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Ajudar as famílias a navegar na Jornada da UTIN, um milagre de cada vez.

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Rachel

25

Our daughter Rachel’s twin brother passed unexpectedly in utero at 23 weeks. Even though I had lost a baby the year before, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was even a possible scenario with a twin pregnancy…and I did not know what it meant for my surviving twin. My amazing doctor told me to “Go home, get in bed, and try to get one more week, one more day, one more hour for her. Everything counts.”

Rachel was delivered at Pennsylvania Hospital two weeks later at 25½ weeks after my body sent me into labor to deliver her twin. The night it happened they were trying to keep me pregnant with her but her heart had stopped so she had to be delivered immediately. When the neonatologist checked her and told me he was bringing her out to meet me, I asked if he could just show me with his hands how big she was because I had no idea what to expect. Weighing 1½ pounds and 12 inches long, she was beautiful.

Rachel suffered a grade 3 IVH sometime in the first week so our journey included many emotionally challenging days waiting for scan results beyond the regular protocol and milestone markers. Rachel was feisty from Day 1 and would often amaze the nurses by somehow getting to the far side of her isolette with all the equipment still on her. When she was a little under two pounds, she kept extubating herself to the point where the doctors decided to give her a chance to try breathing without the vent. Rachel had a guardian angel named Nurse Helen who worked the night shift. Because Rachel was so small but could breathe on her own, Nurse Helen was able to “wear” Rachel all night long in her bra. We were so grateful for the Kangaroo care and the attention and love she gave Rachel and we feel it made a tremendous difference.

Through out preschool, Rachel received OT and PT and hit her milestones a little late but got there through hard work and perseverance. The day I filled out the Kindergarten paperwork sitting at the school with the other parents, I sobbed with joy not believing this milestone had come. Today, Rachel is a typical 11th grader at the local high school. She is taking a few Honors classes (English and History), sings in the chorus, and takes Hip Hop and Jazz classes at a local dance studio. A nurturer, she loves to volunteer and help others. I can’t believe we will be looking at colleges soon and this one is almost ready to launch!

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