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Challenge: NICU Parenting

The Journey of Faith and Love

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The day we found out we would be the parents of twins was one of the happiest days of our lives. From giddiness to uncertainty if we were capable, we knew God wouldn't give us more than we could handle. I was 27 weeks into my pregnancy when I felt a strange feeling and called my doctor. That's the day she told me to pack my bag and wanted to know which hospital to meet me! I knew that wasn't good news.

When we arrived, we were met by the nurses who quickly set up in a room that would be my home for the next several weeks. I was given an injection in each hip, 12 hours apart (if I made it that long), to develop our small babies lungs. Later that day, two of the neonatologists came in to explain a total of 6 life-changing conditions that could happen if the babies were born too early. We were stunned. It was a lot of scary information we had been given in a short amount of time. Minutes later, a pastor from our church popped in to say hello. He told us that the congregation had bent down on their knees and prayed for our family, knowing that we were at the hospital but not knowing the news we had just been given. The comfort we got from knowing so many prayers were being sent our way was indescribable and humbling.

With the care of the doctors and nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, my delivery was held off for 2 more weeks. I delivered a beautiful baby boy and beautiful baby girl, each weighing 2 lb 14oz and 2lb 10oz, respectively. After staying in the hospital for 5 days recovering from a c-section (that amount of time used to be normal recovery time), I went home with no babies in my arms. The guilt of leaving them there was heart breaking, however, I knew the care they were getting was invaluable.

Each morning, our pediatrician would call with updates and weight gain/loss...every ounce was a victory! We were blessed to hear that they were "growers and feeders" and just needed time. Over the next 2 months, we were in the NICU daily watching them grow and just be there with them. The nurses were so nurturing to our sweet babies. We have so many big memories of our days there in the NICU (well my husband says it's all a blur as he worked and traveled back and forth to the hospital, poor guy). One of our biggest joys was the day we were able to actually hold them in our arms, around 1 month old. Another big memory is the call at 3:00 in the morning to give us the news that all of the babies in NICU had been exposed to chickenpox and must be isolated from any new babies coming into the nursery, 18 babies in all. Thankfully, to my knowledge, not one of them came down with chickenpox.

In March of 1989, almost 2 months after their birth, the twins broke the magical 5lb mark. Our son was the first to come home, 4 days before his sister. It was a time of extreme happiness but also of guilt at leaving Aaron's sister, Lindsey, back at the hospital. My husband and I would take turns going to see Lindsey, while the other stayed at the house with Aaron. The day Lindsey came home, we were thrilled. This was the day we had been looking forward to for so long! They did come home on monitors to make sure they didn't stop breathing. We had those monitors for 9 months, with a few scares along the way, but thankful for the security of them.

Aaron and Lindsey are now 28 years old. They are strong, healthy, and kind young adults who are successful in their careers and have a bright future ahead! We are so thankful to all of the doctors, nurses, and support of family and friends we received along the way.

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