Mason & Caden

I actually went into preterm labor at 22 weeks, so I'd been on bedrest at Women and Babies Hospital in Lancaster Pa for weeks before my twins were born. During that time I took a tour the NICU and spoke with other families that had children there. That brought me some comfort but nothing could fully prepare me for the journey I was about to embark on. I delivered my twin boys at 27 weeks. They were three months early and both under 2 lbs.

I remember lying in the recovery room feeling alone. As soon as my twin boys were delivered, a team of doctors immediately took them away. The fear was so paralyzing I couldn't even cry. All of our family and friends were there. When they greeted me with big smiles and hugs, it was confusing- I didn't know if I was supposed to be happy. I just remember feeling helpless. The boys were born at 8:30 and 8:35 the night of the 27th, but I didn't get to see or touch them until the next day because they were so unstable. Mason weighed only 1 lb 12 oz, and Caden was 1 lb 9 oz.  I recall thinking,  "What if they die before I ever get the chance to meet them?"

Soon after the twins were born, Caden was found to have a PDA (an open valve in his heart) as well as a level 3 IVH (Intraventricular hemorrhage), or bleeding on the brain. This led to many sleepless nights for us as we prepared for the worst. We were on our knees, crying out for a miracle. We had a strong faith prior to this journey, but it was amplified once our babies lives were being threatened. We found so much comfort and even acceptance in the fact that we couldn't carry this burden alone and that we didn't have to.

Almost one month after they were born, Mason had his PIC line removed. Without the IV in him, we were able to reach him close enough that we could take our first family photo of the twins side-by-side! We felt hopeful for the future.

Mason was released first from the NICU after 79 days. At the time of his release he weighed just over 4lbs. Unfortunately he contracted bronchiolitis and landed himself in the pediatric unit at the hospital a few days later. He wasn't able to be there for Caden's homecoming, which also happened to be their due date. Caden spent 89 days total in the NICU. Our boys are now in first grade and doing so well! Caden still receives occupational and physical therapy as a result of his brain hemorrhage, but he hasn't let it slow him down! Both boys are active in sports and are keeping up in school.  You would never know they were once micro preemies that could fit in the palm of my hand.

Hopefully our story can give another family hope during their own NICU journey!

Blessings,

Laurie and Nick Beisker

Family, friends, nurses, and doctors reminded us to take the NICU journey "one day at a time". We rejoiced in the "good" days.

Martha & Paul / Wyndmoor, PA

Martha & Paul