That pregnancy didn't start the way they expected. Tim and Taylor Yardley were suprised to find out they were having twins. Now they'll be happy to take even one of their little girls home.
Miniature fingers and itty bitty feet: Those are things you'd expect when you're expecting. But not tiny tubes helping a baby breathe.
"We decided at nine in the morning we were going to deliver the girls unexpectedly," said Taylor. "They were born by 11 am."
"At 29 weeks, 6 days, we had Caitlyn and Emilia," said Tim.
At just more than a month old, Emilia has almost doubled her birth weight. But Caitlyn didn't even live long enough to see day number two.
"She was alive for 12 hours, ten minutes," said Tim. "I was with her pretty much the entire time. And then she died in my arms."
Caitlyn's lungs couldn't cope with breathing air. And though her parents' love was strong enough, her heart wasn't.
"There's not really words to describe it," said Tim. "You're watching your child die. One of the hardest things I've ever experienced."
"You realize this isn't happening," said Taylor. "We're not bringing home twins. We're bringing home one baby."
The best and worst moments in life all wrapped into one. But the Yardley's take comfort in what they still have. And they know they're not alone.
"We wanted to do something that just wasn't about her solely, but that supported the awareness of prematurity," said Tim. "We didn't want Caitlyn to be forgotten."
They're raising money to support the NICU at Carle and the March of Dimes. And they made bracelets for friends and family with two sets of footprints on them; one for each little girl.
"They were both so strong and held on for as long as they could," said Taylor.
So even though one couldn't hold on anymore, they're keeping her memory close to their hearts. The Yardleys hope to bring Emilia home in the next few weeks.
To find out more about how they're remembering Caitlyn, click here.
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