Our miracle mono mono twin girls were born preemie at 27 weeks via emergency c-section in 7 minutes.
On June 23rd Lily Mae came first at 6:51am and her identical twin sis, Lua, was born a minute later. Both girls came out crying with great color! We were truly grateful.
That’s when our NICU journey began…
Before I dive into the five things we experienced with our two twin preemies that week (which are common in the NICU), let me quickly share a crazy story with you and how we came to our NICU experience.
Throughout this post, I hope to shed some light on our NICU journey with a preemie at 27 weeks to help you along your own NICU path.
Pregnant At 18 Weeks
Our ultrasound technician broke the news to us by saying, “You know you’re having twin girls right?”
Up until this point, my hubs Dave and I knew we were having one girl (as our 7-week ultrasound only showed one sweet pea).
The word ‘shocked’ doesn’t even describe how we felt at that moment.
After hearing the word ‘twins’ all sorts of feelings hit us.
Totally elated, petrified, grateful, OMG what.is.happening?!, blessed, can we even do this?
Then, the doctor came in to share some MORE shocking news with us…
We are having identical twin girls.
Specifically, Monoamniotic-Monochorionic (MoMo or Mono Mono) Twins. This is when twins share one placenta in the same amniotic sac, each with their own umbilical cord (no membrane separates the two).
It is considered one of the highest-risk twin pregnancies and is extremely rare, occurring in only one percent of all twin pregnancies.
It’s like a free for all in your belly, with the added risk of cord entanglement. Plus, you run the risk of one twin taking more nutrients from the other (also known as Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome or TTTS).
That day, our lives changed forever.
On top of the shocking news we received that day, we were told I would be going inpatient anywhere from 24 to 28 weeks.
To monitor the girl’s heart rates until they are born.
Continuous monitoring increases your chances of preventing a cord accident to keep your twins safe (which we were fully on board with)!
Going Inpatient At 24 Weeks
We made the decision to check in the earliest week the doctor suggested at 24 weeks for continuous monitoring.
We figured the earlier the better to increase our odds of catching a cord accident.
I was a pretty boring patient those first couple of weeks in the hospital leading up to my emergency C-section. We hoped it would stay that way until it was time for the girls to be delivered anywhere from 32 to 34 weeks.
But on June 23rd, a higher power had different plans in store for us and our girls…
Our nurse (to who we are forever indebted) saved Lua and Lily’s life that day. She caught a cord accident during monitoring. Lua’s heart rate declined quickly and stopped.
I was rushed to the OR for an emergency C-Section where both girls were delivered within 7 minutes.
That’s when our miracle twins arrived and our NICU journey began…
Preemie At 27 Weeks
I want to shed some light on what we experienced in the NICU during Lua and Lily’s first 27 weeks of life. Our NICU nurses informed us these five things are common for preemies to experience.
Not all babies may require the things Lua and Lily needed during this time, but hopefully, one of these things will help you along your NICU journey.
When a preemie is born, the liver is not yet fully developed. Because of this, a baby may experience Jaundice (also known as Hyperbilirubinemia or the yellow tint of skin). We were told this is very common in preemies and most may need bili lights at some point.
Both our girls, Lua and Lily, had bili lights placed on them. We called it ‘getting their tan on’. 🙂
It’s a blue light that shines on your baby’s skin. This special light reduces elevated levels of bilirubin which passes through the urine or stool.
Typically, a baby is placed under this light for 1 to 2 days.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
Lily had a CPAP.
A CPAP (similar to a nasal cannula) pushes air through a small mask or prongs that fit on your baby’s nose. The air pushes into the lungs to open up air sacs to help your baby breathe.
Usually, a CPAP remains on a preemie for up to the gestational age of 32 to 35 weeks.
Fortify Breast Milk
If you’re planning on pumping to provide your baby your breastmilk, you may hear the nurses and doctors throw around the terminology of ‘fortifying your milk’.
Fortification is when more nutrients are added to the breastmilk to boost the calories and nutrients your preterm baby needs to grow.
Pumping my own breastmilk for Lua and Lily was a priority for me. This is because of the numerous benefits our girls would receive by getting my milk to help them:
- Fight infections
- Grow and develop
- Get more nutrients higher in minerals, proteins, and fats, that are easier to digest
PICC Line (Percutaneously Inserted Central Catheter)
Both our girls needed a PICC Line inserted which is like an IV (Intravenous Line).
A PICC line is a long, flexible, soft tube that is usually inserted into the arm or leg. This is used when a preemie needs fluids or medicine over a long period of time.
A PICC line lasts a lot longer than an IV and saves your baby from getting poked more often.
A regular IV lasts around 1 to 3 days versus a PICC may last two to six weeks.
For our girls, Lua needed a PICC in her leg, and Lily needed a PICC in her arm. The procedure usually takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to do.
Keep in mind this is a ‘sterile’ procedure so we were not allowed into our girl’s room when their PICC was inserted.
TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition)
We kept hearing the nurses and doctors talk about our girls ‘TPN’.
What in the heck is that?
A baby gets their TPN through their vein which delivers all the nutrients a baby needs like electrolytes, fats, minerals, proteins, sugars, and vitamins.
TPN is given to most early preemies.
Since a preemie’s digestive system is not yet mature, they are unable to receive nutrients from regular feedings such as by mouth or through a feeding tube.
Due to this, a TPN (similar to an IV line) may be given through the baby’s veins in one of the following ways:
- Belly button
Both our girls had their TPN inserted through their belly buttons.
To Wrap It Up…
Our twins, Lua and Lily, experienced several of these things during their first week in the NICU:
- Bili lights to lower their bilirubin levels (to help with jaundice or the yellowish tint of their skin)
- Lily wore a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to open the air sacs in her lungs to help her breathe
- Fortification of my breast milk to boost nutrients and calorie intake
- A PICC line was inserted into Lua’s leg and Lily’s arm to give them fluids and medicine if needed
- Both girls had their TPN in their belly buttons to give them more nutrients
Whether you have a preemie at 27 weeks or before or after this time, I hope one of the five things we covered helps you along your NICU experience.
Remember to keep your head up and stay strong! Life in the NICU is an emotional roller coaster with many highs and lows.
I’m here to tell you, you’ve got this. 🙂
Until the next post, I’m sending you all the positive parent vibes!
Thank you for being here today!
Do you have more tips to share about a preemie at 27 weeks? Let me know in the comments below.
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