Thanks for your support- please share
August 18, 2016
In the spring of 2014 my husband Nate and I learned we were expecting and couldn’t contain the excitement! During our ultrasound, the technician turned the monitor to us and said, “Were you expecting more than one?” She then pointed out three babies!!! I immediately began to worry, “Will we be able to do this?” “Are we financially stable enough?” “Will I be able to carry them full term?”
My pregnancy progressed normally until around Thanksgiving. I was having some swelling and Braxton Hicks contractions. The following Friday I went to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The babies looked great and my contractions stopped so they released me. On December 30, I had a routine weekly biophysical profile appointment for Baby A (Eddie), which he failed for the first time. I was terrified! My husband immediately drove me to Barnes for a non-stress test. Eddie was doing well but I was already 2cm dilated and an hour later it progressed to 3cm. My doctor looked at me and said, “You are going to meet these babies today!” I immediately started crying, insisting that it was too soon and they weren’t ready. It had only been 31 weeks!
Everything from that moment on was a blur. After I received the epidural and my husband came in the operating room, I looked around and realized how many people were there. Three isolettes were ready for the babies and a team of transport nurses were standing by. I remember seeing Eddie and thanking God he was alright. I remember Tyler’s dark hair, but I did not get to see my daughter. She had an Apgar Score of 1 and needed a lot of assistance to breathe.
No mother should ever have to go into a hospital pregnant and go home alone. Every day for nine weeks I packed my milk, found a clean jacket for kangaroo care, grabbed quarters for the vending machine and put on my neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) badge. For 63 days Nate met me at the NICU. We rotated which babies we held, ate dinner, stayed to greet the night nurses and tried not to tear up when we left. I still wonder how those tiny babies with so many wires attached could be the toddlers I have today? We rode the “NICU rollercoaster” but, one by one they all finally came home!
If it weren’t for the March of Dimes and the amazing hospital staff, I am not sure we would have three healthy, happy, destructive toddlers. Not only did March of Dimes research help prepare me for prematurity before I gave birth, the staff was crucial to our care after. Years ago there would not have been the technology or knowledge to help Eddie, Tyler and Adelyn. The March of Dimes also helped me personally. I was so lonely and scared sitting in a hospital all day. The organization invited me to luncheons where I was able to meet other moms with similar stories. I attended workshops sponsored by the March of Dimes such as Kangaroo Care, CPR and Baby Massage. I received books from the March of Dimes about NICU care, challenges, vocabulary and even a journal for recording milestones. The March of Dimes made a frightening life changing experience a little less scary and that is invaluable!