I’m already emotional just thinking about what a tremendous role this boy has played in our family. He was a hero before he was even born.
Early on in my pregnancy, we were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). This is a disorder that occurs in identical twins (or higher multiples) that share a placenta and the blood vessels of the babies’ placenta are connected. In our case, Keahi and Kaolu were the most affected. Keahi was considered the “donor” as he received too little blood flow, and Kaolu was the “recipient”, receiving more than his share.
The pregnancy itself was already high risk because of the 5 babies, but this diagnosis was alarming. Doctors had to closely monitor the babies by doing weekly ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy. They were mainly monitoring Keahi. My pregnancy and the life of the other babies (especially the boys) were dependent on Keahi’s ability to survive with a decreased amount of blood flow.
I had at least 6 discussions with more than 3 different doctors to consider terminating who we referred to as “Baby D” (Keahi). I WOULD NOT DO IT. They needed me to understand what that meant. If he didn’t survive, it would have drastically affected Kaolu. A stroke, permanent brain damage, and even death were probable. The other boys (because they shared the same placenta) were also at risk. I needed him to fight for his life and the life of his brothers and sister.
I also had to think about what I’d do if his health started to fail. If his heart rate slowed, or if there were signs of distress, do I deliver my babies to save him and risk the lives of the other 4 babies for being born too soon?, or do I let him die to give the others a better chance at survival? It was awful. These were the scary conversations I’ve had with doctors. There were so many “what ifs”. I made no decisions…actually, I did my best to NOT think about it at all.
I turned to my hope and faith that everything was going to be okay and prayed. My prayer was that I’d make the best decisions for my family. I did my best to remain calm and as stress-free as possible during the pregnancy. My prayers were answered.
Keahi was born fourth at 1lb 10.3 ounces and 13.98 inches. He was the smallest, but is the biggest hero I’ll ever know. Because he didn’t receive the amount of nutrients he should have, he was a few steps behind the others in the NICU. The last to get fed milk, the last to breathe on his own, the last to breast feed, the last to get out of the incubator and the last to come home (along with his sister).
My how things have changed! He was a fighter then, and always will be. I named him Keahi…it means fire. He lived up to his name and I couldn’t be more grateful. Although he was the last to do many things early on, it looks like he’ll now lead the way. He was the first to roll over, hold his head up, and is soon ready to crawl. He’s the smallest of the boys, but bigger than his sister.
He is feisty and oh so sweet! He’s a little lover boy; already giving hugs, he also allows me to kiss kiss kiss (all with a smile on his face). He will never know how special he is to our family. I’ll tell him this story one day, but the emotion I feel when I think of my hero is indescribable. #ilovemykeahi
Click here to watch a short video of Keahi