john and james spannagel

october 30th i went into preterm labor with my identical twin boys. i was admitted to the hospital and started on steroid to help their lungs and put on meds to stop my labor. during an ultrasound we found that my boys had developed twin to twin transfusion. basically baby b (james) was taking more of their blood supply and was able to produce more fluids which was putting a lot of pressure on baby a (john) and was squishing him. five days later monday november 4th i was discharged with no contractions but was told to take it easy because my cervix had shortened and i was dilated to 1cm. i had at home meds to take twice a day to stop my contractions and i was taking them at the same times everyday like clock work because i was so scared to deliver the boys early. that next day tuesday the 5th i went in for an amnio reduction. they stuck a needle into my belly and through my uterus to suck out all the extra fluid around baby b (james) to relieve pressure off of baby a (john). we were told if we didn't do this treatment that the pressure on john could cause problems with his movement with his arms and legs and it could also cause heart failure and we would lose him before he was born. 1600mls of fluid was sucked out and they were evened up. that friday the 8th i had another ultrasound to check the fluids again. the fluid around james went up a little again but wasn't enough to do another treatment. november 9th 2013 i woke up in a good mood i was waiting for jeffrey to be picked up then was going to get a new outfit for my maternity pictures that were scheduled at 5pm. i had a couple contractions during the day that were far apart but i didn't think anything because there was no pain. i got home around 3pm and my contractions were starting to hurt. i laid on the couch and drank cold water hoping they would quit. when they got more frequent we timed them. 2 minutes apart. all of a sudden they about quit starting drifting far apart 5 minutes then 7 minutes.. then bam! the worst pain i ever felt and it wasn't stopping. i went to the bathroom and by that time dj had my purse and jacket and had the car started already. the whole way to the hospital i was in constant pain the contractions were like 30 seconds apart. parked in emergency and got half way through the lobby in a wheelchair and i insisted i had to use the restroom so we stopped. i got into a stall and felt the urge to push so i felt down and felt a bubble and that when i knew they were coming. came out and told dj there's a baby right there hurry! got to the 3rd floor and into ob triage and they asked if my water broke and i told them no but as soon as got into a gown and onto the bed my water broke! the doctor checked and said honey you're fully dilated the babies are coming now but don't push. they took me into the operating room and i seen my doctor but my husband was gone and i had that pushing urge. my body was pushing and i couldn't help it. they did an ultrasound both boys were head down so they were hoping to be able to deliver both. i asked where dj was and he came walking in with scrubs on and sat next to me. i was so scared. we both were. it was to early and the boys were only 26 weeks gestation. it's time to push. i pushed a couple times and john was born. dj looked at me and said baby he's moving:) i then started to cry. i was in so much pain still but my first baby was moving! they did and ultrasound and james had literally suctioned back up into the top of my uterus and was up by my ribs so they tried to have me push... wasn't working. so they went in and tried to pull him down and that didn't work. next thing i know dj was being told to leave the room i was being prepped for a c-section and james heart rate was dropping. when i woke up dj was holding my hand and the only thing i could think of was where are my babies!? are they okay!? are they gonna make it!? a nurse walked in and told me it sounded like they were both stable. john was born 6:48pm 1lb 14oz 12 1/4 inches long and james was born 7:04pm 1lb 15oz 13 1/2 inches long. when i finally got to see them they were two of the most beautiful gifts from god i had ever seen! both our boys looked just alike and a lot like daddy. we were told that usually the first day or two with premies they are really stable and then it all hits them or they stay stable. they were right i couldn't be happier our babies looked so good and didn't have many issues other then the normal for being so early. monday we were told we needed to rush ito the nicu because they needed us up there. when we got up into the room there was a lot of nurses and doctor surrounding james and his oxygen had dropped down to almost a fatal level. the only thing that wasn't understandable was his heart rate staying up? this happened multiple times that day and the next morning november 12th had happened 6 times in a couple hour span but these times his heart rate got very low as well.. i had a very bad feeling and didn't wanna leave his side. i sat next to him the night before and that day and held his hand in mine and told him that mommy and daddy loved him and that we needed him to be stable and get fatter and breathe on his own so he could come home with his brother john to meet his other brother jeffrey. he stared at me every time i talked to him and a lot of the time he was very stable when dj and i would talk to him. we went to our room to have lunch a nurse came in maybe a half hour later and said they needed us upstairs again asap! the same things was happening but this time his heart rate was really low and his oxygen and nothing was getting better. his doctor said it's time. he said we have him on everything we possibly could and he isn't stabilizing. his nurse said if i keep him on the breathing tube he may live for a little bit is there any family i need to call to be here with you. fortunately my grandma and my best friend were already there but dj stepped out and called the whole family his and mine .. they set him into my arms and he slipped away from me. dj was right by my side and our family behind us. when we looked at me i knew he loved me but i knew he was hurting and just couldn't pull through. we miss our baby boy more then anything. they did an autopsy and found nothing. the doctor said he just wasn't powerful enough to get his oxygen through his body even with all the machines. it's not easy having to figure out what to do with your own child thats passed away. everything is expensive and it hurts worse then anything. i just want to hold him and love him and instead we have to set up a memorial to put his ashes away.. while going through this we are still happy to have our precious john still fighting! he's had many rough days lately. they are doing everything possible to keep him stable and for the most part it's working but on days like today he back up on 100% oxygen when they want him between 30-60%... it's gonna be up and down but we are hoping for the best! i'm setting this up just for help. dj was off work a lot last week and james memorial costs and also not knowing the outcome of john has really put a toll on us financially. we are very confident that john will make it out of the nicu in a couple months with all the prayers and us being strong for him and his brother james looking over him from heaven we just know he will get back to being stable with little help and he will eventually get stronger and bigger and be home in our arms where he belongs! whatever we can get to help us will be a blessing! it's gonna cost over 100 dollars a month just to park at the hospital. memorial for james medical bills our bills not knowing our outcome with john. i wanted to share our story and to set this up because i've had people ask where they can donate. thank you!
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Ashley Sue Spannagel 
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