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Hanging with these two three year olds that are full of energy, fun loving basic toddlers, you would never know they had to fight a pretty hard fight at the beginning of their life.

Both Ashley and Garret Bush were ecstatic when they found out they were expecting twins! However, once Ashley’s CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic obstetrician identified their pregnancy as an uncommon monochorionic-diamniotic pregnancy (meaning the babies were so close they shared the same placenta), the Bush family knew there was the possibility of complications.

​When Ashley’s water broke unexpectedly, she was rushed to surgery for an emergency C-section to save her and the babies, who were just 28-weeks-old. Garrett was left wondering if he would ever see his wife or babies again. It was the morning of Mother’s Day, 2018. After the babies were born, Ashley was quickly transferred to the ICU and put on a ventilator since she was still unable to breathe. The twin girls, named Emma and Lilly, weighed just 2.6 and 2.9 lbs and had to fight for their lives in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital - Tyler. Neither baby could breathe on her own and had to be closely monitored.

When Ashley finally got to see her babies, she knew they were truly tiny miracles, but their road ahead would be anything but smooth. Lilly, the smaller of the twins, had several challenges including multiple blood transfusions, difficulty feeding, and a scary bout with necrotizing enterocolitis, a potentially devastating disease that affects the intestine of premature infants. Both girls had reflux issues and multiple bradycardia events, meaning they would spontaneously stop breathing for no apparent reason. Ashley remembers those NICU days as difficult but an incredible blessing.

“I was there fourteen hours a day. I would come first thing in the morning and wouldn’t leave until I had to. It was so scary when one of the babies would stop breathing and the alarms would all go off and the nurses would rush in, but I took every chance I could just to hold them. While I knew our girls were in the best hands possible, it was so hard to see all these other parents taking their babies home while mine had to stay. But the nurses and doctors were always there for us. They sat with us, they prayed with us, they even helped us give our girls their first bath. I will always remember their kindness during the hardest part of our lives.

After 83 long days, the Bush Family finally got to bring their twins home. Lilly remained on an apnea monitor for several weeks, but both girls quickly grew and thrived and miraculously have no residual health issues. Now, as energetic and inseparable three-year-olds, Emma and Lilly keep their parents’ hands and hearts full.

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