We March for Emmy!

Emmy

Emmy was born on February 13, 2007 at 32 weeks gestation.  She weighed 4 lbs. and was 16 inches long.  As part of a dynamic duo, Emmy was known as “Baby A” during my pregnancy and she asserted her little attitude from day 1.  Having already experienced two pregnancies with unexpected endings, my twin pregnancy was watched especially closely.  Things went well until 24 weeks, when the doctor discovered that I was starting to dilate and was having regular contractions.  Even though 24 weeks is considered the age of viability for a fetus, we knew that if our pair were born at that point, their prognosis would be grim.  If they survived, they would have huge obstacles to overcome, most likely for the rest of their lives.  Hearing the NICU staff tell us that we needed to make some decisions about what measures we wanted taken to prolong their lives, if they were born at that point, was very sobering.  I was given steroids to help mature their lungs, in hopes that they would be stronger when the time came for them to enter the world.

With the help of many prayers and 8 weeks of bedrest, Owen and Emmy made it to 32 weeks gestation.  Emmy was born first and was also the first baby to be intubated and put on a ventilator.  Her white blood cell count was high, indicating that she had an infection.  She was also diagnosed with a PDA.  Our experience was different than with Ryan, in that we were able to hold Emmy the day after she was born, in spite of her being on the vent.  Her lungs also perked up quickly and she came off the vent after just 2 days.

Premature girls tend to fare better than boys, and Emmy was no exception.  Her PDA eventually closed on it’s own, and after a week of antibiotics her infection cleared up completely.  She spent some time under phototherapy lights for jaundice, which is not uncommon.  She had a lot of spunk and just needed some time to grow and learn to eat.    She handled her feedings well, though she was slow to pick up on nursing.  Emmy was the first baby to be moved from an isolette to an open crib and gained weight more quickly than her brother.  Overall, she just did better than he did.

After 5 weeks in the NICU, we were able to bring our babies home and have our entire family together for the first time.  Although they came home on oxygen and apnea monitors, they were fairly healthy and strong.  Emmy was able to come off of her oxygen about 3 weeks after coming home, and we know that her lungs are completely healthy now with the demands she screams at us on a daily basis!

Emmy’s development has progressed steadily over the last year, but she’s still hanging out on the borderline of being delayed.  She saw an infant development nurse every 6 weeks throughout her first year, and although she still had some areas of caution, the nurse decided she was progressing well enough to stop seeing her. 

Emmy is full of life and is such a joy to have in our family!  We’re so grateful that she did so well in spite of her early arrival.  On Saturday, we march for Emmy!

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One Response to “We March for Emmy!”

  1. Em Says:

    Congratulations on exceeding your goal!!! I’m sure the info and pictures help a lot. I hope that people keep on giving clear until the end : )

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