The journey to becoming a parent is rife with surprises. From the first positive test to all the rest. They’re supposed to be happy ones—or, at least, fulfill those parenthood rites of passage.
With that optimism in mind, Ben and Natalie Bushaw set off to their first ultrasound. There they received the first of many giant surprises: It wasn’t just one baby! There were two bundles of joy to prepare for arrival.
Two In, Two Out
Thrilled, the Bushaws set off on a Mexican babymoon in celebration.
But when they returned, then came surprise number two: One baby’s heart was beating very weakly, and the twins were diagnosed as mono/mono: one of the rarest, highest-risk categories of identical twins, which carries an 85 percent mortality rate.
Both boys would have multiple congenital defects. Logan would have a single-ventricle, one-chamber heart, weakened lungs and airways, and “his insides all a little backwards from what they should be.” Owen had duodenal atresia—his stomach and intestines weren’t connected, he had imperforate anus, and hypoplastic right thumb.
The doctors suggested selective reduction. But the Bushaws were firm: two babies in, two babies out.
The CaringBridge website was created–with the signature new parent optimism:
“June 23 is the scheduled delivery date for the boys and since all has been going so very well up to this point, we should make it there with no problems!”
And like any family, the Bushaws wrote that they were filled with a mix of “a million emotions” as they awaited the arrival of their two baby boys.
“More than anything, we can’t wait to finally meet these little miracles and start the newest chapter of our lives together—parenthood,” she wrote.
But instead of the standard joyous return home two days after their birth that June, an onslaught of surgeries and procedures followed.
Natalie remembers her long days in the PICU, her CaringBridge website serving as her lifeline to the outside world. “It was our connection to our friends and family and it was critical.”
“At the time, we knew we had families, friends and colleagues who wanted to know what was going on and this was by far our best way to update people, but we didn’t realize how cathartic it was. We didn’t realize how important it was to have a place to share our story.”
A Place for Every Family to Share Their Story
For the Bushaws and families like theirs, CaringBridge is that safe, secure place for them to share their story. Consider how valuable your contribution could be in giving them a place to connect with their community of support. Please consider a donation to CaringBridge to help families like the Bushaws work through tough challenges.