After being married for 6 months, John and I decided to try starting our family. After 1 month of trying we were so excited to surprise our families at Christmas 2012 they we would be expecting our 1st baby. We went for our 1st ultrasound at 8 weeks to find we had lost the baby. We were devastated and I grieved. 3 months later I was pregnant again and for the 2nd time lost the baby at 8 weeks. My doctor said this is normal, but I had a feeling something wasn’t right. After genetic testing, we discovered that I had a genetic abnormality which affects fertility. I had less than a 10% chance of having a normal egg. We began fertility treatments in New Orleans. After 2 long 2 years with many disappoints, we kept believing. After 3 IVF cycles, on December 9, 2014 we found out I was pregnant with twins! A BOY AND A GIRL! We were over the moon! Our prayers were finally answered.
Then Saturday morning, day before Easter, at 22 weeks, my water broke. I was rushed to Ochsner Baptist Medical Center and I thought everything we had dreamed of was going to be over. For 10 days, I was on bedrest in Labor and Delivery. Somehow, they were able to slow down the contractions and the babies stayed put long enough to get the steroid shot to help their lungs and save them. But on the 10th day Addison had made her way down the birth canal and there was no more stopping delivery. On April 13, 2015: Addison Grace Tabony was born. She weighed just 1 pound and 9 ounces. John Adrian Tabony was born minutes later, weighing 1 pound 3 ounces.
More than 24 hours later, I saw my babies for the 1st time. Words can never explain the pain and emotions a parent goes through seeing your helpless child hold on for life. Holding your baby for the 1st time weeks after birth, scared to touch because of all the wires and breathing tube attached to them. Not knowing what the next day will bring.
The first weeks in the NICU were the hardest, worrying every time we left the hospital that it might be the last time we saw them. But they kept growing and we celebrated every little milestone. By the grace of God, they passed every test and had no surgeries and no complications. It was by far the hardest thing we have ever been through, but miracles do happen! For us we got 2! After 116 days, August 5, 2015, John came home 2 days before their actual due date and Addison soon followed exactly a month later. In total, 146 days in the NICU. We are deeply grateful for the research, education and awareness that the March of Dimes provides, which played a role in our NICU journey.
Just a few months after the twins were home from the NICU, we were surprised when we became pregnant again. Scared that we would go through the same situation, we were extra cautious. On September 7, 2016, we welcomed our 3rd miracle baby, Parker at 38 weeks with no NICU stay and were able to take him to his brother and sister. 3 babies under 17 months!!
We are so very blessed that Addison and John are perfect and healthy with no complications. They are thriving toddlers about to make their 4th birthday this year! But sadly, not every baby is as lucky. This is why our family is committed to bringing awareness and raising money for research to prevent premature births. We want to continue to encourage families that have been affected my prematurity to advocate for your baby and support others that share your experiences. Together we can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity so more babies can get the strongest start possible.
For the last 2 years, John and I have joined the many families and friends of New Orleans babies in marching for their well-being and care with the March of Dimes. This year The Tabony Family is honored be the Ambassadors for this year’s March for Babies.
Rachel, John, Addison, John Jr. and Parker