Zac and Toks couldn’t wait to be parents and were completely “over the moon” when they found out they were expecting twin girls. Although Toks struggled with hyperemesis gravidarum, persistent nausea that affects expectant mothers, the pregnancy was going pretty well. However, at their 30-week OB visit, Dr. Chris Radpour discovered that one of the twins had stopped growing due to a possible growth restriction. Toks was admitted immediately to Erlanger’s high-risk care center for close monitoring and possible immediate delivery. Mom and the babies were closely monitored and were administered steroids to aid the babies’ development.

On December 21, 2014, the babies were born at 32 weeks and 2 days gestation. Isabella (Izzy) weighed 2 pounds, 11 ounces and Julianna (Jules) weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces. Izzy and Jules spent six and five weeks, respectively, in the NICU, where they learned how to eat, suck, breathe, swallow, and maintain temperature. Every ounce gained was (and still is) celebrated! Their parents say they received great care from the entire staff of the NICU, starting with Dr. Agnieszka Wesolowski, who admitted them, to Dr. Shevonda Sherrow, who released them to go home. Zac and Toks also noted that their nurses were exceptional. “In addition to being medical professionals, they became friends, and family to the babies and to us. The pep talks and hugs were just icing on the cake.” Though Toks had previously dealt with NICU parents through her job, she never imagined that she and Zac would one day become members of this exclusive club.

At 10 months, Izzy now weighs 14 pounds, 8 ounces and is 27 inches tall. She is currently working on crawling, loves to babble, and is never without her sippy cup and stuffed animal, Mr. Crab. Jules is very adventurous, crawling to every corner of the house. She loves yogurt and the family dog, Chloe. She now weighs 17 pounds, 2 ounces and is 27.5 inches tall.

The reason for the girls’ premature births was inconclusive, but their parents believe God was definitely in the details. As with any premature baby, Izzy and Jules deal with some feeding issues and are slowly making their milestones. Zac and Toks say they “continually thank God for every stride these miracle babies make.” They are encouraged by countless prayers, supportive family members and friends and are especially grateful to the dedicated staff at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

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