Prematurity Awareness Blog Hop

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<Prematurity Awareness Week 2013: How Do You Do It?

World Prematurity Day November 17In the United States, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely, 1 in 10 in Canada. Worldwide, over 15 million babies are born too soon each year. While not all multiples are born prematurely, a multiple birth increases the probability of an early delivery. Babies born prematurely, before 37 weeks gestation, are at a higher risk for health complications in infancy, some of which can have long-term effects. Full-term infants are not all free from their own health complications, of course.

In honor of November’s Prematurity Awareness Month, led by the March of Dimes, How Do You Do It? is focusing this week’s posts on The Moms’ experiences with premature deliveries, NICU stays, health complications, special needs, and how we’ve dealt with these complex issues.

The issue of premature birth is near and dear to the hearts of most mothers of multiples.  This week we’ll be sharing our stories, and we would like to invite you to share your experiences, too.  Through Sunday, November 17, link up your birth stories, your stories of the NICU, and the significance prematurity has to you and your family.

Not a blogger? Tell us your story in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

After linking, please take time to visit some of the other blogs on the list. In sharing, we raise awareness.  And in raising awareness, we hope to lower the incidence of prematurity.

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MandyE is the mother of 4 ½-year old fraternal twin girls, Baby A and Baby B. (And yes, their names actually start with the letters A and B!) She worked in the marketing field for nine years before her girls were born, but these days she’s relishing the opportunity to be a SAHM, which she plans to continue until the girls start kindergarten. MandyE has been blogging at Twin Trials and Triumphs since her girls were a year old. Between her blog and her local Mothers of Multiples group, she considers the multiples community a huge part of her support system.

6 thoughts on “Prematurity Awareness Blog Hop”

  1. These comments were left on our Facebook page.

    From Tanika D. of Davis Family Chronicles: Hi. My water broke at 34 weeks, 5 days. I cried because I was so worried they weren’t ready. I delivered Baby A with no incident. After his brother was out, though, Baby B decided to swim back up into the womb and dance and flip and have a party. He was enjoying having the room to himself! I’m grateful that I had a very patient and supportive OB, who just decided to wait for him to decide to come out, instead of rushing into a C-section for no real reason. 90 minutes later, out came Baby B. Baby A was 4 lbs, 4 oz. and stayed in the NICU for 2 weeks. Baby B was 4 lbs., 10 oz and was in for 1 week. They are now 3 and a half, and are both perfectly healthy, normally developing boys with big appetites and the inability to use an “inside voice.”

    From Jennifer D.: I went to 34&3. I went into labor at 34, and I was sent home due to not dilating. I was astounded because it was dangerous for me to dilate and be in labor, since I was a high risk of major complications from cervical cancer. I had to wait to see my doctor three days later, and when I did, she sent me straight to the hospital and was trying to quickly assemble a team. My little boy had shifted, and was now pressing on my previous c-section, and since I had been contracting for three days, my uterus was thinned and I was on the verge of rupturing. Sure enough, when I got to the OR and was about to be delivered, I ruptured. The babies were sent five hours later to another hospital with a higher level NICU, and I was sent the next morning.
    I love that NICU–my first child was there for 9 days, so I knew several of my nurses already. My little girl was there for 9 days, my little boy for 14 days. Yesterday they turned 5 months, and are doing amazing!!

    From Dani G.: I made it to 37 weeks 3 days with my breech twin girls. My water broke while I was in bed at 7:30 am and I started going into labor right away. I was 4 cm dilated when they took me into an emergency cesarean. My girl’s were born right before 11am on 12-8-12 at 6lbs 1 ounce and 6lbs 6 ounces. Ophelia had problems breathing and was taken to a Nicu hospital an hour away. She was out later but I didn’t get to hold her until she was over a day old. That was awful! I’m very blessed we made it that long. They’ve been super healthy ever since!

    From Melissa F.: I was scheduled for a c-section at 38 weeks (daughter was head down presenting, but my son was breech…dr didn’t want to start vaginal delivery and end up doing emergency c-section if my son didn’t turn…and I didn’t want to recover from both!). At 36-1/2 weeks, the dr asked if I was itching at all. I mentioned “yeah…my hands and feet itch when I’m laying down”. She sent me for blood work, and it took over the weekend to get the results. I called for my results and the nurse said, “oh…OH! You need to come in tomorrow for an ultrasound!”. Ultrasound was normal, and when they sent me up to my doctor, she was home sick, so I saw another dr that didn’t know what I was in for. She examined me and said everything looked normal. I asked her to look at the test results; she opened her laptop, and all I saw was RED numbers (high liver protein, I think…liver could be shutting down). She called my dr at home, and they decided they needed to up my due date. After they rescheduled another twin delivery (I felt so bad), my son and daughter were born via c-section two days later at 5:05 and 5:06 pm (not fun fasting all day when you have hypoglycemia!). My daughter was 5#14oz; my son was 6#10oz. No NICU time! Little man just needed to go to the nursery at night to get his body temp warmed up. 2-1/2 months later, I developed symptoms of the flu and was still bleeding. After going back and forth between my reg dr and my ob, my ob finally sent me for an ultrasound. Ends up, my ob(who really is fantastic!), had left part of the placenta in me, and I was suffering from a severe infection! I was the only person in her 12 years of practice that this had happened to in a c-section! I had to have an emergency d&c that evening and spend the first night away from my babies! My amazing parents (and a local friend!) dropped everything and rushed up from Houston to take care of the babies, so my hubby could stay with me.

