So it has been almost 6 weeks that my twin baby boys were born. As many of you know my twins were born prematurely by emergency c section. After a month of bedrest and hospitalization, steroid injections and IV drugs to stop my labor my babies were born at 28 weeks.
When my babies were born the first thing the doctors, nurses and many of you who reached out to me said this is going to be a very bumpy road and just take ONE DAY AT A TIME. I was so appreciative and humbled by the support that I received from so many of you. The messages and emails that I receive daily through this very hard time has helped me so much and I want to give all of you a big THANK YOU!!!
When the boys were first born we asked a lot of questions and wanted answers. We wanted to know why this happened, we wanted to know when will they be home etc etc.. We just wanted ANSWERS!!!! Every answer basically came back as we have to wait and see. When dealing with premature babies you really do need to take it ONE DAY AT A TIME!!! a baby’s NICU stay is like a roller coaster ride, with ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks.
The hardest thing for us to deal with is not having control of anything. We had to have trust that the doctors were going to take good care of our boys and the faith that everything was going to be okay. The first few days we basically were able to look through the incubator that they laid in and stair at my pressure little boys with tubes, wires and IV’s everywhere. I wanted to know if they were in pain, I wanted to know when I would be able to hold them…
What we look for everyday is little milestones.. Having their breathing tubes taken out, breathing room air like you and I, gaining a few ounces a day and being able to hold my babies :). We soon learned why everyone said it was a bumpy ride… The first few days was all positive with no major complications. Then we get news that they have PDA.. PDA is Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a issue that is fairly common in premature babies.. In a nut shell it is a hole in the heart that is supposed to be closed at the time of birth. Sometimes the hole doesn’t close but lucky us after a few weeks it closed in it’s own so we are so HAPPY that my babies have overcome every little obstacle that they faced and there growing stronger and bigger everyday.
Common problems that my babies faced and overcomed:
- Jaundice – this is caused by a buildup of a substance called bilirubin that is a pigment formed by the break down of red blood cells. It is normally removed by the liver and during pregnancy the placenta and the mother’s liver take over this function. Sometimes after birth before the baby’s own liver takes over this job a build up in the babies blood causes the skin to turn yellowish and is called jaundice. My babies were treated with phototherapy ( similar to a tanning bed) These lights are called bili-lights they had to wear glasses for weeks to protect there eyes from the lights.
- Problems regulating body temperature-Preemies are unable to regulate their own temperature as most have not developed the body fat needed to do so. This is a very important part of neonatal care and a requirement before babies can leave the nursery thats why they were in the incubator for so long now there in a open incubator!
- Difficulties with breathing A full term infants lungs contain a substance called surfactant which keeps their lung sacs from collapsing. My babies have not enough of this and makes breathing difficult. My babies had respiratory distress syndrome ( RDS) which is a very common complication of prematurity. This was treated with oxygen they put a tube in there nose for the first 4 weeks.
- Eating difficulties With an underdeveloped digestive system, Preemies also often lack the sucking reflex needed ( usually occurring around 34 weeks gestation. there are now learning how to suck and swallow and digest as well as breathe all at the same time. They start getting there nutrition thru IV’s to feeding tube and now there bottle fed and sometimes breastfed.
I am still pumping so there able to take my milk even when they were feeding by gavage tube. I fed both my sons with gavage tube with expressed breast milk. A thin tube is inserted through the nose or mouth and then threaded down into the stomach. I would hold the syringe of milk and gravity would cause the milk to flow down directly into his stomach. This allows my babies to eat and gain weight, without having to use their energy to suckle.
All of these are possible complications that happen to most premature babies born at 28 weeks It does not mean they will happen to every baby born early! This is just to give you an idea of the complications after my boys were born. By now I know a lot about the NICU (Neo Natal Intensive Care), and while it’s terrifying at the same, it as also an amazing place where tiny little babies fight for their lives…
This week we got the most AMAZING news!
BABIES ARE COMING HOME IN JUST 2 MORE WEEKS AND HAVE NO ISSUES AT ALL THERE ARE 100% HEALTHY AND ALL TESTS LIKE BRAIN, VISION,HEARING ETC CAME PERFECT!!! THERE MY LITTLE FIGHTERS!!
They were born at 2.11 and 3.01 and there 4.5 now! yayyayayayayya!!!! We were very scare at the beginning but the NICU is full of specialists and equipment and it is their job to take care of your little ones.
This is how I feel from the bottom of my heart…
The NICU is overwhelming and draining I still cry a lot as I wasnt fully adjusted to being pregnant yet at 28 weeks… I found out when i was 8 weeks so I literally only knew I was pregnant for 2o weeks…
It is very hard to balance work, home life and visiting the hospital several times everyday today I am able to start trainig again so I think exercise will help me a lot
Expressing my feelings here on my blog helps me to cope with and move through them, strengthens my hope and patience, by reminding me how far me and my baby have come from my first blog!
Its great to connect with other NICU parents. These parents share many of my feelings and struggles.
New moms may be experience some degree of postpartum adjustment or depression. As your body recovers from pregnancy, physical and hormonal changes may intensify your emotions for many months after delivery so for premature moms is even worst as we dont have the baby home but so far I have been ok thanks to my husband, family and to my amazing mom that flew from Spain and will stay with me for 3 months:)
Some of the medical staff I met in the NICU:
-neonatologist who specializes in newborns
-pediatrician – usually handling babies who are 35 weeks gestation or at least 5 lbs at birth
-interns and residents who are learning on the job
-radiologist who specializes in giving and reading the Xray and ultrasounds tests and results
-nursing staff – the neonatal nurses who i learned and interact he most.
-lactation consultant – to help with pumping and breastfeeding
-physical or occupational therapist
-social workers to counsel and support parents
And many others – the NICU is a busy place! YOU SHOULD ALL BE THANKED EVERY SINGLE DAY OF WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING!
One of our TEAM EDGE athletes Tiffany Taitt is a respiratory therapist here some info about her AMAZING job!
- How long have you been a respiratory therapist?
Including my internship hours, have been practicing now for a little over 3 years now.
- What made you want to get in this line of work?
I was working through school as a server at a restaurant and felt kind of lost in what kind of line of work I wanted to get into. All I knew was when I was coming home every night with cash in my pocket and I didn’t feel like I was making a difference or really helping anyone in the grand scheme of things. So, I started to research careers in the health field and everyone one of them is great, but I felt respiratory therapy fit what I was looking for the most:it allowed me to reach a lot of people on a daily basis. With this line of work I can help with an emergency if someone is having problems breathing or I can also educate and prevent events such as asthma attacks or getting involved in a smoking cessation program.
- What you enjoy about your job the most?
My favorite part of my job is working with newborns and seeing such great improvements in such a short period of time. Seeing that is nothing less than amazing. At the end if the day, when people thank you for taking care of their loved ones I can tell you there’s nothing quite like that gratitude.
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I LOVE YOU TIFFANY!
My beautiful Babies Gianni and Nicco:)