Hannawacker Twins NICU Journey

Brei and Jesse Hannawacker found out they were having twins on December 6, 2018. The initial shock of seeing two babies on the ultrasound quickly turned to excitement as they prepared for this new adventure, which started with Jesse being sent across the United States to work in Virginia for 4 months of the pregnancy. 

After attending a regularly scheduled anatomy scan of the twins, Brei received a call that her cervix was shortening and that she needed to return a week later for another scan. Week after week it continued to shorten, until she was admitted to Silverdale Harrison Hospital for strict hospitalized bed rest at only 22 weeks pregnant. 

Every doctor told her that there was nothing they could do to help her if she went into labor, as the twins were too young to be saved. Jesse caught a flight home the next day, causing extra costs for travel and housing fees after cutting his work trip short. 

Harrison kept Brei until she reached 23 weeks, which is borderline viable depending on size and weight; and varies based on each doctor’s opinion. They found a group of specialist doctors at MultiCare Tacoma General, that were willing to give their all into saving the babies if they chose to come early. Brei was then put through multiple tests, given rounds of painful steroid shots, and eventually put on magnesium in an attempt to slow labor and stabilize the twins’ brains. She still jumped from 1cm dilated to 5cm dilated within a few days, and one of the twins’ feet was hanging out of the cervix. Brei was laid upside down for as long as she could stand it to try and force the twins to keep cooking, and she managed to fight through the worst pain of her life to keep them in another couple days.

They made it to 24 weeks and 1 day, which is without question considered viable age, though the chances of surviving without severe complications is very low. They were delivered by emergency c-section on March 4, at 1:54am and 1:55am due to cervix dilation and a twisted uterus and bladder. Bentley weighed 1lb 6.6 oz, and Harper weighed 1lb 7oz.

The twins have since gone through blood transfusions, ventilators, chest tubes, x-rays and ultrasounds, and so much more. They are at the Mary Bridge NICU at MultiCare Tacoma General, where they will fight for their lives for the next 5 to 8 months. They are beating the odds and reaching for miracles everyday they are alive, and nobody is going to give up on them. 

Jesse is unable to work regularly and his paid leave is running out; on top of the medical bills that were acquired by Brei being admitted to the hospital for just under 3 weeks, and now the bills from two NICU patients. With so much weighing on Jesse and Brei emotionally, the stress of unpaid bills and extreme debt shouldn’t have to add to it. 

The average NICU stay with high option health insurance still costs the parents roughly $11,000 out of pocket. Add in Brei’s hospital stay, plus basic day to day bills for 6 months, cost of meals and commuting to and from Tacoma, and it reaches an impossible amount with little to no income. 

Every little bit helps, even just sharing this go fund me, but especially prayers from everyone. The money received will help to cover the hospital bills, monthly bills, as well as commuting costs and meals. Anything that is received over the goal amount will be donated to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital NICU at Tacoma General, so they can continue to save children’s lives.

Donations (0)

  • AH
    Anonomous H 
    • $50 
    • 12 d
  • Jessica Bishop 
    • $25 
    • 15 d
  • VD
    Vicki Dudder 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Sandi Johnson 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Dale Thomas 
    • $300 
    • 1 mo

Organizer and beneficiary 

Shelby Barrera 
Puyallup, WA
Brei Hannawacker 
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