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This week I share a story not only about hope but also loss. From a mom who has also lost a baby I can relate to this mom’s story in so many ways. Many mom’s mourn the loss of a baby especially when it comes to multiples. But after a long stay in the NICU this mom was finally able to bring your twin’s home.
1. What is your warrior(s) name. Date of birth. Birth weight. Any other facts you would like to share about the birth.
Baby A: Eden Lee
Baby B: Nova Ray
Baby C: Willow Grace
Very first set of identical multiples on both sides of our families to ever be born.
2. Do you know what caused your premature birth? Or NICU stay?
Nova, or small block as my husband liked to call her, had some resistance in her cord at our 29w4d appointment. Our multiples specialist called and said that we needed to have an additional scan the following Friday to see if Nova’s condition had improved or worsened. If she had worsened but was still alive we would have to be prepared for an emergency C-section to try to save her.
When we arrived at the appointment we prepared ourselves for the worst but hoped for the best. My husband and I walked into the ultrasound suite and waiting patiently for our tech to figure out babies positions.
When I looked at Leslie’s (our techs) face I knew the worst had happened. Little Nova had passed in the womb. Leslie steppes out to get the doctor while my husband and I braved ourselves for the words we knew were inevitably coming.
The doctor told us what we already knew had happened and then stayed in the room while our scan was finished. Shortly after we were told that I was being admitted to the hospital to monitor the remaining girls.
Since the girls were identical they shared one placenta and Nova’s passing was causing some blood pressure fluctuations for her sisters. After being hooked up to the monitors all night long we were finally told that in order to keep our girls safe it was time to deliver them.
3. How long was your NICU stay? What was the hardest part? What about your NICU stay did you appreciate (a special nurse, doctor, or family)?
Eden was in the NICU for 52 days and Willow was there for 53 days. It’s a small stay compared to most of my NICU mom friends I met along the way.
The hardest part for me was being discharged and not being able to take my girl’s home with me. I had planned to be the first person in our multiples clinic to carry as close to full term with triplets and be able to avoid a long NICU stay, but clearly the universe had another plan for me.
Luckily for me and my Twinlets they were immediately snatched up by three nurses who made them their primaries. I would not have been able to survive if I didn’t get along with my girls’ nurses and lucky for me they were wonderful.
Two of them were close in age to my husband and I and one of them, our morning nurse Miss Tara was like a mom. She was one of the few older nurses who I felt like didn’t judge us for being young parents and actually took a step back to let my husband and I be as hands on with the girls as was allowed by the hospital. She was amazing, Sara was awesome when you just needed to vent and have someone to be real with you and the lovely Miss Shani the girls had at night was the sweetest person I had ever met. These women truest made me feel like they loved my girls as much as I did and it made leaving them every night just a tiny bit easier knowing they were taking care of them.
During this time I also met my soul sister Amanda. Amanda and her husband has also delivered triplets three days after my husband and I due to one of their girls passing away in the womb and they were about to lose their little boy if they didn’t deliver to intervene.
Amanda’s twinlets we’re partnered with my twinlets for two weeks in the level 2 NICU and we knew our friendship was just meant to be. We were there to each other everyday all day and constantly had something to talk about.
It was so nice having someone there who understood my situation exactly and was always rooting for my girls as I was rooting for her babies!
4. How are you and your baby doing? What obstacles do you have to overcome? What was the most challenging thing about going home?
My girls and I are doing great, they are about to turn 5 months old (3 adjusted) and have started teething! Yay in the beginning we had a lot of issues with apnea and bradycardia issues, they resolved 5 days before discharge and we haven’t had many issues since.
Breastfeeding however had been a HUGE issue for the first 3 months of their life. I was an overproducer, which caused a forceful letdown and super fast flow of I didn’t pump before trying to feed.
Then there was tandem feeding….super hard to be decent in public when you tandem feed lol but unfortunately for me breastfeeding wasn’t an enjoyable experience for my girls and hey eventually started refusing all breast milk and I had to switch to formula.
5. What have you learned about yourself or warrior or both from your NICU experience?
I have learned that I am very much a type A person….I always thought I was very chill and go with the flow but once it came to taking care of my children I feel like no one else can do it exactly the right way and I have a hard time accepting help without going behind them and redoing it all the way I want it. I know my girls probably could care less if their diaper cream is put in a certain way or whether or not their diaper is perfectly spread out before the tabs are pulled over it to close it, but I care
I also learned that my girls are the toughest people I know. I have literally watched them fight for their life and thrive through it all! They are truest my little heroes and without them I would be nothing. Some people lose themselves when they become a mother and I truly believe that I have found the person I was meant to become.
6. What advice would you give to a future NICU family?
Future NICU family,
PLEASE utilize every resource available to you whether you feel like you deserve it or not. I did not do this for fear of taking away from someone who needed it more than we did, but turns out I needed it all along.
Also, don’t be afraid to stop the other parents walking by your babies room and talk to them, chances are they’ll appreciate it just as much as you do and you can make lifelong friends that way!
And lastly, remember to ALWAYS thank your nurses, they are there 24/7 taking care of your little ones and will be the first people to speak up for you when you’re not around. My husband and I were constantly showering all of the nurses with candies and small gifts we made for them at home and I truly believe it made a difference to them.
Oh! And don’t be afraid to decorate your NICU room! Make it feel like home! Your baby will be spending a small amount do their life there but the more comfortable you can make it for your family, the better!