February 21, 2021 | By Leslie Savares Wheeler and Brandon Wheeler | General
Brandon and I lived in Japan and we were longing to have a child as common couples do. I was scared not to have one because I went to couple of surgeries. Doctors found out that I have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) which we had an issue conceiving. It was an answered prayer when I finally got positive result in pregnancy test and hospital confirmed it. Oh! I did not stop worshiping God that our babies complete our family.
September 1st, on the 5th month we were schedule for CAS (Congenital Abnormality Scan). That day, I felt that God left us, and heaven shuts door for us. The doctor said our twins will have 5% chance to live and we have an option to terminate or continue, but whatever our choice, the hospital cannot handle our case. So, they quickly wrote an order for us to MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) to San Diego, California ASAP.
September 3rd, my birthday supposed to be a happy celebration and gender reveal party, but it didn't happen not only because on their situation but also, they cannot predict the gender. I still praying to God, hoping doctors made mistakes on reading reports. Or it is just a nightmare.
September 4th, we flew from Tokyo, Japan to Dallas, Texas to San Diego, California. It was so difficult for me to fly, but I am carrying my twins and hope.
September 8th, we met our high-risk OB and she said they are not suitable for living. The cardiologist said the heart might stop at 28 weeks. The 5% chance completely gone to nothing. And she asks me if we will continue or terminate them.
We stand with our faith that we will continue. If God wants our twins, I let Him to take it, but we will not take their lives. Their lives are in God's hand not ours. He pushed our faith to the edge of the cliff.
Believe me, living everyday knowing they are not for this world is a torture to us. I am mad and asking God "Where are you this time?". He is silent. I am angry at the same time begging for a miracle as I beg all the doctors, you must do your absolute best to save them. We have OB, cardio specialist, neurosurgeon, neo-natal doctor, pediatrician, and other doctors with years of experience and great education. However, they only said "We are sorry, there is NOTHING we can do, but if there is a miracle, we are standing beside you." I understand that they are just human. And slowly we are accepting it.
So, we decided to enjoy every moment while we can. We went to parks, Sea World, zoos, beaches and have fun in snow up in the mountains. We are happy somehow and celebrate their lives as we prepare until the end.
We attended our regular checkups until the scheduled and planned C-section. They are still kicking hard and alive.
December 8th, their 34 weeks and 4 days, I gave birth to two beautiful girls and named them Beatrice (means Source of Joy) and Lourdes (means Mama Mary is with us). Then I heard their tiny cries as I heard God telling me "I am here", He was just silent beside us. They received baptism and confirmation right away. We were blessed we had a priest with us during the procedure. They lived 1 hour and 8 minutes with their dad holding them, and they passed in my arms. I saw myself like sculpture "Pieta" where Mary holding her dead son.
I am praying for miracle, but God's plan is a different miracle. They made it to delivery alive at 34 weeks where the doctor predicted they cannot make it by 28 weeks. Hearing their cries are already a miracle.
We used the CuddleCot for 4 days, as we say "hello and goodbye" to them and we were able to create more memories with them. We hug, kiss, bathe, dress, talk, sleep with them.
December 11, we were blessed to give them a beautiful funeral service by 2 priest (unexpectedly). We walked them to the altar as parents walk the bride to the groom, to Jesus. We were holding their wedding bouquets.
Their lives are short, 1 hour and 8 minutes. But through the help of families, friends, even strangers that donated to our "Bea and Lulu's CuddleCot Fundraising", their legacy will continue.
With this Cuddle Cot in memory of Beatrice and Lourdes and the Empty Cradle Foundation, it will allow other families to have the gift to say “Hello and Goodbye” to their beautiful angels as it did for us. Also, to note if it were not for the Empty Cradle Foundation to donate the CuddleCot to the hospital a few years ago we would have never been able to make the extra memories with Bea and Lulu that we did. Forever we are grateful for the Empty Cradle Foundation and what they stand for. Please remember "There is no footprint too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world." (quote from unknown).
Thank you and please share our message and, may God be praised.