Part of parenting is coping with the “terrible twos,” that stage of a toddler’s life where tantrums, protests, and declarations of independence are the norm. How can you deny the joy of watching a store aisle toddler blowout that goes from a pouty lip and folded arm stance to a fury-tinged, red-faced YELL?
For some parents, the terrible twos are a time to celebrate. Life’s circumstances have been wrought with uncertainty or adversity to the point where making a birthday is a wonderful blessing. Misty and Curtis Oglesby, the parents of former conjoined twins Shyla and Selah, recently welcomed their daughters’ reaching a second birthday on October 27 of this year.
It was discovered the twin girls were conjoined at the chest while their mother was pregnant with them. The Indiana couple was anxious when doctors estimated their chances of survival to be between 5 and 25 percent. The little ladies have so far beaten the odds twice by marking their first and second birthdays!
Shyla and Selah were delivered by C-section at 31 weeks due to Misty having preeclampsia. Though their hearts, lungs, and intestines were separate, they shared a single liver. A specialized team of medical professionals at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital worked closely with the Oglesby family to chart a course for the babies’ separation surgery.
It took months of planning and at three months of age, the girls were finally separated. Selah was diagnosed with a heart defect that placed her at an increased risk for heart failure. Therefore, she required additional surgery and an extended hospital stay. The family spent the twins’ first birthday at the hospital and were finally able have both daughters at home when they turned two.
Though both girls will continue to need therapies and follow-up medical care, they are thriving and living as normal toddlers. As little ones do, they are getting around and into things. On mom Misty’s blog, she wrote:
“So here we are, two years later, with two thriving toddlers. It’s like having two little miracles living in our house. I’m so thankful for the second chance they have been given and for the opportunity to love and appreciate the independent little people that they’re becoming.”
Shyla and Selah’s growth has been exceptional considering where they started. Both twins had to use feeding tubes upon leaving the hospital, and today neither need one. Now the girls are independent from one another, and their parents also note how each girl’s personality is beginning to shine through. It seems Selah is super affectionate and warm, and sister Shyla is very outgoing and chatty.
As the twins celebrated their initiation into the terrible twos, the moment was extra special, as they were surrounded by loved ones at home this time. They even got to enjoy cake for the first time! Doctors expect them to live healthy, normal lives well beyond toddlerhood, thanks to Curtis and Misty’s dedication and strides in health care. What do you think of this family’s journey? Are you celebrating their “wonderful twos” too? Tell us in the comments!