This is a sponsored post and we are proud to be a #PampersPartner and a member of their #PampersBabyBoard
We at Twiniversity have partnered with Pampers on their #LittlestFighters campaign to bring awareness to World Prematurity Day (November 17). Pampers is providing a box of their new NICU flat diapers to every NICU hospital across the country and donating to the March of Dimes to continue their shared mission to care for the happy, healthy development of every baby – including the littlest fighters.
Today, we’re sharing MoM Squad Member Lauren’s story of her premature twins to join in the #LittlestFighters campaign, and we encourage you to share your preemie’s story as well to help raise money for the March of Dimes (details below!)
Lauren’s Preemie Story
To say I had a very difficult pregnancy would be putting it nicely. While some go through their whole pregnancy active and taking Pilates classes, I was doing eveything I could to literally just stand up. Because I have a long, thin frame and my belly kept growing while my arms and legs got skinner, When I walked I had to really balance myself so I wouldn’t fall over. Because of this risk, I was put on modified bed rest at 24 weeks. The doctors advised me to stay off my feet as much as I could to prevent hurting myself or the babies.
At 29 weeks, I went in to my high-risk doctor for a regularly scheduled check-up and when they began monitoring the babies they said, “Oh, have you been feeling those contractions?” “Oh, are those Braxton-Hicks contractions?” I replied. And they said, “No, those are real contractions.” What? How could that be? I had been having them for a week and I had been ignoring them. How could I let that happen? I was swiftly admitted to labor & delivery to see if the doctors could reverse the contractions and send me back home. No such luck. I was there for eight days and then released from the hospital on bedrest.
Around my 32 weeks mark I got a call from my mother in law. She was so excited to host the twins baby shower. My friends and family were all excited to celebrate with me and my mother in law was worried we would have to cancel. She had 50 guests planning on a great day and I didn’t want to disappoint her or anyone else. I decided I could make it. I had been cooped up in my house for three weeks, and I was ready for a tiny bit of normalcy, “Sure I’ll go. I’ll just have to take it easy.” I went to the baby shower with my husband, and while I was there, even if I wasn’t the most comfortable. We had a great time. We played games, had great food and I was overwhelmed by all the generosity. I was feeling the love. and
Since the shower was held on Super Bowl Sunday, my husband drove me home and then headed to his brother’s house to watch the game. But honestly, I wasn’t feeling well and I had a feeling I could possibly be in labor.
I waited until half-time and then called the doctor. He told me to come in to the hospital right away. Since my hubby was in celebration mode and hanging with the boys, let’s just say he had a few beers and I could tell when I called him to tell him what the doctor said. I decided that even though I was in labor, I’d have to drive myself to get him and then to the hospital. So with my giant belly, I got behind the wheel and the next part of our day began. Clearly not the ideal way to get yourself to the hospital. In hindsight, I probably should have called an ambulance and had my husband meet me there via taxi.
Once we got the hospital the nurses quickly ran my vitals. The doctor decided after reading the results of my tests that I would need to stay there and I would have my babies in about a month. I was 2 cm dilated at that time and they had a plan to stop the labor once again. Unfortunatly the plan didn’t work and a few hours later I had dilated to 5 cm. The doctor looked at my husband and I and said “Showtime”. I was having those babies on the day of my shower and Superbowl Sunday!
I was hoping for a vaginal delivery but after a sonogram confirmed that one baby had their umbilical cord around her neck, a vaginal delivery was off the table. I went in for a c-section and my girls, Abigail and Emily, were born weighing 4 lbs 3 oz and 4 lbs 6 oz. They were whisked off to the NICU, I didn’t even get a chance to see them. Over the first 24 hours, my husband would go and take photos of them in the NICU and come back up and show me their pictures on the viewfinder of our digital camera. I had to wait 24 hours to see them for the first time, and I was taken down to the NICU in a wheelchair. I was overwhelmed with emotion going into the NICU for the first time. Seeing them hooked up to ventilators and oxygen and all those machines was very difficult to handle. You never imagine seeing any of your children in that position, and I had two in that position. And they both had their own health issues, but they were doing pretty well compared to other babies in the NICU. They were 8 weeks early and we were told to expect being there at least a month.
