After a difficult pregnancy diagnosed with TTTS, including TAPS, SIUGR or TRAP, you may find yourself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This is a specialized unit at a hospital equipped and staffed with many loving medical experts doing all they can to take care of premature babies that may be critically ill or just need more time to grow. The NICU is filled with miracle workers.
The TTTS Foundation tries to do our part to help and educate the families we are supporting by sending out a special NICU package with 2 really helpful books the NICU . We also have a Facebook NICU support group with our NICU Coordinator, Jade, who gave birth to her identical twin daughters at 22 weeks. It is so important to surround yourself with other parents who have walked in your shoes who can offer tremendous help, guidance and empathy.
We place so much trust in the angels involved in the NICU. They are truly fighting for our babies in every possible way. Remember, though, that you are the parents to your children. You have the right to be extremely involved in their care and have the final say in their treatments. You are the ones needed the most by your babies. They know how much you love them. They love you with all their heart too.
As you are advocating for your children, we are here to support you through the struggles, triumphs, sorrows that you go through along the way. Nobody can better support a parent going through the NICU than another parent who has been there.
My name is Jade Ewoldt, The TTTS Foundatio’s NICU Coordinator. I am the mother to Keeley and Kambry who survived twin to twin transfusion syndrome in the womb after diagnosis at 16 weeks and surgery at 18 weeks – born at 22.1 weeks due to PPROM and Chorioamnionitis. PPROM is typical in mother’s who have surgery to correct TTTS. Keeley weighed 1 lb and was 11.5”. Kambry was 13.4 oz and was 11”. Through all this, I’ve not been perfect, I’ve failed, I’ve struggled, but I’ve continued to persevere. If I do anything through advocating and raising awareness, I really just want to give others a voice and to walk along side them. I can truly say that no matter what hand you’re dealt, you can do hard things. I look forward to continue raising awareness and advocate not only for 22 weekers, but for babies and mothers everywhere.