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Welcome to another Warrior Story. Today I am sharing my own warrior story. If you are a regular reader of mine you know that I had identical twin girl and lost one four days after birth.
I share my story to give other families hope and reassurance that they are not alone in this journey.
Since having a premature birth and spending months in the NICU I didn’t have someone I knew who had gone through a similar situation. That’s when I leaned on support groups, blogs and other personal stories to help cope with my own situation.
1.What is your warrior(s) name. Date of birth. Birth Weight. Any other facts you would like to share about the birth.
I delivered my identical twin girls Emerson & Finley at 25 weeks on 12/12 via emergency c-section. Emerson was born at 1 lb 9 oz at 4:50 AM and Finley was born at 1 lb 2 oz at 4:51 am.
This is a picture of Emerson.
2. Do you know what caused your premature birth? Or NICU stay?
Yes. my twins had a sIUGR (Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction). Which means there is unequal placental sharing which leads to growth restriction in one of the twins. Having sIUGR is estimated to only occur in less than 10% of monochorionic twin pregnancies.
I was monitored on a weekly basis starting at 19 weeks. At 22 weeks it appeared baby Finley had stopped growing. The goal was to keep the girls in as long as I could to give both girls but especially baby E a fighting chance. At this point we were very uncertain if baby Finley was going to make it and we didn’t want to lose her in the womb putting health concerns on baby Emerson.
On top of this I was admitted to the hospital due to preeclampsia and remained in the hospital until we delivered. I made the hospital my home away from home up until 25 weeks.
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)?
Our NICU stay was 162 days! The hardest part was losing baby Finley after four days. I had high hope that since she survived delivery that she would make it but she was just too small.
I’m so blessed to have been able to meet her, hold her and tell her how much I love her.
I appreciated the entire staff. Everybody was always so supportive and helpful and kept my husband and myself included in our daughters care. I bonded with several nurses and felt like they were a part of our family.
4. How are you and your baby doing? What obstacles do you have to overcome? What was the most challenging thing about going home?
Now that baby Emerson is a year old (I can’t believe it) she is growing and thriving. She is such a happy cheerful girl. You would never know that she was a preemie.
I would say our biggest obstacle is getting her to become a better eater. She has therapy on a monthly basis and she is above or right on track for her corrected age.
The most challenging thing about going home from the NICU was that she was still on oxygen for about another 2 months. So just getting used to the equipment was something we had to learn. She defiantly was overwhelmed and had a loss of appetite.
I would say after about 2 weeks being home she really got used to it and started really adjusting to home life. It was defiantly scary leaving the NICU where she was on machines and monitored with a nurse nearby.
We continued and still do a year later check on her several times during the night or nap time to ensure she is breathing. I don’t think the NICU life every leaves you.
5. What have your learned about yourself or warrior or both from your NICU experience?
I have learned what a strong person and mother I really am. I went through such a traumatic experience and I know it only made me a stronger person.
It also made my marriage stronger as we had to really lean on one another and support one another in order to get through the hardest months of our lives. We were divided as my husband went back to work and stayed in the NICU next to my daughter.
I think we learned how much we really needed one another.
I also learned that my daughter was a warrior. She was so small and the odds weren’t in her favor but she proved them wrong and fought hard everyday to come home.
6. What advice would you give to a future NICU family?
I would say that any future family that is going to experience the NICU that lean on your support system. Don’t expect to do everything by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask questions. Write everything down. Ask to get involved with your child cares.
Once you learn what the equipment is and help change a diaper you will feel so much more at ease. Get to know the nurses and doctors taking care of your child that way you feel more comfortable for times you can’t be there.
Don’t feel like you have to be there 24/7. It’s impossible. Take care of yourself so you can give the best care for your baby.
You will get through this.
photo credit: bella luxe photography llc
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