My husband Matt and I (Katrina) were overjoyed to learn in January of 2013 that we were expecting again! At about 7 weeks gestation we saw what appeared to be two tiny heartbeats on an ultrasound. We were shocked since we already have a set of fraternal (boy/girl) twins — what a surprise! At the time, the heartbeats were so close together the doctors were fairly certain the babies were identical. Eventually, it was confirmed the babies were identical as was the fact that the babies were in the same amniotic sac (monoamniotic). That fact alone made the situation with our twins quite dangerous due to the severe risks of cord entanglement which can happen at any stage. At 10 weeks, just prior to Easter 2013, we were devastated to learn that one of our babies had a condition called “anencephaly”. It is unrelated to them being monoamniotic. With anencephaly, a child cannot live outside the womb and will die most often within a matter of minutes or hours, in some cases, days. We found out later that the babies were girls. We have five other young children. On August 26, 2014, Laurencia Rachel and Valencia Katerina were born after I stayed 4 weeks in the hospital to monitor the babies and hopefully save Valencia’s life. Laurencia lived for 15 minutes. Her daddy and I were able to hold her and she died in his arms, while holding Valencia’s hand. Her brother and sisters, aunties, uncles, and grandparents were there to meet her. The blog begins at the point we found out about the girls and documents our journey and Laurencia’s beautiful life, which continues on in her sister, in us and in the organization we started in her name.
We hope to honor our baby girl, Laurencia Rachel, and her short but precious life in the best way possible. Laurencia means “victory” and Rachel means “lamb”. As I note in the first post introducing our girls, our little lamb, Laurencia is victorious, she went straight into the arms of Jesus. Valencia means “healthy and strong” and Katerina means “pure”. We pray that Valencia will continue to be strong and healthy as she grows into her place in our family.
In the Spring of 2014 we created a non-profit, Laurencia’s Victory, dedicated to helping orphaned children and adoptive families. You can find out more about Laurencia’s legacy at http://www.laurenciasvictory.org/.
Our entire family, together.