When Matt Ostergaard and his fiancée lost a baby to Vanishing Twin Syndrome, the dad-to-be planned an epic gender reveal in hopes of making his love smile again.

By Matt Ostergaard, as told to Zara Husaini Hanawalt
October 02, 2017

My fiancée, Andrea Zbik, and I found out we were expecting pretty early on, maybe at seven weeks.

During her first trimester, we ended up at the hospital. That’s where she got her first ultrasound and we found out she was carrying twins. And at her next doctor’s appointment, they checked the heartbeats. They told us both heartbeats were good.

Credit: Kelly Marie Photography

But about two weeks later, we had another ultrasound…and that’s when we found out we lost one of the babies to Vanishing Twin Syndrome. She was about 13 weeks pregnant at that point.

My fiancée sunk into a depression after we received the news, and that’s when I decided I would do whatever I had to do to make her smile again.

When we found out the sex of our baby, I knew I wanted to do something special to celebrate the news. My fiancée was being monitored so often because of the Vanishing Twin Syndrome, and because of her depression, we decided to not to keep our baby’s sex a secret. At first, I planned on doing a reveal with everyone in our lives, but she wouldn’t go for it.

Credit: Kelly Marie Photography

That’s when I decided to plan something the two of us could enjoy. I initially planned on trying to get the Empire State Building as the site of our gender reveal—but they told me they don’t do private events. So I came up with another idea: We have a vacation home in Myrtle Beach, where they have a huge Ferris wheel. I emailed asking for help, and they were on board to help in any way they could.

While we already knew our baby’s sex, I decided to have the beach's 187-foot SkyWheel light up to reveal the news: We’re expecting a girl.

Credit: Kelly Marie Photography

Kelly Marie Photography did a sunset photoshoot and then, as we transitioned into night, the Ferris wheel lit up in honor of our baby. We shot some photos, then went to change, and when we came back, the lights started changing. We just stopped and took it all in, and my fiancée just lit up.

She was really struggling with the depression. She teared up a little when she saw the illuminated SkyWheel (but she didn’t want to ruin her makeup before the photoshoot!). You could just see right then and there that she was starting to embrace her pregnancy again.

Credit: Kelly Marie Photography

We shot photos with the all the lights shining pink, and then we rode the Ferris wheel. Emotionally, my fiancée is back where she was: She’s in a good place now. She’s nervous, especially since she’s going to be a first-time mother, but she’s into it.

Our daughter, whom we plan to name Mila Renee, is supposed to be here Christmas Eve.

Credit: Kelly Marie Photography

None of this is anyone’s fault—it’s God’s plan and not ours. As for us, this experience of celebrating our gender reveal breathed new life into my fiancée’s pregnancy. It brought her smile back.


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