Meet Leslie, Preemie Parent Mentor
My preemie(s) was born at: 28 weeks
Days spent in the NICU: Baby A was 74 days and Baby B was 71 days
Parent of Multiples: Yes
Our NICU Journey included: Multiples pregnancy, home bed rest, early labor, strict hospital bed rest, placental abruption, NG tubes, changing NG tubes, severe reflux, spinal taps, PDAs, bringing one twin home first, dramatic changes in NICU laws, and one twin on home oxygen for 6 months.
Having my twins was amazing. I remember meeting my babies for the first time, and after waiting several days I was finally able to hold one baby. It was the most incredible experience ever. Soon after I got to hold the other twin, and we were fortunate to have a NICU that kept them side by side and nurses who would help me arrange all the tubes and wires so that I could hold them together. They would snuggle so tight and the feeling was indescribable. Years later I still remember there were some scary parts, but the fantastic ones stick out so much more. It was an overwhelming journey I thought might never end, but the nurses would say “The school bus doesn’t pick up at the NICU, you will go home.” And we did, O2 free only to have one twin put on home oxygen a week later. But we survived, and so will you.
As a Graham’s Foundation Parent Mentor, I want to be there for other parents on this ride. I didn’t have anyone to talk to when we first landed in the NICU, a place no parent asks to be. But I gradually found people who were able to help me understand things, support and educate me, and reassure me that it was not my fault. I want to be that person for someone else, a voice in the darkness to help you understand that you are not alone.
Preemie Multiples in the NICU and Beyond
Multiple birth and prematurity often go hand in hand, so many preemie moms and dads are also parenting twins, triplets, and quads. While all parents of preemies face incredible challenges, multiple birth can bring with it unique struggles and joys. Connecting with other parents of multiples is so important when it comes to coping with prematurity and then thriving at home.