Womb Mates for Life
Throughout the year they spent trying to get pregnant, Kimberley Proctor-White and her husband Java White prayed hard for twins. An early ultrasound showed their prayers were answered: twin girls.
Kimberley’s pregnancy progressed well; as the last trimester rolled around, the couple was looking forward to getting the babies’ room ready and enjoying baby showers together.
They never got to do either. A routine doctor’s visit showed Baby Jasmyn was smaller and struggling in utereo, even as Baby Jordyn continued to grow and thrive.
“I walked into my doctor’s office for a regular appointment and didn’t go back home at all until more than a month later,” Kimberley said. “I went directly to Saint Thomas Midtown on bed rest. I missed Christmas, New Year’s and my aunt’s funeral. Our goal was to get the babies to 32 weeks before they delivered.”
Kimberley was allowed to move around in the hospital so she spent the time walking, blogging on her computer, and getting dressed and doing her hair every day.
“I wasn’t sick,” she said, “and I wanted to stay as normal as possible.”
But life was upside down. In addition to missing important family holidays and events, Kimberley had just started a new job a couple of months before, and had to quit. Her husband spent every night at the hospital with her, and went to work every day. Church members, family and friends helped the couple with meals, errands and visits.
As the weeks went by, and Jasmyn was holding her own, doctors told Kimberley she might be able to go home, if upcoming test results were good. The next day, instead of getting the all clear to go home, the doctor determined Kimberley needed a Caesarean section that very day. The babies were 30 weeks old.
“I was devastated,” she said. “I so was worried about the babies’ health, possible long-term problems and what I might have done to cause this. We had been doing so much better, so why was this happening?”
But the wheels were turning quickly. Both babies were soon delivered, Jordyn weighing 2.9 pounds while Jasmyn weighed 1.12 pounds.
“I heard Jordyn cry but Jasmyn didn’t cry for three very long minutes,” Kimberley said. “They were tiny, but they were both alive.” Both babies were rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
And two days later, Kimberley and Java got the news that Jasmyn needed intestinal surgery. And both babies needed platelets. And phototherapy. The information was coming fast, and it was hard to hear. By the end of it all, Jordyn stayed in the hospital nearly six weeks after she was born; Jasmyn come didn’t home for almost 11 weeks after she was born. Both babies are at home and thriving today.
“We are so thankful for our strong faith,” Kimberley says. “All through this, we just asked for prayers. We went through a grieving process with the loss of the ideal, happy pregnancy and childbirth. The loss of the ideal healthy babies. Worrying about each other. There were some very hard days.”
But Kimberley says even through the toughest days, she felt there was a reason for it all, a purpose.
“We have talked openly about our experience, and many people have told us we have helped them deal with hard things they are experiencing in their own lives. It’s so important to work hard to keep a smile on your face, stay strong, be honest about the hard times, and keep going.”
Kimberley credits her doctors, including Dr. Mary Haynes, neonatologist, and the doctors at Tennessee Maternal Fetal Medicine, especially Dr. Audrey Kang and Dr. Breck Collins, for her family’s excellent care.
This new mother has lots of plans for the future. Kimberley has a Master’s in Divinity and is a minister at the family’s church, The Temple Church in Nashville. She is a singer and actress. Java has his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering along with a Master’s in Business Administration. They have multiple business and hobby interests. Kimberley is a published author and is pursuing a doctorate in counseling.
“Right now we are focused on creating some balance, and taking care of our new family,” she said. “We are just so thankful. It could have been much worse. Our baby girls have a great future ahead and everything is looking good. God is very good. He is.”