    From our own RebeccaD: My twins were full-term (38 weeks, 3 days) by emergency c-section after over 24 hours of induced labor. All healthy, 5lb 15oz and 6lb 5oz, no NICU time, and I was able to hold and nurse them within a half hour of birth. I applaud the courage of preemie parents!

    From HDYDI’s Krystle C.: I went 39.5 weeks with my girls. I had gestational diabetes but was able to control with a good diet. They were 6.10 and 6.13. I did go into preterm labor at 34 weeks but spent a few weeks on bed rest and kept them in! So much so that I had to be induced twice and ended with a section.. Being born a preemie myself, I was convinced my girls would come early. I’m always so touched by success stories of preemies.

    From Bree H.: I made it to 36 weeks. Had high blood pressure, so got sent to the hospital. I got an epidermal as soon as they allowed me to. Then slept. When I woke up six hours later, it was time to push. Pushed for two hours. Then the boys would come out. A head would peek through and then get sucked back. The other twin had legs wrapped around the other twin and didn’t want to let him go. Cute;)
    Then after much pushing the doc decided for me to have a csection.
    The boys were in the NIcu for two weeks. The nurses were great. The boys did awesome. They needed to learn to suck and for lungs to fully develop.
    The boys are eleven now and doing awesome!!

    From Mommy Esq.: I went to my scheduled C Section (both breech) date with my twins (a day shy of 38 weeks). 37 weeks is considered full term for twins and mine were 5lbs, 8 oz and 5lbs, 2 oz and no NICU time. But I’m a preemie myself – 30.5 weeks, weighing in at 2 lbs, 6 oz. I spent 10 weeks in the NICU, the last to be discharged of us triplets. Nothing like having your own kids to make you appreciate what your mom did for you. I just called her last week to ask her how she survived three 3 year olds since my youngest is giving me a run for my money.

    From Marnie K: I went to 37.5 weeks when they finally scheduled a c-section. I was not even CLOSE to going into labor but since I had some health problems, my doctor wanted to perform the c-section during a time when specialists would be available – and not in the middle of the night! So, at 37.5 weeks my frat girls were 6lbs 8oz & 6lbs 2 oz. Both 21.5 inches long Not one minute in the NICU – I am very blessed!!!

    From Amanda E.: I was put on bed rest at 29 weeks and received steroid shots. At 32 weeks, my water broke and I delivered M 7 hours later. G was breech, and I had to have a c-section. The boys weighed 4.4 and 3.12 lbs. G stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks, and M stayed for almost 6 weeks due to a staph infection in his heart valve. He was on so many antibiotics before the infectious disease doctors could figure out the source of the infection. It was very scary, but they are perfect now (besides going through the terrible twos)!

    From Bridgett Z.: I delivered at 36 weeks and 1 day with preterm labor from 24 weeks. I received steroid shots around 30 weeks. Both babies were born weighing 5lbs 13 oz and perfectly healthy. No NICU! Breastfed like champs from day 1, went home day 4. They both had jaundice and one needed a bililight at home for a few days but it wasn’t a big deal. So blessed with healthy twins.

  2. More comments from Facebook:

    From Kara C.: I had a scheduled C-section at 36wks 6 days. Girls were 5’11 and 6’14 healthy and came home with me!

    From Mandy P.: I had preemies twice! My twin girls were born at 33 weeks. My water broke with one of my babies- I had just gotten preeclampsia. It was very scary because my blood pressure got really high. I pushed those girlies out (five minutes apart! :)) & they sent them to the NICU right away to get them all set up. My blood pressure got scary high (190/110) so I couldn’t move. I didn’t get to see my babies until the third day because they had to stay in the NICU & I couldn’t move because they couldn’t get my bp to stay down. Finally on the 3rd day I kept insisting that if they take me to my babies, it’ll get better. It did go down some- and I finally got to love on my baby girls. Hardest 3 days of my life!!! They were in the NICU for 15 days, then came home and have done perfect ever since!!!

    My singleton was also preemie. She was 5 weeks early. Thankfully, she only had to be in the NICU for 6 hours just to monitor her, and she went home with me 3 days later! 😉 😉 😉

    From Kathina A.: I got worried when my OB checked me for the first time at 28 weeks (with my twins, babies #4 and 5) and I was starting to dilate (fingertip). I continued to slowly dilate, holding at a 4 for a couple of weeks. Finally, at 38 weeks, I was dilated to a 5 and he told me to come in the next day or I was going to have one on the highway. (I live 20 min from his office and hospital). Went in the next day, already laboring, but not terribly. Got an epidural (my very first) and before they could really start pitocin, I had them check and sure enough, we had to run to the OR to deliver. Baby A popped right out, B wan’t until almost 30 minutes later. I guess he was enjoying his new, more roomier digs too. Babies were 6 lbs and 6 lb 13 oz. No nicu. But after that, I worked as a NICU RN for a couple years.

