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Welcoming Twins in the Midst of COVID-19

Aug 21, 2020

When Melissa Leite, a nurse at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, noticed she was bleeding at five weeks into her first pregnancy, Cynthia Cork, M.D., OB/GYN and colleague, became a great source of hope through a challenging, yet exciting season.

nicu-twins-360x190-our-storiesMelissa and her husband, Joshua, had been planning for children for over a year, but they did not expect to receive the news they were about to hear. During an ultrasound at seven weeks gestation, Dr. Cork and her team shared that they were pregnant with twins and the implantation of one of the eggs was causing the bleed.

Overwhelmed with joy, Melissa and Joshua were excited about the news, but continued to closely monitor the bleeding as the pregnancy was considered high-risk.

“Dr. Cork was an amazing physician and kept me prepared and informed through the entire pregnancy,” said Melissa. “Having Dr. Cork’s office nearby was a great comfort due to the frequent appointments, follow-up visits and multiple questions along the way.”

As work picked up for seven-month pregnant Melissa in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Cork suggested for Melissa to start slowing down and being mindful of the long days she was putting in at work. Soon after, Melissa started to have Braxton Hicks contractions. A few days later, her water broke at 30 weeks gestation, leading to her inpatient stay, where she was placed on strict bedrest in the Labor and Delivery unit. 

Due to the COVID restrictions, Melissa’s husband and mother took turns staying by her side at the hospital, and on March 30, 2020, Melissa had a C-section, and the twins were safely delivered at 31 weeks. Luciana was born at 11:59 a.m., weighing 3 lbs. 12 oz., and Niko was born at 12:01 p.m., weighing 4 lbs. 2 oz.

“While the twins were in the NICU, they were hooked up to so many machines, and the NICU team was phenomenal,” said Melissa. “They taught us the essentials of preemie care and greatly empowered us as first time parents to these precious little babies.”

Melissa and Joshua’s babies, or “little peanuts” as they call them, were able to go home at 35 weeks after a one-month stay in the NICU due to their progress and continued health. “Being pregnant and giving birth during COVID was an extremely vulnerable experience,” said Melissa. “But there were so many people that supported us along the way. I am grateful and humbled by the care I received at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center during this life-changing experience.”