Most families have a big birthday party to celebrate a first birthday. As Levi and Liam Stang, twin sons of Jessica and Ben Stang of Monroeville, turned one on Tuesday, April 24, it was important for their parents that some very extraordinary people were involved in the celebration.
So, at the request of the Stangs, the caregivers who delivered their sons into this world were invited to a special birthday party on Friday, April 27 at Fisher-Titus Medical Center. This celebration was planned so the family could thank the Fisher-Titus Birthing Team for helping to deliver the Stang twins on April 24, 2017, only 28 weeks and three days into Jessica Stang’s pregnancy.
“If not for these caregivers, my babies wouldn’t be alive today,” Stang said.
The party gave a chance for the nurses in the Fisher-Titus Birthing Center to see the babies for the first time since the stressful day they were born.
“This is why we do what we do,” Theresa Leber, a staff nurse in obstetrics, said as she held Liam. “It’s a privilege that you did this for us.”
The Stangs were excited when they found out Jessica was pregnant. They already had two boys, who were 4 and 2 at the time. Jessica admits they were hoping to add a little girl to the family. On Dec. 10, 2016, they received a surprise when the ultrasound indicated there were not one, but two babies. They were shocked. Two weeks later, another ultrasound showed they would be blessed with two more boys.
As the pregnancy continued, Jessica found out at 18 weeks, the twins were at risk for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. She and her mom, Cathy, began driving to Ann Arbor, Mich. two times per week for special ultrasounds. At 23 weeks, Jessica was put on bed rest. Stang, who is a nurse in the FIrelands Regional Medical Center Emergency Department, was seeing Dr. Kathleen Rinkes, an OB/GYN specialist in Sandusky.
Because Jessica was having an at-risk pregnancy, she had set up an appointment at Fairview Hospital in Cleveland and planned to deliver the twins there because they have a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The plan was to drive to Cleveland to deliver because it was a bigger hospital and was more equipped to handle an at-risk pregnancy.
At 28 weeks, the twins were no longer at-risk for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, but her cervix shortened. The physician at Fairview Hospital predicted the babies would be delivered by 33 weeks into the pregnancy.
Three days later…
At 28 weeks and three days, Jessica went into labor at 4:30 a.m. She and her mother were planning to drive to Cleveland, but something didn’t feel right and they arrived at the nearest hospital—Fisher-Titus Medical Center-- at 5:50 a.m. on April 24, 2017.
When Jessica arrived she was seven centimeters dilated. Both babies were also breech. At that time, a special team from Akron Children’s Hospital was also called and they were in route via a mobile unit. But, Jessica couldn’t wait. The babies needed to be delivered and she was wheeled into an Operating Room and the twins were delivered via C-section by the obstetrician on-call that day, Dr. Amy Wilber. Dr. Clyde Barrett was the anesthesiologist during the delivery. A total of 14 Fisher-Titus caregivers including physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists worked quickly to save the babies.
“We all worked well as a team that day,” said Megan Smith, staff nurse in obstetrics who was also charge nurse the day the twins were born.
Liam was delivered at 7:05 a.m. and weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces. His brother, Levi, was delivered at 7:08 a.m. and weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces. Jessica remembers they both looked lifeless as pediatricians Dr. Glenn Trippe, Dr. Karen LaSalle and Dr. Melanie Jungblut began to care for the boys. Each baby had to have 30 seconds of CPR and then were intubated. At 11 a.m., the worried mom was able to see her newly born boys and then they were whisked away to Akron Children’s Hospital, where they would spend the first 89 days of their life. Many prayers were lifted up for the Stang twins as they fought to gain strength. When they left Akron Children’s, Levi weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces and Liam weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces. The family was so thankful when they were finally ready to go home.
Fast Forward to their First Birthday…
On Tuesday, both boys visited Dr. Trippe at New Beginnings Pediatrics for their one-year wellness check-up. Jessica said Dr. Trippe was impressed with their growth and how smart they were. Jessica will always be grateful for the fast-acting caregivers who saved her sons.
Photo top-right: Levi and Liam Stang, son of Jessica and Ben Stang of Monroeville, celebrate their first birthday with four of the caregivers who were present during their delivery on April 24, 2017 at Fisher-Titus Medical Center. Pictured from left are Cassandra Pickworth, staff nurse in surgery prep and recovery; Monica Dunbar, staff nurse, obstetrics, who is holding Levi; Megan Smith, staff nurse, obstetrics and Theresa Leber, staff nurse, obstetrics, who is holding Liam.
Photo top-left: Theresa Leber, a staff nurse in obstetrics, talks to Liam Stang, son of Jessica and Ben Stang of Monroeville. Leber cared for Liam during his birth one year ago this week. Levi and Liam Stang, twin sons of Jessica and Ben Stang of Monroeville, had a birthday celebration at Fisher-Titus so the family could thank the Fisher-Titus Birthing Team for helping to deliver the Stang twins on April 24, 2017, only 28 weeks and three days into Jessica Stang’s pregnancy.
About the Fisher-Titus Birthing Center…The Fisher-Titus Birthing Center provides exceptional care for mothers and babies, delivered by our highly skilled obstetrics team. The Birthing Center at Fisher-Titus is a space designed for maternity patients, infants and families, providing a safe, secure recovery environment. For more information, visit fishertitus.org/birthing-center