Time for another March of Dimes Moment! For those of you who don't know about the March of Dimes, they are an amazing non-profit organization working to give all babies a healthy chance at life. Be sure to check out their website!
A few weeks ago I shared our story about our daughter Ella. If you missed it you can see it here. We had it pretty easy compared to most people who have a baby prematurely. Please consider helping us support the wonderful and important work of this organization. There is a widget in the left-hand side bar where you can donate. Any amount helps!
This week my best friend Dana is sharing the story of her twin daughters, Chelsea and McKenzie. I hope it touches you like it has so many others.
Chelsea & McKenzie's Story
(as told by their mother, Dana)
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. -Albert Einstein (fellow preemie)
We displayed this quote over our premature twin daughters, Chelsea and McKenzie during their five week stay in the NICU. For my husband and I we choose to believe that everything is a miracle, especially our girls. From the beginning we knew this wasn’t going to be a normal pregnancy. The girls suffered from a rare condition known as Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. This is where both babies share one placenta and there is an imbalance of blood flow and nutrients between them. One baby receives all the nourishment from the placenta while the other starves. Along with the nourishment, the recipient baby also receives all the fluid, causing her tiny heart to work harder than it should. After learning the risks I was referred to a team of specialists for monitoring and weekly ultrasounds. At 29 weeks the condition had become worse. An amnio reduction was performed to remove two liters of excess fluid from around McKenzie. After the procedure I went into preterm labor. I was given medicine to stop the contractions and steroid shots to help speed up the development of Chelsea and Kenzie’s lungs. A week later an ultrasound showed the fluid around McKenzie had reached a dangerous level. Her heart was becoming weak from having to work harder to pump the extra fluid. The doctors decided an emergency c-section was our best option.
Chelsea was born weighing 2lbs 12oz and McKenzie was born a minute later weighing 4lbs 5oz. Both were immediately taken to the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit. I got to see my little girls a few hours later when I left recovery. They were so tiny and fragile. It was hard seeing my sweet little girls hooked up to so many tubes and wires and not being able to hold and comfort them. The next day Chelsea received a blood transfusion and both girls received light treatments for jaundice. Thanks to the steroid shots I had received their lungs were developed and they could breathe on their own. After spending five weeks in the NICU they were able to come home from the hospital with apnea monitors.