The amazing Kaye Parker. Kaye is mom to identical twin boys William (pictured - 3) and Tyler, who passed away due to complications from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). She was very sick throughout her pregnancy and by her second trimester, was measuring very large for dates with her boys and was painfully suffering from Polyhydraminos (excess amniotic fluid). Kaye searched for answers with her medical team, and they eventually referred her to a hospital in Auckland where she was diagnosed with TTTS at 19 weeks. She was referred for laser ablation surgery and drainage of fluid, both of which were successful. At 22 weeks she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and was told that she might have to deliver, and her boys would not be able to survive. The goal was to get them to at least 24 weeks and 500 grams before delivery. At 23 weeks they were both over 600 grams and if they had to deliver they'd attempt to save them. Shortly after, her suspected pre-eclampsia went away, leading doctors to believe it may have been a mirror syndrome related to her laser surgery. Everything was going well from then until 27 weeks. Kaye had a midwife appointment on the 5th of January, where there were two heartbeats, and everything was fine. Two days later she had a scan and learned that her son Tyler's heart had stopped. William had suffered from increased blood flow and enlarged ventricles in his brain due to Tyler's passing. They booked her for an MRI and the morning of, she went into labor at just under 30 weeks. The boys were born via emergency cesarean with William needing forceps assistance and weighing 1.6 kilos and Tyler weighing just 935 grams. William had to spend the next 10 weeks in the NICU and had a difficult journey learning to grow and breathe and eat on his own. He coded completely and had to brought back to life just as his brother Tyler was being buried. Kaye has a had an understandably difficult emotional recovery. Physically, she has struggled with thyroid and iron issues since the birth of her boys. She is hoping that her participation in the project will help mark the start of a new, positive and healthy beginning for herself and William.
The wonderful Christine Walanka with her son Nolan (14 months). Christine had a wonderful pregnancy with Nolan, though she gained a lot of weight very quickly and had people always asking if she was having multiples. She was bothered by the comments, but hoped that after her son was born and she was able to breastfeed, her body would be able to "bounce back". Christine has a lot of fear and anxiety about medical situations and didn't want to have a very medicalized birth, but she was also nervous about the pain. She went post-dates, and when an ultrasound revealed her fluid was low, her doctor sent her for an immediate induction. They tried to open her cervix with a catheter and then started Pitocin. Nolan wasn't coming out, so they gave her the option of then trying a forceps assisted delivery. The forceps didn't help either, and she was taken in for a cesarean. While Nolan was born within in minutes in perfect health, the procedure took over two hours. Christine's anesthesia wore off completely, and she was screaming in pain. They were able to numb her again, and it turned out that the forceps had caused her insides to tear, and they were having a difficult time locating and repairing all of the injuries. Christine initiated breastfeeding in the hospital without complication but once home, Nolan was losing a lot of weight. She started supplementing with formula and by three months he was fully formula fed. Christine's body has not "bounced back" as she initially expected, but she is learning to appreciate it for all that it's done and said the project came into her life at just the time she needed it.