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Jeff, Stacy, Jakoby and Korbin

Ceslar family with Mercy staff

"Little red flag" will hold a special meaning for Jakoby and Korbin as they grow up

When their children are old enough to ask their parents about their birth, Jeff and Stacy Cesler will most likely think of the term “little red flag.” The first time the Ames couple heard it used in connection to Stacy’s pregnancy was on Feb. 5, 2008,
when her obstetrician referred the Ceslers to the Perinatal Center of Iowa (PCI), a service of Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines.

Just a few weeks before, Jeff had taken Stacy to the emergency room because his pregnant wife was feeling very sick. When the physician on duty ordered an ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay, the couple was excited to learn Stacy’s
illness was probably due to the fact that she was carrying twins. The following Monday, Stacy returned to her doctor’s office for another ultrasound where it was discovered that, at 15 weeks, Baby A was doing fine while Baby B was lagging
behind his gestational age – a “little red flag” that prompted the obstetrician to refer the couple to PCI.

When Stacy and Jeff met with Dr. Joseph Hwang, a perinatologist at PCI, they were told that Baby B was intrauterine growth-restricted – a diagnosis that meant the baby had a higher risk of complications during the pregnancy and delivery
as well as after he was born. As a result, Stacy was admitted to Mercy’s Maternity Triage and Treatment (MTT) unit in early April to help prolong the pregnancy and encourage the twins’ continued growth. She wasn’t due to deliver the twins until mid-July.

Things seemed to be going well until June 5, when PCI sonographer Stephanie Moore noticed during a scheduled ultrasound that Baby B’s heart was beating unusually slow – a sign that he was in distress. After her third attempt to find a normal heart rate, Stephanie contacted Dr. Neil Mandsager – the perinatologist on call – and Jeff stood by as the nursing staff came into the ultrasound room and started to prepare Stacy for an emergency delivery.

“The time between the call to Dr. Mandsager and when we went into surgery was a blur,” said Jeff, who found himself being scrubbed in and led to the operating room to help his wife deliver their twins. A few minutes later, Baby A – named
Jakoby from the Hebrew “to muscle in” – and Baby B – named Korbin from the Gaelic for “steep hill” – were born, weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces, and 2 pounds, 1 ounce, respectively.

“We were proud, exhausted and anxious about what was in store for us during the next stage of our stay at Mercy,” Jeff said. “However, one thing we had learned through Stacy’s experience at Mercy and the MTT Unit was that our boys were
going to get the highest quality of care anywhere.”

The premature twins were admitted to the Mercy Variety Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to help manage their growth and development, and Jakoby was able to leave the hospital on June 25. Less than two weeks later, Korbin was also healthy
enough to go home.

“From the time I was admitted on April 8 until Korbin was discharged on July 7, we were continually impressed with the care we received,” said Stacy. “The staff was not only professional, but cared for us like family. I was treated like a sister by
some and like a daughter by others. For that, I am truly grateful.”

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