The Archbold Family

Minot, ND
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    Name
    Sierra Archbold
    Injury/Illness
    Pregnancy-Related Illness

    In July of 2023, my husband, Thomas, and I found out that we were pregnant. This came after a PCOS diagnosis and 5 years of treatments, many doctors visits, medications, and many tears and uncertainty. In August, much to our delight we found out together that we were having twins. It was early, hardly 6 weeks in, but we were absolutely thrilled and so excited to welcome our twins into the world. We were able to announce our twins during a trip to Disney that we had planned far before we found out we were pregnant. And announced our pregnancy to our family with pictures in front of the castle when we were 12 weeks and 2 days. Only 2 days later, we found out we were having a Girl and a Boy and were even more excited than before for the addition of our two babies that we prayed and dreamed of for so long. We announced their genders to our families at 16 weeks, and gained even more love and support and happiness from our friends and families.

    On October 26th late into the night, I unfortunately experienced a preterm premature rupture of membranes which sent us to the emergency room. We were monitored, and saw one of our babies alive on the ultrasound for what would be the last time. The ER doctor sent us home only saying that one of our twins would likely not make it with no other instruction but to follow up with my ObGYN the next day. As a first time mom, I did not know what to expect or what to watch for, and soon after getting home after midnight, began to experience contractions which lasted through the remainder of the night until the morning. We scheduled a follow up with the ObGYN and went about our day as best we could, still not knowing what to expect with our twins.

    Around 7pm on October 27th marking the 16 week and 6 day mark for our twins, I went to the restroom upstairs in our home while my husband was downstairs in the basement. There, I delivered our son alone on the toilet. Because I had not taken my phone I relied on screaming for my husband, for multiple minutes, he couldn’t hear me which resulted in having to leave the toilet and make it down the first flight of stairs onto the landing where I continued to scream for my husband until he heard me. When I told him our baby was in my hand he immediately called 911, and was then instructed by the operator on what to do as I stayed on the stairs with our son. My husband was instructed to tie off the babies cord with a shoe string, and from there, our son passed in my husbands hands as we waited for paramedics. A police officer arrived first and stayed with us as we waited. But by the time the paramedics arrived, our son had already passed, and we were unsure if our other twin would come soon after. My husband had to hand our son to the paramedics to cut the cord once they arrived and afterwards, they transported myself and our son to the labor and delivery ward while my husband followed.

    At the hospital, my doctor confirmed that I had delivered our son, and from there, my Husband and myself decided on a name for our sweet angel baby, Michael Elijah. Afterwards, a chaplain came to give baby Michael and our family his blessings and helped us through a small portion of our grieving, offering his support and prayers for us. We were still unsure if our surviving twin would make it, she looked healthy, but I now had a ruptured membrane, a remaining placenta, and cord for our son leaving my cervix open. All of this leaving me at high risk for another premature labor as well as infections which could then affect our remaining twin.

    The following week, we were seen by a maternal fetal medicine specialist who informed us that, more than likely, we would deliver the second twin within 2 weeks of the first. We luckily, passed that mile stone, and were told that it was unlikely we’d go past a month, with the highest concern being for infection/sepsis or another rupture of membranes. Once we got closer to that milestone, discussions began on how we could care for our remaining twin only if she could make it past the state of viability, and the discussion of hospitalization began.

    my OB informed us she’d only seen a similar case in residency, and the MFM specialist informed us that she’d never seen a case like this go past the one month mark from the first twins delivery. with each passing week, we were beating the odds, but still completely unsure if our daughter would survive.

    It was decided between my doctor and the MFM specialist that I would be hospitalized at no later than 24 weeks on December 16th and remain in the hospital until our daughter was born. It was also decided between the doctors that I would only be able to carry my daughter until 34 weeks if she stays in that long, as any further may cause unnecessary risk to her and myself in the form of infections, sepsis, and other complications. PROM is very dangerous, and since I went into full labor to deliver our son, the likelihood of spontaneous labor starting again is very high.

    As she will be born before term, she will then be required to remain in NICU for 1-2 months, likely close to or past her estimated due date of April 6th 2024. This allowed the hospital to push latency antibiotics, and steroids to prep for her early arrival, but as she is still going to be delivered early, there is still uncertainty on how she will do once born. As the NICU in our home city is not comfortable taking babies before 26 weeks, it was decided I’d be hospitalized an hour and a half away from home, leaving us away from our home, pets, friends, and family. This hospitalization has left me unable to work, my company does not offer paid maternity leave, and I was denied for Short Term Disability through my job. 

    While we are so thankful and relieved to be past the 24 week mark, with our daughter and myself still remaining in good health and signs pointing up every day, the toll that this has taken on our family mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially has been immense. We are struggling to make ends meet as we have lost half of our income due to me being unable to work. I will continue to be unable to work until after our daughter is released from NICU and I am done with my maternity leave which will equal 5-6 months of time I’ll be unable to work in total.

    We are desperately trying to find any avenues that can help us live just a bit more comfortable while we await the arrival of our daughter. Taking some of the financial stress off of our family would be a help beyond anything we could ever imagine, and would allow us to focus on my health and our daughters well being.

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