There is much joy that comes with finding out that you’re pregnant with twins. Twice blessed. Even more so when your doctor tells you that they’re fraternal, carrying the lowest risk.
I’ve always had healthy and relatively easy pregnancies. I carried both boys to nearly 40 weeks (#1 was 3 days early, #2 was a day early). I had all the confidence that I would get to 37 weeks (full-term for twins) with my third pregnancy. Other than first trimester bleeding which went on for 6 weeks (and what sent me to the hospital at 6 1/2 weeks pregnant, when an ultrasound was done and we saw two sacs), it was smooth sailing.
So when September 14 happened, I was absolutely unprepared for my 34 weekers.
I was unprepared for how tiny they were. The sound of the ventilator which helped my little boy breathe. The alarms that went off on the machines (I jumped the first time I heard one, and that was within the first minute I entered the NICU). The tubes and wires. The unbearable thought of leaving my children behind when I left the hospital. The emptiness of the first 12 nights. The lump in my throat that stayed there until both babies came home. The unbelievable kindness of my Facebook community. The many messages of support and love that came in the first few weeks. The advice other mothers of preemies generously shared with me.
We are very lucky and blessed that our preemie babies came home only after a short stay in the NICU. They are healthy, growing and thriving.
Many other preterm babies don’t fare as well though. And some don’t go home. World Prematurity Day is the day we want to focus global attention on the problem of premature birth.
I’m sharing my story as a way to give hope to parents of preemies, just as I was given hope by others.