The Incredible Story of The Miracle Twins

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By: Frieda Schweky

*Gloria Mizrahi always wanted to have twins. Little did she know how bumpy the path would be until her  dream was fulfilled. Here is her story, a real tale of emunah and revealed miracles. 

Gloria and her husband Jacob were blessed with a baby girl less than a year after they got married. When their firstborn, Melanie, was just five months old, Gloria became pregnant again. As she  always wanted to have twins, the first question she asked the doctor at the initial examination visit was, “Am I having twins!?” The doctor informed her that she was only carrying one baby. At that point, Gloria had not yet had a sonogram. The doctor had only listened to what he thought was just one baby's heartbeat.

And Then There Were Two…

When the time came for Gloria’s  20-week sonogram she was very excited. She knew this pregnancy felt different than the first, and she assumed it must just because she was carrying a boy, and boys are different! Jacob was set on going to work that day, requesting that Gloria simply bring home a picture of the sonogram to show him. Gloria, however, insisted that he come along, and so he did.

Gloria was very eager to see her new baby on the sonogram screen.  The sonogram technician came in, greeted them, and started to take a look via the sonogram. After about five seconds the technician quickly removed the handheld sonogram mechanism from Gloria's abdomen and picked up her chart.

“What’s wrong?!” Gloria pressed.

“Nothing is wrong,” said the technician, “we just seem to have the wrong folder here. You’re not Gloria Mizrahi, right?”

“I am! That's my name, and that’s my folder,” insisted Gloria. “What seems to be the problem?”

“Well it says you’re having one on the chart, but you’re having two,” the ultrasound technician responded.

Gloria and her husband were taken by surprise. After recovering from the initial shock they calmed down and asked a few questions., First Gloria wanted to know the sex of the babies. The technician informed her that both babies were girls, and then she hurried off to call the doctor.

The next hour Gloria’s doctors, nurses, and technicians were in and out of the room, checking on the babies with several sonograms, and other tests. 

Bad News Follows Good

One of the nurses began to tear up and Gloria could tell from her expression that something was very wrong. When she asked the nurse what was wrong, she assured her everything was going to be okay. 

“Don’t beat around the bush,” Gloria pressed. “If something is going on, tell it to me straight. I’ll be okay whatever it is.”

It was then that the Mizrahis were informed about the unfortunate truth. The babies were sharing one placenta, but not evenly. One baby was getting the majority of the nutrients and the other was not getting enough. The one lacking nutrients was, consequently, a lot smaller.

The couple was advised by their doctor to go to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The doctor told them this hospital can split the placenta in half so the pregnancy can last up until thirty-five weeks. By the time the difficult news got to the couple, an appointment had already been arranged for them.

Off to Philadelphia

Gloria and her husband immediately left baby Melanie with Gloria's parents, and traveled to Philadelphia. After getting settled, they headed straight to the hospital. Gloria then endured many hours of meticulous sonograms. The technicians measured every inch of each baby, up and down their bodies, from their big heads to their tiny toes. 

At the end of the day, the doctor from the hospital sat the couple down to discuss solutions. They explained that since Baby A was so much smaller than Baby B it would be dangerous for the pregnancy to continue without immediate action. If they continued the pregnancy with both babies, little Baby A and possibly also Baby B could be born with a number of medical conditions such as heart problems, brain damage, cerebral palsy, etc.

Jacob was exhausted from a day of traveling, hospital rooms, and medical terms, and he just wanted to hear what the doctors were hinting at in plain English.

“So you’re saying that we should abort Baby A to save Baby B?” Jacob asked the doctor directly.

“We can do it in a way that will not harm Baby B,” the doctor responded.

Reaching Out for Rabbinic Advice

The couple had a huge decision to make, and they knew that they could not make it alone. They quickly called Rabbi H. for advice. Rabbi H. said they should speak to Rabbi F., and he would try to get them in touch with him. The couple was pressed for time. The doctor had made it clear that they had to decide that very day. Anymore waiting could be potentially harmful. Rabbi H. was not able to reach Rabbi F. but was able to get the couple in touch with Rabbi K. 

Gloria and Jacob told Rabbi K. all the details over the phone. They told the rabbi all the awful things the doctor said could potentially happen if the babies were born together. Rabbi K. said given the circumstances they were able to proceed in any way they thought necessary.

The couple left the hospital and when they got back to the hotel room, they knew they had to make a decision, one way or the other.

