James & Chase's Story...

Our adventure with Holy Redeemer and the NICU started on February 21st 2016, it was a normal Sunday that included a trip to BJ's and picking out the last piece to the twins room, the area rug. I noticed by the end of the day I was more uncomfortable than usual but I chalked it up that it was going to be this way for the last couple weeks, I was in the home stretch at 34 weeks and 2 days! was scheduled for induction on March 20th, but the twins had other plans. I put in a call to my doctor around 7 o'clock that night after the discomfort continued still not thinking anything would come of it (so much so that I had no problem with my boyfriend stopping for McDonalds on the way to the hospital) the doctor advised me to come in just to get checked. From there it felt like a whirlwind, 5 minutes after being on the monitor I saw that my contractions were every 3 minutes. The doctor came and checked me and informed me that I was 4 cm dilated. I remember saying things like "it's not time" and "I'm not ready". The hospital opted to monitor me before taking any action, 2 cm later and A LOT of discomfort it was time for the epidural. Almost immediately after they lost twin B's (Chase) heart beat. I had 2 doctors and 3 nurses trying to turn her and move her to find it, it was one of the most horrific things I've ever experienced but finally they found her and it was time to push. 

I delivered Baby A (James) vaginally at 3:40 am February 22nd 2016 after 2 pushes, weighing 4 lb 4 oz.  My daughter put her hands up and refused to enter the world, so she was taken by cesarean at 4:20 am weighing 5 lb 2 oz. Both were taken to the NICU quickly, I was put into my room to "rest", I couldn't move for 12 hours to go see my babies and it felt like a piece was missing from my heart. A feeling that would continue for the next 3 weeks.

The bonds that were formed in the NICU in the following weeks is something I can't begin to put words to. The nurses there were the kindest and most gentle souls I've ever met. They encouraged me when I wanted to give up and made me feel like I was doing everything right when I felt like I had no control and was spinning out. They were angels. They assured me the twins were making progress when it felt like they would never take a full bottle by mouth. We had coffee together, we laughed together and sometimes cried together. I spent almost every waking hour sitting by their isolettes and wondering how I got here. My boyfriend made breastmilk runs when I was too emotionally exhausted to move. I was fortunate, my twins were healthy and just needed to grow and learn to eat. But nonetheless, seeing them in their tiny beds with their feeding tubes was gut wrenching. After what felt like a lifetime of bad cafeteria food and the inside of a parking garage, Chase was released on March 12th leaving her brother behind. A bittersweet day, but easier knowing that he was in great hands. He was released 2 days later and my heart was finally full. However, looking back I can't imagine my experience being any different. I'm forever grateful to the NICU nurses and doctors who took care of and nurtured and loved my babies when I couldn't be there. They truly are superheroes.

~Keri O'Brien
Superhero Momma