OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (WDAF) — A Kansas City-area mom is counting her blessings as she anticipates Mother’s Day after giving birth to twin “micro-preemies.”

Girls Lola and Nala were born at 22 and a half weeks.

Jamesia Donato said she didn’t think she would get to celebrate her first Mother’s Day. Just 19-weeks into her pregnancy, she went into labor and was told her twin babies were not viable.

“I met a high-risk OB doctor who performed an ultrasound and essentially told us that she felt that there wasn’t a whole lot that could be done for us,” Donato said. “She felt like things have progressed a little bit too far for her comfort. And she essentially offered us expectant management, which was just waiting for probably a delivery that was going to happen eventually if nothing was done. And then she also gave us an option of a medically kind of assisted or induced abortion.”

She said the ordeal was a nightmare.

“So we were obviously terrified and in tears and a loss of words,” Donato said.

Donato wanted a second opinion, a chance to save her twins. So she called her soon-to-be employers at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

“So what Jamesia had was something called cervical incompetence or cervical insufficiency. So, it’s when the cervix basically gets the signals to start softening and dilating. Long before it’s time for labor,” Dr. Jessica Parrott at Overland Park Regional Medical Center said.

Donato knew about the condition because it happened to her mother, and she is a neonatologist.

Doctors at the hospital performed surgery to preserve her pregnancy. She managed to carry the twins for nearly four more weeks before giving birth by C-section.

“My 40-week due date was February 10 of 2022. And these baby girls were born on October 11. Of 2021,” Donato said.

And given her experience as a neonatologist, she said, “I never imagined being what I’ve kind of deemed for myself is like, on the other side of the isolette (incubator).”

Born at almost 23-weeks, nearly 4-months early, and each weighing less than one pound, baby Nala and Lola were considered micro-preemies.

Friday afternoon, both mom and dad visited the NICU rooms where their little ones spent more than 140-days getting strong and healthy.

“Chronologically, they are seven months, but developmentally they are three months,” Donato said. “They’re doing everything that they should be doing. They’re talking. They’re trying to roll. They’re eating their hands. They love food.”

“It’s just hard to believe that they came from such small babies. They’re thriving and both almost 10 pounds. Just is unheard of,” Dwayne Donato, the girls’ father, said.

Having gone through so many complications, Donato said it just makes this Mother’s Day, her first one, that much more special.

“I’m so grateful that I get to have a Mother’s Day because back on September 20, I didn’t think I was going to be a mother. And so, I’m humbled. I’m grateful. I’m excited,” she said.