In 2011, we had our identical twin boys at 27 weeks. Quintin was born naturally, and Carter was via emergency c-section. Both weighed 2 pounds, 11 ounces. I didn’t get to meet them for 24 hours. Both had brain bleeds, feeding problems, heart problems, jaundice, needed help breathing, and needed frequent blood transfusions. At 2 weeks old Quintin was diagnosed with a disease called NEC, a disease primarily seen in premature babies. Upon receiving the news, Sara from March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program was there to hold our hand. About this time, I started attending a scrapbook club, through the March of Dimes.
Two weeks later, our doctor said that they needed to operate. With a positive mindset and lots of prayer, we waited for our little boy to come out of surgery. A nurse took us into a private room, “It isn’t good news. I’m sorry,” she said. When the surgeon came to speak with us, he held my hand and cried with us. Again, there was Sara asking if we wanted to speak with someone who had been through a similar situation. In the same room, 24 hours later, we held our baby boy for his last breath, surrounded by love. Sara found us and cried with us. This hug from her was one I will never forget. She helped me complete our scrapbook, It was difficult to be around the other moms, some of whom would talk about their twins. This scrapbook is one of the most precious things we will ever own.
Information both verbally and on paper was given to us, as was a support group to help us acclimate and get through our life in the NICU. And it was our life, for 2 months. We continued to spend time with and be positive for our survivor, Carter. He stayed another month in the NICU before we were able to bring him home on a monitor.
Even now after having my rainbow baby, I worry that something bad will happen. Many of you may tell yourselves, that we were lucky because in the end, we were able to have one of our boys. Trust me, I know, but I think about how I should have two identical boys running around every day of my life. Carter is the light of our lives. Since starting my journey with the March of Dimes, I've met many moms with similar stories, some seem hard to imagine possible. Having a baby die so young, means we may not have any memories, besides their silent birth. But, coming together for something like March for Babies allows us to not only band together for support and to help other families dealing with premature birth, it also gives us a new memory we can share with our lost babies. Crazy it may seem, I see a butterfly on my March for Babies walk every year. Quintin is with us. All of our babies are with us. Their memory stays alive with these events, and by talking about them.
We hope to turn a negative event in our family’s life into a positive act for others. Walking with the March of Dimes gives us an outlet. A way of raising funds to help ensure that someday all families get to hold their babies, go home with their babies and that these babies have the best chance of survival. Sometimes, we have to go out and make silver linings for obstacles in our lives, which is why we walk with the March of Dimes.