Over the first 24 hours, my husband would go and take photos of them in the NICU and come back up to recovery to show me their pictures on the viewfinder of our digital camera. I had to wait 24 hours to see them for the first time. I was taken down to the NICU in a wheelchair when it was finally time and that’s when it all hit me. I was a mother of preemies. I was overwhelmed with emotion going into the NICU for the first time. Seeing them hooked up to ventilators and oxygen and all those machines
I was overwhelmed with emotion going into that NICU for the first time. Seeing the twins hooked up to ventilators and oxygen and all those machines was very difficult to handle. You never imagine seeing your children in that position, and I had two in that position. And they both had their own health issues. But they were doing pretty well compared to many other babies in the NICU. They were 8 weeks early and we were told to expect to be there at least a month.
I myself was in the hospital for 5 days. Leaving them there was really rough. I just remember being so sad and crying a lot. Because I had a c-section and couldn’t drive, I had to depend on family members and friends to drive me to visit my babies. I couldn’t wait to be able to drive again myself so I could get to the hospital more often. But in hindsight it was a good thing because I had a difficult recovery and I really needed to rest more, which wouldn’t have happened if the babies had come home with me.
They were in the NICU a total of 20 days, which was shorter than expected. The care from the doctors and nurses was unbelievable. They really taught me how to care for them, how to keep their body temperature up, how to feed them, making sure they gained weight, etc. That became the new way of life, being in the NICU every day. I would wash my hands, feed a baby and watch the machines all day. I should have spent more time focusing on the babies and not worrying so much about what the machines said.
We had some complications. Emily needed a spinal tap when she was 9 days old from an infection, and she was fine, but then a few days later she aspirated her formula so she had to go back on a ventilator for a bit. At one point my twins were in two different NICU wings in the hospital, so I had to juggle where to be and who needed me more at the moment. One day the doctors came to me and asked if I was ready to take them home tomorrow. I was completely shocked and unprepared! So I went home and finally went through the baby shower gifts I never went through and realized I only had one car seat. I had to run out and buy a second car seat and we took them home the next day. I finally had my girls at home where they belonged.
I knew that my preemies had fighting spirits at many times throughout their NICU stay. They grew so quickly and they were able to do things earlier than everyone thought they would. Emily could never sit still and she would always pull her IVs out. The nurses would constantly need to find a new place to put it in; her head, her foot, and every time I would go back to visit it would be somewhere else! And they were discharged 10 days earlier than expected even though they were born 8 weeks early. And now they are 11-year-old maniacs and you would never know that they were 8 weeks premature!
Pampers has BIG news for preemie parents!
Did you know 1 in 10 babies are born premature? This statistic has continued to increase for the second year in a row; the U.S. preterm birth rate rose from 2 percent to 9.8 percent in 2016 — equating to approximately 8,000 additional babies being born premature.
To champion the fighting spirit of preemies, Pampers has created the first-of-its-kind NICU flat diaper for babies who are too delicate to wear a regular diaper. The Pampers NICU flat diaper offers the same softness, absorbency and skin protection found in a Pampers diaper but with no elastic or tape, specifically designed to meet the needs of more than half of preemies in the NICU, including those with hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice), abdominal defects and surgeries, severe skin breakdown, and extremely low birth weight.
In honor of World Prematurity Month, Pampers will provide a box of the NICU flat diapers to every NICU hospital across the country and donate to the March of Dimes (up to $300,000!) to continue their shared mission to care for the happy, healthy development of every baby – including the littlest fighters.
Here’s how you can participate in the Pampers #LittlestFighters campaign for World Prematurity Day:
- Share your #LittlestFighters story about the first time you were inspired by your baby’s fighting spirit on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram from November 6-17 and Pampers will donate $5 to the March of Dimes (up to $90,000).
- Subscribe for any new Pampers on Amazon Prime from November 11-17, and Pampers will donate $10 to the March of Dimes (up to $150,000).
- Donate your Pampers Rewards points to March of Dimes and we’ll match them during the month of November (up to $10,000).
- Submit your story on TODAY.com and we’ll donate $5 to March of Dimes, up to $50,000. Now through November 19 at 11:59 EST. Submissions may be used within TODAY broadcast, TODAY.com and/or on TODAY social handles.
We encourage you to share your #LittlestFighters story to help spread awareness of prematurity, to encourage others who are going through their own prematurity struggles, and to help raise money for the March of Dimes for future families affected by prematurity. Let’s get the word out there and raise some big bucks for a great cause!