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The One Word We Won't Allow to Limit Our Premature Twin Daughters' Futures

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Premature Baby

From the day we found out I was pregnant with twins, “can’t” seemed to become a staple on our future. “You can’t go full term.” It was almost like that sentence tried to set a precedent for how the rest of the girls’ lives would be. When I was put on bed rest, more “can’ts”: You can’t be off the couch for more than a few minutes, you can’t go to the restroom alone, can’t can’t can’t. When they admitted me to the hospital at four centimeters dilated and 22 weeks pregnant — you can’t expect too much to come from this, you can’t expect both of them to survive. Even when we were in the NICU — you can’t get your hopes up, we can’t tell you what the future holds, we can’t say whether or not she will make it through the night, can’t can’t can’t. It was then that we decided that word would never be allowed in our house.

Premature Baby

“Can’t” is such a strong word. It puts boundaries on things; it can make you believe that nothing is possible. In life, I believe you have to have hope; you have to hold onto the fact that anything is possible. I’ll never forget those days of sit-down talks where we would go over what the outcomes could be, what their futures looked like, the milestones that we shouldn’t get our hopes up for: how Lennix may never walk, how Charlee may never breathe without help. But with every limit, every “can’t,” they could and they did! They proved everyone wrong time and time again.

As they get older, they will encounter things that aren’t as easy as they might hope it would be. They might struggle doing things that other kids do, but they will find a way to do it, because they can. As their parents, we will remind them everyday that they’ve overcome the impossible and that they did everything that everyone said they couldn’t do. If they don’t believe us, we will show them pictures from their hardest days, then hand them a mirror. There isn’t anything in this world that they can’t do. Charlee and Lennix are meant to do great things; they survived the impossible and I believe they will change the world, one “can’t” at a time.

Two young girls laughing wearing matching super girl t-shirts
Alexis’ daughters.

The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a moment you were met with negativity or adversity related to your disability and/or disease (or a loved one’s) and why you were proud of your response — or how you wish you could’ve responded. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: April 6, 2016
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