My life was forever changed by the birth of my twins at 24 weeks (16 weeks premature). My husband and I struggled to conceive and were overjoyed to finally be expecting twins. I had a healthy pregnancy until one night I began cramping and my instinct told me to get to Banner Desert. I was admitted and two days later our twins arrived into the world.
I remember how surreal it was, and my first trip up to the NICU to see them. It was a foreign place-- where doctors, nurses and monitors spoke a language that was foreign to me. Both of our twins, Grace and Owen, were what were considered micro-preemies, with many current and potential medical issues. Our Gracie lived just 10 short days before passing in my arms. Owen went on to spend 3 ½ months in the NICU and after several ups and downs was released to go home on Thanksgiving eve, 2006. While visiting daily and advocating for our little man, we were also going through the grieving process (me with my crying and my husband with his lawn mowing). I would not have been able to get through this time without our excellent medical team, but also importantly, the compassion that was shown to our family. I also met some amazing mothers who had been through similar experiences who will be lifelong friends.
Owen was sent home on oxygen, with pulmonary issues and reflux due to his prematurity, and had gone from 1 lb 1 oz to 5 lbs 6 oz since birth. I spent hours both in the hospital and at home doing “Kangaroo Care” with him, and still to this day he is the cuddliest guy I know! He has outgrown many challenges over the last 6 years, and I am happy to report he is a healthy, joyful and determined boy. He has been blessed by special caregivers and therapists (speech, physical, occupational) that have helped him along the way. Owen loves to swim, read, build with legos, laugh and roughhouse- I think with the added zeal of his angelic twin at his side.