Feeling two little sets of kicks throughout your pregnancy is something that you never forget. Growing up, I always knew that I wanted kids, but I never would have thought that I would be a mother of twins. This was something totally unexpected but very exciting. Unlike pregnancies with one child, pregnancies with multiples is high risk and requires way more attention, more often, so you’d probably think I was crazy when I say that I worked up until about 4 hours prior to my twins’ birth.
At close to two months early, my mom picked me up from work an hour after arriving there to take me to the hospital for what I thought was going to be a false alarm from chili dogs that I had ate the night before, and to my surprise I was in labor. This was one of the most scary and exciting moments of my life; being prepped for an emergency c section, but in the back of my mind wondering “Are my babies going to be ok?” “Are they going to be really tiny?”. These are just a couple of questions that played over and over in my mind, while I tried to keep calm.
Ayden came first and I didn’t get a chance to see him, hold him, or touch him, but I was told that he was having breathing difficulties. Then a minute later Ireland was delivered, and I got to see her beautiful tiny face and she was adorable. While I was glad that they were both delivered safely, I couldn’t help but to wonder if Ayden was ok. Ayden weighed 4 pounds and 2 ounces and Ireland weighed 3 pounds and 10 ounces. These were decent birth weights for premature twins being born at the weeks that they were.
After being taken to my room, and not being able to see my babies for a while I was told that due to Ayden not breathing well on his own and just the simple fact that they were premature, that they would have to be transferred to another hospital, with a NICU that was specifically equipped to handle premature babies for an extended stay. Nearing the end of what was a rocky marriage, and my Mom having to go back home to help my Aunt care for my oldest (Marley) I was alone for my entire recovery at the hospital. My babies were at least 45 minutes away at another hospital, and I was left to recover all alone. “Recovery” is an ironic term to use because while I was recovering physically, my heart and my mind were going through more changes than I could name, but recovery was not one of those things.
When I was finally discharged and able to go and visit my babies in the NICU, walking in and seeing these tiny little humans with tubes and wires and monitors hooked up, was a bittersweet moment. I was so happy to finally see them, but having to scrub down, put on the disposable gowns and not being able to hold them but only touch them, made me feel so sad. Here I was only being able to visit MY BABIES in a hospital at scheduled times. Reality had soon set in, and to add to the pain that I felt emotionally, I was trying my best to pump breast milk for my babies, knowing the important and nutritional values that it had but I failed at that. My milk was not coming in fast enough to supply enough for them both, and I had tried pumping so much that my breasts had begun to bleed.
Visit after visit I watched small improvements in them both, I had become accustomed to the NICU life and balancing that time and my time at home with Marley, but I couldn’t help but to wonder “when are my babies coming home?”
The nurses and staff at the NICU made me feel so at home, and they assured me that my babies were getting stronger by the day. They treated my babies with so much love and care, and it helped me tremendously those 33 days that I had to see my sweet little ones in an incubator. 33 days is how long I waited. 33 days pf praying, wondering, hoping, wishing, worrying, and wanting my babies here with me. Ireland came home a week before Ayden, and the nurses told me that on that same night when I brought her home, my sweet Ayden cried more that night that he had cried since being in the NICU. I believe that my twins have one of those secret, extra special twin bonds and I love it. Day 33 is when my Ayden came home with me and my family was complete.
The month of September is not only my twins birth month, but it coincidentally it’s known as Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness month, honoring the families of NICU babies and the wonderful caretakers who make the NICU a home away from home until those sweet babies are able to come home. I thank God daily for my children and for getting us through the rough times that molded me into the woman that I am, and who I am constantly evolving into. So, I send prayers and healing vibes to the NICU babies, and prayers of love and protection for their families and the nurses who care for them while they are in their care.