  3. I went into labor at 38 weeks, just hours before my scheduled csection. They were both transverse! 6lb 5oz and 6lb 10oz. Perfectly healthy, no NICU.

  4. This amazing post from reader Cerisse A:

    Love all the birth stories, and wanted to share my twins’ birth with you. I have an older child who was born after 23 hours of labor and 3+hrs of pushing, which did not prepare me at all for what happened the second time around…

    At 35w+2d, Baby A was born unexpectedly at home, in our tiny bathroom, about 45 minutes after labor started – our doula was there, having arrived to follow us to the hospital, and my husband was out calling an ambulance when it became obvious that a baby was coming out. Now.

    The EMTs arrived, my husband was able to cut the cord and I started nursing Baby A as we were transported to the hospital. My OB met us there- he had already delivered 1 set of twins that morning. A was taken to the NICU before I knew what happened.

    Baby B was transverse, I labored for about 30 minutes before the doctor decided she wasn’t going to budge on her own. We moved to the OR, an epidural was placed, and the OB attempted an external version – before the pain meds kicked in. B flipped breech, her heartrate went down, and my doctor decided it was time for a c-section.

    B was born 85 minutes after her brother, and was whisked off to the NICU to join him. They weighed 5lb 8oz, and 4lb 15 oz, and were allowed to leave the NICU after 3.5 hrs, for which I am extremely grateful.

    Those hours seemed so long, and the photos we have of them being given formula, sucking on pacifiers, looking so small and vulnerable and alone in a mass of tangled wires, are hard to look at now, 6 months later. I have so much admiration for all the moms who face long NICU stays with so much grace and strength. You are all amazing.

  5. My water broke the afternoon before my scheduled induction. After 15 hours of labor and a Baby A who wouldn’t budge, I had a c-section. My boys were born 5 minutes before our induction appointment time. They were 6 lbs. 11 oz and 6 lbs 12 oz, they stayed in the room with us and we all went home together. After months of worst-case scenarios from doctors and expecting them super early, we had the best possible outcome. They are happy, healthy 4 year olds now.

  6. My experience in the NICU is fresh on my mind as I just brought my preemie twin girls home 3 weeks ago. I had a very rough pregnancy, but in the end I brought home two precious little miracles.

    I was pregnant with di/di twins. At 17 weeks Baby A’s water broke (pprom). We were told that day that our babies weren’t going to make it and we would have to terminate the pregnancy. I was at too high of a risk for infection and would most likely going into labor very soon. We had an ultrasound done that day that showed both babies to be doing fine, except that A had almost no amniotic fluid. My husband and I decided to keep moving forward with the pregnancy as long as our babies were looking ok and not having any distress. I was on home bed rest until 24 weeks and was then admitted to the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy.
    Day in and day out, we were told by doctors to expect the worst. Baby A had a less than a 10% chance of survival and would probably have a lot of deficits. Every week we would have ultrasounds done and A’s fluid levels were always low, but she always had fluid in her kidneys and a full bladder. We knew she was getting some fluid!

    Starting at 22 weeks I developed heavy bleeding. It wasn’t until my 28th week that they were able to confirm that Baby A’s placenta had abrupted. I was a bedresting timebomb. I spent 40 days on bedrest in the hospital, being poked and prodded with zero privacy. I kept bleeding and we kept preparing ourselves for the worst, but my body just kept going and the girls kept growing inside me without any problems. When I got to 28.5 weeks, I started feeling different. My lower back was really achy and I had a massive headache that wouldn’t go away. I was given my second round of steroids to help the girls lungs develop and was put on constant monitoring. I was having multiple contractions, but had not started going into labor. I told my doctors that something was different and I wasn’t feeling right. Sure enough I had started developing an infection. At exactly 29 weeks, I had an emergency c-section. My husband and I barely had time to worry about how our babies would be, we just knew it was time.
    Baby A (Colleen Elizabeth) came out crying. It was such a relief to hear her sweet little lungs were working. She was surrounded by nurses and doctors since they were expecting her to have a poor prognosis. Baby B (Genevieve May) also came out crying . It was sort of a blur for me, probably from the medications and my infection, but it was such a beautiful and amazing moment between my husband and I. The girls were quickly whisked away to the NICU and my husband followed. The girls amazingly never had to be intubated, just needed a little oxygen and close monitoring.
    It wasn’t until after I was in recovery, that the doctor came to see me and really explain just how special my situation was. Sweet little Colleen had her umbillical cord wrapped around her neck 3 times. The placenta that had caused me to bleed for 7 weeks was practically shredded. I had developed chorioamniotis and the infection had just started to spread to Genevieve’s sac. Genevieve also had her cord wrapped around her neck once. Had we waited any longer, we could have lost both of our little girls.

    Our girls spent 8 weeks in the NICU. It was a long road, but for the most part they had no complications, just needed time to feed and grow. The nurses and doctors were wonderful. I am cherishing every day, as I know I am part of a very big miracle.

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