When Jarrett and Jessika found out they were pregnant in early December 2013, to say they were shocked would be an understatement.
Jessika was previously told she would never be able to conceive children. To their amazement, they not only found out they were pregnant, but they were having twins!
As their pregnancy progressed normally, Jarrett and Jessika began to prepare for the birth of twin boys. They made plans to move from Long Beach to Glendora to save for a house, busy planning the nursery and getting ready for their growing family. During Jessika’s physician visit at 32 weeks, the twins’ growth scan was normal, but a stress test showed signs of preeclampsia — a dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure. She was immediately put on hospital bed rest, but within four days she developed extreme preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, which could be fatal to Jessika. The physician was forced to induce her labor and deliver the twins prematurely.
After 17 hours of labor, Jaxon and James were delivered naturally at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and put into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where they would remain for two more weeks until they were healthy enough to go home. However, dangerously within an hour of delivery Jessika hemorrhaged. The physicians and nurses took great care in saving her life, but Jessika was left unable to drive a car or walk great distances, making it extremely difficult to care for not only one but two children in the NICU.
“I couldn’t get to a store, I couldn’t drive, we had an empty apartment and a not yet completed move to our house in Glendora,” says Jessika. “I needed to be close by my boys to feed them, and I was worried where we were going to stay because Jarrett had to return to work. Our nurse knew how difficult our situation was and referred us to the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House. When we walked through those double doors we felt a sense of relief because it gave us one less thing to worry about. I knew we were all going to be all right.”
Jessika and Jarrett stayed at the House for two weeks, and were able to be just steps away from their sons at Miller Children’s. The computers, breast pumps, comfortable beds, meals and all of the little accommodations made their extremely stressful situation a little less worrisome.