Aubrey Atkinson - For the Love of Mom GenesJul 5, 2016
Delivered her babies & spent time in the NICU at East Cooper Medical Center
When Aubrey and Josh Atkinson got married they wanted to start a family right away. It was something they had both dreamed of. After one year of trying, the Atkinsons did some testing that ultimately led them to a fertility specialist. “It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that my body doesn’t work like it’s supposed to,” says Aubrey.
Infertility affects many couples and can be a struggle, both emotionally and financially. The Atkinsons weighed their options and decided to move forward with their fertility journey. “In the beginning, we were really quiet about it,” says Aubrey. “It’s an intimate and very personal time. It was really hard to invite people into that space at first. As a couple, we decided to start sharing our journey through social media as a way for our friends and family to keep up with all we were experiencing. It was one of the best decisions we made. The support was, and continues to be, incredible from people all over.”
Over the course of about two years, the couple underwent a few rounds of different treatments. They started with intrauterine insemination (IUI), the fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus. In July of 2015, they did their first round of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus. During their IVF treatment, two embryos were transferred with a high chance that both could take. After four years of trying to have a baby, their treatment was successful and the Atkinsons learned they were expecting twins. “We were shocked!” says Aubrey. “To finally hear that you are pregnant after all this time was so surreal.”
After a rough pregnancy and at their 34 week goal, Aubrey gave birth to healthy twin girls at East Cooper Medical Center. “Molly was born first and weighed 4 pounds. Eisley came a minute later and weighed 3.13 pounds,” she says. The twins spent two weeks in the NICU at East Cooper. They never had to be put on ventilators because they could breathe on their own. Their feeding tubes were removed after 12 days, and their body temperatures were regulated within the first week. “We thought we would be in the NICU for three to four weeks,” says Aubrey. “They were little fighters and the staff was so great to us.”
Aubrey was able to take part in the rest easy program at East Cooper where families are given private rooms while their babies are in the NICU. “I was discharged after 7 days and then they moved me to another private room while my girls were in the NICU,” she says. “I was able to walk down the hallway to feed them and then I got to go back to my room to recover. East Cooper is the only hospital in the Lowcountry that has this program. It’s phenomenal.”
The Atkinsons are eternally grateful for the help and support that was given to them along their journey. “It’s been the most challenging, humbling yet amazing experience I could ever imagine,” she says. “Hold on for the ride and never lose hope no matter how hard it gets. It’s worth it in the end”
You can follow Aubrey, Josh and the twins on Facebook @FTLOMG or on Instagram @fortheloveofmomgenesPhotos taken by Ansley Alexander Photograph. Visit ansley-alexander.squarespace.com/ for more information.