If You See a Purple Butterfly Sticker in the NICU, This Is Why.

An exasperated new mother was trying to calm her newborn twins in the hospital when she turned to the other mother in the room, who was sitting by the crib of her only daughter. The mother shook her head and said innocently, “You’re so lucky you don’t have twins.”

It was a seemingly conversational comment, one that meant no harm – but it broke Millie Smith nonetheless.

Millie, and her partner Lewis Smith, did have twins: a little girl name Callie and her twin, Skye. But, sadly, Callie was the only of the two who survived the pregnancy. So to hear this casual comment while she was grieving for her lost child was a heart-rendering experience for Millie.

When Millie and Lewis were told they were pregnant with twins, Millie was wary from the start. Although twins ran in her family, there had yet to be a set of twins born where both babies survived the birth. The couple was prepared for the worst.

However, this mental preparation couldn’t save them from the news they were about to receive. At 12 weeks, Millie and Lewis were told that one of the unborn twins, Skye,  had an incurable condition called anencephaly. With anencephaly, part of the brain does not develop normally. Unfortunately, babies born with the condition do not live longer than a few hours or days after birth.

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The couple made the difficult decision to continue carrying both babies, in order to give their other daughter, Callie, a “fighting chance.” This gave Millie and Lewis only so much time to come to grips with the fact that in a few months, they would have to say goodbye to one of their daughters.

“We were both devastated,” Millie said in an interview with Babble. “Knowing I had to carry both babies full term then say goodbye shortly after was very tough. Dealing with it and preparing for it was hard. But the more we talked about it the more ready we were. I spoke about Callie and Skye on a daily basis at work and ensured that no one felt awkward talking about my pregnancy. I got to enjoy my pregnancy and got to look forward to meeting them.”

To make matters worse, Millie unexpectedly went into labor at only 30 weeks, forcing the doctors to do an emergency C-section to safely remove the babies. Callie was immediately brought to Intensive Care to keep her alive and well, while little Skye stayed with her mom and dad to say goodbye.

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