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Challenge: NICU Parenting

Leah and Kinsley

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My husband and I and our other two daughters were happily awaiting the arrival of our identical twin girls Leah and Kinsley. They were a complete surprise and we couldn’t believe our Dr. when he told us we were expecting twins. We were overjoyed.

Our worst nightmare was to come true when I went into spontaneous labor at 23 weeks gestation. Leah’s water had broken and contractions had started. In the hospital, Dr.’s were able to monitor me and hold me off for a week, but at 24 weeks, the girls had enough waiting and were delivered via c-section. Leah weighed 1lb 8oz and Kinsley weighed 1lb 11oz. They were both immediately intubated for oxygen support and taken to the NICU.

Both girls did well for a few days, but after almost a week Leah just couldn’t fight any longer and she passed away at 5 days old.

Kinsley had her ups and downs, and every time we got a call from the NICU, my heart would stop, dreading the worst. She had to be re-intubated multiple times before her lungs would be strong enough to not need that kind of support. She gained weight slowly and she had a UTI. We longed for the day we could bring her home, for her sisters to meet her, but somehow the sounds of the monitors became somewhat comforting. The NICU Dr.’s and nurses were amazing. They kept us up to date every step of the way and were incredibly compacionate to us and our situation.

Our days were long, but somehow our day came, after three months in the NICU, two weeks before her due date, Kinsley came home. Weighing a little over 5lb’s.

Kinsley is 2.5 years old now and is trying her best to keep up with her older sisters. She sees a physical therapist weekly to help with her slightly delayed physical development, but medically has no diagnosis that would hold her back as she grows and gets stronger. We miss her sisters deeply (previous pregnancy loss of sister, Laine at 21 weeks) but are incredibly thankful for Kinsley and her fighting spirit.

Tara Edwards

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