This story is written so beautifully from a mom with twins who were in the NICU. Please read below.
Everyone’s path to becoming a parent is different. My husband, Jarod, and I could never have imagined how ours would play out to get to where we are today. Our story was full of surprises, good and bad, and it started with discovering we were pregnant with our first child this past January. We had just started trying and were overwhelmed with how lucky we were for it to happen so quickly. At our first doctor’s appointment in February we did an ultrasound to check the baby’s due date and had our second surprise: we were pregnant with twins!! The shock of this amazing news never got old as we began to tell family and friends our pregnancy news. My health throughout the pregnancy was great and I felt really blessed in how well it was going. I had a few days of some minor morning sickness but nothing too alarming. At 24 weeks I went in for another ultrasound and was shocked by what they saw: Baby A had started to enter my cervix and I was slightly dilated. I was told I would not be leaving the hospital and could be having my babies that day. My doctor even expressed to me that I should be prepared to possibly lose one of the babies if things didn’t go well. Thankfully things went well over the next 4 days and I did not deliver. I was administered magnesium sulfate and steroids to help speed up the development of the babies’ lungs and to try and prevent the babies from being born. Since Baby A had not advanced any further in my cervix I was sent home on bed rest. On June 21, I started having pains in my abdomen and was very uncomfortable. I thought it was just some growing pains or Braxton Hicks but as the night wore on the pains started happening more frequently. By the time I got to the hospital I was already dilated 9 cm and was told there was no stopping these babies – they were coming out! Baby B was breeched so I was immediately rushed into an emergency C section. Nolan James and Brayden Charles were born on June 22 at 2:33am and 2:36am weighing 1lb 15 oz and 2 lbs 1 oz.
Nolan and Brayden were born at 26 weeks and 2 days gestational age and had a long battle ahead of them. As soon as they were born they were rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where they would spend the first 72 and 84 days of their lives. Their many struggles began within the first few days they were in the hospital. Nolan was diagnosed with a meningitis infection while Brayden had to have surgery to remove a portion of his intestine that was perforated. Brayden would later have a second surgery to put his intestines back together again. Due to our babies being in the NICU we were unable to enjoy many of the “normal” things about being new parents. For example I wasn’t able to breastfeed my babies right away. I began the grueling process of breast pumping. Since the boys were so small they were barely drinking much breast milk at all and there were many weeks that one or both of them were not able to eat anything. For example, when Brayden was at his worst he didn’t get to eat for 3 weeks in a row. As a mom I felt so helpless for my babies and found that there were only two things I could consistently do for them: 1) be at the hospital with them every day and 2) pump breast milk for them. Since the boys were drinking little to none of it each day our supply quickly began to overflow the freezer space at the hospital and at home. We started to wonder what we were going to do when we ran out of freezer space. We knew that not only would the boys eventually be healthy enough to drink it but that they would be drinking more than I could produce so we didn’t want to throw any of it away.
This is where Eden’s Garden was so helpful for us! The hospital social worker had told us about Eden’s Garden and after reaching out to them we shared our story and what we needed. At first I didn’t express what we really needed because I thought it would be too much to ask of them. Eventually I told them our predicament and that what we really needed was a freezer. Eden’s Garden really came through and helped us out in a big way. One day a huge freezer was delivered to our house from Sears and it has been such a blessing to us! A lot of the normal things that new parents usually get to do we were deprived of so being able to feed our babies with breast milk has been one of the things we have been able to enjoy. Their help took such a burden off our shoulders and will be the best “medicine” for the boys to drink to help them grow big and strong.
After almost 3 months in the NICU, Nolan and Brayden are both at home now and are just over 4 months old. They have come a long ways since they were born and are 9 lbs 3 oz and 8 lbs 10.5 oz in weight now. They are both able to drink breast milk every day now and we are quickly working through the supply that we had built up for them while they were in the hospital. They both still have a lot of developmental hurdles to cross due to their prematurity but they are both doing so well and we love having them home. Eden’s Garden will always hold a special place in our hearts for how much they helped us and were willing to do anything for us during such a stressful time of our lives. Thank you Eden’s Garden!!