center.
In an interview with WHDH-7, Neonatologist Gina Geis, MD, said:
This rare technique can only be performed with fraternal twins who have their own amniotic sac and don’t share a placenta. Additionally, it’s vital that the mother’s contractions subside following the birth of the first baby for delayed interval delivery to be successful. ‘I’ve seen two others in my career thus far, I think the longest interval between deliveries has been seven days at most,’
“I think all of us had counseled her [Kristen] so cautiously, and tried to frame their expectations—but instead she kept doing better each day. And we just kind of all looked at each other and said, ‘Ok, another say it is,” said UT Medical Center’s Director of Obstetrics, Dr. Kimberly Fortner.
“We made it five and half weeks before Madelyn decided she wanted to come into the world—thirty-eight days,” said Kristen.
Micah and Madelyn are expected to stay in the NICU for the next two months.
“I am a control freak,” Kristen told Epoch Times, “so to not be able to control this situation was very hard for me.
“When I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do, that’s when I prayed, saying ‘this situation is yours God’. I trusted Him and that’s what got me through it, ” she said.
However, this isn’t the first time a mom delivered one of her twins before the other. A set of twins were born 87 days apart in Ireland in 2012, which is considered a world record, according to the Irish Times.