“There are two! You’re having twins.”
“Everything is looking good. We’ll see you in four weeks.”
“We are going to admit you, but hopefully just over night. We want to keep our eye on a few things.”
Navigating the NICU
Everything went from great to terrible seemingly overnight. Imagine my shock and disbelief when I found out I had preeclampsia and was going to be put on hospital bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, the “duration” only lasted four more days and my twin girls were born at 29 weeks, 2 days weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces and 3 pounds. As you can imagine, they were immediately whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where they would spend the first 72 days of their lives. I would spend the first few weeks trying to learn a new language–the language of the NICU–and then try to figure out how to be a mommy to my little girls feeling more hopeless and helpless than I had ever felt in my life. I learned many lessons during those days, which I hope I can share with others who need to hear them.
Do not apologize for anything. Those were my babies in those incubators and I did not need to apologize for asking questions or for asking to hold them, feed them, bathe them or change their diaper. Being involved in every aspect of their care made me feel less helpless and more like a mommy.
Take care of yourself. This is hard because the only place you want to be is with your babies, but if you are exhausted or sick, you cannot be in there. Have lunch with a friend; talk to other moms who have been through the NICU; do something that takes your mind off of the beeps of the machines even just for an hour or two.
Last but not least—do not blame yourself! I spent too much time feeling guilty that my babies were born early. My babies did not blame me. They simply wanted me present and available for them. They wanted me to hold them, feed them and talk to them and me doing that was plenty for them.
My sweet girls will be 5 years old this month. Nothing about them indicates they were premature as they are already 4 feet tall. They are also big sisters to a full term 2 year old. They are happy; they love people and they love life! What more could I ask for?
Brittany’s twins are some of A.J.’s best buddies. You’ve also seen them in my video review of Messy Girl Dresses when they were just two years old!