Putting Hashem Into the Picture

“Listen, honey,” Gloria said to  Jacob. “Hashem put these two babies in here,” she said pointing to her stomach. “And they’re going to come out okay. If Hashem wants them to live, then live they will, if they are meant to die, that’s what will happen.”

The couple decided together, with full emunah, that it was probably best to heed the doctor's advice. The next day they went to the hospital intent on going through with the procedure.

Before they could get started, the doctor wanted to make sure Gloria was not dilated. Gloria was checked and was found to be slightly dilated, which meant they might have to cancel the procedure because it could cause complications. The doctor left the room to mull things over and came back with a solution. There was too much water in Baby B’s sack, which must have been causing Gloria to dilate. Using a syringe and steady hands, the doctor removed two liters of water from Baby B’s sack. The doctor was now determined to go forward with the procedure. 

Divine Intervention

It was just then that Jacob got a call. It was Rabbi H. saying that Rabbi F. got in touch with him. The couple was surprised to hear what Rabbi F. had to say. He told them not to go through with the procedure, that they would have two healthy babies. The couple asked the rabbi if he was sure. He told them the choice was still theirs to make, and that regardless, they can go through with the procedure if they thought it best. However, after hearing such a great rabbi say that they would have two healthy babies, their minds were already made up. It was now just a matter of deciding who would inform the doctor that they were not going to go through with the surgery.

When the doctor came into the room, Jacob informed her that they chose not to go through with the procedure. The doctor asked if they were sure.

“Doctor tell me please, how many people in our position decide not to do it?” asked Gloria.

“About one out of every three patients in your particular position don’t go through with it,” responded the doctor.

“Okay,” replied Gloria with a smile, trying to infuse some humor to relieve the tension, “then I’ll be the one!”

Prescription: Bed Rest and a High-Risk Expert

When the Mizrahis came home from their trip, Gloria was put on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. She had to literally lie down and was not allowed to do anything or to leave the house for any reason other than for a doctor's visit, which she went to weekly.

Sephardic Bikur Holim was able to get Gloria an appointment with a high-risk doctor, as it was clear that she could not simply return to her regular OB-GYN. 

About two weeks after leaving Philadelphia, Gloria was scheduled to see her new OB-GYN. The doctor himself, rather than an ultrasound technician, did Gloria’s sonogram. Immediately he informed the couple that there was a problem. He instructed them to go to the hospital right away, there was a one to three chance that Gloria would give birth that very night. He said he would not accompany them, but he instructed them which hospital to go to, to say it was an emergency, and what doctor to ask for.

Gloria was rushed to the hospital (at just 25 weeks.). When she got there the doctor could see she was having contractions. Since it was still too early in her pregnancy to give birth, they gave her magnesium to stop the contractions. Gloria remained in the hospital so she could be closely monitored.

The Miracle of Two Healthy Babies

The baby girls were born two weeks later, at 27 weeks of pregnancy. To the parent’s relief and amazement, they were both born healthy, with no apparent defects or illnesses! This was truly a miracle from Hashem. The couple felt like they had won the lottery! The preemies had to stay in the hospital for about three to four months, as is usual for premature babies born so early. The girls were only two pounds each at birth. Jacob and Gloria went back and forth to the hospital during that time to take care of their miracle twins.

Although they thankfully did not go through with the procedure, the couple knew it was truly from Hashem that they made the trek to Philadelphia. If the doctor had not removed the two liters of water from Baby B’s sack, Gloria would have given birth at 22 weeks, and the babies would have been too young and tiny to survive.

Gloria was admittedly paranoid as the babies grew, constantly checking to make sure they were truly healthy. The Mizrahis are very grateful to Hashem that the girls are healthy. Today the identical twin girls are six years old and are just like any other kids. You can’t tell they are any different from their peers, which is perhaps the biggest miracle of all. The Mizrahis continued, with the help of Hashem, to grow their family. They had another girl after the twin girls, and in the past year had twin boys! Although Gloria's second twin pregnancy was not simple at all, baruch Hashem the boys were born healthy, and the rest is a story for another time!

The Take Away Lesson

What can we take away from this story? We learn that everything we go through, the good and seemingly bad, is all part of Gd's plan. Trusting in Hashem is always the best route, and consulting with rabbis is important when you need guidance on matters small and large. Living our lives with this recognition can result in daily miracles like the ones stated above. Emunah is a gift that we should all be blessed with!

* The names of the people in this story have been changed.