Today is the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing premature births and helping families with premature babies. The White House is changing their lights to purple to commemorate this day and give hope to families with premature babies.
Coincidentally, today is also our twins’ 7th birthday.
Seven years ago, my husband and I raced to the hospital scared and totally unprepared for what was about to happen. I was 31 weeks pregnant with twins and having contractions five minutes apart.
The hospital staff did everything they could to try to stop my labor, but there was no turning back. Panic began to set in. The only thing I could think about was “Would the babies be ok?”
Their delivery was so fast and they were just as quickly whisked away to the NICU. I did not get to see them at all. These were the babies that I talked to every day, dreamt about, and I did not even know what they looked like. I will never forget when the nurse asked us what their names were. We had names picked out, but we had expected to see them first before naming them. So we just arbitrarily picked Isabelle for baby A and Kamryn for baby B.
Isabelle was born at 2 pounds, 14 ounces and Kamryn weighed in at 3 pounds, 8 ounces. Leaving them in the hospital and going home without our babies was truly heartbreaking. It was one of the hardest times we have ever been through. The only way to describe it is truly a roller coaster ride. One day everybody is doing well, gaining weight, and learning to eat. The next day can be filled with infections, brain scans, and dropping heart rates. We learned all about NEC, apnea monitors, and blood transfusions. All I could do was fill my time pumping milk and visiting them every day.
In total, they spent almost 8 weeks in the hospital. I can’t imagine anything more stressful than having a seriously ill child in the hospital.
So seven years later, I still tear up thinking about those days when I didn’t know if my babies would make it. I still ask myself what I did wrong to cause them to come early, even though I know there was probably nothing I could do differently. I really can’t believe how far we have come. Both are completely healthy little girls. I am thankful every day that these lovely ladies came into our life. And, it is funny how their names just fit them perfectly—I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Happy Birthday Isabelle and Kamryn! And Happy Birthday to the March of Dimes. If you or someone you know is dealing with a premature baby, I encourage you to reach out to this great organization for help and support.
And please feel free to share your story below in the comment section. I know my family and I are just one of many families that all share a very similar experience.