Ayla May & Esmé Lilian Alves

born September 4th, 2021
written by Sophie Alves
I am 25 years old. I was born in England, but I moved to the USA when I was 16, and I am currently living in Kennesaw, GA with my husband who is originally from Brazil.
Instagram @sophie_alves

Ayla & Esmé's Story

Back in September 2020 after a year and a half of marriage, my husband and I decided we wanted to start trying for a baby. My cycles were all over the place after taking out the nexplanon, and after about 6 cycles we finally found out I was pregnant on March 26th, 2021. We were so, so excited. This was the heat of the pandemic, so my husband wasn’t allowed at my first appointment with me. I told him to just go to work that day as I would just fill him in afterwards.

My twin sister drove there just to wait outside because she wanted to be the first to see the scan. Since the minute I found out I was pregnant, it was a running joke of “what if you’re having twins” as I am an identical twin myself. I genuinely thought that would never happen since I have the same statistical chance as other women regarding having twins. As my doctor pulled up the ultrasound she turned to me and said “Do you see that?” And I said “What? Oh my god, is it twins?” And she was like “Yes, you’re having twins." I have never been so shocked in my life. It was always a dream that I would have twins, and I was overcome with joy that I would get to see that special bond in my own children. I tried to call my husband a 100 times as I was checking out of the doctors office, but he just was not answering the phone. And I just kept thinking “Sh** my twin sister is going to know before my husband” because she was sat outside in the car waiting for me to come out.

But as I got outside, she was dying to know and see the scan, and I just blurted it out that it was twins. Everything after that moment, was just pure excitement. I got to tell my husband, my family, everyone was so shocked and excited. I found out a few months later that they were identical twin girls, just like my sister and me. History repeating itself … It honestly felt surreal and amazing. I was so excited. I didn’t have a single bit of morning sickness throughout my whole pregnancy, everything was just easy. I had a little bit of heartburn at bed time, but other than that everything was smooth sailing until I hit 25 weeks.

I was supposed to be heading to my best friend's wedding in Florida around this time, so I had scheduled a hair appointment. (Saturday, August 21st). Whilst I was at the hair appointment, my hairdresser (who I’d been a client of for about 4 years at that point) was mentioning to her co-workers how she hadn’t been able to taste chicken at all. I thought nothing of it at the time… but the next morning I woke to a text saying she had tested positive for COVID that morning. Now I realize how irresponsible she had been.. there’s no way she didn’t know whilst I was sat in the chair that there was a possibility she had COVID, and she still allowed me to come in knowing I was 6 1/2 months pregnant. Anyways, a few days passed and mid-week I had a fever throughout the night and I knew I needed to go test before I decided to head down to Florida for my friends wedding. It came back positive.

At this point, I immediately called my OB and asked what I needed to do, I was told a bunch of vitamins to take, as well as to monitor my oxygen levels. That’s what I continued to do throughout the next week. As we got into the week of August 30th, my cough was terrible. I couldn’t sleep during the night. Laying down led to coughing fits which felt like somebody was punching my stomach. I called my OB office as I had an extremely high heart-rate and was put through to the on-call doctor who just told me “as long as your oxygen levels are fine, you’re good”. My oxygen levels were fine, but this cough was not. I had a scheduled phone call a few days later with my OB for September 3rd, and I told her how I felt and everything that had gone on and she told me I needed to head to the ER and make sure my lungs were OK.

Iwas so scared at this point, I did not want to go to the ER, but my husband and I headed there on that Friday morning. They took blood work, and a chest x-ray and finally they did an ultrasound. This ultrasound looked nothing like others that I had (I was used to seeing a high risk doctor for twin pregnancy). I couldn’t see their flickering heartbeats on the screen, and the ultrasound tech was quiet and said nothing. At this point, I believed they were still OK. I had used my doppler the night before, and I found their heartbeats and through the night I had felt a huge shift in my stomach which I thought was them just moving about. At this point in my pregnancy I hadn’t been told to count kicks yet, as they weren’t frequent enough but I definitely hadn’t felt them kick in a few days.

About 30 minutes to an hour later, two doctors came into the room and told us that our twins didn’t have heartbeats, and they were gone. My whole dream was shattered in that moment. I have never felt such pain and heartbreak as I did right then. I was wheeled to labor & delivery a few hours later to be induced. I was monitored throughout the night, and the next morning things started to happen. I wasn’t allowed an epidural as my blood count was low, and I had to endure 1 hour of painful contractions knowing that there was no happiness this was ending with. I had to go through this painful experience to be met with babies who weren’t alive. I only dilated till a 7 when I screamed for the doctors to come back into the room as I felt my sweet Ayla’s head coming out. The doctors and nurses were trying to put their PPE back on whilst my baby was trying to make her entrance into the world… I was screaming crying asking what to do as none of them were ready yet but Ayla was… it was truly the most traumatic moment of my life. I laid back and suddenly she just popped out. She was passed to me and I held her for a second before they passed her to my husband so I could push out Esmé. I pushed for 15 minutes before my second sweet baby came.

I will never ever forget what I went through. I am forever changed by that experience. I love those babies so much, and I just think life is so ridiculously unfair. I will never go through a pregnancy with the same mindset, it will never be a simple or worry-free experience again.

Ayla May Alves born on September 4th, 2021 at 12:06 pm.

Esmé Lilian Alves born on September 4th, 2021 at 12:21 pm.

My sweet sweet angels.

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